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  #1  
Old Feb 7, '10, 6:57 am
GraceSofia GraceSofia is offline
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Default What does "mortification of the senses" mean?

In reading about the Rosary and preparing something about it for catechism class, I read that the spiritual fruit of reflecting on the Scourging at the PIllar (Sorrowful Mysteries) is said to be "mortification of the senses,"
and I would appreciate a short definition of what that means. Something primary school kids can understand and desire. Thank you.
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Old Feb 7, '10, 8:57 am
MatthewBerkeley MatthewBerkeley is offline
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Default Re: What does "mortification of the senses" mean?

My own interpretation of that, for what its worth, is denying yourself.
This can be anything from accepting criticism without retaliating to physical pain.
St Therese offered up every little thing, trivial and not so trivial, and mastered her own will that way. Other saints took a much more severe approach - apparently Pope John Paul would flagellate himself.
I guess for primary school kids, stuff like not taking that extra sweet or chocolate bar, not reacting angrily when they are told off, doing their jobs willingly at home, going against what you would normally do for the glory of God and your own spiritual growth.
Hope that helps, it's my two cents worth
God bless
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Old Feb 7, '10, 9:53 am
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Advocatus Fidei Advocatus Fidei is offline
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Default Re: What does "mortification of the senses" mean?

It means to discipline them so that you control them rather than them controlling you, your not denying yourself so much as you are denying the senses, denying the body to free yourself from them so that you can truly be yourself as God made you to be.

Mortification of the senses, of the imagination and the passions

1 - Close your eyes always and above all to every dangerous sight, and even - have the courage to do it - to every frivolous and useless sight. See without looking; do not gaze at anybody to judge of their beauty or ugliness.

2 - Keep your ears closed to flattering remarks, to praise, to persuasion, to bad advice, to slander, to uncharitable mocking, to indiscretions, to ill*disposed criticism, to suspicions voiced, to every word capable of causing the very smallest coolness between two souls.

3 - If the sense of smell has something to suffer due to your neighbor's infirmity or illness, far be it from you ever to complain of it; draw from it a holy joy.

4 - In what concerns the quality of food, have great respect for Our Lord's counsel: "Eat such things as are set before you." "Eat what is good without delighting in it, what is bad without expressing aversion to it, and show yourself equally indifferent to the one as to the other. There," says St. Francis de Sales, "is a real mortification."

5 - Offer your meals to God; at table impose on yourself a tiny penance: for example, refuse a sprinkling of salt a glass of wine, a sweet, etc.; your companions will not notice it, but God will keep account of it.

6 - If what you are given appeals to you very much, think of the gall and the vinegar given to Our Lord on the cross: that cannot keep you from tasting, but will serve as a counterbalance to the pleasure.

7 - You must avoid all sensual contact, every caress in which you set some passion, by which you look for passion, from which you take a joy which is principally of the senses.

8 - Refrain from going to warm yourself, unless this is necessary to save you from being unwell.

9 - Bear with everything which naturally grieves the flesh, especially the cold of winter, the heat of summer, a hard bed and every inconvenience of that kind. Whatever the weather, put on a good face; smile at all temperatures. Say with the prophet: "Cold, heat, rain, bless ye the Lord." It will be a happy day for us when we are able to say with a good heart these words which were familiar to St. Francis de Sales: "I am never better than when I am not well."

10 - Mortify your imagination when it beguiles you with the lure of a brilliant position, when it saddens you with the prospect of a dreary future, when it irritates you with the memory of a word or deed which offended you.

11 - If you feel within you the need to day dream, mortify it without mercy.

12 - Mortify yourself with the greatest care in the matter of impatience, of irritation or of anger.

13 - Examine your desires thoroughly; submit them to the control of reason and of faith: do you never desire a long life rather than a holy life, wish for pleasure and well-being without trouble or sadness, victory without battle, success without setbacks, praise without criticism, a comfortable, peaceful life without a cross of any sort, that is to say a life quite opposite to that of Our Divine Lord?

14 - Take care not to acquire certain habits which, without being positively bad, can become injurious, such as habits of frivolous reading, of playing at games of chance, etc...

15 - Seek to discover your predominant failing and, as soon as you have recognized it, pursue it all the way to its last retreat. To that purpose, submit with good will to whatever could be monotonous or boring in the practice of the examination of conscience.

16 - You are not forbidden to have a heart and to show it, but be on your guard against the danger of exceeding due measure. Resist attachments which are too natural, particular friendships and all softness of heart.
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Old Feb 7, '10, 10:13 am
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baltobetsy baltobetsy is offline
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Default Re: What does "mortification of the senses" mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Advocatus Fidei View Post
It means to discipline them so that you control them rather than them controlling you, your not denying yourself so much as you are denying the senses, denying the body to free yourself from them so that you can truly be yourself as God made you to be.

Mortification of the senses, of the imagination and the passions

1 - Close your eyes always and above all to every dangerous sight, and even - have the courage to do it - to every frivolous and useless sight. See without looking; do not gaze at anybody to judge of their beauty or ugliness.

...snip...

16 - You are not forbidden to have a heart and to show it, but be on your guard against the danger of exceeding due measure. Resist attachments which are too natural, particular friendships and all softness of heart.
Good thoughts, but a little much for primary school kids! Where did it come from?

Betsy
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Old Feb 8, '10, 8:55 am
GraceSofia GraceSofia is offline
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Default Re: What does "mortification of the senses" mean?

Okay, thanks. I think denying oneself (physical things) works-- still needs a bit of explanation. This seems to be a particularly Catholic idea; kids that go to public schools probably don't hear the term much.
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Old Feb 8, '10, 10:27 pm
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baltobetsy baltobetsy is offline
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Default Re: What does "mortification of the senses" mean?

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Originally Posted by GraceSofia View Post
Okay, thanks. I think denying oneself (physical things) works-- still needs a bit of explanation. This seems to be a particularly Catholic idea; kids that go to public schools probably don't hear the term much.
It's to remind us that we were really made to be with God in Heaven, not stuck here on earth. We give up some earthly things so that we don't get too attached to them - to free us up to be paying attention to God. When it's time to go to Heaven, we don't want things tying us down to the earth. Birds and butterflies are made to fly - we don't put leashes on them. Giving things up takes the leashes off our souls so they can fly to God.

It's also a way of telling God, "I love You more than I love candy (video games, etc.)."

Betsy
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