Does anyone give themself a Penance?

So, I committed a venial sin today ( I told a small lie :frowning: ) I feel bad about it. I am a bit scrupulous so I am thankful I am not all messed up wondering if it was a Mortal sin or not. I was just curious if anyone here gives themselves a penance to do when they know they commit a venial sin? Or maybe just something you do to help let it go and not dwell on it so much? Or do you not dwell on it much, and only crazy people like me think about it for a long time? :o When I think I committed a Mortal sin, I know what I should do. Not take communion and get to Confession asap. But I am alittle curious as to what I can do when I know I committed a venial sin? Keep in mind, I am a recent convert and still learning a lot. I know venial sins don’t need to be confessed. Thank you!

Venial sins can add up quickly and destroy one’s spirituality if they go unchecked. You are doing good by repenting of the sin and seeking penance. As for me, my entire life is built on penance of sort. I live in almost complete solitude, and I engage in holy things throughout the day. I don’t have a TV, and my only real desire is to listen to music (classical and religious).

My suggestion to you is to do something constructive for penance, like reading and meditation on the Holy Bible or a good book like The Imitation of Christ. I’m in the habit of reading just one very short chapter of The Imitation of Christ a day, and meditating on it throughout the day.

May God bless you abundantly!

Keep a goin’ :thumbsup:

Having OCD/ scrupulous thoughts, do you think if someone answers with “when I commit a venial sin, I…” will cause you to begin to need to do a penance every time you commit a venial sin?

Do you think you might start obsessing over giving yourself a penance?

Do you think it might better be something you discuss with your confessor and not ask for advise over the internet?

I agree with this. Keep a goin’ No need to do a penance for every venial sin.

I don’t give myself a penance for venial sins, per se, but if I find myself doing something repeatedly (swearing and uncharitable thoughts, particularly about bad drivers, are my two biggest repeat offenses), I’ll say an extra Hail Mary, or a whole bunch of them if it’s a particularly bad day. It helps.

In a similar vein, if I feel the penance I get in the confessional isn’t quite enough, I’ll add in a few extra prayers or something like that. Not that I’m second-guessing the priest, but just to help me focus on whatever I’d done that needed confessing and try to help myself commit to not doing it again.

“I” loved your question. As a convert myself I understand the need for advice and guidance and I am glad you asked it. I understand being more sensitive to my conscience since converting, and not feeling at peace until I have made a good confession and made up for my sins with penance. That is why I examine my conscience every night while lying in bed ( going over the day in my head ) I pray the Act of Contrition, and I try to make it to confession WEEKLY. Even though my sins are venial, it gives me peace to confess them and be absolved ( then I can let them go ) I find that this practice helps me in getting to know myself and see certain sinful patterns more clearly and therefore avoid them more easily. It also makes receiving on Sunday so much more reverent for me because I KNOW for SURE that I am in the best state of Grace I can be in receiving Him!

Usually the Priest gives prayers for penance, which I do of course, but Yes I have "given myself " penances. You are not crazy or going overboard. I think It’s beautiful. How else are we to try to become Saints? God Bless You and your efforts for the love of Him!

Remember, Christian Soul, that you have this day, and everyday of your life:
God to Glorify,
Jesus to imitate,
The Angels and Saints to invoke,
A soul to save,
Sins to expiate,
Virtues to acquire,
Hell to avoid,
Heaven to gain,
Eternity to prepare for,
Time to profit by,
Neighbors to edify,
The world to despise,
Devils to combat,
Passions to subdue,
Death perhaps to suffer,
And judgment to undergo.

CCC 2705-08

A prayer is a form of penance. I you feel the need for penance then say a short prayer.



Yes, but unless I commit a mortal sin, I wont go to confession for another few weeks. I know what you are doing and trying to tell me, thank you, but I am not that bad. What you describe would be severe scruples. I get light/mild scruples. I don’t obsess over everything. I am a new Catholic and I want to hear the experiences of others. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the replies. I guess I will most likely just say a act of contrition and do something to try to let it go, like read. Or just try to do something good.

Saying an Act of Contrition is a very good idea. Some people make this prayer a part of their night prayers.

Most people are able “to let it go”. You seem to have a good sense of the degree you have with being scrupulous. Notice in your message “do something to try to let it go.” See if you can change that thought pattern to “do something TO LET it go”.

Please speak with your confessor to discuss this at your next confession.

Congratulations on entering the Church. God bless you in this new journey within His Church.

HRM gave some good direction by suggesting in the evening a short exam of conscience, especially on the one or two things that you find are your weak points. This isn’t something to beat yourself up over but just a brief reflection back on your day on a principle point that you may have faulted on. Then a short resolve what you will do the next time a similiar situation comes up just how you will handle that. Then a short loving prayer to Jesus asking for his help that you might please him the next day. And if you will successful that day then thank him for his grace.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

I think that if you are scrupulous, you should not be giving yourself penances, as that can get quickly out of hand. You should leave that to your confessor. When you commit a venial sin, ask for forgiveness or say an Act of Contrition and let it go.

I tend to obsess about stuff and go through cycles of worry, guilt, and embarrassment. This doesn’t just apply to sins, by the way- for instance, I’ve been known to make myself nauseous for a whole day by obsessing about some stupid comment I made the day before.

However, I realize that worrying about this stuff is bad for me. Sometimes I just pray, and I would recommend saying a short prayer for help and forgiveness if you feel bad about something you’ve done. I don’t let the prayers become a chore, though- I only say them if I really do want help with something. You can say a long one if you really want that support, but you shouldn’t feel like you have to say a rosary every time you commit a venial sin, for instance.

Sometimes praying isn’t enough, and I end up doing weird stuff. Yesterday I wrote a pep talk for myself that was supposedly from my liver (which is in the general vicinity of the area I was making sick with worry). It sounds stupid, but it helped. :o

Basically, do whatever helps you to let go of your worry and go on with your life. :thumbsup:

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