I’m trying root out a particular vice in my life by the daily recitation of the fifteen decades of the Rosary. A lot of the time I will recite it directly before bed, but once in a while I am tired, and will go to bed saying to myself ‘I will be fine’. However, every time I always fall back into this vice! Would it be appropriate for me to request to my Confessor that my penance be to say the full Rosary every day, in order to be held accountable since it would bind under pain of sin if I am lax in pulling through(different from flat out forgetting)? Further, would this be irreverent to the virtue of obedience, or offend the spiritual authority of the priest by requesting this as the penance? Thank you in advance for any answers.
You get a double merit for doing things out of obedience. But vows should be made with prudence and a lot of consideration.
I suppose you could ask politely, as he could always say no. However, when trying to overcome a vice, is it really a good idea to put something else on your plate that binds you under sin if you do not accomplish it?
Let me guess, the vice is over-sleeping ?..….LoL
Hahahaha, I wish!
The best person to ask is really your confessor.
I can’t imagine any priest agreeing to such a thing.
Could I ask why?
Mandating a daily 15 decade rosary every day as penance is extreme as far as penance go. The largest penance I’ve had was ~8 prayers and most are less.
When I returned to the church after three years away, I scheduled an appointment for confession, which took the better part of an hour. My penance for three years’ worth of sin was one Rosary. I think a full Rosary every single day, as a penance, is excessive.
How about sublimation? Several of the saints have written about the value of this approach to rid themselves of besetting sins (I apologize that I really don’t have time to do the search to find the specific saints.)
What this means is that when you are tempted by your besetting sin, you immediately pursue a wholesome activity .e.g, sport (exercise, running, swimming, etc.), or perhaps chores that demand manual labor (shoveling snow in the winter is perfect), or perhaps practicing an instrument, or maybe playing with your children (if you have any). What you’re doing is sublimating the desire for the sin by doing something else, causing the temptation to subside.
Here is another technique I read recently, sourced from Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk, to deal with addictions, dependencies and compulsions; I’m getting this second hand so it may not be 100% accurate but in essence, the 4Rs:
do not Reject your temptation; accept is as part of your being. Do not Retain your tempting thoughts when they occupy your mind; move on to other thoughts or activities of a healthier nature. Do not React emotionally to your temptation. Return into the presence of God; this is where a balanced prayer life can come in handy: Liturgy of the Hours, lectio divina, Rosary in moderation.
I would add: if this is the vice I think it is, we are all subjected to varying degrees to this temptation, it’s a normal human drive and it’s especially tough when we’re younger. We all struggle with this. You can’t pray it away. You have to trust in God’s mercy when you do fall to it. The OP’s approach is setting him (her?) well down the road to scrupulosity and despair.
It also isn’t helpful to ask God to “cure” you of this once and for all. It simply won’t work. But you can ask for His help to prevent you from falling today. Small digestible bites work best for meals as well as stopping a bad habit. You can’t eat a multi-course meal in one bite, and you can’t solve this issue in one bite either.
Accept that you have this temptation, accept that you will fall from time to time, and ask God for forgiveness through the sacrament of confession when you do fall, and most important listen to your priest’s advice. If he says your culpability is lessened and thus not mortal, and that you don’t need to confess this every time, then accept his advice. He is trying to avoid you falling into scrupulosity and despair, which is the devil’s most successful trick to get someone to fall.
You still have to go for Confession for your sins and do the penance that the priest gives you. That’s what matters.
You can talk to your priest about your proposal with regards to saying the Rosary. Should not be a problem to that. However, basically your prayer is personal thing that you do, though it is a very good thing to do.
I’m, there are twenty decades now (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and Luminous).
Not officially, no. Saint John Paul II recommended the Luminous Mysteries, however, they are not apart of the official Rosary devotion, which is grounded on the messages of Our Lady to St. Dominic and Alan de la Roche, along with being a mirror of the Davidic Psalter(150 Psalms vs. 150 Ave’s). Of course, anyone may pray the Luminous Mysteries, but with all due respect to our good Saint, I will put my trust in Our Lady, who taught fifteen.
Since the Pope speaks in persona Christi, I’m sure Our Lady doesn’t mind the Luminous Mysteries being recited.
Nay, no one speaks in persona Christi. All priests have the authority to act in persona Christi, but the Pope has the authority to speak ex cathedra, meaning infallibly, which he did not when he recommended the Luminous Mysteries. As to Our Lady minding or not, I wouldn’t know.
If you are not able to do it without it being an obligation is a problem then I wouldn’t ask for a perpetual penance like that.
Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think penances given in the confessional bind with the same weight as vows. I don’t think omitting a penance is grave matter, generally speaking.
Thomas Keating is a Trappist monk? I never realized that!
Anywho, my real question: What does it mean not to reject the temptation? Wouldn’t that just be synonymous with rejecting the sin you are tempted to?