After reading the thread “Harshest Penance”, I thought about several of my experiences. Sometimes I have recieved NO penance. I have had to ask the priest at that point, “what should my penance be?” Does anyone else have this problem?
[quote=Tedster]After reading the thread “Harshest Penance”, I thought about several of my experiences. Sometimes I have recieved NO penance. I have had to ask the priest at that point, “what should my penance be?” Does anyone else have this problem?
Not sure if its a problem… My Priest 99 times out of a 100 gives me 1 whole Hail Mary… “the tyrant”…
I have never had to wear sack cloth, nor have I had to sprinkle ashes on my head, so I said too easy. Actually, I never thought of the penance a easy or difficult but they do tend to be light. From a grace perspective I think the penitant will receive more grace by a reverant recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, the if he crashed through a rosary while kneeling at each station. Never got that one, thank God.
Actually, I generally exceed the prayer requirement. Not because I feel that I need to, but because I want to. I admit it, I pray a lot.
Compared to the early Church, today’s penances are WAY too easy.
Many had to confess orally in front of the entire congregation. Then the penances went for years, in the meantime, no communion.
Praise God for His Mercy!
My vote was for just right. All of my penances have been just right, they have made me realize what I need to do in my life and helped me to believe that I can do better in the future.
I’ve had one or two penances that were “difficult” (emotionally), but certainly not too harsh. Just what I needed. And once the priest was in such a hurry to get to meeting with the bishop, he forgot to give me one, so I gave myself one.
There’s a priest who I go to for Confession somewhat regularly who generally asks ME what I think my penance should be? He always agrees with me. And I think I am harder on myself than he would have been.
In these days when Confession is making a slow come back all over the world I am beginning to realise the difference between Penance and Mortification. Mortification is not much practised yet. I have read that satan actually likes penance and encourages it as it gives us a sense of smugness and pride. In my experience Penance is always easy as it usually it there and then even if it is 5 whole Rosaries. No real committment to carry on the change over a period of time till our next confession.
Mortification on the other hand is difficult and is despised by satan. None likes to be mortified however when offered to God in reparation for our sinful nature it becomes most pleasing to God.
The body needs food but the sense demand the feast!!! Fasting does not and should deny the body of food but it denies the senses of extravagance.
When we mortify the senses then we truly realise what we are most dependant on.
Too easy. I have been to a priest, (and he is a good one with excellent advice and gives firm and gentle direction) his penance is for me to go out into the church and say “My Jesus, I thank you for you mercy” as many times as I can. It sounds harder than you think, when you are sitting there and your mind begins to wander you have to pull yourself back to the penance.
My lazy side says “Yeah, another easy penance”, but my soul says, “Shouldn’t I do more like tell everybody I gossiped about that I did it and ask for forgiveness?” That would surely keep me from doing it again - accountability/something practical & fitting the crime.
Eh. . . Mortification sounds like the one from the devil since it would destroy the body that God gave you and it is a thing you are supposed to protect, no tatoos offensive piercings etc. I think what you mean is Mastery over your Body because thats what occurs when you fast .
But yes fasting is actually a form of penance but it is not considered mortification and does not mortify your body ( unless you take it to such a degree that your body is damaged which is bad) .It also has good health implications sometimes. And what we try to do when we fast is yes to remember who we trully depend upon and to be thankful for the gifts that he gives us.
Mortification of the body though is something that occurs in the occult many times where they pierce their bodies and beat and cut themselves. They also perform perverted and destructive acts that desecrate their bodies.
Penance doesn’t have to be harsh ( God didn’t tell the apostles to beat whoever trully repented for their sins " Yeah Peter give him a good one on the head so he won’t forget next time!") it’s not what absolves you of the sin thats what God uses the priest and the prayer of absolution for. And the church actually finds it very commendable for those who keep praying after they have completed the penance given to them.
Say if you will the Penance is used to fix the window of the neighbor whilst God working through the Priest , being the kind Father that he is, forgives you for feeling trully sorry for your sins.
Yay for confession and for Penance what a Merciful God who forgives us even if nothing we can do can ever redeem us!
[quote=Pro Iesu]Eh. . . Mortification sounds like the one from the devil since it would destroy the body that God gave you and it is a thing you are supposed to protect
Saints all practiced mortification!
My penances are usually too easy, in my opinion. Though, I am very scrupulous and have a tendency to judge myself harsher than my priest.
(He once asked for my suggestion for a penance, and hasn’t done that again! He didn’t take my idea, either…)
The most I have ever been given was to say a decade daily for the rest of my life. (This was a visiting priest, and I only have venial sins. Wonder what he would have given a mortal sinner?!)
My normal confessor’s hardest penance has been 20 decades for one mortal sin against chastity.
However, the last time I confessed I was given one decade and to thank God for His mercy. It was a very appropriate penance, especially with the mercy part. I had been having a hard time with mercy before. I had about 20 mortal sins in 3 days. My priest really helped me to realize God’s infine love and mercy for us.
After giving me penance one time, the priest asked what I thought about what he had asked me to do and I told him I thought it was too easy. He then said a little harshly that Jesus had already suffered and died for my sins and that I should never forget that!
I go to two confessors. Only because one of them does not know me and sometimes I like going to him because it can be easier for me. He always gives me week long penances. I REALLY like that.
My other confessor has me say one Hail Mary or an Our Father. I always try to say them as well as I can, reverantly, meditatively.
I voted Just Right simply because I try my best to meditate on the sin while doing. Usually I get 1 Our Father and 3 Hail Mary’s as a penance, but I could get the decade for the rest of my life daily like another poster and it will still be “just right”
A penance that is too light almost seems impossible to me. I am always grateful that it is something that I am not tempted to leave undone. What if they gave me a huge penance and I did some of it, but later, because I am an idoit, I gave up trying to finish it? What would become of me then? I am very grateful for the light penance.
P.S. If a penance seems to hard to you, you could ask the priest to give an easier one.
My first penance after 22 years without going to Confession was to pray for my own peace of mind. At first I thought it was a ridiculously light penance, but once I started to meditate on it and actually pray for my own peace of mind I realized that it was quite tricky and difficult. Also, the priest did not give me a time limit on that so I find myself assuming that I need to always pray for my peace of mind. Not so light after all.
My second penance from a different priest was one Our Father.
I voted “Just Right”.
The way I figure it, my confessors have all much more experience at judging these sorts of things than I do, and who am I to question them? I must assume that by their experience and office that their penance is “just right.”
On the other hand, one could argue on a theological level that all penances are too light. After all, there is nothing we can really to to to make satisfaction for the willful disobience of God. If there were, then there would have been no need for the Perfect Sacrifice.
[quote=consuela]After giving me penance one time, the priest asked what I thought about what he had asked me to do and I told him I thought it was too easy. He then said a little harshly that Jesus had already suffered and died for my sins and that I should never forget that!
Heh, heh. A closet Lutheran, no doubt!