Penace Question?

Has anyone gone to confession, stated your sins to your priest and made a valid Act of Contrition, but was disappointed in the penance you received? I went a couple weeks back and confessed my sins and one was at least a mortal sin. I thought the penance I received was not enough. I had been feeling bad all week and was looking foward to go to confession and I ended up feeling that the end result didn't make me feel better. Now don’t get me wrong I am happy that I was absolved of my sins. I respect the priest in my parish immensely. I just felt like I should have done more for my penance. This might be my general attitude on life. I am pretty hard on myself. So I feel that I need to be punished for the things I do wrong. A question I have is it wrong to do more then what your priest tells you to do for your penance? Let me elaborate. If one is told to say one Our Father and a Hail Mary but they pray more then thay were told too?

Peace

JP

You are too hard on yourself :hug1: Lighten up. Enjoy the forgivness of God. Just my :twocents:

You could do more than your confessor said. There's nothing wrong with going the extra mile or two. And no, there's never anything wrong with more prayer.

Ive had the experience of confessing my sin and while listening to the priest offer what he felt was helpful and insightful counsel, I knew that he didnt really get what I had just confessed.

It was then I realized that this Sacrament was more about being forgiven and absolved of sin then looking for help beyond that.

And that of course, priests are just men trying their best to fulfill their vocations. They are not always inspired.

But it's the sacraments that they celebrate that is what we should focus on. Not their human weaknesses.

I can't understand why praying (something you would do anyway?) is somehow considered a punishment. But, I would tell the priest at a later time about how you feel about this. Maybe next time he will come up with something a bit more creative than a Hail Mary or Our Father no matter what the number of times said are.

[quote="jp72, post:1, topic:182598"]
Has anyone gone to confession, stated your sins to your priest and made a valid Act of Contrition, but was disappointed in the penance you received? I went a couple weeks back and confessed my sins and one was at least a mortal sin. I thought the penance I received was not enough. I had been feeling bad all week and was looking foward to go to confession and I ended up feeling that the end result didn't make me feel better. Now don’t get me wrong I am happy that I was absolved of my sins. I respect the priest in my parish immensely. I just felt like I should have done more for my penance. This might be my general attitude on life. I am pretty hard on myself. So I feel that I need to be punished for the things I do wrong. A question I have is it wrong to do more then what your priest tells you to do for your penance? Let me elaborate. If one is told to say one Our Father and a Hail Mary but they pray more then thay were told too?

Peace

JP

[/quote]

Just an observation: an ostensibly 'light' penance seems to be *more * of a penance to you than a severe one - a case of less being more. Perhaps the priest knew what he was doing. :)

A light penance reminds you that you cannot possibly pay the price of your sins. Only Jesus can do that, and He already has.

Accept it with humility and gratitude.

Betsy

When I receive a heavy penance or an "appropriate" penance, I feel that I am receiving the punishment due me but when I receive a light penance, that is when I really FEEL the mercy of God extended to me.

Our priest often gives a Psalm to read as a penance. I read the Bible, so, it hardly seems like a penance. When he feels I am being hard on myself, he gives me Psalm 139. Remember, penance is not a human punishment, thankfully. We are confessing to Christ. I see penance as a sign of His mercy. He wants us to feel His forgiveness. He doesn't want to beat us up, or beat ourselves up. He wants us to be healed. If you feel the need for more, though, might I suggest reading Psalm 32. It speaks to not just our sin, but our guilt.

God bless.

[quote="StrawberryJam, post:5, topic:182598"]
I can't understand why praying (something you would do anyway?) is somehow considered a punishment. But, I would tell the priest at a later time about how you feel about this. Maybe next time he will come up with something a bit more creative than a Hail Mary or Our Father no matter what the number of times said are.

[/quote]

It's not about punishment. It's about curing the illness, so to speak. The penance is designed to help the sinner stay true to the intent of avoiding the near occasions of sin in the future, as well as heal the soul of the damaged that was caused by sin. Punishment is from God. All that we can do is ask God to let us atone for our sins in this world. The priest's mission is not to punish us, but to guide us back to holiness. Suffering is punishment for sin, but penance is not suffering. There is a difference.

Hope that makes sense.

[quote="jp72, post:1, topic:182598"]
Has anyone gone to confession, stated your sins to your priest and made a valid Act of Contrition, but was disappointed in the penance you received? I went a couple weeks back and confessed my sins and one was at least a mortal sin. I thought the penance I received was not enough. I had been feeling bad all week and was looking foward to go to confession and I ended up feeling that the end result didn't make me feel better. Now don’t get me wrong I am happy that I was absolved of my sins. I respect the priest in my parish immensely. I just felt like I should have done more for my penance. This might be my general attitude on life. I am pretty hard on myself. So I feel that I need to be punished for the things I do wrong. A question I have is it wrong to do more then what your priest tells you to do for your penance? Let me elaborate. If one is told to say one Our Father and a Hail Mary but they pray more then thay were told too?

Peace

JP

[/quote]

Simply accept the penance given by the priest. It is not for you or any of us to question the penance as to whether we consider too light or not. If you wish to do more that is entirely up to you but it not required.

One time I went to Confession apart from my normal routine because I had persuaded my daughter to go. She was in a state of mortal sin and had not even been to Confession for 3years so I took time out to go with her.
At that time I had no mortal sins to confess. I just confessed a few venial sins. It took me a couple of minutes only.
My daughter was in there for ages confessing mortal sins.
Aftterwards we found out that I had been given a much stiffer penance than her.

akshullay, no, I usually just do the penance as best I can. I figure the priest is the professional and best judge. That is not to say I sometimes feel moved to do more, which I hope is a healthy thing. Certainly no priest has ever said Say one Our Father and I forbid you to make any other penitential act.

It isn’t. When your penance is something like an Our Father, you’re being instructed to use an indulgenced prayer. Indulgences remit temporal consequences of sin.

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