Penance given to me today

Is it okay to ask advice about my Penance or is that confidential from my Confession? I just need some ideas about something given to me.
please let me know and I’ll come back.

If you need clarification about your given penance…talk away. You could even talk about your confessed sins if you wish to. But I wouldnt recommend that.

Father just said to make a sacrifice for my hubby and also to do something nice for him like taking him out to dinner. Now, obviously I could not finish my Penance in Church so I guess I have until my next Confession to complete it (which for me is about one-two months).
What ideas do you have for a sacrifice for hubby? What about giving him something that I want to eat that I saved for myself? What other ideas?

And something nice besides buying him dinner?
thanks all.

Pray the Rosary or say a novena to his patron saint for the intentions of his heart.

Since he is a man, a night of romance would probably be what he would enjoy most! :wink:


Father said to do something as I offered to say a prayer for him but he said to actually do something. I was thinking of buying him dinner and maybe giving him something that I want (as a sacrifice) like food.
any other ideas?

A wise older priest-friend of mine once said, if you weren’t sure about your penance or if you forgot it, just to say three Our Fathers, three Hail Marys and three Glory Bes and leave everything in God’s hands. He even said, that was the penance he gave to everyone who came to him in confession. I remember thinking, “Everyone? as in ‘everyone’-everyone? He’d give this to anyone, from a little kid confessing that he pulled his sister’s hair and told a lie, all the way to a hardened career criminal like Whitey Bolger?” And the more I thought about it, the more it made sense…

There is a great temptation to do something, but I have noticed that for guys, very often the best sacrifice is in what we wives don’t do:
Like when we don’t say “I told you so”, and if it comes up, we say, “We decided, not just you, and we’re going to make the best of it, just like we would if it had turned out better.”
Like when we don’t complain about something they’re failing at.
Like when we don’t compliment another guy for something we wish our husbands would do.
Like when we do them a favor without making anything of it.
Like when we let them drive around lost and say nothing more than, “Well, that’s OK. The company is good!”
Like when they ask if we want help and we say, “You know, why don’t you just put your feet up this time”.
Like when money is tight and we never complain about having to cut costs.

As for the taking out to dinner, there is usually a place he likes that isn’t your deal. Assuming that isn’t because the servers are remarkable for the amount of skin showing, choose the place that he likes and that you aren’t that nuts about. Otherwise, cook him something that you do well and that he has liked since childhood. If his health isn’t really bad, forget about whether it is good for him…just not very often! We do want them to last a long time. As the old joke goes, though, we don’t want to make it *seem *like such a long time!! :smiley:

The other thing you can do is to encourage him to make a “date” to go out with a brother or a friend that he never gets to spend time alone with anymore. Sometimes, those old friendships suffer when the wives and the babies come along, with guys as much as with us. I think this is especially true of brothers. Or maybe his dad, even. They can see each other at family things all the time, but never get any time alone.

Oh, and when the weather gets cold, if you go to bed before he does, you can go to sleep on his side of the bed. It will be all warm when he crawls in. Warming the bed up twice in one night is a sacrifice you’ll probably get a little more credit for! :wink:

I don’t know about your husband, but mine would appreciate a weekend to do anything he likes or nothing at all–just sit around the house and watch TV instead of catching up on chores or doing yardwork, etc., or spend the time golfing or on a hobby.

Trouble is, he could get used to that;)

The ‘don’t do something’ sacrifice is one of the best I think. :slight_smile: Though the ‘do, do something you don’t like’ is also good depending on what it is.

The best sacrifices are the hidden and unnoticed ones. If you’re rewarded for it, where is the sacrifice?

‘My divine spouse has made me desire a humble and hidden life. Jesus has often told me that I will not die until I have sacrificed all to Him. And to convince me, He has often told me that when it is over, at the hour of death, He alone, Jesus crucified, will console me. I will carry only Him, my faithful friend, with me to my grave. It is madness to attach myself to anything other than Him.’

St. Bernadette Soubirous

This reminds me of a penance I received as a child.

I had to do something nice for my sister and not get found out by her. I don’t remember what I did, but I do remember that my mom found me out and I told her that I just wanted to be nice. She saw right through me, and was happy that I had completed my penance.

Maybe you could do some chore that he hates. Or pay to have it done. Like mowing the yard or washing the car?

Well, but in the case of the spouse, there is just the one life. If the sacrifice is made so that is will be noticed, but not with any expectation that it will be commented upon, I think that is the ideal (when you are looking to make a sacrifice). Within marriage, I think that is the gift with no strings attached. Making sacrifices that you’re pretty sure will not be even noticed, let alone commented upon…that can be setting yourself up for resentment and self-pity. If they aren’t going to notice, they won’t have the pleasure of seeing that you are making a special effort for them, either. That is an important pleasure in marriage, an important aspect of mutual self-gift.

In other words, to do the things that will be noticed and commented upon is for the most rank beginners, for God does not deny us the pleasure of virtue, at least not at first. When we start, we shower each other with compliments and sweet nothings. But the ideal is that we will eventually advance to being noticed, but not hope particularly for a comment, and then to where the good will be substantial, and that is sufficient, even if it is not always noticed.

The goal isn’t a spouse who is not grateful, but one who does not have the burden of propping our egos up all the time. To be a spouse who does not need constant stroking and validation as “payment” for our sacrifices on behalf of our beloved is the goal. That doesn’t mean that stroking and validation aren’t an important part of the relationship. It is just that the petting needs to be freely given, and not some kind of a quid pro quo.

Of course, there is a great deal of comedy to be had in comparing what kinds of sacrifice two married souls think one another to be making. The estimations rarely match! In the happiest marriages, though, the spouses are more generous in estimating what their spouse does for them than vice versa. To sit down for fifteen minutes and just write down all the things about one’s spouse that make one grateful is an unnoticed sacrifice that will yield good, too.

Oomph, yes I was thinking of the resentment problem but I didn’t quite know what to say about it.

Truly, fundamentally people who are married should -never- -ever- given into -the slightest- resentment for not receiving a reward for -any- and -every- good thing they do for their spouses.

Take that air in, and you’ll never get out of the marriage, take the opposite of a miracle to sunder it since you’re just like Christ.

Because you love the spouse for who the spouse is, not what the spouse does for you.

Besides the less rewards you receive here the more you receive there. And that’s another fundamental mindset change that -needs- to happen for us all.

It was through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus came into the world, and it is also through her that he must reign in the world.

Because Mary remained hidden during her life she is called by the Holy Spirit and the Church “Alma Mater”, Mother hidden and unknown. So great was her humility that she desired nothing more upon earth than to remain unknown to herself and to others, and to be known only to God. In answer to her prayers to remain hidden, poor and lowly, God was pleased to conceal her from nearly every other human creature in her conception, her birth, her life, her mysteries, her resurrection and assumption. Her own parents did not really know her; and the angels would often ask one another, “Who can she possibly be?”, for God had hidden her from them, or if he did reveal anything to them, it was nothing compared with what he withheld.

According to St. Bonaventure, all the angels in heaven unceasingly call out to her: “Holy, holy, holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God.” They greet her countless times each day with the angelic greeting, “Hail, Mary”, while prostrating themselves before her, begging her as a favour to honour them with one of her requests. According to St. Augustine, even St. Michael, though prince of all the heavenly court, is the most eager of all the angels to honour her and lead others to honour her. At all times he awaits the privilege of going at her word to the aid of one of her servants.

St. Louis Marie de Montfort

The corollary is, if you’re giving something that you’re going to resent having given, then don’t give it. This is true, generally. Admit to yourself that your love is small, but only give what you can really give, with no strings attached. Otherwise, you’re really putting your spouse into a no-win situation.

One of the things that needs to happen sometimes, if love is going to grow, is to admit that it is in some way stunted. If you insist on maintaining the pretense that there is nothing lacking in your ability to love, you shut yourself off from growing. It isn’t being stunted that will kill you, as it is having too much pride to admit it. It is also tough to thirst to be better, if you won’t admit you’re parched in the first place.

It almost sounds as if you are trying to give to your husband something that you want.

It’s like oh let’s go out to a romantic supper like I would like.

If you want to sacrifice for your husband, I would hope by now you know him well enough to give him something he would like.

Maybe take him to a ball game for instance if he’s into sports.

Or something for his man cave wherever that is.

Or mow the lawn so he can go do something he likes to do.

When in doubt the old standbys are sex and sandwiches, but I really don’t think you should think of sex as a sacrifice, I don’t think that’s healthy. And sandwiches really don’t seem like enough to fit the situaton.


Your sin content between You & the Priest are confidential, but I believe it`s ok to ask about a penance.

Generally, you complete you prescribed penance as soon as you reasonably can. If it is a set of prayers, most do it before leaving the Church. But this is not always possible as is the case with yours. However, the time line for your completing it has nothing to do with your next confession. You should do it as soon as you can.

Sacrifices I generally make for my husband are things like staying home with the kids while he goes to do something he has been wanting to do but unable to get away for, even though there is something I’d like to do, too. Or perhaps making his favorite dish, even though I don’t care for it or it takes an undue amount of time and preparation. You could detail his vehicle for him, or let him off the hook for a few honey-do’s and do them yourself. Give up a favorite tv program to let him watch his… take him to see a movie he wants to see, but you didn’t. Such a non specific instruction hardly seems tough to comply with. Any of the above would also work to fill your second requirement, too. It is also unnecessary for your husband to know that it was part of your penance, unless you feel like sharing that nfo with him.

As for talking about your confession and penance, it is permissable for you to share about your confession whatever you are comfortable sharing with whomever you wish to share it. You can share none of it, some of it, or all of it as you see fit. The seal of the confessional applies to the priest to whom you confessed and anyone who might accidentally overhear the confession.

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