Does it always have to be something you deliberately choose? What if something goes horribly wrong on accident, causing you endless make-up work and frustration? Can you offer that up as penance as well?
If you don’t choose your physical condition, can pain be penance too?
Of course you can “offer these things up” in reparation (penance) for sin. You can offer it for either personal sin or for more general sin. (for instance you might offer something up for the aborted children)
The fact that you did not choose the event that causes the extra work or pain is no impediment to your choosing to offer the subsequent work or pain up.
U can haz active mortification. Chooz 4 urself.
U can haz passive mortification. God chooz 4 u.
Both iz valuble. Both iz gud.
Lolcat to English translation:
You can choose your own mortification (penance), and it is known as active mortification.
You can accept the contradictions in your life as passive mortifications that God chooses for you.
Both are valuable. Both are good.
I’ve heard it, I know we’re supposed to do it, but I just don’t ‘get’ it. I never felt love from my parents, so I need a by-the-numbers guide, a how-to for daily life.
Fadda Wade Menezes in his homily today said something about doing what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it. I try. I just don’t feel it. I have no idea what love FEELS like or how to DO it.
Given what you say in your first paragraph I think that the advice in your second paragraph is a good place to start.
The thing to remember about Godly Love, is that it is not an emotion in the way that the world thinks of Love. Otherwise we ould never be able to Love our enemies. Love is a choice. A choice to do things for the Glory of God. To do Good. To imitate Christ. To give to Others.
St Paul gives a good description of what Love is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
St Therese of Liseaux described her way of holiness as the “Little Way of Love”. This way means doing little things with great Love. Doing everything for others as you would do for Christ.
When I look at pictures of happy families, especially Mommies holding their babies, it makes me cry. Once I was on a checkout line and I saw a mom or aunt or grandma, couldn’t tell, but she was comforting her little one. He was crying. She wiped his tears. She didn’t say 'I’ll give you something to cry about!"
I choked so bad I had to leave the store that instant.