I see that there is another thread on this topic, but I don’t want to derail it to get more specific, so I started a new thread.
My research of Our Lady of Fatima showed that the three children used a rope to inflict pain onto themselves, in reparation for sin. fatima.org/essentials/facts/1917appar.asp
The apparition suggested that God was satisfied with what they were doing, but that they shouldn’t sleep in that painful state, only during the daytime. This(among other things) makes me highly suspicious as to the legitimacy of the apparition.
Now, I’ve read Colossians 1:24. I realize that we can “offer it up,” when troubles or tribulations come regarding persecution for our faith. I, however, have viewed this as applying to “offering up” pain that comes through martyrdom, torture(inflicted by others) for our faith, social ostracism or rejection over our faith, enduring difficult labor for our faith, distress that may be caused by sacrificing time or material goods to benefit others, emotional pain that may result from having made virtuous yet difficult decisions, or in any way coming to physical or emotional suffering as a result of having done the “right” thing.
I do NOT understand redemptive suffering as meaning that God approves of us intentionally inflicting physical pain onto ourselves, the way the three children of Fatima did. In fact, I would think that such actions would be condemned as violating our bodies which are Temples of The Holy Spirit. I would THINK that it furthermore may even border on blasphemy if we were to do such a thing, and then claim that we are doing it for God.
So, my question is, has the Catholic Church EVER condoned intentional acts to inflict ourselves with physical pain as being meritorious ways of sacrificing to God? If so, please provide documentation, or a link to documentation that is officially Catholic, and would substantiate such claims. I don’t see how such actions benefit God or our neighbors. I certainly don’t see them as being a positive witness to our faith.
Please answer the SPECIFIC question that I asked, and do NOT derail this thread by going into a hissy fit in defending Our Lady of Fatima. Again, the issue is not whether we can unite our sufferings to Christ’s suffering according to Colossians 1:24. The issue is whether the Church has ever considered it meritorious to go out of our way to inflict ourselves with physical pain that would otherwise serve no direct purpose to benefit God, others, or ourselves.