What was your penance?


#1

I thought I would start a thread where we could talk about different penances we've received in Confession. What do you "usually" get as a penance? What's the most interesting/strangest penance you've ever received? Please share if the Confession was with a priest of a religious order such as FSSP, etc.

Eastern Catholics please share!

I thought it would be interesting to see if there are differences between religious orders, countries, areas, Eastern Catholic vs. Western, times (maybe a penance you got as a child decades ago vs. what you got recently), if there are any.

When I had my first Confession last year, my penance was to say 50 "Jesus I love you"s. Last night I Confessed and my penance was five Hail Marys and five Our Fathers. I've also been instructed to read the Gospel for Sunday. I guess the most interesting penance I've received was to hug my husband (I had Confessed arguing with him).


#2

Most times I get X Our Fathers and/or Y Hail Mary's. I've also gotten a decade of the rosary, read the Bible for 20 min., and do something nice for your wife.

These are pretty much all parish priests in the NY Archdiocese; but some may be religious. Hard to tell through the grate :)

God Bless


#3

[quote="bilop, post:2, topic:306554"]
Most times I get X Our Fathers and/or Y Hail Mary's. I've also gotten a decade of the rosary, read the Bible for 20 min., and do something nice for your wife.

These are pretty much all parish priests in the NY Archdiocese; but some may be religious. Hard to tell through the grate :)

God Bless

[/quote]

Absolutely, I know many times we are not sure if the priest is a religious. I've heard that priests of the "traditional" orders, such as FSSP, give "tougher" penances. I was more interested in hearing about that.


#4

I went to 2 different priests that do the EF Mass mainly, and both gave me a relatively simple penance based on saying a few prayers. I am not sure if they are part of an EF Mass order like FSSP or are diocesan priests.

I've had Ordinary Form diocesan priests give mainly prayer type penances like say a Rosary, X amount of Our Fathers/Hail Mary's, or read a selection from the Bible for the Sunday reading and some have said in addition to the prayer penance also do a work of mercy like make a donation to a food bank, charity, or something within my means especially during Lent or Advent.


#5

I've received a lot of "think about how you can be more loving in your life" kinds of penances.

At World Youth Day in Cologne from an Australian priest and at an Opus Dei event * I received my only two "Hail Marys" and "Our Fathers" penances.

Perhaps my favorite penances have been those given by my most recent priest, who was recently reassigned and not replaced. He would sort of combine the two approaches, giving something to think about and then, after that period of meditation, I was to say the Lord's Prayer slowly, thinking about the words.*


#6

I go to FSSP, and the priests definitely seem to give more penance in their penances (lol) than in most Novus Ordo places. The least I've seen for a mortal sin is a rosary, and venials sins range from about 5 Our Fathers/a decade of the rosary to a bit more than that.


#7

It depends on the priest. Sometimes it is offering the Mass the next time I go. Other times it's just a few Hail Mary's or Our Father's. Sometimes it's praying a few minutes for particular people or things.

This thread reminds me of a funny story, though. A priest I knew once shared the story of how (before he was a priest), he went to Confession in a different place than usual and the priest gave him as his penance the entire rosary -- at the time, 15 Mysteries. He was annoyed, but of course he did it. The very next time he went to Confession (this time to a different priest), when it came time to give out the penance, the priest told him to just do whatever he was given for penance the last time he went to Confession. :D


#8

[quote="Joe_5859, post:7, topic:306554"]
It depends on the priest. Sometimes it is offering the Mass the next time I go. Other times it's just a few Hail Mary's or Our Father's. Sometimes it's praying a few minutes for particular people or things.

This thread reminds me of a funny story, though. A priest I knew once shared the story of how (before he was a priest), he went to Confession in a different place than usual and the priest gave him as his penance the entire rosary -- at the time, 15 Mysteries. He was annoyed, but of course he did it. The very next time he went to Confession (this time to a different priest), when it came time to give out the penance, the priest told him to just do whatever he was given for penance the last time he went to Confession. :D

[/quote]

Haha, that's funny! God playing tricks on ya... :D:p


#9

I used to frequent Confession with certain a diocesan parish priest. His penances would be something like, "say three token Hail Mary's in thanksgiving for God's mercy." The token part was a nice reminder that my penance is not what is erasing my sins. Also, several times he gave me a penance to pray for the intentions of someone he knows struggling with alcoholism. I've never received a penance other than praying, though. (I always loved going to him for Confession. Often, just before praying the words of absolution, he would say very excitedly, "this is the best part!")


#10

my parish has an eastern rite priest ( Syro-Malankara) he always gives five our fathers,when i go to the holy land monastery ( franciscan) or the dominican house of study ,they tend to give me something to read and contemplate ,and several our fathers


#11

[quote="hannajomar, post:9, topic:306554"]
I used to frequent Confession with certain a diocesan parish priest. His penances would be something like, "say three token Hail Mary's in thanksgiving for God's mercy." The token part was a nice reminder that my penance is not what is erasing my sins. Also, several times he gave me a penance to pray for the intentions of someone he knows struggling with alcoholism. I've never received a penance other than praying, though. (I always loved going to him for Confession. Often, just before praying the words of absolution, he would say very excitedly, "this is the best part!")

[/quote]

You know, the whole point of penance after confession is to work off the temporal punishment due to your sin... Are you trying to say it is for something else?:shrug:


#12

Examples of penance assigned to me over the past year (two different confessors, in sequence [meaning I changed confessors, not that I alternate between two]):

[LIST]
]meditate on the second Joyful Mystery
*]go to the Marian chapel and pour your heart out to the Blessed Virgin
*]fast for one meal, either lunch or dinner, sometime in the next seven days
*]pray one five-decade Rosary, and every time you pray the Our Father, reflect upon the lines "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us"
*]do not fast this evening

[/LIST]
*I habitually fast between noon on Friday and breakfast on Saturday, taking in only water and the smallest amount of simple food I can get away with in order to take my medication, which must be taken with food

The strangest penance I've received in the past year came to me last Friday, when I was forbidden from going to Adoration later that evening. Of course, if you knew me you'd know how much I love to go to Adoration, and then you'd understand why I consider this to be one of the heaviest penance assignments I've ever gotten. :(

I haven't gotten an "x Hail Marys" type of penance in at least two years.


#13

[quote="UpUpAndAway, post:12, topic:306554"]
Examples of penance assigned to me over the past year (two different confessors, in sequence [meaning I changed confessors, not that I alternate between two]):

[LIST]
]meditate on the second Joyful Mystery
*]go to the Marian chapel and pour your heart out to the Blessed Virgin
*]fast for one meal, either lunch or dinner, sometime in the next seven days
*]pray one five-decade Rosary, and every time you pray the Our Father, reflect upon the lines "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us"
*]do not fast this evening

[/LIST]
*I habitually fast between noon on Friday and breakfast on Saturday, taking in only water and the smallest amount of simple food I can get away with in order to take my medication, which must be taken with food

The strangest penance I've received in the past year came to me last Friday, when I was forbidden from going to Adoration later that evening. Of course, if you knew me you'd know how much I love to go to Adoration, and then you'd understand why I consider this to be one of the heaviest penance assignments I've ever gotten. :(

I haven't gotten an "x Hail Marys" type of penance in at least two years.

[/quote]

Is it lawful for a priest to instruct you to NOT do something like Adoration? That's really weird. I mean, you get more grace to erase temporal punishment by going than by not going....


#14

[quote="dshix, post:13, topic:306554"]
Is it lawful for a priest to instruct you to NOT do something like Adoration? That's really weird. I mean, you get more grace to erase temporal punishment by going than by not going....

[/quote]

To be honest, I don't know. It didn't occur to me to question it.


#15

Yes, we are working off our temporal punishments. But we need to remember that no amount of penances that we perform could ever make up for sinning against our All-good, Infinite God. Even spending the rest of time in purgatory could not make up for offending our Lord. The only reason these penances will erase temporal punishment is because God allows that in his Mercy.

An incomplete analogy comes to mind. Suppose a boy is horse-playing and breaks his neighbor’s window. The boy tells the neighbor he’s sorry and will pay for the window. But the window costs $1000 to replace. The boy doesn’t have that much. The neighbor sees how sorry the boy is. So neighbor tells the boy he can pay $1/week until the window is payed off. The boy agrees and every week brings over his dollar, not realizing this will take many years to reach $1000. After several months, the neighbor sees that the boy is truly sorry, and is being faithful to paying back his debt. He tells the boy he has paid enough and pays for the rest of the window himself.

I probably don’t have correct semantics here, so I hope I’m not too far off.


#16

[quote="dshix, post:13, topic:306554"]
Is it lawful for a priest to instruct you to NOT do something like Adoration? That's really weird. I mean, you get more grace to erase temporal punishment by going than by not going....

[/quote]

I was thinking the same thing. Why on earth would that be assigned as penance?


#17

I've sometimes wondered how "saying x Hail Marys and x Our Fathers" --which is the most common penance--is a penance. I thought penance was supposed to be something bad. Is that incorrect?

Oddest penance I ever got was something I can barely remember... something about thinking of a cross having north, south, east,and west sides and praying for people I know on the east side of the cross and the west side. I'm sure that wasn't it, but I was new back to the church and somehow that's what I heard. :blush:


#18

*

Wow, you had some tough priests. I never get more than Our Fathers and Hail Marys and one time to go before the Blessed Sacrament. I certainly deserved a tougher penance.*


#19

[quote="dshix, post:13, topic:306554"]
Is it lawful for a priest to instruct you to NOT do something like Adoration? That's really weird. I mean, you get more grace to erase temporal punishment by going than by not going....

[/quote]

Maybe he was being tested for obedience. Some of the saints were forbidden by their superiors from fasting too much. The priest knew how much he loved to go to Adoration and maybe it was just a test for obedience and the pain he would feel for not being able to go was the penannce. Just a thought.


#20

Whenever I confess meanness or calousness toward another person, Father makes me pray the divine mercy chaplet.

Another priest made me pray 25 hail Mary's when I made my 37 year confession.

A priest of Opus Dei gave me five hail Mary's and I had to read one of the Psalms. I forgot which Psalm.

-Tim-


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