Monday, March 3, 2014

On Penances for Lent

It is important to go to Confession during Lent, too.
The best penance of all, I was once told, is to accept without complaining the mortifications, trials, and vicissitudes of daily life. The penances which God Himself sends us are the ones best designed to benefit our souls. I remember in the past being upset that my health or my schedule did not permit me to do all the penances I wanted to do for Lent. I failed to see that the penances had already been provided. I do not mean to imply that it is not of value to make other sacrifices for Lent. I think when people are young (and even when they are old) giving up dessert or alcohol, etc. help to discipline the soul and the body. For me, the challenges are mostly interior. We should always try to give up bad habits, negative thought patterns, and activities that are becoming addictive. It is good to examine oneself for inordinate attachments that are taking over the thought patterns, especially those of anger, lust, or resentment. It is always valuable to try to make extra prayers or sacrifices, as the duties of our state in life permit, for special intentions and the needs of the world.

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