September 18, 2009

From My Confessor

Some strong words today on prayer and renunciation:

When in the Our Father we pray, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, we must take the words on earth as first of all applying to ourselves. Even on the natural level we have enough incentive to reject our own will in favor of God's will--for we have spent enough time carrying our own selves as a burden to know that our own will is neither trustworthy nor directed to genuine joy, freedom, and perfection.

This is why it is critical for us to take advantage of as many of the small opportunities to renounce our own will in the course of a day. Not that these miserable little penances really matter--and we shouldn't dwell on them as it is too much an occasion of vainglory--but they are what can train our spoiled minds and intentionality. They are the little acts that tone our spirit for the greater renunciations, the ones that really matter.

Penance: the old 3, 3, and 3.


Julia said...

I love your "From my confessor" entries.

I got a nice penance the other day. The priest told me my penance was to spend some time praying for someone I really dislike.

Brother Charles said...

I use that one too, but I always check to see if the penitent can bear to do it. I also often ask the penitent to pray for the victims of the sort of sins confessed.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

How often, I wonder, when we pray "Thy will be done" we do so in full confidence and mean it?

Do we really mean: "Thy will be done"? Or is there lurking away in the deep recesses of our mind a little doubt in case His will does not suit us?

Or do we mean: "Thy will be done, as long as it is what I want"?

Julia said...

"I use that one too, but I always check to see if the penitent can bear to do it."

That is very thoughtful and prudent.

A post on penances could be interesting. I sometimes wonder what is going through the priest's head when he chooses one penance over another. Just an idea. :)