Thursday, 7 February 2008

Nice Try...

It was the boys' Confirmation class tonight (the girls have theirs on Tuesday) and one of the catechists asked what Lenten penances were being undertaken.

One lad piped up about how he was going to give up chocolate. All fine and dandy.

Then another boy announced that he was going to give up fighting with his brother... and a third chimed in with how he would stop arguing with his mother...

Spoilsport that I am, I felt constrained to point out to them that they weren't allowed to give up things they shouldn't do anyway...

7 comments:

Andy said...

You don't suggest that the first boy shouldn't be eating chocolate, do you? :)

Adrienne said...

Makes you wonder if the one lad was planning on beating the piss out of his brother the second Lent was over. LOL

Mark said...

Here a b oy said "I'm giving up vegetables", much to everyone's amusement.

Flabellum said...

Fasting from sin is surely not a bad observance of lent?

Mac McLernon said...

Flabellum, we should not sin. Therefore you cannot "give up" a sin for your lenten fast. You can resolve to do something positive to help overcome the sin, but that doesn't count as "fasting."

Three areas need to be addressed: prayer, penance (fasting) and almsgiving (charitable work or donation)

Fasting - the giving up of a licit pleasure - helps us to master our desires, thereby training us for the times when we need to deny ourselves something which is not licit.

Heidi said...

When my youngest sister was 9, she wrote on her note (they did it with little notes which they had to put up in the school): "I'm going to give up cigarettes and alcohol." She thought she was being very clever, as not smoking or drinking would be easy for her.
Her note was not accepted and my mother was summoned by the school chaplain.

Flabellum said...

Dear Mac Lernon,

I refer you to the sermons of St Bernard.
"Wherefore, my dear brethren, if the taste only has caused us to offend God, let the taste only fast, and it will be enough. But if the other members also have sinned, let them also fast. Let the eye fast, if it has been the cause of sin to the soul; let the ear fast, the tongue, the hand, and the soul itself. Let the eye fast from beholding objects, which are only calculated to excite curiosity and vanity; that being now humbled, it may be restrained to repentance, which before wandered in guilt. Let the ear fast from listening to idle stories and words that have no reference to salvation. Let the tongue fast from detraction and murmuring, from unprofitable and sacrilegious discourse; sometimes also, out of respect to holy silence, from speaking what appears necessary and profitable. Let the hand also fast from useless works, and from every action that is not commanded. But above all, let the soul fast from sin and the doing of its own will. Without these fasts, all others will not be accepted by the Lord." (S. Bern. Serm. 2. de Jejun. Quad.)

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