ST. AUGUSTINE ON PENANCE:
EXAMPLES AND BENEFITS OF OFFERING SACRIFICES TO GOD.
Lent is a time for conversion and growth in one’s intimacy with God. Spurred by a humble and contrite heart, we are invited to put into practice the means to take advantage of this time of grace and salvation: prayer, sacraments, works of mercy and penance (or sacrifices, or mortification). As to the latter, St. Augustine comments on its benefits:
“Penance purifies the soul, elevates the thought, submits the flesh to the spirit, makes the heart contrite and humbled, dissipates the darkness of concupiscence, extinguishes the fire of the passions and ignites the true light of chastity” (Sermon 73).
Examples of penance or sacrifices are:
– controlling our tongue when we do not have something nice to say;
– offering our tiredness with joy;
– eating more of what we do not want;
– making an act of service with a smile and without expecting nothing in return;
– being punctual in our prayer and work;
– overcoming our laziness by fulfilling our small duties each day;
– guarding our sight along the streets;
-controlling one’s imagination and rejecting any negative thought;
– avoiding any unnecessary complaints throughout the day;
– moderate use of internet…and so on.
You might want to bring to your prayer which sacrifices you would like to offer Our Lord. Suggestion: choose those which make life pleasant to the people around you…
Let us then intensify our preparation for the Easter celebration by making use of the means God has placed within our reach.
May your servants be shielded, O Lord, by the protection of your loving-kindness, that, doing what is good in this world, they may reach you, their highest good. Prayer over the people, Wednesday, 4th week of Lent.
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