Prayer and Penance
December 4, 2015
Prayer and Penance
The surprising thing to many is that I haven’t had much to say lately. Yes, I have been very busy at finishing my semester at Ryerson University in Toronto this is true. I have also been a busy father to my children, and a husband to my wife. Like many of you I am sure, the recent events in the World, and the Church, have taken a bit of hold on me. It was even suggested to me by a very holy priest that their are times that require silence. This is one of those times. Not silent as in not doing anything, but silent as in prayer and penance.
I have been recently reading a book by a Russian Catholic lady named Catherine Doherty called “Welcome Pilgrim”. I haven’t finished it yet so I cannot give a solid recommendation for it, but so far it is wonderfully spiritual and Catholic. I needed something a little lighter to read to help give me a little lift in spirits, so far this book has been the medicine that my soul required.
Catherine said that she was taught by her parents from a very young age that one should ALWAYS have two hands lifted to God, one hand with prayer, and the other hand with penance. How beautiful. Talk about keeping it simple and true. Sometimes I could get a little congested with all the doctrinal material that I read and be to concerned about what I know about God. What’s most important is having a relationship with God, knowing God. Yes, of course as a catechist I have to know about God, but I also have to know God as well. It can be a subtle trap set by the devil. I’m much more aware of it now and pray for the proper balance of knowing about God and having an intimate relationship with him.
My dear friend and priest Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus from the Vatican always states that “Theology is best learned on ones knees“. This is so true. When praying the Rosary so many of my theological questions have been answered by thoughts and inspirations. I don’t mean that all of a sudden some voice speaks in my ear, but the answer to a question seems to be answered at times. I believe this can happen for anyone who prays the Rosary. You should try it!
Back to prayer and penance. For this Advent Season I am going to try and willingly take a posture of prayer and penance with both arms lifted up to God. I ask that my readers please join me in this posture and encourage their friends and family to do the same. Let us praise, reverence, and serve God. We can attend an extra Mass throughout the week, fill the food bins for the needy, say an extra decade of the Rosary, and the list goes on. There are so many Novenas that can be said, just Google Catholic Novenas. Once again, please join me in lifting up our arms to God in this time of Advent in prayer and penance.
One more thing before I go. As far as Confession is concerned, why not go every couple of weeks? You don’t have to be in mortal sin to go to Confession, you can go to receive the graces and confess any venial sins. Usually when in the confessional I will ask the priest for forgiveness for the sins that I do not even know that I have committed. It is a good habit to go to Confession a couple of times a month, and so many graces are received from just going.
May Almighty God protect us from the World, the devil, the heretics, and ourselves!