Sunday, January 14, 2007

Penance, Anyone?

Whenever I go to confession, I get the standard three Hail Mary's or three Our Father's for penance. Even when I've been really bad. The gravity of the sin does not seem to affect the severity of the penance. I wouldn't think it unfair to be given a penance of fasting for a day in reparation for my sins, or being asked to peform the corporal or spiritual works of mercy. It just seems so easy to recite the three prayers, even when I meditate on them with due contrition.

Penance is supposed to prompt us to detest our sins, and to amend our lives, isn't it? Well, here's a list of penances that probably would lessen our stay in purgatory:

Pat's Top Ten: Least Popular Medieval Penances
By Patrick Madrid Copyright

10. Standing barefoot in the snow for hours

9. Skunk hair shirts

8. Scrubbing castle walls with toothbrush

7. Memorizing the "Summa Theologiae"

6. Chewing tinfoil

5. Delivering papal condemnations to Martin Luther

4. Hand copying the entire Bible

3. Wasp licking

2. Anything involving anthills

1. The "thorn paddle"

Now, any one of these could really excite a person to true contrition, don't you think?


Karin said...

Oh my....
That is some list!

Marilena said...

yes, it could inspire a person, especially wasp licking, and skunk hair shirts. i'll take the 3 hail mary's, or when i confessed i swore and was bossy, had to say the entire rosary. loved it, and love saying the rosary. i say the Act of Contrition sometimes 3-4 times a day!

Shirley said...

I am fortunate enough to have a priest who tells me to do such things as corporate works of mercy, pray for peace in my family and ask Our Lady for strenght and support in living Catholic values and morals, as well as assigning a prayer- and that was just one confession!

paramedicgirl said...

Shirley, you mean that nice conservative priest of yours spared you the thorn paddle??

Netmilsmom said...

Joysong needs a Skunk hair shirt.

Cristiano said...

Something more contemporary in Italy, was to kneel on rice (uncooked)as punishment for poor behavior during the religion ed class in public schools.

When we were kids boys were not allowed to wear long pants until the late teens.