David Ancell's Virtual Home


  /   Saturday March 17, 2007  

Some of you may have read the article that I wrote about three years ago on penance. My main point was to suggest that penance had to be done other times than just during Lent, but I had another point in there as well. I defended the practice of giving something up against those who seemed to think that all we need to do is just “do something positive.”

Besides the fact that I absolutely hate hearing any aspect of our faith framed in terms of “negative” and “positive,” there’s something else I’d like to consider. How does your schedule look now? Mine is often full. If I say that I’m going to, for example, read Scripture more each day, can I keep the same full schedule? Well, if I do, I won’t be very successful.

We will spend every bit of our time doing something, whether it is service, prayer, study, or just lounging around watching TV. If we want to add something to our lives that God wants us to do, we are going to have to give up doing something else with our time. Sometimes, it’s sin that we have to give up. Other times, it is something that is not bad, but we are spending too much time doing it. Then again, we might not be spending too much time on it, but God has something that he would rather have us do at this time. To do something good, we must give up something else.

For example, the Church understands this in requiring celibacy in the Roman Rite. We can’t be fully open to serve God in that capacity without giving up family life. Family life is good, but men called to priesthood give it up because God asks them to do something else. I’ve heard all I can take about people “balancing” career and family or priesthood and family life. We are finite creatures, and the fact that there are so many more things within our reach due to technology hasn’t changed this and won’t. I just wish I had realized this a long time ago.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized



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