Many Forms of Penance!

Ezekiel 4:4

Then lie upon your left side, and I will lay the punishment of the house of Israel upon you; for the number of the days that you lie upon it, you shall bear their punishment.

Both Jewish and Christian history are replete with examples of saints who bore the weight of the community on their shoulders and did penance, both ordinary and bizarre, not only for their own sins, but for the sins of the people.  Ezekiel had to lay on his side for years in penitential witness to Israel.  As Christians, we too are called to do penance and bear the weight of the sins of of our brothers and sisters.  This is not done in spite of Christ'a atoning death but in union with it.  Penance can be done in many ways.  Some of the most common forms are prayer, almsgiving or fasting, but all our innocent suffering can be turned to that purpose as well.  Today, do penance.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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