Lenten Sacrifice and Sundays

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Growing up, my parents’ practice was that whatever we gave up for Lent, we gave it up all of Lent, no exceptions on Sundays. Last year, though, a devout friend of mine told me that it was “borderline immoral” to practice Lenten Sacrifice on Sundays in Lent, because–Lent or not–Sunday is a remembrance of Easter and should be a celebration and recreation, not a day of penance.

For example: I usually put pebbles in my shoes every week (adding one each Friday) during Lent to be a reminder of Christ’s suffering, and to identify myself with His suffering in however small a way. Would it be wrong of me to leave the rocks in my shoes on Sundays, as I have done in the past?

Thanks.
 
Kevin,

I’m an elderly person who is now suffering from very painful neuromas in my foot, which limits my activities in not being able to walk.

While you may think this is an excellent idea, please reconsider abandoning any penances that in the future are capable of destroying your health. The nerves in the feet are very sensitive, and if these pebbles damage them, how useful will you be to anyone in your later years?

I blame a lot of this on wearing cute little flats without a shred of support, and working on my feet many hours a day in these. Fashion was the motive, but my health is now paying the price. There are so many penances that you could do which would be much more pleasing to God. I consider this may be a temptation for you, and suggest you roll this by your priest or spiritual director.

As for doing or omitting any of your choices on Sunday, I have found that when I indulged what I gave up, it was twice as hard to return to the practice on Monday. It would depend on your will power.
 
Growing up, my parents’ practice was that whatever we gave up for Lent, we gave it up all of Lent, no exceptions on Sundays. Last year, though, a devout friend of mine told me that it was “borderline immoral” to practice Lenten Sacrifice on Sundays in Lent, because–Lent or not–Sunday is a remembrance of Easter and should be a celebration and recreation, not a day of penance.

For example: I usually put pebbles in my shoes every week (adding one each Friday) during Lent to be a reminder of Christ’s suffering, and to identify myself with His suffering in however small a way. Would it be wrong of me to leave the rocks in my shoes on Sundays, as I have done in the past?

Thanks.
I agree with Joysong, penances that could cause permanent physical damage, should not be done and are immoral.

That being said. It is not immoral to hold to Lenten resolutions on Sundays. Sundays we are free from observing those resolutions, but neither is it wrong to continue with them.

Jim
 
To me it depends on what a person is doing or giving up. If it’s something Jesus would do (or not do) I would try to continue it, if it’s something that would be a charity to others (eating meat or whatever when at a family made birthday party, for instance) I would consider the charity rather than the supposed penance. In this case, glory would not be going to God and the “penance” would turn into pride.
 
If you actually count the 40 days of Lent, it becomes clear that Sundays are not part of the 40 days. I don’t go nuts on Sunday, but for instance if I give up TV during the week I might watch 1-2 things on Sunday while still staying in the spirit of Lent. It can be something like watching an inspiring movie.

Lots of people just continue their Lenten sacrifice through Sundays, but we do need to remember to experience the joy of the day of Resurrection in some small way.
 
For example: I usually put pebbles in my shoes every week (adding one each Friday) during Lent to be a reminder of Christ’s suffering, and to identify myself with His suffering in however small a way. Would it be wrong of me to leave the rocks in my shoes on Sundays, as I have done in the past?

We are forbidden by the Fathers to use ascetic practices that might damage our health.
 
Kephas,

I had another thought this morning as I recalled your penance. We know that there are five senses: taste, smell, hearing, sight, and touch.

Your concentration to mortify the bodily sense of touch is only one aspect of the five. Sometimes we overlook the fact that we subject our eyes to many things the Lord would have us refrain from (such as provocative threads on CAF 😛 ), overeating purely for pleasure outside of meals, using highly aromatic toiletries, listening to gossip, etc.

And these pertain only to the physical. What about spiritual sins such as pride, lust, greed, anger, and the like? A well-chosen penance to mortify the roots of our sins would be a wonderful idea, in case you hadn’t thought of these.
 
If you actually count the 40 days of Lent, it becomes clear that Sundays are not part of the 40 days. I don’t go nuts on Sunday, but for instance if I give up TV during the week I might watch 1-2 things on Sunday while still staying in the spirit of Lent. It can be something like watching an inspiring movie.

Lots of people just continue their Lenten sacrifice through Sundays, but we do need to remember to experience the joy of the day of Resurrection in some small way.
I admire you. I could never give up TV. The best I can do is give it up from Good Friday until I come back from Easter Mass. And even that is a stretch. :eek:
 
I admire you. I could never give up TV. The best I can do is give it up from Good Friday until I come back from Easter Mass. And even that is a stretch. :eek:
If there is something that we can “never give up”, that may be sign that we should begin to separate ourselves from that activity. It may be in the distracting us from better things. Consider reducing the amount of time spent with the TV. I have given up TV for Lent in the past. It is not so bad.
 
I admire you. I could never give up TV. The best I can do is give it up from Good Friday until I come back from Easter Mass. And even that is a stretch. :eek:
What is it that you are watching that is so interesting to you? Not wanting to pass judgment, I am just truly curious as my husband spends $60 a month on cable, so I have tried to watch TV occasionally as not to “waste” it, and found it completely uninteresting. Maybe you can help me out?
 
What is it that you are watching that is so interesting to you? Not wanting to pass judgment, I am just truly curious as my husband spends $60 a month on cable, so I have tried to watch TV occasionally as not to “waste” it, and found it completely uninteresting. Maybe you can help me out?
At home I watch a lot of PBS. Sadly, I am currently watching a lot more silly television that I never used to watch at home, as a lot of foreigners here do. I have satellite TV, which gets me about 6 channels that I can actually understand. However, I do get BBC Entertainment, and that’s a lot of fun. Occasionally I watch Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, and sometimes at night, if I can’t sleep, I watch On Style. There are also a few other channels here that frequently show programs or movies in English as well.
 
Kephas,

I had another thought this morning as I recalled your penance. We know that there are five senses: taste, smell, hearing, sight, and touch.

Your concentration to mortify the bodily sense of touch is only one aspect of the five. Sometimes we overlook the fact that we subject our eyes to many things the Lord would have us refrain from (such as provocative threads on CAF 😛 ), overeating purely for pleasure outside of meals, using highly aromatic toiletries, listening to gossip, etc.

And these pertain only to the physical. What about spiritual sins such as pride, lust, greed, anger, and the like? A well-chosen penance to mortify the roots of our sins would be a wonderful idea, in case you hadn’t thought of these.
I have thought of these. I mentioned only the one because I wanted to give one concrete example. I’m also catching myself with uncharitable thoughts, and have set up an accountability partner that will ask me how I view the people around me. I’m reading one Gospel every ten days (forty days, four Gospels, get it?), I’m going to try to pray the Liturgy of the Hours every day–at least morning prayer–and I’m staying OFF OF FACEBOOK (oohhh) for all of Lent.

As for the pebbles in my shoes, they are not big, nor are they sharp, nor are they painful at all, just a minor nuisance. I would never do anything detrimental to my health (like fasting; who does that?! :rolleyes: ), and the idea came from a very pious and holy priest that has known me since my childhood. Maybe, though, I will look into the long-term effects some more. Thanks for the warning.

For everyone’s advice and kindness, I offer my sincere thanks.
 
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