Offering Your Penance

Tomorrow is Friday – get ready! I have posted a number of reminders here about how Friday is ordinarily a day of penance for all Catholics (see here, here, here, here, and here).

This week I want to suggest that you form the habit of offering your Friday penance for a special intention. It shouldn’t be a cold act of legal compliance; rather, we should offer what we do to the Lord out of love! And we can use it also to help others.

Simon of Cyrene helps Christ carry the Cross.

I remember once hearing of a Bishop who asked Catholics in his diocese to offer their Friday abstinence for vocations to the priesthood. That is a wonderful idea. On the other hand, we all have pressing personal needs, family intentions, friends who need prayer, etc. Surely we can all think of something for which to offer our penance.

In this regard, I note that the US Bishops have a web site where weekly prayer intentions are suggested. In addition, they have a service (on the right hand side of the page) through which they will send you a text message or an email to remind you about Friday penance and about that week’s prayer intention. A great idea, since most of us forget from time to time!

That web site is here.

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