Recent Posts

Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Changing of the Seasons in The Church

The season is changing from summer to winter here now. In fact, the locals tell me it is colder than last year and I know this for a fact, as I was here last year until November 7th. It is much colder, with many more storms and rain.

But, I have also been thinking of my meditation on the Epistle of Jude on the 28th, which I hope you all did not miss. Mortification must now be part of our daily lives, Real penances, not false ones, must be accepted or chosen, or both.

Looking at the Mariners' Forecast reminded me that real penances are not the same as false penances.

First, a look...a one day coming up and some thoughts following:

Weather: cloudy with thundery showers which may be with gusts and hail.
Visibility: good except in precipitation

Wind: North to Northeast Gale Force 4-5 locally Force 5-6
           locally East Northeast at first and overnight

Sea: moderate to rough becoming locally rough.

Swell: Negligible becoming low to moderate overnight

Now, suppose you are a shrimp fisherman and you have to look this forecast up daily. This week would be the changing of the season for sure, which started a few days ago. I have seen a shrimp boat out at sea. Those men must be ready for bad weather now, especially on Saturday. And, most shrimp fishing takes place at night. Gale Force 6 creates difficulties for fishermen. But, one must work. Those men cannot grumble, complain, or choose to do something else if this is their job, their livelihoodNot grumbling is a real penance. Working in the rough seas is part of life. For us Catholics, there are real penances and false penances. We must choose the real ones. And, we must choose mortification. Real penances may be these, a short list:

  1. loosing status and friends because one stands up for the truth;
  2. being misunderstood for being obedient to the Church;
  3. not complaining when those around you either stop being your friends or ignore you because you are a loyal Catholic; 
  4. doing extra hard things, like being silent in a conversation when you want to speak;
  5. giving money out of your need, not merely your excess;
  6. praying more than the normative one hour a day, especially for others;
  7. leaving all you love in order to be with Catholics who will strengthen your faith.
  8. These are real penances. I give up some foods to add to intercessory prayer, but my real penance is when I do not have enough money for more than one full meal a day.
God sometimes, as in my case, chooses the penances for us. Like the shrimp fisherman, I can either grumble or thank God for this complication in my daily life. The season of the Church is changing  and we must change with the Church, accepting more and more suffering. That is the call of the real Catholic.