Thursday, April 08, 2010

Can you understand what the prayer is saying?

I would like to carry out a simple experiment.  Please listen to the sound clip below (which comes from a prayer on Monday of the 5th Week of Lent) and follow its instructions, providing your response as a comment to this post.



I have turned comment moderation on so that no comments will appear until I've closed the experiment.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't make sense of the comment. I think it said, "bodily penance". Modified by "cheerful"? I don't know what that means.

Christopher said...

Can it really be much clearer?

This line from the liturgy puts before us the entire purpose to fasting and penance. As Catholics we do not engage in acts of bodily penance for their own sake or for the sake of an outward show, but to incline our hearts, minds, and even our bodies towards the purity of living according to God's holy will.

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I think this is very fertile ground for a homily, expounding on the history, purpose, and fruits of penance.

J. Ambrose Little said...

Reminds me of Jesus' saying "this kind comes out only by prayer and fasting." Essentially, there's a positive spiritual fruit of penitential practices both for ourselves in our own purgation (purifying) and for other on whose behalf we offer our sufferings, by joining them to Christ's. Part of that fruit can be a purity of mind, and as Scripture says, the Lord loves a cheerful giver and elsewhere that we should count it joy to suffer on behalf of Christ, so offering our penance and other suffering in this way can and should result in cheerful purity.

Anonymous said...

I think it means that we are asking that the penance of our body will, by the work of God, have a particular effect on our disposition...which presumes that a) we're engaging in bodily penance and b) particular results are desired, but are not a given.

Mark Thompson said...

As the result ("fruit") of doing bodily penance (e.g., fasting, flagellation), hopefully we can bring before you (presumably, God) a pure mind, but one whose purity is cheerful (i.e., happy to have been purified by bodily penance) rather than, say, resentful or broken-down. Said differently, May we happily accept the purification caused by our Lenten penance and fasting, and bring our pure minds before God.

Anonymous said...

It means that since we have been doing penance in our bodies (fasting, working with the poor, etc.), our minds have become clear of self-absorbed thoughts, and we can choose to be cheerful.

Kathrin said...

I am not sure if I remember the sentence right or, if so, understood it right, but I'll try.

Does it see happiness and peace of mind as a kind of penance? The REAL penance: Accepting happiness? Which can be harder than some kind of hard-seeming penance?

Anonymous said...

The sentence would appear to mean that the good result of us doing corporal mortification should be that our minds be renewed in a cheerful purity, the banishment of impure and sinful thoughts and desires.

Karen said...

we want to do penance for God with a cheerful heart and without reservations

Spirithound said...

Physical penance, which to me refers to fasting, kneeling, and abstinence, causes one to be closer to God.

davinpa said...

"May we, by doing penance, purify our minds."
That's how I'll summarise it. I didn't listen that well though. It might be a little simplistic, but at least it conveys the message.
PS: Is this thing from the new translation? I wonder how it sounds in the current translation...

Anonymous said...

What the statement seems to be is that we are bring to God a clear mind, free from distracting thoughts. This clear mind is fruit (end result) of a process of bodily penance ( such as fasting)

Anonymous said...

As incarnate creatures, what we do in/with our bodies affects our spirits. The things that we may undertake to do during Lent are a discipline whose purpose is to help us grow spiritually, especially in the fruit of the Spirit [love, joy, peace, patience etc - "cheerfulness" is certainly "joy" here].