Self-Flagellation



Inspired by the example of Pope John Paul II, who it is said mortified his body with a leather belt, I have bought some wool from the local fabric shop. I'm going to give myself the hardest thrashing I ever had in reparation for my sins and to mortify my passions. If you don't hear from me again, its because I've got tangled up in it and am unable to make it to a phone or my computer.

Why should we count it as something evil that Pope John Paul II did this to himself, as a penance for his shortcomings in imitating Christ. This is the same age that increasingly condones suicide and assisted suicide, saying, ‘It’s my life, my body, my choice'. What is really disturbing? A light bit of flaggelation every now and then as penance for ones sins, or an act of total self-destruction?

Furthermore, he was inflicting some corporal punishment upon himself – not others – it wasn’t 'self-harm’ – it was self-discipline. He was truly a ‘man for others’, people who met him realised that. Being a ‘man for others’ he chose to be a man going against his own desires or interest. It might seem medieval, but who amongst us wouldn’t like to see a few public Catholics doing some public penance?

Comments

shadowlands said…
I agree, I've been looking into this myself.

I have been trying to stay quite hungry for the last week or so. That in itself is hard enough. But it gets easier, and makes you appreciate what hunger feels like, a little.