If you had a terminal illness and they told you that in order to not die you had to buy a very expensive medicine, for which you had to tell all your possessions, and on top of that go on a very difficult diet and stop playing your favorite sport while you’re on treatment, WHAT WOULD YOU DO? I’m sure you’d be willing to do all of that and more. So, if making sacrifices is good for your physical health, how much more so for your soul’s. This is why the great saints made sacrifices and practiced mortification: not to despise their body but to cure their soul.
Sacrifice means making things holy, honoring them and giving them up. For instance, in ancient times lambs and goat were offered to God. Nowadays we can offer all of our actions to Him. Mortification literally means put to death and does not refer to the body but to put the inclination to sin and evil to death.
Jesus died for us offering Himself in sacrifice to pay for our sins. In the same way, we can offer God sacrifices and mortification remembering that everything doesn’t finish at the cross, pain and suffering, but later comes the Resurrection and therefore every sacrifice we offer God is a step closer to Heaven. And if He did all of this because He loves us, can’t we show Him that we love Him by doing little things that are hard for us and offering them out of love for Him?
Besides, if we get used to denying ourselves in what is allowed, when the temptation come to commit what is forbidden, we will be able to say NO, because we are familiar with fighting against our passions and desires.
Sacrifice makes amends for the offenses we’ve committed against God and our neighbor. At Fatima, the Blessed Virgin Mary asked the children, “Do you wish to offer yourselves to God to endure all the sufferings that He may be pleased to send you, as both an act of reparation for the sins with which He is offended and an act of supplication for the conversion of sinners?” They said yes. And you?
St. Jacinta Marto started by having milk instead of grapes. When her mom served her milk, she drank it even though she found it repugnant. In this case she mortified her taste. We have five senses. How can we mortify our sight, touch, smell and hearing? We could call this kind of mortification or penance VOLUNTARY PENANCE. An example could be that you intentionally make the resolution to watch less TV for love of God.
There are other penances that you don’t seek but that are sent by God. For example, what do you think when a day starts going completely wrong: everything falls out of your hands, you break a glass and your mom scolds you harshly? What would you do? Think about it. Maybe it’s your chance to offer God something that day and be like Christ Crucified saving souls. This type of sacrifice comes from life’s sorrows. They’re the ones that you didn’t go after. God sent them to you and you can’t let them slip by. Sometimes they’re the most pleasing to God because they’re the opportunity to accept his will saintly.
A rule of life should be: The less others know the better. Bees make honey in secret. Jesus Himself says, “Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Because if we’re worried about others watching us or waiting for them to tell us how good we are for doing sacrifices for love of God, we would easily fall into pride and have our reward here and not in secret, which is where the Father will see us and reward us IN HEAVEN.
Here’s a quote from St. Thérèse you can meditate on: “Picking up a pin for love can convert a soul. What a mystery! Only Jesus can confer such a great value to our actions. Let us love Him with all our might then.”
My name is Karla Jimenez and I am a candidate of the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother.
I met the Home of the Mother when I was 13 years old at a camp and since that week away from the world, my life changed drastically forever: I started to go to daily Mass, to pray the rosary... In short, to be the oddball of the class.
Jesus fell in love with my misery and He made me fall in love with His mercy. He told me that He wanted me to be totally His and I accepted. I had many falls and ups and downs, but His firm hand was always with me, His faithfulness never ends and for that I will give Him eternal thanks.
Now I only want to live for Him, to deny Him nothing, to be the consolation of His Heart, and, holding our Mother's hand, to reach Heaven; but not without first having helped them on this earth to convert souls to love the Eucharist and know Our Lady's maternal love.