Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Brief Defense of Corporal Mortification

As reported recently about the acts of mortification practiced by some members of Opus Dei, Fr. Michael Giesler wrote an article for Crisis Magazine in defense of the practice. That article can be found here:
The Body’s Forgotten ally: A Brief Defense of Corporal Mortification
By Rev. Michael Giesler

It’s an interesting question. Did Leonardo wear a cilice or use a discipline? Though not mentioned in Dan Brown’s fantasy novel, The Da Vinci Code—with its bizarre and misleading description of corporal mortification—and granting Leonardo a certain religious fervor, it’s possible.

The cilice, a sharp chain worn around the leg, is really a derivation of the ancient hair shirt, which originated in the region of Cilicia in Asia Minor. It was used for many centuries in the medieval and Renaissance Church as a means of purifying the senses, atoning for sin, and winning grace for others.
For those who are familiar with Fr. Corapi's Catechism Series, you may well remember his discussion of "hair shirts" and acts of penance and mortification.

This article by Fr. Giesler is a well reasoned and thorough one which everyone should be encouraged to read. In our age of instant gratification and our general fear and loathing of anything contrary to pleasure, this article should bring us back to a certain sense of reality that the practice of acts of mortification and penance can be something which allows us to grow closer to our Lord.

Please read and share the full article which can be found here.

Kudos to Marc P. for providing the link!

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