Some mistakenly thing penance is a Lent thing. Actually it is a feature presentation of daily living. Typically, many opportunities for practicing penance are baked into our ordinary experience. Jose Maria Escrivá (+1975) offers many practical examples of doing daily penance.
- Penance is following through on promises to self and others, even though we are tempted to avoid finishing by dreams about other things.
- Penance is starting on time and not leaving for later, without reason, the duties of the day we find harder and less enjoyable. that are harder and less enjoyable.
- Penance is honoring our prayer routine when we are tired, worn out, or distracted.
- Penance is remaining kind and generous with others, beginning with our own family.
- Penance is remaining tender, gentle and kind towards the suffering, sick and infirmed.
- Penance is being patient with people who are boring and annoying [Note: we all have moments when we ourselves are boring and annoying].
- Penance means changing our plans willingly when circumstances make this necessary, most especially when the legitimate needs of others are involved.
- Penance consists in cheerfully putting up with the 1001 little pinpricks of each day.
- Penance is not abandoning our task when we are not as enthusiastic about it.
- Penance is eating gladly whatever is served, without being fussy.
Making the most of the daily chances to practice penance helps keep us from becoming too smitten with personal aspirations and successes.