a_brother wrote:Thankyou for your words on my problem. I do not go to a catholic school, but would be interested to know whet you suggest for methods of penance.
I have a young cousin who is now 20 but a few years ago was in your position - he was committed to penance but also attended a non-Catholic boarding school with single rooms for sixth formers. Below is my summary of his thoughts and memories of how he dealt with the issues.
It probably is dangerous to wear the cilice under trousers when "out and about" in school. But there are long times when the cilice can be worn, for eaxmple when saying morning and night prayers and making your nightly Examination of Conscience. You say you sleep on the floor once a week, which is proper. One other approriate penance is to get up in the middle of the night and say apprpriate prayers (such as for purity, or the litany of humility). At those times the cilice can also be worn.
My cousin walked to the catholic church in the village nearby his school for Mass on Sundays, holy days and someetimes on other days; and weekly to make his confession. He took the opportunity to wear the cilice on some of those walks and if you're not at a Catholic school I assume you have to go to Mass etc. outside school so that may be an opportunity.
The other important thing about the cilice is that wearing it is a constant reminder of God and one's religious duties and a help to avoid sin. Two suggestions for the equivalent:-
- wear a heavy crucifix - the Cross of Christ against ones chest is a reminder of His sacrifice for us all
- tie ordinary string around the thigh, not tight enought to impede circulation but tight enough to be noticed when you walk. No-one will notice it and you can be reminded each time that Christ died for us.
I think it's absolutely right that you have been given the opportunity to be a "fool for Christ": accept and be thankful for that.
Hope that helps. My cousnin says he knows how difficult it can be generally to be a committed Catholic in a secular school and he is praying for you - don't compromise the Faith!!