When it was over, she gathered him in her arms. And told him the terrible irony of her life.That she had wanted to be dead all those years while her brother had been alive. That had been her sin.And this was her penance.Wanting to live when everyone else seemed dead.
I hope I am not for the killing, Anselmo was thinking. I think that after the war there will have to be some great penance done for the killing. If we no longer have religion after the war then I think there must be some form of civic penance organized that all may be cleansed from the killing or else we will never have a true and human basis for living. The killing is necessary, I know, but still the doing of it is very bad for a man and I think that, after all this is over and we have won the war, there must be a penance of some kind for the cleansing of us all.
An inexhaustible capacity to engage in sin is what makes human beings capable of living a virtuous life. To err is human; to seek penance is humankind’s unique act of salvation. Whenever a person fails, it is often their overwhelming sense of anguish that drives them forward to make a second attempt that is far more bighearted than they originally envisioned. The need for redemption drives us to try again despite our backside enduring the terrible weight of our greatest catastrophes. There is no person as magnanimous as a person whom finally encountered tremendous success after previously enduring a tear-filled trail of hardships and repeated setbacks. In an effort to redeem our lost dignity, in an effort to regain self-respect, we find our true selves. By working independently to better ourselves and struggling to fulfill our cherished values, we save ourselves while coincidentally uplifting all of humanity.
Why the hell don't people understand there are some things you don't talk about? You keep it to yourself so you hurt fewer people. You're supposed to pay with guilt. Guilt is penance.
Several died the day the bomb was dropped. Some lived six months after the explosion but died anyway. They were all lost. It was so long ago, young man. To you it is a history story. To me it is my life.
Penance is a sacrifice, a voluntary punishment to show remorse for a sin. The more grievous the sin, the greater the self-inflicted suffering. For some, the ultimate penance is death. But for others, it simply a means to an end.
Anesthesia was discovered. Do you know what it means to relieve man of his pain and suffering? Anesthesia is the most humane of all of man's accomplishments, and what a merciful accomplishment it was. For this great discovery we are indebted to Dr. W. T. G. Morton.Do you know that the religionists opposed the use of anesthesia on the ground that God sent pain as a punishment for sin, and it was considered the greatest of sacrileges to use it—just think of it, a sin to relieve man of his misery! What a monstrous perversion! This one instance alone should convince you of the difference in believing in God or not.No believer in God would have spent his energies to discover anesthesia. He would have been in mortal fear of the wrath of his God for interfering with his 'divine plan,' of making man suffer for having eaten of the fruit of the 'Tree of Knowledge.'The very crux of the matter is in this one instance. Man seeks to relieve his fellow man from the suffering of disease and the pangs of mental agony. The believers in God are content that man's suffering is ordained, and therefore he accepts life and its trials and tribulations as a penance for living.The fear of the wrath of God has been a stumbling block to progress.
The flowers must have been the latest generation of perennials, whose ancestors were first planted by a woman who lived in the ruins when the ruins were a raw, unpainted house inhabited by herself and a smoky, serious husband and perhaps a pair or silent, serious daughters, and the flowers were an act of resistance against the raw, bare lot with its raw house sticking up from the raw earth like an act of sheer, inevitable, necessary madness because human beings have to live somewhere and in something and here is just as outrageous as there because in either place (in any place) it seems like an interruption, an intrusion on something that, no matter how many times she read in her Bible, Let them have dominion, seemed marred, dispelled, vanquished once people arrived with their catastrophic voices and saws and plows and began to sing and hammer and carve and erect. So the flowers were maybe a balm or, if not a balm, some sort of gesture signifying the balm she would apply were it in her power to offer redress.
To properly do penance one must express contrition for one’s sins and perform acts to repair the damage caused by those transgressions. It is only when those acts are complete that the slate can truly be wiped clean and amnesty gives way to a new beginning.
In the end there is nothing to be done but to state clearly what has been done, without shame or regret, and say: Here I am, and this is what I am. Now deal with me as you see fit. That is your right. Mine is to stand by the act, and pay the price.You do what you must do, and pay for it. So in the end all things are simple.
His laws once broken, His justice and the very nature of those laws bring the immutable retribution; but if we turn penitently to Him, He enables us to bear our punishment with a meek and docile heart, ‘for His mercy endureth forever.
But there are some born to do penance by nature. Maybe they lift the load for some of us who take it quite comfortably that we're humankind, and not angels.
Why don't you just do it, then? Racath hissed. Just kill me. I dare you.Now, I assume you know what this is. You've seen this before in other stories - the part where the disgruntled villain stands over the hero. He is triumphant, the hero now at his mercy. But when commanded to slay him, he hesitates. He lowers his sword. And he says: I cannot.If you are to take away but one thing from the words I have spoken, let it be this: there is a world of difference between I Cannot and I will not. I cannot is a surrender. It implies a lack of options. Someone who says such a thing does so only because they have no other choice. They do not WISH to relent - in fact, they usually want to obey their mandate and destroy the hero at their feet. But they cannot, because the guilt is too unbearable. But that does not make him a better man; all that a man who says I cannot has done, is given in to the compulsion to repent.Allow me to make myself perfectly clear - I HAD other options. Easy options. Simple options. I could have killed Racath Thanjel that day. I could have killed him and all the others, too. I could have left them dead and bloody on that grassy hill, and gone trotting back to the Imperator's lap. I could have shrugged off the attrition that had dogged my every step, thought better of my disenssion, given up on all hope of absolution and accepted my damnation. And I could have spent the rest of eternity destroying God's green earth at Lavethion's side.I could have. It would have been so easy. So simple. So wrong. And I didn't want to.And so I took a sickened step away. Stabbed Osveta into the grass. Shook my head. And said: I won't.