Doing penance and fasting

Doing penance and fasting
Question from Tom on 6/11/2008:

Hello Father and thank you for your time. There are several places in the New Testament gospels where Christ admonished us to do penance and fast. He also did this by example for us. I’m a practicing catholic and accept and practice all the church has to offer as well as teach others her truths. My question is that as I struggle with daily life and my eternal salvation I become more aware daily of my avoidance toward anything that brings the least amount of discomfort. Yes I do the Lenten Fasts and what is traditional during this season, but during the rest of the year it’s as if I should not suffer in the least , you know never hungry, never thirsty, never uncomfortable, always content!! I notice that many of my temptations come from my trying to avoid discomfort or my thinking that I deserve something of the world or of the flesh. Any words of advice and guidance for this soft Catholic. PS Can you make sure I don’t have to leave my easy chair.. Thank You Tom
Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 6/16/2008:

Tom, Sorry I can't present a discipline-free Catholicism and be faithful to the Gospel. Read the Gospels carefully, Tom, and you will find Jesus regularly asking for penance, metanoia since we all are fallen to begin with. The great St. John of the Cross is very insistent on getting rid of any and all attachments, all sense attachments in the beginning, to be constant in picking out the hard and difficult path, never the easy one. There is no dispensation for this frame of mind for the follower of Christ. Fr. Bob Levis

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