The practice of continual mortification is an essential part of our walk with the Lord. “You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires” (Gal 5: 24). Without the use of daily mortification, we will not be able to resist the onslaught of our sinful human nature, the temptations caused by Satan, and the allurements of the world. Not only are we to fight against sin, be it mortal sin or venial sin, but we must also get to the root of our sins and remove the inordinate affections that cause us to sin in a certain way.
However, to avoid sin is not enough. We must grow in holiness. The practice of mortification must be daily and life-long. The battle never ends until we are dead. The practice of mortification demands a conscious and willful renewal every day of our lives. The struggle may be more or less intense during the different stages of our life journey. Although we may have to deal with different issues, the struggle will always be present. If we want to save our souls, an intense, dramatic struggle is necessary. We need to take up the whip and continually force out of our temple anything that keeps us from getting to heaven.
Jeff the Baptist, here's a decent article following up on our penance discussion last Friday.