I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath. Matthew 12:6-8
Most unfortunate is how we perceive sacrifice. We have many man made rules to help us live as the Pharisees show us. God gave us his and we added our own, to embellish His. Yet we are told Jesus desires mercy not sacrifice.
What are we doing wrong then, because it seems we sacrifice but do not show mercy. We see children mutilating themselves as a sacrifice, we teach them to know pain is love. So very wrong. We see how in some of the lives of the Saints, they flayed their flesh as penance and as an imitation of Jesus. We give examples of sacrifice, and yet this is not what Jesus seeks of us. He wants mercy. I offered something to God as a sacrifice, that was in the way of hurting my body for the sins of the world, and his response was the same as today. He did not want sacrifice but mercy. And Mercy is compassion.
I look back upon the poor Saints and anyone else today who seeks to imitate in the way of destroying what God gave. How wrong it is to put another on a cross and mortify them in imitation of Christ. Or to flay their flesh in that way.
This seems to be the way to punish ourselves,and God is mercy. He seeks to heal our bodies, not have us destroy them in ways we deem is his way. By starvation, flogging, mutilation, and it's a pity that so many do this, not for God but to punish themselves. It is backward thinking. God is love, not a God of hurt.