Systematic mental, moral, and physical training under authority; order maintained by persons under control, e.g., soldiers, pupils; an instrument of penance, such as a whip or scourge; self-flagellation, a private means of penance and mortification in use from an early date in most religious orders; punishment administered with a view to correction; the exercise by the Church of its power of spiritual punishment; the laws and directions laid down and formulated by church authority for the guidance of the faithful.

New Catholic Dictionary

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