Skip to comments.The Three Practices of Lent: Praying, Fasting. Almsgiving
Posted on 02/09/2005 9:00:29 AM PST by Salvation
Ideas for Adults -- Three Practices of Lent
fast from watching television one night each week so that you can spend time on a Lenten practice, such as praying, reading the Bible, serving others
fast from one movie during Lent and give the money and the time in service to others
fast from using foul language and put-downs and start affirming the good in other people
fast from buying new things like clothes, music, magazines, or jewelry and make a donation
fast from spending money on entertainment and make a donation of time or money that serves others
fast from holding resentments and start practicing forgiveness
fast from gossiping or being dishonest and start the practice of always being truthful and honest
fast from a favorite snack food or drink and set aside the money you would have spent to donate to a special charity
fast from being angry or upset with people who have hurt or offended you, and pray for the courage to forgive them
fast from feeling guilty and angry at yourself for things you have done wrong, instead remember Gods great love for you
read the Lenten Scripture readings through Lent; heres a list for each week of Lent:
(1) Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 (Ash Wednesday)
(2) Matthew 4:1-11 (1st Sunday)
(3) Matthew 17:1-19 (2nd Sunday)
(4) John 4:5-42 (3rd Sunday)
(5) John 9:1-41 (4th Sunday)
(6) John 11:1-45 (5th Sunday)
(7) Matthew 21:1-11 (Passion Sunday)
(8) John 13:1-15 (Holy Thursday)
(9) John 18:119:42 (Good Friday)
(10) John 20:1-9 (Easter)
participate in Ash Wednesday services
participate in the Stations of the Cross during Lent
participate in the Lenten Sunday liturgies
participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent
spend fifteen minutes a day praying during Lent: give thanks to God for all your blessings, pray for a specific personal need prompted by the day's experience,
and pray for those who are in need or suffering in your community and the world
donate personal possessions, such as clothes, books, shoes, to people in need
dedicate time for service during Lent, e.g., working at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, helping people in your neighborhood such as the elderly
donate food or money saved by fasting to the parish or community food pantry, food bank, or homeless shelter
cook a meal for the soup kitchen or homeless shelter,
gather some friends to help volunteer at a local soup kitchen, homeless shelter or nursing home several hours per week during Lent
learn more about feeding the hungry by contacting Bread for the World, 1100 Wayne Ave., Suite 1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (301-608-2400)
learn more about addressing human rights violations around the world by contacting Amnesty International, 322 8th Ave., New York, NY 10001; 212-807-8400 (amnesty.org)
learn more about the ways you can help others around the world by contacting netaid.org
volunteer to read books and magazines to the elderly who are no longer able to read
help others learn to read by becoming a literacy trainer or volunteer to tutor children
work to change the structures of injustice by joining the work of NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby at 801 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Washington, DC 20003-2167 (networklobby.org)
work to overcome child sweatshops by supporting the work of Free the Children, which builds rehabilitation and educational centers for children freed from sweatshop labor, (FTP, 603 N. Oak St., Falls Church, VA 22046, 703-534-7045)
support the work of the hospice movement to provide compassionate low-cost, in-patient and at-home care for the terminally ill, contact the National Hospice Movement at 1-800-658-8898
give the gift of sight by donating old eyeglasses or unused frames to the local Lions Club who recycles them to the poor
support the national work of Covenant House as they house and care for homeless youth (P.O. Box 731, Times Square Station, NY, NY 10108-0731)
support the work of Project Clean Your Desk, which delivers pencils, paper and other supplies to resource-starved rural schools were children drop out because their families cannot afford these provisions. Organizing packets are available from Project Clean Your Desk, Quixote Center, Box 5206, Hyattsville, MD 20782 (301-699-0042)
Ideas for Fasting
Give up one TV show today and spend that time helping a family member.
Give up one TV show or the radio or music for 30 minutes and read the story of the Woman at the Well in chapter 4 of the Gospel of John, verses 5-30.
Give up one TV show or the radio or music for 30 minutes and read the story of the Blind Man in chapter 9 of the Gospel of John, verses 1, 6-11, 35-38.
Give up one TV show or the radio or music for 30 minutes and read the story of Lazarus in chapter 11 of the Gospel of John, verses 1-7, 17-44.
Give up one TV show or the radio or music for 30 minutes and read the story of the Good Shepherd in chapter 10 of the Gospel of John, verses 1-18.
Give up something that you enjoy today (like dessert or snacks) and spend a few minutes praying for the needs of others.
Give up something that you enjoy today (like dessert or snacks) and donate 25¢ to your Operation Rice Bowl box.
Give up buying something new (clothes, CD, magazine, jewelry) and donate 50¢ to your Operation Rice Bowl box.
Give up buying something new (clothes, CD, magazine, jewelry) and donate 50¢ to your Operation Rice Bowl box.
Give up going to a movie or other fun activity and donate the money from this activity to your Operation Rice Bowl box or other people in need in your community.
Think about a bad habit that you would like to change, like telling a lie, yelling at others, getting angry, or putting people down, and choose to avoid that habit and do something positive instead.
Think about someone you are angry with or who has hurt you. Ask God for the courage to forgive and pray for that person each day. Think about one thing that is good about them.
Share lots of smiles today.
Give a hug to everyone in your family.
Compliment each person in your family some time today.
Give up complaining, frowns, and negative thoughts today.
Read the story of Palm Sunday, Jesus entry into Jerusalem, in the Gospels of Matthew 21:1-11 or Mark 11:1-10 or Luke 19:28-40.
Read the story of the Last Supper of Jesus in chapter 13 of the Gospel of John, verses 1-15.
Read the story of Easter chapter 20 of the Gospel of John, verses 1-9.
Pray the Our Father three times todayin the morning when you get up, at noontime, and when you go to bed.
Say a prayer for someone who is sick today.
Pray for a forgiving heart and ask the people you have hurt to forgive you.
Participate in Ash Wednesday services with your family.
Participate in the Stations of the Cross during Lent.
Participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent.
Rent the video, The Prince of Egypt. Watch the video and read the story of Moses from the Book of Exodus, chapters 2-15. Try to read one chapter each day. Be sure to read the story of the Passover in chapters 12 through 13:22.
List three blessings you have been given. Say a prayer to God, giving thanks for the blessings in your life.
Pray for the children and families who are homeless, and think about ways you and your family might help them.
Show an act of kindness to each family member today.
Show an act of kindness to a friend and to someone who is difficult to like.
Together with your family, spend time serving others during Lent. Work at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Visit elderly people who are in nursing homes or are shut-ins.
Bring food or clothing to the parish or community food pantry, food bank, or homeless shelter.
Do someone elses chores one day this week.
Donate a new item of childrens clothing to the local homeless shelter or clothing center.
Go through your closet and find some clothes in good shape to give away to other children who are in need of clothes.
Write a letter or create a card for someone who is sick or might be lonely.
Buy a can of food to give to a food bank or homeless shelter.
Talk with your family about eating one simple meal each week of Lent and putting the money you save in the Operation Rice Bowl box or giving the money to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
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Is abstaining from meat consumption no longer a Friday requirement? My parents used to abstain every Friday of the year, pre-Vatican II. I didn't see it in your list and am just curious. Thanks in advance, Salvation!
Prayers offered up for the health of the Pope, who celebrated Ash Wednesday in the hospital with his doctors.
With the old rules it is best to stay, Vatican ll, took that rule away."To give up your meat,just one Friday a week", is in honor of Jesus, would died on that day. Graces abound! Eat Fish on Fridays or other meatless items.
|The Holy Season of Lent
|Fast and Abstinence.
It is a traditional doctrine of Christian spirituality that a constituent part of repentance, of turning away from sin and back to God, includes some form of penance, without which the Christian is unlikely to remain on the narrow path and be saved (Jer. 18:11, 25:5; Ez. 18:30, 33:11-15; Joel 2:12; Mt. 3:2; Mt. 4:17; Acts 2:38). Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). The general law of penance, therefore, is part of the law of God for man.
The Church for her part has specified certain forms of penance, both to ensure that the Catholic will do something, as required by divine law, while making it easy for Catholics to fulfill the obligation. Thus, the 1983 Code of Canon Law specifies the obligations of Latin Rite Catholics [Eastern Rite Catholics have their own penitential practices as specified by the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches].
The Church, therefore, has two forms of official penitential practices - three if the Eucharistic fast of one hour before Communion is included.
Abstinence The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted, as are animal derived products such as margarine and gelatin which do not have any meat taste.
On the Fridays outside of Lent the U.S. bishops conference obtained the permission of the Holy See for Catholics in the US to substitute a penitential, or even a charitable, practice of their own choosing. They must do some penitential/charitable practice on these Fridays. For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere.
Fasting The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday [Canon 97] to the 59th Birthday [i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday] to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Such fasting is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The fast is broken by eating between meals and by drinks which could be considered food (milk shakes, but not milk). Alcoholic beverages do not break the fast; however, they seem to be contrary to the spirit of doing penance.
Those who are excused from fast or abstinence Besides those outside the age limits, those of unsound mind, the sick, the frail, pregnant or nursing women according to need for meat or nourishment, manual laborers according to need, guests at a meal who cannot excuse themselves without giving great offense or causing enmity and other situations of moral or physical impossibility to observe the penitential discipline.
One final consideration. Before all else we are obliged to perform the duties of our state in life. Any deprivation that would seriously hinder us in carrying out our work, as students, employees or parents would be contrary to the will of God.
---- Colin B. Donovan, STL
Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent are days of Fast and Abstinence as referenced by the Canon Law post above.
Most Catholics still voluntarily observe the Fast and Abstinence on ALL Fridays of the year.
God bless you! What a FANTASTIC LIST!
Thank you. It came from another source -- just getting the word out!
Some families put together a purple or lavender paper chain with Forty Lenten Links (in the style of Christmas decoration paper chains).
Write one of these practices of Fasting, Praying, Almsgiving/Serving on each link.
They then hang it next to their breakfast table and take off one link for that day. Then the family members do that one thing without any fanfare during the day.
And when the Forty Lenten Links are gone -- We all know that Easter and Jesus in the Resurrection has arrived.
Only a few more hours till the fish fries start! (One of the blessed bennies of Lent!)
Wow! That sure hasn't been my experience. I've often had lunch on Fridays with Catholics who attend mass and they never seem concerned about abstinence. It's the kind of thing I'd notice since I practice it myself.
I thought about that after I posted it.
Let's change it to
Perhaps you should let them know the 'good news'.
Most Catholics think that Vatican II did away with the requirement of not eating meat on any Friday of the year. Most think it is now just Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent that we cannot eat meat.
This is what the new Code of Canon Law brought out in 1983 says about the matter:
Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Canon Law still requires that Catholics not eat meat on Fridays!
Of course, most Episcopal Conferences have determined that, instead of abstaining from meat, Catholics may perform an act of penance of their choosing. But, do you ever remember to abstain from a particular food or do some other penance on Fridays? And, at any rate, the main rule is still to abstain from meat on Fridays, the performance of another penance instead is an optional alternative.
It's very interesting to note that the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (the United States' Episcopal Conference) is currently debating whether to rescind the determination and require all Catholics to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. The Bishops are considering that a return to meatless Fridays for all Catholics would be of benefit.
Here's wishing peace and blessings to all who read this thread.
They are probably wearing a hairshirt and don't want to make a fuss in keeping with today's Gospel. (Oh man, I'd better do penance for that smart aleck remark!)
Or they pray for their persecutors.
Friday penitential practices are always an interesting discussion topic for any group of Catholics.
Thanks for that re-post.
"With the old rules it is best to stay, Vatican ll, took that rule away."To give up your meat,just one Friday a week", is in honor of Jesus, would died on that day. Graces abound! Eat Fish on Fridays or other meatless items."
I liked the rhyme in the first sentence!
I wonder what vegans abstain from on Friday....
"Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent are days of Fast and Abstinence as referenced by the Canon Law post above.
Most Catholics still voluntarily observe the Fast and Abstinence on ALL Fridays of the year."
As usual, you don't disappoint when it comes to providing information, Salvation. Thanks!