Skip to comments.Lent -- 2008 -- Come and Pray Each Day
Posted on 02/06/2008 5:37:18 PM PST by Salvation
" Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return."
|Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. (Joel 2:13)
Ash Wednesday is a day of both fasting and abstinence.
|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 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 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. Moral theologians have traditionally considered this also to forbid 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. Since this was not stated as binding under pain of sin, not to do so on a single occasion would not in itself be sinful. However, since penance is a divine command, the general refusal to do penance is certainly gravely sinful. For most people the easiest way to consistently fulfill this command is the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year which are not liturgical solemnities. When solemnities, such as the Annunciation, Assumption, All Saints etc. fall on a Friday, we neither abstain or fast.
During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere, and it is sinful not to observe this discipline without a serious reason (physical labor, pregnancy, sickness etc.).
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 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.
Aside from these minimum penitential requirements Catholics are encouraged to impose some personal penance on themselves at other times. It could be modeled after abstinence and fasting. A person could, for example, multiply the number of days they abstain. Some people give up meat entirely for religious motives (as opposed to those who give it up for health or other motives). Some religious orders, as a penance, never eat meat. Similarly, one could multiply the number of days that one fasted. The early Church had a practice of a Wednesday and Saturday fast. This fast could be the same as the Church's law (one main meal and two smaller ones) or stricter, even bread and water. Such freely chosen fasting could also consist in giving up something one enjoys - candy, soft drinks, smoking, that cocktail before supper, and so on. This is left to the individual.
One final consideration. Before all else we are obliged to perform the duties of our state in life. When considering stricter practices than the norm, it is prudent to discuss the matter with one's confessor or director. 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
|Thursday After Ash Wednesday|
|"Whoever wishes to be my follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in my steps." (Luke 9:23)
“Give up complaining. . . . . . . .focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism. . . . . . . . . become an optimist.
Give up harsh judgments . . .think kindly thoughts.
Give up worry. . . . . . . . . . . . . trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement. . . . .be full of hope.
Give up bitterness. . . . . . . . . . turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred. . . . . . . . . . . . . return good for evil.
Give up negativism . . . . . . . . .be positive.
Give up anger. . . . . . . . . . . . . .be more patient.
Give up pettiness. . . . . . . . . . .become mature.
Give up gloom. . . . . . . . . . . . . .enjoy the beauty that is all around you.
Give up jealousy. . . . . . . . . . . .pray for trust.
Give up gossiping. . . . . . . . . . .control your tongue.
Give up sin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . turn to virtue.
Give up giving up. . . . . . . . . . . hang in there!”
Maybe you should post this on the McCain at CPAC thread.
Not a bad idea. LOL!
|Friday After Ash Wednesday
The Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat.
|This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; Setting free the oppressed. (Isaiah 58:6)
|Saturday After Ash Wednesday|
|If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; Then light shall rise for you in the darkness. (Isaiah 58:10)
|First Sunday of Lent|
|"I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth." (Genesis 9:13)
|Monday, First Week of Lent|
|"I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me." (Matthew 25:40)
|Tuesday, First Week of Lent|
|"Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray: Our Father...." (Matthew 6:8-9)
|Wednesday, First Week of Lent|
|"For at the preaching of Jonah they reformed, but you have a greater than Jonah here." (Luke 11:32)
"Go through the world unnoticed if you can. Secret privations, secret sacrifices of your own will, which will never be known until all things are revealed, are surer instruments of perfection than chains and shirts of hair." ...Fr. Lasance
The original period of Lent was 40 hours. It was spent fasting to commemorate the suffering of Christ and the 40 hours He
spent in the tomb.
In the early 3rd century, Lent was lengthened to 6 days. About 800 AD it was changed to 40 days.
Plant a seed or bulb and watch it develop through the spring. Pray for your own spiritual growth.
O Jesus, humbled to abjection for me, teach me to humble myself for love of You.
Thursday, First Week of Lent
"Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7)
|Friday, First Week of Lent
The Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat.
|"Unless your holiness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees you shall not enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 5:20)
|Saturday, First Week of Lent
|"If you love those who love you, what merit is there in that?" (Matthew 5:46)
Sunday, Second Week of Lent
He was transfigured before their eyes and his clothes became dazzlingly white. (Mark 9:2-3)
|Monday, Second Week of Lent
|"Be compassionate, as your Father is compassionate." (Luke 6:36)
Tuesday, Second Week of Lent
Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord. (Isaiah 1:18)
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