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All About Lent
EWTN ^ | 1996 | James Akin

Posted on 02/28/2003 9:18:20 PM PST by Salvation

ALL ABOUT LENT
James Akin
Q: What is Lent?

A: Lent is the forty day period before Easter, excluding Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday). [This traditional ennumeration does not precisely coincide with the calendar according to the liturgical reform. In order to give special prominence to the Sacred Triduum (Mass of the Lord's Supper, Good Friday, Easter Vigil) the current calendar counts Lent as only from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday, up to the Mass of the Lord's Supper. Even so, Lenten practices are properly maintained up to the Easter Vigil, excluding Sundays, as before.]

Q: Why are Sundays excluded from the reckoning of the forty days?

A: Because Sunday is the day on which Christ arose, making it an inappropriate day to fast and mourn our sins. On Sunday we must celebrate Christ's resurrection for our salvation. It is Friday on which we commemorate his death for our sins. The Sundays of the year are days of celebration and the Fridays of the year are days of penance.

Q: Why are the forty days called Lent?

A: They are called Lent because that is the Old English word for spring, the season of the year during which they fall. This is something unique to English. In almost all other languages its name is a derivative of the Latin term <Quadragesima>, or "the forty days."

Q: Why is Lent forty days long?

A: Because forty days is a traditional number of discipline, devotion, and preparation in the Bible. Thus Moses stayed on the Mountain of God forty days (Exodus 24:18 and 34:28), the spies were in the land for forty days (Numbers 13:25), Elijah traveled forty days before he reached the cave where he had his vision (1 Kings 19:8), Nineveh was given forty days to repent (Jonah 3:4), and most importantly, prior to undertaking his ministry, Jesus spent forty days in wilderness praying and fasting (Matthew 4:2).

Since Lent if a period of prayer and fasting, it is fitting for Christians to imitate their Lord with a forty day period. Christ used a forty day period of prayer and fasting to prepare for his ministry, which culminated in his death and resurrection, and thus it is fitting for Christians to imitate him with a forty day period of prayer and fasting to prepare for the celebration of his ministry's climax, Good Friday (the day of the crucifixion) and Easter Sunday (the day of the resurrection).

Thus the <Catechism of the Catholic Church> states:

"'For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sinning' [Heb 4:15]. By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert." (CCC 540).

Q: When does Lent begin?

A: Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is the day on which they faithful have their foreheads signed with ashes in the form of a Cross (see piece on Ash Wednesday). It is also a day of fast and abstinence.

Q: What is a day of fast and abstinence?

A: Under current canon law in the Western Rite of the Church, a day of fast is one on which Catholics who are eighteen to sixty years old are required to keep a limited fast. In this country, one may eat a single, normal meal and have two snacks, so long as these snacks do not add up to a second meal. Children are not required to fast, but their parents must ensure they are properly educated in the spiritual practice of fasting. Those with medical conditions requiring a greater or more regular food intake can easily be dispensed from the requirement of fasting by their pastor.

A day of abstinence is a day on which Catholics fourteen years or older are required to abstain from eating meat (under the current discipline in America, fish, eggs, milk products, and condiments or foods made using animal fat are permitted in the Western Rite of the Church, though not in the Eastern Rites.) Again, persons with special dietary needs can easily be dispensed by their pastor.

Q: Is there a biblical basis for abstaining from meat as a sign of repentance?

A: Yes. The book of Daniel states:

"In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia . . . 'I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.'" (Daniel 10:1-3)

Q: Isn't abstaining from meat one of the "doctrines of demons" Paul warned about in 1 Timothy 4:1-5?

A: Short answer: Not unless Daniel was practicing a doctrine of demons.

Long answer: When Paul warned of those who "forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods" he has in mind people with the Manichean belief that sex is wrong and certain foods, like meat, are intrinsically immoral. (Thus the spiritual ideal for many modern New Agers is a celibate vegetarian, as in the Eastern religions.)

We know that Paul has in mind those who teach sex and certain foods are intrinsically immoral because he tells us that these are "foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer" (1 Tim. 4:3b-5).

Sex and all kinds of food are <good> things (which is why the Catholic Church has marriage for a sacrament and heartily recommends the practice eating to its members), and this is precisely why it is fitting for them to be given up as part of a spiritual discipline. Thus Daniel gave up meat (as well as wine, another symbol of rejoicing) and Paul endorses the practice of temporary celibacy to engage in a special spiritual discipline of increased prayer (1 Corinthians 7:5). By giving up good things and denying them to ourselves we encourage an attitude of humility, free ourselves from dependence on them, cultivate the spiritual discipline of being willing to make personal sacrifices, and remind ourselves of the importance of spiritual goods over earthly goods.

In fact, if there was an important enough purpose, Paul recommended permanently giving up marriage and meat. Thus he himself was celibate (1 Corinthians 7:8), he recommended the same for ministers (2 Timothy 2:3-4), and he recommended it for the unmarried so they can devote themselves more fully to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:32-34) unless doing so would subject them to great temptations (1 Corinthians 7:9). Similarly, he recommended giving up meat permanently if it would prevent others from sinning (1 Corinthians 8:13).

Thus Paul certainly had nothing against celibacy or giving up meat—even on a permanent basis—so long as one wasn't saying that these things are intrinsically evil, which is what he was condemning the "doctrines of demons" passage.

Since the Catholic Church only requires abstinence from meat on a temporary basis, it clearly does not regard meat is immoral. Instead, it regards it as the giving up of a good thing (which in less economically developed regions—including the whole world until very recently—was expensive and thus eaten at festive occasions, making it a sign of rejoicing) to attain a spiritual goal.

Q: On what basis does the Church have the authority to establish days of fast and abstinence?

A: On the authority of Jesus Christ. Jesus told the leaders of his Church, "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19, 18:18). The language of binding and loosing (in part) was a rabinnic way of referring to the ability to establish binding <halakah> or rules of conduct for the faith community. It is thus especially appropriate that the references to binding and loosing occur in Matthew, the "Jewish Gospel." Thus the <Jewish Encyclopedia >states:

"BINDING AND LOOSING (Hebrew, <asar ve-hittir)> . . . Rabinnical term for 'forbidding and permitting.' . . . "The power of binding and loosing as always claimed by the Pharisees. Under Queen Alexandra the Pharisees, says Josephus (<Wars of the Jews >1:5:2), 'became the administrators of all public affairs so as to be empowered to banish and readmit whom they pleased, as well as to loose and to bind.' . . . The various schools had the power 'to bind and to loose'; that is, to forbid and to permit (<Talmud: Chagigah> 3b); and they could also bind any day by declaring it a fast-day ( . . . <Talmud: Ta'anit> 12a . . . ). This power and authority, vested in the rabbinical body of each age of the Sanhedrin, received its ratification and final sanction from the celestial court of justice (<Sifra, Emor, >9; <Talmud: Makkot >23b).

"In this sense Jesus, when appointing his disciples to be his successors, used the familiar formula (Matt. 16:19, 18:18). By these words he virtually invested them with the same authority as that which he found belonging to the scribes and Pharisees who 'bind heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but will not move them with one of their fingers'; that is 'loose them,' as they have the power to do (Matt. 23:2-4). In the same sense the second epistle of Clement to James II ('Clementine Homilies,' Introduction [A.D. 221]), Peter is represented as having appointed Clement as his successor, saying: 'I communicate to him the power of binding and loosing so that, with respect to everything which he shall ordain in the earth, it shall be decreed in the heavens; for he shall bind what ought to be bound and loose what ought to be loosed as knowing the rule of the Church.'" (<Jewish Encyclopedia> 3:215).

Thus Jesus invested the leaders of this Church with the power of making <halakah> for the Christian community. This includes the setting of fast days (like Ash Wednesday).

To approach the issue from another angle, every family has the authority to establish particular family devotions for its members. Thus if the parents decide that the family will engage in a particular devotion at a particular time (say, Bible reading after supper), it is a sin for the children to disobey and skip the devotion for no good reason. In the same way, the Church as the family of God has the authority to establish its own family devotion, and it is a sin for the members of the Church to disobey and skip the devotions for no good reason (though of course if the person has a good reason, the Church dispenses him immediately).

Q: In addition to Ash Wednesday, are any other days during Lent days of fast or abstinence?

A: Yes. All Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence. Also, Good Friday, the day on which Christ was crucified, is another day of both fast and abstinence. All days in Lent are appropriate for fasting or abstaining, but canon law does not require fasting on those days. Such fasting or abstinence is voluntary, like a freewill offering.

Q: Why are Fridays during Lent days of abstinence.

A: This is because Jesus died for our sins on Friday, making it an especially appropriate day of mourning our sins (just as Sunday, the day on which he rose for our salvation is an especially appropriate day to rejoice) by denying ourselves something we enjoy. During the rest of the year Catholics in this country are permitted to use a different act of penance on Friday in place of abstinence, though all Fridays are days of penance on which we are required to do something expressing sorrow for our sins, just as Sundays are holy days on which we are required to worship and celebrate God's great gift of salvation.

Q: Are acts of repentance appropriate on other days during Lent?

A: Yes. Thus the <Code of Canon Law> states:

"All Fridays through the year and he time of Lent are penitential days and time throughout the universal Church" (CIC 1250).

Q: Why are acts of repentance appropriate at this time of year?

A: Because it is the time leading up to the commemoration of Our Lord's death for our sins and the commemoration of his resurrection for our salvation. It is thus especially appropriate to mourn the sins for which he died. Human have an innate psychological need to mourn tragedies, and our sins are tragedies of the greatest sort. Due to our fallen nature humans also have a need to have set times in which to engage in behavior (which is why we have Sundays as a set time to rest and worship, since we would otherwise be likely to forget to devote sufficient time to rest and worship), it is appropriate to have set times of repentance. Lent is one of those set times.

Q: What are appropriate activities for ordinary days during Lent?

A: Giving up something we enjoy for Lent, doing of physical or spiritual acts of mercy for others, prayer, fasting, abstinence, going to confession, and other acts expressing repentance in general.

Q: Is the custom of giving up something for Lent mandatory?

A: No. However, it is a salutary custom, and parents or caretakers may choose to require it of their children to encourage their spiritual training, which is their prime responsibility in the raising of their children.

Q: Since Sundays are not counted in the forty days of Lent, does the custom of giving up something apply to them?

A: Customarily, no. However, since the giving up of something is voluntary to begin with, there is no official rule concerning this aspect of it. Nevertheless, since Sundays are days of celebration, it is appropriate to suspend the Lenten self-denial on them that, in a spiritual and non-excessive way, we may celebrate the day of Our Lord's resurrection so that that day and that event may be contrasted with the rest of the days of Lent and the rest of the events of history. This heightened contrast deepens the spiritual lessons taught by the rest of Lent.

Q: Why is giving up something for Lent such a salutary custom?

A: By denying ourselves something we enjoy, we discipline our wills so that we are not slaves to our pleasures. Just as indulging the pleasure of eating leads to physical flabbiness and, if this is great enough, an inability to perform in physically demanding situations, indulging in pleasure in general leads to spiritual flabbiness and, if this is great enough, an inability to perform in spiritual demanding situations, we when the demands of morality require us to sacrifice something pleasurable (such as sex before marriage or not within the confines of marriage) or endure hardship (such as being scorned or persecuted for the faith). By disciplining the will to refuse pleasures when they are not sinful, a habit is developed which allows the will to refuse pleasures when they are sinful. There are few better ways to keep one's priorities straight than by periodically denying ourselves things of lesser priority to show us that they are not necessary and focus our attention on what is necessary.

Q: Is the denying of pleasure an end in itself?

A: No. It is a only a means to an end. By training ourselves to resist temptations when they are not sinful, we train ourselves to reject temptations when they are sinful. We also express our sorrow over having failed to resist sinful temptations in the past.

Q: Is there such a thing as denying ourselves too many pleasures?

A: Most definitely. First, God made human life contingent on certain goods, such as food, and to refuse to enjoy enough of them has harmful consequences. For example, if we do not eat enough food it can cause physical damage or (in the extreme, even death). Just as there is a balance between eating too much food and not eating enough food, there is a balance involved in other goods.

Second, if we do not strike the right balance and deny ourselves goods God meant us to have then it can generate resentment toward God, which is a spiritual sin just as much as those of engaging in excesses of good things. Thus one can be led into sin either by excess or by defect in the enjoyment of good things.

Third, it can decrease our effectiveness in ministering to others.

Fourth, it can deprive us of the goods God gave us in order that we might praise him.

Fifth, it constitutes the sin of ingratitude by refusing to enjoy the things God wanted us

to have because he loves us. If a child refused every gift his parent gave him, it would displease the parent, and if we refuse gifts God has given us, it displeases God because he loves us and wants us to have them.

Q: Is that balance the same for all people?

A: No. For example, with the good of food, people who are by nature physically larger need more food than people who are physically smaller. Similarly, people who have higher metabolisms or who do manual labor for a living need more food than people with slower metabolisms or who have less active lifestyles. The same is true with regard to other goods than food. The St. Paul speaks of this in regard to the good of married life:

"I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion" (1 Corinthians 7:7-9).

Thus some are given the gift of being able to live without the good of married life in order that they may pursue greater devotion to God (1 Cor. 7:32-34) or to pursue greater ministry for others (2 Timothy 2:3-4), as with priests, monks, and nuns. God gives these people special graces to live the life which they have embraced, just as he gives special graces to the married to live the life they have embraced.

Q: Aside from Ash Wednesday, which begins Lent, what are its principal events?

A: There are a variety of saints' days which fall during Lent, and some of these change from year to year since the dates of Lent itself change based on when Easter falls. However, the Sundays during the Lenten season commemorate special events in the life of Our Lord, such as his Transfiguration and his Triumphal Entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, which begins Holy Week. Holy week climaxes with Holy Thursday, on which Christ celebrated the first Mass, Good Friday, on which he was Crucified, and Holy Saturday—the last day of Lent—during which Our Lord lay in the Tomb before his Resurrection on Easter Sunday, the first day after Lent.

Copyright (c) 1996 by James Akin. All Rights Reserved



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All comments and thoughts welcomed.
1 posted on 02/28/2003 9:18:20 PM PST by Salvation
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To: All
Lent and Easter: A Sourcebook for Families

The History of Lent

The Mystery of Lent

Practice During Lent

Message of the Holy Father for Lent 2002

2 posted on 02/28/2003 9:32:49 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
What is Lent?
Sunday Soundbite
by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.

What is Lent?
Return to Lent: Call to Conversion
 
 

These days, a Catholic may be able to tell your age by the way you explain Lent. Hello, I'm Father Greg Friedman. American Catholic.org presents this series of "Sunday Soundbites" for the season of Lent.

Older Catholics, who remember Lent in the 1930s, 40s or 50s—or perhaps even earlier—may first think of this season as a time of penance. Lent was when you gave up something—like food or going to the movies— in order to do penance for sin.

Since the Church has restored the rite of initiating adults into the Christian faith, Lent has taken on a different meaning—one that goes back to the fourth and fifth centuries. At that time, the 40 days before Easter were the final stage of preparation for those about to be baptized. The rest of the Church prayed and fasted in solidarity with them.

Today, with the presence in most Catholic parishes of a group of adults visibly making ready to receive the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil, Lent has regained that "baptismal" emphasis. We still can decide on a Lenten observance—fasting, prayer, almsgiving—but we do it with the purpose of recalling our Baptism, of deepening our commitment to Christ. And we do it in solidarity with those preparing to be baptized or received into the Church.

The readings for each Sunday in Lent have been chosen by the Church to relate to the journey of faith each of us undertakes, to our basic baptismal call to be part of Christ. Some of the selections, from the Gospel of John, for example, have been used for centuries to recall the meaning of Baptism. For people about to be baptized, these Scripture passages take on a powerful meaning indeed. The meditations you will find here on our Web site will call attention to the various "baptismal connections" for each Sunday.

Those who are already baptized, are still on a journey. Our faith must be renewed, our baptismal promises affirmed, each time we gather with the Church for the Eucharist, where we hear God's Word and come to the table to be transformed into the Body of Christ. We bring to that experience our questions, our sinfulness, our hunger and thirst, our need to grow, our longing for God.

As you reflect with me through these "Sunday Soundbites," let's pray for each other as we make our Lenten journey of faith. I'm Father Greg Friedman for AmericanCatholic.org.


Franciscan Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M., is executive producer of educational religious videos for St.Anthony Messenger Press. He also helps develop Web-based projects for the Press, including OnceCatholic.org and FranciscanRadio.org. He assists each weekend at a parish that ministers to college students and serves as a member of the leadership team of the Cincinnati-based Franciscan Friars.


3 posted on 02/28/2003 9:41:56 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; ...
Lenten Ping!

Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via Freepmail if you would like to be added to or removed from the Catholic Discussion Ping list.

4 posted on 02/28/2003 10:36:53 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Question: When I was growing up (50's and early 60's), most Catholics that I knew abstained from meat during all of Lent, Sundays included.
Now it seems that most Catholics I know, tell me that was never the practice, that Sunday was always a day of feasting, never fasting. Most of these Catholics grew up during the late 60's to 70's.
Have Lenten Practices changed? I'm a Convert, but it seems more lax now than what I recall from the practices of Catholics I knew in my youth.

5 posted on 02/28/2003 11:09:09 PM PST by sockmonkey
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To: Salvation
Thanks for the informative post on Lent.

Someone once asked me what I was "giving up" for Lent. Is personal sacrifice during Lent a requirement for Christians, or just Catholics?

I understand there is a connection between Mardi Gras, Carnival (in Brazil), Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.

Talk about going from one extreme to the other.

6 posted on 03/01/2003 12:47:41 AM PST by wai-ming
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To: Salvation
Lenten Pretzels

Fr. William Saunders

The pretzel has its origins as an official food of Lent. However, much of the information available is based on tradition that has been handed down through the ages. Nevertheless, the Vatican library actually has a manuscript illustrating one of the earliest pictures and descriptions of the pretzel (Manuscript Code no. 3867).

In the early Church, the Lenten abstinence and fasting laws were more strict than what the faithful practice today. Many areas of the Church abstained from all forms of meat and animal products, while others made exceptions for food like fish. For example, Pope St. Gregory (d. 604), writing to St. Augustine of Canterbury, issued the following rule: "We abstain from flesh, meat, and from all things that come from flesh, as milk, cheese and eggs." Second, the general rule was for a person to have one meal a day, in the evening or at three o’clock in the afternoon, and smaller snacks to maintain strength. So a need arose for a very simple food which would fulfill the abstinence and fasting laws.

According to pretzel maker Snyder’s of Hanover, a young monk in the early 600s in Italy was preparing a special Lenten bread of water, flour and salt. To remind his brother monks that Lent was a time of prayer, he rolled the bread dough in strips and then shaped each strip in the form of crossed arms, mimicking the then popular prayer position of folding one’s arms over each other on the chest. The bread was then baked as a soft bread, just like the big soft pretzels one can find today. (To be fair, some traditions date the story to even the 300s.)

Because these breads were shaped into the form of crossed arms, they were called bracellae, the Latin word for "little arms." From this word, the Germans derived the word bretzel which has since mutated to the familiar word pretzel.

Another possibility for the origins of the word pretzel is that the young monk gave these breads to children as a reward when they could recite their prayers. The Latin word pretiola means "little reward," from which pretzel could also be reasonably derived.

Apparently, this simple Lenten food became very popular. Pretzels were enjoyed by all people. They became a symbol of good luck, long life and prosperity. Interestingly, they were also a common food given to the poor and hungry. Not only were pretzels easy to give to someone in need, but also they were both a substantial food to satisfy the hunger and a spiritual reminder of God knowing a person’s needs and answering our prayers.

Another interesting story involving pretzels arises in the late 1500s, when the Ottoman Moslem Turks were besieging the city of Vienna, Austria. The Turks could not break the city’s defenses, so they began to tunnel below ground. The monks in the basement of the monastery were baking pretzels and heard the sound of digging. They alerted the guard and saved the city.

The soft pretzels eventually evolved into hard baked pretzels. Another story is that a young apprentice baker dozed off while tending to the oven where the pretzels were baking. The oven fire began to die out, he awoke, and then stoked up the oven. In the end, he over-baked the pretzels. At first the master baker was upset, but soon discovered that the hard pretzels were also delicious. These hard pretzels were less perishable than the soft, and thereby easy to have available to give to the poor and hungry.

Here we find another "fun" tradition of our faith, just like Easter eggs or hot cross buns. Actually, a good Lenten family activity would be to make pretzels, explaining to the children their significance. The real challenge for this author is to find some justification for adding beer to the Lenten pretzel tradition.

Lenten Pretzels

7 posted on 03/01/2003 3:33:09 AM PST by nickcarraway
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To: sockmonkey
Have Lenten Practices changed? I'm a Convert, but it seems more lax now than what I recall from the practices of Catholics I knew in my youth.

Like you, I too grew up during the 50's and 60's, but was raised in a catholic family, attending catholic schools. We were taught that Ash Wednesday and Good Friday were days of fast and abstinence. Throughout Lent, Fridays were always days of abstinence. I have never met any catholic who abstained for 40 days, unless it was by personal choice. (Ironically, the reason we were given for abstaining on Fridays was to encourage the sale of fish.)

It was also our practice to "give up" something of importance. For the kids, this challenge was usually in the form of candy. Our Easter baskets were always packed with all sorts of candy. Even then, I recall that sense of accomplishment, knowing that I had made it to the end without succumbing to temptation.

I also recall that during Lent, the statues in the church were covered. I haven't seen that practice in many years. On Good Friday, following afternoon services, the altar was stripped bare and the Holy Eucharist removed from the Tabernacle, leaving the door open. You are right, though, to point out that Lenten devotions were taken more seriously then than now.

As a convert, you will enjoy this story. A while back, one of the guests on Journey Home, was a couple who had just converted to catholicism. They spoke of the first Lent following their decision to convert. Though not yet catholics, they decided to follow a Lenten practice of either "giving up" or "taking on". After considerable discussion, they felt the most challenging thing to do would be to attend daily mass. After 40 days, they continued the practice, noting how much strength they had gained from the experience.

I feel Lent should be a time for personal sacrifice, and that we must be honest with ourselves in its selection. Daily mass is an excellent practice, as is time spent reading the bible or mediting on selected passages. More importantly, it is a time to reach out to others.

8 posted on 03/01/2003 5:25:51 AM PST by NYer (Kyrie Eleison)
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To: Salvation
Q: What are appropriate activities for ordinary days during Lent?

A: Giving up something we enjoy for Lent, doing of physical or spiritual acts of mercy for others, prayer, fasting, abstinence, going to confession, and other acts expressing repentance in general.

Here are some interesting suggestions, compliments of EWTN

WHAT TO GIVE UP . . .

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!



9 posted on 03/01/2003 6:05:11 AM PST by NYer (Kyrie Eleison)
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To: Salvation
BTTT
10 posted on 03/01/2003 7:25:00 AM PST by Desdemona (Voice, the only musical instrument made by God.)
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To: sockmonkey
During Lent: Fasting is encouraged but not mandated during Lent excepting the designated days. Abstaining from meat on Fridays and Ash Wednesday. This is different for me also than when I was growing up. I still try to fast and definitely abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays.

**Q: In addition to Ash Wednesday, are any other days during Lent days of fast or abstinence?

A: Yes. All Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence. Also, Good Friday, the day on which Christ was crucified, is another day of both fast and abstinence. All days in Lent are appropriate for fasting or abstaining, but canon law does not require fasting on those days. Such fasting or abstinence is voluntary, like a freewill offering.**

11 posted on 03/01/2003 7:33:39 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: wai-ming
**Mardi Gras, Carnival (in Brazil), Fat Tuesday**

Yes, in anticipation of the heavy fasting and abstinence previously encouraged by the Catholic Church, these festivals were a light-hearted approach (eat-out) to the forty days of perceived suffering during Lent.

I'll see if I can find additonal info about them.
12 posted on 03/01/2003 7:37:25 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway
Thanks for this informative post. I was not aware of the popularity of pretzels during Lent. No beer, right? Just pretzels. LOL!
13 posted on 03/01/2003 7:38:44 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer
**After considerable discussion, they felt the most challenging thing to do would be to attend daily mass. After 40 days, they continued the practice, noting how much strength they had gained from the experience.**

This is an excellent choice if it is at all possible.

During Lent our church has small faith-sharing groups that concentrate on the upcoming week's first and second reading, the responsorial psalm, and the Gospel.

This "once a week joining together with people from the parish is a wonderful way to strengthen your parish through evangelization, increase volunteerism and promote stewardship also.

Disciples in Mission

14 posted on 03/01/2003 7:45:45 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer
**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!**

What a wonderful list!!!!! Thank you
15 posted on 03/01/2003 7:48:17 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: sockmonkey
When I was growing up (50's and early 60's), most Catholics that I knew abstained from meat during all of Lent, Sundays included.
Now it seems that most Catholics I know, tell me that was never the practice, that Sunday was always a day of feasting, never fasting.


At one time, yes, this was the practice. In fact it wasn't just meat.

Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday" had the purpose of being the last day of cleaning out the larder before Lent. It started as less of two week of parties than 7-10 days of eating up all the cheese, eggs, meat, etc., in storage. The dietary practices changed and became a big party. Unfortunately, it has now gotten out of hand in some places. But that's where it comes from.
16 posted on 03/01/2003 8:10:09 AM PST by Desdemona (Voice, the only musical instrument made by God.)
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To: nickcarraway
Pretzel Recipe from http://www.geocities.com/joelle109/Lenten_Pretzels.html

1 Tb honey or sugar

1 package yeast

1 1/2 Cups lukewarm water

1 tsp salt

4 Cups flour

1 egg, beaton

Course or kosher salt



Add honey to the water; sprinkle in the yeast and stir until dissolved. Add salt, blend in the flower and knead the bread until smooth.

Cut dough into pieces. Roll them into ropes and twist into pretzel shapes. You can make large or small pretzels, but to cook at the same rate, they need to be one size.

Place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with course salt.

Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes until pretzels are golden brown.
17 posted on 03/01/2003 8:28:36 AM PST by Desdemona (Voice, the only musical instrument made by God.)
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To: NYer
Lenten Reflections

Thanks for this link. Day by day reflections.....................

18 posted on 03/01/2003 8:28:43 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Message of His Holiness John Paul II for Lent 2003
19 posted on 03/01/2003 8:32:29 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: sandyeggo
** I'll be sharing it with my family.**

God bless you for doing this!

The domestic church -- the first church our children encounter.
21 posted on 03/01/2003 10:10:36 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
40 days of Lent
Question from John on 02-18-2003:

Are Sundays included as part of Lent. When "giving something up or doing something" for Lent I have been told that Sundays don't count. For example if I give up eating sweets I can "cheat" or have sweets on Sundays because it is not part of Lent. Is this true?

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 02-24-2003:

Yes, the Sundays are not counted. But it would be contrary to the spirit of penitence to "pig out" on Sundays. Content yourself with a small measure, or even forego it altogether, which you are free to do as a greater penance.

COPYRIGHT 2003

Click here to send this Question and Answer to a friend                    


22 posted on 03/03/2003 8:17:43 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Content yourself with a small measure, or even forego it altogether, which you are free to do as a greater penance.
23 posted on 03/03/2003 8:18:42 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Q: When does Lent begin?

A: Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is the day on which they faithful have their foreheads signed with ashes in the form of a Cross (see piece on Ash Wednesday). It is also a day of fast and abstinence.

Did you also post something on here about Ash Wednesday or are you talking about something included in this article?

24 posted on 03/03/2003 12:27:35 PM PST by ponyespresso (I know that my Redeemer lives)
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To: Salvation
Thanks!
25 posted on 03/03/2003 2:10:07 PM PST by WriteOn
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To: ponyespresso
**Did you also post something on here about Ash Wednesday or are you talking about something included in this article?**

I was talking about it, but did not find it when I went back to search for the Lent (this) one. I will look further tomorrow.

I have a Bible-study (really it's a faith-sharing) group to lead tonight so I don't think I will have time to search for it unless it is later tonight.

Bye for now.
26 posted on 03/03/2003 4:35:39 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: ponyespresso
Ash Wednesday
27 posted on 03/04/2003 6:47:43 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Lent and Fasting
28 posted on 03/04/2003 6:48:18 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: sandyeggo
Here are some other links about Lent:

The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence

The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross

Lent and Fasting

Ash Wednesday

All About Lent

Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children

29 posted on 02/20/2004 7:57:57 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

What the Church Teaches About Lent




1. General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar

"Lent is a preparation for the celebration of Easter. For the Lenten liturgy disposes both catechumens and the faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery: catechumens, through several stages of Christian initiation; the faithful, through reminders of their own baptism and through penitential practices." (#27)

2. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Documents of Vatican II)

109. The season of Lent has a twofold character; primarily by recalling or preparing for Baptism and by Penance, it disposes the faithful, who more diligently hear the Word of God and devote themselves to prayer, to celebrate the paschal mystery. This twofold character is to be brought into greater prominence both in the liturgy and by liturgical catechesis. Hence:

a) More use is to be made of the baptismal features proper to the Lenten liturgy; some of them, which used to flourish in bygone days, are to be restored as may seem good.

b) The same is to apply to the penitential elements. As regards instruction it is important to impress on the minds of the faithful not only the social consequences of sin but also that essence of the virtue of penance which leads to the detestation of sin as an offense against God; the role of the Church in penitential practices is not to be passed over, and the people must be exhorted to pray for sinners.

110. During Lent penance should not be only internal and individual, but also external and social. The practice of penance should be fostered in ways that are possible in our own times and in different regions and according to the circumstances of the faithful&

Nevertheless, let the paschal fast be kept sacred. Let it be celebrated everywhere on Good Friday and where possible prolonged throughout Holy Saturday, so that the joys of the Sunday of the resurrection may be attained with uplifted and clear mind.


30 posted on 02/20/2004 1:01:23 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

BTTT in preparation for Lent 2005!


31 posted on 02/05/2005 11:56:32 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
This seems like a good place to post this:

Examination of Conscience

Here is a helpful examination of conscience, based on the Ten Commandments. Perform a brief examination every night, but go through a more thorough examination before confessing your sins to the priest.

DIRECTIONS
The Commandments of God
  1. Have I doubted in matters of faith? murmured against God because of adversity? despaired of His mercy? Have I believed in or consulted fortune tellers? Have I taken part in non-Catholic worship?

    Have I recommended myself regularly to God? Neglected my morning or evening prayers? Omitted my religious obligations because of human respect? Presumed upon God's mercy in committing sin?

    Have I read books or papers opposed to the Church and her teachings? Did I make use of superstitious practices; such as believing in dreams, and charms, and the like? Have I spoken irreverently of persons (priests or religious), places (e.g, the Church), or things (the sacred vessels) which especially represent God?

  2. Have I used the name of God or the saints with irreverence? Have I sworn (which means calling upon God to witness the truth of what I say) without a good reason, or falsely? Have I cursed (the calling down of some evil on a person, place, or thing)? Blasphemed (used insulting language to express contempt for God), the saints, or holy things?

  3. Did I miss Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation? Have I done unnecessary servile work or been responsible for others doing it on these days?

  4. Have I been obedient to my parents and lawful superiors? Have I shown disrespect toward their God-given authority? Have I deceived them? Have I been a good citizen by voting? Have I shown respect toward aged parents?

    Have I used my authority over inferiors properly? As a parent, by good example in the home and by sending the children to a Catholic school? As a person in public office, by promoting the common welfare? As an employer, by being considerate of the employees?

  5. Have I been the occasion of another's sin through my bad example in word or deed? Have I been guilty of fighting, anger, hatred, revenge, or drunkenness? Did I refuse to speak to others? to forgive them? Did I use provoking language?

  6. and 9. Did I take pleasure in impure thoughts or desires? Say impure things? Listen to impure conversations? Did I touch others or let others touch me in an impure manner? Commit an impure act alone or with others? Want to look at impure things or pictures? Go to bad places? movies that were bad? Read bad books? Go with impure companions? Teach others to commit sins of impurity?

  7. and 10. Have I stolen anything? If so, of what value, and did I return the stolen goods? Have I been unjust in buying or selling? Have I damaged the property of others? accepted or kept stolen goods? paid my just debts as soon as possible? Has my daily work merited its pay check? Have I desired to steal anything or to damage my neighbor's property?

  8. Did I tell lies? Have I been guilty of rash judgment (believing something harmful to another's character without sufficient reason)? detraction (without a good reason, making known the hidden faults of another)? calumny (by lying, injuring the good name of another)?



The Precepts of the Church
  • Have I confessed my sins once a year? If not, how long is it since my last worthy confession? Have I received Holy Communion during Easter time?

  • Have I fasted according to my ability when obliged to do so by the Church?

  • Have I abstained from flesh-meat on the appointed days?

  • Have I contributed as well as I can to the support of the Church?

  • Have I attempted to contract marriage without the presence of a priest?

  • If there anything else of which my conscience feels guilty?



Sins Against the Holy Spirit
  1. Presuming to gain salvation without meriting it.

  2. Despair of salvation.

  3. Resisting truths which have been made known to us.

  4. Envy of another's spiritual good.

  5. Stubbornness in sin.

  6. Final obstinacy in one's sins.



Seven Deadly Sins
  1. Pride: An unrestrained appreciation of our own worth.

  2. Avarice or Greed: An immoderate desire for earthly goods.

  3. Lust: A hankering after impure pleasures.

  4. Anger: An inordinate desire for revenge.

  5. Gluttony: An unrestrained use of food and drink.

  6. Envy: Sorrow over the good fortune of our neighbor.

  7. Sloth: Laziness to do right, or carelessness to do right and to practice virtue because of the trouble attached to it.



Sins Crying to Heaven for Vengeance
  • Wilful murder
  • Sodomy
  • Oppression of the poor
  • Cheating laborers of their just wages



Nine Ways of Aiding Another in Sin
  1. Counseling or advising another to sin.

  2. Commanding another to sin.

  3. Provoking another to sin.

  4. Consenting to another's sin.

  5. Showing another how to sin.

  6. Praising another's sin.

  7. Concealing, remaining silent about, doing nothing to prevent another's sin.

  8. Taking part in, or enjoying the results of another's sin.

  9. Defending another's sin.

Activity Source: Our Christian Home by Rev. Joseph A. Fischer, Seraphic Press, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1954


32 posted on 03/05/2005 9:30:21 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Lenten ping. We're in the countdown to the blessed day of Christ's Resurrection.


33 posted on 03/05/2005 9:35:46 AM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: Desdemona

"Pretzel recipe" ping.


34 posted on 03/05/2005 9:40:17 AM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: Salvation

BTTT for Lent, 2006!


35 posted on 02/27/2006 7:44:36 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation; ConservativeTrucker; SavannahJake; PaulZe; AKA Elena; Oshkalaboomboom; LikeLight; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

36 posted on 02/07/2008 6:25:20 PM PST by narses (...the spirit of Trent is abroad once more.)
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To: narses

Thanks for the bump. Good thread with lots of questions and answers.


37 posted on 02/07/2008 6:34:49 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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