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What is Lent?

Lent is the time between Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday when the Catholic Church and other Christian traditions enter into a time of penitence and preparation for the great feast of Easter


Catholics engage in the practice of fasting, alms-giving, and prayer during these 40 days. These practices help us deepen our relationship with God, recognize the great sacrifice that Jesus gave on the Cross, and prepare our hearts for the great Paschal Mystery that we celebrate worldwide on Easter.


Fasting and Absitnence

Catholics over the age of 18 up until 59 are asked to limit the amount of food they eat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting is about detachment - a way to reclaim balance in your life and help you grow in self-discipline. The rule of thumb is to eat one full meal and two smaller meals that, when added together, don't equal a full meal. Fasting is different from abstinence, which is not eating meat. This requirement is for Catholics aged 14 and older and pertains to Ash Wednesday and all Fridays in Lent. Abstinence was not done away with by Vatican II for the rest of the year outside of Lent, as many people might think. The faithful were released from abstaining from meat on Fridays outside of Lent, so long as they abstain from something else in its place - perhaps abstaining from social media as an example. Fasting does not have to be related to food only. Here is a list from the Blessed is She website on some ideas for fasting during Lent:

  • Do not eat meat on an additional weekday

  • Take the worst parking spot you can find

  • Eat one less meal

  • Read this book on intermittent fasting and consider trying it this Lent

  • Set a daily timer for Facebook or your favorite social media fix

  • Wake up an hour earlier than you usually do

  • Don’t buy anything extra except food

  • Don’t watch TV (or Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime)

  • Turn off the radio in the car

  • Eat more simply

  • Give up caffeine or limit yourself to one cup of coffee each day

  • Do not swear or gossip

Alms-Giving

Prayer

Lenten Colors



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