lent2

The Paschal Fast: “The Paschal Fast must be kept sacred. It should be celebrated everywhere on Good Friday, and where possible should be prolonged throughout Holy Saturday” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy # 110) Good Friday through Holy Saturday: These days are marked by fasting and by abstinence from meat. Please note that these days are not part of Lent or the Lenten Fast. The Paschal Fast is a fast of anticipation. The observance of this most ancient fast is a solemn way to prepare ourselves for the reception of the Easter Communion.

How do we fast?
The customary fast: This fast allows for only one full meal to be taken during the day. 2 smaller meals are permitted, if necessary, to maintain strength according to one’s needs. Eating solid foods between meals is not permitted.

The fast of the early church: This fast begins upon rising. No meals are taken until the customary work day (5pm) is ended. A glass of juice may be taken in the morning and simple liquids such as water, coffee and tea, during the day. The fast ends with a brief prayer followed by an adequate meal. For many this may work as a more natural way to fast. 

Age guidelines for fasting: Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all Catholics who have celebrated their 18th birthday and who have not yet celebrated their 59th birthday. 

Read more: LENT

EVERYDAY STEWARDSHIP

stewardshipEye Has Not Seen
    They say seeing is believing. But if you’ve ever ordered a pair of pants online, you know that’s not always the case. Whatever the photos promise us, what looked like a perfectly nice shade of navy blue on our computer screens comes in the mail as an unusual shade of blue green that only appears in the giant box of Crayola crayons. The Apostle Thomas, who couldn’t bring himself to accept that Jesus had risen from the dead without seeing him, is such an utterly relatable figure in the Gospels. Thomas is still reeling from a loss — not only of his good friend but his Lord, who was taken prisoner and crucified before his eyes. Thomas is guarding himself. He’s not believing the hype. He’s going to be the only judge of what is real and what is fiction. Would any of us be any different? We’ve all had those thoughts. Can we believe it all — Jesus, salvation history, the Eucharist — when we haven’t seen it with our own two eyes? That’s when we need to remember that those two eyes were absolutely positive they had ordered a pair of navy blue pants. It’s easy for us to sit back stroking our chins in judgment at Thomas, “you didn’t believe the testimony of your friends!” But do we accept the testimony of our friends? The saints, the popes, the Church fathers themselves? Sometimes the things that are most worthy of believing can’t be seen with the naked eye.

-Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS






When Sacrifice Becomes Mundane--It seems to happen every year, like clockwork: we drag a bit, as we enter into the second week of Lent. On Ash Wednesday, we feel a bit like soldiers banging our shields, rushing into battle. “We’re ready, God!” our hearts cry out. “Transform us through sacrifice! Your will be done!” But by now, these Lenten resolutions are no longer novelties — they’ve joined the ranks of everyday inconveniences, which somehow are the hardest to bear. Because transformation, in real life, happens in inches, just as a battle is won slowly in the crash of one sword against another. It’s not always a dramatic thing, to the naked eye. It’s the perseverance in prayer despite weariness, or the continual denial of some pleasure even though there’s that nagging voice in our minds saying: go ahead, God doesn’t really mind. It’s a week when we all need a shock to the system — and wouldn’t you know it, this Sunday God gives us a double-whammy of dramatic sacrificial scenes. We picture Abraham, who also cried “Ready!” when God called, never imagining what He would ask: the surrender of his long-awaited son. We see Christ himself transfigured, as God shows us what He is ready to give up for love of us. We must remain committed, persevering daily in acknowledging that everything belongs to God. What we sacrifice, we simply give back to Him. If God is for us, who can be against us? Can we still reply, “Ready!” when we hear the call of God? —
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