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. 

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CATHOLIC LIFE & TRADITIONS EXPLAINED

Sacred Heart of JesusQuestion: I get annoyed with myself when I am distracted while I pray. Is it a sin? How can I be more attentive?
Answer: The mind is a marvelous and complex thing, producing amazing thoughts, images, wisdom and inspiration. Yet at times it is like a two-year-old: it does not follow directions, does what it wants and loves to tell us “no!” This is probably the oldest and most common problem in the spiritual life-dealing with distraction. It comes in all forms: good intentions forgotten, wandering thoughts at Mass, daydreaming, etc. A little poem says it all: When the soul begins to pray, the brain always wants to play! There are many ways to handle distractions. If we are distracted by thoughts about our families or friends, we should pray for them. If we lose our focus, we need just “re-collect” ourselves. If some worry or concern just won't leave our mind, then we deal with it and come back to prayer or make it part of our prayer. And when words just won't come, the only prayer we might offer is our presence, our suffering, and our desire to be close to the Lord. Most importantly, we need to be patient with ourselves. These things are not sinful, but reminders of our human frailty. Our weaknesses and good efforts are all acceptable to God, who reads the love in our hearts and the good intentions of our minds.
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