A Guide to Lent

Here are ten suggestions for living Lent more fully adapted from Fr. Sebastian Vazhakala, Missionary of Charity Father, friend and disciple of St. Teresa of Calcutta

  1. Being faithful to one's duties of everyday life and doing them well, seeking to do even ordinary things with extraordinary love for the greater glory of God.
  2. Participating in the Holy Mass with due preparation and greater attention. Perhaps in addition to Sunday, consider attending one additional weekday Mass.
  3. Making a soul-searching, honest and humble confession at our regularly scheduled times, on our Lenten Penance Day (Friday, March 2) or by making an appointment with one of the priests.
  4. Exploring the many resources on Formed.org (Parish code: PBGWTD) or choosing some spiritual reading to stir your heart towards holiness.
  5. Paying more attention to the observance of silence, in order to listen to the voice of God – perhaps by signing up for one or more hours during the Forty Hours weekend or visiting the Adoration Chapel at Holy Cross.
  6. Meditating on the Passion of Jesus in the Four Gospels (Mt 26 and 27; Mk 14 and 15; Lk 22 and 23; John 18 and 19).
  7. Making devoutly the Stations of the Cross, individually and communally. (See times above)
  8. Frequent praying of the five sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
  9. Practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, especially noting the Parish Almsgiving opportunities.
  10. Trying to be kind, gentle and humble to one another, especially those to whom we struggle to be patient.

Fasting & Abstinence

Everyone 14 years of age or older is bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, all the Fridays of Lent and Good Friday. Everyone 18 or older, and under 59 years of age, is bound to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, only one full meatless meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted. When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.

Catholics should not lightly excuse themselves from these prescribed minimal penitential practices.

Madeline McNeilComment