“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” ~Anonymous
Hopefully, you have thought long and hard since yesterday about your spiritual destination for the Season of Lent this year. Now that you know where you want to go, it is time to “pack the essentials”.
As our quote reminds us, we cannot reject the customs of the journey. If we do so, there is no reason to embark upon it.
The essentials to the Lenten season include fast and abstinence guidelines as well as forms of spiritual renewal.
Fasting is to be practiced by all Catholics who have celebrated their 18th birthday and who have not yet celebrated their 59th birthday. Fasting allows for only one full meal to be taken during the day. Two smaller meals are permitted, if necessary, to maintain strength according to one’s needs. Eating solid foods between meals is not permitted.
Abstinence is to be practiced by all who are 14 years of age and older. Abstinence means refraining from eating meat and meat products.
Remember, we fast and abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. We abstain from eating meat on all the Fridays of Lent.
Taizé Evening Prayer is every Wednesday evening during Lent at 7:00 p.m. in the church. This ecumenical prayer service is about a half-hour and is a peaceful reflection guided by music, song, and scripture.
Stations of the Cross are regular staples of Lent. Thinking about the Lord’s journey to Calvary is important for all of us. We need to have a deeper appreciation of the sacrifice Jesus made for us so that we may draw closer to Him.
School Stations of the Cross are each Friday during Lent at 2:15 p.m. (except on March 31st because of Spring Break)
Stations of the Cross are each Friday evening during Lent at 7:00 p.m.
Confession is another important part of our Lenten journey. We need to confess our sins and receive the absolution that is waiting for us so that our souls may be cleansed and more prepared to celebrate the glory of Easter. Regular confessions are heard each Saturday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Additionally, there will be a communal penance service on Tuesday, April 4th at 7:00 p.m. There will be many priests available to hear your confession. “Last-minute confessions” will also be made available during and after Taizé prayer on April 12th. (There will be no confessions on Holy Saturday afternoon.)
Let the customs of Lent speak to you this year so that your destination will bring you that much closer to a faithful, loving God.
FAITH ACTION: Gather together what you will need for this Lent: a journal, spiritual reading, and, perhaps, a copy of this post to remind you of the fast/abstinence regulations as well as the other spiritual opportunities for Lent.