As we begin Lent, we will hear the urgings to practice Penance, Almsgiving, and Prayer. There are many ways and means of doing penance: prayer, acts of self-denial, almsgiving and works of personal charity. Here are a few suggestions of some positive steps that we might undertake to bring our relationships with each other, and God, to a more harmonious place.
- FORGIVE and FORGET (wipe the slate clean)
- PUT GOD FIRST (all else is secondary)
- CELEBRATE GOD EVERY DAY (pray, study scripture, meditate, Mass)
- SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS (especially those you have been neglecting; make the effort)
- TRY SOMETHING NEW (when was the last time you said the Stations of the Cross or went to Adoration)
- USE WORDS THAT UPLIFT (not tear down, speak kindly and lovingly always, eliminate negative language and be positive)
- SHOW APPRECIATION THROUGH WORDS AND ACTIONS (acknowledge even the smallest, most mundane actions, compliment don’t criticize)
As Lent approaches, we always get questions about the Fast and Abstinence regulations of the Church. In brief, Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast (one simple meal and two small meals that do not in total match the main meal) on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. In addition, all Catholics 14 years old and older must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent.
Have a Blessed Lent!