Lenten Reflection by Father Andrew
This week we begin our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and abstinence. These are meant to help draw us to the voice of God who tells us the Good News that His Kingdom is near. Sometimes we can surprise ourselves at how far we have strayed. Then we become nervous because we seemed to have lost our way back. Do not worry! The path of humble and repentant prayer will always lead us nearer to Him. But even more concerning, we might not sense in ourselves the will to come back. That is why the Church recommends fasting and abstinence: small sacrificial acts of self-denial, powered more by love than by duty which will “prime the pump” for significant grace to conversion and a resurrected faith.
Here are the rules of fasting and abstinence:
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.
For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.
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