Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The penitential practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving begin today.
A priest friend sent us an email about Lenten penitential practices. He said it so well, I thought I should give it to you all to read.
"The Lenten penitential practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are not intended as a covert season of self-improvement, or worse, a time of self-bashing because we are sinners (even though we are), but are instead intended to help create an ever-larger space within our hearts to love. The practices are focused on dying to self so that we are expanded in our capacity to love. We seek deeper conversion and deeper love. By denying ourselves some good, we die to ourselves a little, so that we can grow more in love of God and neighbor. We die to self to grow in love."
Rules for Fasting and Abstinence: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence (no meat) for Catholics. All Catholics 18 and over should fast (excluding those who cannot fast because of health reasons, or those who are pregnant or nursing). Fasting means you only have one main meal and 2 others which taken together would still be less than the main meal. Abstinence applies to those who are 14 years and older. All Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence.
Today's video lesson is all about why we have 40 days of Lent. I think you'll find the video fun and informative!
And don't forget to pray with us via the audio links--and listen to Chapter One of our Glory Story Pope Saint John Paul II!