Preparing for Lent—Cardinal Dolan of New York often likens Lent to baseball “spring training”—conditioning so we can perform at our highest spiritual level. But training also requires preparation. Remember that Lent begins this Wednesday—so it is not too early to think about the devotions, almsgiving, and penances you plan to undertake. Lenten booklets will remain in the Narthex for a time, but please do not delay in picking them up.
Your Lenten Obligations—Our common Lenten discipline places several penitential obligations on all Catholics during this season. Here is a brief summary (see the February Prayer Chain for more details):
- Ash Wednesday and Good Friday—Days of Fast. No more than 1 full meal and 2 light meals (not together equaling a full meal) and NO FOOD IN BETWEEN. Obligatory for all Catholics age 18-59 who are in good health. While those older or younger are not required to fast, it is praiseworthy on these two days, so long as it is not a risk to one’s health.
- Ash Wednesday and All Fridays in Lent (including Good Friday)—Days of Abstinence. Total abstinence from all meat. Obligatory for all Catholics age 14 and older. Again, younger children are not required to abstain from meat, but doing so begins to instill our Catholic identity.
- Sacrament of Reconciliation—At least once during the year, not necessarily in Lent, beginning at the age of discretion (about 7)
Please note that other practices (attending Mass on Ash Wednesday or other Lenten Weekdays, attending Stations of the Cross) are not required, but are encouraged where possible.
We need your help—Please see the notice about Lenten Dinner Volunteers (in the bulletin). We are always in need of help before, during, and after each dinner. Please consider helping—if not at every dinner, at least for some—they are a necessary part of making ends meet in our yearly budget.