Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lent: A Time to Feast and Fast

Lent is the 40 days of preparation before Easter that begins on Ash Wednesday. It is the season when we prepare for Jesus’ death and resurrection. During this time we are invited to reflect on our lives and change our hearts. Many people ask what the fasting and abstinence guidelines are so I thought it would be helpful to include them here.

Fasting and abstinence Days of Abstinence: No meat can be eaten on Ash Wednesday and all of the Fridays during Lent. This applies to all Catholics 14 and older.

Days of Fast: Only one full meal is permitted on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday for Catholics between 18 and 59. Two smaller meals are permitted, but the small meals should not equal a second full meal.

As I was reading I came across the following Lenten Litany by William Arthur Ward (1921-1994) and thought it would be a good reminder of what we are called to do during this season.

Lenten Litany: Fasting & Feasting

Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of life.
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
Fast from thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from worry; feast on divine order.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility; feast on non-resistance.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from discouragements; feast on hope.
Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from shadows of sorrow; feast on the sunlight of serenity.
Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that sustains.

Happy Lent!
Sr. Pat Schifini

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