Lent is the time before Easter during which the faithful abstain and fast in remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made on Calvary. It is a 40-day time of preparation before Easter, the memorial of the death and resurrection of Jesus. There are two main ways that Catholics use to focus on growing closer to… Continue reading Fasting and Abstinence during Lent
Every year we give something up for Lent. Sometimes picking what to give up is hard and other times we consider doing something extra to really immerse ourselves in what God has for us – but what are our options? Lent isn’t just about giving something up for a time. It’s about giving of ourselves… Continue reading 10 important things to consider during Lent
God commanded it, Jesus practiced it, Church Fathers have preached the importance of it – fasting is a powerful and fundamental part of the Christian life. But for many Catholics today, it’s more of an afterthought: something we grudgingly do on Good Friday, perhaps on Ash Wednesday if we remember it. Would we fast more,… Continue reading What's the point of fasting, anyway?
‘Give alms…Pray to your Father…Fast without a gloomy face…’ (Matthew 6:1-18) Giving alms, Jesus teaches, means making the needs of others our own, especially the needy of our world. They are all around us: children and the old, the sick and the suffering, families and individuals, next-door neighbors and people in lands faraway. Whatever we… Continue reading Almsgiving, Prayer, and Fasting: The Three Pillars of Lent
As Ash Wednesday kicks off the Lenten season, Catholics enter into 40 days of abstaining from sweets, technology, alcohol and other luxuries. But did you know that Catholic monks once brewed beer specifically for a liquid-only Lenten fast? Back in the 1600s, Paulaner monks moved from Southern Italy to the Cloister Neudeck ob der Au… Continue reading These 17th century monks did a beer fast for Lent
In response to the murder of Father Jacques Hamel by believed Islamic State sympathizers, the French bishops have designated Friday, July 29, as a day of fasting. Msgr. Olivier Ribadeau Dumas, secretary general of the French Bishops Conference, discussed the decision July 26. “What happened in France had happened in other countries before, and actually we see… Continue reading French bishops declare day of fasting after priest's murder
Full Question Every year during Lent I’m asked why Catholics fast and abstain. How can I explain our Lenten practice? Answer Explain that Lent is the 40 days before Easter in which Catholics pray, fast, contemplate, and engage in acts of spiritual self-discipline. Catholics do these things because Easter, which celebrates the Resurrection of Christ,… Continue reading Why do Catholics practice fasting and abstinence during Lent?