Monday, March 23, 2009

My 2009 Lenten Journey

Today is day 27 of my 2009 Lenten journey, a forty-day period before Easter beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending the day before Easter Sunday, April 11th this year. We skip Sundays when counting the forty days because Sundays commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. It originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days. In addition to penitential prayer and almsgiving, we observe the abstinence and fasting Lenten obligation.

The abstinence obligation is from eating meat on Fridays throughout the year and on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Abstinence from another food instead of meat is observed in some parts of the world. In addition, abstinence is not required on solemnity days of the Church.

The fasting obligation is to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Such fasting is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Soon I will share with you the ways in which I engaged in penitential prayer, almsgiving, abstinence and fasting during my 2009 Lenten Journey.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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