Lent begins – Wednesday, March 1

The season of Lent, like all Fridays,
is meant to be marked by some sort of penance,
which we do in our own way,
but we can try to help each other to do so, by doing something together.
So at our Friday Mass and lunch in the Hall
we pray together, we have a simple meal,
and we raise money to support CAFOD in helping the poor.

Ash Wednesday is referred to as a Day of Fasting and Abstinence.

Sometimes the words “Fasting and Abstinence” cause confusion,
and it is not always easy to work out what they mean
and what we are supposed to do about them.

As far as Catholics are concerned:

“Abstinence” means abstaining from some form of food,
and is meant to be taken seriously by
those of us who have had our 14th birthday,
and it should continue for the rest of our lives.

“Fasting” means going without something
and is meant to be taken seriously by
those of us who have had our 18th birthday
but not after we have had our 60th birthday.

Anyone who is not in these age groups
can always do some fasting and abstaining,
but they do not have to do so.
Sometimes it can be more in keeping with the idea of fasting + abstinence if we do something extra,
rather than give up something, for Lent.

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