Lent 1999

February 17 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Along with Good Friday (April 2) it is one of the two designated days of fasting and abstinence. The Fridays between those two days are marked with a fish which indicates abstinence from meat (pork, beef, chicken, etc.). Every Catholic is required to observe the Discipline of Lent. In themselves the requirements might seem small, but each person should consider what additional Lenten sacrifices most apply in their own life. Some examples are: giving up television, not eating certain foods like sweets or spending a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament.

For a person today dieting and fasting might go together if one has the right motive. It seems like almost everyone today is on some type of diet in the hope, usually futile, of restoring the youthful appearance of their body. For that hope we are willing to forgo immediate gratification. Could we not do the same thing, but for something more important--the moral condition of our soul? If a doctor orders us not to eat certain foods, most will comply desiring to add a few years to their earthly life. What about self-denial in order to achieve true life?

Of course our own efforts can only get us so far. The deeper reason for Lent is to remind us of what Jesus has achieved on our behalf. It is a time to acknowledge our sins and that the only hope of salvation is the free gift of grace Jesus gives us through his death and resurrection. A wonderful way of receiving that grace is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. At Holy Family confessions are every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. till 10 a.m. or until all are heard. There will be a Lenten Penance Service with a number of confessors on March 25 at 6:30 p.m. May Lent 1999 be a time of mercy and inner renewal for us all.

Ash Wednesday Homily

Lenten Prayer

Lenten Penance Service and the Necessity and Benefits of Confession.

Holy Week Liturgies

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