Lent begins March 1.
Guidelines on Fasting and Abstinence during Lent:
Fasting -- The law of fasting requires a Catholic 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. The fast is broken by eating between meals and by drinks which could be considered food (milk shakes, but not milk).
Abstinence -- The law of abstinence requires a Catholic to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. (Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl.)
Confession is available before every UCat Mass. After reaching the age of reason, Catholics are obliged to confess serious sins at least once a year (CIC 989). No matter what you’ve done, no matter how long you’ve been away, Jesus is waiting for you in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Plan for a GOOD Lent
1. Improve Your Prayer Life:
- · To start: begin each day with the Morning Offering* and close each night with an Examination of Conscience*.
- · Go deeper: 30 minutes of interior prayer daily (try Lectio Divina*)
2) Go to Confession:
- · To start: commit to monthly Confession
- · Go deeper: commit to weekly Confession
3) Form Your Faith:
- · To start: join a Bible study, Oratory, Love & Responsibility
- · Go deeper: regular spiritual direction with a priest
- · To start: a decade of the Rosary a day
- · Go deeper: daily Rosary (recited in common at 5 pm before UCat daily Mass)
5) Worship at Mass:
- · To start: attend one extra Mass a week (never skip Sunday)
- · Go deeper: as often as possible, even daily
6) Serve Others:
- · To start: help with Dismas, Room in the Inn, St. Pius, etc.
- · Go deeper: commit to one of these regularly
Don’t try to do it all, choose one area to improve upon and do it!
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.
(This prayer has numerous variations, but the main idea is to start your day giving to God everything you may encounter.)
is a method of reviewing your day in the presence of God. It’s actually an attitude more than a method, a time set aside for thankful reflection on where God is in your everyday life. It has five steps, which most people take more or less in order, and it usually takes 15 to 20 minutes per day. Here it is in a nutshell:
1. Ask God for light
I want to look at my day with God’s eyes, not merely my own.
2. Give thanks.
The day I have just lived is a gift from God. Be grateful for it.
3. Review the day.
I carefully look back on the day just completed, being guided by the Holy Spirit.
4. Face your shortcomings.
I face up to what is wrong—in my life and in me.
5. Look toward the day to come.
I ask where I need God in the day to come.
Version of the Examen from A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer by Jim Manney © Loyola Press ignatianspirituality.com
1. Read today’s Gospel (or any Bible passage) silently, slowly, reflectively.
2. As you read, underline any word or phrase which particularly strikes you.
3. After reading, say out loud a word or phrase which most struck you.
(No elaboration at this point—just state the word or phrase.)
4. Next, think about why this particular word or phrase struck you.
5. After a brief period of silent reflection, offer a prayer of praise, gratitude or petition for the thoughts or sentiments flowing from the Lectio experience.