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FASTING is not just a spiritual diet. By denying our bodies, our physical hunger reminds us of the hunger of our souls for God, our longing for a deeper relationship with our Lord.
ALMSGIVING teaches us to separate ourselves from material possessions. By freely giving of our money and possessions, we learn top trust the Lord more deeply for our own daily needs.
Finally, an emphasis on PRAYER during Lent is a way to stir up our love and ardor by having a deepening conversation with the Almighty. Remember that the light of God’s love shines more brightly in the darkness of the recognition of our own sinfulness.
Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from the age of 16 until 60. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat on Fridays are binding upon Catholics from age 14 onwards.
All Saturdays during Lent
In the Church.
Stations of the Cross - A Beautiful Payerful part of our Catholic Heritage
The Stations of the Cross which follow the path of Christ from Pontius Pilate’s praetorium to Christ’s tomb have been a popular devotion in parishes, especially during Lent and the preparation for Easter. In the 16th century, this pathway was officially entitled the Via Dolorosa (Sorrowful Way), or simply the Way of the Cross or Stations of the Cross.
This devotion has evolved over time. Tradition holds that our Blessed Mother visited daily the scenes of our Lord’s passion. After Constantine legalized Christianity in the year AD 313, this pathway was marked with its important stations. St. Jerome (342-420), living in Bethlehem during the latter part of his life, attested to the crowds of pilgrims from various countries who visited these holy places and followed the Way of the Cross.
The devotion continued to grow in popularity. In the fifth century, an interest developed in the Church to “reproduce” the holy places in other areas so pilgrims who could not actually travel to the Holy Land could do so in a devotional, spiritual way in their hearts. The number of stations has varied throughout its history.
To date, there are 14 traditional stations: A plenary indulgence is granted for those who piously exercise the Way of the Cross, actually moving from station to station where they are legitimately erected and while mediating on the passion and death of our Lord (Enchiridion of Indulgences, #63). Those who are impeded from visiting a church may gain the same indulgence by piously reading and meditating on the passion and death of our Lord for one -half hour. The continued importance of the stations in the devotional life of Catholics is attested by both Pope Paul VI who approved a gospel based version of the stations in 1975 and Pope John Paul II who has also written his own version.
Stations of the Cross are every Friday in Lent at St. John Neumann Church; in Spanish at 6:30 pm and in English at 7:30 pm Everyone is invited.
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