“…is essentially a gesture of humility, which means that I recognise myself for what I am: a fragile creature made of earth and destined to return to the earth, but also made in the image of God and destined to return to him.” (Benedict XVI)
The pope’s teaching is heard here…
In preparation for today, Ash Wednesday, pray with the readings for the day: Joel 2:12-18; Psalm 51, 12-13, 14 and 17; 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18. It is a great lenten practice to review and pray with the daily scripture readings during Lent by visiting the U.S. bishops’ website, www.usccb.org/bible/readings.
Asking Lord for forgiveness by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation and attending daily Mass.
Spending time with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is a superb spiritual practice. 15 minutes in quiet prayer is a true blessing. Time in silence and listening to the Lord and you talking with the Lord from your heart builds a relationship with Him.
Pray the Rosary.
Let’s pray for one another.
As taught by the Church and explained on the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’, lenten fasting and abstinence: fasting is obligatory for all who have completed their 18th year and have not yet reached their 60th year.
Fasting allows a person to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may be taken, not to equal one full meal. Abstinence (from meat) is obligatory for all who have reached their 14th year.
Fridays in Lent are obligatory days of complete abstinence (from meat) for all who have completed their 14th year.
You may want to participate in the U.S. bishops’ “First Fridays for Food Security.” On the first Fridays of every month, Catholics are encouraged to eat meals that cost only as much as allotted for a family of their size by the USDA Modified Thrifty Food Plan, which is used as the basis for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly called food stamps). This voluntary fasting is encouraged to deepen our compassion for and solidarity with neighbors who go without food.
You may want to participate in Catholic Relief Services’ Operation Rice Bowl, which collects donations to fund food security programs around the world. Collect and contribute to initiatives that bring clean water, agricultural expertise and alleviate hunger for the poor in more than 40 countries.
You want to make a donation to the Operation Rice Bowl. Visit www.orb.crs.org or call 1-866-608-5978 for information.
Gifts for your parish’s work with those in need and the poor are gratefully received by the parish. Most churches have the poor boxes at various points in the church are there for your convenience.
A donation for the faith formation and music programs at your parish’s is a worthy sacrifice.