The season of Lent is a Catholic liturgical season consisting of forty days of fasting, prayer, and penitence beginning at Ash Wednesday and concluding at sundown on Holy Thursday. The official liturgical colour for the season of Lent is violet. It's a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord's Resurrection at Easter.
During Lent, we seek the Lord in prayer by reading Sacred Scripture; we serve by giving alms; and we practice self-control through fasting.
We are called during Lent not only to abstain from something but to a true inner conversion of heart as we seek to follow Christ's will more faithfully.
In an attempt to help Catholics do at least a minimum during Lent, the Catholic Church asks all Catholics to fast and abstain from meat on certain days.
Fasting means limiting food to one full meal a day with the possibility of two smaller meals as needed.
Abstinence means not eating meat, although fish is allowed. In addition, Catholics are required to observe all days of fasting and abstinence, which is one of the precepts of the Church.
Those 14 years of age or older are to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent.
Catholics between the ages of 16 and 59 are also to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. They may eat one full meal on these days and two small meals to maintain strength. The two small meals must not equal the size of one full meal.
If one's work or health makes it inadvisable to fast or abstain from meat, they are not obligated to do so.
This includes mental health: Fasting may be harmful to someone who struggles with an eating disorder. Such a person might do an alternate penance on the days of fasting.
Pregnant and nursing women are exempt from the fast.
Giving alms is another way to share God's gifts, not only through the distribution of money but through sharing our time and talents out of love.
Have a blessed Lent