Thursday, February 14, 2013

Memento!

Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris. [Remember, man, that thou art dust, and  unto dust thou shalt return.]

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the start of the season of Lent in Holy Mother Church.

I served yesterday in the morning in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. I am glad I went then, not only because I loved serving (and missing class :) but because starting off any day, in particular a day of fasting, with the Holy Eucharist is a wonderful way to begin one's day.

I kindly borrow from a seminarian-who I think would like to remain anonymous- some insightful notes on Lent. He is always very thoughtful and insightful, and will be an excellent priest one day.


Today, is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the holy season of Lent, in which we prepare to celebrate the feasts of Holy Week and Easter Sunday. 
While today is not a Holy Day of Obligation, many will go to church today to receive ashes, a symbol of our sinfulness and need to come back to God (not that we are Catholic as is commonly thought).

The Collect (Opening Prayer) at Mass today:
Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting
this campaign of Christian service,
so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils,
we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Some helpful reminders:

Let us remember the 3 traditional disciplines of Lent:
1. Prayer- What am I going to do this Lent to pray more, or improve the quality of my prayer?
2. Fasting- What can I give up in my life on a permanent or temporary basis? This is a small sacrifice that we can do to unite ourselves with Christ suffering for us on the cross.
3. Charity- What can I do or give to help those in need? Consider giving more than just your excess funds or time, again to make it a sacrifice.

2 Obligations of Catholics during Lent:
1. Fasting- All Roman Catholics, from 18 years to those who have not reached their 60th, except those who are sick, must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. This means you are allowed two small meals, one larger meal, and no snacking.
2. Abstinence- All Roman Catholics 14 and above must abstain from meat on Fridays of Lent and on Ash Wednesday, meaning that you cannot have meat. Fish is allowed.

A good thing to do:
Please go to confession this Lent. All Catholics are obliged to go to confession at least once a year. This is a good thing to do during Lent. Consider starting to go more often, like every month or every two weeks. Many of us think we'll go right away if there is a major world catastrophe or right before we die. What if you don't get that chance? Now is the time to go. The more you go, the easier it gets!

The Collect (Opening Prayer) at Mass today:Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fastingthis campaign of Christian service,so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils,we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,one God, for ever and ever.
Some helpful reminders:
Let us remember the 3 traditional disciplines of Lent:1. Prayer- What am I going to do this Lent to pray more, or improve the quality of my prayer?2. Fasting- What can I give up in my life on a permanent or temporary basis? This is a small sacrifice that we can do to unite ourselves with Christ suffering for us on the cross.3. Charity- What can I do or give to help those in need? Consider giving more than just your excess funds or time, again to make it a sacrifice.
2 Obligations of Catholics during Lent:1. Fasting- All Roman Catholics, from 18 years to those who have not reached their 60th, except those who are sick, must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. This means you are allowed two small meals, one larger meal, and no snacking.2. Abstinence- All Roman Catholics 14 and above must abstain from meat on Fridays of Lent and on Ash Wednesday, meaning that you cannot have meat. Fish is allowed.
A good thing to do:Please go to confession this Lent. All Catholics are obliged to go to confession at least once a year. This is a good thing to do during Lent. Consider starting to go more often, like every month or every two weeks. Many of us think we'll go right away if there is a major world catastrophe or right before we die. What if you don't get that chance? Now is the time to go. The more you go, the easier it gets!

Wishing you all a Blessed Lenten Season! 
Might I add that the Most Reverend Gregory Aymond, the Archbishop of New Orleans, Louisiana says that alligator is allowed on Fridays! It is not a meat of the flesh, because it lives in the water, and thus does not fall under the definition of flesh (and if Fr. Erlenbush is right, this has to do with its then-assumed and now-known understanding that meats with their particular compositions lead men to sin.)


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