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The Journey Begins...

Lent is here. We've got you covered. 

Join us for a journey through Lent and open your heart to transformation. Sign-up to receive weekly content, resources, and videos which will support and renew you throughout the Lenten Season.

Transform your heart through fasting

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Lent reflects the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert fasting and praying before his public ministry began. While Moses (Exodus 34:28) fasted to prepare for God's revelation, Jesus took it a step further by doing the practice out of love.

"Jesus' mission to announce and bring the kingdom of God begins with a complete and total self-gift to the Father, in love, through fasting," according to Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia. For Christians, "fasting is not only a bodily expression of our need for God; the practice itself is a pathway which can lead us to the reality of God's kingdom."

Lenten Regulations

The following is from the Office of the Vicar General:

Lent is the principal penitential season in the Church year. All the Christian faithful are urged to develop and maintain a voluntary program of self-denial (in addition to the Lenten regulations which follow), serious prayer and the performing of deeds of charity and mercy, including the giving of alms.

Abstinence - Everyone 14 years of age and over is bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent.

Fast - Everyone 18 years of age and under 59 is required to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On these two days of fast and abstinence, only one full meatless meal is permitted. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength may be taken according to each person's needs, but together these two should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids (including milk and fruit juices) are allowed.

To disregard completely the law of fast and abstinence is seriously sinful.

Caring for the Least Among Us

The demand for Christians to be charitable is a frequent theme in the Gospels. During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on almsgiving, which means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that "giving alms to the poor is a witness to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God." (no. 2462)

The following offers just a few ways to donate to those in need.

 CRS Rice Bowl — What you give up for Lent changes lives. Grab a rice bowl at your parish or school and drop your spare change in it during Lent. Your change brings life-saving change to people in developing countries and at home because 25 percent of the money collected stays in Illinois to help those in need. Download the CRS Rice Bowl App or learn how this program fits into Lent by watching the "What is Lent?" video series. 

© 1997-2022 Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

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