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Journey with us this Lent as we choose, courage, faith, hope, freedom and charity. Check back each week for our series of 6 stories that will challenge you and 6 challenges that will change you!

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Story of St. Gianna
St. Gianna's Challenge
CHOOSE ... Faith
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Lenten Reflections

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.

© 1997-2021 Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

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