Fasting during Lent
As Catholics, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence. Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. Obligatory, fasting and abstinence are not words that are often well-received in today's age! However, we also know that so many things in this day and age leave us feeling empty and unfulfilled. So if this is a practice you aren't familiar with, why not give it a shot? The following is information to help you explore why we fast and the benefits of fasting. Giving something up for lent is also briefly discussed.
What is Fasting?
To fast is to do without food...When we get hungry, we have a heightened sense of awareness. If, when we eat too much, we have a sluggish feeling, when we fast, we have a feeling of alertness. Fasting is a wonderful exercise whenever we want to sincerely ask for an important grace from God. It is not that our fasting "earns" God's attention, but by fasting, we clarify our thinking and our feeling. It is purifying and prepares us to pray more deeply. -From What is it to do fasting and abstinence? And, when do I do it?
Fasting is a spiritual exercise, and is primarily an action of the inner life. We do not fast to impress other people. We fast to cultivate the inner life. Fasting should be an occasion of joy, not a cause of sadness. Authentic fasting draws us nearer to God and opens our hearts to receive his many gifts. -From Dynamic Catholic
Lenten Regulations from Ash Wednesday to Easter
Abstinence from meat is to be observed by all Catholics 14 years old and older on Ash Wednesday and on all the Fridays of Lent. Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age but not yet 59. Those who are bound by this may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted if necessary to maintain strength according to one’s needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted.
Giving Something up for Lent
Lent is often a time when many give something up as a form of fasting. This Creighton University resource suggests that, instead of giving up something as we might have done as children, we instead begin by asking ourselves, "What would help me grow in freedom?" Perhaps it's giving up judging others or another bad habit. Maybe it is committing to regular prayer, or additional prayer for those who already have a regular prayer practice. Still for others, perhaps it is to abstain from Starbucks or weekly dinners out and then giving that money to the poor.
LENTEN CARBON FAST 2021
Each week we will add to this list so check back!
First Week of Lent - Fill out a Carbon Calculator
Second Week of Lent beginning February 28
This week to reduce your carbon footprint …Register to watch an environmental movie online from March 4 - 15!
It’s the 10th season of One Earth Film Festival. Learn more about this festival and see a list of the many films at: https://www.oneearthfilmfest.org/.
You'll find hope-filled films on an array of eco-topics. Gina’s pick: Kiss the Ground. It will inspire you about soil, food and significant, easy carbon-capturing solutions, shown on Sat. March 13 at 11 am. There are films for kids and some created by them, too - a wonderful family activity which opens up the discussion about your family’s Creation Care.
Third Week of Lent beginning March 7 - Look at Community Solar options
Fourth Week of Lent beginning March 14 - Plan your Climate Victory Veggie Garden
You’ll be so inspired and motivated by watching this 2-minute video on Climate Victory Gardens.
Fifth week of Lent beginning March 21 - Plan your Native Plants Garden
Sixth Week of Lent/Holy Week and Your Follow up After Easter
- If you haven’t planned your Climate Victory Veggie Garden, please do so now. If you don’t have land, start with some containers and/or see if you can help a neighbor with their garden. A great book to help is “How To Grow More Vegetables than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine” by John Jeavons
- Plan to add some milkweed to your garden to increase the Monarch butterfly population. Look for our milkweed seed share after Masses on weekend(s) after Easter (as supply allows. If you have viable milkweed seeds to share, put some seeds in small envelopes and add them to our sharing. Thanks).
- Have you considered joining one of the Community Solar programs?