Fasting and Abstinence in Lent
February 14, 2018
It is a traditional doctrine of Christian spirituality that a constituent part of repentance, of turning away from sin and back to God, includes some form of penance, without which the Christian is unlikely to remain on the narrow path and be saved (Jer. 18:11, 25:5; Ez. 18:30, 33:11-15; Joel 2:12; Mt. 3:2; Mt. 4:17; Acts 2:38). Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). The general law of penance, therefore, is part of the law of God for man.
The Church for her part has specified certain forms of penance, both to ensure that the Catholic will do something, as required by divine law, while making it easy for Catholics to fulfill the obligation. Thus, the 1983 Code of Canon Law specifies the obligations of Latin Rite Catholics [Eastern Rite Catholics have their own penitential practices as specified by the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches].
Canon 1250: All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the entire Church.
Canon 1251: Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Canon 1252: All persons who have completed their fourteenth year are bound by the law of abstinence; all adults are bound by the law of fast up to the beginning of their sixtieth year. Nevertheless, pastors and parents are to see to it that minors who are not bound by the law of fast and abstinence are educated in an authentic sense of penance.
Canon 1253: It is for the conference of bishops to determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence and to substitute in whole or in part for fast and abstinence other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.
The Church, therefore, has two forms of official penitential practices - three if the Eucharistic fast of one hour before Communion is included.
1. Everyone 14 years of age or older is bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays in Lent including GOOD FRIDAY.
2. Everyone 18 years of age and under 60 years of age is bound to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. (Above 60 is optional. If they are able they can do it for spiritual nourishment).
3. On these two days of fast and abstinence only one full meatless meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal one full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted on these two days, but liquids, including milk and fruit juices, are allowed. When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.
4. To disregard completely the law of fast and abstinence is a serious matter.
5. Going to Mass every Sunday, doing acts of charity, forgiveness, and good deeds of virtue are obligations of daily life of Catholics especially during Lent.
Still have questions? Email Fr. Jose today.
Make a Mass Offering for a Loved One
January 12, 2018
Did you know?
By virtue of the “communion of saints,” the Church commends the dead to God’s mercy and offers her prayers -- especially the holy sacrifice of the Eucharist -- on their behalf. (Catechism of the Catholic Church).
This practice dates as far back as Judas collecting a sin-offering for the dead, making an atonement so they might be delivered from their sin. (2 Maccabees 12:39-45).
Masses may also be offered for the intentions of the living, or in thanksgiving.
Would you like to have a Mass offered for a loved one’s intentions or to remember someone who has passed away? If you have a specific date in mind, please contact the parish office (306-522-8583) well in advance of that date so you will not be disappointed.
January 2, 2018
My Dear Brother and Sisters in Christ
May the joy and peace of this Christmas remain with you forever...
The angels sing "Glory to God in the highest, and peace to people of good will." The angels proclaim that the transformation of the world has begun. The presence of God is in the world in a way that people can see, hear, feel and touch, as St. John would proclaim in his First Letter. People now share an intimate presence of God through Jesus Christ. "I write this so that your joy may be complete," St. John says, "It is right for us to sing, ‘Joy to the world’." Jesus came to bring joy. But where is this joy to be found? It is found in our freedom as daughters and sons of God. Over and over again we read about this freedom. When the shepherds heard the message they said, "Let us go to Bethlehem and see it for ourselves." The life of the Christian is a journey of discovery. It involves coming to find out for myself the truth and the reality of what I had been told by my parents, teachers, or preachers in church. I have to cross that bridge. The gospel is in between two phrases. At the beginning, we are invited to "Come and see," and, at the end, we are instructed to "Go and tell."
I want to quote Pope Francis’ words: "Christmas is you, when you decide to be born again each day and let God into your soul. The Christmas decorations are you, when your virtues are colors that adorn your life. You are also a Christmas light, when you illuminate with your life the path of others with kindness, patience, joy and generosity. The Christmas angels are you, when you sing to the world a message of peace, justice and love. The Christmas star is you, when lead someone to meet the Lord. The Christmas gift is you, when you are truly a friend and brother of every human being. The Christmas greeting is you, when you forgive and re-establish peace, even when you suffer."
When we focus our lives on Jesus, we each become the person that God created us to be. Together we be-come the People of God. What we celebrate today is the birth of the Prince of Freedom, the birth of the Prince of Peace.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A GRACE FILLED NEW YEAR
Fr. Jose Periyilkatte