Your attention, please: The pestilence and worldwide shut downs are happening right in the middle of the penitential season of Lent!

Sack cloth and ashes have apparently, gone out of style!

Those Massachusetts Bishops who dispensed Catholics from the requirement of abstaining from meat, on Fridays, during Lent (except for Good Friday) might have done much better (in light of the present, dire circumstances) to encourage more stringent personal prayer, fasting and alms giving, instead.

Don’t you think?

A walk down Self-Absorbed Promethean Neopelagian memory lane

eucharist C.0

A reader comment seen at The American Catholic website:

Michael Paterson-Seymour on Thursday, March 13, A.D. 2014 at 4:43am

I am just old enough to remember the days before Christus Dominus in 1953, when communicants were required to fast from midnight. Christus Dominus introduced a three-hour fast from solids and a one hour fast from beverages (other than water).

At that time, intending communicants usually attended an early mass, of which there was at least one and, often, several. Communion was not normally distributed at masses after 10 o’clock.. The missa cantata or high mass was normally at 11 o’clock. However, the change was introduced by Christus Dominus, not Sacrosanctum Concilium.

I recall the great reverence that the good sisters inculcated for the Eucharist. They taught us that that there is no difference between Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and Jesus Christ in heaven, except that here He is veiled, and there He is not. Accordingly, they insisted that there must be no other difference between the purity of those who receive Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and that of the blessed, than what exists between faith and the open vision of God. Many daily mass-goers only received weekly, or even monthly, after a period of several days’ preparation, self-examination and sacramental confession.

Link to site

It’s once again time for 40 Days for Life

40 Days for Life

What is 40 Days for Life?     

40 Days for Life Prayer Vigil is a wonderful ‘ life saving’ opportunity to join with our community and hundreds of cities around the world in prayer, fasting and keeping a peaceful vigil in front of a place where children are killed by abortion. Through God, and your prayers and fasting, 40 Days for Life has saved more than 7,536 lives from abortion.  It has led to the conversion of clinic workers and has seen many abortion facilities close forever.

“We often forget the incredible power of prayer and loving witness, but 40 Days for Life reminds us of the fruits of dialogue with the Lord.”

How Can I Help?

Please sign up to pray for an hour or more at Access Health Center at 1700 75th Street in Downers Grove by visiting www.40daysforlife.com/downersgrove and clicking on “Vigil Schedule”.  The Fall 40 Days for Life campaign runs from Wednesday, September 25th through Sunday, November 3rd, from 7am-7pm each day.  Reserve your spot today!

If you can’t come out to the vigil site, private prayer and fasting are also ways in which you can be a part of 40 Days for Life.

Thank you for choosing to protect the most vulnerable of God’s creation!

Questions??? E-mail us at 40DaysDG@gmail.com.

For information about other west suburban prayer vigil locations, visit www.40daysforlife.com/glenellyn and www.40daysforlife.com/aurora.

9 things you might want to know about Lent

JesusDesert

Link

“Sir, it’s going to take a pretty thick rug for that kind of praying.”

“Sir, it’s going to take a pretty thick rug for that kind of praying.”
(Preacher’s response to WWII General George Patton’s prayer request,
which was subsequently granted.)

Now we come to another prayer request … not from a military general … but from Father Ryan Erlenbush, at The New Theological Movement website … which will also require “a pretty thick rug”:

I propose that, during the month of May, we join together in a campaign for the family Rosary. To promote the family Rosary, we would do well to begin with a month of prayer. I suggest that, through a joint spiritual effort, we offer prayers every day during May for the renewal of the family Rosary and in preparation for an active Family Rosary Campaign in which we would engage during the month of October (the Month of the Rosary).

If you have a blog, or a facebook page or twitter account, please consider promoting this Family Rosary Campaign!

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Lent 2012 website

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Exorcist priest provides tips for defeating the forces of darkness.

He reminds people that exorcism is a prayer and, as such, Christians can pray to liberate a soul or place from the Devil. However, three things are needed.

“The Lord gave them (the Apostles) an answer that also for us exorcists is very important. He said that overcoming this type of demon, you need much faith, much prayer and much fasting. Faith, prayer and fasting.”

“Especially faith, you need so much faith. Many times also in the healings, Jesus does not say in the Gospel it is me who has healed you. He says, you are healed thanks to your faith. He wants faith in the people, a strong and absolute faith. Without faith you can do nothing.”

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The Six Precepts of the Catholic Church

1.  To respectfully and devoutly assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on all Sundays and Holydays of Obligation.

 2.  To fast and abstain on the days appointed.

 3.  To go to Confession at least once a year during the Easter Season.

 4.  To receive the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist at least once a year during the Easter Season.

 5.  To contribute financially (i.e. give money) to the support of the Catholic Church.

 6. To never violate the laws concerning the Sacrament of Matrimony.

Holy Week: Holy Saturday

73. On Holy Saturday the Church is, as it were, at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on his passion and death, and on his descent into hell,75 and awaiting his resurrection with prayer and fasting. It is highly recommended that on this day the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer be celebrated with the participation of the people (cf. n. 40).76 Where this cannot be done, there should be some celebration of the Word of God, or some act of devotion suited to the mystery celebrated this day.

74. The image of Christ crucified or lying in the tomb, or the descent into hell, which mystery Holy Saturday recalls, as also an image of the sorrowful Virgin Mary can be placed in the church for the veneration of the faithful.

75. On this day the Church abstains strictly from the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass.77 Holy Communion may only be given in the form of Viaticum. The celebration of marriages is forbidden, as also the celebration of other sacraments, except those of Penance and the Anointing of the Sick.

76. The faithful are to be instructed on the special character of Holy Saturday.78 Festive customs and traditions associated with this day on account of the former practice of anticipating the celebration of Easter on Holy Saturday should be reserved for Easter night and the day that follows.

Link

Holy Week: Good Friday

58. On this day, when “Christ our passover was sacrificed,”63 the Church meditates on the passion of her Lord and Spouse, adores the cross, commemorates her origin from the side of Christ asleep on the cross, and intercedes for the salvation of the whole world.

59. On this day, in accordance with ancient tradition, the Church does not celebrate the Eucharist: Holy Communion is distributed to the faithful during the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion alone, though it may be brought at any time of the day to the sick who cannot take part in the celebration.64

60. Good Friday is a day of penance to be observed as of obligation in the whole Church, and indeed through abstinence and fasting.65

61. All celebration of the sacraments on this day is strictly prohibited, except for the sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the Sick.66 Funerals are to be celebrated without singing, music, or the tolling of bells.

62. It is recommended that on this day the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer be celebrated with the participation of the people in the churches (cf. n. 40).

63. The Celebration of the Lord’s Passion is to take place in the afternoon, at about three o’clock. The time will be chosen which seems most appropriate for pastoral reasons in order to allow the people to assemble more easily, for example shortly after midday, or in the late evening, however not later than nine o’clock.67

64. The Order for the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion (the Liturgy of the Word, the adoration of the cross, and Holy Communion), that stems from an ancient tradition of the Church, should be observed faithfully and religiously, and may not be changed by anyone on his own initiative.

65. The priest and ministers proceed to the altar in silence and without any singing. If any words of introduction are to be said, they should be pronounced before the ministers enter.

The priest and ministers make a reverence to the altar prostrating themselves. This act of prostration, which is proper to the rite of the day, should be strictly observed, for it signifies both the abasement of “earthly man,”68 and also the grief and sorrow of the Church.

As the ministers enter the faithful should be standing, and thereafter should kneel in silent prayer.

66. The readings are to be read in their entirety. The responsorial psalm and the chant before the Gospel are to be sung in the usual manner. The narrative of the Lord’s passion according to John is sung or read in the way prescribed for the previous Sunday (cf. n. 33). After the reading of the passion a homily should be given, at the end of which the faithful may be invited to spend a short time in meditation.69

67. The General Intercessions are to follow the wording and form handed down by ancient tradition maintaining the full range of intentions so as to signify clearly the universal effect of the passion of Christ, who hung on the cross for the salvation of the whole world. In case of grave public necessity the local Ordinary may permit or prescribe the adding of special intentions.70

In this event the priest is permitted to select from the prayers of the Missal those more appropriate to local circumstances, in such a way however that the series follows the rule for General Intercessions.71

68. For veneration of the cross, let a cross be used that is of appropriate size and beauty, and let one of the forms for this rite as found in the Roman Missal be followed. The rite should be carried out with the splendor worthy of the mystery of our salvation: both the invitation pronounced at the unveiling of the cross, and the people’s response should be made in song, and a period of respectful silence is to be observed after each act of veneration—the celebrant standing and holding the raised cross.

69. The cross is to be presented to each of the faithful individually for their adoration since the personal adoration of the cross is a most important feature in this celebration; only when necessitated by the large numbers of faithful present should the rite of veneration be made simultaneously by all present.72

Only one cross should be used for the veneration, as this contributes to the full symbolism of the rite. During the veneration of the cross the antiphons, “Reproaches,” and hymns should be sung, so that the history of salvation be commemorated through song.73 Other appropriate songs may also be sung (cf. n. 42).

70. The priest sings the invitation to the Lord’s Prayer which is then sung by all. The sign of peace is not exchanged. The Communion Rite is as described in the Missal.

During the distribution of Communion, Psalm 21 or another suitable song may be sung. When Communion has been distributed the pyx is taken to a place prepared for it outside of the church.

71. After the celebration, the altar is stripped; the cross remains however, with four candles. An appropriate place (for example, the chapel of repose used for reservation of the Eucharist on Maundy Thursday) can be prepared within the church, and there the Lord’s cross is placed so that the faithful may venerate and kiss it, and spend some time in meditation.

72. Devotions such as the “Way of the Cross,” processions of the passion, and commemorations of the sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary are not, for pastoral reasons, to be neglected. The texts and songs used, however, should be adapted to the spirit of the Liturgy of this day. Such devotions should be assigned to a time of day that makes it quite clear that the Liturgical celebration by its very nature far surpasses them in importance.74 

Link

The Stations of the Cross

Lenten Regulations for the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois


No meat allowed:
Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent.
Applies only to those over the age of 14.

Fasting – eating only one full meal per day:
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Applies only to those from 18 to 59 years of age.
Two other meals, sufficient to maintain strength,
may be taken according to each one’s needs,
but together they should not equal another full meal.
Eating between meals is not permitted on these two days,
but liquids, including water, milk, and fruit juices, are allowed.

When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.

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

The Bottom Line:
Eat only one, meatless meal on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Abstain from meat (while otherwise, eating normally) on every other Friday, and you should be good to go,
for the next 40 days.

Sundays are not part of Lent. Eat what you want!

Doctor Denton Details Simple Fasting Techniques and Related Benefits

A few simple recommendations:

Follow our Lenten calendar. Make Fridays, perhaps even Wednesday, your days to fast.

Start slowly – no meat. Then extend this to a low carbohydrate/ low fat day with water, a small piece of fish, honey on whole grain bread, a spinach salad with olive oil and a touch of vinegar.

Drink water over coffee, soda, or fruit drinks. If you need something else, or your caffeine headache is kicking in, the answer is tea. Try green tea as the primary choice followed by herbal teas or fruit teas such as lemon tea, hot apple spice or chamomile.

Remember prayer time in the morning to set the right priorities. Start the day right and you will finish right. A little walk in the evening or even midday will ward off those urges for sweets.

The truth is, fasting is extremely healthy for the body if the fast is not extreme. By that I mean not performed for days or weeks at a time.

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Like Jesus Christ’s 40 days of fasting in the desert … Lent is preparation for our Catholic mission.


Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, is a time of personal penance and conversion.

During this 40-day period, Catholics typically fast and abstain from various foods, as well as certain activities, while adopting other traditional practices, with the general intention of:

1) Honoring Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.

2) Advancing in our own personal struggle against the forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

3) Helping to make the world a bit more like Heaven.

Cutting back on television and other forms of popular entertainment, while meditating more frequently on the birth, public life, and Passion of Jesus Christ, we hope to better appreciate all that God does for us, and greatly benefit from the example of the only perfect human ever to walk the earth.

Fasting and abstaining from certain foods, we soon begin to reassert a certain mastery over the desires of our flesh.

Shortly confronted by what should now be an obvious “hole” in our normal, everyday schedule, we prudently “fill” that time with prayer.

Praying … we strive to hear the voice of God.

What is that “voice” telling us?

Listen frequently (and very carefully) over the next 40 days and 40 nights, and then you’ll know.

It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

On-line Resources for Lent

Jerusalem patriarch hopes prayer and fasting will ease drought

Jerusalem, Israel, Dec 1, 2010 / 03:22 am (CNA).- The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, has asked Christians in the Holy Land to join in prayer and fasting for the relief of a seven-year drought.

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Why Do Catholics (like Jesus) Fast and Abstain?


The Church speaks of the three pillars of Lent – Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving – because there is a strong connection, or there should be, between the three. Fasting and other forms of self-denial, as spiritual practices of materially subduing and controlling the physical appetites of the body, helps us, by God’s grace, to enable the soul to more perfectly and freely pray.  This leads to a deeper union with God and thus we become better stewards of the gifts God has given to us, freeing us to more effectively care for our neighbor, especially those in greater than we. When I was a small boy, my mother would encourage me (it’s probably more accurate to say she required me) during Lent to give up things I would normally buy with my allowance.  The money I saved could and would be used to assist those less fortunate we were.

God gave our first parents, Adam and Eve many gifts and blessings that were in a sense before their nature and, therefore, before our’s too. We know that Adam and Eve possessed Sanctifying Grace, infused with the supernatural virtues of faith, hope and charity. This is what is meant when you hear the phrase, “Adam and Eve were created in a state of original justice.” They were created for a supernatural end or purpose… to attain heaven and an everlasting communion with God. They were also given certain gifts, called preternatural gifts, that would enable them to continue their “walk with God” – (1) bodily immortality, (2) integrity, and (3) infused knowledge.

But they were also allowed by God to be tempted by the devil, not so that they would sin, but so that they could freely choose to love God who created them freely and in freedom.  Their free will would not have been free at all if there was never an opportunity for them to choose anything other than the Good which is God. If they had chosen God over the serpent, these gifts would have been passed on to us an our inheritance, but we know they sinned and lost these gifts, therefore, we, their descendants, could not receive what they no longer possessed to pass on.

Read part one of this article

Read part two of this article

Seen on the web: Golden Rules for F***ING

1. F***ING once a week is good for health but it’s harmful if done everyday.

2. F***ING gives proper relaxation to mind and body.

3. F***ING refreshes you.

4. After F***ING, don’t take heavy food. Opt for liquids only.

5. F***ING can even reduce your cholesterol levels.


F A S T I N G … combined with PRAYER  …

has always been a time-honored way of seeking God.

Cheating on Lenten sacrifice no sin

For those who do sacrifice to get closer to God, what matters is effort, not perfection, said the Rev. Michael Watson of St. Andrew Parish, a Catholic church in Upper Arlington.

“Because we’re prone to human weakness from time to time, it doesn’t mean the end of the world,” he said.

Slipping up is not a sin unless the action you committed is itself a sin, he said.

So if you swore off alcohol and had one cocktail, that’s not a sin. But if you had five and got drunk, you probably committed the sin of immoderation, whether it’s Lent or not.

People who slip sometimes tell the Rev. Jerry Rodenfels of the Church of the Resurrection in New Albany, as if they have to confess their misdeeds.

He tells them “not to worry. It’s not a sin,” he said. But they still feel bad.

“For those of us who are older, there’s something instilled in us called Catholic guilt,” Rodenfels said, laughing.

Churchgoers also debate whether they can “cheat” on Sundays, because those days technically aren’t included in the 40 days of Lent.

The priests say you can. Sunday is, as Rodenfels called it, a “free” day.

That’s because Sunday is the weekly joyful celebration of Christ’s resurrection, said Leo Madden, a professor of theology at Ohio Dominican University.

“It is incompatible for a period of time marked by sacrifice to occur at the same time,” Madden said. “Technically speaking, Sunday is not a day of Lent.”

Read the article

On Fasting, St. John Chrysostom, a Greek Father of the Church

Fasting is the change of every part of our life, because the sacrifice of the fast is not the abstinence but the distancing from sins. Therefore, whoever limits the fast to the deprivation of food, he is the one who, in reality, abhors and ridicules the fast. Are you fasting? Show me your fast with your works. Which works? If you see someone who is poor, show him mercy. If you see an enemy, reconcile with him. If you see a friend who is becoming successful, do not be jealous of him! If you see a beautiful woman on the street, pass her by.

In other words, not only should the mouth fast, but the eyes and the legs and the arms and all the other parts of the body should fast as well.

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Perhaps the only thing wackier than the USCCB is the California Catholic Conference

New Covenant of  Jesus Christ Evidently Not Good Enough.

California’s bishops suggest a newer one: “Reduce your carbon footprint”

In its latest Public Policy Insights newsletter, emailed to subscribers on Feb. 12, the Catholic Legislative Network is recommending a new way to observe Lent, which begins tomorrow. The newsletter is produced by the California Catholic Conference, the lobbying arm of the state’s bishops.

“As the Lenten season arrives, the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change has provided Catholics, schools and organizations with more tools and resources for its annual Catholic Climate Covenant,” says the newsletter. “The Coalition was formed three and a half years ago to help implement the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) 2001 initiative ‘Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good.’ Launched last year, the Covenant revolves around the St. Francis Pledge, which correlates five key actions — pray, learn, assess, act and advocate — to the issues of the environment and poverty.”

Read more at California Catholic Daily

Don’t Waste Lent

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, President, Human Life International

First, begin with the end in mind; that is, remember for what it is that we prepare! The historical events of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our blessed Lord Jesus were anticipated by the People of Israel wandering forty years in the desert and by Jesus’ own forty days of prayer and fasting in the desert. We can surely spend a little time in a “desert” of self-renunciation, fasting and prayer to prepare our souls to enter into the Paschal Mystery, the greatest of all gifts that touch our lives. Acts of self-abnegation are not ends in themselves; they are means to the end of becoming more pure in our relationship with God and man.

Second, stay simple; that is, don’t load yourself down with too many spiritual exercises or intentions that may discourage you if you run too fast out into the desert. While I am all for heroism in religious practices, I am also realistic about the power of the world, the flesh and the devil to undermine our best efforts. This is why the Church gives us very minimal and, quite frankly, rather easy “penitential” practices in Lent: required fasting is only on two days (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday; guaranteed, these won’t kill anyone!), abstinence from meat is only on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent (a modest inconvenience for any active person) and our “Easter duty” (Communion at Eastertime and sacramental confession as needed before that). Despite its minimal rigor, though, the Church makes sure that the penitential dimension of this season remains intact. Each person can invest himself in penitential practices beyond this, but make sure you are diligent about the very basics that the Church requires, for obedience is the first of the virtues in religion.

Finally, go for high spiritual impact. That is, identify and practice faithfully just one really magnificent goal for your personal conversion this Lent. I say conversion and not “personal improvement” lest anyone interpret the call to spiritual discipline as a chance to lose weight or quit smoking! What Lent demands of us is to look into our vicious, slothful and petty nature and challenge it with the full prophetic force of the Gospel. A well-intentioned person who stacks up a dozen goals for personal change but accomplishes few or none of them is not a better person at the end of Lent. He is more scattered, less disciplined and under a the illusion of false piety thinking that he is doing something holy by multiplying activities without transforming his heart. In contrast, the one who targets his habit of petty backbiting with a shock-and-awe campaign of generosity toward those he finds disagreeable is the one who receives a blessing from the Lord because he acts like John the Baptist who Jesus said “took the Kingdom by storm.” Any mature person will know that a single, firm and effective intention to convert one’s heart is worth more than a thousand acts of superficial piety.

Focus on the goal, remain simple and obedient, go for true conversion of heart – those who resolve to walk through Lent with these intentions will reap the benefit of conformity to Christ when we finally arrive at the High Holy Days of our blessed Faith.

Submitted by Nancy W.