Principal’s Message: Week of February 7, 2016
5th Week of Ordinary Time
Fasting and Abstinence During Lent
Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. In addition, all Catholics, 14 years and older must abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent.
Fasting as explained by the United States Catholic Bishops means partaking of only one full meal. Some food (not equaling another full meal) is permitted at breakfast and around midday or in the evening- depending on when a person chooses to eat the main meal. Abstinence forbids the eating of meat, but not of eggs, milk products or condiments made of animal fat.
Not eating meat on Friday remains a significant part of Catholic practice, and we are called to abstain from meat on the Fridays during Lent. This serves both as a discipline and as a reminder of this sacred season which invites us to conversion. There are new reasons why this practice has additional meaning for us today.
We are urged to change the ways we use the resources of our earth. One aspect of our American culture is eating beef and it is important to know about the resources it takes to raise cattle.
Raising beef takes significantly more resources than pork or chicken in land and water. Cattle require land either to graze or for their feed to be grown, both of which demand vast amounts of space and water. By some estimates, raising beef takes 28 times more land than pork or chicken and 11 times more water. This is land and water that could produce significantly more food in pork, chicken, or even vegetables if used more efficiently. Some studies have even suggested that eating less beef could actually be more beneficial to the environment than decreasing your driving! [ These figures come from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences http://www.pnas.org/content/111/33/11996 ]
A Prayer for a Fast Day:
Lord Jesus Christ,
May our Lenten fasting turn us toward all our
brothers and sisters who are in need.
Bless this table, our good food, and ourselves.
Send us through Lent with good cheer and bring us
to the fullness of your Passover.
Online Resources for Lent
40 Days, 40 Ways
The Doorway to Mercy
Pope Francis has declared this year as the Year of Mercy... This day-by-day booklet helps you focus on the theme of mercy during this Lenten season: both God's mercy to us, and the call for us to show mercy to others.
Hear what Pope Francis is asking from us and contemplate the Scripture readings of Lent as never before with short passages from The Message:
Catholic/Ecumenical Edition, a new Bible translation that talks like we do. The words practically jump off the page, inviting us into conversion, prayer, action, and a recognition of God’s great mercy.
What is Ash Wednesday?
Lenten Audio Conversations
Daily Prayers during Lent: