21 February 2007

Today is Ash Wednesday

This is the start of the Lenten Season, a time for Catholics to renew their faith through penance, abstinence, and re-connect with the Gospel.

Ash Wednesday is marked with the faithful having a cross on their forehead made of ash, with the priest saying "repent and believe in the Gospel."

On this day, those aged 18 thru 60 will fast. But it's not completely not taking in any bit of food or drink; having one full meal, eating lightly for the two other meals, and eliminating morning, afternoon, and midnight snacks can be considered fasting. But if circumstances do not allow you to fast (such as an illness), then you are exempted.

Those aged 14 and above will abstain from meat as well. Abstinence from smoking, drinking and other forms of worldly indulgences are encouraged as well.

And when you fast, do not go about your business with a face like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Groom your hair, wash your face, and smile. For things that are done in secret (like charity work) are seen by our Lord, and he blesses you.

Have a meaningful Holy Week, everyone.
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