Lent: 40 Days Closer to God
Whether we are ready or not, as they say, the Lenten season is upon us. Lent is a season of renewal and of drawing closer to the Lord, rather than just an exercise in discipline or a display of spiritual toughness. The idea of our Lenten penances, be those which are self-imposed (giving up something, or adding a spiritual exercise) or corporal (days of fast and abstinence) are opportunities for us to draw close to the Lord. The idea is that the person who is receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday should be a different person than the one who was sprinkled with Easter Water on Easter Sunday.
Speaking of Fast and Abstinence here are the norms of the Church:
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. The norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the “paschal fast” to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily his Resurrection. Obviously those with medical conditions (such as diabetes) and expectant mothers should follow the instructions of their physician in observance of the fast.
In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence from meat.
The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards. Catholics over 59 are still obliged to comply with the rules of abstinence. No meat other than seafood, or products made from meat (such as soups or broths) are to be taken.
You have many opportunities to draw closer to the Lord in Faith during this Lenten season here at St. Elizabeth Seton:
Daily Mass is always celebrated Monday-Saturday at 8:00 AM, in Addition, during Lent Daily Mass is celebrated Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:00PM
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament takes place every Tuesday evening with Praise and Worship. Our Adoration Chapel is also open weekdays from 9:00AM – 2:30PM During Lent, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed in the Church after the 8:00 AM Mass until Benediction at 5:45 PM for silent Adoration.
Confessions During Lent are heard on Monday from 4-5:45PM; Tuesday from 4-6:30PM; and Saturday at 8:30AM and 3:00PM
Stations of the Cross will be celebrated Bilingually every Friday at 6:45PM
Our Parish will host a Mercy Night for the Diocese with confessions heard with multiple confessors on March 25 at 7:00PM
Our parish Fish Fry, with an updated Menu and table service will be every Friday during Lent from 5:30-8:30PM (see page 9 for the details)
Lenten Prayer booklets are available to you in the Narthex with both English and Spanish editions.
As you can see, we have plenty of opportunities to pray, grow, and fellowship together in this blessed season of prayer, fasting, mercy, and renewal. -Padre Casey