Saturday, 24 February 2024
Lent PDF Print E-mail

altThe Season of Lent

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends with the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. . .

altFor 40 days Jesus fasted and prepared to proclaim the Good News. Long before Jesus, Moses and Elijah had their 40-day fasts. It rained on the earth and on Noah's ark for 40 days, and the earth had a new beginning. And for 40 years the people of Israel wandered in the wilderness, journeying towards the Promised Land. In Sacred Scripture, the number "40" means that something important is taking place.

altIn our Northern Hemisphere, Lent begins in winter. But when the Forty Days are over, we know that the warmth and new life of spring are surely coming. We enter Lent with ashes on our heads, and for Forty Days we fast in various ways, perhaps by eating less food or foregoing treats. We give alms, which means that we find ways to share what we have, our time and our goods. And these Forty Days have their own ways for us to pray and sing (but without ever singing "alleluia", for that word waits for Easter). In these ways we remember our Baptism, and so try to grow more deeply in the Christian life.

Each Sunday during Lent we listen to some of the most important stories in the Gospels, and we pray for the people who will be baptized on the greatest night of the year, when we celebrate the great Vigil of Easter.

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What is Lent?

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"In this favourable season, then, may we allow ourselves to be led like Israel into the desert, so that we can at last hear our Spouse’s voice and allow it to resound ever more deeply within us. The more fully we are engaged with his word, the more we will experience the mercy he freely gives us. May we not let this time of grace pass in vain, in the foolish illusion that we can control the times and means of our conversion to him."  POPE FRANCIS  (Full Message)

"Lent is a privileged time of interior pilgrimage towards Him who is the fount of mercy. It is a pilgrimage in which He Himself accompanies us through the desert of our poverty, sustaining us on our way towards the intense joy of Easter. . ." BENEDICT XVI

The Call to Confession

Ash Wednesday in Rome 2012


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