Archbishop Prendergast’s message for Lent

A beautiful message, now posted on his blog. An excerpt:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

For years Catholics have been asking each other as Lent approaches: What are you doing for Lent?  What are you giving up? This year, don’t ask what you can do for Lent; ask, rather what Lent can do for you!  The graces of Lent, you see, are all God’s doing.  All we need to do is open ourselves to them.

Some well known practices of Lent are highlighted in the gospel of Ash Wednesday: prayer, fasting and almsgiving (see Matthew 6.1-6, 16-18).

The Church encourages Catholics to make the entire Lenten season a period of discipline with attention to personal prayer, participation in Mass and the observance of fasting (only one full meal that day) and abstinence (not eating meat that day).

In Lent, there is obligatory fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and abstinence on the other Fridays.  These are the basics for everyone and I ask you to observe these traditional practices.

This year, I ask all in the Church of Ottawa to build on these in order to deepen our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ—what is known as the Paschal Mystery—and so strengthen our relationship with the Lord.

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