Question of the Week: Can you think of someone you know whose trust in God is total? Can you imitate them?
Dear Parishioners of OLM & OLS:
I’m back! [It really is an illusion. I hope by next Sunday to feel human again and realize what time zone I am in!]
Just like in most athletic events, there is a warm up time prior to the actual athletic completion, so too, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this week are our warm up time for the Season of Lent!
On Ash Wednesday, I often feel that some, who come to Church on this day of penance, consider the blessed ashes more sacred than the Most Holy Eucharist. Yes, the reception of ashes on our foreheads is a long standing, time honored, and spiritual practice. However, presenting ourselves for the imposition of ashes is not equal to the reception of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist. They are not equal by the farthest stretch of any liturgical imagination. Ashes are a SACRAMENTAL. The Eucharist is a SACRAMENT.
The reception of ashes is an outward sign of our inward determination to admit to our personal sinfulness and our honest resolution to set forth on a path of reformation and renewal.
This is a time for each of us to seriously reflect upon our Baptismal Promises. Do I really reject Satan? And all his works? And all his empty promises? Does my life proclaim my belief in the Trinitarian life of our God begun within me in Baptism?
These serious questions are the grist of the Season of Lent. On Easter Sunday we will have the opportunity to renew publicly these commitments. Without the work of Lent, our Easter Renewal will be simply empty words.
Let us join together on our journey from the reception of ashes this Wednesday, to the renewal of our baptism on Easter Sunday, to our empowerment by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost!
A blessed Lenten Season to all!
My love and my prayers,
Archdiocese of Newark 2014 Lenten Regulations
1. The days of both fast and abstinence during Lent are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The other Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence. On a day of fast only one full meal is permitted. Those between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast. On a day of abstinence, no meat may be eaten. Those who have reached the age of 14 are obliged by the law of abstinence.
2. The obligation to observe the laws of fast and abstinence “substantially”, or as a whole, is a serious obligation.
3. The Fridays of the year, outside of Lent, are designated as days of penance, but each individual may substitute for the traditional abstinence from meat some other practice of voluntary self-denial as penance.
4. The time for fulfilling the Paschal Precept ((Easter Duty*) extends from the first Sunday of Lent, February 17, 2013 to the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, May 26, 2013.
*Canon 920,1. All the faithful, after they have been initiated into the most Holy Eucharist, are bound by the obligation of receiving communion at least once a year communion at least once a year.