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Lent :The Law of Fasting and Abstinence in the Catholic Church.

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Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian Calendar.Beginning on Ash Wednesday,Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter.By observing the 40 days of Lent,Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days.

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The fourth commandment of the Catholic Church is "You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence."

Let me break it down so that you can understand more about the Lent Season and how it is connected with Fasting and Abstinence.


√Fasting days are days on which we are allowed to take only one full meal.

√The official fasting days are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

√The law of fasting binds those who have completed their eighteenth year till the beginning of the sixtieth year.

√Those who cannot keep the law of fasting without considerable difficulty of health,work or school are excused. The faithful are however urged not to excuse themselves too easily from this obligation,but substitute somehow with any other type of fasting.(Is 58 :3 - 7). They may include; watching TV , using your mobile phone.Basically refraining yourself.

√It is fitting that on the two prescribed days(Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) of fasting we unite ourselves in a special manner with the Passion and Death of our Lord by a more intense form of Penance.(reconciliation).

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√Days of abstinence are days in which we are forbidden to take any meat.

√Days of abstinence are Ash Wednesday,Good Friday and all the Fridays in Lent.This is because Jesus Christ gave his flesh on the cross on a Friday.On Good Friday!

√The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year.

However,the new code of Canon Law (rules and ordinances governing the Christian Community) has left it to the Episcopal Conference to determine,in place of abstinence,other forms of Penance,especially works of Charity and Exercise of Piety.


•Missing any one meal; breakfast,lunch or supper.

•Taking strictly pure vegetarian meals.

•Abstaining from alcohol and smoking.

•Avoiding all beverages like tea or coffee or sweet drinks between meals.

•Avoiding film,television and other forms of recreation on the day of abstinence.

•Giving 10% of one's daily basic wage in charity on the day of abstinence.(Hag 1 : 6.9 - 10)

•Attending Holy Mass, or making the Way of The Cross , or a visit to the Blessed Sacrament:or daily meditative reading of the Bible about the Passion of our Lord.

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During Lent,many Christians observe a period of fasting,repentance ,moderation, self-denial and spiritual discipline.

The purpose of the Lenten Season is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ,to consider his suffering and his sacrifice, his life,death , burial and resurrection.

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The Catholic Church commands us to fast and abstain so that we may mortify the flesh and satisfy God for our sins.We are obliged by Divine Law to fulfill our obligations more faithfully and specially by observing the days of fasting and abstinence.(Can 1249).

Hope with this,our Lent Season will be smooth and follow the advice of the Pope below;

Happy Lent Season to you all!!!

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