Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Lent season is here again! But what does it mean to us? As christians we've been brought up to follow the ways of our church. As we were growing up it only means to us..giving up of eating meat on fridays, it starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Sunday, going to church on holy week, going on processions with friends, watching cute kids attired with a halo with angel wings and swinging from a tower to get Mama mary's veil (called "Pagsalubong"), repenting your sins and so on. That's what I have experience as I was growing up. It just made me look back when I've learned that a friend of my cousin does not know that you're not suppose to eat meat on friday during the Lenten Season. and he's a Roman Catholic too! Maybe because he's been brought up in the city that's why he does not know it. But what made me sad was when I've learned that he graduated from a catholic school during his grade school. What did he learned from that. It's the basics and his parents! What were they doing and thinking! They are not doing their duty! I am not that devoted to the church but I follow the teachings of it. It's not just purely being a roman catholics. It made me think back when I was told by a friend who is a baptish that we, the roman catholics are not that devoted to our religions. We are too shallow! this time it made me think maybe he's right.
Lent to us..what does it really mean? Here are some quick facts about Lent.
Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and end on Holy Sunday.
Lent is a season of repentance and soul-searching.
By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days
Prayer: More time given to prayer during Lent should draw us closer to the Lord. We might pray especially for the grace to live out our baptismal promises more fully.
Fasting: Fasting is one of the most ancient practices linked to Lent. In fact, the paschal fast predates Lent as we know it. The early Church fasted intensely for two days before the celebration of the Easter Vigil. This fast was later extended and became a 40-day period of fasting leading up to Easter. Vatican II called us to renew the observance of the ancient paschal fast: "...let the paschal fast be kept sacred. Let it be celebrated everywhere on Good Friday and, where possible, prolonged throughout Holy Saturday, so that the joys of the Sunday of the Resurrection may be attained with uplifted and clear mind" (Liturgy, # 110).
Fasting is more than a means of developing self-control. It is often an aid to prayer, as the pangs of hunger remind us of our hunger for God. The first reading on the Friday after Ash Wednesday points out another important dimension
of fasting. The prophet Isaiah insists that fasting without changing our behavior is not pleasing to God. "This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own" (Is 58:6-7).
Almsgiving: It should be obvious at this point that almsgiving, the third traditional pillar, is linked to our baptismal commitment in the same way. It is a sign of our care for those in need and an expression of our gratitude for all that God has given to us. Works of charity and the promotion of justice are integral elements of the Christian way of life we began when we were baptized.