FASTING AND ABSTINENCE are not sacrifices for the sake of pain or vain discomfort. It helps us to ask the question: “What sustains me and gives me life?” What nourishes me on my journey of life? We will find the answer, not in the steak or the candy bar but in the Resurrection of Jesus. We fast and abstain because, when we do, we are reminded of who we are—followers of the risen Christ.
Our PRAYER is reflective in nature and reveals places where we have failed to open ourselves to God. During prayer guided by the Holy Spirit we can focus on “What needs changing?” so that we can recommit to our life in Christ and also feel the risen Christ alive in us and in the world.
Lent is also a reminder that Jesus called us to be especially conscious of the needs of others and to act accordingly. Giving materially to another in Christian charity is known as “ALSMGIVING.” We are called to first convert ourselves and then to transform the world for justice, so that we might serve the Kingdom which Jesus lived and preached.
When you walk through the atrium, notice the bulletin board where our Faith Formation families are participating in a Lent project of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. You are invited and encouraged to join with the children, youth and adults and post your offerings for Lent on the bulletin board. The changes on the bulletin board during Lent will be one way that our parish family will literally see our renewed commitment to follow Christ.
Need some ideas?
Fast one day a week from internet surfing or TV watching. Fast from one restaurant meal a week. Pray one hour at Adoration, attend our Parish Mission or Lenten Stations of the Cross. Try Lectio Divina. Give to the BAA, your donation serves so many others in need. Give your time and talent to God and Neighbor or Hospitality ministry.
Look through the bulletin and here at www.saintraphael.org for more ways to fast, pray and give alms.