Wednesday, March 28, 2007


What is the purpose of Lent one may ask? Foremost, the purpose of Lent is the intimate renewal of our baptismal vows which were acquired as a child but were not spiritually aware of.

Lent is the time to assess our faith and experience the relevance of the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ in the form of self-denial and voluntary sacrifice as it relates into our own personal life.

Lent immerses us in God, just as in Baptism, we are immersed in water to cleanse us from original sin to be reborn to a new life in the Spirit. The following three pillars of Lent puts our relationship with God ahead of pleasure, property and power.


Through prayer, we humbly admit our need for a power that is greater than ourselves. We acknowledge our human limitations and let go of the drive to control everything within our realm. In the process, we spiritually open ourselves to all that God offers us.


According to St. Augustine, prayer without fasting is pale. Fasting expresses our desire to find ultimate happiness in God rather than in the satisfaction of our physical needs. The discipline and control we gain over our insatiable appetites helps to recognize the true and lasting pleasure coming from God.

Through fasting, our relationship is more focused and re-oriented towards God. Without fasting, we are full of self, in fasting God enters us. We must learn to rid self and let God in. Pope Benedict XVI describes fasting as the "detoxification of our soul from the poison of sin." Fasting brings us to doing good, cures our selfishness and promotes social justice.

On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, fasting of one full meal only with no meat is required for every Catholics from age 18 to 59. Abstinence means no meat consumption during all Fridays of Lent.


Again St. Augustine says that Prayer and Fasting without Almsgiving is lame. It falters, it is weak, it lacks vitality. Almsgiving helps us recognize that God is the true source of our security. It is a way of bringing our relationship into the essence of Christ's love by sharing and helping others in need. It is also an affirmation of His Commandment to love your neighbors as yourself.

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