Thursday, March 5, 2009


PRAYER, FASTING, ALMSGIVING are the pillars of LENT. They are integrated parts of a whole-disciplines that pull our spirit and body together.

PRAYER is good for our souls, FASTING for our bodies and ALMSGIVING for the good of our neighbor.

PRAYER is not meant as a detachment from the world but is an integration of the Gospel message with our daily human experience. Prayer is not only vocal prayers, reading the prayers or devotional prayers. It means putting our prayers into practice.

For example read the Gospel for the day and decide what it calls you to do in relation with your neighbor, your household, your family, your workplace, and your community. It is good practice specially for Lent to spend quality time reading the Scriptures. Contemplating and reflecting on the Word of God nourishes our soul and strengthens our spirit.

FASTING OR SELF DENIAL is completed beyond the self in its reinvestment of service and ministry to others. It does not just mean giving up some kind of food or your favorite dessert or drinks or smoking during Lent.

It means going out of your way, giving up some of your time/effort/or money or going out of your comfort zone to help someone in need like visiting a friend or relative who is elderly, sick, lonely, or having difficulties. Rather than just giving up something, it must be accompanied by a positive and resolute action on one's part.

ALMSGIVING is not just a monetary paying off of our guilty conscience but a challenge to love our neighbor with unselfish concern. It means practicing the corporal works of mercy such as:

1. Feeding the hungry

2. Clothing the naked,
3. Giving drink to the thirsty,
4. Welcoming the stranger.
5. Visiting the prisoners or the sick,
6. Sheltering the homeless,
7. Burying the dead,
8. Kind acts in selfless service to others.