Lent 2013

LENTEN RECOLLECTION

“Sit down here, while I pray …my soul is sad, even unto death wait here and watch.” (Mk. 14:32,34)

March 9 – Saturday (9:00am – 11:30am) “Conversion”
Speaker: Fr. Edwin Soliva, SDB

March 16 – Saturday (9:00am – 11:30am) “Suffering Must Have a Reason”
Speaker: Fr. Dave Concepcion

Announcements

ANGELS NEEDED
We invite children between ages 6-12 years old to join our annual parish Easter
Salubong as angels. Interested parties can call the parish office for details and practice schedules.

CHOIR RECRUITMENT
In preparation for Holy Week, The Coro invites anyone interested to join the weekly rehearsals on Sundays at 4pm, serve in the 6pm mass and join in all the major Liturgical events of Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter.

Please approach any member of our choir after our 6pm mass or leave
your name and contact number in the parish office with Bemadette.

About Lent

What is Lent?
Historically, Lent is the forty day period before Easter, excluding Sundays. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday). In recent years, this has been modified so that it now ends with evening Mass on Holy Thursday, to prepare the way for Triduum.

When does Lent begin?
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is the day on which the faithful have their foreheads signed with ashes in the form of a Cross (see piece on Ash Wednesday). It is also a day of fast and abstinence.

In addition to Ash Wednesday, are any other days during Lent days of fast or abstinence?
Yes. All Fridays during Lent are days of abstinence. Also, Good Friday, the day on which Christ was crucified, is another day of both fast and abstinence. All days in Lent are appropriate for fasting or abstaining, but canon law does not require fasting on those days. Such fasting or abstinence is voluntary, like a free will offering.

Why are Fridays during Lent days of abstinence?
This is because Jesus died fer our sins on Friday, making it an especially appropriate day of mourning our sins (just as Sunday, the day on which he rose for our salvation is an especially appropriate day to rejoice) by denying ourselves something we enjoy. During the rest of the year Catholics in this country are permitted to use a different act of penance on Friday in place of abstinence, though all Fridays are days of penance on which we are required to do something expressing sorrow for our sins, just as Sundays are holy days on which we are required to worship and celebrate God’s great gift of salvation.

Why are acts of repentance appropriate at this time of year?
Because it is the time leading up to the commemoration of Our Lord’s death for our sins and the commemoration of his resurrection for our salvation. It is thus especially appropriate to mourn the sins for which he died. Humans have an innate psychological need to mourn tragedies, and our sins are tragedies of the greatest sort. Due to our fallen nature humans also have a need to have set times in which to engage in behavior (which is why we have Sundays as a set time to rest and worship, since we would otherwise be likely to forget to devote sufficient time to rest and worship), it is appropriate to have set times of repentance. Lent is one of those set times.

What are appropriate activities for ordinary days during Lent?
Giving up something we enjoy for Lent, doing of physical or spiritual acts of mercy for others, prayer, fasting, abstinence, going to confession, and other acts expressing repentance in general.

Is the custom of giving up something for Lent mandatory?
No. However, it is a salutary custom, and parents or caretakers may choose to require it of their children to encourage their spiritual training, which is their prime responsibility in the raising of their children.

Since Sundays are not counted in the forty days of Lent, does the custom of giving up something apply to them?
Customarily, no. However, since the giving up of something is voluntary to begin with, there is no official rule concerning this aspect of it. Nevertheless, since Sundays are days of celebration, it is appropriate to suspend the Lenten self-denial on them that, in a spiritual and non-excessive way, we may celebrate the day of Our Lord’s resurrection so that that day and that event may be contrasted with the rest of the days of Lent and the rest of the events of history. This heightened contrast deepens the spiritual lessons taught by the rest of Lent.

Why is giving up something for Lent such a salutary custom?
By denying ourselves something we enjoy, we discipline our wills so that we are not slaves to our pleasures. Just as indulging the pleasure of eating leads to physical flabbiness and, if this is great enough, an inability to perform in physically demanding situations when the demands of morality require us to sacrifice something pleasurable (such as sex before marriage or not within the confines of marriage) or endure hardship (such as being scorned or persecuted for the faith). By disciplining the will to refuse pleasures when they are not sinful, a habit is developed which allows the will to refuse pleasures when they are sinful. There are few better ways to keep one’s priorities straight than by periodically denying ourselves things of lesser priority to show us that they are not necessary and focus our attention on what is necessary.

Is the denying of pleasure an end in itself?
No. It is a only a means to an end. By training ourselves to resist temptations when they are not sinful, we train ourselves to reject temptations when they are sinfuL We also express our sorrow over having failed to resist sinful temptations in the past.

Is there such a thing as denying ourselves too many pleasures?
Most definitely. First, God made human life contingent on certain goods, such as food, and to refuse to enjoy enough of them has harmful consequences. For example, if we do not eat enough food it can cause physical damage or (in the extreme, even death). Just as there is a balance between eating too much food and not eating enough food, there is a balance involved in other goods.

Second, if we do not strike the right balance and deny ourselves goods God meant us to have then it can generate resentment toward God, which is a spiritual sin just as much as those of engaging in excesses of good things. Thus one can be led into sin either by excess or by defect in the enjoyment of good things.

Third, it can decrease our effectiveness in ministering to others.

Fourth, it can deprive us of the goods God gave us in order that we might praise him.

Fifth, it constitutes the sin of ingratitude by refusing to enjoy the things God wanted us to have because he loves us. If a child refused every gift his parent gave him, it would displease the parent, and if we refuse gifts God has given us, it displeases God because he loves us and wants us to have them.

Is that balance the same for all people?
No. For example, with the good of food, people who are by nature physically larger need more food than people who are physically smaller. Similarly, people who have higher metabolisms or who do manual labor for a living need more food than people with slower metabolisms or who have less active lifestyles. The same is true with regard to other goods than food. The Si. Paul speaks of this in regard to the good of married life:

“I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should many. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:7-9). Thus some are given the gift of being able to live without the good of married life in order that they may pursue greater devotion to God (1 Cor. 7:32-34) or to pursue greater ministry for others (2 Timothy 2:3-4), as with priests, monks, and nuns. God gives these people special graces to live the life which they have embraced, just as he gives special graces to the married to live the life they have embraced.

Aside from Ash Wednesday, which begins Lent, what are its principal events?
There are a variety of saints’ days which fall during Lent, and some of these change from year to year since the dates of Lent itself change based on when Easter falls. However, the Sundays during the Lenten season commemorate special events in the life of Our Lord, such as his Transfiguration and his Triumphal Entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, which begins Holy Week. Holy week climaxes with Holy Thursday, on which Christ celebrated the first Mass, Good Friday, on which he was Crucified, and Holy Saturday — the last day of Lent — during which Our Lord lay in the Tomb before his Resurrection on Easter Sunday, the first day after Lent.

-contributed by Fr. Jesus Galindo, OFM

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila
Pastoral Letter

Ash Wednesday Feb 13, 2013

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, as we celebrate Ash Wednesday, ashes are imposed on our forehead as a symbol as we begin our Lenten journey. Pope Benedict XVI said that receiving ashes should remind us of the passage in Genesis which says “Dust you are and unto dust you shall return,” a call to mind of our mortal state so that we sincerely take to heart the call to repentance. We are also asked to “turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel” as an invitation to conversion, to move away from sin, to profess our faith and to embrace Christ in our life.

These reminders also resonate with the call of the Holy Father in this Year of Faith to take it as an opportunity to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. Jesus speaks the three main disciplines that we can faithfully practice this Lenten season; giving alms, praying and fasting. All of these spiritual activities, Jesus asks to be done without expecting anything in return.

A good opportunity to intensify the act of charity, which is faith in action, is for us to actively participate in the HAPAG-ASA program of the church. Today, we are again launching the FAST 2 FEED FUND CAMPAIGN of the Pondo ng Pinoy, when we are required to fast to be able to feed at least 250,000 hungry and undernourished children nationwide through HAPAG-ASA. This program feeds children, 6 months to 12 years old, once a day, 5 days a week for 6 months with nutritious food and their parents provided with basic skills that improve their capacity to care for their children and livelihood and skills training to provide them access to employment and income generating activities.

Since its inception, HAPAG-ASA has already fed more than 1 million hungry and malnourished children nationwide. Last year, our Archdiocese was able to feed a total number of 2,482 malnourished children. A total of P 1.43M was received as subsidy from Pondo ng Pinoy Community foundation to feed these children. This year we are targeting to feed 3,000 and we need to raise P3.6M to be able to feed them in six months. It only takes Ten Pesos (PlO) a day or One Thousand Two Hundred Pesos (Pl,200.00) for six (6) months to feed one child.

We therefore appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to donate whatever you save from fasting to HAPAG-ASA’s FAST 2 FEED FUND CAMPAIGN. By so doing you give our children a chance for a better future. In our conversion journey this Lent, my dear brothers and sisters, let our “faith commit each one of us to become a living sign of the presence of God” (Porta Fidei, 15)

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