This Year the season of Lent is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church from March - April 5
The purpose of Lent is to be a season of fasting, self-denial, Christian growth, penitence, conversion, and simplicity. The word Lent means “springtime.” This season can be viewed from the perspective of Stewardship: it is spiritual spring cleaning—a time for taking spiritual inventory and then cleaning out those things which hinder our relationships with Jesus Christ and our service to Him. The season of Lent begins with a symbol of repentance: receiving ashes on one's forehead. To reflect this, our interior life should lead us toward greater dependence on God’s mercy and grace and less attachment to those things which distract us from living as stewards of God’s gifts.
Making a Great Lent!
There are three traditional spiritual practices that serve as the foundation of Lenten penance: prayer, fasting, and alms giving. These penances should be practiced throughout the year, but are given special prominence during Lent.
Prayer: Lent is a good time to develop or strengthen a discipline of daily prayer. Praying the Rosary throughout Lent can be very rewarding, especially if your family is not in the regular habit of doing so. Daily Mass and the Stations of the Cross are also great ways to draw closer to God during Lent. It is not too late to sign up for ARISE, our parish Lenten bible study and faith sharing.
Fasting: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of universal fast and abstinence. Fasting is obligatory for all who have completed their 18th year and have not yet reached their 60th year. Fasting allows a person to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may be taken, not to equal one full meal. Abstinence (from meat) is obligatory for all who have reached their 14th year. Further, all Fridays in Lent are obligatory days of complete abstinence (from meat) for all who have completed their 14th year. If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the "paschal fast" to honor the suffering and death of our Lord, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily His Resurrection.
Almsgiving (Charity): While Lent is about giving something up (i.e. fasting), it is also about putting something positive in its place. The best way to remove vice is to cultivate virtue. Lent has been a traditional time of helping the poor and doing acts of charity and mercy. While as Christians this is a year-round calling, Lent is a good time to examine ways to get involved and to make resolutions to actually do them.
Through our works of prayer, fasting, and abstinence, let us heed the prophet Joel's exhortation to return to God with our whole heart (2:12).
Stations of the Cross @ 8:45am, 6:30pm (Spanish), 7:30pm (English)
Wed., March 18
Lenten Penance Service @ 7pm
Sun., March 29
Palm Sunday Regular Mass Schedule
Procession @ Spanish Mass 1:30pm
Novos Ordo - 9:00am
Thur., April 2 - Holy Thursday
Tenebrae @ 8am
Mass of the Lord's Supper 7:30pm(Church English)
Mass of the Lord's Supper 7:30pm( Hall Spanish)
Fri., April 3 - Good Friday
Tenebrae @ 8am
Walk for Life Modesto @ 8am East Ridge Church
Live Stations of the Cross @ 12noon
Veneration of the Cross @ 1:30pm
Sat., April 4 - Holy
Saturday Tenebrae @ 8am Easter Vigil Mass
@ 8:30pm (English-Church, Spanish-Hall)
Sun., April 5 - Easter Sunday Masses
6am, 7:30am, 9am (Latin), 10:30am Church, 10:30am Hall, 12noon, 1:30pm (Español), 5:30pm
(Initiation of Children & Teens)
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Spiritual Reading for Lent
Pope Benedict XVI
A Word About Lent: Fr. Benedict Groeschel
Most of us are unaware that times of penance, fasting, and prayer for forgiveness are part of the traditions of many of the world's great religions. Most Christians are aware that our Jewish neighbors observe Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, as a time of fasting, penance, and asking for God's mercy and forgiveness.
As many Muslims make their homes among us, we now are becoming familiar with Ramadan, a whole month of complete penitential fasting, even from water, from sunrise to sunset. The early Christians were familiar with a similar period observed by the Roman pagans in February, a name that means the month of whips, so called for the scourges they used for self-discipline and penance. In fact that is why the ancient Romans made this cold, dark month the shortest of the year.
In early Christian times the custom of fasting and penance was adopted by the Church in East and West to prepare for the solemn commemoration of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ, which were celebrated during the Sacred Triduum, or the three holy days at the end of Holy Week. The oldest Catholic custom outside the prescriptions of the New Testament--the making of the sign of the Cross--was linked with the traditional biblical sign of penance, the imposition of ashes on one's head. The ceremonies of Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday--the commemoration of Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem--brought the time of Lenten Penance to a dramatic close with the observance of the Easter Vigil. The origin of all these customs, paralleling the Jewish observance of Passover, was a powerful need both to acknowledge gratefully Christ's gift of Himself for our salvation and to instruct people on the meaning of the events in salvation history.
Unfortunately, the observance of Lent has become modified to such an extent that many do not really observe its penitential spirit. They are consequently deprived of experiencing the profound spiritual renewal of the Sacred Triduum and the re-commitment to their baptismal promises made to Christ at Easter.
This is taken from Father Benedict Groeschel's book The King, Crucified and Risen: Meditations on the Passion and Glory of Christ, Servant Publications.
Father Benedict Groeshel, CFR is an internationally know lecturer and retreat master as well as a professor of pastoral psychology at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York. He also appears regularly on EWTN.