lent answered

referring to my recent post on lent, a reader, merc commented that she/he would like to know more about catholic practice of lent. i found some good reading materials on Q&A in regards to lent in our catholic weekly paper, ‘the herald’. the points there are down-to-earth and simple to understand, unlike at the newadvent site, where there are many information to be found but they are quite complicated. why, even i as a catholic myself, find it confusing at times, what more non catholics. you’ll realise that at my last post on lent, all the links i had there pointed to the newadvent site. yes, that is a very good interesting site but more often than not, i find the explanation too ‘technical’. well if i don’t have a choice, i guess i’ll have to stick to using newadvent.

btw, i spent an hour typing out the Q&A on lent from the herald paper! i will not put up the whole thing here as it is quite lengthy. so you’ll have to go to my mental jog extra again to read about it. i’ll only post the Qs here (with my comments in italic).

remember to read the full Q&A at ‘lent answered’.

1. What is Lent?
2. Why are Sundays excluded from the reckoning of the 40 days?
3. Why are the 40 days called ‘Lent’?
4. Why is Lent 40 days long?
5. When does Lent begins?
6. What is a day of fast and abstinence?
here it mention specifically that a day of abstinence means to abstain from meat.
7. Is there a biblical basis for abstaining from meat as a sign of repentance?
8. In addition to Ash Wednesday, are there any other days during Lent days of fast or abstinence?
9. Why are Fridays during lent days of abstinence?
10. On what basis does the church have the authority to establish days of fast and abstinence?
answers to this Q may be questionable to some people!
11. Isn’t abstaining from meat one of the ‘doctrines demon’ St Paul warned about in 1 timothy 4:1-5?
12. Are the acts of repentance appropriate on other days during Lent?
13. Why are acts of repentance appropriate at this time of year
this will answer… er… not really answer… but pointed out… to an anonymous poster who commented at my previous blog on lent that doing good is not seasonal. i guess s/he was aghast at my heading of ‘lent – 40 days of doing good and being good’ thinking i will only do good and be good during this 40 days of lent. as the answer here provide, something like valentine’s day… we don’t need that one day to show our love, we can show our love any day, in fact everyday but why do we still need a valentine day? same thing as for lent – we should do good all the time, why do we need lent to remind us to do good.
14. What are appropriate activities for ordinary days during Lent?
15. Is the custom of giving up something for Lent mandatory?
16. Since Sundays are not counted in 40 days of Lent, does the custom of giving up something apply to them?
17. Why is giving up something for Lent such a salutary custom?
18. Is denying of pleasure an end to itself?
19. Is there such a thing as denying ourselves too many pleasures?
20. Is that balance the same for all people?
21. Aside from Ash Wednesday, which begins Lent, what are its principal events?

answers to these 21 Qs can be found here.

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