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August 7th, 2014

It started as an inspirational speech in my living room. My close friends were seated on our couch, the victimized listeners. Sam was in town from Peru, and we were discussing our plan to visit him in six months. We all agreed that if we were spendi…

April 18th, 2014

Technically speaking, Catholics are firstly required to fast on Good Friday, meaning to eat only one full meal for the day and then to merely sustain themselves for the rest of the day–meaning two smaller meals that do not equal the one large…

April 17th, 2014
Lenten Facebook Fast

Well, I did it. In just a few days, I’ll be breaking my Lenten Facebook fast. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this being the end. In a way, I’m excited to get back to the things I’ve missed about Facebook. On the other hand, this time has…

April 7th, 2014
Videos from CRS' Rice Bowl Program share young adult's Lenten experiences

CRS Rice Bowl. You might read those words, click on the link, and think that you’re headed toward a tasty recipe on Pinterest. Or a trendy new restaurant. No, not quite. CRS stands for Catholic Relief Services, an international humanitarian ag…

March 27th, 2014

Q: I have a rather odd question regarding fasting during Lent while dealing with an eating disorder. Fasting (not eating) is very easy, yet could do me more harm than good. I want to practice according to the Church’s teaching, yet I want to…

March 21st, 2014

…ooks of the Bible encourage the spiritual practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It wasn’t long until Church leaders began encouraging abstinence from meat on certain days as well. (The required days for fasting (eating less) and abstinence f…

March 18th, 2014
A reminder of why we're doing Lent

“The Glory of Christ” by Stephen B. Whatley (CNS photo/Stephen B. Whatley)You might have heard the phrase during a typical Catholic high school dance. The chaperone would diligently separate hormonal teenagers on the dance floor by yell…

March 5th, 2014
Saying "No" to Snacks, Soda, and Sweets this Lent

For Lent this year, I’m cutting snacks, soda, and sweets in general out of my diet. What that means for me is not just refraining from eating sugary foods and drinking soda, but also from eating pretty much anything other than just my three me…

March 4th, 2014
March 4th, 2014
Does "adding something" really add to your Lenten experience? How traditional sacrifice can bring you closer to God

If you’re up on all those Catholic trends, this scenario has probably played out during the last couple Lents: You turn down a beer or dessert, explaining that you’ve given it up for these next 40 days. Your Catholic friend smiles tolera…

March 3rd, 2014

Are you stumped / confused / intimidated / flat out terrified by Lent? Have no fear! Your favorite convert comes to the rescue with the basics for Lenten newbies and some words of comfort for the journey. If this is your first time observing Lent in…

September 6th, 2013
Tips for Fasting for Peace

Pope Francis is calling everyone to a day of prayer and fasting for peace Saturday, September 7. Here’s what you need to know. Click here or on the image below for a downloadable PDF….

September 4th, 2013
Pope Francis asks us to fast for peace in Syria this Saturday, September 7

…er way they can, in this initiative.” Some will ask, what good fasting will do? Well, prayer and fasting aren’t done to magically change situations. They are done in order to change us. The poor in Syria need our voice. And for us to be tied more clo…

March 4th, 2013

…rmarket for fair wages. (CNS photo/Jim West) This year I’m not fasting during Lent. Period. Not because I’ve given up on the concept of fasting as spiritually edifying. Not because I’m the worst faster in the long and storied history of fasting (whic…

February 18th, 2013
February 6th, 2013

Banner outside New Jersey parish invites people back to church. (CNS photo/Joanne Ward, Catholic Spirit)It’s that time of the year again. Most Christians have to face an important decision in their lives — what to “give up” for Lent. Last ye…

January 4th, 2013

…t. We abstain from certain foods, such as meat, and spend time fasting. This practice can provide us with a deeper religious experience by joining us with people throughout the world who struggle to survive. Fasting is an opportunity to be in solidar…

March 26th, 2012
Reaching out to a growing number of hungry people

…ent, many Catholics will participate in the traditional Lenten fasting. While this practice is highly encouraged, for many across the United States, going without food is not a choice. In addition to fasting, take some time to reflect on those who ar…

March 19th, 2012

I have a confession to make. I am horrible at fasting. Epically horrible. My Lenten fast usually devolves into me eating precisely that from which I have vowed to abstain in a shameful and ridiculous display of my apparent lack of self-mastery. And…

March 12th, 2012

…s a helpful supplement during Lent, but probably not on strict fasting days. In the 16th century, fasting likely included abstention from meat, dairy and eggs, with complete abstention on Fridays. It would have been odd to consume beer on those Frida…

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