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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

Catholics abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during Lent not because of some rule in the Bible, but because of a tradition begun in the early church. Various books of the Bible encourage the spiritual practices of prayer, fasti…

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

  Traditionally, Lent was a time for personal conversion leading up to Easter, during which Christians practiced the spiritual disciplines of fasting, praying and almsgiving to strip away all th…

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

A Syrian Muslim girl stands at the top of Mount Qassioun, which overlooks Damascus. (CNS/Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters) “I appeal strongly for peace, an appeal which arises from the deep within me. How much suffering, how much devastation, how much pain…

March 4th, 2013

Farmers and their advocates protest outside a supermarket 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 fas…

February 18th, 2013

Stay tuned for the 2014 Busted Halo FAST PRAY GIVE Calendar — like an Advent Calendar, but for Lent — coming soon at www.bustedhalo.com/fastpraygive!   Traditionally, Lent was a time…

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

Pretzels come in many flavors, shapes, and sizes — not unlike us. These treats are great with cheese or other dips or just by themselves. But have you stopped to consider they actually have an historical place in Lent? If you take a moment to…

August 21st, 2012

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…

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

Natalie Garcia, right, chooses food from the shelves with the help of a volunteer at the Sister Regis Food Cupboard in Rochester, N.Y. (CNS photo/Mike Crupi)In the shadow of what was once a functioning residency for priests, a line forms toward a d…

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

Last year writer and brewing expert J. Wilson published Diary of a Part-Time Monk, which tells of his Lenten fast: subsisting on nothing but water and beer. Wilson had heard the legends of the Benedictine monks of Neudeck ob der Au, who were said t…

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