Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sundays in Lent

This is a conversation that many Catholics have during this season, its as traditional as purple vestments and ashes! Do Sundays count in Lent, are we allowed to 'give up' giving up, are they an oasis in the desert, or not ...

Some people say they are such an oasis. Lent is 40 days excluding Sundays! Also, Sundays are solemnities, we don't fast normally on Sundays. Sunday is the day of Our Lord's resurrection, a time for joy, not sorrowful penance.

Other people say that Jesus went into the desert for about 40 days, not exactly 40 days, and He fasted for the whole time. They also say that for normal Sundays we have the Gloria and A- at Mass, but in Lent we don't, is the Church trying to say something.

My personal opinion, which I humbly offer is this. Lent is a time of spiritual growth, through fasting, alms-giving and prayer, it is not a time where we can 'beat our personal best' as it were. We must be penitential, but remember that we are moving towards the joy of Easter.

So, be joyful everyday, especially on Sunday. Be less penitiential, but remember we are still in Lent and if you are giving up something like smoking, where a relaxation wouldn't be helpful, don't give in.

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