Catholics reminded to exercise Lenten sacrifice in humility PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 14 February 2016 14:12

By DOMINIC I. SANCHEZ

 

Catholics are reminded of their Lenten obligations of fasting and abstinence starting last Ash Wednesday (February 10), but all the while to exercise humility in their observance of the season of Lent.

In his Ash Wednesday homily attended by a multitude of Zamboangueños, Archbishop Romulo T. Dela Cruz told the Catholic faithful here to “be humble” in observing the yearly fast. He said that there is no need to tell the world about one’s fasting and abstinence, since this is more focused on the reflection of one’s own self.

Thousands of Zamboangueño Catholics came to mass on Ash Wednesday to have their foreheads smeared with ashes of the previous years’ blessed palms during Palm Sunday. Upon receiving the ashes, the people were reminded by the Archbishop and the lay ministers with the words “You are dust and to dust you shall return,” which emphasizes the Church’s call for continued conversion and turning away from sin.

Archbishop Dela Cruz explained that able Catholics are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Lenten Fridays. By fasting, he said, “only two meals a day” are allowed. Abstinence, on the other hand means that one must not eat meat, except fish on Fridays. He reminded those who failed to fast on Ash Wednesday to “set a date to make up.”

Fasting and abstinence, said the Archbishop, does not only apply to food. By fasting, Catholics are encouraged to give up things that have become leisurely habits and practices. Catholics are urged, but not obliged to go to mass daily, however prayers and self-reflection must be a constant part of one’s daily routines.

This year, the Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday, and will end on Holy Thursday (March 24). This will be followed by Good Friday and then Easter Sunday, considered as several of the holiest holidays in the Catholic Church. (ALT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)