During Lent, we are asked to devote ourselves to seeking the Lord in prayer and reading Scripture, to service by giving alms, and to sacrifice self-control through fasting.

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St. John Chrysostom reminds us: “Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2446). Deprivations have a purpose: our own self-mastery and the provision of sustenance for the poor.

The key to fruitful observance of the practices of Lent is to recognize their link to baptismal renewal. We are called not just to abstain from sin during Lent, but to true conversion of our hearts and minds as followers of Christ. We recall those waters in which we were baptized into Christ’s death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.

Sts. Vincent and Louise can help us — by their teachings, their example and their prayers.


adapted from the USCCB counsels for Lent of 2018.


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