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Our Lenten Practices

During this time of Lent, we have heard the constant invitation through different media about the importance of intensifying prayer, fasting and alms-giving, which are the three means that the church proposes us to live during this time of grace. These three practices can be lived in very varied ways according to the circumstances of each person. I remember for example that, when I was a child, I wanted to have money to be able to help the needy. Coming from a poor family, the reality was that there was barely enough for my family’s needs. So, charity was not something that I could live with much intensity. I knew very well that my desire to live intensely during Lent should not be conditioned by the lack of money. So, even though I did not have money, I knew that I could do other things. For several consecutive years I committed myself to go every day of Lent to Mass to intensify my prayer, I also stopped eating meat every day of Lent, and I also wore my shoes only to go to school and the rest of time I was barefoot. This to intensify fasting and sacrifice. Obviously, these Lenten practices may sound a little old, but they helped me a lot to live the spirit of Lent. I tell you this personal story without the desire to put myself as an example of the experience of Lent; rather, my intention is to emphasize what I said before: that each one of us can practice what the Church asks of us and benefit from it during this time of grace.

Each one of us knows our own reality, our needs, our resources, we know our own schedules, and above all, we know what helps us for our spiritual enrichment.

Today we celebrate the second Sunday of Lent, and it is very important that we do not lower our guard, that we do not “get used” to this time, instead, continue doing the practices that the Church asks of us.

For this reason, I propose the “Works of Mercy” so that each one of you may look for “act” or “acts” that may help you the most during this time. There are 14 “Works of Mercy” and they are divided into two groups: the corporal and the spiritual.

Corporal Works of Mercy

  1. To feed the hungry

  2. To give drink to the thirsty

  3. To clothe the naked

  4. To shelter the homeless

  5. To visit the sick

  6. To visit the imprisoned

  7. To bury the dead

Spiritual Works of Mercy

  1. To instruct the ignorant

  2. To counsel the doubtful

  3. To admonish sinner

  4. To bear wrongs patiently

  5. To forgive offences willingly

  6. To comfort the afflicted

  7. To pray for the living and the dead

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