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Daily Catholic Question

Do fasting and abstinence go beyond Lent?

The latest revision of the laws of fast and abstinence was made by Pope Paul VI in 1966 in Paenitemini. In that apostolic constitution he left certain things to the judgment of the national conferences of bishops.

The U.S. bishops determined that Catholics in the United States should fast and abstain on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and abstain from meat on all Fridays during Lent.

The U.S. bishops recommend voluntary fasting throughout Lent and voluntary abstinence on all Fridays of the year.

In Paenitemini, Paul VI reminded us of the need we all have to do penance. And penance can take many forms: acts of charity like visiting the sick or people in jail, tutoring students, almsgiving, doing without candy, liquor, TV, and so on.

Finally, you can never commit a sin without knowing it. One of the conditions for sin is knowledge of the evil or disobedience involved.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Sunday, March 24, 2013
Daily Catholic Question for 3/23/2013 Daily Catholic Question for 3/25/2013


Hilary of Arles: It’s been said that youth is wasted on the young. In some ways, that was true for today’s saint. 
<p>Born in France in the early fifth century, Hilary came from an aristocratic family. In the course of his education he encountered his relative, Honoratus, who encouraged the young man to join him in the monastic life. Hilary did so. He continued to follow in the footsteps of Honoratus as bishop. Hilary was only 29 when he was chosen bishop of Arles. </p><p>The new, youthful bishop undertook the role with confidence. He did manual labor to earn money for the poor. He sold sacred vessels to ransom captives. He became a magnificent orator. He traveled everywhere on foot, always wearing simple clothing. </p><p>That was the bright side. Hilary encountered difficulty in his relationships with other bishops over whom he had some jurisdiction. He unilaterally deposed one bishop. He selected another bishop to replace one who was very ill–but, to complicate matters, did not die! Pope St. Leo the Great kept Hilary a bishop but stripped him of some of his powers. </p><p>Hilary died at 49. He was a man of talent and piety who, in due time, had learned how to be a bishop.</p> American Catholic Blog True freedom lies in the ability to align one’s actions freely with the truth, so as to achieve authentic human happiness both now and in the life to come. Jesus promised, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31–32).

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