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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


Alphonsus Rodriguez: Tragedy and challenge beset today’s saint early in life, but Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment through simple service and prayer. 
<p>Born in Spain in 1533, Alphonsus inherited the family textile business at 23. Within the space of three years, his wife, daughter and mother died; meanwhile, business was poor. Alphonsus stepped back and reassessed his life. He sold the business and, with his young son, moved into his sisters’ home. There he learned the discipline of prayer and meditation. </p><p>Years later, at the death of his son, Alphonsus, almost 40 by then, sought to join the Jesuits. He was not helped by his poor education. He applied twice before being admitted. For 45 years he served as doorkeeper at the Jesuits’ college in Majorca. When not at his post, he was almost always at prayer, though he often encountered difficulties and temptations. </p><p>His holiness and prayerfulness attracted many to him, including St. Peter Claver, then a Jesuit seminarian. Alphonsus’s life as doorkeeper may have been humdrum, but he caught the attention of poet and fellow-Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, who made him the subject of one of his poems. </p><p>Alphonsus died in 1617. He is the patron saint of Majorca.</p> American Catholic Blog People mess up, and it’s especially hard to watch as our children and other young people go down paths we know are likely to lead to heartbreak. Providing gentle guidance when it’s needed, and love even when that guidance isn’t followed, helps them to start fresh.

 
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