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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


Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother, the instructions of Ambrose and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Pope Francis said, “The Church gives us the life of faith in Baptism: that is the moment in which she gives birth to us as children of God, the moment she gives us the life of God, she engenders us as a mother would.”

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