In order to break the cycle of poverty, we must first start with the heart. Catholic Online School is something very special, providing FREE Catholic Education to anyone, anywhere. Learn more about the Catholic Online School
Help us create new hope with your donation. This year, please consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can to support Catholic Online School. Support Catholic Online School
Almsgiving, Prayer, and Fasting: The Three Pillars of Lent
'Give alms...Pray to your Father...Fast without a gloomy face...' (Matthew 6:1-18)
This Lent we must follow what the Bible tells us to do...Give...Pray...Fast...
LOS ANGELES, CA - Giving alms, Jesus teaches, means making the needs of others our own, especially the needy of our world. They are all around us: children and the old, the sick and the suffering, families and individuals, next-door neighbors and people in lands faraway.
Whatever we give should be something of ourselves, something that costs us. We will receive blessings from God in return.
What shall we give to the needy this lent? In deciding, decide generously. After all, before us is the great alms Jesus gave: "He loved us, and gave himself up for us."
Pope Francis said in his Ash Wednesday homily, 'Lent is also a privileged time for prayer', He quoted St. Augustine, who described fasting and almsgiving as "the two wings of prayer," because they are signs of humility and charity.
Prayer offers us all a very special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to deepen our commitment to a way of life, rooted in our baptism. In our busy world, Prayer provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon our patterns and sins. We should pray more deeply, experience sorrow for what we've done and failed to do, and to be generous to those in need.
Fasting is tied closely to almsgiving
Pope Francis says "Fasting makes sense if it really chips away at our security and, as a consequence, benefits someone else, if it helps us cultivate the style of the Good Samaritan, who bent down to his brother in need and took care of him."
During Lent do you think God needs the chocolate, candy, and other trivial things we give up? No He needs us to look deep within ourselves and reflect. He wants our hearts.
So when you fast, do not proclaim it, do not look hard done by, smile and go about your day happy. We are told this in the Bible.
In fact he wants us to stop our obsession with the ME and start thinking about what truly matters in life.
What will you do to love Him more and open yourself more to His Love?
Thoughts from Pope Francis
"Where do I find hope? In the poor Jesus, Jesus who made himself poor for us? And of poverty. Poverty calls us to sow hope. This seems a bit difficult to understand. I remember Fr. Arrupe [Father General of the Jesuits from 1965-1983] wrote a letter to the Society's centers for social research. At the end he said to us: 'Look, you can't speak of poverty without having experience with the poor.' You can't speak of poverty in the abstract: that doesn't exist. Poverty is the flesh of the poor Jesus, in that child who is hungry, in the one who is sick, in those unjust social structures. Go forward; look there upon the flesh of Jesus. But don't let well being rob you of hope, that spirit of well being that, in the end, leads you to becoming a nothing in life. Young persons should bet on their high ideals, that's my advice. But where do I find hope? In the flesh of Jesus who suffers and in true poverty. There is a connection between the two."
-Pope Francis, Question and answer session with Jesuit School students (June 7, 2013)
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for JANUARY 2018
Religious Minorities in Asia. That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practise their faith in full freedom.
More Lent & Easter
'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead'
Easter / Lent News
While Easter is a Solemnity and an octave feast, it is also a 50 day season until Pentecost.The Season of Easter is not just about His ... continue reading
What lesson is the Lord teaching us by keeping his wounds intact? Perhaps we can better answer this question by turning to our own wounds. ... continue reading
As a teenager I ran into someone who introduced me to the finer points of the occupation. We fell into the tried and proven method of ... continue reading
Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence ... continue reading
Today as we contemplate the Passion we also plumb the mystery and meaning of the Church. We are members of His Body. She was born ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Now more than 215 million persecuted Christians worldwide
- Daily Reading for Thursday, January 18th, 2018 HD Video
- CDC: Swine flu joining killer influenza outbreak, expected to become ...
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, January 17, 2018
- Annual National Prayer Service Unites Christians
- Eminem speaks about his experience with abortion
- St. Anthony the Abbot: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, January 17, 2018
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 HD
- Twitter Ban: Censorship on "a way of talking" -- does that include Christian speech? HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, January 15th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way