From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Take inspiration for your Lenten journey from prayer and the reading of Scripture, from fasting and from giving alms. The fasting that we all do together on Fridays is but a sign of the daily Lenten discipline of individuals and households: fasting for certain periods of time, fasting from certain foods, but also fasting from other things and activities. Likewise, the giving of alms is an effort to share this world equally—not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents. The key to fruitful observance of these practices is to recognize their link to baptismal renewal. We are called not just to abstain from sin during Lent, but to true conversion of our hearts and minds as followers of Christ. We recall those waters in which we were baptized into Christ’s death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.
“By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread, Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Gn 3:19)
“Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.” (Collect for Ash Wednesday)
Have you picked up your Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl for Lent this year? Make a commitment to dropping in spare change every day. Another way to give alms today is by giving to the National Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.