today we start Lent

image by Oxh973 (Own work by Jennifer Balaska), via Wikimedia Commons

Loving Father, today we start Lent.
Over the next six weeks, with your help,
   we are going to prepare for Easter.
From today we are making a new start
   with a bigger effort to be loving and kind.
Help us to show concern
   for the less fortunate, the hungry and the poor,
   and especially help us to speak to you more often.
We ask this through Your Son, Jesus,
   whose death and resurrection
   we will be thinking about in the next few weeks.

Tony Castle, Catholic author and lay minister in England


When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

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