Give Up, Take Up, Lift Up!
In his Lenten message for 2014, Pope Francis takes inspiration from the words of St. Paul (Cor 8:9), and asks us to contemplate Paul’s invitation to live “a life of evangelical poverty.”
We can begin to embrace this call by fasting from or “giving up” material things, including foods, that are superfluous to our basic needs; “taking up” charitable habits that are directed to helping and caring for others; and “lifting up” our brothers and sisters who are in need through giving alms, praying and participating in devotional practices.
“In the poor and outcast we see Christ’s face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ.” — Pope Francis, Message for Lent 2014
By taking an active approach to the three traditional pillars of Lenten observance, prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we recognize that to be evangelists, we must first be evangelized ourselves.
The Church asks us to surrender ourselves to prayer and to the reading of Scripture, to fasting and to giving alms. The fasting that 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 some effort to share this world equally—not only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents.
40 Days for Life: 2014 Lenten Campaign, Wed., March 5 thru Sat., April 20 (special rally Sat., March 8)
Fast & Abstinence
Guidelines for Lent 2014: Lenten Fast and Abstinence Regulations
CRS Operation Rice Bowl
Lenten Audio Retreats
Papal Message for Lent 2014
Questions & Answers about Lent
Rediscovering the Sacrament of Penance
Reflection on Lenten Fasting
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
Saints for the Lenten Season
Seven Penitential Psalms & the Songs of the Suffering Servant
Six Ways to Evangelize during Lent
Stations of the Cross
Ten Things to Remember for Lent
(Information courtesy of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops)