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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

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Which Are the Days of Abstinence in Lent?

Question:

Can you tell me what Catholic traditions are concerning Lent? My father goes without meat on Friday, my mother on Wednesday and Friday. Which one is right?

Answer:

They both are. The Church nowadays requires abstinence from meat only on Fridays of Lent, so your father is obeying the current discipline. In the early centuries, Christians fasted and abstained on Wednesdays and Fridays—not only in Lent, but all year long. So your mother is honoring this ancient tradition.

The spirit of Lent is to do something more, something extra, to grow closer to Christ. The Church sets some guidelines as a minimum, but we are free to do more. Traditionally, the penances of Lent are fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Each person, together with his confessor, decides on what practices will best prepare him for Easter.

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