Bishop Soto Reminds Us

2012 Lenten regulations and admonitions:

Another Lenten journey of further conversion will begin on Ash Wednesday, February 22. Lent prepares the faithful to celebrate the Paschal Mystery of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. It is a time for reflection and spiritual renewal, a time to examine one’s relationships with God and with others. The Church also calls Catholics to a spirit of penance, above all to practice the “Acts of Religion”: fasting, prayer and almsgiving, “which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos.1969 and 1434). 

I. FAST AND ABSTINENCE (self-denial).
To foster the spirit of penance and of reparation for sin, to encourage self-denial, and to guide us in the footsteps of Jesus, Church law requires the observance of fast and abstinence (CCC, nos. 1249-1253).

1. Abstinence: All persons who have already celebrated their 14th birthday are bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent.

2. Fasting: Everyone, from the celebration of their 18th birthday to their 59th birthday, is bound to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Voluntary fasting on other weekdays of Lent, especially on Wednesdays and Fridays, is highly recommended. Fasting is generally understood to mean eating one full meal each day. Two other partial meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken; but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids are allowed. Other forms of “fasting,” especially regarding alcoholic drink, needless television, video games, Internet use and social entertainment, is of true spiritual value and is strongly encouraged. When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, neither the law of fasting nor the law of abstinence obliges. If in doubt, one’s parish priest or confessor may be consulted. Airport workers, travelers, and others while on board ships or airplanes are dispensed from the laws of fast and abstinence for the duration of their journey (except on Good Friday). It is desirable that they perform some other pious act instead.

In order to deepen one’s love for Christ, Catholics are urged to read and pray over sacred Scripture; to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church; to participate in devotions offered by the parish; and to pray more fervently — individually, as families, and in common with others. The faithful are exhorted to pray the rosary, to make private visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and to pray especially for vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, for world peace, and for an ongoing implementation of the pastoral initiatives of the Third Diocesan Synod.

1. Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation: Lent is a privileged time for celebrating this sacrament. Parishes generally make readily available the Sacrament of Penance, including its communal celebration. (In this way, the social and ecclesial aspects of sin and reconciliation, as well as one’s personal reconciliation with God may be underscored. At communal celebrations of reconciliation, however, general absolution is not permitted. People should attend also to reconciliation in every aspect of human life — personal, familial, societal, and ecclesial. During the Lenten and Easter time, Catholics are reminded that they are obliged to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance at least once a year.

To read Bishop Soto’s entire statement on Lenten regulations, Click here.



Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 12:12 AM By Clinton
Have any of you seen something called Lent 4.5 in your parishes’ bulletin? It’s from a Passionist group called Earth & Spirit Center. It is new age stuff about how we are so greedy and are killing the planet. It’s based on the so called eco-theology of Thomas Berry. Apparently it’s more important to save the earth than to save souls. I’ll stick to the traditional Lenten practices, thank you.

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 1:08 AM By charlio
From yesterday’s reading: And when he [Jesus] was come into the house, his disciples secretly asked him: Why could not we cast him out [the unclean deaf and dumb spirit]? And he said to them: This kind can go out by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. – Mark 9:28-29

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 6:26 AM By Angelo
I had been thinking lately about the Old School Priests who would instruct us about what Lent was all about. We took the season of Lent more seriously then. I will never forget Ash Wednesday 1979, the priest banged his fist on the pulpit and lashed out, “You pack of hypocrates. Instead of giving up candy, why dont you give up lieing, instead of giving up soda, why don’t you give up adultery? It is a contrite heart that God desires, not sacrifice.” I wish priests would admonish us like they used to, then we would please God more during the Church’s Major Pentential season. I like what Bishop Soto says, but I wish he would have given the main reason for penance in strong terms, sin offends God, there is guilt which is forgiven in the Confessional, only if we make use of it. And there is satisfaction which are the punishments God gives us for every sin committed, which can be lessened or completely removed through pennance, or the obtaining of Indulgences.

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 6:53 AM By Robert Lockwood
Why is it there are so few Bishops and clergy like Bishop Soto who actually teach the truths of our Catholic faith? God bless the good Bishop.

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:30 AM By JoeCee
Clinton: With a dead planet, there will be no souls to save.

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:02 AM By Sarah
Before Vatican II, Catholics were obliged to abstain from meat on Friday, a minor inconvenience at worst. Then, to make our lives more comfortable, we no longer had to abstain from meat. I have read that some dioceses in Europe are now requiring Catholics to abstain from meat on Friday the year around. It would be good if all dioceses would reinstate this. It would help us to think of the penance that we all need to do.

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:27 AM By Bud 
Robert Lockwood: Every day most of us criticize our state and federal leaders who we put into office. The appointment of Bishops etc. can be a very very political affair within the Church. A pope is no sooner crowned and the tongues start wagging about the new papabile. Appointments of Bishops and Cardinals have to be based on recommendations not necessarily for their honest piety but there administrative and political abilities. This has resulted in so many bishops remalining aloof as an example to their laity. I do believe that Benedict XVI was elected for a very good reason though and has used his intellectual genius in turning the entire church around. He is an inspiration to all.

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:28 AM By JB EL PASO
I noticed that the last directive (During the Lenten…) is incorrect according to the CCC 1457, “after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year.” This references and accurately quotes Canon Law Canon 989. CCC 2042 states; “You shall confess your sins at least once a year” also references Canon 989 but is not an accurate quote. Canon 988 #2 states “It is recommended to the Christian faithful that they also confess venial sins”. Note, the annual obligation is only for serious sin and no time frame or season is specified.

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 2:35 PM By JLS
Clinton, “saving the earth” from destruction and waste is not only important but critical. There are charlatans who pounce on matters of importance, and you’ve described one such group.

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 2:38 PM By JLS
JB El PASO, you’re not supposed to receive Holy Communion with a serious sin on your soul. For example, suppose you worshiped a runway model and continued to receive Holy Communion without being absolved of your sin first, thinking to wait until day number 364, then WWSPS? (Ie, what would St Peter say?)

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 2:53 PM By JMJ
Thanks Clinton for that little tid-pit. I saw an article with the headline about the Bishops promoting this same nonsense about “fasting” on Fridays and sending the money somewhere (I got sick with just the few lines that I read) as the article forget to teach about fasting, not only in the New Testament, but, also, in the O.T. and why it is so necessary for our salvation and the fact that Heaven keeps telling us,through the different apparitions, that we need to fast and pray for the good of God’s Church, Pope Benedict and the for the souls in Purgatory. Sorry, JoeCee, but the Jesus nor Mary has ever mentioned a dead planet. Jesus suffered and died for mankind, not for the world itself, as there will be a NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH, one of these days. +JMJ+

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 3:36 PM By Delilah
Going to confession once a month does away with worrying about meeting an “Easter duty”. How about fasting from TV or facebook or twitter? You can feast on prayer or conversation/prayer with your family during the time you are not on the computer or in front of the TV. Alms giving is wonderful, but, how about teaching an adult or teenager to read? Just a few thoughts. Pax

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 6:26 PM By Pax vobiscum
Sarah – It is my understanding that Vatican II did not release Catholics from weekly Friday abstinence. A year-round Friday abstinence is still required, but it need not be from meat. We may now choose a sacrifice that will be personally meaningful. This makes a great deal of sense to our family, at least. We love seafood, beans, cheese, nuts, and the like, even if simply prepared. But we’re not enamored of beef, poultry, lamb, and pork. What’s the point of abstaining from something you don’t like in the first place? When I was a child, my Mom told us about a Catholic friend of her then-Protestant family. If he was invited to dinner on Friday, he brought along his own tuna, and ate it straight out of the can. In case the hostess had not planned a meatless meal, he did not want to impose. But he had no fear of living his Faith in public, and was never considered rude. How times have changed! What about a Catholic who must eat at a restaurant on a day of abstinence? (I agree. Absolutely not a good choice to begin with, but let’s leave it hypothetical, and say it’s unavoidable for some extraordinary reason.) He will find little if any humble, meatless food on the menu. Seafood is high-end, delicious, and decidedly not sacrificial. If there’s a potato or vegetable soup, it’s certainly not based on a vegetable stock. Salads can be simple, but rarely provide sufficient protein and carbs for those of us medically required to eat carefully. Those allergic to shellfish cannot even eat the (sacrificially appropriate) gummy clam chowder from a can, still found on some Friday Special menus. So, VII gives us the option of abstaining from something else that makes sense to our lives and tastes. In our family, we choose a favorite food or activity which we enjoy for the rest of the week, and give it up on Fridays. When that is no longer a favorite Saturday-through-Thursday part of our lives, we replace it with something new that makes our Friday abstinence real. God bless you!

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:09 PM By JLS
Delilah, do you know for sure that an adult or teenager who never learned to read, can learn to read? Have you witnessed such a thing?

Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:13 PM By JLS
Just as man is meant to be a temple for the Holy Spirit, so the earth is meant to be the temple for man, or at least his castle, or if that is too much to consider, then at least his home. JMJ, do you scatter diapers all over your house, cut down trees in your neighborhood, shoot the cats you see prowling around, poison the birds, burn old tires to give the air a nice aroma? You might as well do this stuff, since God will be renewing the earth some day, maybe next week for all we know.

Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 2:21 AM By MIKE
JB EL PASO – I discussed this with a Priest a few years ago. Yes we must confess our sins once a year as stated in the CCC #2041 and 2042. It is a Precept of the Church. The CCC contains the Doctrine of the Faith, the shorter Compendium which was distributed Motu Proprio from Pope Benedict also clearly contains this #432. You are correct about Canon 989, but you also must read Canon 21. “Can. 21 In a case of doubt, the revocation of a pre-existing law is not presumed, but later laws must be related to the earlier ones and, insofar as possible, must be harmonized with them.” The Precept of the Church that we must confess our sins at least once a year stands – per the Magisterium (and Pope John Paul II in the CCC), and per Pope Benedict in the Compendium (distributed Motu Proprio). If anyone has not gone to Confession in the past year, make it your Lenten Resolution.

Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 1:58 AM By Kenneth M. Fisher
JLS, The last time I visited Thailand and was with Archbishop Khai, we were blessed to meet a former budhist to whom the Blessed Mother appeared and gave the woman the gift of infused knowledge to read and write. I personally asked her, through the Archbishop, if she had not been able to read and write before Our Lady appeared to her, and if she could read and write now, to which she replied in the affirmative and with a universal YES a nod. The statue that took life form and spoke to her now cries real human tears. I have been privleged to witness this as well. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 5:43 PM By Anne T.
Bishop Soto seems to be doing a great deal for traditional families. He charitably spoke out to a group against homosexual practices, was in a pro-life walk and now has given us some excellent ideas for Lent. He is to be commended for all this.

Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 6:29 PM By JLS
Interesting, Kenneth. My question is on the natural realm though, because I was once told by a supposed expert that if a person has not learned to read by age nine, that normally they never will, at least not to any extent considered literate.

Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 8:52 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
JLS, “Supposed expert” is the right way to put it! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Friday, February 24, 2012 2:01 AM By Angelo
Sarah, Pope Paul Vl lifted the the Church law that made it a mortal sin to eat meat on Fridays (it was done after V2). Paul Vl added “My people keep with this holy practice.” He never abolished meatless Fridays. It was the progressives who led us to believe that. When the new Code of Canon Law took effect. Bl. John Paul ll made it clear that Church law mandates Friday as a day of pennance for all Catholics. He did not reinstate meatless Fridays per se, rather he made it clear that it remained Church Law and it was never changed. There was an exception exactly as before V2. Such as where Catholics ate fish everyday, they instead had fishless Fridays. The US Bishops decided for us, do your own penance of your choosing (That decision was dead on arrival). Fridays have always been days of pennance as Christ gave his life for our salvation on that day. Saturdays are traditionaly dedicated to Our Lady, as she mourned the death of her child on that day. Sunday attendance at Mass still binds under pain of mortal sin, as on that day Christ conquered death for us, by rising from it. Many do not know or have forgotten that Our Lord sanctified Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the Church calls us to holy observances on those 3 days. The Church is alive and well, only there are those who have succeeded in smothering it in our lives.

Posted Friday, February 24, 2012 11:55 AM By Cowboy Bob
I am a cattle rancher in Northern California and a practicing Roman Catholic. The last time I checked the catechism, eating meat is not a sin. More meatless Fridays would have a negative impact on my business. I hope the US Bishops will not implement meatless Fridays!

Posted Friday, February 24, 2012 1:58 PM By JLS
Cowboy Bob, I thought the Pope made fridays in Lent meatless. Hey, if I find out otherwise before the end of today, I’ll go ahead and eat thursday’s leftover meat … uh, pork, sorry : )) One thing, Cowboy Bob, it would be great if the cattle were all fed grass instead of the garbage they toss ’em nowadays … which shows up drastically in the flavor of the beef. JLS, alias Son of a Gun, happy descendant of cattle ranchers in Nebraska and Texas … too bad they didn’t stay there though instead of migrating to the bright lights and big city, oh well.

Posted Friday, February 24, 2012 2:01 PM By RR
I never eat meat on Fridays even if it isn’t Lent. What is so hard about not eating meat on Fridays? I guess I don’t understand why people have a problem with meatless Fridays. Can’t people sacrifice a little bit for for God?

Posted Friday, February 24, 2012 5:03 PM By Abeca Christian
RR your heart is noble and kind. Your rewards are greater because you have chosen freely to give up meat always on Fridays, it;s more precious when you have offered that up privately between you and the Lord without imposing that unto others, I know that your prayers are being heard so that we all grow spiritually enough to embrace those beautiful things.

Posted Saturday, February 25, 2012 4:25 AM By RR
Abeca: Thank you for your kind words. I know your prayers are being heard also because you defend God and the Church with all your heart and soul. God bless you!

Posted Saturday, February 25, 2012 11:16 PM By Abeca Christian
RR thank you for awaking in me what is needed. I don’t deserve such high esteem, I have failed today. I was at a baptism today in Mexically. After the Baptism, a man came in the church and was trying to sell pictures he took during. We were trying to bargain down the price. I kept trying. Then my husband said ” we are still in God’s house! We shouldn’t be trying to buy pictures in His church, we should walk out outside! This is disrespectful! He also used the scripture passage when our Lord admonished many for peddling in front of the church. I then realized, wait a minute, my husband was right! I don’t know what went wrong with me. I felt so bad, I prayed and asked God to forgive me. I now understand it when he told his apostles to be on guard and stay awake. It’s so easy to make honest mistakes. Our Lord doesn’t deserve what the bad example that I gave today! I praise our Lord for using my husband as a voice of reason. I was a disgrace today and but the good Lord’s mercy shined through with His love to lovingly remind us of our faults. May our good Lord forgive me! In Mexico they allow photography there to help the poor make money but we must still be reminded of respect and displaying reverence and love in our Lord’s home!

Posted Saturday, February 25, 2012 11:17 PM By Abeca Christian
For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am weak, then am I powerful. 2 Corinthians 12:10