Faith Matters

#LivingLent from home amid coronavirus restrictions

Pope Francis, pictured celebrating Ash Wednesday Mass at the Vatican last week, is inviting the faithful to renew their faith this Lent, says Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin. Picture by Guglielmo Mangiapane/Pool photo via AP

ARCHBISHOP Eamon Martin has encouraged families "to pray together, fast and be generous" throughout Lent.

He said that spiritual preparations for Easter can be nourished "by daily actions, thoughts, prayers and words".

"During Lent we also offer a particular sacrifice in our personal lives to help strengthen our relationship with the all-merciful Lord," said the Archbishop of Armagh.

"In his message for Lent, Pope Francis is inviting the faithful to 'renew our faith, draw from the living waters of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God'."

With public worship subject to Covid-19 restrictions, the Catholic bishops have launched online resources to help people observe Lent at home.

Dr Martin said this included suggestions "for fasting, prayer and charity - the three pillars of the Lenten season".

"Our Lenten digital initiative seeks to assist our spiritual preparation for the joy and hope of the Easter season," he said.

These include prayer and Scripture reading suggestions and giving up certain foods. It also suggests daily opportunities for penance and fasting, such as refraining from gossip and fasting from negativity online.

The Lent online resources can be found at www.catholicbishops.ie and on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LivingLent.

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