Friday, February 27, 2009

Biblical Evidence For Fasting and Abstinence (Lent)

[ source ]

Matthew 4:2
And he [Jesus] fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.

Matthew 6:16-18 And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 9:14-15 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast." (cf. Mk 2:18-20; Lk 5:33-35; 18:12)

Luke 1:15 for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.

Luke 2:37 . . . She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.

Luke 7:33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, 'He has a demon.' (cf. Mt 11:18)

Acts 13:2-3 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

Acts 14:23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed.

Acts 15:20 . . . abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood.

Acts 15:29 . . . abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. . . . (cf. 21:25)

Romans 14:3 Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats; for God has welcomed him.

Romans 14:6 He who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. He also who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

Romans 14:15,21 If your brother is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. . . . it is right not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother stumble.

1 Corinthians 8:13 Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother's falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.

2 Corinthians 6:4-5 but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, watching, hunger;

2 Corinthians 11:27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.

* * * * *

As for the forty days of Lent, The Catholic Encyclopedia: "Lent" (subcategory: "Duration of the Fast") states:
In determining this period of forty days the example of Moses, Elias, and Christ must have exercised a predominant influence, but it is also possible that the fact was borne in mind that Christ lay forty hours in the tomb. On the other hand just as Pentecost (the fifty days) was a period during which Christians were joyous and prayed standing, though they were not always engaged in such prayer, so the Quadragesima (the forty days) was originally a period marked by fasting, but not necessarily a period in which the faithful fasted every day.
Much more on this is in the article. The New Bible Dictionary (edited by J.D. Douglass, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1962, "Number" (p. 898 for the following quotation) brings out many interesting aspects of "forty":
Forty is associated with almost each new development in the history of God's mighty acts, especially of salvation, e.g., the flood, redemption from Egypt, Elijah and the prophetic era, the advent of Christ, and the birth of the Church. The following periods of forty days may be listed: the downpour of rain during the flood (Gn. 7:17); the despatch of the raven (Gn. 8:6); Moses' fasts on the mount (Ex. 24:18, 34:28; Dt. 9:9); the spies' exploration of the land of Canaan (Nu. 13:25); Moses' prayer for Israel (Dt. 9:25); Goliath's defiance (1 Sa. 17:16); Elijah's journey to Horeb (1 Ki. 19:8); Ezekiel's lying on his right side (Ezk. 4:6); Jonah's warning to Nineveh (Jon. 3:4); Christ's stay in the wilderness prior to His temptation (Mt. 4:2), His appearances after His resurrection (Acts 1:3).
There are several more incidences of the duration of 40 years (the Jews' wandering in the wilderness, reigns of the great kings, etc.), but I'll pass on typing all those, since the immediate analogy is to the 40 days of Lent.


Biblical Evidence for Ashes on Ash Wednesday

Genesis 2:7 (RSV) then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Genesis 18:27 Abraham answered, "Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.

2 Samuel 13:19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent the long robe which she wore; and she laid her hand on her head, and went away, crying aloud as she went.

Nehemiah 9:1 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth upon their heads.

Esther 4:1,3 When Mor'decai learned all that had been done, Mor'decai rent his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, wailing with a loud and bitter cry; . . . And in every province, wherever the king's command and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and most of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.

Job 2:8 And he took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes.

Job 34:15 all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.

Job 42:6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Psalm 90:3 Thou turnest man back to the dust, . . .

Isaiah 58:5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the LORD?

Jeremiah 6:26 O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth, and roll in ashes; make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.

Jeremiah 25:34 Wail, you shepherds, and cry, and roll in ashes, . . .

Ezekiel 27:30 and wail aloud over you, and cry bitterly. They cast dust on their heads
and wallow in ashes;

Daniel 9:3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.

Jonah 3:6 Then tidings reached the king of Nin'eveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

Judith 4:11,15 And all the men and women of Israel, and their children, living at Jerusalem, prostrated themselves before the temple and put ashes on their heads and spread out their sackcloth before the Lord. . . . With ashes upon their turbans, they cried out to the Lord with all their might to look with favor upon the whole house of Israel.

Sirach 17:32 He marshals the host of the height of heaven; but all men are dust and ashes.

Sirach 40:3 from the man who sits on a splendid throne to the one who is humbled in dust and ashes,

1 Maccabees 3:47 They fasted that day, put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on their heads, and rent their clothes. (cf. 4:39)

Matthew 11:21 Woe to you, Chora'zin! woe to you, Beth-sa'ida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. (cf. Lk 10:13)

1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. (cf. 15:48-49)

Revelation 18:19 And they threw dust on their heads, as they wept and mourned, . . .

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

AUDIO BIBLE: New Testament this Lent

Get the New Testament on Audio

Thanks Archbishop!

You've Got The Time HoustonHouston Catholics set to listen through the New Testament this Lenten season

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, recently urged Catholic leaders to get involved in a city-wide Bible listening campaign called You've Got The Time Houston.

Faith Comes By Hearing, the world’s foremost Audio Bible ministry, is coordinating this effort to reach every Houstonian with God’s Word in audio.

[ the rest here]

If you just want the audio, click the bold link above and get to downloadin' in your choice of version, in dramatized form or non-dramatized form!

Monday, February 23, 2009

What is Ash Wednesday?

Lets define some words used during this Lenten season:
*Ash Wednesday- Marks the beginning of Lent
*Lent- 40 day period before Good Friday
*Good Friday- The day Christ was crucified
*Easter- The day Christ resurrected 

Why do Christians receive ashes on their forehead?
In the Bible a mark on the forehead is a symbol of a person's ownership. By having their foreheads marked with the sign of a cross, this symbolizes that the person belongs to Jesus Christ, who died on a Cross.

Why use ashes?
1. Because ashes are a biblical symbol of mourning and penance
2. They also symbolize death and remind us of our mortality. Thus when the priest uses his thumb to sign one of the faithful with the ashes, he says, "Remember, man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return," which is modeled after God's address to Adam (Genesis 3:19; cf. Job 34:15, Psalms 90:3, 104:29, Ecclesiastes 3:20). 

All in all, it's a beautiful tradition that Christians have kept since around  A.D. 900 (that's a long time!).  Remember, Lent is a season of sacrifice, repentance, and conversion.  I hope this helped understand a little more about Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent.  

Saturday, February 21, 2009


As we imitate Jesus' 40-day fast and prepare to renew our baptismal promises on Easter Sunday, the Lord calls us to intensify our reading of His word. In this Lent, I invite you to ask for and accept the grace to read through all the prophets of the Old Testament except Isaiah. (We encourage you to read the prophet, Isaiah, during Advent). The following arrangement will help you. As you read the Lord's prophetic word, you will repent deeply and have the springtime of your life in the Spirit.

Ash Wednesday
   Jeremiah 1:1—4:31
Thurs. after Ash Wed. Jer. 5:1—8:23
Fri. after Ash Wed. Jer. 9:1—12:17
Sat. after Ash Wed. Jer. 13:1—16:21
First Sunday of Lent Jer. 17:1—20:18
Mon. of 1st week of Lent Jer. 21:1—24:10
Tues. of 1st week of Lent Jer. 25:1—29:23
Wed. of 1st week of Lent Jer. 29:24—33:26
Thurs. of 1st week of Lent Jer. 34:1—37:21
Fri. of 1st week of Lent Jer. 38:1—45:5
Sat. of 1st week of Lent Jer. 46:1—49:39
Second Sunday of Lent Jer. 50:1—52:34
Mon. of 2nd week of Lent Lamentations
Tues. of 2nd week of Lent Baruch
Wed. of 2nd week of Lent Ezekiel 1:1—6:14
Thurs. of 2nd week of Lent Ez. 7:1—12:28
Fri. of 2nd week of Lent Ez. 13:1—17:24
Sat. of 2nd week of Lent Ez. 18:1—21:37
Third Sunday of Lent Ez. 22:1—24:27
Mon. of 3rd week of Lent Ez. 25:1—29:16
Tues. of 3rd week of Lent Ez. 29:17—32:32
Wed. of 3rd week of Lent Ez. 33:1—37:28
Thurs. of 3rd week of Lent Ez. 38:1—42:20
Fri. of 3rd week of Lent Ez. 43:1—45:25
Sat. of 3rd week of Lent Ez. 46:1—48:35
Fourth Sunday of Lent Daniel 1:1—3:97
Mon. of 4th week of Lent Dn. 3:98—6:29
Tues. of 4th week of Lent Dn. 7:1—9:27
Wed. of 4th week of Lent Dn. 10:1—12:13
Thurs. of 4th week of Lent Dn. 13:1—14:42
Fri. of 4th week of Lent Hosea 1:1—4:19
Sat. of 4th week of Lent Hos. 5:1—9:9
Fifth Sunday of Lent Hos. 9-10—14:10
Mon. of 5th week of Lent Joel
Tues. of 5th week of Lent Amos 1:1-5, 6, 8-9
Wed. of 5th week of Lent Amos 5:7, 10—9:15
Thurs. of 5th week of Lent ObadiahJonah
Fri. of 5th week of Lent Micah 1:1—3:12
Sat. of 5th week of Lent Mi. 4:1—7:20
Palm (Passion) Sunday Zechariah 1:1—5:11
Mon. of Holy Week Zech. 6:1—11:3
Tues. of Holy Week Zech. 11-4—14:21
Wed. of Holy Week Malachi

Audio Retreats

Here are three online retreats from Catholics On Call:

It is our hope that these online retreats will help you to deepen your connection with Christ.

Called and Sent

Called and Sent is the five-part online retreat for the Summer of 2008. Each of the five sections will include a reflection on a Scripture passage and some recommendations for personal prayer and reflection. We will look at five biblical stories of call in order to examine various dimensions of vocation. This retreat is offered to everyone who wishes to enter into the mystery of their own vocation in life a little more deeply. Those who are considering a call to lay ministry, religious life, or priesthood may find it particularly pertinent to their questions and concerns. The retreat can be made over a period of five days or, if one’s schedule does not permit that, over a longer time span.

Podcasts of the invidual days are available. Simply click on the individual days and continue to the podcast link.

Called and Sent, Day One
Called and Sent, Day Two
Called and Sent, Day Three
Called and Sent, Day Four
Called and Sent, Day Five

The Lord's Prayer: A Spirituality of Discipleship

The prayer that Jesus taught his disciples is more than simply a prayer. It embodies a spirituality for those who wish to follow the Lord. Through the centuries famous Christian theologians and spiritual writers have commented on the Lord’s Prayer and used it as a framework for articulating Christian spirituality. In these four weeks of retreat, we will reflect upon various dimensions of this prayer as we seek to deepen our relationship with Christ.

First week: "Our Father Who are in Heaven, Hallowed Be Your Name"
Second week: "Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be Done"
Third week: "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread"
Fourth week: "Forgive Us Our Trespasses, As We Forgive Those Who Tresspass Against Us"

Gazing on the Face of Christ

First posted in July 2006, this retreat is designed to help you focus on your understanding of the person of Jesus and your relationship with him. This is a “back to basics” theme that takes us right to the heart of our Catholic Christian faith. It is also a very rich theme with great potential to move us into prayerful dialogue with the Lord.

The word “gazing” is used to connote an attitude, a stance, of contemplation. Some years ago, Fr. William McNamara, a Discalced Carmelite author, described “contemplation” in this way: contemplation is “a long, loving look at the Real.” During these next four weeks, you are invited to take a long, loving look at the reality of Christ. In faith, we know this Jesus to be “real” with a capital “R”.

Click on the link for each week’s talk and reflection questions:

First Week—Christ Crucified: Compassion Poured Out
Second Week—Building Friendship with Christ
Third Week—Christ the Bread of Life
Fourth WeekChrist the Good Samaritan


Pope Benedict XVI, Shepherd of Truth

Notable quotations from Pope Benedict XVI and official
teachings of the Roman Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI


At the beginning of Lent, which constitutes an itinerary of more intense spiritual training, the Liturgy sets before us ... three penitential practices that are very dear to the biblical and Christian tradition — prayer, almsgiving, fasting — to prepare us to better celebrate Easter and thus experience God's power.


I wish to focus my reflections especially on the value and meaning of fasting.... Lent recalls the forty days of our Lord's fasting in the desert, which He undertook before entering into His public ministry.


Jesus ... through prayer and fasting, prepared Himself for the mission that lay before Him, marked at the start by a serious battle with the tempter.


The Sacred Scriptures and the entire Christian tradition teach that fasting is a great help to avoid sin and all that leads to it.


Since all of us are weighed down by sin and its consequences, fasting is proposed to us as an instrument to restore friendship with God.


The faithful practice of fasting contributes ... to conferring unity to the whole person, body and soul, helping to avoid sin and grow in intimacy with the Lord.


Denying material food ... nurtures an interior disposition to listen to Christ and be fed by His saving word. Through fasting and praying, we allow Him to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depths of our being: the hunger and thirst for God.


At the same time, fasting is an aid to open our eyes to the situation in which so many of our brothers and sisters live...Voluntary fasting enables us to grow in the spirit of the Good Samaritan, who bends low and goes to the help of his suffering brother....


The ultimate goal of fasting is to help each one of us ... to make the complete gift of self to God.

(Source: Message for Lent, dated 12/11/2008)

Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry, Cincinnati, Ohio 45211, (513) 662-5378,

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Misang Pilipino - Misa ng Sambayanan

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009



Gather with people
who love to give praise and thanks to God.
That's why charismatics go to prayer meetings.

o o o o o o o O o o o o o o o

Do not delay to turn to the Lord,
nor postpone it from day to day
Sirach 5:7


Thursday, February 12, 2009

UGNAYAN - February 2009 Issue

February 2009 Issue

CBCP Monitor CFC Supplement

Volume 13 No. 3
February 2-15, 2009

New Service Assignment

Wednesday, 11 February 2009


Saturday, February 7, 2009


"This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another."

John 13:35

February 6, 2009

c/o T2Dave

c/o T2Raul

November 21, 2008

Disciples Weekend

Kid's Power

K A L A S H !

Thursday, February 5, 2009


First this...


Now CLUSTER 2 is ready to move...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

CFC Announcement - February 4, 2009