Masses with the blessing and distribution of Ashes:
9.00am @ St Joseph, Shirebrook (with the school)
9.30am @ St Philip Neri with St Bede School (parishioners welcome)
12.10pm @ St Philip Neri, Mansfield
7.30pm @ St Teresa, Market Warsop
Fasting and Abstinence
Ash Wednesday, along with Good Friday, is a day of fasting and abstinence. As a spiritual discipline we are asked to abstain from meat and limit our intake of food on these days.
Every Friday of the year is also a day of abstinence, in remembrance of the death of the Lord. If you’ve fallen out of the habit of abstaining from meat on Fridays Lent is a good time to start again.
The Lenten Disciplines
During Lent we are asked to have a serious look at our prayer life, and make a positive decision as to how to deepen our relationship with the Lord. Pick something achievable, but be intentional about it. Perhaps attending Mass during the week, or committing to a regular time of prayer as a family, or starting each day with an Our Father. Whatever you decide to do, make it something that you can realistically incorporate into your daily life, and which will bring you closer to God – remember unachievable goals can have the opposite effect!
Fasting is all about making space for God in our lives and growing in the virtue of temperance. Fasting from food generally increases our self-control and builds us up in the virtue of temperance. The best fasting is when you identify something in your life that is out of control and then pick a fast that will help to bring that thing back into a healthy balance. Be deliberate about it, but also realistic. Fasting is not supposed to harm you, but help you, so don’t go overboard. When planning your fast ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve. When you settle on something that makes more room for God in your life and helps you gain a little more control over something your struggling with you’ve hit on the right thing. Remember, keep it achievable! Overburdening yourself or setting yourself up for failure will have the opposite effect to what you want!
This discipline is primarily about being drawn outside of ourselves to be more aware of, and responsive to, the needs of others. Again the best almsgiving is deliberate and planned, and its not just about writing a cheque. Perhaps volunteering, or committing to bringing something for the food bank each week, or doing a fundraiser for a particular charity, or volunteering to visit the sick and housebound of the parish. The possibilities are endless.