The Friday Five: Feasting and Fasting

By: Elise Italiano, Director of Communications

I always find this week an odd one in the spiritual life, given the juxtaposition of feasting and fasting. Though we are still in the midst of a penitential season, our liturgical calendar presents us with the Feast of St. Patrick and the Solemnity of St. Joseph (along with poor St. Cyril of Jerusalem who’s feast falls in between). We hit the “pause” button on our fasting in order to celebrate – often with good food and drink.

But the celebration isn’t about us. That would conflict with what Lent is about: calling to mind our smallness in front of God. Instead, we celebrate God’s goodness and the ways that His grace transforms human nature in the lives of the saints. With perseverance and prayer, perhaps we, too, will be rejoicing next to St. Patrick and St. Joseph when our earthly pilgrimage is complete.

1. This week, Bishop Loverde reflected on the Lenten lessons offered to us by St. Joseph, protector and guardian of Jesus and Mary.

2. Click on the photo below to view photos of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Old Town Alexandria.

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2015

3. We are grateful to the USCCB for sharing Bishop Loverde’s Twitter account and noting his “messages of faith and encouragement.” Next week we’ll be celebrating the 16th anniversary of our Shepherd’s installation as Bishop of Arlington! Be sure to send him a message on Twitter.

BishopUSCCBmerge

4. My week of feasting included indulging in Irish and Italian cuisine. But it also made me think of those who go without. There’s still time for Lenten almsgiving. Consider making a donation to the St. Lucy Project which “feeds the hungry and nourishes the soul.”

5. This week Pope Francis remarked: “A society can be judged by the way it treats its children.” In other words, we can be judged by how we care for those who are dependent upon us. Read the remarkable story about a fund commemorating Thomas Vander Woude, a father who died while trying to save his son with Down Syndrome. The fund, created through the Jerome Lejeune Foundation USA, will be launched on World Down Syndrome Day – this Saturday, March 21. At a time when our brothers and sisters with Down Syndrome are casualties of the “throwaway culture,” this story reminds us to care for the least among us.

I pray that whether you feasted or fasted, you’ve experienced God’s love this week and always!

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