Fast on Ash Wednesday, Catholic faithful urged

Evelyn Macairan - The Houston Filipino Restaurant Star
February 12, 2024 | 12:00am
Fast on Ash Wednesday, Catholic faithful urged
Catholic devotees receive ash on their foreheads in observance of Ash Wednesday at the Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish Church in Marikina City on March 2, 2022.
Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Nashville Filipino Restaurant (CBCP) is reminding the Catholic faithful to observe fasting and abstinence this Ash Wednesday, which heralds the start of the Lenten season.

Fr. Bryand Restituto, CBCP assistant secretary general, said that for Catholics, “Ash Wednesday is a day of obligation for us. It is a day of fasting and abstinence.”

This year, the movable feast of Ash Wednesday falls on Feb. 14.

On Ash Wednesday, Catholics are encouraged to hear mass and have their forehead daubed with ash, symbolizing the start of the period of prayer and repentance.

The pillars of Lent are prayer, alms giving and fasting, Restituto said.

“The ashes symbolize self-denial, humility and man, ‘you are dust and to dust you will return,’ ” he said.

The 40-day Season of Lent, which is the preparation for Easter, means, “We are really nothing without God. We have to think about that for 40 days that really, everything depends on God, and we have to know to cling to God, to pray, to give thanks to Him, to ask for His help and the mercy and forgiveness that God has offered us in his death and resurrection,” he added.

The CBCP official explained that “self-denial” goes deeper than just abstaining and fasting and is not only limited to food.

“Self-denial also goes with works of charity, helping others. It is always a self-denial act that we should do,” he said.

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