June 14, 2024
Reflections By Rev. Fr. David Okolie

WITH THE LENTEN SEASON OVER: What Next?

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Rev. Fr. David Okolie

Dearest friends, the above may likely be a question in the minds of some Catholics now. What are we really expected to be doing now that the Lenten Season of *FASTING, ABSTINENCE, PRAYER, etc.* is over? Are we now into ‘Jolly Jolly’ season?

Beloved friends, the above is not what it is. Actually, our Christian Faith helps us to understand that there is no *‘holiday’* in our heavenly journey; any effort to initiate such a ‘holiday’ may likely lead one into lifestyles that he/she never imagined. Jesus himself affirms this point thus: *“WATCH and PRAY so that you will not fall into temptation” (cf. Mt 26:41).* Therefore, in order to help us to always *WATCH and PRAYER,* the Church has made the following provisions in the Canon Law:

1. All the faithful are BOUND by Divine Law to do *PENANCE* (cf. Can. 1249).

2. Penitential days and times in the Universal Church are *EVERY FRIDAY OF THE YEAR* and the period of Lent (cf. Can. 1250).

3. Based on Can. 1251, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), for example, lays down that *abstinence from meat or a favourite dish or drink or smoking is to be observed on ALL FRIDAYS,* except when a SOLEMNITY should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are also to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (cf. 2024 ‘Ordo’ for Nigeria, p. xxx)

4. Also, based on Can. 1253, the CBCN, has equally recommended other forms of Penance, such as: *regular attendance at morning Mass, Stations of the Cross, an Hour of Adoration, Help to the Poor, Visit to the Sick and Prisons or free service to the Needy* (cf. 2024 ‘Ordo’ for Nigeria, p. xxx).

Please, dearest friends, do not dismiss the above as unimportant. The provisions are made for our own good; to help us always check our excesses and to keep us spiritually *ALERT* and bodily *DISCIPLINED.* Remember that our EMEMY, the DEVIL, is always seeking to destroy us through our bodily sinful desires, the sinful ideologies of the world, etc., but the above provisions can help us to always resist him (cf. 1 Peter 5:8-9).

👉🏼 Please, do not THROW AWAY the wonderful VIRTUES and DISCIPLINE you acquired during the Lenten Season🙏🏼

Remain blessed🙏🏼

contributor
Rev. Fr. David Okolie is a Priest of the Catholic Diocese of Okigwe, Imo State, Nigeria. He is a prolific writer, retreat preacher and social media evangelizer.

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