MAGGIE SUE'S DOGmatic BLOG


February 25:  Season of Lent, week number 2!  Does everyone know the particulars of the Season of Lent?  Last week I reminded you all of the disciplines of Lent.  And I wonder how well you’re doing with prayer, fasting and almsgiving this season?  Shelties are known for their discipline and wanting to please their master! (my Dad!) Well, if you knew more about Lent perhaps your discipline might be better and you might please your master as well?!!!  No – not my Dad!!  GOD!!  So, pay attention to these questions!

What is Lent? According to the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, "Lent is a preparation for the celebration of Easter. For the Lenten liturgy disposes both catechumens and the faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery: catechumens, through the several stages of Christian initiation; the faithful through reminders of their own baptism and through penitential practices" 

Is Lent actually forty days long? Technically, no. According to the General Norms, "Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord's Supper, exclusive" (General Norms 28). This means Lent ends at the beginning of the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. Count it as you will, that's more than forty days. Therefore, the number forty in traditional hymns such as "Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days" is only an approximation.

Are Sundays excluded from Lent? No. The definition of what days are included in Lent is given above, in General Norms 28. No exception is made for Sundays. Indeed, the General Norms go on to specifically name the Sundays of the period as belonging to the season: "The Sundays of this season are called the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent. The Sixth Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week, is called Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday)" (General Norms 30).

Some people customarily allow themselves on Sunday to have things they have voluntarily given up for Lent, but since these forms of self-denial were voluntarily assumed anyway, a person is not under an obligation to practice them on Sunday (or any other specific day of the week).



February 18:  So the three pillars of Lent are Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.  Squirrels are asking me all the time just what exactly do Catholics have to do (not do) during Lent.  So I’m sharing the following hoping all Catholics observe our Lenten disciplines… 

FASTING AND ABSTINENCE FOR LENT
1. Everyone 14 years of age or older is bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays in Lent including GOOD FRIDAY.
2. Everyone 18 years of age and under 60 years of age is bound to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
3. On these two days of fast and abstinence only one full meatless meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal one full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted on these two days, but liquids, including milk and fruit juices, are allowed. When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.
4. To disregard completely the law of fast and abstinence is a serious matter.
5. Going to Mass every Sunday, doing acts of charity, forgiveness, and good deeds of virtue are obligations of daily life of Catholics, especially during Lent. 


February 11:  St. Valentine Day is this Wednesday!!! Gotta a riddle for all of you: “What kind of flowers do squirrels send their sweethearts? The answer is “Forget-Me-NUTS.” Oh those silly squirrels!!  So the squirrels were wondering who wasSt Valentine anyway? My Sheltie knowledge (and my Dad’s computer) found the following:

On February 14 around the year 278 A.D., Valentine, a holy priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed. Under the rule of Claudius, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families. To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270. Legend also has it that while in jail, St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine." For his great service, Valentine was named a saint after his death. Now you know! Go and spread the love! !


February 4:   Story of Adam & Eve’s Dog
So,  my Dad received the following story in his email this past week and shared it with me.  I know all of you would appreciate this, especially all you dog lovers!  So it goes like this:

Adam and Eve said, 'Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day.  Now we do not see you anymore. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us.'  And God said, I will create a companion for you that will be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me.  Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves.

And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve. And it was a good animal and God was pleased.  And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.

And Adam said, 'Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.'  And God said, 'I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG.’

And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them. And they were comforted.  And God was pleased.  And Dog was content and wagged his tail.



For more of Maggie's musings, see our online bulletin archives.  Maggie's column appears on page 3.






























































































 
 



















   
    
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