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You might have heard of the term “practicing Catholic”. In fact, being a “practicing Catholic” becomes a “requirement” in some circumstances. For example, if you want to apply for a teaching position in a Catholic institution, one of the qualifications for you to be hired is that you must be a “practicing Catholic”. Or if you are to be a godparent for a child of your close friend, then being a “practicing Catholic” is a must.
But what does being a “practicing Catholic” mean? Standards for Educators in Catholic Schools and Parishes by the Wisconsin Catholic Conference defines a “practicing Catholic” as “a Catholic in good standing who participates fully in the worship and life of the Church, and who understands and accepts the teachings of the Church and moral demands of the Gospel, as articulated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”
Lent is here, a cycle of profound conversion and "spiritual health check-up." Lent is a time to grow in and strengthen our faith and to welcome new brothers and sisters into our community of faith. No doubt, we should intentionally work on our conversion every day. Still, these 40 days are extraordinary, focused on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. We prepare our hearts to celebrate the miracle of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ at Easter.
Catholics are called to actively seek the face of God and His graces during this time through three main pillars, Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving. But why do we need to do them? How do they help us prepare for the big day?
The Christmas season is meant to be merry because it reminds us that God is faithful and keeps His promises. The above passage is an excerpt from the Gospel of Luke Chapter 2, where we are given the reason for our Hope and Joy through the beautiful story of the birth of Jesus Christ, a story that took place over 2,000 years ago. With the birth of Jesus, Christianity also started.
The Thanksgiving Holiday is one of the most celebrated in our country, not only because it is not attached to any religious practice but because families come together to feast and be grateful for the blessings received throughout the year. It is a joyful celebration where we all share generously with others our gifts. May this Thanksgiving day be a joyful one!