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February 24, 2012

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Page4 POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 24, 2012 CASH In Your Gold LEGAL NOTICES [ [ The History of Lent (Continued from Page 1) noted the practices and du- ration of Lent. emphasizing the 40-day period of fasting. Finally, Pope St. Leo (d. 461) preached that the faithful must "fulfill with their fasts the Apostolic institution of the 40 days," again noting the apostolic origins of Lent. One can safely conclude that by the end of the fourth cen- tury, the 40-day period of Easter preparation known as Lent existed, and that prayer and fasting constituted its primary spiritual exercises. Of course, the number "40" has always had special spiri- tual significance regarding preparation. On Mount Sinai, preparing to receive the Ten Commandments, "Moses stayed there with the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights, without eating any food or drinking any water" (Ex 34:28). Elijah walked "40 days and 40 nights" to the mountain of the Lord, Mount Horeb (another name for Sinai) (I Kgs 19:8). Most im- portantly, Jesus fasted and prayed for "40 days and 40 nights" in the desert before He began His public minis- try (Mt 4:2). Once the 40 days of Lent were established, the next development concerned how much fasting was to be done. In Jerusalem, for instance. people fasted for 40 days, Monday through Friday, but not on Saturday or Sunday, thereby making Lent last for eight weeks. In Rome and in the West, people fasted for six weeks, Monday through Sa:lrday, thereby making Lent last for six weeks. Eventually, the practice pre- vailed of fasting for six days a week over the course of six weeks, and Ash Wednesday was instituted to bring the number of fast days before Easter to 40. The rules of fasting varied. First. some areas of the Church ab- stained from all forms of meat and animal products, while others made excep- tions for food like fish. For example. Pope St. Gregory (d. 604). writing to St. August- ine of Canterbury, issued the following rule: "We absLain from flesh, meat, and from all things that come from flesh, as milk. cheese and eggs." Second, the general rule was for a person to have one meal a day, in the evening or at 3:00 p.m. These Lenten fasting rules also evolved. Eventu- ally, a smaller repast was allowed during the day to keep up one's strength from manual labor. Eating fish was allowed, and later eat- ing meat was also allowed through the week except on Ash Wednesday and Friday. Dispensations were given for eating dairy products if a pi- ous work was performed, and eventually this rule was re- laxed totally. (However, the abstinence from even dairy products led to the practice of blessing Easter eggs and eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.) Over the years, modifica- tions have been made to the Lenten observances, mak- ing our practices not only simple but also easy. Ash Wednesday still marks the beginning of Lent, which lasts for 40 days, not includ- ing Sundays. The present fasting and abstinence laws are very simple: On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the faithful fast (having only one full meal a day and smaller snacks to keep up one's strength) and abstain from meat; on the other Fri- days of Lent, the faithful ab- stain from meat. People are still encouraged "to give up something" for Lent as a sac- rifice. (An interesting note is that technically on Sun- days and solemnities like St. Joseph's Day (March 19} and the Annunciation (March 25), one is exempt and can partake of whatever has been offered up for Lent. Nevertheless, I was always taught, "If you gave some- thing up for the Lord, tough it out. Don't act like a Phari- see looking for a loophole." Moreover, an emphasis must be placed on perform- ing spiritual works, like at- tending the Stations of the Cross, attending Mass, mak- ing a weekly holy hour be- 00,00PINELLIS FUNCTION FACILITY  Specializing in the art of celebration Wedding, Anniversary, Quinceahera, Reunion, Birthday, Social and Corporate Events. Convenient location and valet parking makes Spinelli's East Boston the perfect location. We are dedicated to the highest level of service and professionalism to ensure the success of your special occasion. WWW. BOSTO N POSTG AZ ETTE.COM fore the Blessed Sacrament. taking time for personal prayer and spiritual reading and most especially making a good confession and re- ceiving sacramental absolu- tion. Although the practices may have evolved over the centuries, the focus re- mains the same: to repent of sin, to renew our faith and to prepare to celebrate joy- fully the mysteries of our salvation. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Saunders, Rev. William. "History of Lent." Arlington Catholic Herald. This article is reprinted with permission from Arling- ton Catholic Herald. THE AUTHOR Father William P. Saunders is pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Potomac Falls and former dean of the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. Fa- ther has been writing his weekly "Straight Answers" column for the Arlington Catholic Herald since 1993. The above article is one of those "Straight Answers" columns. Father Saunders is the author of Straight An- swers, Answers to 100 Ques- tions about the Catholic Faith. a book based on 100 of his columns and published by Cathedral Press in Balti- more. I % I I I I I L$ I I Honest & Trusted for 33 Years!! I "i El]It III lll]-|lJ[l(l--- -" SJ I D i i I The POST-GAZETTE newspaper is a paper of general circulation. We are qualified to accept legal notices from any court in each town that we serve. For information on placing a Legal Notice in the POST-GAZEFIE, please call (617) 227-8929; or mail notice to: POST-GAZETTE P.O. BOX 135 BOSTON, MA 02113 Attn: Legal Notices I J00'l by Sal Giarratani ( t; Americans Remain People Determined to Rise America has been in a funk in recent years since the financial meltdown caused by both Wall Street and the Nation's Capitol. We are still not out of the woods as millions remain unem- ployed and more keep join- ing their ranks. There are some in Washington who apparently want us to lower our standards, to expect less and to pay more for it all. No wonder many of us want to escape the madness and ei- ther watch a Royal Wedding from England or the Patriots take on the Giants in the Super Bowl. Can I tell you the truth? I haven't watched a presi- dential speech since pre- Watergate Richard Nixon and I don't think I've missed anything I needed to know. The world is getting really dangerous today. Compared to the days before the Iron Curtain fell. those were the good old days. Today. with government-less terrorists roaming the world and ter- rorist states like Iran, any- thing bad is possible. At home, things don't ap- pear that much better. Since 9/11 government has centralized more power than ever in the fight against world terrorism. The TSA has become the new storm troopers. Nineteen-eighty- four is alive and well. Re- member George Orwell's book "1984," which was a novel about Big Brother Gov- ernment. Orwell picked the year 1984 since he was writ- ing the book in 1948. His piece of fiction set in the fu- ture scared people back in the '50s during the Red Scare. It was still required reading in colleges in the '70s. The actual year came and went without incident but I can truly say today in post-9/ll America we are living the first few chap- ters of Orwell's scary world. Have you read the book? Do you remember the caged rat? We are all fast becom- ing caged rats and most of us don't even realize that it is happening. We accept so much today without ques- tioning it. Recently, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ken- tucky) experienced this new world when the TSA stopped him from boarding a plane because when he walked through the TSA screening, the buzzer went off. First, they told him, he needed to be patted down and he re- fused. Then, they put him in a holding area when they saw him on his cell phone. Then. TSA said it was time for a full body search. He de- manded to be let through the TSA screening area again. They said no and he was es- corted out of the area by the police. This was a U.S. sena- tor. Imagine the average Joe or Jane getting caught in this security web like a trapped insect in a spider's web. When the media ques- tioned his father. U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), the presidential state said it was sounding like a police state. Not long ago I heard aver= age people getting inter- viewed who thought putting chips inside the skulls of little children would prevent kidnappings and locate run- away children. People are not dogs. It is one thing to chip your dog, but not your child. Am I missing some- thing here? I am surprised that we are not already occupied by a chip inside our heads. Hey, we don't want to get lost or anything, right? Also, when we go to the supermarket. we can get rid of those su- permarket cards on our key chains. All we have to do is bend over and scan our heads on to the scanner like the gallon of milk we just purchased. Most of us are still fight- ing against that tide. We don't always see it around here in the sea of blue we live in but if you travel to a red state, say. Texas, you still see real Americans fighting against bigger and more intrusive government. The Obama White House is fostering a new kind of America where we all work for the government in a chain gang of taxpayers paying for all those entitlements that the 45-plus percent of Americans get from govern- ment. We get taxed while others benefit from our hard work. The federal govern- ment has collectively become the new King George III. The American Revolution was about freedom. Our U.S. Constitution guaranteed all of us those rights inherent within us by our Creator and not the government. Our fore- fathers fought the greatest power on earth in the 18 th century to create freedom, protected by a constitution. Power was found within the people in a democratic re- public. The original tea partiers dumped tea into Boston Harbor in protest of what was considered unjust taxation. That same spirit lives in America today with our new American patriots within the Tea Party Movement. We are the government. Either we run it or it will surely run us. Government is always our business. As long as we remain free, we remain powerful. "Made in America" says we are excep- tional people and always will be so help us God. We do not accept failure and never have. There is no 1 percent and no 99 percent, there is just Americans all of us together.