Why should I fast? Fasting is a discipline Christians use - just as Jesus did - to lead us back to the fervor of our baptism when we put on Christ and vowed to follow Him. Our fasting reminds us to be more Christ-like in our everyday lives. “By denying ourselves food at certain times, we recall the reality of hunger, the needs of the poor, and our citizenship in the heavenly kingdom by moving ourselves away from an unhealthy focus on material goods and their consumption and intentionally changing our body’s focus.” (Blaha, Lenten Disciplines)
What are the Church Laws on fasting and abstinence during Lent?
Why should I give alms? Almsgiving helps us to focus on someone else's needs instead of our own. Lent is not a personal spiritual workout; it is a communal experience of renewal and a recommitment to our Catholic beliefs and mission.
“Giving “alms” is more than simply giving money; it is a matter of heart-felt concern for those in genuine need. The Bible speaks of almsgiving as a God-given duty, which must be carried out freely and joyfully, but also with a sense of responsibility. We need to distinguish the truly poor from the various forms of begging which do not help them. Jesus himself encourages a quiet and sincere concern for others who need our help, but warns against acts of charity performed to gain the approval of others. In our efforts to be merciful, let us take to heart his words: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).” Pope Francis on Mercy and Almsgiving at Jubilee Audience, 2016.