Lenten practices at St. Mary’s, Gorkha – Nepal

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Lent is a time when we focus on prayer, fasting and almsgiving, to prepare ourselves in a worthy manner for the celebration of Easter. It is a time to atone for our sins and to detach ourselves from everything that prevents us from reaching the heights. These 40 days are also a time when we make an extra effort to grow in holiness and love for God.
In our community, the traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, abstinence and almsgiving are practiced in different ways. In addition to the obligatory fasting days of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the sisters fast every Friday. The elderly and sick who are unable to fast for a whole day abstain from fruit on Fridays. Another common abstinence practice in our communities is to abstain from eating non-vegetarian food (i.e. meat and fish) for the entire 40-day Lenten period. The money saved through the various forms of abstinence is offered to the parish church as a Lenten offering during Holy Week services.
Prayer is another important Lenten practice in our community. Each week, sisters spend time praying and meditating on the Stations of the Cross. In turn, each sister in the community creatively leads the Way of the Cross to lead the group in meditating on the Passion of Christ. Meditation on the Passion of Christ creates awareness of our sinfulness and inspires us to overcome our weaknesses, practice self-discipline and live a holy life. The Passion of Christ also calls us to see Christ’s suffering in humanity today and encourages us to pray for the suffering world.
Also in our community, during Lent, we spend extra hours in personal prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, pray the Rosary of Divine Mercy for the needs of the world and read the scriptures.
Family visits are one of the practices of Lent. The sisters spend time with family and staff members, listening to them and getting to know them.

Sr. Mariette Pinto CJ
St. Mary’s, Gorkha
Nepal Region.
Carla Bellone