DPPL 126: A Harmony of Lenten Piety and Liturgy

STA altar at night smallI think this paragraph has a bead on good Lent, noting that quite often Lenten practices of piety harmonize with where the liturgy might be nudging believers.

126. The existing divergence between the liturgical idea of Lent and the outlook of popular piety need not prevent an effective interaction between Liturgy and popular piety during the forty days of Lent.
An example of such interaction is to be seen in fact that popular piety often encourages particular observances on certain days, or special devotional exercises, or apostolic or charitable works which are foreseen and recommended by the lenten Liturgy. The practice of fasting, characteristic of the lenten season since antiquity, is an “exercise” which frees the faithful from earthly concerns so as to discover the life that comes from above: “(One) does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (cf. Dt 8,3; Mt 4, 4; Lk 4,4; antiphon for the first Sunday of Lent).

Perhaps the most common complaint about Lenten fasting practices (other than their relative weakness compared to former days) is that they can become mindless gestures. We don’t think about giving up sweets. For forty-four days we can accomplish it. Then the rest of the year, we forget that we do not live on bread–or chocolate–alone. I think this is a matter less of finding something harder to give up, but to cultivate a mindfulness about what we do sacrifice.

The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy is online at the Vatican site.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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