Arising from the Pastoral Letter of the Holy Father, the Irish Bishops have published a new resource leaflet in English and Irish called Friday Penance. This is amongst a number of initiatives aimed to support renewal of the Catholic Church in Ireland.
Pope Benedict asked us to offer our Friday Penances “for an outpouring of God’s mercy and the Holy Spirit’s gifts of holiness and strength”. He asked us to offer our fasting, prayer, reading of Scripture and works of mercy in order to obtain the grace of healing and renewal for the Church in Ireland. Pope Benedict also encouraged us to “discover anew the sacrament of Reconciliation and to avail yourselves more frequently of the transforming power of its grace”.
The new resource leaflet may be downloaded Friday Penance Leaflet
The following are suggested as ways of fulfilling Friday Penance.
- Abstaining from meat or some other food
- Abstaining from alcoholic drink or smoking
- Making a special effort at involvement in family prayer
- Making a special effort to participate in Mass on Friday’s
- Visiting the Blessed Sacrament
- Making the Stations of the Cross
- Fasting from all food for a longer period than usual, and perhaps giving what is saved to the needy.
- Helping the poor, sick, old or lonely.