Meatless Meals for Lent

Lenten Fasting and Abstinence

Inspiration from Holy Scripture, Popes, Saints

Over 90 International Recipes in Two Convenient Versions

In consideration of the economic conditions in 2010, I am offering both at no cost.

The older eBook - download it here - and enter the password repent in lowercase letters. New expanded version - 100 pages - print yourself or save to your computer - PDF format here. If you are someone who can afford to purchase this work, please consider a donation. Suggested amount $10 Thank you.


Index of Links on This Page

There are many excellent Catholic websites that offer resources to  help make your Lenten Season a fruitful one by centering on the three pillars of Lent: Prayer, Fasting,  Almsgiving.

Catholic Home and Garden has compiled a selection of the ones we have found most useful in our own path of repentance and conversion. We hope you will find them to be meaningful as well.

See also books and DVDs to enhance your Lenten Journey.

An Overview of Lent

Ash Wednesday

What Do Ashes Mean

Three Pillars of Lent - Personal Scrutinies

Lenten Traditions

Practice During Lent Abbot Gueranger OSB


Obligation of Penance

Sacrifice Beads

Personal Program for Lent

Lenten Activities for Children

Seven Penitential Psalms

Operation Rice Bowl

Preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday

Medieval Fasting Traditions

Corporal Works of Mercy

Dorothy Day Sacrificing Cigarettes

Dorothy Day A Child's Birthday Sacrifice

Disciples Now Teens Young Adults in Lent

Stations of the Cross Pope Benedict XVI

Five Mistakes Moderns Make About Lent

Rule of Saint Benedict During Lent

Prayer Before a Crucifix

Prayers and Meditations for Lent

Lenten Prayers and Hymns

Liturgical Music and Readings for Lent

Justice and Peace Meditations for Lent

Fasting During Lent and Other Times

Biblical Fasting

The Confraternity of Penitents

Special Links to

Antiquarian Books to Read Online

Lent and Holy Week - The Entire 1914 Work by Herbert Thurston, S.J.

Meditations for Lent Saint Thomas Aquinas The entire 1937 book

The Complete Office of Holy Week Translated Out of Latin and French 1687


On all Fridays in Lent, one may receive a partial indulgence by reciting the Prayer Before a Crucifix before an image of Christ Crucified


Lord, protect us in our

struggle against evil.

As we begin the discipline

of Lent, make this season holy

by our self-denial.

Grant this through

our Lord Jesus Christ,

your Son,

who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit,

one God,

for ever and ever.



If you would like to print out our

thoughts on Lent on the left as a

bookmark to remind you of

your own commitment

to Our Lord in the Season of Lent,

please click here.

Pious Practice for Lent

Download and Print a Simple List of Ideas


"Be specific. Don't let your resolutions be like fireworks that sparkle for an instant, only to leave as bitter reality a blackened, useless butt that is disgustedly thrown away."

"Make few resolutions. Make specific resolutions. And fulfill them with the help of God."

~ St. Josemaria Escriva



It begins with ashes.

The mark of the penitent.

A public sign that we are about to embark on a conversion of heart. 

It arrives quickly, nipping at the heels of the joyous promise of the Christmas season.

It arrives so very quickly that it

nearly comes as a shock.

A painful reminder that in our joy we have strayed.

A startling reminder that our lives, too, will pass quickly.

So quickly that when the number

of days He has granted us have been  expended, perhaps that,

too, will come as a shock.


A time to turn to God.

To repent.

To prepare.


Don't waste it.



Lenten Fasting and Abstinence
Meatless Meals For Lent
A Catholic Home and Garden Publication

Lenten Fasting and Abstinence

Inspiration for Holy Scripture, Popes, Saints

Over 90 International Recipes

Two Convenient Versions:

Print It Yourself Version Here

Older Version Still Available

for Free Download as eBook Here

When prompted enter the password

repent in lowercase letters

Church Teachings on Fasting and Abstinence Drawn from

- The Catechism of the Catholic  Church
- The Code of Canon Law 1983
- A Comparison of Traditional and

  Modern Requirements

Reflections on Lenten Fasting from

Popes Clement XIII to Benedict XVI

The Saints on Fasting and Abstinence
- The Rule of Saint Benedict
- The Rule of Saint Augustine
- Saint Teresa of Avila And More

Prayers at Meal Time in English and Latin

Saint John Chrysostom

on Keeping a Complete Fast

The Challenge of Meatless Abstinence

Over 85 Recipes Including International Meals from America, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Greece, the Middle East, Asia, Russia, Bavaria and More!
Recipes for Fish - Shellfish - Soups
Completely Vegan Meals Included

Download Available Here


The Confraternity of Penitents

Following a modified version of the 1221 Rule of the Order of Penitents, modeled by Saint Frances of Assisi and Saint Clare,

this lay confraternity offers guidance

for seeking a life of conversion.

While you may not elect to enter into

the four year formation process,

on this site you will find a helpful

guide for making your Lenten season

a fruitful one.

Read more

Beginning LentAn Overview of Lent

One of the best and most thoroughly Catholic overviews we have found, particularly from a conservative Catholic viewpoint. This site presents a brief look at Lent, prayers, devotions, information on fasting requirements, reception of Sacraments, and an excellent piece, "The Mystery of Lent" by Dom Guerenger.

"The focus of this Season is the Cross and penance, penance, penance as we imitate Christ's forty days of fasting, like Moses and Elias before Him, and await the triumph of Easter. We fast, abstain, mortify the flesh, give alms, and think more of charitable works. Awakening each morning with the thought, "How might I make amends for my sins? How can I serve God in a reparative way? How can I serve others today?" is the attitude to have. Read More

Ash Wednesday - An overview of the beginning of Lent, the ceremony for distribution of Ashes, and Meditation on Death by Thomas a Kempis.

What Do Ashes Mean? The liturgical use of ashes originates in the Old Testament times. Ashes symbolized mourning, mortality and penance. Read more

The Three Pillars of Lent and Personal Scrutinies The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism. Preparation for Baptism and for renewing baptismal commitment lies at the heart of the season. Since the Second Vatican Council, the Church has reemphasized the baptismal character of Lent, especially through the restoration of the Catechumenate and its Lenten rituals. Our challenge today is to renew our understanding of this important season of the Church year and to see how we can integrate our personal practices into this renewed perspective. Read more

Saint Anthony Messenger's Lenten Features


Lenten Traditions from the Church of Saint Benedict in Broken Arrow, OK In the 4th century, preparation for baptism was joined by fasting and other penitential practices before Easter in preparation for absolution from public sins and crimes. Read more

Practice During Lent by Abbot Gueranger, OSB We have now a clearer knowledge of the
justice and holiness of God, and of the dangers that await an impenitent soul; and, that our repentance might be earnest and lasting, we have bade farewell to the vain joys and baubles of the world. Our pride has been humbled by the prophecy, that these
bodies would soon be like the ashes that wrote the memento of death upon our foreheads. Read more


Lenten Activities

Sacrifice Beads as Used by St. Therese

Sacrifice Beads (also known as "Good Deed Beads" or "St. Thérèse Beads) spring from a practice from the childhood of Marie-Francoise-Thérèse Martin, better known as St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus or St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the "Little Flower."

Thérèse was the baby of a family that had endured the deaths of four children, and her four surviving sisters -- Marie, Pauline, Leonie, and Celine -- and her parents let her know it by babying her. Her pious father even called her "the little Queen," and so when she was young, she had a tendency toward stubbornness and precociousness. But underneath this superficial spoiling was a great spirituality, not just in little Thérèse, but in all the sisters -- all of whom ended up in the Carmelite convent. Thérèse was guided by her older sisters, and it was Marie who gave to her a set of beads on which to count the things she offered up to God. Read More

A Personal Program for Lent  It should not be enough to slide through Lent by just observing the fast and abstinence laws. We should all undertake a Lenten program, an inward cleansing and purification, for oneself and the family. The program needs to be planned and organized. Ask the question: What shall I and my family do this year for Lent? Read more

Lenten Activities for Children This Lent why not take time to tap the treasuries of the Church's liturgy for your children? How many Catholics use only part of the Church's spiritual riches! We are called to restore things in Christ, so this Lent make time for God. Ordinarily we assign only minutes a day to Him. Yet we need Him so badly in every area of life. Use this section of Catholic Culture's site as a spring board of ideas that you can employ to impress upon your children the great mysteries which we are celebrating in the Lenten season. Read more 

The Practice of Lenten Practices - Based on the Catechsim of the Catholic Church, this article presents the overall objective of a Fast and suggests some ways to make a profitable forty-day period of prayer, penance, and spiritual exercises in preparation for the proper celebration of Easter.  Read More

Disciples Now - A long list of Lent related topics that are geared towards teens and young adults without being condescending. Read More

Stations of the Cross - Pope Benedict XVI



Prayer Before A Crucifix

There is no greater power than the power of the Cross. As an act of piety, place a Crucifix or image of Christ Crucified in every room of your home so that your gaze may fall upon it often. Carry a small Crucifix with you wherever you go - whether it is on a Rosary, a traditional pocket Crucifix, a Crucifix on a chain or keychain, or a simple holy card. When you go to sleep at night, keep your rosary under your pillow so that you can pray during the night and reverently kiss the Cross should you awaken.

Unite yourself to the prayers of the Church by learning the Prayer Before a Crucifix in Latin - the language of the Church.

En ego, O bone et dulcissime Iesu, ante conspectum tuum genibus me provolvo, ac maximo animi ardore te oro atque obtestor, ut meum in cor vividos fidei, spei et caritatis sensus, atque veram peccatorum meorum poenitentiam, eaque emendandi firmissimam voluntatem velis imprimere; dum magno animi affectu et dolore tua quinque vulnera mecum ipse considero ac mente contemplor, illud prae oculis habens, quod iam in ore ponebat tuo David propheta de te, o bone Iesu: Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos: dinumeraverunt omnia ossa mea. Amen.

Meditations and Prayers for Lent by Rev. Victor Hoagland, C.P. Prayers and meditations during Lent through Easter. Read More

Lenten Prayers & Hymns Lent is a good time to delve into the riches of the Church's prayers and hymns. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls the musical tradition of the universal Church "a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art." While there are many to choose from we offer you the following and encourage you to explore further on your own. Read More

Justice and Peace Daily Meditations for Lent Meditations prepared for the 2006 Lenten Season by Robert Waldrop, a convert to Catholicism who has embraced the spirit of the Catholic Worker Movement with his apostolate in Oklahoma. Read More

Liturgical Music During the Lenten Season - A source for the antiphons and readings as well as suggestions for music.


Confession "The tears of the penitents are wine for the angels." -- St. Bernard

The Sacrament of Confession seems to be the forgotten sacrament, particularly in the post-Vatican II era of the Church. It is a terrible loss for Catholics who don't understand the nature of the Sacrament or the immense benefits.   We think it is so important that we've dedicated a separate page on the many practical aspects of the  Sacrament including how to confess, an examination of conscience, and the issue of scrupulosity. Read more

The Obligation of PenanceBecause of the focus on penance and reparation, it is traditional to make sure we go to Confession at least once during this Season to fulfill the precept of the Church that we go to Confession at least once a year, and receive the Eucharist at least once a year during Eastertide.

A beautiful old custom associated with Lenten Confession is to, before going to see the priest, bow before each member of your household and to any you've sinned against, and say, "In the Name of Christ, forgive me if I've offended you." One responds with "God will forgive you."

Done with an extensive examination of conscience and a sincere heart, this practice can be quite healing Also note that confessing sins to a priest is a Sacrament which remits mortal and venial sins; confessing sins to those you've offended is a sacramental which, like all sacramentals one piously takes advantage of, remits venial sins. Both are quite good for the soul.


The Seven Penitential Psalms
By order of Pope Innocent III (1198-1216), these prayers are to be prayed during the days of Lent. If they can't be said on each day of the Season, they can at least be prayed on Lenten Fridays (or one could pray one prayer on each of the 7 Fridays of Lent). One kneels when praying these Psalms, begins and ends with a short antiphon, and recites a Gloria in between. To download these Psalms in Microsoft Word format (10 pages), in both English and Latin, with Antiphons and Gloria's, click here.
Washington University Library has a small collection of illuminated illustrations of the Seven Penitential Psalms from the Medieval Book of Hours that you might wish to use while praying.


Operation Rice Bowl is the official Lenten program of Catholic Relief Services. Each Lent, parishes, school and other faith communities participate in Operation Rice Bowl to learn more about the work of CRS and put their faith into action.

As a Lenten solidarity program, Operation Rice Bowl calls Catholics to reach out to assist our brothers and sisters around the world through the traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving while learning about their lives overseas.

This year, join over 15,400 groups in the United States participating in Operation Rice Bowl and foster solidarity between your community and those who struggle with hunger and poverty around the world.Please visit their site to see the wonderful work done by Catholic Relief Services and to see how you can join the effort.

You can download or order a Lenten Home Calendar.  You will also find interactive Stations of the Cross and other activities like the Hunger Banquet.


Preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday

The abundance of graces that flow forth from the Divine Mercy are not to be ignored or wasted. Here is a step by step method to prepare the Divine Mercy Sunday. Read More


Medieval Fasting During Lent In the Middle Ages the catholic church prescribed what was on the daily menu. Each week counted at least one day, and more often three or even four days (depending on where and when in medieval Europe) during which no meat was to be eaten. For many Catholics Friday was still an obligatory "fish day" until well into the twentieth century. Read More


The Corporal Works of Mercy Contemplation for Lent and every day of the year in Catholic life.

Dorothy Day - "Saint" and Troublemaker"She was attentive to fast days and fast seasons. It was in that connection she told me a story about prayer. For many years, she said, she had been a heavy smoker. Her day began with lighting up a cigarette. Her big sacrifice every Lent was giving up smoking, but having to get by without a cigarette made her increasingly irritable as the days passed, until the rest of the community was praying she would light up a smoke. One year, as Lent approached, the priest who ordinarily heard her confessions urged her not to give up cigarettes that year but instead to pray daily, “Dear God, help me stop smoking.” She used that prayer for several years without it having any impact on her addiction. Then one morning she woke up, reached for a cigarette, and realized she didn’t want it — and never smoked another." Read More

Day After Day - April 1935 by Dorothy Day

Description of her daughter's ninth birthday party and the child's Lenten mortifications. Notes the aim of Lent is to keep united to God through the suffering Humanity of His son. Read more

Five Mistakes Moderns Make About Lent - Fasting and all that self-denial stuff is Unnecessary. God loves me just the way I am. Read moreThe Rule of Saint Benedict on Keeping Lent The life of a monk ought always to be a Lenten observance. However, since such virtue is that of few, we advise that during these days of Lent he guard his life with all purity and at the same time wash away during these holy days all the shortcomings of other times. This will then be worthily done, if we restrain ourselves from all vices. Let us devote ourselves to tearful prayers, to reading and compunction of heart, and to abstinence.

During these days, therefore, let us add something to the usual amount of our service, special prayers, abstinence from food and drink, that each one offer to God "with the joy of the Holy Ghost" (1 Thes 1:6), of his own accord, something above his prescribed measure; namely, let him withdraw from his body somewhat of food, drink, sleep, speech, merriment, and with the gladness of spiritual desire await holy Easter.

Fasting - An excellent resource on fasting at all levels. You will learn how to start a fast, the types of fasts, what to expect, and how to turn your fast into a spiritual journey. We are unsure of whether or not this is a Catholic site, so just take the practical advice and leave the rest. Read more

Biblical Fasting - The basis of fasting in the Bible, the attitudes to use in approaching a fast, understanding temptations, what fasting is not. Again, we are unsure whether this is Catholic or Christian, but the content is quite good. Read more

Antiquarian Books to View OnlineWe are please to provide you with links to antiquarian books that you can read online. For fastest loading you will need to download a DiVu Reader here.

Meditations for Lent by Saint Thomas Aquinas - Translated by Father Philip Hughes. Sheed and Ward 1937. The entire work online. Start at page 7

Lent and Holy Week - Chapters on Catholic Observance and Ritual by Herbert Thurston, SJ. 1914. You can read the entire book online here. We recommend going directly to page 9 to start.

Complete Office of Holy Week Translated from the Latin and French 1647. Preserved to read online. (Scroll forward several pages)

Catholic Home and Garden wishes you a fruitful Lenten Season.

If you have comments or suggestions please email us.

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Christine Hirschfeld

I never intended to run a Catholic antiquities and book business. Not in a million years. As a cradle Catholic, I grew up in a house that was filled with Catholic images and sacramentals not to mention an abundance of excellent books provided by family members who worked in publishing houses famous for their Catholic catalogues. The beautiful images and concepts presented in those books certainly had their effect in enhancing my identity as a Catholic. As the years passed, even in the midst of very un-Catholic settings, I became a repository for my friends’ Catholic “found objects.” Eventually, I had a family of my own. We’re a small family. There are just three of us. And two of us were born with the “junk collecting gene.” Garage sales attracted us like a magnet.
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