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Scott P. Richert

Cleaning Our Spiritual House

By March 3, 2014

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For Western Christians, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. For Eastern Rite Catholics, however, today is the first day of Lent.

Known as Clean Monday, this is a day to reflect on cleaning our spiritual house. For Eastern Christians, Clean Monday is a day of strict fasting and abstinence from all meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Even Western Catholics who don't observe Clean Monday can take advantage of this day to start to get their spiritual house in order. Clean Monday is a good day to decide on some spiritual reading for Lent--for instance, a book such as Thomas à Kempis's The Imitation of Christ (compare prices) or the Scripture readings that the Church prescribes for every day of Lent.

It's also a good day to learn a new prayer. Throughout Lent, Eastern Christians will frequently pray the Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian, which, in three short, easily memorized verses, sums up the goals that we should all have for this Lenten season.

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