Lent is the liturgical season of forty days which begins with Ash Wednesday (March 1, 2017). Lent is the primary penitential season of the Church’s liturgical year, reflecting the forty days Jesus spent in the desert in fasting and prayer and the forty years the Israelites wandered in the desert before entering the Promise Land.
Guidelines for Fasting and Abstinence:
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting. Catholics who are ages 18 – 59 are obliged to fast, that is take only one full meal and two lesser meals, with nothing to eat in between meals.
Ash Wednesday, the Fridays of Lent, and Good Friday are days of abstaining from meat. All Catholics who are 14 years of age and older are obliged to abstain from eating meat.