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Germany: questionnaire on the meaning of Lent and fasting. Seven tips to prepare for Easter

The Liturgy of Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and the start of a period of intense spiritual life for the faithful. To mark the occasion, the portal of the German Church, katolisch.de, proposed a multiple choice questionnaire to test the “competence” of the German faithful on topics related to the Ashes, the duration of Lent, and to spiritual and behavioural aspects such as fasting and works of charity. It is interesting to note that the questionnaire gives immediate results and those who take it can assess their preparation on Lenten topics. They may discover, for instance, that in the Middle Ages people were allowed to eat beaver meat, while all other warm-blooded animals were banned, and that penance or fasting are not mortifying acts, but opportunities for growth and sacrifice, not just in terms of food. At the end of the questionnaire, respondents are classified in three groups based on their scores: 0 to 3 points, quickly break your fast; 4 to 6 points, you are neither fish nor fowl; 7 to 10 points, you are ready for Easter. The questionnaire comes with seven tips to make the most of Lent and guidance on how to value fasting as a choice not just in terms of food but also in economic terms: choosing to give up your car, not to go out for breakfast, not to use social media, to give up your daily piece of chocolate or to refrain from swearing. At the foundation of everything is prayer and the Gospel.

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