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J Wilson says that beer and alcohol are often viewed negatively by Christians in the US

Anna Arco talks to J Wilson, the beer enthusiast who is following the example of Bavarian friars by consuming nothing but alcohol in Lent

Second Sunday of Lent: Gn 12:1-4; 2 Tim 1:8-10; Mt 17: 1-9

A beef cow in Alberta, Canada (The Canadian Press Images/Larry MacDougal)

Our addiction to beef does great damage to the environment. Time to wean ourselves off it

Pope Benedict oversaw the opening of his spiritual retreat at the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace

First Sunday of Lent: Gn 2:7-9 & 3:1-7; Rm 5:12-19; Mt 4:1-11

Benedict XVI receives the ashes at the Basilica of Santa Sabina yesterday (AP Photo/Danilo Schiavella, Pool)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 10/03/11

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

Cardinal Jozef Tomko places ashes on Benedict XVI’s forehead at the start of Lent

At his general audience Benedict XVI says that fasting and almsgiving ‘prepare our hearts to take flight and seek the things of heaven’

Ash Wednesday: Pope explains Lent

During general audience, Pope Benedict XVI explains the meaning of placing ashes on one’s forehead

People in Warsaw queue for marmalade-stuffed doughnuts on Paczki, or 'Fat Thursday', before the start of Lent (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Newman says that ‘the very notion of being religious implies self-denial’: true, maybe, but not easy