Repent and believe! Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14, a day of fast and abstinence. Health permitting, the obligation to fast applies to the faithful from midnight at the end of a person’s 18th birthday through midnight at the end of the 59th birthday. Three meals are allowed, but two small meals together should be less than the full one. Abstinence applies from midnight at the end of the 14th birthday, with no upper age limit. Catholics abstain from meat and poultry on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all Fridays of Lent, with the uniform penance serving as a sign of oneness in the Lord. On other Fridays of the year, Catholics may choose a more personally meaningful penance.