This Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday are the autumn Ember Days. Four times a year, the Church sets aside three days to focus on God through His wonderful creation. These ‘Ember Days’ (or Quatuor Tempora in Latin) take place around the beginnings of the four natural seasons, and are each kept on a successive Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. These days are spent fasting and partially abstaining (voluntary since the 1983 Code of Canon Law) in penance, in thankfulness for the gifts God gives us in nature, and beseeching Him for the discipline to use them in moderation. In the Old Testament, the Jews fasted weekly on Tuesday and Thursday, but Christians changed the fast days to Wednesday (the day on which Christ was betrayed) and Friday (the day on which He was crucified) and added Saturday (the day He was entombed). Ember Days are days favoured for priestly ordinations, prayers for Priests, first Communions, almsgiving and other penitential and charitable acts, and prayers for the souls in Purgatory. Because of the days’ focus on nature, they are also traditional times for women to pray for children and for safe deliveries.