We are living in a time where, in the western world at least, we are in a comfort zone as far as living our Faith is concerned. In other words, we have become lazy and complacent.
We no longer wear sackcloth and ashes to show we repent our sins publicly. We no longer fast on a regular basis (at least, not many do).
My mother had to fast before Communion, from midnight. As a child, I had to fast 3 hours, now it is 1 hour.
Previously, we fasted on a Friday and abstained from eating meat. I imagine this was a voluntary and accepted practice in the early Church from which people started getting slack about, so the Church, recognising the benefit of the sacrificial nature of he act, made a Rule.
After Vatican II it was felt that we are adults in the Faith and could make our own decision about the sacrifice we made, especially as it is not really a hardship to abstain from meat these days.
What I am now seeing is people who do not think it necessary to perform any sacrificial act at all
When we are children, we have Rules to help us grow in maturity and self-discipline. When we are adults, we should recognise the benefits of behaving a certain way. But, unfortunately, we have a lot of grown-ups in our society who are immature and lacking in self-discipline.
For example, I just recently found out that Catholics are supposed to do some sort of sacrificial act, equal to that of forgoing meat on Fridays during Lent, on every Friday during the year. Not doing so is a mortal sin. It just strikes me as another hoop to jump through. I’m feeling discouraged.
This is a minimum, for those who are immature in their Faith, to help them grow. Some of us fast more frequently and make some sort of sacrificial act every day, out of love for Jesus, not because we have to.