Friday Penance


#1

So, this has been gnawing at me since friday...

For my friday penance I fast, (one meal) and abstain from meat. However, I had an event for seminary (I am going into my first year at seminary next month) and we had burgers and dogs. I did only eat one meal, but I ate the meat. is this a mortal sin? and before someone starts belittling me for not knowing, I would appreciate charitable responses. Thanks, everyone!


#2

[quote="datritle, post:1, topic:334432"]
So, this has been gnawing at me since friday...

For my friday penance I fast, (one meal) and abstain from meat. However, I had an event for seminary (I am going into my first year at seminary next month) and we had burgers and dogs. I did only eat one meal, but I ate the meat. is this a mortal sin? and before someone starts belittling me for not knowing, I would appreciate charitable responses. Thanks, everyone!

[/quote]

At most, it is venial. Remember, in order to be a mortal sin, it must be a grave matter, you must know it's a grave matter and give your full consent.

You gave full consent, but that's it. The fact that this is a privately imposed mortification does make it however, an occasion of fracturing your promise, which you have to deal with.

If it were me, I would confess at my next scheduled confession, and use this as an opportunity to learn from.

Congratulations on entering the seminary!


#3

Remember that in the United States, the Conference of Bishops has allowed other methods of penance for the Friday penance besides fasting. It seems to me that just the one meal a day would suffice. :thumbsup:

God bless. :blessyou:


#4

The only days Catholics are bound to abstain from eating meat are Ash Wednesday and Lenten Fridays. Other Fridays during the year are penitential, but it is up to the individual to decide what penance to offer.


#5

catholic.com/quickquestions/outside-of-lent-do-we-have-to-do-anything-special-on-fridays

This should help you in your discernment and understanding.


#6

[quote="quiet52, post:4, topic:334432"]
The only days Catholics are bound to abstain from eating meat are Ash Wednesday and Lenten Fridays. Other Fridays during the year are penitential, but it is up to the individual to decide what penance to offer.

[/quote]

Not in all countries. For example, in England and Wales, Catholics are expected to fast on all Fridays of the year.


#7

[quote="bben15, post:6, topic:334432"]
Not in all countries. For example, in England and Wales, Catholics are expected to fast on all Fridays of the year.

[/quote]

No, they are asked to ABSTAIN, not fast.


#8

Thank you all fo!r your responses! God Bless!


#9

[quote="bben15, post:6, topic:334432"]
Not in all countries. For example, in England and Wales, Catholics are expected to fast on all Fridays of the year.

[/quote]

As already said, we were asked in England and Wales to abstain from meat on Fridays all year round.

However, it was clearly stated at the time by the Bishops, and from the pulpit, that failing to do so was not a mortal sin.


#10

[quote="paperwight66, post:9, topic:334432"]
However, it was clearly stated at the time by the Bishops, and from the pulpit, that failing to do so was not a mortal sin.

[/quote]

The bishops said it wasn't a sin at all.


#11

I'd suggest getting a secondary penance in mind for those Fridays when things happen. There have been days when I completely forget it's Friday and have eaten meat for lunch. My choice is then to donate $15 to a charitable institution.


#12

Since the event was at the seminary, the next time you are there, ask. You probably couldn't swing a napkin at that event without throwing crumbs on a theologian. They're teachers; they tend to like students who want to know what they have to teach!

Besides, if you think to ask, then when they have this event next year they may decide to at least offer something vegetarian, for those who aren't eating meat. It may even have been that some of those hotdogs were veggie dogs, and no one thought to tell the people who didn't ask.


#13

Presumably the seminary staff know what they're doing better than you, I or anyone else here! I'd also say that it's easy to get fixated on traditions (with a small "t") and rules like eating / not eating meat and loose sight of the purpose behind them. So in this case, not eating meat is basically meant to be a way of showing penitence and humility - but just because you happen to eat meat on occasion (or indeed, all the time) doesn't mean that you're not penitent.

I'm reminded though of when I was travelling with other from my seminary earlier this year. After several hours drive, we arrived at the place where we'd be staying the night and the finger food lunch included a number of things with meat in them. Seeing a classmate eating a sausage roll, I said to him (jokingly): "you're eating meat!". He looked at me, said: "I'm hungry" and kept on eating. I thought that was a pretty effective response!


#14

[quote="EasterJoy, post:12, topic:334432"]
Since the event was at the seminary, the next time you are there, ask. You probably couldn't swing a napkin at that event without throwing crumbs on a theologian. They're teachers; they tend to like students who want to know what they have to teach!

Besides, if you think to ask, then when they have this event next year they may decide to at least offer something vegetarian, for those who aren't eating meat. It may even have been that some of those hotdogs were veggie dogs, and no one thought to tell the people who didn't ask.

[/quote]

I always find it a bit strange that we have so quickly reached the point that even at Catholic events, meat is served on Fridays. Granted, it is not mandatory anymore, but it is still the norm, with the option to substitute another penance. When I was growing up, which was after the change in discipline, it was still normal, even in secular culture, to have meatless options on the menu on Fridays.


#15

[quote="babochka, post:14, topic:334432"]
I always find it a bit strange that we have so quickly reached the point that even at Catholic events, meat is served on Fridays. Granted, it is not mandatory anymore, but it is still the norm, with the option to substitute another penance. When I was growing up, which was after the change in discipline, it was still normal, even in secular culture, to have meatless options on the menu on Fridays.

[/quote]

Well, there are enough strict vegetarians where I live that there is almost always a meatless option offered, no matter what day it is. I know several priests who are vegetarian. They do it as a spiritual discipline more than for health reasons--like some of the strict cloistered religious orders do. I would not be at all surprised if the seminary had some veggie hotdogs on the Friday in question, but then forgot to mention it to anyone who didn't think to ask; that is, that the OP could have abstained as he wanted, except for an unfortunate mistake.


#16

[quote="EasterJoy, post:15, topic:334432"]
Well, there are enough strict vegetarians where I live that there is almost always a meatless option offered, no matter what day it is. I know several priests who are vegetarian. They do it as a spiritual discipline more than for health reasons--like some of the strict cloistered religious orders do. I would not be at all surprised if the seminary had some veggie hotdogs on the Friday in question, but then forgot to mention it to anyone who didn't think to ask; that is, that the OP could have abstained as he wanted, except for an unfortunate mistake.

[/quote]

Oh, those Trappists!

We are blessed with an abbey here in Oregon. I don't often think of their diet, but whenever I do, a little ditty runs nimbly through my synapses: "Beans, Beans! The musical fruit!..." taught to me by a mathematics professor so long ago.


#17

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.