Meat On Friday...

I hope this is in the right forum…

So I live in an area where abstinence from meat on Fridays is required. Normally, this is not a problem. Unfortunately, it was today. I work a job with crazy hours and the work ran way later than either of us (my boss or I) expected.

We ended up grabbing something to eat on the road back to our next destination. I was hoping we’d stop somewhere where I could more easily find something meatless (even if I had to get some kind of side of fast food). Well, he decided to stop at a submarine sandwich shop. With everything being meat except for one vegetarian option. He wanted to split the sandwich (as did I) because they are enormous and it did not look like they offered halves like some such shops do that I could tell anyway. I knew my boss would not want a vegetarian sandwich so I just went along with what he got- didn’t even bring it up.

We were in a hurry and I knew if I brought up that I wasn’t supposed to eat meat on Friday, he’d feel guilty and go all over the place to find something or else eat something he did not want. Also, he was paying for lunch, and I had no money on me with which to purchase anything.

So I just decided to go along with it and eat it. If I had my own money and had my own choice, or if there was a clear meatless option available, I absolutely would have taken it instead.

I just feel guilty because I did not absolutely HAVE to eat meat in that sense, but I treated it as if I was eating at the home of a guest who made a heavy-meat meal I could not avoid without walking out. So I decided what the most charitable response would be, and going along seemed to be the best option.

Is this a mortal sin? :frowning: I did not want to break the rules but I did so knowingly. And I feel really guilty because I really enjoyed it (I was super hungry). I am a bit scrupulous…I just want to set my mind at ease and know if I must get to confession right away.

Next time this scenario comes up you can have them put all the meat on one half of the sandwich while your side remains meat-free. I am sure your boss would have no problem with having the extra meat and you can follow your conscience. My mom and I split sandwiches at the large sub-sandwich chain all the time. We frequently have different vegetables and dressings on each side. It is no problem.

smart answer

You just exhausted six paragraphs rationalizing what you did. Your conscience is bothering you, so it would be best to seek the direction of your pastor on the matter.

I was not aware that this is even possible. I did not grow up eating out and I only really ever eat out in these situations, and that is still incredibly rare. I also tend to blank out when there are too many choices (I have Aspergers and restaurants are not places I do well in, even fast-food places). I will do so next time, but that doesn’t really help me right now. But thank you for the advice- I am sure it will come in handy later. .

The reason I came here was because the earliest I can get to Mass will be next Sunday. I work in livestock agriculture and we are in the middle of the birthing season now and I’m in a remote area and cannot afford to spend 5 hours out to get to Mass this Sunday because the risk of problems occurring is just too high. And my pastor is extremely busy and does not have time to deal with (an apparently petty) question.

I wasn’t trying to rationalise what I did. I was trying to explain the circumstances, badly apparently. I had grave matter and full knowledge. I just DON’T know if I had full consent. I did NOT want to do it. But I don’t know if doing implies full consent or not regardless of how I felt about it.

I’m scrupulous, so feeling guilt isn’t a good gauge of anything for me. I feel tremendous guilt if I squish a spider or worry about mortal sin missing Mass when I have the flu. I don’t know. That’s why I asked. It’s not as if they have fish sandwiches but I don’t feel like it and eat a hamburger instead. I hadn’t eaten for 16 hours, I was thrown in an unexpected situation, I could have refused to eat anything but did not, he was paying and I had no money on me, and here I am. I fully intend on confessing this at the first opportunity but that will be a week from now. In the meantime, I would like to have some idea if I just cut myself off from the friendship and grace of God over a stupid lunch choice, if all my works and prayers have no merit, and if I am unable to pray for those whom I love more than anyone else in this world. And if I should die tomorrow, where will I be sent?

My heart is heavy right now- this isn’t some petty deal for me. Please pray for me that I might get to confession sooner if possible.

I remember asking my parish priest the same question. He said it was not a sin. Of course I live in an area where meatless Fridays are not a requirement but I observe it anyway.

Since you live in an area where meatless Friday is required than you may want to go to confession as soon as possible. Praying for you.

OP, are you in the UK? If you are, you need to know that it was made clear at the time the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales re-introduced the ;no meat on Fridays’ discipline that it is not a matter of mortal sin.

If you go to their website, find the press release and scroll down to the Q and A section in the briefing notes, it states so clearly.

Rest in this,…2000 years ago, Jesus forgave your sin already, and so did the Father,…all you need to do is ask Him, He already said YES He would. You have been forgiven, run to Him to pick up what He already Provided for you! LOVE to you!

you do not have to wait for the priest, ask and receive forgiv now go direct to the father thru jesus

or phone priest do confess and communion over phone or online there are priest here I think:thumbsup:

Being Saved: So the “who’s sins you shall forgive they are forgiven and who’s sins you shall retain they are retained” command to the apostles from Our Lord was superfluous?

not superfluous -but Jesus our high priest is available at all times-and this person has a great desire to make this right fast like desire for baptism, desire for confession -Jesus paid for the sin already -the earthly ministers carry out the already expressed will of God and Christ

in scripture God already said, if this person confesses their sin, He is faithful and just to forgive them their and to cleanse them from all unrighteousness,…
so God is willing and has promised,…

time and distance is interfering with this person confessing right now on the spot which s what they want to do, yet God is not in fime,…and Jesus our High priest, He is the highest priest, He is open for business 24 7,

like David who ate the shewbread when he and his men were famished,
normally not done, but God allows…ie someone’s desire fr baptism is not physical baptism, but time and distance got in the persons’ way so it can be accepted as if the person got it done,…

Which country are you in? I’m just curious because there are not many countries where abstaining from meat on Fridays outside Lent is required. Normally, you can substitute another form of penance.

Sometimes we Catholics can get a little pharisaic. I know that I certainly do. I don’t think cold cuts are in the same category as adultery, but sometimes I’ve lacked perspective and worried about things as trivial as this, so I understand where you’re coming from.

Here’s what Jesus says:

“Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you…” (Luke 10:8)

He doesn’t say, “Except for Fridays. And if you feel pressured into eating a salami sandwich on a Friday then I’m going to smite you.”

If it was me, I’d file this one away for my next confession, then get on with trying (and failing) to live the greatest commandment.

Thank God, by some miracle I was able to get to Mass/Confession this past Sunday. The priest seemed to think that this was not mortal in my case…I’m NOT saying that is the case for anyone else or not, just in my situation for that instance.

Thanks all for the advice.

BeingSaved, of course God hears the contrite heart and forgives that person’s sins, but I still had the obligation to confess as soon as possible.

Sometimes I get really concerned over things…I’m glad this one worked out okay in the end.

Can you please tell us which country you are talking about as abstaining from meat being mandatory is unusual in most countries where doing any form of penance is permitted on Fridays outside Lent.

No need to feel guilty - you did exactly the right thing. Our penances are for the purpose of building us up in humility and love for others, which means that if someone goes out of their way to provide you with a meal, and it’s Friday, and the meal they provide you with contains meat, your most appropriate response is exactly what you did here - be grateful, eat what you are given, and don’t do anything that would make them feel bad. :thumbsup:

Let not what you approve of be a cause of stumbling
to your fellow Catholics! If what I eat causes my bro
to sin, I will never eat the next time again!

The goal of this commandment is Love, if you had not
posted, no problem, but now you have let us know about
it, be careful NOT to repeat the same mistake.

No Christian stands or falls alone, we are individually
members of ONE ANOTHER!(Rom 12:5)

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