Meat!


#1

What’s the truth:

Can someone please explain to me the truth about eating meats on Fridays are/is?


#2

[quote=Paris Blues]What’s the truth:

Can someone please explain to me the truth about eating meats on Fridays are/is?
[/quote]

We are required to abstain from meat on Friday during Lent as an act of penance. Back in the day, when meat was the main course for most people, it was a real sacrafice. Nowadays, with all the gourmet seafood and vegetarian fair available, strictly abstaining from meat, but eating other delicacies kinda misses the point.

The purpose of abstaining from meat and fasting (required on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) is to deprive ourselves of some comforts so we remember that we are sinners who have been redeemed by God’s grace.

Some Catholics do some form of fasting year-round, but it’s not required. Fasting is not limited to not eating for a day either. An act of fasting can be giving up meat every Friday, giving up some other favorite food regularly, or even giving up other pleasures, like watching TV.

The bottom line is that fasting is more of an internal action manifested outwardly. The point of it is to direct one’s mind and heart to God. The outward means are simply reminders. Anyway, that’s my humble opinion.

Blessings


#3

With apologies, Jim, you’ve mixed up “fast” and “abstinence” a bit.

Paris, since 1966 in the U.S. there have been two interpretations of the USCCB decision.

One is that, while abstinence from meat on any Fridays other than Lenten Fridays is not required, some sort of penance remains. . .and so, one can choose to abstain from meat on those Fridays as the penance. That is what I myself have chosen.

Another interpretation is that, since the abstinence on non-Lenten Fridays is not required, that some penance on those days is urged, but NOT required. IOW, that any sort of penance, from not eating meat to other abstentions to extra prayers etc., is optional only.

A lot of prominent Catholics follow interpretation one, but even more currently follow option two.

Now, considering all God has done for us, I’m more inclined to take up any options that I can. Meatless non-Lenten Fridays may be optional, but surely a loving penitential practice will be welcomed by God. OTOH, a grudging practice certainly won’t be. Remember the story of Cain and Abel?

IMO, the wisest course for you or anyone else is to consider prayerfully whether you feel that you should exercise an option for a penitential practice on non-Lenten Fridays. Put that way, I feel almost nobody would think that they shouldn’t–although there are probably some people who are so busy with other devotions etc. that they have it covered :smiley:

And, if you decide you would like to make a penitential practice on non-Lenten Fridays, then you can choose whether to go meatless or to do something else.

I will say that if you decide on meatless Fridays, it is much easier to keep track–no sudden realizations, as one chows down a McBurger, that it’s a LENTEN Friday, if one is used to having every Friday Filet-o-Fishie.


#4

Wait…so you can’t eat meat between Ash Wednesday and Easter…and after that, you can? Am I getting this? :o


#5

CIC Canons 1249-1251 Can. 1249—All members of the Christian faithful in their own way are bound to do penance in virtue of divine law; in order that all may be joined in a common observance of penance, penitential days are prescribed in which the Christian faithful in a special way pray, exercise works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their responsibilities more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence according to the norm of the following canons.

Can. 1250—All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the universal Church.

Can. 1251—Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Does anybody have the reference to the USCCB rules concerning these cannons?


#6

So you can eat meat…but not during the times between Ash Wednesday and Easter…eh? Am I getting this?:confused:


#7

Hi Paris:

Fridays in Lent you abstain from meat. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday you not only abstain from meat, but fast as well (one full meal, and two other small meals that wouldn’t add up to a full meal altogether).

Fridays not in Lent you may abstain from meat as a penance, but some people think that any penance on those days is not strictly required, but only optional. Others think that a penance is required still. The wording in the original document is ambiguous. If you wish to do a penance other than abstain from meat, you may. (You may wish to have a TV free day, for example. Of course, if you don’t usually watch TV, that wouldn’t be a penance).

When my kids were little they always wanted to give up for Lent things like broccoli or lima beans.

They wound up giving up sweets.


#8

[quote=johnq]Does anybody have the reference to the USCCB rules concerning these cannons?
[/quote]

Here you go:

catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=5303

And suggestions of alternate penance:

usccb.org/dpp/penitential.htm


#9

[quote=Tantum ergo]With apologies, Jim, you’ve mixed up “fast” and “abstinence” a bit.
[/quote]

A perfect example of a little knowledge being dangerous. Sorry for the confusion Paris. I’m going to abstain from trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about for Lent.:o


#10

On Penance and Abstinence

taken from the USCCB

For these and related reasons, the Catholic bishops of the United States, far from downgrading the traditional penitential observance of Friday, and motivated precisely by the desire to give the spirit of penance greater vitality, especially on Fridays, the day that Jesus died, urge our Catholic people henceforth to be guided by the following norms:

  1. Friday itself remains a special day of penitential observance throughout the year, a time when those who seek perfection will be mindful of their personal sins and the sins of mankind which they are called upon to help expiate in union with Christ Crucified;

2.** Friday should be in each week something of what Lent is in the entire year**. For this reason we urge all to prepare for that weekly Easter that comes with each Sunday be freely making of every Friday a day of self-denial and mortification in prayerful remembrance of the passion of Jesus Christ;

  1. Among the works of voluntary self-denial and personal penance which we especially commend to our people for the future observance of Friday, even though we hereby terminate the traditional law of abstinence as binding under pain of sin, as the sole prescribed means of observing Friday, we give first place to abstinence from flesh meat. We do so in the hope that the Catholic community will ordinarily continue to abstain from meat by free choice as formerly we did in obedience to Church law. Our expectation is based on the following considerations;

a. We shall thus freely and out of love for Christ Crucified show our solidarity with the generations of believers to whom this practice frequently became, especially in times of persecution and of great poverty, no mean evidence of fidelity in Christ and his Church.

b. We shall thus also remind ourselves that as Christians, although immersed in the world and sharing its life, we must preserve a saving and necessary difference from the spirit of the world. Our deliberate, personal abstinence from meat, more especially because no longer required by law, will be an outward sign of inward spiritual values that we cherish. Every Catholic Christian understand that the fast and abstinence regulations admit of change, unlike the commandments and precepts of that unchanging divine moral law which the Church must today and always defend as immutable. This said, we emphasize that our people are henceforth free from the obligation, traditionally binding, under pain of sin in what pertains to Friday abstinence, except as noted above for Lent. We stress this so that no scrupulosity will enter into examinations of conscience, confessions, or personal decisions on this point.

thanks Timidity :clapping:


#11

Some Catholics do some form of fasting year-round, but it’s not required

Just an observation:

This is not what my very orthodox RCIA / Adult Education teacher at my parish told me. He said your susposed to do something on all Fridays of the year. But How many American Catholics really do any form of penance? Judging by the conflicting answers in this thread I bet not very many. If we can’t come to Immediate universal agreement of something like this, no wonder there such poor understanding of the teachings of the Catholic faith in the U.S.


#12

When I was raised we fasted throughout lent except on Sunday. Has anyone else heard of this? I know that it didn’t come out of thin air, but, is it something that has since changed?


#13

[quote=philipmarus]s is not what my very orthodox RCIA / Adult Education teacher at my parish told me. He said your susposed to do something on all Fridays of the year. But How many American Catholics really do any form of penance?
[/quote]

I don’t doubt that what you say is ture, but I have never been taught this was an obligation; doing some sort of penance on Friday. From reading writings from saitns, I understood it to be desireable, but did not know it was required.

Then again, The amount of homilies that I have heard, which instruct people on how to fufill Catholic obligations in daily life can be counted on one hand. I have heard amny homilies during the past election year state the evils of abortion, and it is evil, but it is not the only thing the Church teaches nor is it a lesson that helps us live better and more Christian lives in ever facet of our life. How can you ask a priest to teach us more (broaden his scope) in a homily?


#14

[quote=e-catholic]When I was raised we fasted throughout lent except on Sunday. Has anyone else heard of this? I know that it didn’t come out of thin air, but, is it something that has since changed?
[/quote]

Yes, you are correct. All the days of Lent were fast days (Sundays do not count as Lent - the 40 days are Ash Wednesday, the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of that week (4) and six (6) weeks of wix (6) days each) and all the Fridays were both fast and abstinence.

Fasting meant - one full meal and 2 collations (2 small meals that, together, would not be quite one full meal). Also, you could only eat meat once per day on the fast days. Soups and gravies made from meat were counted as meat, so we tended to have meat, soup, and meat gravy at the one full meal. You could eat eggs and cheese.

In my mother’s youth, however, it was much more strict - the restriction of meat once per day included also meat products - eggs, cheese and milk. That meant that your breakfast tea had to be black, and your bread was dry!

I remember my brother weighing two slices of bread (homemade bread) to ensure that he was not eating more than was allowed!

We are totally spoiled now!


#15

Does anyone know when this changed? My husband and I still follow this, and I just found out recently that it is no longer required. I will continue to follow it, as I don’t think we fast enough. I really think that things were better the other way.


#16

[quote=e-catholic]Does anyone know when this changed? My husband and I still follow this, and I just found out recently that it is no longer required. I will continue to follow it, as I don’t think we fast enough. I really think that things were better the other way.
[/quote]

Please see this thread. In short, Friday penance is still expected. And the preferred form of Friday penance is abstinence from meat. One may substitute another form of penance if desired.

See below:
catholicculture.org/docs…cfm?recnum=5303

  1. Among the works of voluntary self-denial and personal penance which we especially commend to our people for the future observance of Friday, even though we hereby terminate the traditional law of abstinence as binding under pain of sin, as the sole prescribed means of observing Friday, we give first place to abstinence from flesh meat. We do so in the hope that the Catholic community will ordinarily continue to abstain from meat by free choice as formerly we did in obedience to Church law.

#17

[quote=Scotty PGH]Please see this thread. In short, Friday penance is still expected. And the preferred form of Friday penance is abstinence from meat. One may substitute another form of penance if desired.

See below:
catholicculture.org/docs…cfm?recnum=5303
[/quote]

HI Scotty:wave:

Maybe I wasn’t clear. My question was about the change in lenten fast. I understand that it is not required to fast on all of the days of lent as it used to be. Does anyone know when this changed, and how?


#18

[quote=philipmarus]Just an observation:

This is not what my very orthodox RCIA / Adult Education teacher at my parish told me. He said your susposed to do something on all Fridays of the year. But How many American Catholics really do any form of penance? Judging by the conflicting answers in this thread I bet not very many. If we can’t come to Immediate universal agreement of something like this, no wonder there such poor understanding of the teachings of the Catholic faith in the U.S.
[/quote]

Now, when I went to the RCIA classes I was told the exact opposite. I was told that we do it on Ash Wed and every Friday during Lent. I was told that we could do it throughout the year as a mean of penance. Is this wrong? Why did I go to the RCIA class if I was getting wrong information?


#19

Why did I go to the RCIA class if I was getting wrong information?

Sadly, there is a definite lack of unity in much of the Church today in many places…
Ambiguity, honest misinterpretations, hasty judgments, outright subversion. . .take your pick, for the last half of the 20th century we’ve had conflicts. Small “t” traditions have persisted in some places, re-emerged in others, have revamped in others, and remain firmly “quashed” in still others. Large “T” traditions have been “reinterpreted”, sometimes to the good but oftentimes, even if good in some ways, more to disunity, disharmony, and even verging and passing into heresy and schism.

But there’s good news.
Even with catechesis that is somehow lacking (intentionally or not), a person can still be a good Catholic, can learn on his or her own (thanks to the Catechism of the Catholic Church) what is needed to be a member of the church, and can then use the knowledge to correct misinformation if necessary, spread correct information in one’s personal ministry for our Lord, pray and work for unity. Take your time. Read the Catechism, digest it, pray about it, seek proper guidance from God and from a good and faithful priest who himself has read, understands, and lives the true and faithful teachings of the Church. Then, under the guidance of the Spirit, wait for God to guide you on how to bring about the coming of unity.

It will come. Praise be, it’s coming now. After some turmoil, some pendulum swings out of proportion to say the least, after the conflict peace is starting to come. We’ll see in time not the worst effects of extremism, but the best effects of collaboration, respect, and love. Pray for us. . .ora pro nobis. . .


#20

Since my pre-RCIA days, in each Parish I’ve attended, on the Sunday before Lent begins a letter from the Bishop is read, reminding those members of the diocese of the Lenten obligations.

These have always been (and that is for 2 dioceses and 4 Parishes where I’ve lived) abstaining from alcohol and sweets throughout Lent; to fast on Ash Wed and Good Friday; to abstain from meat on every Friday; and to make other personal sacrifices during the 40 days of Lent.

The Deacon who led our RCIA group talked about abstinence from meat on Fridays, and said that did NOT mean to run out to the $8.99 all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. He would remind us that the idea was to sacrifice, to suffer – as an example, he told how he LOVED tuna salad and that on Lenten Fridays were he to just eat tuna salad, it would be no sacrifice. Then, there is my good friend a cradle Catholic, who’s mother would require that the family eat liver on Thursdays during Lent as a sacrifice [font=Wingdings]J[/font]


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