Non-Lenten Friday Abstinence/Penance Concern


#1

Because the USCCB has stated that abstaining from meat is no longer required on Fridays, but that we should do something of our own choosing, I am now worried because it never crosses my mind that Fridays are supposed to be days of abstinence/penance. Does this mean that I have been in a continuous state of mortal sin and, since I have never Confessed this, it means all my prior Confession are invalidated?

It is not that I purposely ignore the Friday thing, it is just I never really think about it (or I read about it and forget about it) and never think to Confess it.

What are some suggestions for Friday penance?


#2

[quote="nsper7, post:1, topic:181631"]
Because the USCCB has stated that abstaining from meat is no longer required on Fridays, but that we should do something of our own choosing, I am now worried because it never crosses my mind that Fridays are supposed to be days of abstinence/penance. Does this mean that I have been in a continuous state of mortal sin and, since I have never Confessed this, it means all my prior Confession are invalidated?

It is not that I purposely ignore the Friday thing, it is just I never really think about it (or I read about it and forget about it) and never think to Confess it.

What are some suggestions for Friday penance?

[/quote]

You can't be in mortal sin if you didn't realize something was considered a mortal sin. Period.

For the future just try to make Friday a special day for our Lord, by sharing in His suffering through an act of penance. This can be giving up meat for the day, desserts, candy, soda, or non food penances such as saying extra prayers, giving up your favorite t.v. show, internet, anything that makes you die to yourself for the day. But try to make it the same thing each Friday so you are less likely to forget. ;)

From what I've read, on Catholic Answers, it is only a mortal sin to not abstain from meat on LENTEN Fridays.

I will look up the Ask the Apologist quote and get back to you.


#3

I don’t think it is a mortal sin. In order for a sin to be mortal, ALL three criteria must be met:
[LIST=1]
*]It must be grave matter
*]It must be done with full knowledge that it is sinful
*]It must be done with full consent of the will
[/LIST]
I think that, at the very least, the third criteria has not been met. You are not failing to do penance out of defiance, a deliberate act of the will. Being forgetful is not the same as deliberately committing a serious sin.

I doubt that it even rises to the level of “grave matter” if you miss once in a while, as long as you do not persistently ignore performing any type of penance.

Why not put it on your calendar, or associate it with something else you always do on Friday? Or find a Catholic “buddy” or family member and remind each other.

There is a lot of freedom in how you can carry out a Friday penance: giving up a favorite food or dessert, skipping second helpings, praying an extra Rosary for a special intention, visiting a sick friend in a nursing home, doing extra acts of kindness for those we live with, etc.


#4

Here is an answer from a Catholic Answers Apologist

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=311203


#5

Is there any way you can set up reminders for yourself? Do you have a diary you look at each day? Or a mobile phone that acts as a PDA and can be set up to give you weekly reminders? Or a computer calendar or diary (if you use your computer daily)?


#6

[quote="nsper7, post:1, topic:181631"]
Because the USCCB has stated that abstaining from meat is no longer required on Fridays, but that we should do something of our own choosing, I am now worried because it never crosses my mind that Fridays are supposed to be days of abstinence/penance. Does this mean that I have been in a continuous state of mortal sin and, since I have never Confessed this, it means all my prior Confession are invalidated?

It is not that I purposely ignore the Friday thing, it is just I never really think about it (or I read about it and forget about it) and never think to Confess it.

What are some suggestions for Friday penance?

[/quote]

Well, there is always the lazy way out, which is what I do. :shrug:And that is to abstain from meat every Friday, Lent or not. Penance done, and I don't have to worry if my substitute penance is up to requirements.

Of course, I live in Los Angeles, and meatless Fridays are a snap, what with all the seafood restaurants, ample fish, shrimp, and other seafood available in all the supermarkets, not to mention Mexican bean, rice, and cheese dishes. It might be more of a problem in areas where fresh seafood is not easily available.


#7

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