I was asked today why we give up meat on ash wed.,and fri.'s thur lent…why meat? ive always just excepted it,but dont know why its meat…help…
Why not meat? Most of us take it for granted as a substance in our daily fare.
The change in routine is, (as is all penance), meant to call us to deeper conversion and life of faith.
You might point out that many Catholic faithful actually do a good deal more than just give up meat today and on Fridays. Things that in themselves are not all that big a deal, but that are meant to help us focus more on the upcoming events of Holy Week and the reasons WHY that was necessary.
ok,we know why people give up big and small sacrifices,but again,why has the church said no meat?
Well, it may be true, it may not. But I once heard (can’t remember the source) that we give up meat because it was a delicacy. Because of a lack of refrigeration, and its short supply compared to fish (in towns built along rivers), meat was/is very expensive. Giving up meat is giving up an expensive, extravagant food supply, which fits into the penitent nature of Lent.
Or maybe, they’re just concerned about our hearts.
Probably because there are passages in the Bible that speak of it? St. Paul discusses that it is okay in his letters to the Corinthian church. 1st Corinthians 8
From what I’ve always understood, we don’t spill blood on the day that Christ shed His blood (Friday), and we don’t consume flesh other than the flesh which is for the salvation of the world.
That’s from back in the time when consuming meat meant the slaughter of your meal on the same day you would consume it.
I can’t back it up with historical references, but that’s what I was always taught.
I wondered that as well considering the 1st Timothy 4: forewarning…
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
I don’t remember where I read this but I’ve alway thought that this Tradition of penance went back to the Apostles themselves. I could be mistaken though.
This is quoted out of Catholicism for Dummies- The tradition goes back to the first century,when Christians abstained from eating meat on Fridays to honor Jesus’ death on the cross on Good Friday.Because Jesus sacrificed his flesh for the salvation of humankind,the flesh of warm-blooded animals wasn’t consumed on Friday.
That answer seems likely to be valid and in fact seems very helpful in keeping this practice of Lent. Jesus’ sacrifice was bloody and meat is also often somewhat bloody even when cooked. If one is reflecting on Jesus’ suffering and how His flesh was torn and He bled then I can see now how one would not even want to eat meat on Fridays i.e. one would not have the heart for it. Wow! I am so grateful for this answer as it has real meaning. Jesus said “My flesh is real food.” This understanding about abstaining from meat because of Jesus’ bloody sacrifice is real food for understanding!