Sunday, May 15, 2011

Whadda Ya Mean You Don't Eat No Meat?

So the English bishops are bringing back meatless Fridays. A sensible thing to do, in my opinion. When, after having been Catholic for a year or so, we discovered that Fridays were supposed to still be penitential and you were still supposed to abstain from something, we implemented meatless Fridays in our family. Actually, we often have meatless Thursdays as well, so as to have meatless Friday leftovers for lunch.

Knowing that giving up meat was the longstanding practice of the church made going meatless an obvious choice. I think that not only do a whole lot of Catholics not even know we're supposed to still practice some sort of Friday abstinence, but with the variety of possible choices open to everyone, it's hard to know what to give up. If meat goes back to being the standard, the discipline actually becomes easier -- and it is nice knowing that all your fellow church-goers are doing the same thing along with you.

Although, one also should probably remember that even though an excellent pan-seared salmon meets the meatless criteria, it might not actually be penitential.


melissa said...

Love that you end this post on a humorous note. :)

I remember in public school, we'd have fish sticks on Fridays and I always looked forward to that.

'Course I'm Presbyterian, but do appreciate some things of your faith.

Take care, sweet one.

Anonymous said...

I struggle with the meatless-as-penance idea for the same reason you mention the salmon. Lentils, yes, my family would agree. But is it really a sacrifice to eat a cheese pizza on Friday nights?

For most of us it might truly be more penitential to fast from flour and sugar than from flesh. At least for us!

Missed you this morning! Hope we can catch up when you wrap up the semester. --Meredith

Dawn Farias said...

LOL - too true on that last note! Even then, though, sometimes the sacrifice is in the rescheduling or re-imagining of the Friday meal.

Robbo said...

This is where my dislike of fish has come in handy. I have a date most Friday nights with Mrs. Paul, but I can't say that I much enjoy her company.

Mary @ A Simple Twist Of Faith said...

We do meatless Fridays, but frankly I cannot consider it penitental because I make cheese pizza for the girls and a veggie pizza for the grown-ups. We all really like it.

Jordana said...

Sometimes it isn't the food that is penitential for me, since I like many vegetarian foods. However, there is still a sacrifice for me as the cook in the planning and preparation of a meal that might not always be my first choice. This was particularly true during Lent this year when we gave up meat entirely. I got very tired of and it became increasingly difficult to plan meatless meals that everyone would eat, without using the same plan every week.

Janis Gore said...

I do believe that if I wanted to be properly penitential I'd have to stick with water alone, but I even like the tap water here.

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