Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lent and Fasting From Meat on Fridays

From American Catholic:
Abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not of eggs, milk products or condiments made of animal fat.

Abstinence does not include meat juices and liquid foods made from meat. Thus, such foods as chicken broth, consomme, soups cooked or flavored with meat, meat gravies or sauces, as well as seasonings or condiments made from animal fat are not forbidden. So it is permissible to use margarine and lard. Even bacon drippings which contain little bits of meat may be poured over lettuce as seasoning.
I was looking for this for another reason, actually, but it applied to the question our retreat group was asking about providing a Friday lunch including Tomato Basil Soup made with chicken broth.

I think the main reason, though I now have lost the place I originally read this, is that the original intent of fasting from meat is that we are fasting from ... flesh.

It is because Christ put on flesh to become man that we fast from it in penance for what He went through on our behalf.

A lovely connection isn't it?

At least it is to me.

And to have to dig into each ingredient turns it into an exercise in scrupulosity for me. I like that they make it easy for us that way.

I've always cooked with those sorts of guidelines for Friday fast days (heck, every Friday is a fast from meat at our house). So it's nice to see it spelled out ... no need for any vestiges of guilt when I put a bit of lard in our refried beans for those nachos!

3 comments:

  1. "heck, every Friday is a fast from meat at our house" Exactly. My problem is not not eating meat because over the past several years I have dropped eating all red meats. The only flesh I eat is fish so this convert's problem is what to eat in place of fish on "fish Friday" because I love fish. I could eat meat -that would be penance as it would probably land me at the doc's office if not in emerge.

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  2. Every Friday is a fast from meat because we are supposed to do penance every Friday. Meat is easy to remember.

    Can. 1249 All Christ’s faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.

    Can. 1250 The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.

    Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

    Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

    Can. 1253 The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.
    The Lenten Friday penance though, I believe, is not optional as to meat. And, because of the "flesh" connection I mentioned above, it isn't a trade-out. If one doesn't eat meat already, then they're good on that particular thing. :-)

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  3. "Every Friday is a fast from meat because we are supposed to do penance every Friday. Meat is easy to remember." Yup, I'm down with all that, as 'they' say. My challenge is, as I say, to find a genuine penance for me as I don't eat meat, red meat, anyway.

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