Friday, April 25, 2014

7QT (Vol. 77): Don't eat meat. Or anything else.

He is risen! I'm overjoyed that Easter is here. As I heard recently, "This was the longest Lent in a long time." The very late arrival of spring definitely kept us in the proper Lenten mood; the recent increase in temperatures has brought us dancing into the glory of Easter. Alleluia!

In less joyful news, my husband went into urgent care last night because he thought he might have food poisoning. Turns out he had appendicitis. I spent this afternoon at the hospital with him. Thanks be to God and modern medicine, he had an uncomplicated appendectomy and is now home, sleeping peacefully.

He was able to eat a sandwich and some grapes for dinner, which was very much appreciated after his "clear liquids" lunch at the hospital and dry toast for dinner last night.

Like how he updated our menu for this week?

Anyway, back to my original plan for this post, before the sleep deprivation and stress of the past 24 hours. Now that Lent is over, we don't have to abstain from meat. So, we're free to do whatever, right? Wrong. I didn't know until after college that the rules about year-round abstinence were changed, not removed. The USCCB still calls Catholics to acts of penance every Friday.

In fact, the council still suggests that Catholics abstain from "flesh meat" on Fridays throughout the year. This is no longer an obligation, but has value as "an outward sign of inward spiritual values that we cherish." If Catholics choose not to abstain from meat, they must to perform a different act of self-denial and penance so to remember Christ's sacrificial death for us on a Friday.

The USCCB further encourages Catholics in addition to penance to perform acts of charity and mercy, particularly on Fridays.
It would bring great glory to God and good to souls if Fridays found our people doing volunteer work in hospitals, visiting the sick, serving the needs of the aged and the lonely, instructing the young in the Faith, participating as Christians in community affairs, and meeting our obligations to our families, our friends,our neighbors, and our community, including our parishes, with a special zeal born of the desire to add the merit of penance to the other virtues exercised in good works born of living faith.
My husband is surely continuing his journey toward holiness. He not only abstained from meat, but from just about everything else, too. What a saint. :-)

You can find more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary


  1. The Bishops of England & Wales requested that Catholics abstain from meat year-round on Fridays, so that changed things for us a couple of years ago. I've really liked doing it, although it can pose a particular challenge when non-Catholic family + cooking is thrown into the mix!

    1. Doing so during Lent definitely helps me to be mindful of Christ's sacrifice, so I certainly see its value as a year-round practice. But yes, doing so while with non-Catholics can be tricky!