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  • Sarah Beth Dippel


Not eating meat on Friday coincides with fasting or penance. As Catholics and many Christians believe that our Lord gave up His life for us on Good Friday, we set aside Friday as a day of penance. By our small suffering with the Lord, we hope to one day be united with Him in Glory.

You might have noticed; I have not said: "no meat on Fridays DURING LENT." In 1966, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops decided to abolish the canon law (Can. 1250 and 1251) to abstain from meat every Friday of the year and encouraged the faithful instead to abstain from something, offering some penance every Friday in remembrance of the death of our Lord. They kinda hoped we'd continue the no meat thing on our own will. How many people do you know that kept with that tradition?

On the one hand, I will agree with the decision in that abstaining from meat in '66 and now, isn't much of a sacrifice. (Especially for my Louisiana friends. Crawfish etouffee anyone?) But here is the case I'll make to you. In a society where you can have it your way, right away, it is more important than ever to abstain from something. It is the outward sign of our spiritual beliefs, our love for the Lord and His sacrifice for us. That some ONE is more important than a piece of delicious meat.

Before 1966, every Friday (not just the ones during Lent) for Catholics was a day of penance. Friday was special in a way that Sunday is special. Without Good Friday there is no Easter! For most Catholics in 2020, Friday is just another day. We've lost the meaning of Friday as a day to reflect on the death of our Savior and offer penance. Let's get back to that. Let's use this Lent to return to a state of mind that focuses our lives on the Lord. #livinglent2

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