Sunday, February 10, 2013

Great Catch of Fish at Jesus' Word

 Keep your family safe, O Lord, with unfailing care, that, relying solely on the hope of heavenly grace, they may be defended always by your protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


  1. Your notice about fasting every Friday from meat is not well thought out despite what they do in the US, etc..what about those who have to 'catch a lunch' every working day and only meat products are available?!..also is it under pain of serious sin?
    A fuller explanation is needed and these rules ought not to be dropped from above at the last minute with no real explanation.

  2. Your Grace: I applaud your decision to try to bring the traditions back. There are many who abstain from meat on Friday, and restrict themselves to fish or seafood)een with the dispension permitted My family and I are from the Archdiocese of Toronto but we are planning to take a trip Family Day weekend and will be in Ottawa for the Friday after Ash Wednesday. Two questions, being from Toronto does the general dispensation of performing a pious act in lieu of abstaining from meat carry over into your See or not. (I wish to be obedient to whichever ordinary I would be subject, except I don't know who that would be while travelling.)

    And If I would be subject to your grace: I have a severe allergy to fish and seafood.(I blow up like blow fish- not nice to say the least) Would I at least be permitted to consume milk and eggs, I've never understood whether they are considered meat or not?

    1. The Church has a long-standing tradition of fasting from meat on Fridays as a way of offering a small, personal sacrifice in solidarity with Christ’s Passion and Death on Good Friday. For pastoral reasons, the Bishops of a number of English speaking countries asked for permission to substitute an act of charity or a different act of penance for giving up meat on Fridays.

      However, after a number of years, it has become evident that Catholics were losing their sense of Friday, especially the Fridays in Lent, as days in which we recall Christ’s great self-sacrifice on the Cross for our sins. As a result, many people were forgetting to do something extra instead of giving up meat, and Friday became just another day.

      Catholics who grew up when the tradition of abstaining from meat was the norm often expressed a strong sense of Catholic identity that was reinforced by practices like abstaining from meat – it was something that expressed a uniquely Catholic identity.

      It is hoped that recovering this tradition during the Fridays of Lent will help us to reencounter the mystery of Christ’s self-sacrifice, Passion and Death in a more personal and meaningful way, precisely because we have been out of the habit of reminding ourselves that there is something special about the Fridays of Lent, leading up to the celebration of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil.

      Abstaining from meat is really a small sacrifice for us today when we have so many other options available for meals. Almost every restaurant has a vegetarian or fish option and when we are preparing meals for ourselves to take to work or to eat at home, it requires only a little forethought to take Friday into consideration.

      It is sometimes not possible to avoid eating meat, like when we are invited to a friend’s home for dinner on a Friday in Lent. In that or similar cases, it is unavoidable but these are fairly rare occurrences, especially considering that we are only observing the Fridays of Lent, and not the entire year, as a day of abstaining. If it is unavoidable and not merely slightly inconvenient, eating meat is not a grave matter.

      But it is worth reflecting on the fact that not eating meat for the Fridays for Lent is not a huge imposition – the inconvenience itself is an offering to God and the spiritual benefits of putting ourselves out, even a little, for the Lord, are great.

  3. Your Excellency ~

    I totally agree and personally am glad to have this Lenten observance reinstated. I need more structure in my spiritual life, otherwise I become forgetful and lazy and even lose my will to be observant of any lenten promises.

    With renewed vigor,

    P.S. I just found your blog