Abstaining From Meat
Kid-Friendly Meatless Friday
- Frozen ravioli – generic from Walmart
- Pasta sauce – large from Sam’s
- Parmesan cheese – yep, the green shaker type – the hard block for grating is waiting for a more glamorous meal. (I’ll share that in another post)
- Minced garlic (Tones)
- Italian Spices (Tones)
- A bit of brown sugar (it reduces acidity from the tomatoes)
Abstaining From Meat – Still An Obligation
In spite of popular thought, abstaining from meat is still an obligation for Catholics all year round. There is, however, an exception. While meatless Fridays is the common obligation, an additional canon allows some leeway at the directive of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Can. 1253 It is for the conference of bishops to determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence and to substitute in whole or in part for fast and abstinence other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.
The above canon allows US Catholics an alternative. If they wish, US Catholics are allowed to make a substitution. A penitential or charitable practice of their choice is an additional option. However, it is mandatory that the people must perform some form of penance or charity on every Friday of the year. Lenten abstinence, in the form of meatless Fridays, is still obligatory for Catholics in the US. This practice continues around the world.
While there is an out, our family has found that sticking to the original obligation is simple and forms a great habit. An optional observance may be available but sticking to the same plan throughout the year makes it harder to forget. As you can see, the Church dictates certain practices and it important for Catholic families to be aware of their obligations. Adhering to them helps us to be obedient servants of the Lord. We are called to continual education, when it comes to the practice of our Catholic faith.