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Friday, June 22, 2007
Friday: Abstain from Meat

Today is Friday, the day in which we commemorate Our Lord's Passion and Death. It was our own sins that condemned our glorious Lord to death on Good Friday - death on a Cross. As Catholics, we are still bound to either abstain from meat or rather to do some act of penance each Friday in the entire year. It was on this day of the week that our glorious Redeemer died for us. Please, never forget this, especially at 3 o'clock, the hour that He died. At 3 o'clock attempt to pray the 3 o'clock Mercy Prayer. Please remember Our Lord's love and repent today.
Code of Canon Law:

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.

Today is also a great day to pray the Stations of the Cross. The Stations are a wonderful devotion that can be prayed in Church or at home. Nonetheless, the stations allow us to contemplate the true love of our Redeemer during His bitter Passion. Please join me in praying the Stations of the Cross. Remember, it was on this day that He gave up His life all for you.

Prayer to the Glorious Cross:

I adore You, O glorious Cross, which was adorned with the Heart and Body of my Savior Jesus Christ, stained and covered with blood. I adore You, O Holy Cross, out of love for Him, Jesus, who is my Savior and my God.

(Pope Pius IX declared that reciting this prayer five times on Friday will free five souls from Purgatory and 33 souls by reciting it on Good Friday. This prayer should be recited before a crucifix with a contrite heart and praying a few minutes for the Pope).

Prayer to Jesus Christ Crucified:

My good and dear Jesus, I kneel before you asking you most earnestly to engrave upon my heart a deep and lively faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. As I reflect upon your five wounds, and dwell upon them with deep compassion and grief, I recall the words the prophet David spoke long ago concerning yourself: they have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones!


del_button June 27, 2007 at 4:01 PM
Frater said...

And according to my Franciscan Constitutions:

"The time of Advent and, above all, the Lent before Easter, as well as every Friday, should be considered by us as times of more intense private and communal penance."

del_button June 27, 2007 at 8:22 PM
Seminarian Matthew said...

Thank you for sharing that. I completely agree.

del_button June 29, 2007 at 9:08 AM
bill bannon said...

I observe penance every Friday but giving up meat is not a penance for me because I eat little meat per month. Giving up meat is fine for those who really eat meat ordinarily but even there it is no sacrifice if they then console themselves by having trout almondine or salmon in a breval sauce.
Imagine at the judgement:
"I gave up meat every Friday."
" Yes but you had two plates of spaghetti with cream sauce every Friday too.... to console yourself."

del_button June 30, 2007 at 9:55 AM
beez said...

Bill's comment amuses me because it reminds me of something my former pastor once said to me. (He's a Benedictine and I was at the abbey for the weekend. A young man had recently joined the abbey, although I don't think he had formally professed anything yet.)

Vincent, the young man in question, queried as to why we abstained from meat on Fridays. We discussed it for a few moments, the Father said, "I always have a problem eating fish on Friday's because I enjoy fish so much."

Well, the following evening we were having pizza and beer and Father then admitted that he never much cared for pizza.

"There's your solution to your Friday dilemma, Father." I exclaimed. "Have pizza without meat. Then, not only have you give up meat, you're eating something you don't like. What great penance."

He wasn't amused, but Vincent was. :)

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