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Friday, July 13, 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 July 6, 2007 at 10:38 AM
TShinnick said...

1 Corinthians 10:30,31 says "If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for? So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

This section was written about people telling Christians to abstain from certain meats. Paul told them that they are free from laws regulating what meat they may or may not eat. The exact same thing is happening here. You're telling people that they must abstain from meat on Fridays. When I eat lunch in a couple hours, I'll eat meat, and I'll thank God for it. Will you denounce me for this? The inspired word here in 1 Corinthians seems to say that you shouldn't.

del_button July 6, 2007 at 10:45 AM
Seminarian Matthew said...

Our Lord gave St. Peter, and therefore the Church, to power to "bind and loose" on earth. The Church has declared that the Faithful must perform an act of penance on Friday. Failure to do so is sinful.

And fail to understand the context of the writing of St. Paul. He is writing and in a Jewish v. Christian debate. The Jewish had strict dietary laws. Those laws no longer apply. However, the text should not be used to denouce what the Church declares.

Again, failure to perform an act of penance today is a sin. The chief and usual act of penance for fridays is abstaining from meat.

del_button July 13, 2007 at 7:33 AM
beez said...

I've been abstaining from meat on Fridays since I returned to the Church. My family has become so adjusted to it (even though none of them practice) that, when I was on vacation last week, it was my sister-in-law's failure to offer me left over ribs on Friday that I realized it was abstinence day! :)

del_button July 13, 2007 at 9:45 PM
Deacon Paul said...

I find this blog extremely interesting. Let me share an analogy as to why. If this were a medical blog, it would be similar as a student starting a PRE-MED program in a couple months dispensing medical advice/opinions. Seriously now, would you take advice and direction on your health from someone who was accepted into a PRE-MED program, but has not started it yet?

For those of you who do not know how the seminary process works, Matthew is going to start in the SJV College Seminary Program (and that is 4 years in length). If he does well and is permitted to continue, he will go into a Major Seminary Program, which is another 4 years in length (We are talking 8 years total here, folks). This will include a full year in a parish as well as in a hospital setting where he will learn about parish life and ministering to the sick and dying (I would be extremely interested in hearing Matthew's opinion on the sick after he goes through that). I am an RN and I truly experienced God in a hospital.

My point is this... If you all are truly concerned about your faith, have questions, and/or need clarifications/directions, then first and foremost, seek guidance from your Bishops, Pastors, Priests, and Deacons. They successfully went through what I described above and are affirmed by your Bishop; and may God Bless Them All!

del_button July 14, 2007 at 12:31 AM
Anonymous said...

i hope what Deacon Paul says makes Matthew realize God did not infuse divine knowledge into him as a special grace. Matthew you must learn like the rest of us how to become humble and willing to learn.

del_button July 15, 2007 at 8:51 AM
Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Thanks for this reminder..i just noticed in the notice board at the Oratory the reminder to fast or do some work of mercy..

del_button July 15, 2007 at 5:57 PM
Anonymous said...

Friday fasting & penance is not an infallible teaching of the church.

del_button July 16, 2007 at 7:52 AM
Anonymous said...

"The Church has declared that the Faithful ..." do alot of things that you disagree with Matthew, so why should we listen to you now? I find it interesting that you pick and choose what you will agree with in the Church, as if you are the final arbiter of what is right.

del_button July 16, 2007 at 12:21 PM
kato said...

Deacon Paul, what exactly do you have against Matthew's post? I hope that you're being fair by being on all laymen's blogs telling them that they have no authority to post about Catholicism, not just picking on Matthew because he has traditional leanings. So what do you have against his post? He posted Canon law that we should abstain on Fridays, Canon 1253 is there because some people always ate seafood or rarely ate meat so giving up meat on a Friday wasn't much of a penance for them, it wasn't so everyone would just drop abstaining and eventually forget about having to do any penance on Friday. So, again, what do you have against this particular post or what do you find "extremely interesting" aside that he is a layman?

del_button July 18, 2007 at 5:52 AM
Anonymous said...

I can't speak for Deacon Paul but the problem I have with Matthew and this post is he doesn't project himself as a layman.Whenever he gives an opinion on anything Catholic he claims it is the teaching of the church.He has been wrong many times and Deacon Paul is just warning Catholics not to seek guidance on their faith from this blog .

del_button July 22, 2007 at 10:18 PM
Jason said...

TShinnick - 1 Corinthians 10:30,31 says "If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for? So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

Seminarian Matthew - "The Jewish had strict dietary laws. Those laws no longer apply."

So what exactly is the debate? Hasn't it been settled? Laws regarding diet no longer apply.

Col 2:16 "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:"

del_button July 27, 2007 at 6:17 PM
Seminarian Matthew said...

I have done no wrong nor spoken any falsehood. Suprisingly, not only protestants but also Catholics have ridiculed this post. Why? I have posted the teachings of the Church directly from Canon Law and reminded the Faithful of their need to practice Friday penance.

del_button July 28, 2007 at 11:39 PM
tiny tim said...

If you posted the teachings of Scripture you probably wouldn't be met with as much resistance. Your Canon 'Law' contradicts Col 2:16 and 1 Cor 10:30-31. It's kind of hard to ignore.

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