Rules because that easting (and no eating) in Lent

First, let"s look in ~ what the rule are:

• all Catholics who have actually reached your fourteenth year are bound come abstain completely from meat/poultry on  -- Ash Wednesday and-- all the Fridays the Lent. • every Catholics between the ages of eighteen and also fifty-nine inclusive are likewise bound to observe the regulation of rapid on Ash Wednesday and good Friday.

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This way limiting oneself to a single full meal and avoiding food in between meals. Two various other light meals, which together perform not equal a full meal, might be taken during the day.

• Those whose job-related or health would be impaired room excused native fast and abstinence. Separation, personal, instance conscience need to decide appropriate cause for excuse. A more serious factor is required to excuse oneself indigenous Ash Wednesday and an excellent Friday fast and also abstinence.

And yes, chicken is considered meat.

And nobody of the regulations mention fish. Over there is no preeminence that world should eat fish in Lent.

So why not abstain from fish? Why meat?



Before we get to the meat and fish thing, very first a little background.

There were no avoid n" Shops in the middle ages. No electricity, no refrigeration - other than for the ice and snow the the winter months. It makes you wonder how human being had sufficient food to live on. Forget fresh fruits and also vegetables. There would have actually been source vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beets) and grains, and also cabbage keeps nice well every winter.

To maintain food, they would have actually used salt, smoke and also pickling. And also if girlfriend had enough hay to feeding livestock, you could keep them with the winter and also butcher them as soon as needed. Most households had live chicken as a source for eggs and meat. However once the food was consumed (or spoiled, or consumed by mice, rats, or various other vermin) there to be no more food.

No much more food. No ShopRite. No businessman Joe"s. For this reason what did human being do? lock died. Starved come death. Or, in a malnourished condition, they surrendered to disease.

What saved whole neighborhoods was the Lenten practice of fasting. If ns “gave up” eating as much food together I"d like, if ns abstained from killing an animal for meat, ns would be able to stretch out the food it is provided for an additional month "til spring arrived and also there"d be brand-new crops, brand-new lambs, etc. And if, by cutting back on what i ate, I might share the little I had with rather in mine family and also neighborhood, they might survive the winter too.

Fasting needs a selection to be unselfish, to refuse something in myself in order to do great for others. And in a society where death came quickly to for this reason many, the temptation would certainly be come look out just for one"s self. It was survive of the fittest. Yet when parishes started presenting Lent together a time the fasting, they were offering spiritual encouragement to people to be much less selfish - and the by-product that “giving up” in Lent to be that stays were saved. Indeed whole areas were conserved from starving come death because they all made a faith-commitment come fast and to share.

Today fasting is not as important to the survive of our families. It"s actually a luxury since it"s a an option we have. Too much of the civilization (including those who live in America - certainly some who live in our neighborhood) doesn"t have the deluxe of “giving” up food. They just go hungry plenty of days of the year.

But for numerous of united state Fasting has end up being a way in i beg your pardon we have the right to say to God, “Look at how great I have the right to be for forty days! See, I"m yes, really loveable.” Fasting becomes prefer a evidence of ours self-control. And also when us succeed in giving up the smoking cigarettes or the calories or the swears, us beam inwardly and imagine God laugh on us a little much more broadly this year. Once we fail, us kick ourselves because that our failures, and throw this year"s broken resolution top top the heap of our past failures. Therefore we need to be reminded this Lent: God doesn"t love us any an ext or much less if us succeed or fail at fasting. God loves us v an unconditional love. God smiles at our an extremely existence and on the days the we loss down God, like any type of loving parental watching a child fall when trying to walk, speaks one word to us…..”UP!”

“Ashes, ashes we all fall down,” so goes the song. And also every time we autumn down, God says “UP!” - and also reaches the end a hand and pulls united state to our feet to try again. Therefore let"s obtain over this idea the our being failures once we break our fastings. Let"s gain up and get on through fasting. It"s expected to be an unselfish choice that is life giving. So whether we"re fasting from fear or native food, native sarcasm or sweets, let"s rediscover the life-giving factors our parishes interact in fasting in the first place. 

So what around meat and fish?


There space two theories regarding why meat was preferred to it is in the food come be offered up top top Ash Wednesday and also the Fridays the Lent.

The survive theory. This matches what we composed above. If friend eat the last lab the the flock, you have actually no i m crying in the spring.Abstaining from meat means your pets live long sufficient to produce offspring. Fish, top top the various other hand, were a plentiful source of protein -- even when lakes froze end you can go ice fishing. There was no concern around over-fishing. No should abstain native fish. And because fish became the favored protein source during the Lent time that the year, it almost became the prescribed protein.But we can gain our protein from various other sources (e.g. Eggs, beans, nuts, etc.) and one score to abstaining from meat is to live much more simply and choosing food that has actually the least detrimental result on our just planet. Lobster? not a Lenten food.

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There is only meat theory. This absolutely was no the experience of most civilization struggling to survive. Yet there to be an upper class that live on every sorts of meat -- deer, wild boar, roasts of video game birds, etc. Think "Henry the VIII" right here with a royal table groaning through meats of all kinds at every meats. For this reason if the church asks the upper class to abstain from meat, they are really gift asked to perform a large fast.

So in summary, we don"t eat meat top top Ash Wednesday and the Fridays the Lent.We fast on Ash Wednesday and good Friday.