Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lenten Practices for Cavemen


Alright, lets all admit it, we have all subconsciously known this fact for years but may have never actually taken a moment to think about it. The new Lenten fast and abstinence rules, which are a product of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, are a tad weak. I mean, are we really only talking about a little fasting on Ash Wednesday, a little fasting on Good Friday, and opting for the surf as oppossed to the turf on all other Friday's in Lent? That may be fine and dandy and plenty strenuous enough for our pregnant wives, two year old children, and ninety year old grandmothers, but is that really all the sacrifice that we cavemen should commit ourselves to? Given all the turmoil in the Church and in the world, is it not up to us cavemen to do the penance which is required and which is needed for a true Restoration to ever manifest itself?
In case anyone was interested, I would just like point out the fact that prior to 1983, the following was the normative Lenten regulations according to fisheaters.com:
  • Ash Wednesday, all Fridays, and all Saturdays: fasting and total abstinence. This means 3 meatless meals -- with the two smaller meals not equalling in size the main meal of the day -- and no snacking.
  • Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays (except Ash Wednesday), and Thursdays: fasting and partial abstinence from meat. This means three meals -- with the two smaller meals not equalling in size the main meal of the day -- and no snacking, but meat can be eaten at the principle meal.

And remember, St. Francis lived on nothing but half a loaf of bread during Lent.

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9 Comments:

Blogger ignorant redneck said...

So...I guess my plan of giving up prayer, rosaries and mortification for lent isn't gonna cut it?

5:33 PM  
Blogger Confiteor said...

Ignorant Redneck -

I was just throwing out a thought and some information. My thought is that the current Lenten regulations hardly do this period of the liturgical year justice and that Catholic men especially should not just rely on present day Church law to provide them with an adequate form of sacrifice during Lent. The information I provided was just a compare and contrast between the new minimum expecation vs. what had been the minimum expecation of all Catholics not more than thirty years ago.

I am by no means suggesting that anyone should adopt the old law this Lent. That is not my place.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

Are you serious? For us it's a vegan diet EVERY day until after Paschal services, and we have a few Lenten periods through out the year. Those rules are for non-Lent for us.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

VSO,
I few years back, I assisted at an Orthodox Liturgy. The Celebrant essentially chewed the asses of his parishioners for failing to observe even the basics of the EO rules of fasting and abstinence.

He also admonished the rather large percentage of his lil' flock that made a habit of showing up right before the distribution of Holy Communion.

From what I gathered afterwards, these problems were not all that rare, at lease in the US.

The Orthodox have their share of problems, as well.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

"The new Lenten fast and abstinence rules...are a tad weak."

Ahhh, weak Lenten rules to acompany the de-emphasized holy days (e.g. Ascension Thursday moved to the next Sunday) and the watered-down cathechisis of Vat2. Why are we surprised?

The latest FSSP newsletter (quoting the new, post-Vat2 rules) said:
Can. 1250--All Fridays throughout the year and the time of Lent are penetential days and times throughout the universal Church.
It is followed by this explanation:
[Although no particular penance is prescribed by the Church (ref. Can. 1250), the old discipline of abstinence on all Fridays and fasting on all weekdays of Lent may be maintained. If not, it must be replaced by some other form of penance.]
Gee, I wonder how many "modern" Catholics have had that "must" expplained to them?

9:13 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

This is one of the chief reasons that my (Protestant) church and I are no longer living happily in harmony. Last year, we didn't even have a silent procession, the hymns were almost the same except chosen not to use "alleluia", and forgiveness has become completely separated from penitence (let alone penance). We once had some sort of potluck supper in the parish hall during Lent, and our rector brought something with andouille sausage in it. Fish on Fridays? I'd be thrilled. God help me, we are being cushioned to death.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Cookie said...

Geez, and I'm only giving up sugar.

One of my friends is doing a Ramadan-style fast - no eating anything solid during sun-up hours - and I have a lot of respect for that.

10:51 AM  
Blogger TCN said...

Mortification takes many forms. Try being charitable to all the idiots you encounter every day--talk about penance. :)

11:20 AM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

We lay Dominicans abstain from meat every Friday of the year, so I guess that makes it somewhat easier to do it during Lent. The real penance (for me) of abstinence is not eating fish (which I happen to love) but missing out on the convenience of, say, a hot dog or lunch meat during a hectic day.

I personally think that some people should abstain from abstaining from certain things, like coffee, as an act of charity toward their fellow man.

5:00 PM  

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