Today is the day: Friday Abstinence is with us again!
For all of us living in the UK< today is a rather historical day, as for the first time in ages the obligation to make penance on Friday by abstaining from meat is reintroduced.
The importance of this goes, if you ask me, beyond the mere fact, and extends to the clear signal (eve here in the UK) to recover traditional Catholic practice. The recovery of the practice will, in time, give a great contribution to the recovery of the values.
We have seen it happening the other way round decades ago, when the immense patrimony of Catholic devotions and usages was suddenly discarded as old, not in keeping with the time and, in a world, unpleasant for a Church desperately – and disgracefully – seeking for popularity.
Today, here in the UK – and, no doubt, in many other Countries in the years to come – a public, if not explicit, admission of the mistake of following the trend of the times takes place.
Every Catholic should rejoice at the possibility he is given to feel more catholic in his daily life, and to be able to make use of small but constant reminders of the religious dimension his life is called – wretched sinners as we all are – to have.
I’ll have a Potato and Leak soup accompanied by a small salad with some feta cheese, and a mozzarella with some little bread. Meatless Friday doesn’t mean joyless eating, it means that once a week you remember He Who died for you, and give him a little tribute of gratitude. In these little things lies, if you ask me, one of the great strengths of Catholicism; the Hail Mary, the Rosary, the sign of the cross when walking past a church, the small prayer when walking past someone with a disability, and many other little gestures keep us anchored in our real dimension in the middle of the hustle and bustle of our daily life.
Say hello to your soup; the meat will be able to wait until tomorrow and, for sure, no one will die of meat abstinence in the meantime.