Did you know Catholics are supposed to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year, and not just in Lent? ‘Tis true, my friends, ’tis true. I learned that maybe 5 or 6 years ago, and since then, we’ve grown into the practice of abstaining meat on all Fridays of the year. It is in the Code of Canon Law 1250 and 1251: all Fridays are days of penance and abstaining from meat is the general practice, unless it is a solemnity. Hold up. Why is every Friday a day of penance? The same reason every Sunday is a day of rest and worship. Catholics are about many things, including remembering and commemorating and celebrating the life of Christ all the time. Fridays commemorate Christ’s Passion and death. Sundays commemorate the Resurrection as well as God’s command to keep His day holy.
The US Catholic Bishops have permission from Rome for Catholics in the US to substitute another sacrificial and penitential practice or work of charity in lieu of abstaining from meat. However! We are still encouraged to abstain from meat, as this is a simple and traditional way of observing the penitential nature of Fridays.
Ok, ok. It’s not always so simple. Sometimes there are social functions which only offer meat as the food. You could go without entirely, of course, but then it might be terribly awkward and even rude to the host. In those cases, do some other sort of penitential practice if it suits your situation better. And, let’s be honest, it’s not easy for many of us to feed our families fish or vegetarian meals, because fish is pricey and kids often turn their noses up to new things.
So, what’s a girl to do? We could eat tuna every Friday. It might get old. And if you’re pregnant, you’re supposed to limit tuna consumption, so there goes that idea. We could eat eggs. Not a bad idea. Huevos rancheros (minus any meat in the dish!) would be tasty. Salad? Sure, but not always filling.
Time to gather some ideas. Share the recipes. Deepen the practices the Church has shown us to be worthy and meaningful in our faith lives.
In other words, I’m asking you to share your favorite meatless meals with me, and I’ll be sharing some of ours. There are 52 Fridays in the year. Can we come up with at least 5-10 good recipes to love for every Friday? Sure we can. And then we can come up with more, because I love a good recipe. Don’t you?
Starting this Friday, I’ll be posting recipes for meatless Fridays. You can share a link to your post in the comments, or link to a favorite recipe in the comments, or ask me anything. It’ll be a fun, virtual cooking party of sorts. At least it will be a recipe swap, every few weeks!