Lenten Reflections #38
“Don’t worry, you’re not going to Hell!” I yelled back.
Then I stopped and thought for a second. I suppose I can’t really promise where any of us are going, in the BIG picture, but I can guess.
I figured…he’s a really great kid, so I was confident with my response.
I had some time, so I did a little research…just in case St. Peter needed a good explanation at the gate other than “My mom told me it was fine!”
Here’s what I learned:
As most Catholics know abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent is a way to remember Jesus’ Passion and to offer a small sacrifice for God. Fridays are seen as a time to fast and pray (or say Rosary’s, like we did growing up).
According to the Code of Canon Law, “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” (Can. 1251).
What is a day of “solemnity”?
Days of “solemnity” are the highest order of liturgical feast, meaning that Catholics are to observe it similar to a Sunday. Both St. Joseph’s feast day and St. Patrick’s Day are considered days of solemnity. They are days of celebration, therefore any type of fasting or abstinence from meat is not requited on those days.
IF for some reason you have made, eaten and digested a large roast beef sandwich while taking an Algebra test on a Friday during Lent like my son, you really are okay. Why? Because there was no intent to disobey the Church by eating meat. For a sin to be a sin, it requires active engagement of your will. Sins aren’t accidental.
There can be, however, a venial (smaller) sin involved if we simply forget the day — which shows we have become too distracted by other things and should focus on keeping God at the center.
That was my goal today…focus on God.
Jesus held my inner gaze today. Typically Good Fridays are rainy and dreary. Today it was cold, but sunny…so I worked outside, washed the cars, weeded, mowed the lawn and cleaned inside, my prep for Easter Sunday, the Resurrection.
The best part of the day was going with my daughter and two of her friends to Good Friday services. I’m always amazed and so pleased when teenagers show up to mass after they are confirmed. Usually that’s their ticket out..the moment they figure out they really don’t need to go.
Today we showed up for services willingly and gladly, kneeling together, praying side by side, all sharing the same intentions and values. Jesus at the helm.
Whether you ate meat today or didn’t hold to your Lenten promises every moment for the last 40 days, it’s okay. As for me, I misspelled, fell asleep writing posts, and posted late. But I have felt every word, every moment, every day. My small struggle to get words on a page will never compare to Jesus’ sacrifice.
I do hope I have touched you all…thanks for reading.
Until tomorrow. Have faith and stay fit.