"You aim at a devout life, dear Philothea, because as a Christian you know that such devotion is most acceptable to God's Divine Majesty," says St. Francis de Sales in his book "Introduction to the Devout Life".
And we can all be Philotheas, as St. Francis notes: "I have made use of a name suitable to all who seek the devout life, Philothea meaning one who loves God."
So… don’t we eat meat on Fridays? Fr. Erlenbush maintains:
It’s not because meat tastes
better than fish. It’s not because meat is (or ever was) a delicacy. It’s not
because the apostles were fishermen. It’s not even because Christ offered his
flesh upon the Cross on a Friday (at least, that isn’t the first reason).
Why, then? Well, read the entire article to find out!
And here’s Fr. Erlenbush's conclusion:
Why we shouldn’t ever eat meat
Canon Law states that
abstinence from meat is to be observed (by the faithful who are fourteen and
up) on all Fridays throughout the year, unless the Episcopal Conference
substitutes some other food [cf. Can. 1251, 1252].
In the United States, and in
many parts of the world, the bishops have allowed the faithful to make some
other sacrifice on Fridays outside of Lent (rather than having to give up meat,
they may abstain from some other food). Still, the practice of abstaining from
meat on Fridays is maintained throughout the season of Lent.
The Church requires by law
that, “Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason
of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the
true meaning of penance.” [Can. 1252]
Now, when was the last time you
heard a priest or parent explain the true meaning of abstinence from meat? Why
aren’t people being taught the tradition of the Church?
While it is certainly true that
it would not be fitting to speak to a child of zinc’s impact on libido, would
it be too much to say that not eating meat helps a person to be “more at
In any case, a Christian who
knows the real reason behind Lenten abstinence would never claim that a large
plate of fish at a Friday fish-fry is contrary to the spirit of the law. [No
matter how much fish you eat, you’re not going to get enough zinc to cause an
increase in lust.]
And a bishop, or Episcopal
Conference, who understands the true meaning of abstinence would never allow
Christians (on Fridays outside of Lent) to substitute the traditional practice
by giving up some food other than meat, dairy, or eggs.