Have I ever mentioned that I love bacon? Like I will get up at 5AM, sometimes even earlier, to make bacon to go with whatever I am going to make for breakfast on any given day. That being said the idea of having a meatless Friday is not on my list of things I would love to do. So, when I read about not having meat on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during Lent, I had to learn more.
Here is what I found (abbreviated):
The “why Friday?” question is pretty obvious: it is one way we commemorate the Passion and death of Our Savior Jesus Christ. But the question of “why meat?” seems to come up again and again...It is precisely because meat is so good that we are asked to give it up at certain times. It wouldn’t make a whole heck of a lot of sense if we offered something we considered bad as a sacrifice to God. More to the point, meat was singled out because it is associated with celebrations and feasts. I understand that there has been a slight cultural shift in the last number of years with more and more people eating a more vegetarian diet, but most of us still base the food we eat during celebrations around a meat entrée (Thanksgiving turkey, Easter ham, Fourth of July brat, burger and a steak). A day devoted to remembering Christ’s Passion doesn’t seem like a day to feast. Interestingly enough, the day we celebrate the Resurrection is a day for feasting (and we get one of those every single week: Sunday). On top of all of that, meat has often been a luxury in many cultures. People didn’t always have a McDonald’s Dollar Menu, and meat cost a bit more. Maintaining a spirit of simplicity, people turned to other, less expensive fare.
...So what about fish? How’d that one slide by? I mean, it seems like meat, right? The thing is, fish never really had the same status as the flesh of mammals and birds. It isn’t associated with celebrations (in fact, I happen to associate having to eat fish with those other things parents force their children to do in order to “build character”).
...But I still don’t see the point! I don’t even like meat, and I would rather eat fish! This isn’t difficult at all! I like that statement, because it strikes at the heart of why we are doing this. God doesn’t need us to give up meat. God doesn’t need us to have a filet-o-fish on Fridays. What does God want? For you to suffer? Is the point of Lent to just grit your teeth and bear it, and if you happen to like fish then you just aren’t going to get holier because holiness comes from pain? NO! The heart of holiness is love, and the way we express our love is through obedience. Abstaining from meat won’t make a person closer to God. But having a posture of obedience to the Church that Christ established will.
Wasn't that deep!?!?! You can read the full version here.