Yum, yum, yum!
But be forewarned, you will be condemned to the everlasting fires of hell to burn for eternity if you eat meat, chicken, pork and fowl products today. GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995) Mark 9:48:
"In hell worms that eat the body never die, and the fire is never put out." So as pleasant as this appetizing picture is, looks can be deceiving!
All day Ash Wednesday, I had cravings to eat between meals, have larger than normal small snacks and images of Ruth's Chris in my head. Well, today is our first Lenten Friday. Our Church recovers the communal abstinence that was once common for every Friday of the year. Meatless Fridays, which includes no poultry,pork, other fowl and food products, such as soups made with these meat, poultry and fowl products. No Gumbo, if it has sausage in it, along with oysters, crab and shrimp!
The question I had on Ash Wednesday and will again on Good Friday is the age in which I don't have to observe this canon law on fasting, which is 18 to 59. Does that mean when I turn 59, I don't have to observe it or do I have to wait until I'm 60 which is only 3 to 4 years away? Either way I can't wait! But wait, I'll be 59 or 60 and that much closer to you know what!
And the old question, will a hot dog eaten on Friday during Lent send you to hell?
You better believe it buster! Of course, it has to be eaten with the explicit knowledge that you are eating it to defy our Holy Religion.
Finally, just one blast from the past. When I was a child, my father was in the army and army personnel and their dependents, of which I was one, were dispensed from the Friday law of abstinence. This was in the the 1950's and early 60's. So my mom, being a faithful Catholic, embraced this wonderful gift of a dispensation from the Church and sent me to St. Mary on the Hill School in Augusta, at which I was a second grader, 1960-61, with a hamburger sandwich in my lunch bag. As soon as I took it out of the bag and began eating it, one of my classmates turned me in to Sister Angela who in turn informed the principal, Sister Mary Gerald, both of whom were wonderful, but sadly misguided, Sisters of St. Joseph of Corondelet out of St. Louis. They told me to stop eating that sandwich, as though I would go to hell for it.
I told them I had a dispensation. They didn't like a second grader telling them what he could lawfully do. (I still have this happening to me from higher ups like bishops!) At any rate, after my parents were called, my father set them straight, my biological father, not my Father in heaven, although I'm sure our Heavenly Father noted this injustice toward me to these sisters at their personal judgment. There is justice in the afterlife after all! Fortunately, my second grade teacher was Mrs. Chavous. She was not a Catholic, I believe a Methodist, so she re-cused herself from this whole sordid controversy.
But there was to be more fallout. The newly ordained priest who was assigned to St. Mary on the Hill was consulted by Sister Mary Gerald and she indicated to my father that this assistant pastor, who as I recall had red hair and spoke with a funny accent, even funnier than my mother's Italian accent. I can't remember his name; I think I've repressed it. He was from some weird place I had never heard of, that my classmates called Ireland. Well, this priest told Sister Mary Gerald that even though I could lawfully eat hamburgers on Fridays, that this would be divisive in the school. So my father, being an honorable and obedient man, told my mother to send me to school on Fridays with Spaghetti a la Marinara. Of course she enclosed for me Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated, for me to sprinkle on my Friday penance, not to mention a lovely thermos of fine, lush Chianti as is our Italian custom. (Just kidding on the Chianti, my mom wouldn't push the envelope of division.)
But there is more to the story. After this whole scenario of me being turned in by a classmate for eating a hamburger on a Friday from which, as I pointed out to the authorities, I was properly dispensed, Msgr. Daniel Burke, the pastor, came into my second grade class and told all of us children who actually lived in St. Joseph Parish on the south side, (the other side of the tracks) that we could no longer attend the parish school of St. Mary on the Hill Church in the next academic year, because we were not parishioners of the same parish and they were overcrowded with their own people. However,I am convinced to this very day that this was in retaliation for me not only eating a hamburger, properly dispensed on a Friday, but because I was so divisive and had the nerve to tell Church authorities that I was lawful and I was dispensed. I embraced this martyrdom with dignity, but had to spend the rest of my elementary and high school years in a public school, where I found my vocation. God acts in mysterious ways.
But in case you don't think a steak or a hot dog will send you to hell if you die unrepentant while choking to death on these on Fridays of Lent, take note of these medieval images of hell, not a pretty sight! And music in hell is even worse!
Medieval Images of Hell