Thursday, January 25, 2018

AS WE APPROACH THE HOLY SEASON OF SEPTUAGESIMA, WE SHOULD THINK ABOUT THE CHURCH'S LAWS ON FASTING AND ABSTINENCE, NO?

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 Marc said...
There is no need for Septuagesima in the Novus Ordo because Lent no longer involves fasting. In other words, there is no need to prepare for a fast that does not exist. So the argument for the reinstatement of Septuagesima should begin with bringing back the Lenten fast.

But I say, in reality, we are called to give up stuff, like certain foods during Lent although the giving up isn't as stringent as it was, for which, by the way, priests were allowed to dispense anyone from the Lenten fast who asked, like teachers, construction workers, working and nursing moms, those in school, those out of school, those who were sick, those who want to stay well. Can you imagine how many calls poor Father got? He was happy with the relaxation of the law and the peace and quiet that has ensued! Of course, no one ever calls poor Father anymore.

Marc is wrong, even with the easier fast, we need Septuagesima now more than ever!

Fasting and Abstinence (Old Rules Compared to New Rules) 


First, just a few reminders for those Catholics out there this Ash Wednesday, the ordinary regulations are as follows from the code of Canon law:
  • No Meat
  • For those older than 14, two small meals or one large meal. 
This also applies on Fridays during lent. 
After Vatican II it seems so many aspects of Catholic life changed. How did the rules of fasting and abstinence during lent or the year change?
Definitions BEFORE Pope Paul VI issued Paenitemini (1966) :
  • Fasting (All days in Lent, except Sundays, the Ember Days, the Vigils of Whitsunday, of All Saints, of the Immaculate Conception and of Christmas Day.):
    • All Catholics from the completion of their twenty-first year to the beginning of their sixtieth year are bound to observe the Law of fast. The days of fast are the weekdays of Lent, Ember Days, the Vigils of Pentecost, the Immaculate Conception, Christmas. Only one full meal is allowed on a day of Fast. Two other meatless meals are permitted. These meals should be sufficient to maintain strength in accordance with each one's needs. Both of these meals, or collations, together, should not equal one full meal.
    • It is permissible to eat meat at the principle meal on a Fast Day except on Fridays, Ash Wednesday, and the Vigils of Immaculate Conception, Christmas, and Holy Saturday. 
    • Solid foods between meals is not permitted. Liquids, including coffee, tea, milk and fruit juices are allowed. 
    • In connection with problems arising from the Laws of Fast and Abstinence, a confessor or priest should be consulted. Dispensations may be granted for a serious reason concerning health or the ability to work.”
  • Abstinence (The Ember Days, the Vigils mentioned above, the Wednesdays of Lent, Holy Saturdays forenoon, and all Fridays, except Days of Obligation.”)
    • All Catholics seven years and older are obliged to observe the Law of Abstinence.
    • On days of complete abstinence flesh meat, soup or gravy made from meat are not permitted at all. On days of partial abstinence flesh meat, soup or gravy made from meat ar permitted once a day at the principal meal. 
    • Complete abstinence is to be observed on all Fridays of the year, Ash Wednesday, Vigils of the Immaculate Conception and Christmas, and on Holy Saturday. Partial abstinence is to be observed on Ember Wednesdays and Saturdays, and on the Vigil of Pentecost.
Definitions AFTER Pope Paul VI issued Paenitemini (1966) :


  • Fasting (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday):
      • All Catholics from the completion of their twenty-first year to the beginning of their sixtieth year are bound to observe the Law of fast. The days of fast are the weekdays of Lent, Ember Days, the Vigils of Pentecost, the Immaculate Conception, Christmas. Only one full meal is allowed on a day of Fast. Two other meatless meals are permitted. These meals should be sufficient to maintain strength in accordance with each one's needs. Both of these meals, or collations, together, should not equal one full meal.
      • It is permissible to eat meat at the principle meal on a Fast Day except on Fridays, Ash Wednesday, and the Vigils of Immaculate Conception, Christmas, and Holy Saturday. 
      • Solid foods between meals is not permitted. Liquids, including coffee, tea, milk and fruit juices are allowed. 
      • In connection with problems arising from the Laws of Fast and Abstinence, a confessor or priest should be consulted. Dispensations may be granted for a serious reason concerning health or the ability to work.”


  • Abstinence (Ash Wednesday and All Fridays, except Solemnities.”)
      • All Catholics 14 years and older (until age 60) are obliged to observe the Law of Abstinence.
      • On days of complete abstinence flesh meat, soup or gravy made from meat are not permitted at all. On days of partial abstinence flesh meat, soup or gravy made from meat ar permitted once a day at the principal meal. 
      • In England and specific regions, complete abstinence is to be observed on all Fridays of the year, Ash Wednesday, Vigils of the Immaculate Conception and Christmas, and on Holy Saturday. 
    Sundays have never required either fasting or abstinence. 
    No one is obliged to go beyond the current rules for fasting and abstinence. In recent years, however, some Catholics who have desired a stricter Lenten discipline have returned to the older regulations, and Pope Benedict XVI, in his message for Lent 2009, has encouraged such a development.

    These are just rules. If you are interested in the purpose of fasting, there will be more coming on that topic. However, despite a long history and practice in other religions, the quickest answer is that it is following the example of Christ himself who spent 40 days in the desert.

    4 comments:

    Mark Thomas said...

    When I saw the photo that featured food and drink, I thought: Uh-oh. What is next on Father McDonald's blog: Wish-lists, pleas for money, photos of restaurants and museums taken during one trip after another...

    :-)

    Pax.

    Mark Thomas

    Adam Michael said...

    But Mark Thomas, this is Southern Orders, not Z Nation! :)

    Anonymous said...

    Fasting reveals that which controls us. At first we will think we are cranky because we are hungry. But then can come the realization that what is emerging through the space we have created by fasting is the spirit of greed, or anger, or consumerism, or the inordinate desire for food-as-comfort.

    George said...

    Anonymous at 8:18 AM

    True.

    With fasting (and prayer) we reveal,confront, and are able to better control those things within ourselves that are a hindrance to a better relationship with God. We relinquish any undue or disproportion influence things have over us, and this enables us to better resist their attractiveness and their intrusion into our spiritual condition and the room of our soul.
    Just like a person who through exercise builds up their physical endurance and stamina, likewise fasting and prayer builds up our spiritual endurance and stamina while strengthening our connection to, and relationship with, God.