Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Friday Vegetarian

"So where do you want to eat lunch today?" my colleague asked.

"So long as I can get a meatless dish I'm flexible," I replied.

"Wait -- are you a vegetarian?"

"Only on Fridays," I said.

"But it's not Lent anymore!"

"No, but I'm a traditional Catholic, so I pass on meat on Fridays year 'round."

This was greeted with an eye roll. Curiously, the same chap is routinely keen to be polite and helpful to the week-round vegetarians, suggesting places to go that have decent non-meat alternatives. Clearly, the eye roll wasn't about abstaining from meat: it was about doing so for love of God.

It was the 12 apostles who started the practice. Christ gave up His flesh on a Friday, one friend explained to me, so we should give up flesh meat then too. Another said it was fitting to do penance through avoiding certain foods because Adam and Eve had been escorted from the Garden after eating the forbidden fruit. Yet another friend told me that more people end up in Hell from indulging their physical appetites than for any other reason, so it makes sense to curb such desires by abstaining from meat. Then there's the simple fact that meatless Fridays has been the constant 2,000 year practice of the Church; that by itself is sufficient reason to keep it going.

Dictum sapienti sat est.

1 comment:

Kindred Spirit said...

"I looked for one to comfort Me, and I found none." What a comfort you were to Our Lord, Sean, to show Him to the world. We must be salt and light in this pallid darkness, both to console Our Lord and to edify our neighbor. To abstain from meat on Fridays may be a little thing, but often it's the little things which determine our Eternity.