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*spinoff* Where did the idea of giving up MEAT for Lent come from?

I understand the whole 'giving up something you enjoy' idea, but where did the MEAT part come from? Why that and not cheese or bread or even sex?

Also, there were rumors going around in Catholic school when I went that if a Catholic person DID eat meant of Friday's they would go to hell because it was a sin. I find that hard to believe, but thought I'd ask it anyway to get some clarification on the subject.

 
IhartU

Asked by IhartU at 5:16 PM on Sep. 23, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (20)
  • Meat was thought to be a luxury item - so giving up meat was considered a sacrifice. The idea is to make a sacrifice on Friday in order to help prepare ourselves for Sunday worship. Also because Christ died on a Friday, the idea of giving up flesh is quite symbolic.

    As for it being a sin. Sort of. Only Catholics are required to give up meat on Fridays - we don't think everyone has to do that. And if someone forgot or accidently ate meat on Friday, that's not a sin. And things like pregnant or nursing women, physical laborors, other people that have physical reason for needing to eat meat are exempt. Basically it's a sin for a Catholic to refuse to do it for no good reason - and the sin is not so much eating meat but more refusing to acknowledge the authority Jesus gave to His church.
    eringobrough

    Answer by eringobrough at 5:35 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • that's a good question. i'm not really sure, but it could be that in the Old Testament they didn't eat any meat that was unclean. i think it just became a popular thing, so that's what people do. but i think to not eat meat isn't something you have to do. you choose what you want to stop. there are some places, like chick fil a, that consider catholics and have fish sandwiches served only on fridays during Lent. but iwould like to know the answer too
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:23 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • But no one should be scrupulous in this regard; failure to observe individual days of penance is not considered serious. Moral theologians remind us that some people are excused from fasting and/or abstinence because of sickness or other reasons.

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:24 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • He is flesh, and died on Friday

    we give up flesh on Fridays
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:24 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • I am not sure but my mawmaw is hard core cath and she believes your not supposed to eat meat on wednesdays and fridays.
    ggiovanni

    Answer by ggiovanni at 5:29 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • The fisherman were suffering financially so the pope decided that catholics could only eat fish on Fridays so that their sales would increase.
    RhondaVeggie

    Answer by RhondaVeggie at 5:30 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Conflicting answers that both make sense. I could see the Jesus/flesh thing making sense and also the Pope declaring to only eat fish to help out the fishermen.

    IhartU

    Answer by IhartU at 5:34 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • The fisherman were suffering financially so the pope decided that catholics could only eat fish on Fridays so that their sales would increase.


    Well, since the rule is that we can't eat meat not that we have to eat fish this doesn't really make much sense.  It's actually an anti-Catholic rumer and has no basis in fact.

    eringobrough

    Answer by eringobrough at 5:36 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Erin, since meat is really no longer a luxury item, does that affect the meaning of the sacrifice? I mean does it become something that you 'just have to do' and the meaning behind the purpose is lost? Would it make sense to get rid of the meat fasting and require followers to give up something they personally view as a luxury? I know some people do this as well as giving up the meat...

    IhartU

    Answer by IhartU at 5:40 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • IhartU - yes. Actually Catholics are required to abstain from meat on all Fridays unless the local bishops decide otherwise. Here in the US, the bishops decided that Catholics should continue to abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent (after all the symbolism of giving up flesh is still good) but don't have to on other Fridays. Catholics are suppose to make other sacrifices on Fridays to help prepare themselves for Sunday worhsip. However, many Catholics just got the we can eat meat on Fridays part and didn't get the we should give up something else part.
    eringobrough

    Answer by eringobrough at 5:44 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

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