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questions to Catholics about Abstinence and fasting

I have constant headaches and periodically anemia. I am able to control this by a good diet which does include meats. I have kids under 14 in the house. Are these rules church laws or suggestions? I don't know how I would keep meats from the older kids and not the younger ones. Fasting might be a little hard as well, just because there are some meds that need food but if liquid isn't included in the fasting it can be done.

I used to be a very relaxed Catholic but I am trying to get more in touch with the church and its rules.


Asked by Kattykitten at 1:09 PM on Feb. 15, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 2 (7 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • Fasting isn't suggested for young children or the elderly, I believe the church suggests an age range of 18-59. You need to use your best judgement about what the health risk is to you, The church says if you have a medical condition that makes fasting unhealthy for you then you shouldn't fast.

    Maybe you could try a moderated form of fasting.  Change something in your diet that you enjoy but that would not put your health at risk.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 1:27 PM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • I too had health problems - if you have health problems fasting from food is not required. However, you could consider "fasting" from something else (TV, computer) - something that would be challenging for you on that day.

    If abstaining from meat one day a week will really cause you health problems, you don't have to. But you could look at it as a opportunity to try new things. And you don't have to exclude the younger children. Spaghetti and tomato sauce without meat, grilled cheeses sandwhich, vegetarian chili, egg dishes, fish sticks and french fries, beans and rice dishes, cheese or vegetarian pizza, even apples and peanut butter - my kids don't mind these. The other thing we do at our house is abstain from desserts on Fridays - since the point is about making sacrifices. So if you can't abstain, you should make some other sacrifice.

    Answer by eringobrough at 2:32 PM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • I doubt there is any doctor out there that would agree with fasting. It is dangerous and not necessary. If you REALLY want to prove your devotion come up with a different way


    If you are healthy and fast for one day you will be okay. The Catholic church suggesting eating one meal or two small meals. No one is going to starve doing this, its about going without a little bit.

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 3:14 PM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • Fist about the doctor, I looked this up. I can't find if its mandatory or not but I found you eat one full meal and two lesser meals. That is kind of what I do now, a breakfast, lunch, mid-day snack and larger dinner. I seriously doubt skipping the mid day snack is going to hurt me.

    I stil cant find if liquid counts as a meal? if not this will not be a problem for me because a lot of diet shakes have protein and iron and so milk has a little bit of protein.

    as far as one day without meat. There are certain indicators the most obvious and earliest is brusing. I can watch and if the first day and go from there.


    Answer by Kattykitten at 4:17 PM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • I would talk to a priest about this. You are not required to fast if it makes you sick. And he can help you choose something else to do.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:30 PM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • if fasting would effect your health, then you are not required to fast. eating fish on friday is healthy though! rather than fasting you could consider extra prayer or devotions instead. the point is to become closer to God.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 5:34 PM on Feb. 15, 2010