All I can do is add my "amen" to the sentiments expressed so pithily over at Shrine of the Holy Whapping.
Fasting and foregoing meat on Fridays during Lent is not only a valuable spiritual discipline for the individual, it also binds us together in devotion and fellowship with so many other Catholic Christians - past, present and future. It's what we do, folks. I know the current rules for those of us in the U.S. are very amorphous on the whole issue, but I'm talking about what we ought to do, not what we are precisely required to do by the letter of Canon Law.
Here are my Top Ten Lame Excuses for Catholics not fasting and abstaining from meat during Lent:
- Giving up something else, like "negative thoughts"
- "But Friday is my Steak Night"
- "What's worse, my eating meat or my cousin's pigging out at Red Lobster?"
- "It's old fashioned"
- "I'll be embarrassed when I eat out with my co-workers" (which is also why I don't pray)
- "It's not fair, because vegetarians don't have to 'give up meat' "
- "C'mon... God won't strike me dead if I eat meat"
- "It's unfair to ranchers"
- "Nobody else in my family is giving up meat"
- "What about the Inquisition? And pedophile priests? And..."
Feel free to add your own.