Today is Friday, a day of penance throughout the year. Those in the United States and several other Western countries have the option of choosing what penance they will do. The traditional penance is to abstain from eating meat.

I Thirst.

I Thirst.

We make all kinds of sacrifices for loved ones… what will you offer to the Lord today?  “We love, because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

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4 Responses to Penance

  1. Each time I ask an “expert” (read: priest) on my Friday penance, I get a different answer. Such as: (1) I don’t eat meat ever so that counts for Fridays, too– something to do with the whole “flesh” thing. (2) I should give up something else in place of meat. (3) I could add something, like prayer. (4) Or. Whatever.

    • Shall I add to the confusion? If not eating meat is your standard m.o. then it seems logical that you should do some other penance on Fridays in addition to not eating meat. From there, I would either make some other sacrifice or I would add something. For example, on Fridays when I am eating meat for some reason (outside of Lent, when it is not permitted for anyone), I sometimes pray the Stations of the Cross, or a Divine Mercy Chaplet. We have a lot of freedom in this area and with peace and serenity I would simply choose what I am going to do – whether it involves giving up something else or adding something – and then stick with it.

      • I was hoping you’d add to the confusion, thank you. I would LOVE to add Stations on Friday. Is it still penance if I’d love to do it?

        I mean folks eat lobster on Fridays…

      • Abstaining from meat is a sacrifice (not an addition) and the law never specified that it had to be replaced with sumptuous lobster feasts. People who make that replacement fulfill the letter of the law but I don’t think the spirit.

        Adding Stations, on the other hand, is just that — an addition. And if you “LOVE” to do it, then it seems like it would be an even more pleasing offering to the Lord.

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