Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday - Fasting and Abstinence

Today marks the beginning of Lent, and so I fasted. According to the rules, the Catholic Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Such fasting is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. So today I drank a lot of coffee, and at noon I had a bowl of vegetable orzo soup from the work cafeteria. I went to an Ash Wednesday service at lunch and the pastoral associate talked about fasting and how the hunger is supposed to remind us of our hunger for God in our lives. She also mentioned that Lent is an opportunity for us to do something different from our usual routine. I left the church thinking I sure must need God, because I sure was hungry! The vegetable orzo soup just made me starving. I should have just had more coffee!

The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. On the Fridays outside of Lent the U.S. bishops conference obtained the permission of the Holy See for Catholics in the US to substitute a penitential, or even a charitable, practice of our own choosing. We must do some penitential/charitable practice on these Fridays. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted, as are animal derived products such as margarine and gelatin which do not have any meat taste. I have decided to abstain from meat the entire 40 days and blog about it every day as my break from my usual routine. I'm wondering how this will turn out?

So for dinner, as it is every Wednesday night, it was take out pizza. No pepperoni today, which is a culinary bummer for me. We just had mushrooms on it, and I topped mine with Alpino Spicy Pizza Topping. This stuff is has all sorts of vegetables and olives and it is spicy enough to give your pizza a kick. I bought it at Meijer's....very good. So, no recipe for today, but check here often during the Lenten season.

1 comment:

TeacherPatti said...

My mongrel-religion (Catholic/Jew/Atheist/Agnostic) family never followed this--I mean, the Catholic representatives never did. That is really interesting.

As you know, I chose to go Jew (go Jew!!) and the dietary restrictions are not hard to follow, but can cause me to miss certain dairy and meat to be mixed (technically, you should have separate plates, but I don't), no bottom feeder fish (shellfish and some others), no foods from animals that don't chew their cud (pigs). I did "cheat" a few months ago and had a part of Jeff's pork rib, just to see if God was watching. He was--I threw up all over the place :)