Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Meatless Mondays? How about Fasting Fridays!

Yeah, I haven't posted in a while. Been quite busy. To my dedicated crew of readers (to the five or ten of you out there), mea maxima culpa! On a side note, I am able to Tweet much more often than I write here, so be sure to follow me there.

The Los Angeles City Council has instituted the latest awareness-boosting environmental initiative: meatless Mondays, unanimously at that, by a laughingly coincidental(?) 12-0 vote.  In asking citizens to trim the lean along with the fat, they hope to improve citizens’ health and the environment. Mondays. Meatless Mondays.

Have we come full circle into the new paganism? Oh, yes. The Didache (circa 50-100 A.D.) comes immediately to the mind of anyone who has read it: “But do not let your fasts be with the hypocrites, for they fast on Monday and Thursday. Fast instead on Wednesday and Friday.” (Didache of the Twelve Apostles, 8.1, my translation)  NB: That was the Didache of the Twelve Apostles, not to be confused with the Didache of the Twelve L.A. City Council Members.

Fasting on Fridays from meat has been a Catholic custom from the beginning, as you can see.  For more about this, read what I wrote here. Why not encourage Catholics to follow their traditions and give up meat on Fridays? Are government officials that paranoid about the fragile Church-State divide? Probably, or perhaps they simply do not know (shoot, I wager that most Catholics do not know about the penitential obligation on Fridays).

The timing of the latest California hippy news is interesting. Just yesterday, His Eminence Cardinal Dolan of New York, in addressing his brothers of the episcopacy, asked the American bishops to reconsider reinstating the Friday abstinence (i.e., fasting from meat on all Fridays).  It already is a day of self-denial. Be ready, because it could become a day of abstinence again! You can listen to his excellent speech here and read the transcript here.

“First thing’s first,” he said. “Amen,” I say!