Why Catholics Don't Eat Meat On Fridays
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Why Catholics Don't Eat Meat On Fridays

It's more than just a silly rule.

Why Catholics Don't Eat Meat On Fridays

As a Catholic, I’ve heard just about every critique about Lent. They range from questions, to comments, to the classic “You’re not allowed to eat meat on Fridays? What a stupid rule!” Since it took me a long time to fully understand Lent myself, I think these (sometimes hurtful) comments are the result of people not understanding why we do what we do.

First off, fasting from meat on Fridays in Lent is a choice. No one is forcing me to do it. My church does not tell me that if I don’t do it, I’ll go to hell. It’s simply encouraged. We Catholics treat Lent as a time of personal sacrifice, and heading to the salad bar instead of eating a burger is a great way to do just that.

Catholics believe that Jesus went into the desert for 40 days without food or water and was tempted by the Devil. We treat Lent as a time to imitate that fast. We are encouraged to give up snacking between meals and give up eating meat as a personal sacrifice intended to offer it as thanks. It’s our way of being grateful for Jesus’s sacrifice and death.

To me, Lent is about growing stronger. My personal fasting strengthens my willpower and teaches me resistance. It is also a way for me to grow closer to God—when I sacrifice things I like to eat, it reminds me to be thankful that I have food in the first place. It employs the “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” mentality—it seems like Fridays are the days I really want to dig into a steak—which makes me appreciate what I have all the more.

Lent is a time for personal sacrifice and reflection. It’s not about strict rules and pointless suffering—it’s so much more. For those who partake, Lent can be a fulfilling, enriching experience. It’s more than just being a vegetarian for a day—it’s about growth.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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