2/14/13

Tomorrow's a FRIDAY in LENT...


... a day to abstain from eating meat.  What does that mean?  
Catholics over 14 years of age are expected to abstain from eating meat on the Fridays of Lent.

Note: Individual, personal health concerns and "doctor's orders" always take precedence over regulations for fast and abstinence!


Does abstaining from meat on the Friday's of Lent seem to be asking too much?

Compare our situation with this story...


Yolen Jenuky sells mud cookies in Cite Soleil, 
the poorest section of Haiti's capitol city, Port au Prince.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - It was lunchtime in one of Haiti's worst slums, and Charlene Dumas was eating mud. With food prices rising, Haiti's poorest can't afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies. Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country's central plateau. The mud has long been used by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings, and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt, and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal. "When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day," Charlene said. Her baby, named Woodson, lay still across her lap, looking even thinner than the slim 6 pounds, 3 ounces, he weighed at birth. Though she likes their buttery, salty taste, Charlene said the cookies also give her stomach pains. "When I nurse, the baby sometimes seems colicky, too," she said...

Merchants truck the dirt from the central town of Hinche to the La Saline market, a maze of tables of vegetables and meat swarming with flies. Women buy the dirt, then process it into mud cookies… Carrying buckets of dirt and water up ladders to the roof of the former prison for which Fort Dimanche is named, they strain out rocks and clumps on a sheet, and stir in shortening and salt. Then they pat the mixture into mud cookies and leave them to dry under the scorching sun. The finished cookies are carried in buckets to markets or sold on the streets. A reporter sampling a cookie found that it had a smooth consistency and sucked all the moisture out of the mouth as soon as it touched the tongue. For hours, an unpleasant taste of dirt lingered… Marie Noel, 40, sells the cookies in a market to provide for her seven children. Her family also eats them. "I'm hoping one day I'll have enough food to eat, so I can stop eating these," she said. "I know it's not good for me."  
 (By Jonathan M. Katz, Associated Press, January 31, 2008)

Fast and Abstinence In Lent
All Christians are called to special prayer, fasting and caring for the poor in the season of Lent. 
Each person determines how he or she will personally live out these ancient Lenten exercises. 
In addition to personal Lenten practices, Catholics are also called to a communal practice of self-denial through fasting and abstinence.



 

     
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