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Author Topic: Giving up things for lent - not on Sunday?  (Read 3680 times)
viking
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« on: February 10, 2008, 04:40:PM »

I have understood that we should not fast on Sunday. But what about things that have been given up? My Catholic Faith says something about persons under 21 need not to fast since they are not grown. Any opinions on this?
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introibo
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2008, 05:10:PM »

Technically, Sunday is not Lent.  So it depends whether you want to keep with the "spirit of the law" or the "letter of the law."

 

The fasting and abstinence rules, are, in my opinion, pretty wimpy.  Obviously, if your two year old is truly hungry, you don't want him to starve.  However, kids above the age of reason should surely be able to fast and abstain.  Exception made for cases of sickness, pregnant women with low blood sugar problems, etc.

 

Christina

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Vincentius
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2008, 05:12:PM »

The old law (pre-conciliar), everyone from age 7 years are bound to abstain.  And those 21 years through 59 years are bound to fast, except for where health will be seriously affected.

In the N.O. law, abstinence binds all from age 14 years.  Fasting binds those 18 years through 59 years, except for the health problems.

A Catholic has the choice of abiding on either laws.

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MagisterMusicae
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2008, 05:15:PM »

Under the older law on fasting and abstinence one was bound to abstain starting at age seven and bound to fast beginning at age 21.

Under the new law one is bound to abstain beginning at age 14 and fast beginning at age 18.

The only days which remain under the new law fully obligatory as days of fast are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. In the universal Church, Fridays are still meatless.

While it is good to follow the older law to do extra penances, we are bound to follow the new. Those over 18 must therefore fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and those over 14 must Abstain on these days along with all Fridays of Lent and must do some kind of penance (abstinence is recommended) on all other Fridays.

We do not have a choice about following the new law, which binds under pain of sin. We certainly may make it harder by trying to follow the old law on the other days.

It is commendable to try to fast throughout Lent. It is not impossible, and quite easy and fruitful if you know yourself well enough to manage your pangs.

Because Sundays are always feast days (even when in a Penitential season), fasting is not obligatory, and without some permission from a spiritual director or confessor should not be practiced. The Church gives up breaks in the penance to help us not overload and then abandon our resolutions.

As to things you have given up ... that's your call. It is not obligatory to "give up" anything for Lent. It is a good custome, but it is certainly equally as good, if not better to resolve to do something instead of offer up the non-use of something. As our pastor quipped last year, "Eat the chocolate, but say your prayers," clarifying this year that he meant it was useless to give up something if you are not going to make it into a supernatural good. If you refuse to say your prayers, you might as well eat the chocolate, because you're not doing real penance.

Depending on how much the thing you have given up helps you to detach yourself along with the difficulty of returning to the detachment on Monday would be my measure. If it were TV or something else which were more enticing and was going to make it harder to abandon it come Monday I would also include Sunday as a day to abandon this thing. If it is not difficult to turn around and give it up on Monday then I would be more likely to give myself a bit of leniency on Sunday.

For instance, in my case, while it's nice to eat a bit extra on Sunday, I try not to eat too much, (1) because my stomach can't handle it well and (2) because it makes it harder to fast again on Monday if I gorge myself on Sunday and (3) because by the time Mass is out it's almost noon anyway.
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markadm
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2008, 05:16:PM »

Vicentius:

Are you sure in your use of calling it "old law" and "Novus Ordo law". You are implying the laws are part of the two forms of the Mass themselves.

I always understood the laws on fasting and abstinence were part of Canon Law, i.e. 1911(?) vs 1983(?).

I'm glad you point out, however, that we can bind ourselves to things even if optional. It is something important to note about penance.

MagisterMusicae: "because by the time Mass is out it's almost noon anyway"; true! If I go to the TLM it's after noon, and about 2pm by the time I get home!
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viking
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2008, 05:24:PM »

Thanks for the answer. They where very thorough. I will see on Monday how well I handled breaking the fast, and if it is better for me to not do so next Sunday.
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MagisterMusicae
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2008, 05:25:PM »

Quote from: markadm
Vicentius:

Are you sure in your use of calling it "old law" and "Novus Ordo law". You are implying the laws are part of the two forms of the Mass themselves.

I always understood the laws on fasting and abstinence were part of Canon Law, i.e. 1911(?) vs 1983(?).

I'm glad you point out, however, that we can bind ourselves to things even if optional. It is something important to note about penance.

Paul VI changed the law in 1966 (before the Novus Ordo Missæ) by the Apostolic Constitution Pænitemini. This made abstinence obligatory on all Fridays and both fasting and abstinence obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. He made the age for fasting 21-59 and for abstinence all those 14 years old and up.

The 1983 Code of Canon Law made fasting obligatory for age 18-59.

We do have the option to follow the older law with the exception that now on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday those 18 and older (not simply 21 and older) must fast (because the new law is binding under pain of mortal sin).
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ILikeAugustine
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2008, 06:19:PM »

Is it only not fasting that is a mortal sin, or does that including abstaining as well?

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ErinIsNotNice
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2008, 06:55:PM »

Quote from: introibo

However, kids above the age of reason should surely be able to fast and abstain.  

It is not in any way appropriate to make small children fast.  They are growing and need the food, and will not gain any spiritual benefit from being starved all day.  The age of reason is 7-- you deprive your 7 year old of food?
Sick.

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MagisterMusicae
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2008, 06:59:PM »

Quote from: ILikeAugustine

Is it only not fasting that is a mortal sin, or does that including abstaining as well?


The newer law is not absolutely clear regarding Fridays outside of Lent. The US Bishops conference has issued norms that say one can substitute some other form of penance for these Fridays. Whether it is a mortal sin to not do some penance or abstinence during this period is uncertain. Certainly it is sinful to some extent without a just reason.

During Lent in the U.S. Fridays, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday abstinence bind under pain of grave sin.

One only sins gravely if he knowingly intends to violate the law.
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