Friday Penance and Catholic Identity
About a year ago, the USCCB issued a statement that would help American Catholics to rediscover their Catholic identity in the public square.
It has been a year since this has been issued and I have heard that it has been renewed for 2014. Regardless, this is something that even if it isn’t renewed, we should be practicing.
Our Catholic identity is an important aspect of our faith. If we proclaim to believe something, we should practice that. Here are 5 items that the USCCB would like for us as Catholics to rekindle.
- Starting with the Sunday after Christmas (Feast of the Holy Family) and continuing on or near the last Sunday of every month through Christ the King Sunday, November 2013, cathedrals and parishes are encouraged to hold a Eucharistic Holy Hour for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.
- Families and individuals are encouraged to pray a daily Rosary, especially for the preservation of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty in the nation.
- At Sunday and daily Masses, it is encouraged that the Prayers of the Faithful include specific intentions for respect for all human life from conception to natural death, the strengthening of marriage and family life, and the preservation of religious liberty at all levels of government, both at home and abroad.
- Abstinence from meat and fasting on Fridays are encouraged for the intention of the protection of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, recognizing the importance of spiritual and bodily sacrifice in the life of the Church.
- The celebration of a second Fortnight for Freedom at the end of June and the beginning of July 2013 is being planned. This Fortnight would emphasize faith and marriage in a particular way in the face of the potential Supreme Court rulings during this time. The Fortnight would also emphasize the need for conscience protection in light of the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate, as well as religious freedom concerns in other areas, such as immigration, adoption, and humanitarian services.
As Catholics, we truly believe in the physical presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. We should spend time in Adoration with Him. The Rosary is a powerful prayer against evil. It also comes with 15 Graces as promised by Our Mother. And most importantly, we should abstain from meat and fast on Fridays. This was never outdone by Vatican 2. We were just given the option of what we wanted to abstain from.
It would be nice if the USCCB would make this mandatory as opposed to encouraged, but, I digress…
If you’ve already had meat today, give up something else, and start again next Friday.