Saturday, 10 February 2018

Reminder: 2018 Ash Wednesday fast and abstinence

This year, Ash Wednesday falls on 14 February. Imagine the crisis many would unnecessarily undergo to dignify their life choices on this day.There’s Valentine’s Day, a secular observance of a Catholic feast now sanctified by the nominal Catholic in establishments of easy virtue. There’s Ash Wednesday, of course, which despite not being a holiday of obligation, draws the whole nation inside churches to receive ashes. Let’s try to kill two birds with one stone this Wednesday: recover the sanctity of Saint Valentine’s feast, and observe the precept of fasting and abstinence.

Luis Egidio Meléndez, 1770
Museo del Prado

The wisest advice given for this occasion is this: Sanctify the day by going to Mass, with our special someone, early in the morning to receive ashes. Eat our full meal afterwards with that special someone. (We have to do it before lunch, as hunger possesses that immense power to coax out our twistedness.) Of course, exclude nourishing fleshmeat from all of our meals. That means no beef, no pork, no chicken. Have a proportionate helping instead of fish, shellfish, reptiles, amphibians, and other acceptably edible ectotherms. Spend the rest of the day either in prayer, or in other meaningful activities that will not endanger virtue.

Now, back to fasting and abstinence:

More on the timeline of fasting and abstinence in the Philippines here and here.

Together, let us fast and abstain. Ubi ieiunium aboletur, ibi Ecclesia evanescat.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.