14 December 2009

Fish on Friday, Save Mother Earth

A Dutch Bishop has come up with a great idea, too bad it is for the entirely wrong and purely secular reason. Bishop Gerard Johannes Nicolaus de Korte of Groningen-Leeuwarden has called for the restoration of abstinence from meat on Fridays "to combat global warming." I think it is a fine idea to abstain from meat every Friday, my family does, only it ought to be done for our spiritual good as it was traditionally, not because we want to save the planet from that modern bogeyman, "global warming."

In fact Paul VI affirmed in his 1966 apostolic constitution Paenitemini, that abstinance from meat was to remain the penitential norm for the Church but allowing dioceses the flexibility to have their own penitential practice. One wonders what the substitute for abstaining from meat is in the Netherlands? And does the laity even know or have the Bishops and priests there ignored the ideas of penance and mortification.

Seek therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, is the Gospel command but in our rush to embrace and be accepted by the world we have set God aside in order to cooperate with those who don't share our religious values. Imagine where we would be today if for the past 40 some years we had focused on "first things" rather than on those that are secondary? Many of the social ills we now face are a result of ignoring the primary things. The second part of that Gospel passage is, and all these things shall be added unto you. Had we practiced mortification and penances, +Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam+, He would have taken care of the secondary things. Instead we are like the Israelites that worshipped the golden calf and expecting God to be pleased with our actions. Why is it okay to fast for Mother Earth but not God the Father?

By the way this week we have the Ember Days of Advent, another opportunity for prayer and abstinence. More on these to follow.


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