Happy Friday! It’s the start of another great weekend for most folks. And a day to pause in quiet reflection for most Old-school Catholics. Sadly some have forgotten the importance of penance, and this is especially true in America.
I am always amazed by the lax observance of Cannon Law among Catholics in America today. So often we hear not what is said but what we want to hear. In 1966 the National Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence. They declared, among other things:
Among the works of voluntary self-denial and personal penance which we especially commend to our people for the future observance of Friday, even though we hereby terminate the traditional law of abstinence binding under pain of sin, as the sole prescribed means of observing Friday, we give first place to abstinence from flesh meat. We do so in the hope that the Catholic community will ordinarily continue to abstain from meat by free choice as formerly we did in obedience to Church law.
Voluntary self-denial and choice translated to “it’s okay to eat meat on Fridays.” Eventually, the need for personal penance was forgotten. From the pulpit, we hear reminders to abstain during Lent, but not word one about the rest of the year. When left to our own devices, people take the road of least resistance. In the beginning I am sure many had good intentions. Say an extra Rosary instead. Skip dessert instead. But life got in the way. The rosary was skipped because time simply got away from us. A bowl of ice cream isn’t really dessert, so that doesn’t count. We can reason ourselves in and out of any situation as it suits us. And that’s too bad.
Eating fish on Fridays is slowly making a comeback in America. For some of us, Meatless Fridays never really went away. Every Friday should be an acknowledgement as the day our Lord died for our sins. And every Sunday should be celebrated as a mini Easter. Reflection and Rejoicing.
Besides, who doesn’t like a good fish sandwich?
Cod Fish Hoagies with Tarter Sauce
8 teaspoons Dried Minced Onions
2 teaspoons Hot Water
6 tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Miracle Whip
1/4 cup Sweet Pickle Relish
In a small bowl, re-hydrate the onion with a little hot water. Let sit for 5 minutes or so. Drain out any water that did not soak into the onion flakes. Add mayonnaise, Miracle White, Pickle Relish and stir to blend. Taste and adjust seasoning with a little salt if desired.
Cover and chill until ready to use.
6 pieces Beer Battered Cod Fish (Costco)
3 slices American Cheese
6 Hoagie or Steak Rolls
1 cup shredded Lettuce
Heat oven as directed on package. Bake fish as directed. If desired, place cheese on fish and let melt just before removing fish from oven.
If desired, while the fish bakes, lightly toast rolls on a griddle. Keep warm until ready to use. Shred lettuce, set aside.
To assemble, slather toasted rolls with tarter sauce. Scatter shredded lettuce on bottom roll. Top with fish, then top of roll.
Great with Crisp Oven Baked Fries. Happy Days Everyone!