Most of us know the Twelve Days of Christmas. On the sixth day of Christmas what did our true love give? Six geese a laying. But what does that mean?
The geese are bringing forth life – a gift that keeps on giving. God brings forth life. He created all that is in six days. He spoke the words, and thus it was. The Sixth Day of Christmas represents the six days of creation. And yes, the world was created in six days. But not necessarily our measurement of days. No where are we told that God created measurements of time. That is a human concept to keep the past, present and future straight in our heads. God has always been, and will always be. There is no beginning and no end. Praise be!
Geese are the perfect ambassadors for the Sixth Day of Christmas. After all, birds were created on the fifth day, and now, the sixth day they are busy bringing forth new life. A renewal of God’s plan.
As it just so happens, this year the Sixth Day of Christmas happens to fall on a Friday. I know what you are thinking – Catholics are free to eat whatever they please on Fridays. The whole abstinence idea is in the past. So what is Cannon Law on the subject since Vatican II? Let’s see . . .
Can. 1249 The divine law binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way. In order for all to be united among themselves by some common observance of penance, however, penitential days are prescribed on which the Christian faithful devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their own obligations more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence, according to the norm of the following canons.
Can. 1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Abstaining from meat is a form of penance. Friday Penance was never done away with, but rather modified. The U.S. Bishops determined that Catholics needed to choose for themselves a personal penance on Fridays. Yet somehow this change was not properly communicated to the people and has evolved into skip meat on Good Friday and Ash Wednesday, with no obligation for acts of penance the rest of the year. Outside America, abstaining from meat on Fridays is nearly a universal form of penance. One that is slowly making a comeback here.
One last thing – if this recipe seems familiar, you aren’t far off. We’ve enjoyed a Tuna Alfredo Skillet before – but with Penne Pasta rather than Elbow Macaroni. Now I know what you are thinking – could such a simple change in the pasta really make a difference? Surprisingly enough, the answer is yes! Between the two, the flavor and more to the point the texture of macaroni was amazingly delicious. Very family friendly. And Catholics are all about family. Happy 6th Day everyone!
Tuna Alfredo Skillet II
8 oz Elbow Macaroni
1/2 White Onion
1 cup White Mushrooms
1 Celery Rib
3 small cans Tuna Fish
2 tablespoons Butter
2 cups frozen Peas & Carrots
1 jar Alfredo Sauce
Black Pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, slice onion from root to tip. Reserve half the onion for another use, finely dice remaining half and set aside. Clean mushrooms, discard stems and slice caps, set aside.
Trim celery, discard ends. Slice remaining ribs into thin slices, set aside. Drain tuna, flake with a fork and set aside.
Heat a heavy bottom large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter, sauté onions, mushrooms and celery until almost tender. Add tuna, peas and carrots. Stir in Alfredo sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add macaroni, cook until heated through and creamy. Season with fresh pepper to taste.
Serve with warm bread and a toss salad.