When I was young, laws of abstinence regards "NO MEAT" on any Fridays of the year were still in force. In my case, I followed it even when under age 7 because mom made the meals, and I wasn't about to break open the piggy bank. Then when I was nine, IIRC, they changed the rule. But I HAD remembered that one was still obligated to "do something else" as an act of self-denial if one was not going to forego meat.
Well, gradually over the years I "forgot" about this stipulation that one "do something else."
I did remember being quite furious, when I was an older teen, to find out that the Mexicans (and I think other Spanish speaking peoples, depending where they were if memory serves) were never bound by this rule. I thought "Geez, there I was at age 8, I would have rather died than eat a hot dog offered by a protestant friend, and some rich grandee grifter politico in Me-hee-co was wining and dining all his friends with Carne Asada and cerveza and not thinking twice about it. FEH. Some poor guy in Appalachia feels bound, but not some rich guy down there. Double standard. Maybe this isn't such a big deal."
I've still always tried to do my best not eating meat on Friday in Lent...but I have to admit that being "out of practise" there always seems to be one Friday I goof and totally forget and blow a meal, and realize half-way through "Hey, dumb***, it's FRIDAY." Then not wanting to waste the food (that would be a sin "there-are-children-in-Biafra-starving") I guiltily choke the rest down, shamefaced that I blew it. So far, so good, but I'm not betting the farm.I'm beginning to think that perhaps I shouldn't eat meat ANY Friday of the year as an act of self-denial. *sigh* Then I wouldn't be "out of practise" and wouldn't get that nagging feeling "....and you didn't remember to do any other act of denial, either." I think I'll still hold open that possiblity of "doing something else" if a friend, for instance, suddenly invites me for dinner on a Friday night, and it's meat. But I have to admit, I've been plain lax the rest of the year outside of Lent.
Guilty. Guilty. GUILTY as all get out. And I'm really, really SORRY.