It’s no secret that Catholics are not the most faithful when it comes to their “duties” – paying the church every week, going to church every week, confession more often that I think anyone goes, etc.
But Easter is a very important time for Catholics. Way more important than Christmas – and much less commercialized.
Now, I am pretty much the opposite of a C&E (Christmas and Easter) Catholic. You see, I don’t actually belong to the church anymore – I mean, I was confirmed and everything, but I’m not registered right now – but I attend faithfully and am very active in my church’s choir.
An important part of Easter is the preparation that goes into it. That preparation is called Lent. It is the 40 days before Easter and it’s something that is meant to spiritually prepare us for the journey that is Holy Week (which ends in Easter).
Well, Holy Week is upon us. It is Holy Thursday, which means that my Lenten journey is almost complete.
It is a custom to give something up for Lent. I have always done this – there might have been one or two years that I didn’t for whatever reason. This year, I decided to give up meat. It is something that all Catholics do on Fridays during Lent (well, they’re supposed to, but as I said before Catholics aren’t really known for following the rules). But I decided to do it for all of Lent.
So, when Ash Wednesday came, I officially became a pescatarian. I say that because I think that’s what it is. I gave up all meat; however, I did eat fish. So, I think that it makes me a pescatarian. And, honestly, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. I knew I’d be able to do it, but I wasn’t sure how I’d feel. And I have to tell you. I’ve loved it.
I am considering becoming a pescatarian for life. I haven’t made a firm decision yet. But I have some reasons. First of all, I have loved so many of the meals that I have made. And, yes, I did eat fish, but I think that if I decided to do this, I would become a full vegetarian, so not eating any animals at all. I don’t think that I could ever do the vegan thing, but I definitely think I could do the vegetarian thing.
A second reason is that I’m not a big meat eater to begin with. Will I miss some of my favorite chicken burgers and meals? Sure. But I’d get over it real quick. And I’d miss the occasional fast food meal (where there aren’t too many meat free options), but I haven’t had fast food all of Lent that I can recall (unless you count the nachos from the movie theater this past week).
A third reason is that I’ve heard that if vegetarians/non-meat eaters do it right, they tend to be healthier than people who do eat meat.
I have nothing against anyone that eats meat. And my giving up meat hasn’t really led to anything spiritually. But it might have changed my life. And I’m happy with that.
Did you give anything up for Lent? Are you Catholic? Do you identify more with the C&E Catholics or the ones that go to mass faithfully every single week – sometimes multiple times in a week? What do you think about my decision to become meat-free for good? Should I do it?