Want to feel old? Talk to anyone under the age of 50 about meatless Fridays. Odds are, they will have no memory of it. They will have no knowledge of why Catholics were called “mackerel snappers,” nor will they laugh at tired George Carlin routines about going to hell for eating a hot dog.
And they sure as heck won’t know why many restaurant chains still have their fish specials on Fridays.
But for all you youngsters, you might get ready: Friday abstinence may be coming back.
I hope we do go back to those meatless Fridays. There is something to be said for Catholics knowing they are all in it together. This time, maybe we will not put the focus on the threats or the punishments, but use this as a teaching moment and a positive reinforcement of our Catholic identity.Erlandson looks at why the Friday abstinence slipped away and the benefits of bringing new life to the practice.
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