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  • Writer's picturegarysjordan

Happy Memorial Day


All my weight loss is but a memory.

No, that isn't what Memorial Day means. My father was a veteran of WWII. He died on active duty in July, 1952, a day after his 32nd birthday. I don't remember him that way - I was 16 months old. But I remember his service. RIP, father.

My mother had me baptized and raised as a Roman Catholic. As a result, when I stood on the scales this morning, a phrase went through my head - "To fast and abstain on the days appointed." I wanted to put that in context, so I Googled it.

  • A Systematic Study of the Catholic Religion 338. The second commandment of the Church is to fast and abstain on the days appointed. It appears to be of Apostolic origin; but it is ever adapted by the authority of the Church to the changing circumstances of times and places. Since it regards important matters, it carries with it a grievous obligation; still a slight transgression of the law constitutes only a venial sin.

  • The Baltimore Catechism : Lesson 35 389. Q. WHICH ARE THE CHIEF COMMANDMENTS OF THE CHURCH?

A. The chief commandments of the Church are six:

  1. To hear Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.

  2. To fast and abstain on the days appointed.

  3. To confess at least once a year.

  4. To receive the Holy Eucharist during the Easter time.

  5. To contribute to the support of our pastors.

  6. Not to marry persons who are not Catholics, or who are related to us within the third degree of kindred, nor privately without witnesses, nor to solemnize marriage at forbidden times.

I am thus reminded why I am no longer an adherent to Roman Catholicism. I am a retired minister of the Universal Life Church (ULC). We have one commandment: Do the right thing. We find Unitarian Universalists to be unnecessarily rule bound. Either way, I looked deeper to see just what it means to fast.

According to the traditional Catholic method of fasting, one may eat “one full meal” each day with meat included, plus two smaller meatless meals, both of which together do not equal the one full meal. No eating between meals is allowed, although drinking beverages such as coffee and tea are allowed and are not considered to break the fast. (Milk, juice, and soft drinks are also considered not to break the fast, although they are in fact foods and mitigate the effects of the fast and work contrary to its intent because they satisfy one’s hunger to some extent, since they have food value.)

I could do that.

I need to do that.

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