A Case for Eucharistic Piety

It is a scene we are all familiar with. Do you remember the long lunch line from back in high school? You grabbed your tray and slugged through the line. As you reached the lunch lady, you peered back at her and she reached out with her ladle to slop a big pile of something on your plate which she assured you was a sloppy joe. For my generation, it was chicken nugget day. In the big health food craze that has hit the country in the past few years, we learned that it wasn’t actually chicken they were serving, nor are we sure what was in the mystery meat in your sloppy joe. This is a humorous exchange that has been played out in countless high school based movies and television shows. While this may be funny to observe, have we ever considered if we have experienced this feeling elsewhere?

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Seasons Past

As we look back onto the Lenten season, one of the aspects of our faith that was pulled off the trophy rack for its annual dusting was fasting and abstinence. Today many of us grumble at the one Wednesday and seven Fridays the Church requires us to fast and abstain a year. For some it is such a foreign concept, that it takes one or two Fridays into Lent to remember the routine. This usually is pictured in the accidental eating of hamburger pizza at the monthly staff birthday party or leftover chicken noodle soup. There was a time in the Church when fasting was a year-round practice. As Dan and Justin commented in one of their recent podcast, each Friday is a day of penance by obligation and prior to a few changes following the Second Vatican Council, was a binding day of abstinence as well. This was such common practice that it is allegedly the reason McDonald’s started offering the Filet-O-Fish menu item in 1962, to bring back the Catholic market share each Friday.
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