mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, February 22, 2008


So it’s a snow day today. We got a fraction of an inch of snow, and the college I worked for decided that that was too much, lest a hungover freshman lose his balance walking to his early-morning econ class. So I’m home right now, eating lunch. So what is madanthony eating today? Fish sticks and French fries.

OK, they aren’t actually fish sticks – they are trader joe’s fried halibut. But same difference. So why the fishy lunch? Because madanthony is Catholic, and it’s a Friday during Lent.

Now, I’m not a very good Catholic. There are a ton of things I don’t agree with and pretty much ignore when it comes to Catholic doctrine, mostly in the sex and social justice areas. I’m pretty much the definition of a cafeteria Catholic. And I think the whole no meat on Fridays during lent rule is pretty silly – it’s arbitrary, how much of an impact it has on you depends on how much you like meat, and legend has it that it was passed to help the King’s fishing fleet – it’s not rooted in any Biblical tradition that I know of.

So why do I try to do it? I guess part of it is Catholic guilt – I’ve gone to Catholic schools from Kindergarten to grad school, so it’s pretty hard to shake all those years of Catholic teaching. I also have very Catholic parents – I can’t imagine how they would react if I ever decided to stop practicing.

But I think it’s more than that. Part of it is that I think there is some value in tradition, in ritual. My faith might not be as important to me as it was to my ancestors, but it ties me back to them, to who they were and what they did, to a string of relatives that I’ve never met from countries I’ve never been to. There is something appealing about going to church and knowing that not much has changed about the experience in the last few hundred years (well, besides that whole Latin thing and heat and electricity).

And part of it is that I think it’s good to challenge myself. I mean, if I can’t go 8 days without eating meat, I think I’m pretty weak. If I can’t survive the occasional fish stick or veggie burger or pasta with meatless sauce, can I survive any hardship? In the realm of self-sacrifice, it seems like it’s the least I can do. It’s kind of a pain sometimes, when I get a craving for a meat-filled food on a Friday. It’s also inconvenient because of my lifestyle – I live alone, which means that when I cook, I tend to make enough for a couple meals – which means one meatless meal becomes 3 in a row. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s a pretty small cross to bear.


Post a Comment

<< Home