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With Christmas falling on a Friday this year, my company plans to throw a Christmas party on Friday. It is a small company so if I continue Friday abstinence of meat, I will have to explain it to everyone. My concern is that if I start explaining it,that would defeat the purpose of abstinence (referring to Bible verses that say to not look gloomy while fasting so that other people know).

So what to do? Break the meat abstinence or be prepared to explain things to the owner (who does not "appreciate" Catholic traditions).

Note: its a mandatory party.
you could sneak the No Meat practice in without others noticing.

you could partake out of Charity and substitute another form of penance that day.

you could do No Meat and explain it matter of factly/cheerily to people that notice.
(12-22-2011, 10:12 AM)Protrident Wrote: [ -> ]you could sneak the No Meat practice in without others noticing.

you could partake out of Charity and substitute another form of penance that day.

you could do No Meat and explain it matter of factly/cheerily to people that notice.

This. Especially if they have shrimp cocktails.

On the other hand, Friday abstinence has given away my faith to pretty much everyone in my small company, and I've found that no one even rolls their eyes if I keep it simple. I just say "no, thank you" and if they press I say it's Friday. If they get curious or ask if I'm vegetarian I say I'm Catholic. If they really want to know why we do that I give them the short answer. It's all been very cordial and brought out the closet Catholics in the company. That's my 2c.
(12-22-2011, 10:01 AM)damooster Wrote: [ -> ]My concern is that if I start explaining it,that would defeat the purpose of abstinence (referring to Bible verses that say to not look gloomy while fasting so that other people know).

That's the first thing I thought of... I have found that other people's reactions reflect my own. Be cheerful, no matter what you decide. Compliment the other food choices, the cheese and crackers and the dessert. If people notice that you're passing up the meat and they ask about it just say "no thanks" and/or be brief. Or, like Protrident said, you could partake out of charity and substitute another form of penance that day. Situations like this bring the spirit of the law into consideration.
I'm pretty straight-forward with my faith at work.  I'm freely mentioned the fact I abstain on Fridays and when my Catholic bosses were talking about the potential of me dating I pointed out I would not date a non-Catholic, which seemed to surprise them.  I'm not afraid to say the blessing before meals at works and freely cross myself as I would anywhere else (lots of cursing and using the Lord's name in vain in my industry...very blue collar mentality).  I have had my Catholic bosses talk to me about the faith a bit and have been able to share with them because of the fact they realize I'm religious.  In fact, I ever had my manager kind of freak out yesterday for saying G.D. in front of me - he apologized and said gosh-darnit or what have you.

Do I lord it over people?  Do I try to act better than others or drag any of this out?  No.  That said, even sharing your fasting in a proper manner can act as a "teaching moment," to use liberal terminology.  Should we act like imbeciles who are "inconvenienced" by fasting/abstaining?  Absolutely not.  Should we be worried about letting anyone know about it at all?  As long as we do not become prideful it could create a net good for others.
If my actions would cause a problem or dampen the party, I'd use the letter of the law and do some other little penance. Perhaps there is something you could do for all your fellow employees that costs little but would be appreciated. Perhaps a nice but not  too too religious Christmas Card for each, with a hand written little note in each. If they are regular old secularists as I've known it won't phase them, and could help.  I've seen this happen in real life.

tim
Thanks for the replies everyone. Here's some additional info that I should have provided, but on a Backberry and typing stinks:

1. The main dishes on the menu all include meat.

2. If I just eat small finger foods, the boss will notice and ask why I'm not eating. When I tell him, he will make some knid of comment about. He doesn't mean any harm, but he does say the first thing that comes to mind. He has said some offensive things in the past when I converted and about the Knights of Columbus.

Most of my co-workers know that I abstain from meat on Fridays, but I want to avoid that uncomfortable situation with the boss. So I think I will do some other form of penance.
In my company, i knew since long that there was a party on friday.
Therefore I did my penance today thursday
Christmas doesn't fall on Friday this year Huh? where did you get that?


Anyway, why don't you give an alms to the sisters of carmel for that day?  The law is you don't need to abstain under pain of sin
(12-22-2011, 03:06 PM)Josué Wrote: [ -> ]Christmas doesn't fall on Friday this year Huh? where did you get that?


Anyway, why don't you give an alms to the sisters of carmel for that day?  The law is you don't need to abstain under pain of sin

Sorry, I typed my original post on my Blackberry and did not catch the mistake. I meant to say that because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, the company is throwing its (mandatory) party on Friday.
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