Two smaller meatless meals that don't equal the larger meal
#1
So with Lent coming up, fasting will be in the forefront of our minds. I think I may attempt the traditional fast as listed here:
http://www.fisheaters.com/fasting.html

So it's

Sunday - No Fast
Monday to Saturday - Fast
Monday to Thursday - Partial abstinence (major meal of the day may contain meat)
Friday & Saturday - Full abstinence (no meat)

So, all of these years, I always see it said that one can eat two smaller meatless meals that don't equal the larger meal. Typically on singular fasting days I can just make due with something really small since it's one day. However, over the course of the entire length of Lent, I don't think that'd be as feasible.

So what exactly does that saying mean? At what point do those two meals equal the larger meal? What is the point that drags it over the line? How does one measure this?
Reply
#2
How does one measure?  Practically, take the large meal that you plan to have that day and consider whether what you are having for the two smaller meals would add up to it.  There is no science to this, so let me provide an illustration.  If your large meal will be fish, potatoes, and a vegetable, then your smaller meals would be akin to potatoes for one and vegetables for another. 

Here is my advice to you in planning for the Lenten fast:  have your large meal at lunch.  When fasting for the duration of Lent, it is much more difficult to go from dinner to dinner than from lunch to lunch.  And if you're having the protein (meat, fish) with your large meal, then the smaller meals will probably remain small.
Reply
#3
I used to make fun of the two smaller meals rule until I started fasting then realized how much it helped.
I'm glad you're taking up Lent.
Reply
#4
(01-21-2016, 12:37 PM)GangGreen Wrote: So with Lent coming up, fasting will be in the forefront of our minds. I think I may attempt the traditional fast as listed here:
http://www.fisheaters.com/fasting.html

So it's

Sunday - No Fast
Monday to Saturday - Fast
Monday to Thursday - Partial abstinence (major meal of the day may contain meat)
Friday & Saturday - Full abstinence (no meat)

So, all of these years, I always see it said that one can eat two smaller meatless meals that don't equal the larger meal. Typically on singular fasting days I can just make due with something really small since it's one day. However, over the course of the entire length of Lent, I don't think that'd be as feasible.

So what exactly does that saying mean? At what point do those two meals equal the larger meal? What is the point that drags it over the line? How does one measure this?

That sounds like how my family and I do the Lenten fast.  For the smaller meals, we go with breakfast and lunch.  Dinner is the larger meal for us.  For breakfast I'll do cereal or oatmeal and fruit, then drop the bagel.  Lunch is the same concept for me; sandwich (tuna salad) and I skip the chips/dessert or soda and go with water.  Lunch is (at least for me) the hardest meal to fast since it occurs while I'm at work.  Co-workers want to go out to eat at times, and it's a nightmare trying to find smaller-sized meatless dishes.  Thai restaurants have become my friend for office outings.  On the plus side, it's opened up opportunities mention Catholicism to coworkers.  Don't know if they'll ever convert, but the discussion at least put that spark in their mind.
Reply
#5
The issue I have with the current phrasing of one main meal and two smaller meals which added together do not equal the main meal is the relative aspect: what constitutes a main meal?  For example, on many days a full meal for me will be a bagel with cream cheese.  So on a day of fasting does that mean that the other two meals added together must be less than a single bagel with cream cheese?
Reply
#6
I always took it to mean what you'd desire for a main meal. For example, there's many days when I don't have time to eat an actual lunch, just a bagel or hippie bar. But for a full meal I'd prefer something else. For me it's my normal non-fasting meal minus something.
Reply
#7
(01-21-2016, 07:49 PM)Sir Charles Napier Wrote: I always took it to mean what you'd desire for a main meal. For example, there's many days when I don't have time to eat an actual lunch, just a bagel or hippie bar. But for a full meal I'd prefer something else. For me it's my normal non-fasting meal minus something.
But what if my normal, non-fasting meal is just a bagel?  LOL
Reply
#8
It's extremely easy to get legalistic about fasting, but I think just using common sense is the best approach. What is your main meal of a normal, non-Lenten day? How much is normal for that? There's your benchmark. The other two should add up to just less than that. Also, the "two small meals that don't equal the main meal" is a rule of thumb, not explicit canonical legislation.

And remember - modern Romans have it easy! For the entire first millennium, only one meal was allowed every day of Lent, taken in the evening, and meat and wine were forbidden for the whole of Lent, including Saturdays and Sundays. The morning collation only became allowed in the early 19th century; the evening collation had only become common some time after the 14th century, when the one full meal was allowed to be taken at midday. So when we talk about "traditional" fasting rules, we should remember that what we are referring to is a considerable relaxation of the ancient (and not-that-ancient) practice!
Reply
#9
(01-24-2016, 05:41 PM)Steven Wrote:
(01-21-2016, 07:49 PM)Sir Charles Napier Wrote: I always took it to mean what you'd desire for a main meal. For example, there's many days when I don't have time to eat an actual lunch, just a bagel or hippie bar. But for a full meal I'd prefer something else. For me it's my normal non-fasting meal minus something.
But what if my normal, non-fasting meal is just a bagel?  LOL

Darn legalese, lol.  LOL

Eat half a bagel, or skip the cream cheese. Grin
Reply
#10
(01-24-2016, 06:50 PM)aquinas138 Wrote: And remember - modern Romans have it easy! For the entire first millennium, only one meal was allowed every day of Lent, taken in the evening, and meat and wine were forbidden for the whole of Lent, including Saturdays and Sundays. The morning collation only became allowed in the early 19th century; the evening collation had only become common some time after the 14th century, when the one full meal was allowed to be taken at midday. So when we talk about "traditional" fasting rules, we should remember that what we are referring to is a considerable relaxation of the ancient (and not-that-ancient) practice!

What's funny is that us moderns find even the so-called traditional way to be difficult. It's difficult for me to think about what I'd have for lunch without eating meat  LOL. Modern Lent is just doing what every Catholic should be doing throughout the entire year, no meat on Fridays. The rest of the week is a free-for-all with the exception of the one thing that is given us (if people actually do it).
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)