Archbishop Terence Prendergast has decreed that all Catholics in Ottawa – clergy, religious and laity – must abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent. Catholics will no longer be allowed to replace abstinence with another form of penance during Lent. His letter on this subject can be found here.
This is a great move. We Catholics have been way too skimpy on penance for several decades and it shows in our lack of personal spiritual growth and detachment from the world. Aside from our views on abortion and homosexuality, we’re so similar to the surrounding culture that people can’t tell the difference. We need to strive for something higher and act as though we really believe that this world is just a temporary pit-stop on the way to heaven.