As I thought about writing this blog, before writing it, I was thinking this would come across as being boastful. So I’d like to preface today’s blog by saying I’m a sinful man who’s on a journey with a long way to go. Thank God He’s patient and gives this turtle (me) time to get better. Proverbs 24:16 mentions that the righteous man sins 7 times a day. I’m pretty sure I’m nowhere close to 7.
Now with that said, we’re underway with the Quadragesima season. If you’re not familiar with the word Quadragesima, it’s the old school word for Lent. We use the word Lent as a new liturgical word and its roots are based on the weather (lengthening of the daytime each following day).
Since “going old school” is the theme for this blog, let’s mention some Catholic common practices during Quadragesima back in the medieval days! Currently, catholics are required to make sacrifices on Ash Wednesday and on the Fridays of “Lent.” As well as another sacrifice of your choice. Those familiar with church history know the requirements have been getting easier and easier all the way to the present day. But let’s get medieval today.
In medieval times, meat, dairy and eggs were all required to be given up EVERY day of the Quadragesima season. And you couldn’t have ANY food until 3pm. And married couples couldn’t have the conjugal act (sex). On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, you couldn’t eat AT ALL. There’s more details to all the sacrifices but these are some of the major ones.
And there was no break from your sacrifices on Sundays. I know it’s debated in circles about whether you should have reprieve on Sunday’s. The argument for reprieve is that: 1) Sundays are joyful because it’s always the day of the Resurrection and 2) take out the Sundays and you get 40 days which is a biblical number. In the spirit of St. Thomas Aquinas’ style of arguing, I’ll provide a response to each of those arguments. Replying to argument #1, Sunday can be BOTH joyful AND penitential. They don’t necessarily contradict each other. Although hedonists would argue differently. Replying to #2, even in today’s current Liturgical calendar the Sundays are referred to as “first Sunday of Lent”, “Second Sunday of Lent”, and so on. The proof is in the name itself. And my personal favorite argument for not taking Sundays off is because they didn’t take it off during Medieval times. #oldSchool
Now you might also be thinking that it’s not reasonable to be this hardcore due to the effects of headaches and the lessening of energy. And I understand how tough headaches can be since the band, Twenty Pilots, says in their song, Migraine, that sometimes death seems better than the migraine in his head…But (and I’m aware that this may come across as cold) remember that Jesus said He’s strong in us when we are weak! So don’t be afraid to be weak, low on energy, and full of headaches!
On a final note (which is the part that made me state the preface), I find the medieval practice liberating. Why would we want Ramadan to be tougher than our practice? Our medieval practice is tougher than Ramadan by the way. But that’s not the only liberating aspect. It’s hard to be spiritually tough while being physically comforted all the time. At least for me that is. #AndLliftWeightsWhileYouAreAtIt #neverSkipLegDay #neverEver #notEvenInHeaven
Bonus: fasting from meat should also help lower testosterone which is greatly appreciated by me at least. (Source: St. Thomas Aquinas and even some current scientific studies!)
Go medieval my brothers and sisters and offer it up for our Church, the Holy Father, and the souls in purgatory,