The Roman Catholic believes that he must perform certain good works. He does these good works in order to help pay for his sins. Two ways by which a Catholic performs good works are by observing the laws of fast and abstinence. The following quotation is a list of regulations for observance of fast and abstinence.
REGULATIONS ON FAST AND ABSTINENCE
To foster the spirit of penance and or reparation for sin, to encourage self-denial and mortification, and to guide her children in the footsteps of Our Divine Lord, Holy Mother Church imposes by law the observance of fast and abstinence.
In accordance with the provisions of Canon Law, as modified through the use of special faculties granted by the Holy See, we herewith publish the following regulations:
Everyone over 7 years of age is bound to observe the law of abstinence.
COMPLETE ABSTINANCE, is to be observed on FRIDAYS, ASH WEDNESDAY, and the VIGIL OF CHRISTMAS. On days of complete abstinence, meat and soup or gravy made from meat may not be used at all.
PARTIAL ABSTINENCE is to be observed on EMBER WEDNESDAYS and SATURDAYS and on the VIGIL OF PENTECOST . On days of partial abstinence meat and soup or gravy made from meat may be taken only once a day at the principal meal.
Everyone over 21 and under 59 years of age is also bound to observe the law of fast. The days of fast are the WEEKDAYS OF LENT, including Holy Saturday, EMBER DAYS, and the VIGILS OF PENTECOST AND CHRISTMAS.
On the days of fast only ONE FULL MEAL is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs; but together they should not equal another full meal.
Meat may be taken at the principal meal on a day of fast except on FRIDAYS, ASH WEDNESDAY, and the VIGIL OF CHRISTMAS.
Eating between meals is not permitted; but liquids including milk and fruit juices, are allowed.
When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige. In doubt concerning fast or abstinence, a Parish Priest or Confessor should be consulted.
We earnestly exhort the faithful during the periods of fast and abstinence to attend daily Mass; to receive Holy Communion often; to take part more frequently in exercises of piety; to give generously to works of religion and charity; to perform acts of kindness toward the sick, the aged, and the poor, to practice voluntary self-denial especially regarding alcoholic drink and worldly amusements; and to pray more fervently, particularly for the intentions of the Holy Father.
THESE REGULATIONS ARE FOR THE DIOCESE OF GRAND RAPIDS FOR THE YEAR 1958
According to the above quotation, the purpose of observing these laws is to pay for sins, to make right what was done amiss (reparation).
This is impossible for man. Man, apart from God, is corrupt and only sins continually. All of scripture testifies to that.
By saying that man must perform good works in payment for sins, the Catholic really says that Christ’s death on the cross was not sufficient for the sins of His people. What a far cry this is from scripture which tells us that the beginning, continuance, and end of our salvation is in God. Christ fully paid for all the sins of His People. It is a finished work, all of God and nothing of man. What comfort and blessed assurance is our by the grace of God. We are saved!
Originally Published in:
Vol. 19 No. 2 March 1959