Why Is Fish Allowed On Fridays?

We fast from food so that we can be hungry for Christ. And I think the fish positively becomes a symbol of Christ.

 Can you explain how the church decided that fish is permitted on Fridays? And when you say maybe other days of abstinence and fasting? Yeah, I really don’t know the history behind that precept. So I’m going to have to defer on that one and bow in humility. I don’t know the exact development of how it came to that.

The idea from what I understand is that, meat is considered to be a luxurious food, right? The meat calls to mind the animal flesh, which has a connection to the flesh of Christ. And so by abstaining from fleshly meat, in that sense, we’re reminded of the flesh of Christ being sacrificed for us on the cross.

And so there’s some significance there. But what’s the development of that sort of reasoning? I don’t know the history behind that. Do you know that? I know a little bit about it. Okay. So it’s actually, I would say somewhat controversial in the sense that, there are different churches, like Eastern churches, within the Catholic church or even apart from the Catholic church.

And some of them do not permit fish on, on days of fasting. I think originally, the flesh of fish was seen to be connected to the flesh of other animals. And, there are, I even think Byzantine Catholics, they have certain days where they can eat certain kinds of seafood, but not other kinds.

And so it’s not clear cut, but I like to think of it as part of the church’s sense of eating in the sense that the fish, the Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, it was this acrostic image of Christ where, you have the different letters of the Greek word for fish that stand for that phrase, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.

And so what did Christians do when they would gather in their homes to meet in the early church, they would put a fish above the door and that was a kind of symbol of the Eucharist itself. And so I think that as the church was discerning this and over the, like I said, over the first few centuries fish became more and more accepted as an alternative during fasting.

And I think it was because fasting is meant to make us hungry for Christ. As you said, Karlo that’s part of that reason that as you one-upped Aquinas, right? We fast from food so that we can be hungry for Christ. And I think the fish positively becomes a symbol of Christ. So it’s not that we just abstain from meat, but at a certain point in the middle ages, the tradition actually became to eat a fish, because people who were even, far from the coast would actually have fish even imported.

For them for Fridays throughout the whole year, right? Every Friday of the entire year. And so it became a symbol of our communion with Christ in the Christ, satisfying the hunger that we’ve developed through the abstinence of me. That’s right. Yeah. That’s beautiful. That makes sense to me.

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