5 ways to keep Friday special
“I thought it was Sunday we were supposed to keep special” I hear you say. Well, Friday is also a special day because it is the day that Jesus died for us, thereby meriting the grace of all the sacraments, our eternal life, the forgiveness of all our sins – you know, that sort of thing. So Catholics have developed various ways to keep Friday special.
And remember: just rolling along to Mass on Sunday is a minimum to avoid falling into mortal sin. If we love Our Lord, we don’t just want to avoid participating in His scourging by refraining from mortal sin. In these times more than ever, we should be consoling His Sacred Heart by our devotion.
So here is a simple and, I hope, unoriginal list, a simple reminder of some Catholic things:
1. Abstain from meat
In England and Wales, and in many other countries, this is obligatory. In some countries it may be replaced by some other penance. Yeah right! Who actually does that? Abstaining from meat is a simple witness to the passion of the Lord which does not cost us any great hardship, but is a reminder each week to us of the sacrifice of his life that Our Lord offered to the Father.
2. Say the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary
You say the Rosary every day, right? You don’t? Our Lady asked us to do this one hundred years ago yesterday at Fatima. It is surely a good idea to do what she said. Let us all start today: say the five sorrowful mysteries and think of the sins that we have committed (not other people’s sins) repent of them and resolve to avoid them in the future.
3. Do the Stations
If you do this in a Church then you can gain a plenary indulgence. If that’s not possible, you could read a short version of stations on your phone (on iPieta or the like) when you are on the train or something. The Way of the Cross is a really excellent form of prayer.
4. Say the Divine Mercy prayers at 3pm
OK, I know that not everyone likes the Divine Mercy devotion. (You could actually say it as a penance in that case!) Wha’evvah! At 3pm, recall the death of Our Lord and read the Passion then, or the Jesus Psalter, or kiss the crucifix.
5. Go to Mass
Yes I understand this is not possible for everyone on a Friday, but it is for quite a lot of people. Going to Mass on a Friday is a really good idea because at Mass, we are present at the sacrifice of Calvary, made present on our altars. We are united with Our Lady, St John and the others at the foot of the Cross.
If you are reading this, you probably look at other things on social media. You are aware that “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour” both in the Church and in the world. My friends, we need to fight with the spiritual weapons that the Lord has given us because “we are not contending against flesh and blood.” (Eph 6.12)