Most folks are aware of the traditional Lenten fasting practice of eating only fish on Fridays. But did you know that, according to Vatican guidelines, beaver, muskrat, alligator, turtle, and capybara are also considered “fish” for the purpose of keeping a Lenten Fast from meat on Friday? It is true. So if you find yourself getting a bit bored with fish on Friday, perhaps consider a nice roast of beaver ribs or muskrat hams. I’ve had both. They’re sinfully good.
Frankly, I have always found the tradition of eating fish on Fridays in Lent to be a bit of a spiritual challenge. In my old hometown, every local restaurant offered a Fish Fry Special on Fridays in Lent. They were delicious and very popular: an enormous slab of beer batter deep-fried fish served with a heaping pile of French fries, a generous serving of coleslaw, and a side of tarter sauce. Definitely fish for a Friday in Lent; but was it really a fast?
Remember the words from Isaiah 58 from the service of Ash Wednesday: “Is not this the fast that the Lord chooses: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?”