I would like to abstain from meat all Fridays of the year but I live with my non-Catholic parents and can’t easily get my own food every Friday, what should I do? During Lent I have been making a substantial effort not to have meat on Fridays and thanks to fortunate circumstances I have managed thus far!
Our interlocutor could be writing from Sweden. I haven’t seen that the Swedish bishops rescinded the obligation to abstain in favor of another penitential practice. I plead ignorance on that score.
That said, …
Prior to Canon Law being codified in 1917, the Church’s law was contained in a series of collections. In one of the greatest of these collections, the Liber Sextus of Pope Boniface VIII, we find 88 axioms that are known as the Regulae Iuris, The Rules of Law. These axioms provide good insight into how the Church’s law should be interpreted and applied.
Rule 6 states: Nemo potest ad impossibile obligari. No one is bound to do the impossible.
If you are young, and living with parents who provide bed and board for you, abstaining from meat (while still eating sufficiently to stay healthy) can be difficult. Whether it’s an impossibility is difficult to say from a distance. I don’t know your circumstances, the dynamics of the home.
I recommend talking about the issue with your pastor or a trusted priest. Your pastor has the authority to commute the obligation to abstain to some other pious work, if it is truly a serious difficulty. One must, of course, be respectful of one’s parents and careful not unnecessarily to waste food. At the same time, honor the Church’s law to keep Fridays a days of penance – in some way – in memory of Our Lord’s Sacrifice.