I have the privilege of traveling to Western Australia for work in a few weeks and during my trip I will skip Friday. I leave the US on a flight on Thursday and after an almost 18 hour flight land on Saturday morning. So my question is am I obliged to a Friday Penance (normally I abstain from meat) if I don’t “have” a Friday that week?
I, too, am facing a flight across the International Date Line.
When you travel, we try to observe the law in the place where we are. In the day of fast travel, zooming along, we enter into a realm of uncertainty. Where are we? When I last flew to Tokyo, I arrive an extra day after I left, but, returning home, I arrived a couple hours before I departed. And what would we do in the International Space Station. What will we chaplains of the Space Force tell our charge?
When things are uncertain, we are given the benefit of the doubt. Law favors us when it comes to obligations.
First, we are bound to do penance on Fridays, but the law says that we can substitute penances. A flight to Australia is already a penance… in a lot of ways.
Also, if you want to abstain from meat during the flight, great! Airlines offer alternatives.
I don’t think you are obliged to abstain from meat in this particular circumstance. Even though abstaining from airline meat isn’t a huge penance.
We should be pleased to do penance, willing and joyful, when we can. However, the laws of penance are flexible. We have to take responsible charge of our fulfillment of the law. We can do penance in lots of ways that the law doesn’t specify.
Do you have a middle seat on your flight… to Australia?