It should be noted that Fridays
throughout the year are designated days of penance. The Code of
Canon Lawstates,"The penitential days and times in the universal
Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent"
(1250). The American Bishops have allowed us to choose a different form
of penance rather than abstaining from meat, but there must be some form of
penance, for this is the day we commemorate Christ's suffering and death. The
bishops stress that "among the works of voluntary self-denial and personal
penance...we give first place to abstinence from flesh meat" (Pastoral
Statement on Fasting and Abstinence).