You can always tell when Lent is near each year because it’s the time when Wendy’s puts Cod bad on it’s menu and people start playing George Carlin’s old joke about someone still being in Hell after Vatican 2 on a meat rap because it’s time once again to give up meat on Fridays.
Except that it isn’t.
The actual rule out of Vatican 2 was not that it’s OK is eat meat on Fridays outside of Lent, the new / existing rule is that on a Friday we can substitute a different sacrifice to the Lord instead of avoiding meat for the day. Maybe we’ll go to adoration, volunteer at a food bank, maybe give up something else we enjoy for that particular day that or maybe we’ll just say a single extra Glory Be instead of abstinence from meat.
That fact that most Catholic don’t know this and most priests don’t tell you this is an example of one of the biggest problems we’ve had in the church for decades, many of the faithful don’t know the faith as it is and when you don’t know your faith it’s easy for either for someone hostile to fill in the blanks with what they think the faith is
Lent is a good time to start changing this. Pick up and read the Catechism of the Catholic Church either online or a hard copy. It’s a great time to pick up a good Catholic book about your faith (I happen to know of a very nice one on the Hail Mary you can buy here) And if a local parish or a diocese is bring in speakers or having classes on the faith or something big like the Annual Catholic Men’s Conference in Worcester MA on April 6th during Lent take a day to attend.
Hey if enough people decide to take advantage of Lent to begin learning about their faith maybe Wendy’s will start offering their Cod all year round.