I’ve been reflecting on a statement a dear Franciscan nun had shared with me. We were discussing the gluten issue and her thought was: What better way for Satan to attack the christian people, the faithful people, but through he body of Christ.
That got me thinking….
It makes sense in several ways. It is not Satan who has caused our intolerance to gluten but our own selfishness, greed, gluttony. He just encourages us to give into our vices, our weaknesses, our gravitating toward sin. Am I saying wheat is sinful…NO! But any time we start to put more importance on ANYTHING outside of Christ….well that is sinful!
Thus from this conversation that I had with this wonderful woman….led me to think about the connection of food and faith in an even more interesting way….so take a trip with me on my pondering….
I would imagine at the time of Christ that making bread was a treat. A person couldn’t just go out and buy flour. They had to hand grind or mill it for themselves. It took time, labor, love. A person also had to crop and harvest their own; or at the very least barter with others or go to market.
Further think that grain didn’t mean just wheat. It could have been any grain that was indigenous to that area.
There weren’t refinery plants to take out any nutrition. There wasn’t mass productions of growing wheat, thus no altering the plant chemically to make it grow faster, stronger, more, and in an area that it didn’t belong.
Think and reflect about what was probably at a dinner table in Jesus’ time:
Lots of vegetation, dates, some fruit, nuts, maybe some meat….whole fresh or fermented foods! Bread wasn’t a staple so much as a side…an add on. I like to think of it more as a condiment. It was probably used sparingly.
People probably pulled one chunk, maybe two from a loaf or flat bread….but didn’t eat the whole thing!
They took just enough to get a taste; to appreciate all the hard work that was put into creating the bread.
Then as man got older over the generations and generations of mankind…..well….we grew in our greed, selfishness, gluttony!
The industrial age did not help.
Now let’s take a look at just the science of our body. It can only handle so much of anything. Nuts and eggs are a great example. They are nutritious for us but even they can become intolerant to our body if we indulge in such a way that our body starts to say no more….thus creating an allergy or intolerance.
Take a grain that is ultimately a seed, a baby of a plant, that is being mass produced….stripped of any possible nutritional value….and its being pushed on and in ALL food products. It is being marketed to us for convenience….to give us more time to spend with family because all we have to do is pick up ready to go foods.
BUT does it really create communion with family? Does it really give us more time?
We have as a nation, a people, lost the art of true gathering. Our own fresh, whole food, real food….has been forgotten. We must figure out how to create something real from our foods!
We have lost the art of gathering together, of partaking in the breaking of the bread!
We have lost the art of realizing it took time and love to prepare and create this meal, this bread. Therefore, we must cherish these bites. We have lost the sense of not over indulging or taking more than our share at one sitting. We have forgotten to think that there are others at the table who need to partake as well. There are others all around us who need to partake at the table, the banquet, the feast!
If we just stopped for a moment to think: if I just take my share, my bite, then we can continue to reap the blessing of coming back to the banquet table each day to grow and strengthen our love and faith with Christ.
THAT IS COMMUNION!
THAT IS SACRIFICE!
THAT IS GENEROSITY!
THAT IS DISCIPLINE!
THAT IS LOVE!
AND…that is what we must fight for!
We must not let Satan steal our hearts and souls. Don’t let Him rob us of our COMMUNION WITH CHRIST!
Tomorrow is a perfect chance TO GIVE THANKS….to celebrate MASS; the true sacrifice…the true partaking of the bread! And to then go forward in our day…
to share that miracle,
with others as we gather and feast with…
yet also with…
***I am thankful to all of you who always let me share my pondering, my thoughts, my reflections on my daily walk of faith…..
Many blessings and prayers to you all during the glorious gathering of Thanksgiving and every day!