Saturday, November 18, 2006The Blessing of Mealtimes
Our world is crying out for conversation, community, fellowship, love. Family mealtimes are very rare in our society yet so important! I think that often we take the blessings of mealtimes which we have for granted.
It is through the breaking of bread with eachother over a meal that we can see eachother, face-to-face. We can look into the eyes and faces of our loved ones and guests, and see where the real hunger is. It is a time when we have the opportunities to act charitably by either listening to one who needs to talk, or by speaking ourselves and being friendly when we actually feel like crawling into a hole. (Tonight I tried to put this into practice, actually. It was harder than I thought. Lately I've really been having the blues, and today I helped my mother-in-law to prepare for a party here and tonight at the party it has been a really big challenge to be "up" and amiable when I really felt so low that I wanted to just camp out in my room and not see anyone.) For we who are suffering that day and feeling unsociable, the table is a place where we should be able to come and feel loved, welcomed, at home, there at the table with our loved ones, our fellow pilgrims.
Mealtime is a time we can laugh with eachother, share storeis of our days, discuss thoughts and ideas... Catherine Doherty says that the ability to laugh at oneself instead of at others is a great step forward toward emotional health and sanctity.
She also wrote something very heartwarming in her book titled Dearly Beloved:
"Laughter has been given to us by God to relax us, tossing Him a song of joy."
May our mealtimes be a sacred sharing of love over the breaking of bread, always reminding us of the Sacred Last Supper. May we laugh with eachother rather than at eachother... may we embrace one another at our tables, clinging to the lost gifts of the hearth, to this little slice of goodness, love, fellowship.
~Sia, Vancouver, WA