Many cultures have a beautiful tradition of saying a prayer before or after a meal, expressing gratitude and asking for blessing. If we are accustomed to praying over our food, it may become a rote, almost thoughtless gesture. Yet it is another opportunity to intentionally open ourselves to receive and participate in grace. The food is already blessed simply by its existence. God doesn’t require our words of thanks. But it does us good to “say grace,” to verbally acknowledge the grace that is everywhere, even and especially in the giving of lives—plant and animal—for our sustenance.
If you have a practice of saying grace, bring greater awareness and presence to it. Find or create a prayer that names your experience of grace. This Hindu blessing, from the Bhagavad Gita, is said before meals:
This ritual is One. The food is One. We who offer the food are One. The fire of hunger is also One. All action is One. We who understand this are One.
Indeed, it is all One in the immense and undiscriminating Grace that is God.
~~ Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, Daily Meditations, February 6, 2016
Happy Thanksgiving to All!