According to the Rule of St Benedict, the cellerar is to regard all utensils and goods of the monastery as sacred vessels of the altar. (Rule of St Benedict, Chapter 31 v 10).

What a relationship we have with food!  Many of us give up some kind of food for Lent, and yet remain unaware of how many people in the world are desperately hungry.  We throw away food while others pick through dumpsters to find sustenance.  Our nation has become obese, and yet more and more people are falling into poverty.

Most of us take it for granted that we can just run down to the grocery store to pick up a gallon of milk, can pop in to the fast foot joint for a quick lunch, can go out for a nice dinner with wine and dessert to celebrate a birthday.  The details about food and eating become part of the background for most of us, rather than being at the center of our daily activity.

What if, instead of giving up treats for Lent we sat down at the table every day and considered how our spatulas and whisks might be sacred vessels of the altar?  And then did something about it?  Instead of debating doctrine (hell is the doctrine du jour that people are in a snit about, thanks to Rob Bell's new book), we just find ways to feed people?  We just cook and serve and feed and sit down at the table with everyone who is hungry, for food, for relationship, for understanding, for a friend, for spiritual nourishment?

We don't have to live in a monastery to follow the Rule of St Benedict about utensils.  Food for thought.


Perpetua said…
Food for thought indeed, Penny. Wasting food in a hungry world is a sin in my book, so I try to shop carefully which frees up money for other uses. I love your posts - they always make me think.