Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ever Mindful

Growing up Catholic, there was a grace that my family and I prayed before every meal. There are two versions but one says,

Bless, oh Lord, this food to our use,
And thus to Thy service;
Make us ever mindful
Of the needs of others,
In Jesus' name, Amen.


When you're little and taught to memorize things like this, the words don't always have much meaning. It becomes a quick poem, a rhyme that we would try to utter as quickly as possible, to get it done, to check it off the list. But something about this prayer has stuck with me over the years and for the past week I've been meditating on it a bit. The first part is what I think of as the traditional "grace" line - a blessing of the meal - but even those simple words contain a deeper meaning. We are asking God to bless our food so that in nourishing ourselves, we can be of service to God. The food is for our use, but ultimately it is a line of stewardship to say that all that is in us, around us, part of us is God's and can be used to serve God. The second line is what I find the coolest part of the prayer: "Make us ever mindful of the needs of others". I think those words are the ones I've been searching for lately. In fact, I'm praying it "Make ME ever mindful, Lord, of the needs of others." Ever mindful. To go through every day mindful - having my eyes open - to what others need, I think that's a powerful ask. A powerful ask to a powerful God.

4 comments:

x-ray chick said...

Lord, you gave us this food, now help us to turn that energy around to serve you by serving others.

Heck, I realize that what I am eating can feed an entire family in Africa for a week, so please remove my guilt for not eating the leftovers.

Amen

Anonymous said...

I always thought it was:
Bless oh Lord, this food to our use, and US to thy service.

lisa :) said...

I suppose it could be "us". Annunciation was never strictly enforced in at our house. ;) Either way I think the meaning is the same, blessing the food so we are of service to God.

Anonymous said...

Yes, interesting that you learned it that way.. a.p. (anonymous)