Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Silent Breakfast

Breakfasts in the monastery during Lent are eaten in silence. It’s just an ordinary breakfast. 

But everything about the silent space feels uncluttered and gentling… 

The heart beats a bit more slowly.
The breath emerges in elongated patterns.
The mind’s eye becomes playfully attentive.
The food births gratefulness.

Every aspect of this meal feels connected to gratefulness…

          A silent “Thank you” spontaneously rises for all who faithfully bring this nurturing food to tables

                   Farmers, farm-workers and gardeners, as well as truckers and grocery-workers
                   Dining room staff and sisters, who rise early to prepare a sunrise delight
                   Our lavish God who looks on all work and calls it good

          A litany of “Thank you” cascades for…
                   Soil, sun and rain, strengthening our favorite cereal grains
                    Chickens, sharing their rich egg protein to fortify us
                   Coffee beans, releasing their delightful aroma and waking up every cell
                   Each taste, color, smell and texture, alerting and enlivening us

Today, everything somehow seems beautiful…

          Maybe that’s what John O’Donohoue meant when he defined real beauty as,
          “That, in the presence of which, we feel more alive.”

Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck, OSB

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