Why do all our big celebrations involve eating? What’s so special about food?

November 21, 2012 | 1 comment

When I first converted to Christianity, one of the biggest changes in my daily life was saying a prayer before eating. I wasn’t used to doing anything other than scooting my chair in and grabbing my napkin before I ate, so it took a while to get into the habit of pausing to address God before I dug into my food. Yet, oddly enough, it felt perfectly natural. Almost all major human celebrations involve food. Even our big secular holidays are associated with celebratory mealtimes (barbecue and pickles on the 4th of July, a feast with blackeyed peas on New Year’s Day). It would seem that humans have a natural sense that there’s something special about food, and it’s no surprise that almost all major religions take special care to offer thanks to the divine for the privilege of eating.

But what is it that makes this particular act so special?

I always enjoy trying to articulate the answers to questions like this, but this one left me stumped. Yes, food is essential to life, but so is water and shelter, and it’s not customary to say a prayer before entering your home or taking a sip of a drink…

Read more at NCR >>

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (And I am planning to do 7 Quick Takes on Friday, so I’ll see you then!)

1 Comment

  1. priest's wife (@byzcathwife)

    This post is making me hungry! 😉

    a favorite phrase from a lovely Franciscan priest of blessed memory “Those who eat food without praying grace are thieves.”

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