Cooking as Prayer

03-11-2018From Our PastorDeacon Wendt

I thought this would be a good time to let you in on a little secret that I discovered in my grandma's kitchen long agowhen I would help her cook all the family meals; the act of praying while cooking.

Some of you may even remember that many Catholic homes and maybe you still do, have a Kitchen Prayer plaque orpicture hanging in the kitchen.

If prayer is "raising our minds and hearts to God," and being in a relationship with God, then anything can be prayer. Preparing a meal can certainly be a wonderful prayer. And, if our cooking is for our family or others with whom we live,then it can be a great act of love.

It starts, as always, with desire. While I'm putting on my apron, or getting out my equipment, I can begin by naming mydesire for this time.

"Dear Lord, as you nourish us with your love, let me prepare this nourishment with you at my side. Give me the joy of being creative and loving, self-sacrificing and generous. As part of my baptism and my royal priesthood, let me offer this meal as a religious experience for me and for my family. As I prepare, help me to contemplate the people in towns and villages around the world who are preparing meals today for their families - with great love, and with what they have.Thank you for your love. I now prepare to share it. Amen."

Of course, we could add many words that are special to our circumstances.

"Let this meal nourish Frank with your love. He is so full of tension and worry. I love him and deeply desire to offer him this meal as something different, and a sign of my care and our faith." "Oh, Lord, Jennie needs you so much these days. She seems so distracted and not herself. Through our prayer and the sharing of this meal, give her the security of your love. And through our faith in your dying and rising for us, help her place the difficulties she is experiencing at work intoher relationship with you."

Just imagine how different our "getting dinner together" can be, if we fill those early busy moments of preparation withprayer, naming our desires so explicitly.

One of the easiest and simplest meals that can place us in solidarity, in even a symbolic way, with much of the poor of the world is Rice and Beans. This meal is healthy, nourishing and filling. Praying with its preparation and eating it - feeling humble and honored to share it with our sisters and brothers in so many countries - can be a great source ofdevotion for us and our families.

Take the rest of this lent and turn your kitchen and home into a house of prayer. Cook together, eat together, be together and remember to pray together.