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Day 15: Gratitude for Food


“Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.” - Saint Augustine

Cultivate an attitude of mindfulness and gratitude for your food today. You can do so in three simple steps:

1) As you prepare/select your meals today, think about it: Only take as much as you actually need.

2) Pause for a moment before eating, either with those with whom you are sharing a meal, or on your own, and give thanks for the many people who have worked to bring this meal to you. Consider those around the world who have not been so fortunate and go hungry today.

3) Eat everything on your plate (it won't be hard since you selected your food mindfully!) OR take and finish it later.


All those Hunger Games fans out there might remember a scene from the second book where Katniss Everdeen goes to a party at the capital city and the guests, after stuffing themselves with the rich abundance of food, take a little potion to make themselves vomit so that they can continue consuming and enjoying more and more food. The dark irony of the book holds this culture of abundance, consumption, and waste in contrast with the masses who go hungry and struggle for survival in the outlying districts. A majority of the world's religious traditions invite a moment of gratitude or provide a formal prayer to bless food before it is consumed. The idea is not for God to make the food holy before it can enter our bodies, but to recognize that it is already holy: It is a gift of the earth and the product of much human labor. A moment for prayerful gratitude before a meal keeps us from becoming like the citizens in the Hunger Games. It reminds us to not take for granted the abundance we have while so many in the world still go hungry. And then, after the meal, to work toward a world where all have a place at the table. Take a moment for gratitude before meals today.

Contributed by Jake Schneider (Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education) and Shauna Shapiro (Counseling Psychology Department)

Comments Comments

Janice DeMonsi said on Oct 16, 2013
Food is so important & it bothers me that there are still children that go to school every day without food in their stomach- I wish this could be solved. While many meals are made & at the end food is wasted. Food is typically not wasted in our house. Food uneaten for dinner, goes to school as lunch the next day or part of the lunch.
Julia Claire Landry said on Oct 24, 2013
Pope Francis issued his first World Food Day message on October 16... "The topic chosen by FAO for this year?s celebration speaks of ?sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition.? I think I read in it an invitation to rethink and renew our food systems from a perspective of solidarity, overcoming the logic of unbridled exploitation of creation and orienting better our commitment to cultivate and look after the environment and its resources, to guarantee food security and progress towards sufficient and healthy food for all [?W]e [must] learn to take care of the other, the good of the other, to love the harmony of sustainable creation." Awesome.
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