Got a book in the mail the other day for me to review. I usually only do books about New Orleans or Louisiana. The book is titled Bless This Food: Ancient and Contemporary Graces From Around the World.
Bless This Food: The Way of Gratitude and Grace
So if it has nothing to do with New Orleans why did I say I wanted to review it? I see it like this: New Orleans is probably one of the most spiritual cities in the country.
Our major celebration, Mardi Gras, is really a religious holiday it being the day of going all out enjoying oneself before the 40 days of Lentan fasting.
We have churches galore in the city. In fact, just within walking distance of my home there are actually five Catholic churches.
Within about five minutes driving there are actually a lot more. That’s not to mention the churches of other denominations within walking distance as well.
So church going is very much a part of our culture here in the city and I believe has a direct influence on the way we choose to live life. So, a book about grace before meals? Bring it on, I want to see it.
Andrian Butash, a well-known marketing professional, wrote this beautifully designed book and he gathered together 160 timeless mealtime blessings and offers the background on the traditions represented. There are prayers in here by Ghandi, Shakepeare, Milton, Mother Theresa and the like. Pretty eclectic I’d say. You can choose one to fit any occasion.
As the author states:
Some of the fondest personal memories from my childhood are of my whole family holding hands around the dinner table saying Grace in unison, “For health and strength and daily food, we give thanks dear Lord, Amen.” The occasional gathering for prayer, no matter how brief, keeps the heart and mind in touch with the most fundamental of joys: belonging.
One thing we do as a family when we gather for meals is say the Christian mealtime prayer “Bless us, Oh Lord, and these thy gifts…” which is included in Bush’s book. Another prayer we like to say is one that we learned from a good family friend who passed on a few years ago. We usually say this at large gatherings. It goes like this:
“Lord we thank you for our food, keep us in a happy mood.
Bless the cook and all who serve us, from indigestion, Lord preserve us.”
This always produces a chuckle no matter how many times we’ve said it.
And lastly, I want to add a beautiful one that I got from one of the Sherwood Films, the ministry in Georgia that produces inspiring movies by the Kendrick brothers. I wrote this out in the front of Butash’s book so I could have it at the ready. It goes like this:
For Food in a world where many are hungry,
For Faith in a world where many walk in fear,
For Friends in a world where many walk alone.
We give thanks.
I think it’s a very important practice to cultivate gratitude, not only at meals but throughout one’s day-to-day life. Gratitude is one of the quickest ways to alter your mindset and put you in an uplifting, positive mood.
Being grateful for one’s food and blessing it is an important practice to cultivate. It help sets the tone for the meal. This little book can help with that, and gives you a glimpse of how the rest of the world does it.
Keep this book by your table. Share a prayer daily.
Leave a COMMENT. Tell us what you think. And bless you for doing so.