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31

CookiesI'm writing this to you while staffing an exhibit of books and media at a teacher's conference. Next to me is Mrs. Field's ® cookies fundraising booth. It is a great place to be during a conference. Almost everyone stops by to sample a free cookie, and then casually wanders over to check out the spiritual food at our booth. Feeding our soul, like feeding our body, is a natural appetite. 

Did you know that cookies need salt to bring out and enhance their flavor? I know this first hand. The first time I baked cookies at home I was so proud of my success! They looked so good. They even smelled good. Then one bite revealed to me that I had forgotten a very necessary ingredient – salt. “We cannot accept the fact that salt should become tasteless,” writes Benedict in Porta Fidei (#3), so “we must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the Word of God, faithfully handed on down by the Church, and on the bread of life, offered as sustenance for…disciples” (Jn. 6:51).

Here are ten ways I am practicing the spiritual culinary art of rediscovering the joy of God's Word and the Eucharist during the Year of Faith:

Bible
  1. Lectio Divina (Latin for Divine Reading) is a traditional Catholic practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's Word. Scripture is the Living Word.
  2. Enjoy watching movies? Cinema Divina is interaction with God’s Word and others in the prayer format of Lectio Divina
  3. In our age of media technology the Bible can be downloaded onto a Kindle, Nook, I-Pad or Tablet. I highlight favorite passages for inspiration in a minute.
  4. Take the Bible wherever you go with Bible Apps. Many apps include plans for daily reading of the Bible and make it easy to share your favorite passages.
  5. Dramatized versions of the Bible that open our ears and eyes to the Word anew can be found on DVD, digital audio or apps.
  6. I often turn to the Bible online. My favorite site is Bible Gateway. The Vatican has a marvelous site at www.BibliaClerus.org connecting Holy Scripture with the complete works of many Doctors of the Church, Councils, encyclicals, the teaching of the Popes, the catechisms, and secular literature.
  7. Though our Christian faith is not a religion of the book, it is the religion of the word of God (Cf. Verbum Domini, 6). Enthroning the Bible, by displaying it in a place of honor announces God’s Word as present and active in our lives.
  8. Catholic Bibles are available for every age group, with the purpose of introducing love of the Word, beginning at pre-school upward to the large print editions we enjoy in our senior years. There are selections at Pauline.org.
  9. Every day we can answer an invitation to enter through the doors of our church for morning mass, holy communion and Eucharistic visits.
  10. In Eucharistic adoration we heighten our hunger for the bread of life which we will receive at Mass. “The Apostle (John) speaks to us of hearing, seeing, touching and looking upon (cf. 1 Jn 1:1) the word of life, since life itself was made manifest in Christ” (Verbum Domini, 2).

I want to be mindful of the truly delicious food available to me at all times, the Word and Eucharist, to fill the deepest hungers of my human heart. Here are some quotes on the connection between God’s Word and Eucharist to inspire you:

Bread and Wine being consecrated “The profound unity of word and Eucharist is grounded in the witness of Scripture (cf. Jn 6; Lk 24), attested to by the Fathers of the Church, and reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council.[191] Here we think of Jesus’ discourse on the bread of life in the synagogue of Capernaum (cf. Jn 6:22-69), with its underlying comparison between Moses and Jesus, between the one who spoke face to face with God (cf. Ex 33:11) and the one who makes God known (cf. Jn 1:18). Jesus’ discourse on the bread speaks of the gift of God, which Moses obtained for his people with the manna in the desert, which is really the Torah, the life-giving word of God (cf. Ps 119; Pr 9:5). In his own person Jesus brings to fulfillment the ancient image: “The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” … “I am the bread of life” (Jn 6:33-35). Here “the law has become a person. When we encounter Jesus, we feed on the living God himself, so to speak; we truly eat ‘the bread from heaven’”.[192] In the discourse at Capernaum, John’s Prologue is brought to a deeper level. There God’s Logos became flesh, but here this flesh becomes “bread” given for the life of the world (cf. Jn 6:51), with an allusion to Jesus’ self-gift in the mystery of the cross, confirmed by the words about his blood being given as drink (cf. Jn 6:53).” Verbum Domini, 54.


“The presence of Jesus, first with his words and then with the act of breaking bread, made it possible for the disciples to recognize him. Now they were able to appreciate in a new way all that they had previously experienced with him: “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (24:32)  Verbum Domini, 54.


“Scripture itself points us towards an appreciation of its own unbreakable bond with the Eucharist. “It can never be forgotten that the divine word, read and proclaimed by the Church, has as its one purpose the sacrifice of the new covenant and the banquet of grace, that is, the Eucharist” [193]. Word and Eucharist are so deeply bound together that we cannot understand one without the other: the word of God sacramentally takes flesh in the event of the Eucharist. The Eucharist opens us to an understanding of Scripture, just as Scripture for its part illumines and explains the mystery of the Eucharist.”  Verbum Domini, 55.


“Saint Jerome speaks of the way we ought to approach both the Eucharist and the word of God: “We are reading the sacred Scriptures. For me, the Gospel is the Body of Christ; for me, the holy Scriptures are his teaching. And when he says: whoever does not eat my flesh and drink my blood (Jn 6:53), even though these words can also be understood of the [Eucharistic] Mystery, Christ’s body and blood are really the word of Scripture, God’s teaching.” Verbum Domini, 56.


 
by Sr. Margaret Charles Kerry, FSP



Share what you have deepened about your faith with a child: click here.

Sample chapters for intermediate children and teens:
A Taste of the World
God wants the best for me

Reproducibles for primary age children click here. 


For further reading:

Bread of Life     The Word of the Lord
  For intermediate children and teens:

Now You're Cooking     

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