11 September 2009

Food, and the presence of God

With the recent and delightful news that Fr. Leo Patalinghug of Grace Before Meals, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at the World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney and who very kindly links to my blog, defeated the Iron Chief Bobby Flay in a recent episode of the Food Network's Throwdown with Bobby Flay, I can't help but offer a small reflection on food and the presence of God.

Wednesday afternoon I was making a batch of the Roman speciality sauce all amatriciana - very simple and wonderfully delicious - for the soccer team's pasta night that evening.

I had been in the kitchen for some time preparing the sauce when our housekeeper came into the kitchen and said, "It smells delicious in here!"

I was a bit struck by her words because at the time I did not notice the smell; I had simply grown accustomed to it and noticed it no longer. To remedy this I went upstairs for a moments and when I returned to the kitchen the delicious scent could not be missed. She was right. Pancetta, garlic, tomatoes, salt and pepper: what's not to like?

Prayer and our recognition of the presence of God in our lives is often like this. Sometimes we grow "used" to God's presence, we grow "used" to the "routine" of prayer and do not notice its effects, until we step outside of God's presence or stop praying. Then, once we enter back in, we realize what we had all the while but did not notice.

Let of each of us, then, not stay out of the kitchen, but hop right in.

Congratulations, Fr. Leo!

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