Herself and I had a lovely breakfast after Mass today with her best friend and her family. We generally attend the 7am service, which means we need to leave our house at 6:20am. Hard to do sometimes, but we don’t often get lazy and just sleep in. To our delight, my wife’s friend slid into the pew beside us! Afterward, she asked us to her home for breakfast, and I’m not inclined to miss a free meal.
After sitting down, I was moved by the prayer (also known as ‘grace’) that was said by all before we ate; Sign of the Cross, and the standard Catholic Blessing before meals:
Bless us O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
I’m not sure why, but in our house we have generally eaten our meals in front of the television, since our boys were teenagers. The exceptions are, of course, when we have visitors or family on hand for a meal that herself spent some time working her magic. Then we’ll join hands and say either the above prayer, or one similar.
One of the young ladies at breakfast this morning is from New Zealand, a wonderfully kind person who is on a full ride softball scholarship attending college here in Colorado. She met her host family as an exchange student about 5 years ago, (my wife’s previously mentioned best friend and family) and they’ve been close ever since. I don’t believe she is Catholic, as our host said as we dug into the food, “If she memorized anything, she’s going to remember that prayer!” The young woman nodded in agreement, smiling broadly.
What a great exchange of love and affection! On my best day, I’m not sure I’ve ever affected anyone with my faith in Christ through prayer like I saw this morning. If nothing else, she will remember this lovely prayer in worship of a meal for many, many years – and who knows how the grace the young woman has received will affect others throughout her life!