From: Mary Zimmerman
I just recently ran across an article by Annie Samott concerning prayer before meals called “Count Our Blessings.” No matter how you say it, grace transforms an ordinary meal into a celebration - of family, love, and gratitude.
I’m not sure but I think this beautiful tradition in today’s busy world has fallen by the wayside for the most part. That’s sad. It’s so important to raise our minds and hearts to our loving God in prayer often throughout the day. In my generation we also said a prayer of thanksgiving after the meal, “which we have received from His bounty, through Christ our Lord, Amen.”
We tend to forget all is a gift from God. Let us thank Him for it. God desires and deserves gratitude. After He cured the ten lepers, God made it clear He was disappointed that only one came back to say thanks. We tend to think we are a “do-it-yourself people.” That is far from the truth. As I was making pies (1,000) a few years ago, this Bible verse danced around in my mind a whole lot. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
God doesn’t depend on our prayers to exist, but to exist we depend on His gift of life, liberty and happiness.
Well, as you can see by the following joke, even bears pray grace before they eat. “Bless us oh Lord.” Shouldn’t we people do the same? Parents, encourage your families to say this little prayer if they aren’t already doing so.
Even the Bears Pray
An atheist was walking through the woods. “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!” he said to himself. As he was walking alongside the river he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing in on him. He looked over his shoulder again and the bear was even closer. He tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up, but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him.
At that moment, the atheist cried out: “Oh my God!” Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent. As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky. “You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don’t exist, and even credit creation to cosmic accident. Do you now expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?”
The atheist looked directly into the light and said, “It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian. But perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian?”
“Very well,” said the voice.
The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head and spoke.
“Lord bless this food which I am about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.”
P.S. The above joke was sent to me by the late Father Lawrence Ginther.