We all have our favorite comfort foods. For some, simple bread or a cup of herbal tea soothes. For others, a hearty, full-course, down home dinner does the trick. I keep chocolate handy, and also, of all things, relish (pardon the pun) a big bowl of popcorn. Those among us who have health issues and are on limited diets might have to adapt previous go-to comfort foods to their new regimen, which can be very difficult and emotional. And, of course, there is the overriding desire to be as healthful as possible, even when it comes to eating for reasons other than extreme hunger.
But food is really only one part of the comfort-seeking equation. For, if we only think that by eating that meatloaf or chocolate covered almond (or two, or three), we’ll feel spiritually and emotionally better, we’re not being completely honest. Yes, feeding the soul involves more than protein, starch, carbs, and sweets.
Jesus showed us several times throughout his life how food relates to things spiritual. The very act of giving us Eucharist reflects how precious meals can become major moments of spiritual growth and faith. “Breaking bread,” with Jesus and his disciples meant and means so much more than allotting portions of a warm wheat-smelling staple. It was a time to have fellowship, to share a common activity, and to give thanks, praise, and prepare for time beyond the table.
As we seek those things that bring smiles and comfort to our lives of pain, we need not separate food for the body from food for the soul. That is, we don’t have to gobble down our delicacies and then hurry over to our bibles. No, the more we intertwine our corporeal lives with our spiritual selves, the more whole we can become.
Give thanks for the food that brings us strength and the faith that sustains our souls!
Blessings for the day,