Sunday, July 22, 2007

Our Daily Bread

As Christians, we knew about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs before he published his great epiphany. The disciples knew they couldn’t let the multitudes go hungry. We know that we have to feed the poor that come into our parish before attending to their spiritual needs. Yet how many of us have coffee for breakfast, running out the door to “do good” for others while undernourishing our own bodies?

If you believe everything you read in magazines, every woman in America designs a weekly menu, goes shopping with a specific list of ingredients, and has a square meal on the table, complete with matching dishes, every night at 6:00. Not so with most women I encounter on a daily basis. At baseball, which we go to between 5 and 8 PM a few nights per week, women are chattering about “What will I make for dinner tonight?” or mentioning McDonald’s as a stop on the way home.

I like to think I have a happy medium. My meals are simple but nutritious. We eat each of our three major meals at roughly the same time each day. By bedtime, I have taken the meat out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator to defrost. If we have evening activities, I am typically starting to cook at around 2:00 in the afternoon, and serve dinner at 4:00. Fruits and vegetable are there for the taking as snacks throughout the day, and “snack attacks” are very rare.

As a family of six, we are now eating approximately 1.5 pounds of pasta as a side dish nightly. One night I could not find two boxes of matching “shapes”. I decided to mix-and-match. The result was delightful and fun, with a variety of textures a pleasure to the palate. Pictured is a pound of Barilla’s Celentanni, coupled with a pound of Barilla’s Tri-Color Fiori, tossed with 1.5 tablespoons of butter. (Feel free to substitute soy, margarine, or olive oil.)

Today’s gospel speaks about Mary and Martha, and our priest underscored the fact that both spiritual and material needs must be attended to. As mothers, prioritizing is a constant battle. Remember both to give yourself time to attend to your spiritual needs, and sit down to eat with your family.

“Give us this day our daily bread…”

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