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Thank God for … oatmeal?

As I sat down to my bowl of oatmeal (yes, oatmeal – it’s chilly here) this morning I started into the very common Blessing Before Meals. You know: “Bless us O Lord and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.” We’ve all repeated that probably a million times, maybe less for those of us still new to the Church, and it certainly has the capacity to turn into an automatic response with no involvement of the conscious mind as does anything we do routinely.

Some of us are blessed enough that our prayers never become purely rote, while some slide into an unfeeling disinterested exercise in repetition. A lot of us are probably stuck somewhere in the middle. This morning, for whatever reason, God apparently decided to prick me with a little reminder. As I repeated the words, “from Thy bounty,” it struck me squarely that we are also saying “and also only from Thy bounty” – that truly without God’s beneficent gifts not only would this bowl of oatmeal not be sitting there to provide me sustenance, but I myself would not be sitting there about to consume it. If someone ever tries to tell you God doesn’t have a sense of humor, just remember “oatmeal as a catechetical tool”. You can’t make that kind of stuff up.

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