Friday, September 27, 2013

Food for Thought, Food for Life.

Happy Fall, Everyone! My brain is blown from paper-writing, Old Testament-reading, and Latin-translating, so a blogging break is a welcome treat :)

It really has been a beautiful semester so far; we've been in classes about a month, and I love it. Amazing classes, amazing campus, incredible God, epic husband, fantastic life!!! Being an 18 credit-hour married student is a LOT more relaxing and peaceful than I ever would have imagined! It's wonderful, and God is truly blessing Jacob and I in this vocation. Our life rhythmically bounces from home to classes to home to Mass to home to campus pretty much every day. Since we live about three minutes away from campus, it's not bad at all. And here's one of the greatest blessings: cooking together.

Jacob's birthday lunch: cinnamon rolls, onion rings,
french fries, and Philly Cheese Steaks
 (made with chicken, not steak)
Jacob and I love cooking together. Making lunch and dinner together is a great way to relax after classes, and its just a fun activity to work together at while we talk about our days and life in general! Having our little kitchen in our apartment is awesome, and our Kroger Card is great, and Aldi is amazing (but when wasn't Aldi amazing??). It's so much fun!!!

I've always really loved food. Seriously, when I was about 8 or 9 years old, I bought a book on St. Edith Stein. Why? Because when I opened it in the bookstore, I opened it to a page with a picture of chocolate and oranges (I have since matured a bit and love St. Edith Stein for many profound reasons). My favorite books all had food, my favorite Bible videotapes all featured food at some point. A day of the year I always really looked forward to? My name-day/feast day. Each of us kids was/is allowed to pick one of our saints' feast days (from our name) a year to choose a special dessert to have.  And, since I was named after Mary, who has a multitude of feast days, I had prime-picking of dessert-days. I wasn't obsessed with food, but I do love it. More importantly, my parents helped all of us kids to see the importance, too.

Swai nuggets with homemade cocktail sauce!
We saw swai at the store, and it was super cheap, so we
got it. Apparently, it's the "poor man's" fish, but it was
great, aside from this weird layer of fat that each piece
had after cooking it...
Growing up, my parents wisely instilled in us the value of cooking together and eating together. And I've been in many other homes where this principle is kept, as well--and I always see good results. Family bonding, family unity, family communion. Some of my best memories growing up were making meals (and other random treats) with my parents and siblings, and then eating together at every meal, every day! So much life revolved around the kitchen, as us kids would hang out with each other and mom while she prepared a meal and give a helping hand. A few years back, my mom and us kids started cooking lunches for our parish priests together once a week. Cooking together for each other is cool, but cooking together for other people is totally awesome (I'm pretty sure my mom's love language is food, because she absolutely loves making food for others and giving it to them).

In our Principles of Biblical Study class, which Jacob and I have together, we are going through the Pentateuch. I know what you may be thinking...LAWS. Well, it's actually extremely interesting when you read the Pentateuch in light of the New Testament. For example, the covenant-making episodes many times involve eating. Think Passover lamb. Not only were the Israelites commanded to paint the blood of lambs on their doorways, but they also had to eat the lamb as well.

Promised Land Bread (because it is flowing with milk and honey!)
Some of the best homemade bread ever. It's so good!
Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month every family must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household. If a household is too small for a lamb, it along with its nearest neighbor will procure one, and apportion the lamb’s cost* in proportion to the number of persons, according to what each household consumes. Your lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats. You will keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole community of Israel assembled, it will be slaughtered during the evening twilight. They will take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They will consume its meat that same night, eating it roasted with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. (Ex 12:3-8)

They also had to eat the unleavened bread. And even after the Passover happened, the Israelites were to still commemorate the Passover and partake of the unleavened bread:

Definitely makes me think of the Eucharist...

See, God thinks that food is important, too! He gives us Himself as the Bread of Life. By receiving the Eucharist, we are brought into communion with God and with each other! At Mass, Catholics come together in prayer as the priest--their mediator--offers sacrifice to God. And God Himself becomes present, and we eat Him. That's legit. Super, mega, epic, awesomely legit!!! The Eucharist strengthens us, makes us alive, because God truly comes inside of us physically! That's awesome. I've been blessed to go to daily Mass for so long, it's now really hard to imagine what it's like to only go to Sunday Mass. Seriously, even by missing one or two daily Masses, I can notice the effects in my life. Do yourself a favor, and get to daily Mass. Receive the King of Kings, the Bread of Life, your Intimate Lover who wants to consume you as you eat Him!