Taste and See

The Last Supper

At the Civic Friary, we thrive on the LORD’s food for body and soul

Sacred Scripture abounds with examples of serving and eating of food as a ritual for numerous reasons pertaining to our daily work and prayer:

  • To express the concrete reality of God’s love and providence in our lives
  • To enter into the worship of God as the one Who nourishes and sustains us
  • As an intimate participation in God’s presence by those He loves
  • As a service to others, and as a joyous communion with our brothers and sisters
  • All things considered, the Civic Friars live in the spiritual dimension and sacramental life. Cooking, eating and dining at the table aren’t the end-all of the Civic Friary. Our fellowship and breaking of bread together has a new, fuller and joyous meaning where Christ is present among us in our prayer, in our friendship and in our love for one another. Early in the times of God’s People, this same spirit of this directive was instantiated within the times of Noah:

And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. … Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. … Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.” (Genesis 9:1, 3, 6)

At the Civic Friary we recognize God’s image and likeness in every human being. We are open to share with others the Revelation of a Knowing and Loving God, accessible in living among us in His Mystical Body, the Church, making Himself Present in the Eucharist. After Jesus multiplied loaves and fishes for the multitudes, all of whom came to hear His preaching, He taught both malicious inquisitors and His disciples that He is the Bread of Life:

Jesus answered: I tell you most solemnly, you are not looking for me because you have seen the signs but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat. Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life, the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you, for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal…“Stop complaining to each other. No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me, and I will raise him up on the last day…“Your fathers ate the manna in the desert and they are dead; but this is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that a man may eat it and not die. I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.” (John 6:26-27, 43, 49-51)

We are always willing to learn from the Wisdom of Holy Mother Church. She is the Bride of Christ—Young & Beautiful, in fact, Eternal! When Jesus went to Martha and Mary, the sisters of His beloved friend Lazarus, Martha was consumed with preparing supper and became annoyed that her sister sat at our Lord’s feet as a disciple, adoring Him:

In the course of their journey he came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do all the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered: “Martha, Martha,” he said, “you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

Jesus teaches us many things in those short passages. Everyone, male and female, is called to be His disciple. Do not fret, rather see the priority of praying, contemplating Him, as preparation for work. And finally, remember the Last Supper of the Christ, where He instituted the Eucharist:

When the hour came he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have longed to eat this passover with you before I suffer; because, I tell you, I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

Then, taking a cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and share it among you, because from now on, I tell you, I shall not drink wine until the kingdom of God comes.”

Then he took some bread and when he had given thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which will be given up for you; do this as a memorial of me.” He did the same with the cup after supper, and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood which will be poured out for you…” (Luke 22:14-20)

Our fellowship and breaking of bread together, therefore, has a new, fuller and joyous meaning where Christ is present among us in our prayer, in our friendship and in our love for one another. At the Civic Friary we belong to the monastic tradition of “food prayed over and shared.” This is at the very heart of our calling as Civic Friars. Spiritual sustenance for our faith journey is tied to and reflected in a renewed appreciation and awareness of meals prepared and shared in a prayerful community atmosphere.

Our paradigm and model at the Civic Friary is truly the family meal, but in the context and setting of the monastic family.

December 29, 2016 - 10:47am