Serendipity is pretty cool, if you ask me.
It seems like I’ve been thinking about and reading about food a lot lately, whether online or in real life, since I reviewed Mary DeTurris Poust’s Cravings. Part of this is following along with the stops on Mary’s blog tour and what others have had to say about it, but part is just the new year/new you. Strangely, I haven’t been doing much running this month, even though I reviewed Jeff Grabosky’s book Running with God Across America.
Now about that serendipity—one of my favorite websites, and probably my most-used App on our Apple devices, is Universalis. My husband Joseph introduced me to Universalis back when we had Palm Pilots, and I’ve used it through the years to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Sometimes very consistently, sometimes not. You know how it goes… but Universalis is always there, making it easy for me to jump back in.
Occasionally, Martin Kochanski, the creator of Universalis and its associated Apps, writes a reflection for the saint of the day. Often these relate to the “big saints,” but often there is something about an obscure British or Irish saints, since he lives in the UK.
The “about today” regarding St. Wulstan, relates to food, and is well worth reading and pondering (emphases mine):
In the Chapel of St Oliver Plunkett at Downside Abbey, a stained glass window depicts a less official story concerning Wulstan: that one day, whilst celebrating Mass, he was distracted by the smell of roast goose, which was wafted into the church from the neighbouring kitchen. He prayed that he might be delivered from the distraction and vowed that he would never eat meat again if his prayer were granted.
The modern world needs stories like this more than it realises. The watered-down puritanism that serves so many of us as a moral code today equates pleasure with evil – cream cakes, the advertisements tell us, are “naughty but nice”.. or even “wickedly delicious.” Messages like this are a libel on the name of God, who created the pleasures, and on his Son, whose first recorded public act was turning water into wine. There is nothing wicked about delicious food in itself, or in any other pleasant or beautiful thing.
Let us enjoy God’s creation all we can and rejoice in its creator as we do so, and if, like Wulstan, we have to deprive ourselves of something for our spiritual or bodily health, then let us suffer our deprivation cheerfully, blaming the weakness in us that made it necessary. Let us never devalue our sacrifices by denigrating the things we sacrifice, or the sacrifice will be pointless. Let us remember what God did, day after day, as he was creating the world: he looked at it, and saw it, and behold: it was very good.
Tomorrow is my day on the Cravings blog tour, and I’m excited that I get to be the “grand finale” (sort of!). I hope you’ll join me then.