Friday, April 9, 2021

Eating Together as a Basis for Culture - quote from Sean Fitzpatrick

Breaking bread together is a deep sign of cultural togetherness, for it bestows both natural and supernatural nourishment. What’s more, a meal is a ritual. It’s a manifestation of living together in harmony and health—an enactment of human civility and civilization. Food provides a happy occasion for gathering and collective enjoyment, which is one of the pillars of friendship and a healthy culture. As an essentially life-giving activity, the meal is a sacrament of family and friends; it is a sign and a strengthening of the life that flows from those labors of love that bind people together....

Today the idea and ethics of dining are deteriorating into a hurried, harried, pre-packaged affair punctuated by interruptions. The very expression “fast food” is inimical to the most essential reason for meals, which arises not out of speed but out of care, consideration, and conversation. Just as Mass and prayer are not for hastening through, neither are meals. The current tendency, however, is not only to eat in a rush, which prevents the enjoyment of a meal and demeans the dignity of food, but also to eat alone, which diminishes the sense of community. When meals are sacred, the labor and leisure of communities will be sacred—and that sanctity is the basis of culture.

Food for Thought by Sean Fitzpatrick (from Crisis Magazine)


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