God in the Ordinary: Grace at Mealtime

This prayer is a part of our blog series. During the month of November we will be looking at reflections and prayers with the theme of THE SACRED PRESENCE IN ORDINARY LIFE. To learn more about this year’s series, click here

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As we begin this meal with grace,

Let us become aware of the memory

Carried inside the food before us:

The quiver of the seed

Awakening in the earth,

Unfolding in a trust of roots

And slender stems of growth,

On its voyage towards harvest,

The kiss of rain and surge of sun;

The innocence of animal soul

That never spoke a word,

Nourished by the earth

To become today our food;

The work of all the strangers

Whose hands prepared it,

The privilege of wealth and health

That enables us to feast and celebrate.


We end this meal with grace

For the joy and nourishment of food,

The slowed time away from the world

To come into presence with each other

And sense the subtle lives behind our faces,

The different colours of our voices,

The edges of hungers we keep private,

The circle of love that unites us.

We pray the wise spirit who keeps us

To change the structures that make others hunger

And that after such grace we might now go forth

And impart dignity wherever we partake.

– from John O’Donohue’s Benedictus: A Book of Blessings

A Friendship Blessing

Remembering the friendships that were forged in our recent pilgrimage group from the Anam Chara Spirituality Centre in Canada, here is John O’Donohue’s lovely blessing for friendship.

May you be blessed with good friends.

May you learn to be a good friend to your self.

May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where there is great love, warmth, feeling and forgiveness.

May this change you.

May it transfigure that which is negative, distant or cold in you.

May you be brought in to the real passion, kinship and affinity of belonging.

May you treasure your friends.

May you be good to them and may you be there for them; may they bring you all the blessings, challenges, truth and light that you need for your journey.

May you never be isolated; but may you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your anam cara.

(from John O’Donohue’s Anam Cara: Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World)

image of Croagh Patrick in Co. Mayo