Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Our daily bread doesn't come from the grocery store, or even Archer Daniels Midland

Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the coming week, December 18, 20, and 21, are the winter Ember Days.

No longer mandatory but not banned either, the Ember Days are still observed by some of us old-fashioned types, especially those of us with Catholic Worker heritage. There's lots of information about the Ember Days on the Access to Catholic Social Justice Teaching website.

Traditionally days of fasting and abstaining, on the Ember Days we recall and give thanks to God for the bountiful resources of the earth and the orderly cycle of the seasons.

The good things we need don't originate at the grocery store. Despite their commercials, ADM doesn't create our food. Our food comes from our Lord's good fertile earth and the people who work to keep it that way; from the cycle of the seasons, the snows and rains and dry periods, cold and warm coming at the proper times; and from many people most of us don't care about working very hard to plant and tend and harvest and pack.

So, on the 18th, 20th, and 21st, join us in eating low on the food chain and praying to God in thanksgiving for the seasons and the good earth, and for protection from floods, droughts, blights, and other evils; and also remember and pray for the people who work very hard for very little to plant the potatoes and pick the peas, to put the corn in cans and pluck the chickens, so we can have the privilege of going to the grocery store.

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