A reflection by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB
The idol of body image is very common in the world today. If people cared half as much about what their souls looked like as what their bodies looked like, we would be one holy people! But the monastic diet is different—we receive whatever we are given, and with gratitude. It is one of the ways in which we express monastic poverty. Monastic poverty regarding food is to accept what you are given with thanksgiving (except if you have a serious allergy!). According to St. Benedict, there should be balance and moderation in all things, and that means there is a time for fasting, and a time for feasting. Haven’t you heard that the acronym BMW stands for “Benedictine Moderation Works”? For we know from St. Gregory’s writings that the Lord sent a priest to St. Benedict on Easter Sunday with prepared delicacies, in order that His servant (St. Benedict) got a share in the feast day meal. So it isn’t that God doesn’t want us to have feast days, but rather that He doesn’t want our bellies to be our gods. Let us be aware of this temptation, so that we can fight the idolatry of body image in our world. It is a great witness today that we are just grateful for everything we get, and in this way we not only feed our bodies, but our souls as well.
A feast day specialty — a berry tart in honor of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart