BASIL OF CAESAREA: GIVE THANKS TO GOD
“When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love, and praise their Creator.”
Many observe a Passover meal or Seder dinner. As part of the Lenten tradition, this meal reminds us that God saved His people from bondage in the days of the Exodus. That miraculous deliverance foreshadowed the work of Christ for all humankind on the cross.
The meal is about more than food. As Basil states, it’s about being mindful and thankful. But, for many people, their brain is full from all the noise in life, and there is little room for contemplative activity.
Hopefully, we have learned new and enriching rhythms during Lent that will carry us through life after Lent. This includes margin for giving thanks to God.
At your ceremonial meal or sometime this week with family or friends, read this prayer from Basil when you sit down to eat and give thanks to God in your hearts. Do this so as not forget all His benefits. Read a Scripture along with it too, such as Psalm 103.
Gary G. Hoag
To read more from Lent Companion by Gary G. Hoag, please visit https://www.gtp.org/resources/ebooks/lent-companion