Prayers, please, for the continued recovery of Johanna, also for
Judith, her Mom. Johanna's eye surgery went well and she is
progressing nicely. God's will is best! Thanks so much. NRN JL
March 13, July 13, November 12
Chapter 35: On the Weekly Servers in the Kitchen
Let the brethren serve one another,
and let no one be excused from the kitchen service
except by reason of sickness
or occupation in some important work.
For this service brings increase of reward and of charity.
But let helpers be provided for the weak ones,
that they may not be distressed by this work;
and indeed let everyone have help,
as required by the size of the community
or the circumstances of the locality.
If the community is a large one,
the cellarer shall be excused from the kitchen service;
and so also those whose occupations are of greater utility,
as we said above.
Let the rest serve one another in charity.
The one who is ending his week of service
shall do the cleaning on Saturday.
He shall wash the towels
with which the brethren wipe their hands and feet;
and this server who is ending his week,
aided by the one who is about to begin,
shall wash the feet of all the brethren.
He shall return the utensils of his office to the cellarer
clean and in good condition,
and the cellarer in turn shall consign them to the incoming server,
in order that he may know
what he gives out and what he receives back.
The first thing I ever learned how to cook was (O, wondrous feat!!)
boiled carrots. I wasn't even in school yet, so I couldn't have been
older than 5 at the time. I didn't like carrots as a child, either,
but we often had them for lunch, just because I was so proud I could
fix them myself.
Get the point? Serving our families makes us feel very special, a
kind of special that I think humility completely allows. If you have
children, for heaven's sake, teach them to cook. As they grow older,
it might well result in a night off for you and the child will
benefit. Our relationship with any group is hampered when we are only
in a position of taking or receiving. To know the full breadth of
love, we must be able to give back, in ways no matter how small.
Now, as an adult, I am a pretty good cook and I LOVE to feed people.
It is a very priestly and sacramental task. Not for nothing did Jesus
leave us with a Meal to remember Him by, to remain among us as well!
Not for nothing is the image of heaven a banquet. When we cook for
(or clean up after!) our family and friends we are partaking in one
of the fullest possible representations of the serving Christ. (Yeah,
I know a lot about kitchen disasters and failed dinners! Sometimes we
are the Suffering Servant, too! We can often find ourselves muttering
over a Burnt Offering: "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?"
I have always been fascinated by royalty and I read a good deal about
them. It has always made me sad that this or that royal mother had no
clue how to cook. What a tragedy to have children that someone else
did all the important things for, made all the food and smell
memories that stay with one through life. Yes, I know those things
can seem overwhelming to parents who have to do them all the time,
but think of how awful it would be if your children literally needed
an appointment to see you! (I realize that, on some days, there might
be a certain charm there...)
Jesus did not HAVE to serve. He had a lot of followers, some of them
downright fawning, no doubt, who would have gladly taken care of
everything. Peter raised the roof when Jesus stooped to wash his
feet, but Jesus stopped him cold: if Peter was unwilling to be
served, he could have no part of Jesus the Servant. Whoa!! What a
privilege we have in every chance to serve our own, what a great
likeness to God, in Whose image we were made, but Whose likeness we
must struggle to maintain and perfect in ourselves.
Love and prayers,