Tiny Musings from a Bakery-Cafe

While recuperating from a late closing shift, I was thinking about work and the spiritual life.  A couple of thoughts from the past few days finally coalesced into a funny little meditation that I decided to share. :)  This is what happens when a Catholic works food service...

-My restaurant is pretty much obsessed with bread.  If you think about it, bread is in the center of every culture, from Egypt to Mexico, in some form or another.  It's the bottom and top of every sandwich, and at the side of every good meal.  It's simple, yet essential.  Christ is the Bread of Life - He Himself made His own Body into bread, that almost elemental substance.  Indeed, He gave us the best Bread ever: His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist.  Do we make Him the center of our culture - at least the culture of our families, our friendships?  Is He the top and bottom of our lives, what we build on and where we find our culmination?  Is He by our side every day, every conversation, every leisure hour?  Don't go on an Atkins diet in your spiritual life!

-As I prepare food, making sandwiches or salads through the course of the evening, my prep area gets messier and messier.  I drop crumbs, drip sauces, and the busier we are, the dirtier that workspace gets.  If I clean, it's a lot easier for me to work afterwards; and if I clean as I go, my work goes more smoothly and quickly.  Do we clean as we go in our spiritual lives?  Examinations of conscience, acts of contrition, ejaculations, little acts of placing oneself in the presence of God...these are ways of cleaning up our lives throughout the day.  At least let's move aside and let God in with a rag to clean out the dirty corners of our soul!

-It's so easy to be discouraged in a food service environment.  I especially get tired of the amount of foul language that is used, and the times that Our Lord's name is taken in vain.  Not to mention the gossip and backbiting among employees, and the way that we are so submerged in the disintegration of culture.  Slowly, I've come to realize that this is going to be a very important time in my life.  It's a massive transition from being surrounded by the Church in the heart of the Holy City, to...almost as opposite an environment as one can reach in relative normality!  So this is a challenge.  How does my spiritual life fare when faced with a world devoid of prayer?  When I alone am in control of my connection with Heaven?  I can give up or keep fighting.  Don't we all see this in our lives at some point or another, maybe constantly?  I challenge you to fight with me.  Pray amidst the drought, when you are awakened to all the pain and misery of a world without God, pray, and be not afraid.