I’m a bacon and eggs kind of guy. For breakfast that is. Some folks are baffled that I can eat the same thing every day. But, I don’t, actually. Some days my eggs are over medium, some days scrambled. Sometimes I make an omelet and use different ingredients depending on what’s in the refrigerator.
But, sadly, some days, like this morning, I don’t have time to fry my bacon and eggs. I slept in a little this morning and didn’t give myself time to prepare a regular breakfast and eat it by the hour-before-receiving-Holy-Communion deadline. I hate when that happens. When it does, I usually just wait until I get home from morning mass to eat breakfast. But, this morning I had some running around to do after mass and thought I’d better eat something before I go.
Looking in the fridge I found a half gallon of milk that needed to be drank before expiring and I thought it would go well with a bowl of cereal. Checking the cupboard, there was a box of my wife’s bran flakes and a partial bag of muesli. So, I filled a large bowl with flakes, topped it off with a good measure of muesli, and added milk to the point where I could start to see it rise up over the edge of the cereal. I knew I could wolf that down with time to spare.
As I munched I started reading nutritional information on the packages. A serving of bran flakes was a cup and a serving of muesli was a quarter cup. Looking at my bowl, I easily had two of each. The calories per serving count were 110 and 140, respectively. So, I had 500 calories roughly. Considering I planned to eat three meals today, and 2,000 calories per day is the government recommended allowance, I thought I’m still doing okay. But, looking at the nutrients, I calculated I was only getting about 30 percent of my daily value of the recommended fiber, eight percent daily value of fats and a minuscule amount of vitamins and minerals!
“What’s up with this?”, I thought. The math didn’t add up. Am I only supposed to eat one serving of just one of the cereals for breakfast? If I have a serving of each will it ruin my health? What if I had two servings of one and none of the other? And, how do the people who think up these rules know what I’m going to eat the rest of the day to round out my nutritional intake to match their recommendations? I didn’t get it.
I really missed my bacon and eggs. I have no idea what a serving of them is, nor their nutritional value, and I don’t care. They fill me up and make me happy.
I drained the last drop out of my coffee cup and jumped in the car and headed to church.
There wasn’t much out of the ordinary at mass except that today is the dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome, the first actual dedicated church building to be built since Christianity began, and which church still stands and is the official seat or “cathedra” of the Pope.
At communion, I proceeded to the altar to receive the Blessed Sacrament, the Bread and Wine, the Body and Blood of Jesus. As I accepted the sacrament I thanked Jesus for filling me with His love, for putting His Holy Spirit in my heart, and giving me the strength I needed to face the challenges of the day. And, as I returned to my seat and knelt, I thought about breakfast, serving sizes and percent daily values. With a smile, I knew that whether I’d had a whole Host or the smallest fragment, a drop of wine or a chalice full, I had received one hundred and ten percent of my daily value of the grace of God. It was true nutrition for my soul!
“Jesus, You fill me up. You make me happy. Amen.”
(The Eucharist – Nutrition for the Soul was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)
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