Saturday, January 4, 2014

Give us this day our daily ...

This painting hung on a wall in our dining room - or that of my grandparents, perhaps, before that - for as long as I can remember.  It is, of course, an old man in prayer, saying grace over that which he has received and that which he treasures, the items of true sustenance, food and the written word.  It is very Christian at its best, a beautiful visual portrayal of simplicity, humility and gratitude.

As children, we were taught The Lord's Prayer with its line, "Give us this day our daily bread." and I cannot count the number of times in my life I have repeated this prayer in private and in communion with others.  This, I assume, is the source of the topic brought to the LBC today (yesterday, really, but among friends ...) by Padmini.  It embodies a very interesting stance toward the world, saying that sustenance is not earned as capitalism portrays, but rather that it is a gift of the divine to be appreciated, a gift to be shared and multiplied in our caring one for another.

For those who cannot see their way past the fact that Christianity was incorporated here, it can be stated with some variation of meaning in a different context by Omar Khayyam in his Rubaiyat:

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,

A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread--and Thou

Beside me singing in the Wilderness--

Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

It is a good way to be.


  1. Wonderful post, Fossil. Left a comment a minute ago, hope it went to moderation.
    blessings ~ maxi

  2. Great post! I love the painting too. I would like to get a copy for my house!

  3. @Maxi

    Thanks! I don't see another comment, though.

  4. @Delirious

    That painting should be available online, I bet!

  5. I wonder what someone who has no Christian background or even knows how it could equate to this theme, would answer.

    I could imagine some of my young Uni friends (in their 20s) not even thinking about the "daily bread" aspect. More whether their iPhone provider had xyz and whether the lecturer was going to mark fairly...down to whether would be able to buy trendy shoes, coats, jackets at xyz store.

    Some might be thankful that their parents are around to help if necessary. I remember joking about the sandwiches one had for his lunch when he said "but I make them myself" - I said not that but "who provided the ingredients" - he was lost for words!!!

  6. @cedar51

    Yes, I can imagine what you are talking about. It would have to be put in a bit more developed context, I would think, to be communicated clearly.

  7. A bowl of good home-made soup and a loaf of bread would do for me thanks.

  8. @Grannymar

    With your storms, I'm sure that would just fit the bill!

  9. I quite fancy the loaf of bread and the jug of wine.

  10. @Maria

    Simple appreciation and gratitude for existence.


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