A Prayer in Thanksgiving for Groceries

I needed a photo, so here’s a charcuterie board I assembled. This is the third cheeseball I’ve made in my life and it definitely won’t be the last!

If you’re looking for a big reason to be thankful – this reflection on St. Isidore the Farmer + Blessed Maria Torribia is for you. It’s excerpted from our book, “The Prayer Book for Tired Parents: Practical Ways to Grow in Love of God and Get Your Family to Heaven,” which you can get at ewtnRC.com.

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all
circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

— 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

When was the last time you thanked God for your groceries? Or when was the last time you thanked God for the following:

· the people who work at the grocery store
· the truckers who freight your food across the country
· the farmers who grow your food
· the job that gives you the income to pay for your groceries
· the vehicle you have to get to the grocery store
· the fact that most of us have an abundance of food options
at our fingertips every time we walk into a grocery store

The Lord gives us so many gifts that we take for granted.

At the peak of the toilet-paper shortages and the pandemic-induced panic buying in 2020, I admit that I started to worry about whether we would be able to get our staple food items. I’m not talking about a preferred toilet-paper brand. We had some
specific items our family needed.

But then I realized something. If our usual store didn’t have what I needed, there were dozens of other stores I could check within a twenty-mile radius of our home. And if I couldn’t find what I needed at any of those, I could buy it online or drive however far I needed to get it. What a blessing!

To be honest, there have been times when I’ve looked at the overflowing bags of groceries sitting on our kitchen floor, waiting to be put away, and I’ve been moved to tears. And when I’m putting things away and the fridge and the cabinets are stuffed, I
can’t complain; I can only be thankful. What a blessing and what a responsibility to exercise gratitude and charity!

St. Isidore the Farmer and Bl. Maria Torribia were a married couple who embodied gratitude and charity perfectly. During a long day in the fields, Isidore would often give away most of his packed lunch, and later, he would bring home hungry workers
who had nothing to eat. Maria, knowing her husband was prone to doing this, would make extra soup to share. On at least one occasion, she was sure they were going to run out. Tradition holds that Isidore assured her there was plenty, and miraculously, there was enough soup to ladle out to the guests.

We encourage families to pray for the intercession of St. Isidore and Bl. Maria for a couple of reasons. First, because St. Isidore is the patron of farmers, who grow everything we have to eat.

We also look at them as examples of heroic gratitude and charity, always willing to share what they had with others. Who knows how many souls they fed — and how many we can feed as well!

The next time you’re unpacking your groceries, say this prayer of thanksgiving for all that you have and for the people who labored to bring your food from field to table.

Let us pray:
O God, through the example of St. Isidore the Farmer and
Bl. Maria Torribia, You give us a beautiful model of a
married couple’s generosity and Christian charity. We thank
You for the farmers who grew our food; for the truckers
who transported it to the stores; for the grocers who stocked
the shelves; and for the means by which we can afford this
food. We thank You for our full fridge and full pantry. We
ask that You bestow on us a greater sense of charity, that
we, like Isidore and Maria, might be the best stewards of
these gifts, always ready to share them with others. Amen.

-Written by David and Debbie Cowden, and published in “The Prayer Book for Tired Parents: Practical Ways to Grow in Love of God and Get Your Family to Heaven,” (Copyright David and Debbie Cowden, EWTN Publishing 2022), available at ewtnRC.com. Used here with permission.

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