Sunday, March 05, 2006
Catholic teaching does not require the person to say grace before or after meals. Catholic tradition encourages it, but a person who eats without saying grace has not sinned.
I was wondering why there is so a strong divergence in emphasis between Judaism and Catholicism on this point. In Judaism, the blessing recited after eating bread or a meal with bread is considered to have the authority of a Biblical commandment. Some have held that the blessing recited after eating grains is also a Biblical commandment. And even though other blessings are rabbinical, eating without first saying a blessing is compared to the very serious sin of making personal and profone use of objects or property dedicated to the service of Gd.
I don't think I've ever seen anyone in my house say grace outside of Christmas and Thanksgiving. It's quite sad, I suppose, but it helps explain why I have such problems remembering to do it. Then again, most of my Jewish friends tend to not do this either, so maybe I'm not really missing out in my goyishness.