Monday, November 23, 2009

Eat your veggies

One of this morning's readings at Mass caught my attention - though not for the reasons one might suppose.

The first reading was from Daniel. The section that caught my ear is from 1, 8-16

But Daniel was resolved not to defile himself with the king's food or wine; so he begged the chief chamberlain to spare him this defilement.

Though God had given Daniel the favor and sympathy of the chief chamberlain, he nevertheless said to Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king; it is he who allotted your food and drink. If he sees that you look wretched by comparison with the other young men of your age, you will endanger my life with the king."

Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief chamberlain had put in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, "Please test your servants for ten days. Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then see how we look in comparison with the other young men who eat from the royal table, and treat your servants according to what you see."

He acceded to this request, and tested them for ten days; after ten days they looked healthier and better fed than any of the young men who ate from the royal table. So the steward continued to take away the food and wine they were to receive, and gave them vegetables.

A vegetarian diet, eh? (What would Chesterton say?!)

Now I'm sure Daniel and company would not have objected to a good leg of lamb, if it complied with their dietary rules. Still, their vegetable fare obviously served them well, just as they served their faith well.

I would not begrudge them - or others - some lamb. But I'll stick with vegetarian fare.

Pax et bonum

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