“Breaking bread” means eating. “Our daily bread” means food. It is also called the staff of life, which I like: bread there, all life leaning against it. Our lives don’t lean against it anymore: we’ve decided that bread is bad for us. Our staff has broken, and that is part of why our diets seem so hard to get in balance.
An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace (New York: Scribner, 2011), 79.
Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.
To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of Creation. When we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament. When we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration. In such desecration we condemn ourselves to spiritual and moral loneliness, and others to want.
The Gift of Good Land: Further Essays Cultural and Agricultural (New York: North Point Press, 1981), p.281.
Man does not live by bread alone, even presliced bread.
God comes near to us unendingly in the bread of life, the food of resurrection. Everything has to be built up round this seed of fire.
The Roots of Christian Mysticism: Text and Commentary (New York: New City Press, 1995), 125.
Christ knew that by bread alone you cannot reanimate man. If there were no spiritual life, no ideal of Beauty, man would pine away, die, go mad, kill himself or give himself to pagan fantasies. And as Christ, the ideal of Beauty in Himself and his Word, he decided it was better to implant the ideal of Beauty in the soul. If it exists in the soul, each would be the brother of everyone else and then, of course, working for each other, all would also be rich. Whereas if you give them bread, they might become enemies to each other out of boredom.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.
Man becomes human with the eating of bread.
The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfecting of Our Nature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), p.122.
Bread of Life? Jesus lived up to the title. But an unopened loaf does a person no good. Have you received the bread? Have you received God’s forgiveness?
Live Loved: Experiencing God’s Presence in Everyday Life”, Thomas Nelson Inc, 2011, p.96.
A Lutheran Prayer for Holy Communion
Let the vineyards be fruitful, Lord, and fill to the brim our cup of blessing. Gather a harvest from the seeds that were sown, that we may be fed with the bread of life. Gather the hopes and dreams of all; unite them with the prayers we offer. Grace our table with Your presence, and give us a foretaste of the feast to come. Amen!
Jacopo da Milano
Grant that my soul may hunger after Thee, the bread of angels, the refreshment of holy souls, our daily and supersubstantial bread, having all sweetness and savor and every delight of taste; let my heart ever hunger after and feed upon Thee, upon whom the angels desire to look, and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of Thy savor.
In each of our lives Jesus comes as the Bread of Life – to be eaten, to be consumed by us. This is how He loves us. Then Jesus comes in our human life as the hungry one, the other, hoping to be fed with the Bread of our life, our hearts by loving, and our hands by serving. In loving and serving, we prove that we have been created in the likeness of God, for God is Love and when we love we are like God. This is what Jesus meant when He said, “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
The cost of food in the kingdom is hunger for the Bread of Life.
Pope John Paul II
Farmers everywhere provide bread for all humanity, but it is Christ alone who is the bread of life…Even if all the physical hunger of the world were satisfied, even if everyone who is hungry were fed by his or her own labor or by the generosity of others, the deepest hunger of man would still exist…Therefore, I say, Come, all of you, to Christ. He is the bread of life. Come to Christ and you will never be hungry again.
The dream of control is seductive but it leads to monoculture in the field and fortified white bread in the supermarket.
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
When he said, “I am the bread of life,” he must have meant he was scattering bits of himself like a trail of crumbs leading us to speak and act and scatter forgiveness in his name to the ends of the earth.
A sermon for Ascension Day, 2014, preached at the closing Eucharist for the Preaching Excellence Program, Richmond, VA
Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven Feed me till I want no more.
“Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” (no. 127), in The United Methodist Hymnal (Nashville, TN: The United Methodist Publishing House, 1989).