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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Texas Faith: Why do we say grace over a meal, including at Thanksgiving?

Expression of gratitude is the ultimate balancing act in everyone’s life. We know from whom we receive the good and to whom we offer our gratitude. The absence of a simple “thank you” creates an imbalance in the relationship and spiritual energy while a simple “thank you” will tie the loose ends and restore the balance - Mike Ghouse

 
Texas Faith: Why do we say grace over a meal, including at Thanksgiving?


The Texas Faith blog is a discussion among formal and informal religious leaders whose faith traditions express a belief in a transcendent power – or the possibility of one. While all readers are invited to participate in this blog, by responding in the comments section, discussion leaders are those whose religion involves belief in a divine higher power or those who may not believe in a transcendent power but leave room for the possibility of one. Within this framework, moderators William McKenzie and Wayne Slater seek to bring a diversity of thinkers onto the Texas Faith panels.

But why do we say grace over a meal, including a traditional one like the Thanksgiving dinner?

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

Life is a self-balancing act. Everything we do and say is spiritual as well as a real-life transaction that moves the needle from balance to imbalance, and back to balance.


The mechanism is built around forgiveness, repentance, service and gratitude. These values are a product of co-existence and inculcated through religious teachings. However, atheists would also achieve the same without invoking God.


The accountant chants that for every debit there is a credit. The physicist has proved that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. And the doctor declares that blood lost from the body of an individual must be replenished with an equal amount of blood to sustain life.


As a spiritualist I say, for every wrong we do, an equal amount of energy is drained from us. And for every good we do, energy is recouped. We are constantly receiving and giving energy. Intake and output must be equal to have a healthy living, or else we are thrown off balance.


For every hurt we hurl on others, an equal amount of burden gets dumped on us. Until we say “sorry” and repent genuinely, the energy balance within us deteriorates. The transaction remains incomplete.


Why do we say grace over a meal?


Expression of gratitude is the ultimate balancing act in everyone’s life. We know from whom we receive the good and to whom we offer our gratitude. The absence of a simple “thank you” creates an imbalance in the relationship and spiritual energy while a simple “thank you” will tie the loose ends and restore the balance.


When the giver is not identified, to whom do we give thanks? The accident we got out of safely, the job we did not lose or the meal we are able to have must be accounted for. 


For believers, that source is identified as God, and it behooves them to say grace over the meal. The transaction will be fully complete when we become considerate to those who do not have the same basic things in life as we do. Prophet Muhammad had said when you have nothing to give to others; the least you can give is hope, and a smile to let them know that we care.


Published in Dallas Morning News. Message from all contributors at:

http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2012/11/texas-faith-why-do-we-say-grace-over-a-meal-including-at-thanksgiving.html/


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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace making, foreign policy, Islam, Israel, India, Pakistan, interfaith, and cohesion at work place or social settings. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national local TV, Radio and Print Media, and is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.

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