Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lectio: Grace Before Meals

{recommended reading}

You know how every bride seems to get some version of that big Better Homes and Gardens cookbook with the wedding rings on the cover?  Regardless of whether you struggle to boil water or you're after fancier things like the perfect piecrust, I think every girl needs at least one book of recipes she can turn to. And holy smokes do I have a suggestion for which book.

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I met Fr. Leo Patalinghug when he was assigned to the seminary on my college campus and occasionally did the university Masses.  This deeply holy man is all at once hard-hitting, challenging, and hilarious, and a few years ago he started Grace Before Meals, a ministry intended to evangelize the family, bringing it closer to holiness and to each other through home-cooked meals and quality time around the dinner table.  As someone who loves to cook, His cookbook of the same name is full of simple, yummy dishes like pasta bolognese, seared eggplant, and Asian-style fajitas (he beat Bobby Flay on his show Throwdown with that one), but it's not just recipes in these pages.  The recipes are organized according to the liturgical year (there's a simple pasta and salad supper for Fridays in Lent, and some delish creations for Thanksgiving and Advent), and each one is accompanied by a reflection for the particular holiday, family milestone, or time of year.  Although Grace Before Meals is aimed at reviving family dinners, I think this book would be the perfect gift for a bride to be (or, treat yourself!).  Even if babies are a few months or years away for you, each chapter feels like an accessible, motivating mini homily that can give you a new perspective on the days you've celebrated for years and open up some thoughtful points of discussion between you as an engaged couple.  Your future family will be a wonderful witness to your love and marriage- might as well get started now, don't you think?

Read more about the Grace Before Meals movement and snag yourself a copy of Fr. Leo's book here.  He also hosts a cooking show, Savoring Our Faith, on EWTN Sunday nights at 8:30!

PS- In case you missed it, check out this meatless recipe for your next Friday dinner date!


  1. Haha, I was wondering when this would make it on here! For the truly dedicated they can try to go the mount and get a signed copy. He goes the Basilica in DC for book signings as well!

  2. I was perusing some of your old posts and before I found this one I was thinking "Hmm, she should write about Fr. Leo's cookbooks!" Then, Ta-Da! Found this! You may mention it and I just haven't seen it, but he also has his new cookbook, "Spicing Up Married Life" It's great. You have so many awesome resources on here, thanks for your inspiration!

    1. Yes! I got his new cookbook for Christmas and we're trying to make a special meal each month together to celebrate. I wrote about "Spicing Up Married Life" here:



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