For the last several months, I've been cooking from two great books, Twelve Months of Monastery Soups and Sacred Feasts. Both were written by Brother Victor-Antoine, who is the cook at Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery in upstate New York. These are great books, and more importantly, they both hold very simple, tasty and easy to prepare recipes.
From Brother Victor, I learned that for centuries, monks were for the most part vegetarians, eating meat only rarely. Most of the food was grown within the monastery walls, and sometimes people would bring whatever they had in abundance to share with the monks. It was all fresh, all local, all good. Just a caveat. Brother Victor uses a fair amount of heavy cream, butter, cheese, etc., but I've easily adapted the recipes and they turned out great.
As I was finishing up weekly meeting with the person guiding me through the 19th Annotation of St. Ignatius, she gave me a book to read over called Blessings of the Daily, also written by Brother Victor. It's a day by day entry into monastic thought and prayer. Also worth having on your shelf.
Writing about "Doubting Thomas", Brother Victor notes,
several early church writers mention the fact that perhaps Thomas was jealous of the other Apostles who claimed to have seen the Lord. Others remark that perhaps Thomas resented the fact that Christ appeared to the group, knowing full well of Thomas' absence. Other commentators speculate Thomas didn't feel obliged to believe the other Apostles, for they were not always trustworthy and had abandoned Jesus during his crucifixion.
Jesus himself, full of compassion, uses the occasion to teach Thomas and also the rest of us about the value of faith, the necessity of trusting in him. Faith will always remain a challenge for us as it will for future generations, but Jesus assures a blessing to those who without seeing him shall trust in him and believe in his words.
If there ever was a time to trust in Jesus' words, I think it's now.