We Want Bread And Roses

Somehow God never entered in their plan of life. They neither believed nor disbelieved. So the father was taken by surprise when his little girl came home from kindergarten, and bowed down her head to thank God for the rice that was placed in front of her to eat just before dinner. “What in the world are you doing?” he asked.

Little Ita – this was the little Japanese’s girl’s name – said, “I am thanking God for the rice.” “But your mother made the rice,” said her father. “Yes,” replied Ita, “mother cooked the rice but she did not make the rice.” “Well,” the father answered, “I sowed the rice in the field and harvested it.” “Yes, you sowed the rice and mother cooked it but neither you nor mother really made the rice. God made the rice.” Ita was very clear in her mind who made the rice.

This dialogue sparked an interest in the father and next day he visited the school that Ita attended and there he found out that her teacher was speaking about God very frankly. The curiosity that was generated led this Japanese family to become Christians. And one of Ita’s sisters even became a teacher of religion. All this, because a girl bowed down her head at her simple meal and thanked God for the rice!

Harry told me that he still remembers vividly an incident that happened to him when he was six years old. Now he is past eighty years of age. He had noticed that in the afternoon, his grandmother always locked herself in her room for half an hour. He was curious as to why grandma did this and so he decided to find out. He hid himself under her bed! He thought that perhaps she would count her money or read some old letters or dress her hair…. But no, she simply sat in her favorite chair and started reading loudly. He could not make out what she was reading but then he saw her kneeling down besides the bed and she began praying! He heard her praying and then he heard his own name. He thought at first she was calling him but no, she was talking to God about him and asking God to make him all that she hoped he would become. It was a strange sensation to listen to someone praying for him… When the prayer was finished, his grandma just arose and left the room. And soon afterwards Harry also disappeared. But he never forgot!

I always believed that we are the result of the prayers uttered by our parents and our grandparents… God surely listens to their prayers.

Doctor Johnson always did strange things. At night, he would go through the streets of London where homeless little children slept in doorways and under bridges. And he would place some money in the closed hands of these children so that when they wake up they would think that some angel from heaven had visited them during the night!

We all need bread and roses. Bread to sustain our bodies, roses to beautify our life. Bread to feed a hungry stomach and roses to feed a famished heart. God always makes sure we have both…


(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.