aleteia.org John Burger | Apr 10, 2017 - Eastern Hospitality' showcases recipes from a monastery kitchen and food for thought from spiritual masters.
At a time when Christians are supposed to be “giving up stuff,” what are a monk and a nun doing in the kitchen cooking tasty meals?
All Lent long, the two religious have been producing weekly cooking programs, tempting viewers to think about food rather than encouraging them to practice self-denial.
But there’s more to their web-based program, Eastern Hospitality, than meets the palate.
Reminiscent of other religious-themed cookbooks and TV programs — such as Brother Victor Antoine’s monastery recipes or Father Leo Patalinghug’s Grace Before Meals — Eastern Hospitality blends simple recipes with food for thought. Each web-based program, running between 15 and 30 minutes, brings in a guest speaker to offer a spiritual reflection. Both the cooking and the reflection are tied to the current religious season or upcoming commemoration.
But it all takes on an Eastern flavor, since it’s produced by Eastern Catholic religious—hence the name. The hosts, Mother Gabriela and Abouna Moses, follow religious practices with roots in the Orthodox Church.
And though the vehicle for their message involves cooking, the aim the two have is to help people better integrate religious practices, including fasting, prayer and charity, into their daily lives.
“I think we’re trying to encourage people to live the faith by practicing the traditions of the Church,” said Abouna (or Father) Moses, who is a monk at Holy Resurrection Monastery in St. Nazianz, Wisconsin. “Those have been lost over the years for all kinds of reasons, so we’re trying to help people reconnect with the traditions.”