bread and feet

Yeah, I know we’re a week after Holy Thursday and in the Octave of Easter now, but I still gotta share this with you:

I have a love obsession with bread and feet. I have a picture of a loaf of bread tattooed on my foot. My theme for my novitiate entrance ceremony two years ago was “walking with the bread of life.” I love walking into my community’s adoration chapel and praying before the Blessed Sacrament. I’m a Eucharistic woman who loves all that Jesus taught us when he had that meal with his friends back in the day, but especially the bread and feet stuff. In a blog-space I won’t be able to provide an exhaustive list of my reasons nor will I get too theological, but I’ll expose you to a little of my thinking.

Bread: In some form it’s a staple in every culture. The process to create this nourishment is a metaphor for growth, development and creation. One of my most common images of God is The Baker-Woman God: I often sense that God is stirring me, kneading me, pounding me, letting me rise, baking me, breaking me, sharing me… When bread is broken and shared the food that is all the different bellies is a great unity. And, I think unity is a sign of Love. My favorite smell is bread baking. I think Jesus got it right to choose this as part of his final message of Love-living.

Feet: They’re one of the most fascinating parts of the human body- people seem to either think they’re ugly and disgusting or adorable and cute. I love going barefoot espcially in gardens where I can feel the ground between my toes. Our feet ground us and connect us to Earth. They’re a symbol of our roots and journeys. They help us get to where we need to go, remind us of where we’ve been and keep us grounded in the present Now. One of the best ways to love and care for someone, when you’re unsure of what else to do, is to offer them a foot washing and massage. It’s part of nursing care and pedicures are pretty popular in some cultures. Again, I really think Jesus knew what he was up to with the whole-foot washing thing.

So, I just mentioned to my Mom that I’m writing a thing about bread and feet and she laughed and said “I don’t see the connection. One is for putting in your mouth and the other is for putting on the ground.”

The connection is in Jesus and his message of love. Love of community around an incredible inclusive, teaching table. I hope and pray that during his Easter time all Christians will rise up and walk and break bread together in the unity of Love.

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About Julia Walsh

Originally from Northeast Iowa, Sister Julia is a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, based in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Her love for God and God's good world is manifested in her attempts to be an educator, a youth empower-er, an earth lover, and a peacemaker. She ministers at a Franciscan retreat center in Wisconsin.

2 thoughts on “bread and feet

  1. Julia,
    Stunning Post! I love how you talk about bread and feet!
    It reminds me of the Emmaus Story which Henri Nouwen uses as an expression of the entire movement of Eucharist. They were walking together telling stories when they stopped to break Bread. Means so much when we think about how God uses the ordinary every day, the tortillas, the chapatis, the bread, to break open our hearts to God’s everpresent blessings!

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