On Language and the Eucharist


He knows I do not speak the language. I smile at the waiter and try to order lunch with my small amount of French. He responds to me in English. I open to the page in the menu, placing my finger next to the item of my choice. The waiter nods his head in understanding and hustles away.

This was the way of my meals in Morocco.

When I consider language, I become aware of how little of it I have. As I study to refine the language of my mother, I am reminded that my father never gave me his. Because of this, I have spent countless hours of my life amidst the songs of tongue I do not understand. What I did become familiar with though, was its cadence, its rhythm. The inflections grow familiar although comprehension is without. As is the case when travelling. You are immersed in foreign sounds.


Our day at the farm was filled with bounty. Feasting of the trees, feasting of the land, feasting of the animals of the pasture. We were welcomed and coddled. Shown radical hospitality. Gifted without question. It reminded me of the Eucharist, the celebration of the table, the coming together, the sharing of space, the reminder of what is good and true.IMG_3439

We filled our bellies and we filled our hearts, and sang and danced to the drums of gratitude. Language was not a barrier. Language was redefined.


That night I slipped my red clay stained feet into my white linen sheets, clinging to the memory of the glory of the day. And I remembered then what I’ve always known, the truth about goodness, generosity, and community. How people are always yearning to love and to be loved in return, how hospitality is a language.



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