Christ the Bridegroom 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.”

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Teachings of Christ

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)


Today is the fountainhead of our salvation, * and the revelation of an eternal mystery: * The Son of God becomes the Son of a Virgin, * and Gabriel announces the good news of grace. * Therefore, let us also cry with him to the Mother of God: * "Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

To you, O Mother of God, our leader and defender, * we, your servants, delivered from calamity, offer hymns of victory and thanksgiving. * So you, who have invincible might, * set us free from every peril * that we may cry to you: * "Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!" (Kontakion, Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching." (Proverbs 4:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

“The legalization of the termination of pregnancy is none other than the authorization given to an adult, with the approval of an established law, to take the lives of children yet unborn and thus incapable of defending themselves. It is difficult to imagine a more unjust situation, and it is very difficult to speak of obsession in a matter such as this, where we are dealing with a fundamental imperative of every good conscience — the defense of the right to life of an innocent and defenseless human being.”

- Saint John Paul II