The Breaking of the Oplatki

December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!  Last night, we were welcomed once again into the home of a family who has adopted us here in Georgia.  They shared their family with us both at Thanksgiving and now at Christmas.  We are so thankful for George, Susan, Bridget, Bob, Lizzie, Robbie, Tori, and Elena!

Last night they introduced us to a Polish Christmas Tradition, the breaking of the Oplatki. We were all given a wafer.  Then we took turns breaking pieces off each other’s oplatki to eat.  As we ate a piece of another person’s oplatki, we wished that person several blessings or wishes for the next year.  I was completely moved by this experience!  I watched 12 people bless each other ranging in age from 6 months-up in their 60’s.  I watched a 4 year old offer blessings and wishes for her great aunt.  I watched all the kids offer each other blessings and also blessings to the adults.  This family offered the four of us blessings and wishes for the new year- health, joy, laughter, deepening friendships in Georgia, spiritual growth, good luck in school, awakening of purpose, and love.  I could not believe that people who we met only a year ago could offer such beautiful blessings and prayers for my husband, son, daughter, and myself. After this beautiful ritual was complete, we sat down and shared a delicious meal together! 

This was a true Eucharistic gathering for us last night!  We were welcomed at a table of new friends.  We broke bread together, and we were blessed. 

Tonight, as we continue to journey through this Christmas season, I encourage each of us to stop a moment and think of all the people in our lives- family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and even those people who we may not have the best relationship with. 

What blessings would you offer each of them for this next year?
Do any of these people need an invitation to come to our table?  

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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