Chocolate and the Catholic Church
Later this week we get to recognize and celebrate those we love and care for, perhaps by doing nice things for them, taking them to dinner, spending time with them, giving them candy, and generally being generous with our love… and enjoying the returns! We should do these things every day, of course, but we make it special on February 14.
Nuns4Fun Entertainment reminds us that chocolate has a rich history, involving centuries-old Mayan and Aztec rituals, and, surprisingly, Catholic priests:
Before it was handed out in heart-shaped Valentine's gifts or served with marshmallows in a favorite winter drink, chocolate had to deal with a critical question: was it a drink or was it food? Was it an unholy indulgence or an important way to break a fast?
Centuries ago, chocolate had become very popular in Catholic countries where, as you know, Catholics were always fasting about something. If they classified chocolate as a drink, then they could drink it during their fasts, because drinking water (and wine) were allowed. Yes, you could drink wine while you were fasting, because, well, they were Catholics. But if chocolate was considered a food, then they’d have to wait and only eat the chocolate once their fasting was over. Do you see the dilemma?
Someone got the brainy idea to write to Pope Pius V, and asked that very question: Is chocolate a drink or a food? Well, the pope apparently tried the drink and hated it, but declared that drinking chocolate would be okay and would not break a fast. Maybe he figured that drinking chocolate was more of a penance than a pleasure. I bet that they neglected to tell the pope that once it cools, chocolate becomes hardened and can be eaten as a delicious treat!
So this week, why not share your best gifts, and chocolate is just one of them, with those you love!
This Monday Minute is from Nuns 4Fun and Deacon Andy Neu, currently reminiscing and listening to When I Need You by Leo Sayer. Listen in at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVmBXm9OfDo