Delia's Lent recipes for spiritual health
2009: Television chef and Norwich City
majority shareholder Delia Smith
, is writing a series of Lent reflections for the website of the Catholic overseas development agency Cafod
Since Ash Wednesday Delia has been encouraging readers to make a “daily commitment to stillness and silence”, and a piece of Scripture chosen by her will be emailed each day to individuals who sign up.
“Lent is the perfect time to make a commitment to spending serious one-to-one time in God’s presence,” writes Delia in her introductory reflection, One thing needed.
“Throughout the gospels Jesus spends time alone, away from the pressures of life to be ‘with’ his Father. How can any of his followers not understand their own need for this, faced with the challenges of life today?”
It may surprise some to find the famous TV cook writing reflections rather than recipes. But, alongside her indispensable cookery manuals, Delia has also produced three spiritual books on prayer and scripture, including a set of readings and reflections for Lent (A Feast for Lent, 1983).
“As I’ve got older I have become more aware of the simplicity of our faith,” comments Delia on her motivation for proposing this Lenten exercise.
“If Jesus has said, ‘there’s only one thing needed’, we cannot grow as Christians without incorporating that ‘one thing’ into our daily lives and take his words utterly seriously.”
Delia, a long-term friend of Cafod, explains how she hopes the daily exercise will bring people “an increased trust and a knowledge that God does keep His promise: ‘come to me and I will give you rest’"
"It is His work not ours and if we trust in that, God can reach us even though we don’t know how.”
At a time of economic stress, the invitation to “let go a little, stand back and spend more time in the desert” is a welcome one. “Whatever dominates our lives, whatever worries we have, true peace can only come from God,” says Delia.
“The answer is so simple. Throughout the gospels Jesus spends time alone, away from the pressures of life to be ‘with’ his Father. How can any of his followers not understand their own need for this, faced with the challenges of life today?”
Linda Jones, CAFOD head of spirituality, says: “We are delighted Delia is encouraging people’s commitment to stillness and silence. In these gloomy economic days, the role of Christians is to offer hope and solidarity with each other.
"As Delia writes, this is a time to refresh and renew our hope.”