The Mystery of Thanksgiving on Behalf of All Things and For All Things

“It is no coin-cidence that at the heart of the Church’s sacra-mental life we have the mystery of thanksgiving – eucharistia in Greek, the Eucharist.  If we look at the early Fathers and the oldest eucharistic texts, it is clear that for them, thanksgiving for creation is central to the Divine Liturgy. … Christ instructs humans to offer the Eucharist in order to teach them gratitude, and it is this thank-offering that sacrifices the created world.  This is why the Anaphora prayer, the prayer of eucharistic offering, develops over the centuries into a grand recitation of thanks to God ‘in all things and for all things.’” (Elizabeth Theokritoff, LIVING IN GOD’S CREATION, p 187-188)

“The world was given to man by God as ‘food’ – as means of life; yet life was meant to be communion with God; it had not only its end but its full content in Him … The world and food were thus created as means of communion with God, and only if accepted for God’s sake were to give life …  Thus to eat, to be alive, to know God and be in communion with Him were one and the same thing.  The unfathomable tragedy of Adam was that he ate for its own sake.  More than that, he ate ‘apart’ from God in order to be independent of Him.  And if he did it, it is because he believed that food had life in itself and that he, by partaking of that food, could be like God, i.e. have life in himself.  To put it very simply, he believed in food … World, food, became his gods, the sources and principles of his life.  He became their slave.” (Fr. Alexander Schmemann, GREAT LENT, pp 94-95)