Benjamin Pratt: Bread & Hunger Games, a meditation

Now, we come full circle around the 13 American stars to Benjamin Pratt.
Like Kent Nerburn, Ben’s talents are flowering once again later in his life. A retired pastoral counselor and literary scholar, Ben wrote a popular Bible study guide to the James Bond novels of Ian Fleming as well as the new Guide for Caregivers. Ben also has become one of the leading voices in the website for Day1, the nationwide radio network. Working jointly with ReadTheSpirit and Day1, Ben has written this prayerful meditation drawing on themes from the hit series of novels, The Hunger Games.
HELPFUL TIPS from the author:
The following is for personal or small-group reflection. I suggest it be read aloud, slowly, while standing, with Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor accompanying the reading. To prepare for a discussion, reading the Hunger Games novels by Suzanne Collins. You’ll find more about the Cellist of Sarajevo and the Albinoni piece in this chapter on his courageous life by Daniel Buttry.

Bread & Hunger Games
(a meditation)


Give us this day our daily Bread!
the staff of life
a basic necessity
money in the streets, dough
the bread-winner
the most ordinary
the most elegant
the host
the body
a gift of friendship
companion companis
a gift of bread and salt for a guest
a gift of hope for the hungry
Lord, it is you queued at the breadline
Give us this day our daily Bread!

Bread and circuses
panem et circensis
to those principalities and powers that distract the masses with bread and circuses so as to not call attention to their own nefarious refusal to feed those in need
to those who lie on beds of ivory and eat lambs from the flock
and calves from the stall
and anoint themselves with the fine oils
but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph
Open our eyes
to those who must fight daily to put bread in their mouths
to those who kill for bread
to those dehumanized by hunger games as they seek bread for themselves, their children, their parents
Give us this day our daily Bread!

At 4 o’clock, May 27th, 1992,
During the Siege of Sarajevo, mortar shells struck citizens
waiting in a bread line, hoping to feed themselves, their children, their parents—a bread line.
22 people were killed—70 were wounded
in a bread line.
For the next 22 days Vedran Smailović, cellist,
sat on a straight-backed chair, at 4 o’clock
in the crater carved by the shells that had killed 22 people in a bread line.
Each day he played Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor
to honor 22 persons killed in a bread line.
Give us this day our daily Bread, our daily Music of Hope!!

Remember, with certainty, that no one can tell us who to hate
remember, in the midst of horrible atrocities, each of us holds the capacity for goodness and beauty
remember to celebrate the music of mourning and hope to prevent the world being reduced to dehumanized hunger games
remember to look for the dandelion and live into hope
remember to make the small acts that give the gift of life, love, hope and beauty to ourselves and others
remember hunger permits no choice
remember we must love each other or die.

Give us this day our daily Bread!


Want more inspiration from Benjamin Pratt? With the 50th Anniversary of the James Bond movies coming this fall (along with the release of a new Bond blockbuster), you may want to discuss Ben’s James Bond Bible study guide in your congregation. Or, you may be interested in his Guide for Caregivers. Also, stop by his byline area with the website for Day1.

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