In most devout Catholic families, the prayer of blessing before meals is ubiquitous. "Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen." In some particularly pious households, the blessing after meals is also said regularly. "We give Thee thanks, Almighty God, for these and all Thy benefits, who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen." We say these blessings, of course, in order to acknowledge that all our blessings, even the barest material necessities, come to us from God's goodness. Because of this provision, thanksgiving is the appropriate disposition of a creature to his loving Creator. The aspect of thanksgiving is well understood. But there is another reason, no less important but much less understood.