Witching Cursing our Food and the Reason we Say Grace

A Catholic Facebook group I’m in seems to have become rather preoccupied with Halloween and witchcraft, much to the displeasure of the admin who don’t ban the topics but don’t want rampant misinformation or misrepresentation of Church teaching.

A subject that has come up is witches cursing Halloween candy or otherwise cursing our food. A person trying to persuade us of the dangers said we should put blessed salt on all of our food and said that’s why we say grace before meals. I assumed we say grace in thanksgiving for our food and to humble ourselves before the Lord who gives us life.

My questions are these:
Why do we say grace before meals?
What types of harm might befall a person who unwittingly eats food cursed by a witch?

I’m not terribly concerned about it, though I don’t deny there are people who dabble in dark things. I just tend to get good answers here, and my attempts searches about curses on food were turning up things either tangetial or crazy.

The main reason we say grace before or after a meal is to thank God for our food, as well as to praise him and to ask him to bless us. As one of the below articles points out, the grace before meals contains all three elements of praise, thanks, and supplication.

Saying a “grace” over one’s food has extensive roots in both Scripture and in Jewish tradition, as the articles describe.

Grace is NOT said to remove some possible “curse” from our food. I also don’t think it’s necessary to put blessed salt on everything you eat. Some people like to cook with blessed salt as a way of giving their family a little extra blessing, and that’s fine, but you aren’t supposed to be sprinkling blessed salt on food where it doesn’t belong, like your Halloween candy, or using it because you think someone might have cursed your candy or other food before giving it to you. It’s a superstitious misuse of blessed salt in my opinion.

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Thank you. Everything she was saying seemed off from what I think I know and was setting off superstition alarms for me, but I couldn’t find anything about food curses.

If food curses were real and beared any weight, wouldn’t it be like everything else where your best “defense” is to stay in a state of grace? Don’t people have to invite that in some way for harm to come to them?

I’m not asking out of fear, just to understand. I don’t deny there is evil, but I don’t spend a lot of time actively fearing it because our God wins.

Jesus often said a blessing before sharing food. That’s sufficient reason for us to pray before meals.

Unrelated to that, I am reminded of 1Corinthians 8, regarding the eating of meat offerings to idols. In that passage, St. Paul’s concern is about building or strengthening faith. We know in faith that we have nothing to fear from food, and may eat, but we should refuse sacrificed (and I include cursed) food if it weakens our faith or the faith of others.

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I tend to think that if one stays holy and close to God, then one generally has nothing to fear. Of course, we take reasonable precautions and do not go right into the middle of some coven ritual or make a meal out of food sacrifices to idols, presuming that God will protect us even when we act foolhardy. But we also don’t need to be afraid of the food we get through normal channels.

The problem with getting into this “curse” mentality is that pretty soon people are seeing demons, curses, and potential threats everywhere, and their lack of trust in God to protect them, coupled with their focus on the subject of curses etc, actually makes them more vulnerable.

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Most likely, “food curses” just aren’t a thing. Certainly not a thing common enough that everyday Catholics have to worry about every morsel they consume.

Pagan self-proclaimed witches don’t curse food or anything else.

Self-proclaimed Satanists are usually either edgy teenagers or a particular breed of secular humanist who like to use Satan as an embodiment of human free will and rebellion against imposed authority, not literal followers of the Evil One who get magical powers from him.

As Tis_Bearself says, thinking that stuff like this is real (and not just potentially real because we believe in supernatural and preternatural phenomena, but common enough to worry about) leads to giving Satan way too much power in our heads and can even spark “Satanic Panic” like the one in my childhood that ensnared even police and journalists into looking for animal-sacrificing, child-abusing cultists in every community.

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Yeah there seems to a be a panic and curiosity that had taken hold in the usually reasonable group. Mods are still reasonable.

Instigators of these conversations are converts who left various neopagan backgrounds. One was claiming practitioners of whatever would be asking “goddesses” to bless the Halloween candy before distributing it so that the cursed objects would find as many houses as possible.

It rings of straight up urban legend with superstitious spiritual themes. Like lookout for needles in the candy and heck just throw it all out because it could be cursed and a demon will sew discord in your house causing you all divorces ans drug addiction.

Personally, I have way less anxiety about my neighbors being witches than about them being covid deniers. We haven’t exactly chatted about what everyone believes or is doing. And the research on fomites is all over the map.

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In thanksgiving for our food and to humble ourselves before the Lord who gives us life.

Most likely none, since the vast majority of people who claim to practice witchcraft are deluded or are hucksters.

You don’t need to worry about razor blades either since the chance of eating candy that was deliberately tampered with is lower than being struck by lightning. Serial killers are a vanishingly small minority of people, and even among that group most of them want to see their victims suffer and thus would find poisoning strangers to be too impersonal.

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