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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Coffee in the Convent

Here I sit, at my computer on a Saturday morning, a cup of coffee at my side. About half gone now, needs to be refilled methinks.

Before I left on my trip, I'd asked Mother K. about coffee, and my first night there she verified that I was serious about my coffee addiction! Indeed! At that time I didn't really know the horarium other than in the most general way, so she instructed Sr. H. to get up early in order to take me down to the Novitiate for coffee so that I could have it in time so as not to break the Communion fast.

So the next morning Sister came to get me around 5:15 am, and we moved through the silent convent in what seemed to be a maze especially in the darkness. She sat with me in the Novitiate as I sipped my coffee sleepily, and we talked quietly and briefly. I felt bad that she'd gotten up early just because of my addiction. At that moment I resolved that even though I needed my coffee, I was going to try to skip it until breakfast from then on out. So the next morning I stumbled to the chapel for Mass, led by Sr. H. as I didn't yet know the way without error, and somehow managed to survive the two hours of private prayer before Mass, Mass itself, Morning Prayer, and meditation.

It really is a wonderful way to start the day.

So as it was, each day my first cup of coffee wasn't enjoyed until breakfast, and then, it was quite hurried and usually very hot so really undrinkable until the end of breakfast. (Meals in the convent are eaten quickly, often silently, and there is a ritual even in that...more on this later.)

That first full day (Thursday last week) in the convent, Mother K. found me in the bakery where I'd been assigned with Sr. H., and sent her on a small errand. While she was gone she told me that sometimes Sr. H. gets caught up in her work and doesn't take a break, but I should be sure to do so. I learned then I could have a second cup of coffee!

And some days, during the 4 pm break, if I was there (I wasn't always there because I'd be with Sr. J. or Sr. H. visiting apostolates), there would be MORE coffee! Normally I don't have coffee in the afternoon, but, when deprived, one takes what one can get when one has access to it!

In the last couple days, when I was with the Dominicans in Summmit, there was more time for coffee, and let me tell you...I thought I was in heaven! (More on that later. I'm going to try to be at least a bit chronological in these posts).

Oh, blessed joyous coffee! Proof of God's love in the small things!

I think after this week I could write a psalm about the blessing of coffee!

I don't think they knew about coffee in the Bible. If they did, there would have been psalms, especially after coffee deprivation. As it is we have psalms about wine and bread and all sorts of things that were suffered in famines and then times of plenty after God's blessings. But coffee..I don't remember reading about coffee.

So, here I sit, in the quiet of my home...sipping Mystic Monk and praising God for every single moment of it!


Brother Charles said...

Thank you for your wonder and joy! After some years in religious life, it is so easy to take daily blessings for granted. Thanks for the reminders.

Warren said...

It's great symbol, almost a sacramental view of all god's blessings to us, the way you wrote about the coffee happens to touch me because I'm a grade-A coffee snob (I roast my own), but my heart sings out its joy most of all for the mention of the convent's pattern of morning prayers and mass. I dunno about you but it seems more like heaven, than earth, to have a life that ordered towards God.


Hidden One said...

Now that's a morning convent ritual that most Catholics I know would think is utterly crazy.

I, however, think that that's really awesome. [I'm referring to the prayer and whatnot, not the coffee, as I've never drank coffee and am consciously avoiding it to avoid a costly addiction.]

Tara said...

Ahh, COFFEE! That was beautiful--I can totally relate. My husband recently took a rather large cut in pay--and we have had to scale down our spending considerably--I get my coffee from the Salt Lake Roasting Company at about twelve dollars a pound--Kenya--and they roast it to perfection! I con people into buying it for me when they go to Salt Lake.

When my priest heard that I was cutting back on my extra's he mentioned that I could cut back on my coffee--NEVER! One of the few truly pleasurable gifts from God.

Brother said...

I wish I could have coffee - but it does not agree with me.

YouKnowWho said...

When I entered, I could wait to have the first holy java with breakfast. Over the years (especailly after mission experience), that first cup HAS to be within minutes of rising. I'd NEVER make it through meditation otherwise.

And yes, beginning the day w/ a couple of hours of prayer is THE BEST....

Jack said...

From Pope Leo XIII's poem On Frugality and Long Life

And, last, delicious fragrance of the East!
With cups of steaming Mocha close the feast;
But taste the amber with a lingering lip
No hasty draught! t was made for gods to sip!

Easter A. said...

Plain, simple goodness of God in coffee! How I enjoyed this post!

Thanks, Adoro!

My two teens spent a week with the Daughters of St. Paul at their Motherhouse in Boston. Their observation was that all the Sisters they saw drank coffee. When my daughters told me this, all I could say was, "I'm sane! I'm sane! I'm sane!"

How's your book coming along?

Much aloha to you...

Angela M. said...

Well, coffee is not mentioned specifically in the bible (neither is the word trinity...) but it was created BEFORE God created Man. I'd say that was the correct order!

also a coffee fan!

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I feel so weak chosing coffee rather than prayer to start the day.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Cathy--Can't people do coffee and prayer!??? Please say yes! (Well, obviously, if you're not at Mass or exposition or something!)

Not a coffee drinker but need my caffiene fix bad.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

I.C.: Yes, I need both and I have been known to sip as I'm reading Scripture at home! Not at Mass or Benediction or Adoration though! LOL!

Ray from MN said...

I.C. --

Once when I was scheduled for Adoration at 6:00 a.m. Fridays, my replacement didn't show up and after one two hour shift, a temporary replacement started relieving me.

He brought his breakfast and coffee with him.