Venerable Fulton Sheen and His Coffee

“The average American is physically, biologically, psychologically and neurologically unable to do anything worthwhile before he has a cup of coffee. And that goes for prayer too. Even sisters in convents whose rules were written before electric percolators were developed would do well to update their procedures. Let them have coffee before meditation.”

Let me be the first to attest to the truth of what Venerable Fulton Sheen said. Every morning I switch on the coffee maker, prepared the night before, and by the time I'm in my chair with a cup of coffee I'm ready to pray. Now, I cannot take full credit for this methodology of morning prayer, because I learned it from Fr. James over internship. Every night the coffeemaker was set for the morning. Rising early in the morning, I would smell fresh coffee brewing and then I'd make my way downstairs to the chapel for Adoration.

It is a testimony to the good of the Incarnation. The Incarnation of the Word of God revealed to all of mankind that the body is inherently good and is not an obstacle to having communion with God. Some ancient philosophies believed that you had to separate yourself from your body in order to know a higher knowledge or being, to reject everything the body wants. Nonsense, the discipline of Jesus does not reject the body, but brings it into harmony with the desires of the soul. These desires of the soul are the Good, the True and the Beautiful to an infinite degree. Why such an extreme desire? Because our very being came from the One who is Good, True and Beautiful to the infinite degree. We are meant to be in communion with God. A notion that can appear to our minds as very abstract and thus hardly unattainable, however, we have been given a great gift. The gift of a Mediator, who so happens to love us to such an infinite degree that He took on our flesh, but then, in an even more extreme manner, continuously takes on the appearance of bread, in order to be present to us.

Communion with God can begin every morning in our homes. Our Lord is present, by virtue of our Baptism, and He delights in the way we can take an extra precaution, such as fresh coffee, to aid our attentiveness to Him in our prayer.


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