Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Coffee and Prayer

It seems to me that seminarians live mostly on coffee. Those of us who rise early enough (thus eliminating me from this discussion) during the academic year have our first cup around 5:20 AM before making the morning holy hour. The rest of us have to wait until about 7:30 when we make our pilgrimage to the refectory for breakfast. Breakfast usually allows time for two cups of coffee. Then, as we leave, many of us take a third to enjoy in the first class of the day. For many, a fourth is acquired during the break between the first and second class periods. My coffee consumption is typically limited to the morning hours, though I am not above enjoying a cup after the evening meal. Some of my peers, however, continue to drink coffee throughout the afternoon. All this goes to demonstrate that coffee plays a large role in our daily lives. I am not sure that it has anything to do with caffeine. Mostly, it is just nice to have something warm to drink and a distraction in class. There is a soothing, placid quality to coffee drinking.

For me, the "coffee experience" reaches its zenith not during the mad rush of finals week, but in the quiet days thereafter. Our daily routine has mostly ground to a halt this week. With all but a tiny remnant gone to their respective homes for the summer, there is little call for a strict daily horarium. As a result, we pray the liturgy of the hours alone or in small groups. I love this time. In a particular way, I enjoy praying the morning hours of the office alone. There is nothing quite like offering the first moments of the day to our Lord while sitting in a comfortable chair, air still slightly chill with spring, feeling the warmth of the morning sun, and sipping freshly brewed coffee. There is a feel of freedom about it, and even though I am still making my way through the last of my papers, I relish in recognizing that summer has arrived.


Quantitative Metathesis said...

This post reminds me of the old query, "Whether it is acceptable to drink coffee while praying." A wise priest once pointed out to me that, while the answer to that query is debatable, it is always acceptable to pray while drinking coffee. And so one can circumvent the proposed difficulty. ;-)

J. Thorp said...

Great post and comment above (from QuanMeta). Those of us who get up early against our nature and (ab)use coffee would do well to think about it differently. Consider: in my younger metal-head days, I used to say I liked my beverages (beer and coffee) like my music -- thick, dark and pleasantly bitter. And even now, in the predawn haze, I've been known to refer to the "bitter black elixir of life" or "liquid defibrillator" ... not a healthy attitude ...

Anonymous said...

Hooray for coffee!
So if I quit chewing Copenhagen, would I make a good seminarian? Cause I live mostly on coffee and Copenhagen.

Jinglebob said...

Hubba, quit the snoose now and don't wait until you are 50. It really really sucks then! :)

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