God and Coffee
Ignatian spirituality suggests invoking our senses and imagination to encounter God and ourselves. When I am holding a cup of coffee, the warmth radiates through my hands, forearms, and shoulders. The smell wafts through the air from the dark caramel color, almost black. The whole experience is sensual, and helps my sleepy self greet the day with gratitude and a tranquility that I feel from this warmth. It induces a peaceful demeanor, which invites me to meet God and my own thoughts. In these moments, I review the previous and forthcoming days, reflecting on both the harder and easier parts in order to create my hopes for the new day.
Coffee helps facilitate my conversation with God and myself in the morning, therefore making it quite literally a vessel in which I see, taste, feel, and talk to God.
Dorothy Day was once quoted saying that “My strength returns to me with my cup of coffee and the reading of the psalms.” She identified this as a way to ready herself for the day and her work through simple practices. With the work toward which Day committed her life, it was vital for her to find daily practices that facilitated conversation between herself and God. What are our daily rituals that help us encounter ourselves in the morning? Is it the comfort of a mug, a morning stroll, the dog scratching at the door? By finding God in the daily habits and becoming mindful towards what could be mundane, I have found some of my most precious moments throughout the day. Here’s to a cup of steaming coffee and rich conversations: may the silence be rich in conversation.
Theology of Coffee, Jacqueline Shraeder, Peru ’13