Espresso and Prayer

As an Airman, my day usually starts pretty early so I rarely have time for a leisurely breakfast. I usually wolf down my meal and grab a cup of coffee as I race out the door for some first-thing-in-the-morning appointment.



But on Saturday… ah… that's when I get the chance to “sleep in” until 6:30 or 7AM and get some unhurried quiet time to myself. And “unhurried” means I can actually make myself an espresso mocha latte with my very own stovetop espresso pot, rather than the pod “instant” coffee maker.

Espresso is a drink that requires patience and a little work — not too much work, but some, and the end result is a wonderfully full-bodied and (for me) a sweet drink. Once you get the hang of making it, frothy milk and all, it's not difficult. It just takes time. Espresso is as much process as product.

Saturday mornings are also when I have some early morning quiet time, and before breakfast I like to pray my morning prayers a little more slowly. I sing the morning hymn instead of reciting it. These Saturday morning prayers are like espresso: they are more about the “doing” than about the “done.”

Quoting St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says this about prayer:”For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy” (CCC #2558).

St. Thérèse understood — sorry, understands — that prayer is not only about form, but about “being still and knowing” (cf. Ps 46:10). The Catechism goes on to teach:

“Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or “out of the depths” of a humble and contrite heart? He who humbles himself will be exalted; humility is the foundation of prayer. Only when we humbly acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought,” are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. “Man is a beggar before God.”

“If you knew the gift of God!” The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God's desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God's thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him. (CCC #2559-2560)

Our Rosary Army Apostolate is all about prayer, but it is easy to walk blandly through our prayers each day in order to “get them done.” This is not the way to have a personal relationship with someone — and prayer is all about a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the whole Church across space and time (the Communion of Saints).

That’s why we not only pray directly to God, but with and through the other members of our “family,” Our Blessed Lady and the other saints. In prayer, and in particular scriptural prayers like the Rosary or Liturgy of the Hours, we spend time with our Beloved — the One Who seeks us out!

That prayer can take many forms — everything from the spontaneous to the recited, from the liturgical to the silent — even to enjoying a little espresso with Jesus.

Mickey Addison is a career military officer, and has been a catechist at the parish level since 2000. He and his wife have been married for 19 years and they have two children. He can be reached at addisoncrew@gmail.com.

This article was previously published on the Rosary Army’s website and is used by permission.

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