If at all possible, the priest should make his daily Holy Hour before celebrating his Mass. Now that the Church's regulations on the pre-Eucharistic fast have been modified, he will be well advised to take a cup of coffee before he starts. The average American is physically, biologically, psychologically, and neurologically unable to do anything worthwhile before he has a cup of coffee!
So if it is ill advised for me to give up my morning coffee, maybe I should try to make my morning coffee a part of my prayer. So throughout Lent I will be drinking from my new Mystic Monk coffee mug that I ordered from the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming.
The mug has two handles. May the mug inspire me in my prayer to take a strong hold of God's will for my day ahead and to grasp firmly onto whatever gifts and opportunities that God presents to me. The mug is also sturdy and rugged looking. I will pray that this helps me to develop a more robust and manly spirit.
With the many challenges we are facing today, we priests and more Catholics could stand to "man up" spiritually. Our faith life needs a good dose of vigor and courage. Too easily we concede to and accommodate the culture of confusion and, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer called it, "cheap grace" where forgiveness and mercy is preached without requiring repentance or any of the meaningful work that is required to live the gospel.
The gospel is good news. We should live it and profess it gladly as the healing medicine that our sick spirits need. If a cup or two of coffee can help me better to do that, then thanks be to God.
As I pray with my mug I also will give thanks for the monks and all of the men and women living consecrated lives of prayer. They defend us and strengthen us for the spiritual battle more than we know.
Hoping Lent is fortifying all of you too.