This summer I’ve been brewing Starbucks nearly every morning in a two-cup coffee maker that we’ve inherited from our daughter who left it here on a vacation a year or so ago. Having a summer off is a luxury for most folks and it was for me this year. I like my coffee black, aromatic and flavorful and Starbucks provides that better than almost any other blend. I must say that Dunkin’ Donuts does have good coffee too, but I’ve not brewed that at home.

I wasn’t always a Starbucks lover. I’m really indebted to my friend Br. Joe Kotula, OFM who got me going. Joe and I have been on some road trips together for ministry events held at least a couple of times at the St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in North Carolina. Traveling over 500 miles one way to get there provided ample time for a number of stops and more often than not Joe chose a place that served Starbucks. It’s funny how associations form in our minds and in my mind every time I see Starbucks I think of Joe and our trips to North Carolina. When I think of Br. Joe it reminds me of the Franciscans and Peace. Brother Joe is synonymous with peace, connectedness, St. Francis and of course Christ. There is a lot wrapped up in my association with Starbucks and its about peace and all good. Pax et Bonum, the motto of Holy Name Province and of Franciscans everywhere.

As I think about it now it’s all very Franciscan, without preaching a word, Br. Joe and the Holy Spirit formed an association for me with peace and all good and every time I brew a cup of Starbucks it’s a call to holiness. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Frappucino’s rock!

Today I found myself in a Starbucks and I decided to follow the suggestion of my nephew’s Navy chaplain. I ordered a double chocolate chip frappucino. The chaplain’s metaphor of God’s love and double chocolate frappucino’s is right on the money. I have to take my wife and daughter one of these soon. On the way home from the mall I stopped at Abbey of the Genesee. I arrived just in time to be a part of Compline. I also stopped in the bread store for a loaf of multi-grain bread and a Monks Chocolate Brownie. I think Monks Bread is another way to know that God loves you.

Double chocolate chip frappucino

Yesterday I received a letter from my nephew who is in boot camp at Great Lakes, IL. It was touching letter and I my voice broke as I read it. I never got to spend as much time with Tom as I would have liked because distance always separated us. Yet, now in my life I find us being knit together from the common experience of the United States Navy. His letter was also interesting because he mentioned that he is scheduled to graduate from recruit training on the Feast of the Assumption. I hadn’t made that connection until his letter. In one of my letters to him I mentioned stopping at a number of Starbucks on our way to and from North Carolina a few weeks ago. Tom said that their chaplain told them that one of the ways you can know that God loves you is by consuming a double chocolate chip frappucino at Starbucks. I think I’m going to get Tom a gift certificate to Starbucks. That’ll be a good completion for the Chaplain’s metaphor. It’ll be good for Tom and good for Starbucks.