Tag Archives: Coffee

Love Carries Me

On Saturday, the Lord made a mark on me that can’t be unmade. Saturday was the monthly meeting of our Carmelite Community, but it wasn’t like any other we’ve had this year. On Saturday I received the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and was officially admitted into formation. This signifies that I am officially part of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites, I am consecrated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel (and through her, in a particular way, Our Lord), and I am dedicated to imitating Mary in humility, chastity, and prayer; contemplating our Lord. On Saturday, the Lord made me more His own than I already was.

Last week was a little chaotic. Nothing especially crazy happened, at least on a basic level; I was just busy, so I didn’t get to my reading for Saturday’s formation until Friday. Along with the reading were some reflection questions, and one of those questions was simple and to the point; why do you want to be a Carmelite? I knew my answer almost immediately; I want to know Him more, and be more His.

With mixed emotions I sometimes remember when I daydreamed about what my wedding might have looked like. For various reasons, I know that marriage is not in the cards for me. The Lord has other plans, and that’s just fine. After my clothing ceremony on Saturday, which I had with one other woman, several others made their First Promises (which for nuns/friars would be like temporary vows), and one made his Final Promises (which would be like perpetual vows), and I found myself thinking about that like a wedding ceremony.

For me, Final Promises is five years away, and I have so much to learn, but I want that. I find that the closer I get to the Lord, the more I want Him. That seems counter intuitive, but I think it makes sense given that He is infinite Love, and I’m finite. I think I’m finally beginning to understand really that He is my only satisfaction. Every good thing that exists has a limit. Every beautiful, fun, hilarious, heartbreaking, glorious story has an end; eventually the coffee in the cup runs out; my favorite songs fade to silence; one day I will have to return my bird to the Lord. God’s Goodness, and everything that comes with that; His Beauty; Mysteriousness; Faithfulness; Compassion; these have no limit, and my thirst for Him can never really be quenched.

The Scapular I received on Saturday is meant to be an outward sign of an inner change. I don’t feel different per se, but I know that I am different. I’ve changed a lot in the past year, and it wasn’t like I was hit with a lightning bolt on Saturday, but it was like hearing the Lord say, “I see the choices you’ve made for Me. Thank you.” I recently came across an explanation of what it means when Jesus says “Deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow Me.” To deny yourself means to choose what God wants when what you want is something else. I realized that this past year, I’ve done that. I’ve changed things about my life that if the Lord hadn’t called me to Carmel, I probably would not have.

Promises, to me at least, seem very much like wedding vows. I had a thought the other day that I can love the Lord in a particular way precisely because I’m a woman. Obviously men love the Lord, too, but I imagine it’s a love of deep friendship and loyalty. Of course I have these same feelings, but I think because I’m a woman, I can love Him in a kind of romantic sense. There’s so much language in Scripture about the Lord’s relationship with His people being like that of a lover and His beloved. In fact, the Church, is often referred to with feminine language. When the Lord finally comes, there is language in Scripture of a wedding feast.

For a long time, I was wary of this kind of language. I wondered if I was allowed to love the Lord in this way. The fact of the matter is, though, I think I’m kind of supposed to. It’s not a the same as a “normal” or “usual” romance (for lack of a better word) between a man and a woman, but it is a kind of romance. Increasingly, there’s this ache in me because I want so badly to physically feel Him and audibly hear His voice. I want to sit somewhere with Him, and maybe not even talk about anything, but physically see Him with my eyes. Simply put, I want Him.

I’ve been a member of our Carmelite Community for a year now. I invited the priest who suggested I check this out in the first place (Father Patrick), and he came and concelebrated (was a copilot for) the Mass, and I invited my Godfather who came all the way from Maine. I hadn’t wanted to make a big deal of this, but my Community did. I was buried in really wonderful gifts from everyone. People didn’t just give me cards, but people had put thought into the things they gave me, and the things they wrote.

After October’s meeting I had a meeting with the leaders of our community who asked if I definitely wanted to continue my formation. I immediately said “yes” because I’ve enjoyed our meetings and I’ve been interested in what we’ve been learning about, and certainly, I’ve grown closer to the Lord through prayer. For a month, at different times I had taken it as a given that I would continue; at other times I was sincerely excited. For a week before Saturday, I had different feelings.

I had the feeling that it was wrong, and I grew increasingly nervous, but I also had the suspicion that these feelings were not natural. I ended up talking to Father Patrick on Wednesday, and he agreed with me that the devil was messing with my head. I mention this because I was incredibly nervous before the ceremony on Saturday, but I knew for sure that it was natural, and after the ceremony, I was, and still am insanely happy.

I think for the first time really, it feels like I know where I’m going. For a long time, that wasn’t the case. If life is a journey, though, I know where I want to get to, I know where I don’t want to go, and now it kind of feels like I finally have a spiritual road map. The crazy thing is, I’ve only been a Christian, let alone a Catholic for seven years or so. What the Lord can do in less than a decade is kind of insane. The beautiful thing is that I know that it’s been love that has carried me to where I am today. At times that’s been the love of learning things, at other times it’s been the blind leap of faith to chase the Lord, and at times, it has literally been Love Himself picking me up and carrying me because there have been times when I’ve needed Him to.

The Things I’m Thankful For

I know Thanksgiving was a couple days ago, but I haven’t had time to get to a computer until now.

My aunt did this “month of gratitude” thing where she had to post something she’s grateful for every day through the month of November. I thought I’d do my own list and share it with you guys.

1) My family… the huge, insane, lovable mess that it is
2) My friends… for introducing me to lots of good movies and music and for always being there
3) Music… for getting me through every allnighter and making me happy
4) Movies… because they are wonderful. Nuff said
5) My faith in God… I don’t know where I’d be without him
6) Coffee
7) Chocolate
8) My bed
9) The wood stove in my basement
10) Cute animals
11) My education
12) My mom’s accessible car (even though it’s falling apart)
13) My wheelchair
14) Electricity
15) Humor
16) My insane dreams
17) The ability to use language
18) The ability to make music
19) The ability to help others
20) Forgiveness
21) Love
22) Art (literature & visual art)
23) My medication
24) Technology (even though it insists on fighting me most of the time)
25) Video games
26) My eyesight (as crappy as it is)
27) My hearing (because it’s awesome and therefore I’m super good at eavesdropping)
28) Traditions
29) The sacrifices people make for me and for each other
30) The absurdly satisfying clicking sound my keyboard makes when I type

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Fear Of Failure

Failure is a very scary thing– not just failing in itself, but the prospect of it; the possibility that in fact, I can fail. I keep telling myself over and over that I can make it as a musician or I can make it as a writer, but I know that there is a very large possibility that I won’t. I think it’s this fear, however that stops me from getting ahead. I played at the Sad Cafe the other night and a guy who was playing after me came over while I was getting coffee to say that he really liked my set. I thanked him and said that whenever I play somewhere I feel like there are at least a few people who are infinitely more talented. He said he had the same problem.

There’s a line in a Bright Eyes song that says “I could have been a famous singer if I had someone else’s voice.” I definitely feel like that sometimes. I often feel that although my music matches my lyrics and my voice very well, and although people really seem to like it, I feel that I could be a lot better at both. This summer I decided I’m going to teach myself “Resolution” by Andy Timmons (see “Sneaky-Sneaky”) to at least get better at the guitar part of it. There’s not much I can do about my voice.

Today I’m just going to fight down my fear, bite the bullet and do some research. I know of a couple places I can pester already, and I’m going to look for a few more. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

P.S. Please “Like” my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KatieRoseCurtisMusic?fref=ts

Thanks! ❤

Coffee

Coffee is a beautiful thing. For me, it is a necessary part of the process of existing. There is really nothing better than the smell of coffee right when you get up in the morning or at the end of a very long day. Drinking coffee is also the perfect excuse to sit down and do nothing for an hour or so (if you drink slowly and if you have the time to procrastinate, of course). Friday is my procrastination day, and it’s so nice to sleep in and slowly acclimate to being awake with a nice cup of coffee. I have a friend who I met last year in one of my classes who will be done with a cup of coffee before I’ve hardly drank any of mine. I just shake my head—armature.

If you brew your own, the choice of mug can make or break a coffee experience. If the mug you choose is too small, it can be very disappointing. Of course you can always top it off, but it’s not as satisfying as having the perfect amount in your cup. Having a cup that is too big can be a problem too because it can be disappointing to have to waste coffee, as well.

When buying hot coffee, it is crucial that you choose the right size as well, for the same reasons. Ice coffee is different however. Because it is cold, you can drink it over a longer period of time, so it is best to get the largest size you can. This is partially for the image factor. It is far more impressive to have a huge iced coffee rather than a small one.

Flavored and fancy coffees such as lattes and mochas are not for everyone, although they too can be good for your image. For example, it is far more impressive to go up to the counter at Starbucks and order a pumpkin spice latte than just a plain old cup of coffee.

Where you buy your coffee is also very important. Buying coffee from Starbucks is way cooler than buying it from Dunkin Donuts; however, it is the standard hipster venue. Around here (Reading Massachusetts) it is far cooler to buy from The Gingerbread Factory. They are not as well known as Starbucks but make very good coffee. However, the coolest places to buy coffee are places that no one has ever heard of. The only place I currently know of is a coffee shop at my school called Chester’s Place.

And now you know how to be a coffee connoisseur .