3 Catholic Coffee Companies Online

Listers, you’re probably familiar with the concept of Christian coffeehouses, and chances are that you’ve seen one or possibly even stepped into one. Christian Coffeehouses are usually locally owned and operated cafés that promote Christianity through Christian music, events, speakers, and sometimes keep a minister of some kind on staff. Though smaller in number, there are also a few Catholic coffeehouses throughout the country, e.g. St. James Coffee. More recently, the advent of online coffee shops has begun, and the Christian coffeehouse has found its way to the web.

Christianity has promoted the drinking of coffee since AD 1600 even though coffee originally finds its origin in within Islamic culture. Since Islamic law prohibits the drinking of beverages fermented from fruit or grain Muslims were drinking coffee, while Christians were busy drinking wine and beer. It is said that Pope Clement VIII is responsible for coffee’s rise to fame. In AD 1600 Clement declared, much to the chagrin of the opponents of coffee, “Why, this Satan’s drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it, and making it a truly Christian beverage.” Subsequently, coffee has found its place within Western culture, and Christianity. For More on the history of coffee click here.

So grab your SPL coffee mug, Listers, and read on. Here is the list of Catholic coffee online:


1. Mystic Monk Coffee

Leading the way in Catholic Coffee, Mystic Monk is coffee brand operated by the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming. At their monastery near Cody, Wyo., the monks roast the coffee themselves as part of their daily manual labor. They are a newer, traditional community of Carmelite monks. They were founded in 2003 and maintain the use of the traditional Latin liturgy of the Carmelite Rite. Every purchase of coffee brings the monks close to building their new monastery. If you’re interested in seeing their plans, brace yourself for awesomeness and then, click here.

Not only do the monks at Mystic Monk Coffee sell coffee, they also sell high quality teas and religious goods. So, after you’ve filled your SPL mug with Mystic Monk Coffee, you can use that time to pray using your rosary from the very same monks. If you’re into using the time it takes you to drink coffee to increase spiritually, you should like this next company.


2. HIS Coffee Co.

Bringing Catholic Coffee back in touch with its roots, this Christian coffee company founded by a Roman Catholic deacon and his wife, promotes the Christian life through Coffee drinking. Their philosophy is that in the 10-20 min. it takes you to drink your morning cup of coffee, you could be increasing in your spiritual life through contemplative reading of the bible, prayer, spiritual reading, and other such activities that promote a relationship with God.  “HIS Coffee Company is taking this ‘very-developed’ daily habit of drinking coffee, and weaving in the ‘under-developed’ habit of Christian study and prayer so that they become one daily activity.”

Additionally, both HIS Coffee Co. and the next online coffee company in our list are can assist you in your fundraising needs.


3. HeBrews Café

Is a Christian based organization whose missions is to “help churches and other organizations setup and operate HeBrews Café coffee bars within their establishments.” Their vision encourages the communal life in places of peace and tranquility, enjoying life and good coffee. Based in BC, Canada,  HeBrews Café sells beans roasted by Canterbury Coffee Specialty Coffee Roasters. Though they are not a Catholic company, HeBrews Café allows a way for Catholic parishes to organize and set up their own Catholic coffeehouse atmosphere, and so, what isn’t explicitly Catholic to begin with, has every potential to be Catholic in every sense of the word.


More “Life & Leisure” from SPL:

More lists from Abram:

The 5 Papal Resignations in Catholic History

In honor of Pope Benedict XVI’s recent announcement of his resignation, we here at SPL have compiled a list of the five well documented and indisputable papal resignation in the history of the Church.

Listers, in honor of Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement of his resignation, we here at SPL have compiled a list of the five well documented and indisputable papal resignation in the history of the Church. From saints to sinners, though the number is small, the difference between these men and their circumstances is vast. Canon law pertaining to papal resignation didn’t exist until AD 1294. For this reason, the resignations have been further divided into their proper categories of canonical and non-canonical resignations.


Canonical Resignations

“I too hope in this short reign to be a man of peace.” – Pope Benedict XVI

1. Pope Benedict XVI – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was elected pope on 19 April 2005. The relatively short conclave was a bit of a surprise given the number of possible and qualified prelates at the time. Upon his election Ratzinger took the name Benedict XVI. He explained that he took the name Benedict for two reasons. First, in order to pay tribute to Benedict XV, who served as Pope during the First World War, and should be viewed as a peacemaker. Benedict XV’s attempts to resolve the hostility between nations was to be his example. He said, “Treading in his footsteps, I would like to place my ministry at the service of reconciliation and harmony between persons and peoples, since I am profoundly convinced that the great good of peace is first and foremost a gift of God, a precious but unfortunately fragile gift to pray for, safeguard and build up, day after day, with the help of all.1 Furthermore, the name is meant to evoke images of the great Christian saint Benedict of Nursia. On this he said:

The gradual expansion of the Benedictine Order that he founded had an enormous influence on the spread of Christianity across the Continent. St Benedict is therefore deeply venerated, also in Germany and particularly in Bavaria, my birthplace; he is a fundamental reference point for European unity and a powerful reminder of the indispensable Christian roots of his culture and civilization.2

During his papacy he has put in place many foundational structures that will continue to bear fruit in the work of reconciling many of the divisions that now exist within Christianity to anyone open to unity with the Church. He will also be remembered for his work in evangelization, particularly the work of the “New Evangelization” of our time, which should emphasize the indispensability of our Christian roots.

Benedict XVI announced his resignation on 11 February 2013 stating, “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.”3 His resignation is to be effective 28 February. This marks the first papal resignation in Modern times.

Main panel of a triptych with St Peter Celestine (pope Celestine V) and monks.

2. Pope St. Celestine V – Living as a hermit, Pietro di Murrone, wrote a letter to the Cardinals convened at Perugia, who had spent the last two years attempting to elect a Pope to no avail. Upon receiving the letter from Pietro, and its words of warning, the Cardinals swiftly moved to elect Pietro in AD 1294. After his election, Pietro moved to Rome with great reluctance and took the name Celestine V. After only five months in office, Celestine issued a papal bull canonically outlining the right of the pope to resign from his office without any need to have his resignation received by anyone (this is why it is often called “abdication”). Celestine promptly resigned. Celestine is said to have understood his own inadequacy for governing the Church due to his inexperience and even deficiency of physical strength among other things. Celestine V was venerated by Benedict XVI and may be the inspiration behind Benedict’s decision to resign.



Gregory XII

3. Pope Gregory XII – At the end of the Avignon Papacy, the Office of St. Peter was transferred back to Rome in AD 1377 by Gregory XI. Upon his death in 1378, the following year, Urban VI  was elected. A number of the same Cardinals who had elected Urban, were now upset with his papacy. They removed themselves and returned to Avignon where they held new elections illicitly. This began “the Western Schism.” A large number of Bishops and Christian Faithful, including Kings, Queens, and heads-of-state, were forced to choose allegiance to either the ‘pope’ in Avignon or the true Pope in Rome. It wasn’t until the papacy of Gregory the XII that a resolution to the schism would be resolved.

The College of Cardinals, frustrated with the matter, tried to hold talks in an attempt to end the schism. When this failed, another council was called in Pisa in 1409 by the Cardinals. Complicating matters, they elected a third pope, Alexander V, who was to replace Gregory XII and Benedict XIII. His ‘papacy’ was brief and John XXIII succeeded him in Pisa. Eventually, the Council of Constance was convoked in 1414 during Gregory’s pontificate. Antipope John XXIII resigned his office, but antipope Benedict XIII was declared excommunicated after his refusal to abdicate. On 4 July 1415 announced his resignation by two of his proxies at the council. His resignation was received by the Cardinals, but his successor wouldn’t be elected until after his death 18 October 1417. On 11 November 1417 Pope Martin V was elected, effectively ending the Western Schism.

To read more about St. Celestine V and Gregory XII click here.


Pre-canonical Resignations

Gregory VI

4. Pope Gregory VI – Johannes Gratianus, Archpriest of St. John by the Latin Gate, was by all accounts an honest and holy man. His godson, however, had been thrust into the office of Bishop of Rome, which he was reluctant to receive. His godson, who was now on the throne of St. Peter as Pope, freely offered to sell the papacy to Gratianus. Gratianus, who knew the desires of his godson’s heart, paid him the money and succeeded him as Pope. Gratianus took the name Gregory VI. His papacy was fraught with turmoil as his godson had twice been forced out of office, replaced by Pope Sylvester III who was later excommunicated by Gratianus’ godson and forced out of Rome. Gratianus’ godson returned from his exile and retook his throne as pope. Gregory VI all the while being recognized as the true Pope.

King Henry III, King of the Germans, called a council at Sutri in 1046 (not listed as an official ecumenical council). The council formally deposed both Sylvester III and Gregory’s godson. Under pressure and accused of simony after having bought the papacy—which he never denied—from his godson, Gregory resigned. Gregory’s chaplain, Archdeacon Hildebrand, was later elected Pope and took the name Gregory VII, giving legitimacy to the papacy of Gregory VI.


Benedict IX

5. Pope Benedict IX – The godson of Gregory VI. He resigned as Pope after having sold his office to his godfather. Considered by many to be one of the most immoral popes in the history of the Church. He is the only Pope to have ever sold the office and by many accounts one of the youngest. His exact age upon acceding to the Throne of St. Peter is debated, but it is generally believed that he was between 19-20 years of age. His influential parents, secured his office for him, thus leading to the scandal of his papacy.
For more information on Benedict IX and Gregory VI click here.
Listers, please reference our lists on The Papacy for more information on the Vicar of Christ. Also from Abram: The 6 Books by Pope Benedict XVI Every Catholic Should Read and 8 Spiritual Maxims from Saint John of the Cross. Abram writes for SPL, Ignitum Today, and blogs at Men Like Wine.
  1. Gen. Aud. 27 April 2005 []
  2. Gen. Aud. 27 April 2005 []
  3. Consistory for Causes of Canoniz. 11 Feb. 2013 []

6 Books by Pope Benedict XVI Every Catholic Should Read

With the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, we wanted to share with you part of his lasting legacy as a theologian and teacher. In the history of the popes, it is hard to find anyone as easy to read and understand.

Listers with the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, we wanted to share with you part of his lasting legacy as a theologian and teacher. In the history of the popes, it is hard to find anyone as easy to read and understand. His writings are, moreover, a beautiful blend of timeless and timely teaching, and at the center of all of his writings is the ever present search for the “Face of Christ” in his own personal relationship with Christ.


Pope Benedict XVI on SPL:


1. Introduction to Christianity

Possibly the most important book to understanding the thinking of Pope Benedict XVI, this is also the oldest book in this list. Originally written in 1968, this work is the most time-specific writing in this list, but the timelessness of Ratzinger’s “narrative Christology” reveals a process of encountering Christ in our own time and present situation while rooting that encounter within the walls of the Church.




2. Called to Communion

In this work Ratzinger explores the fundamental nature of the Church and its relation to today’s world. The first four chapters explore the origin of the Church, papal primacy, the relationship between the universal and particular Church, and the nature of the priesthood. In the fifth chapter, which is maybe the most relevant to us today, Ratzinger discusses the nature of reform, i.e. the necessity of institutional and juridical means to help the Church speak and act in the era in which She finds herself. On this matter he says, “Reform is ever-renewed ablatio—removal, whose purpose is to allow the nobilis forma, the countenance of the bride, and with it the Bridegroom himself, the living Lord, to appear.” This emphasis on personal encounter is an element of Evangelism found throughout his writings.


3. Jesus of Nazareth Vol. I

The most important of the series, this exegetical work lays out, in his foreword, his preferred methodology for the interpretation of scripture, which is ultimately a search for a personal relationship with Christ. This work, like the others in the series, sets an example for how to read and study Scripture. Simply titled, “Jesus of Nazareth,” Pope Benedict clearly leaves behind any search for the Second Person of the Trinity separate from the humanity of Christ. It is a culmination of a life of searching for a relationship with an historical figure who is both God and Man.



4. The Spirit of the Liturgy

The original title of this book in its original language, “The Spirit of the Liturgy: an Introduction,” indicates more about its relation to the work that inspired it, namely, “The Spirit of the Liturgy” by Romano Guardini. Ratzinger admits in the preface that Guardini’s work was fundamental to much of his own formation with regard to liturgy, which is ultimately the greatest possible encounter we have in this world with the God for whom we seek and long. Ratzinger again roots his ideas in Sacred Scripture and draws out from them the principles that define Christian worship.



5. Jesus of Nazareth Vol. II — Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection

The second part to his opus, “Jesus of Nazareth,” Pope Benedict XVI continues to explore the “figure and message of Jesus.” Christ’s figure and message culminate in the decisive events that surround His death and resurrection. These events are in themselves an expression of His message. In another way, they are the final word on the “figure” of Jesus and therefore the culmination and conclusion to the first part.




6. Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives

In his own words, His Holiness describes his book,  “It is not a third volume, but a kind of small ‘antechamber’ to the two earlier volumes on the figure and the message of Jesus of Nazareth.” Since the infancy narratives are not a source of Christ’s message, they do not fall into the purview of the earlier two volumes. It is a third part that, in a limited way, helps us to see and encounter the figure of Jesus. The Holy Father writes, “My hope is that this short book, despite its limitations, will be able to help many people on their path toward and alongside Jesus.”

Listers, check out Pope Benedict XVI to browse our complete catalogue of lists that reference the beloved “German Shepherd.”

8 Spiritual Maxims from Saint John of the Cross

“The way of faith is sound and safe, and along this souls must journey on from virtue to virtue, shutting their eyes against every object of sense and a clear and particular perception.” – St. John of the Cross

Listers, St. John of the Cross is the great Mystic Doctor of the Church. Along with St.Theresa of Ávila he founded the Discalced Carmelites, and this reform is only one aspect of his work in the Counter-Reformation. His reform of the Carmelite order was opposed by many within the order and eventually led to his imprisonment by the religious community in Toledo. There he composed the great part of many of his poems. He is still considered to be one of if not the pre-eminent poets of the Spanish language. His insight into the spiritual life makes him one of the most fascinating and important saints for all Catholics.

In honor of the Year of Faith, SPL is sharing eight of his twenty Spiritual Maxims on Faith. The Spiritual Maxims are a collection of quotes written by St. John of the Cross, and selected by him, from his various writings. In compiling these maxims, he prays:

Oh my Lord, Thou lovest discretion, and light, but love, more than all the other operations of the soul; so then let these maxims furnish discretion to the wayfarer, enlighten him by the way, and supply him with motives of love for his journey. Away, then, with the rhetoric of the world, sounding words and the dry eloquence of human wisdom, weak and delusive, never pleasing unto Thee.

The Spiritual Maxims on Faith


17. The way of faith is sound and safe, and along this souls must journey on from virtue to virtue, shutting their eyes against every object of sense and a clear and particular perception. ~A. ii. 16, 13.


18. When the inspirations are from God they are always in the order of the motives of his law, and of the faith, in the perfection of which the soul should ever draw nearer and nearer to God. ~L.F. Stanza iii. sec.29.


19. The soul that travels in the light and verities of the faith is secured against error, for error proceeds ordinarily from our own proper desires, tastes, reflections, and understanding, wherein there is generally too much or too little; and hence the inclination to that which is not seemly. ~D.N. ii. 16, 2.


20. By the faith the soul travels protected against the devil, its strongest and craftiest foe; and St. Peter knew of no stronger defence against him when he said: “Resist him, strong in faith.” ~D.N. xxi. 4, 5.


21. The soul that would draw near unto God and unite itself with Him, must do so by not comprehending rather than by comprehending, in utter forgetfulness of created things; because it must change the mutable and comprehensible for the immutable and the incomprehensible, Who is God. ~A. iii. 4, 3.


22. Outward light enables us to see that we may not fall; it is otherwise in the things of God, for there it is better not to see, and the soul is in greater security.


23. It being certain that in this life we know God better by what he is not then by what he is, it is necessary, if we are to draw near unto him, that the soul must deny, to the uttermost, all that may be denied of its apprehensions, both natural and supernatural. ~A. iii. 1, 1.


24. All apprehension and knowledge of supernatural things cannot help us to love God so much as the least act of living faith and hope made in detachment from all things. ~A. iii. 7, 4.


Taken from: St. John of the Cross, The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Vol. II. Trans. David Lewis. New York: Cosimo Classics, 2007.

Index of abbreviations:
A. – The Ascent of Mount Carmel
L. F.  – The Living Flame of Love
D. N. – The Dark Night of the Soul


This list was compiled by Abram Muenzberg, who writes at Men Like Wine, with the help of St. John of the Cross and David Lewis.