In the library of the Vatican, a startling discovery has been recently made. Theologians have discovered a lost article of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa theologica. The article is below:
Article 1. Is coffee necessary for salvation?
Objection 1: Due to the fact that the response of faith accompanied by actions which flow from our interior transformation are the grounds of salvation, it appears that coffee is not necessary for salvation for it neither is necessary for faith nor is it a work of charity.
Objection 2: Since those with particular illnesses are unable to partake of coffee, and we must maintain that God gives sufficient grace to all persons, it likewise seems that coffee is not necessary for salvation.
Objection 3: Since caffeine is the essential element which gives coffee its salutary effects, and since caffeine can be obtained by other means, it likewise seems that coffee is not strictly necessary for salvation.
On the contrary, we must understand the distinction between that which is absolutely necessary and that which is most fitting. While God’s divine providence has ordained that some souls are endowed with miraculous powers and able to withstand ordeals which transcend natural operations, nonetheless, coffee is an integral component of the vitality needed to respond to God’s grace.
I answer that, Jesus commanded his disciples to remain alert and awake (Mt. 24:42) and he reprimanded them for the inability to keep watch with him due to falling asleep (Mt. 26:40). While the Divine mandate of Christ to stay awake and alert is not a condemnation of the natural good of sleep, it does indicate a level of interior alertness which requires the stimulation of coffee. While other means may substitute for the salutary benefits of coffee, ultimately it is by means of a kind of participation in the fullness of vitality which comes from coffee.
Reply to Objection 1: We must make a distinction between that which is essential to salvation and that which is accidental. While faith and good works are essential to salvation, there remains many aids which assist the believer in achieving their supernatural end. Thus, while coffee cannot be said to be essentially necessary for salvation, it can be said to be accidentally necessary for salvation.
Reply to Objection 2: While such souls are truly to be prayed for and pitied, we should recognize that such souls lack the means necessary to rise to the heights of sanctity except by means of extraordinary graces. In this case, while the Lord provides sufficient grace, it is nonetheless a depravation in the economy of salvation.
Reply to Objection 3: While some beverages contain elements which mimic the salutary benefits of coffee, we must maintain that in the natural order coffee is the most fitting aid to sanctity. Thus it is by means of participation in the essence of coffee that other forms of stimulation can be said to aid in salvation.