What is it about Monday that feels like I’m entering a dark tunnel plodding through, alone? I picture Jesus leaning on that huge boulder with folded hands looking upwards heaven towards God the Father, pleading, “Do I have to do this? Where are you?”
For someone who married a man who once said, “You’ll never find someone better than me. You will never find a man who loves you more than I do,” why should I ever feel lonely?
I don’t know—Monday just makes me feel as if the weekend was too short. Like, “Here we go again.” I don’t want to start another work week. I never feel like working. A large part of my waking hours are spent in a gloomy shipping room at a busy keyboard. I remember learning about data entry positions in typing class. It sounded so boring, it scared me.
I never once complained today, (not out loud). I tried to keep my chin up, and tell myself that at least I have a job and get paid well for it. My husband lets me come in after 9 and leave at 3—in time to pick up the kids from school.
I have no choice but to endure my lousy mood and earn my keep, and the keep of our children in college, braces, and kitchen. The older they get, the more expensive. The grocery bill is climbing with the cost of tuition and cell phones.
On the way to work, a squirrel runs across our dirt road carrying two pieces of fruit (about the size of handballs). I’d never seen such a thing. It looked like two green apples were linked together on a forked stem and the squirrel carried them in his teeth like a barbell. Did he know it was Monday? Instinctively, he knows its fall and prepares for winter, but does he begrudge it? Does he think in his acorn sized brain, “I shouldn’t be doing, this. I’m not self-actualized at all.” No. He knows it’s necessary so as not to starve when the temperature drops. He’s happy to fill his burrow.
Later, I decide that some form of exercise will do me good. I need the endorphins. Rob and I go running at the dam. We don’t run together of course, I can’t keep up with his long legs. So, I jog until an annoying stitch needles my ribs and my stomach feels like a balloon is about to pop inside of it. It’s more fun to walk and I justify this by saying to myself, “At least you’re out here, and you can stroll to a ‘writer’s walk’. This is the ‘chi’ builder for anyone pursuing a work of literary material. I pray for a while. I ask the Lord to show me what to write. At Mass Sunday, our priest admonished us to pray the Rosary. It is the best prayer when you don’t know how to pray. Seeing that the Lord’s Prayer, or as Catholics call it, the “Our Father”, is an integral part of each decade of Hail Mary beads—I’d say, he’s right on.
Sure enough, the Church has seen to it that the Joyous Mysteries are recited on Mondays. What better way to start the week than with the genesis of the life of Christ? For those of you who don’t know—‘mystery’ in this sense is another word for Truth. The events of Jesus’ life take a dose of faith. Isn’t it interesting, that without faith, (something we reason without tactile sense) we don’t grip the essence of Truth. We need spiritual eyes, ears, and understanding.
My sacramental ritual begins with making the sign of the cross. The Apostles’ Creed starts me off, (of which all Christian denominations agree). After that, the first ‘Our Father’ is prayed with every ounce of fervor I can muster. I am deliberate. I try very hard to mean what I say, and say what I mean. For a measure of faith, hope and love, we then recite and trust in Our Lady’s intercession—three Hail Mary prayers.
The meat of meditation then follows with The Annunciation, The Visitation, The Nativity, The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, and finally, Finding Jesus in the Temple as a young adolescent. Each event carries great scriptural passages to ponder while reciting 10 Hail Mary prayers and pressing our worship towards the Holy Trinity. It is not mindless or rote, as some have suggested. It is selfless and contemplative. What I have lacked all this long, mundane Monday.
As I turn my heart away from myself, and towards God and His kingdom, my mind opens up. I’m still huffing and puffing and my body doesn’t want to cooperate, but I feel a little less narcissistic. The sun is glowing through a slight cloud cover and I feel communion. After all, when we speak the words, “Our Father,” we are not praying alone or for our individual selves—only.
The angel Gabriel visits Mary to let her in on God’s divine plan. The Annunciation mystery is a chance for us to pray for all unborn children and their Moms. It is an opportunity to recognize humility at its’ very best.
The Visitation covers the journey that Mary makes, while pregnant, to see her cousin Elizabeth, who is also expecting John the Baptist. As John leaps in his mother’s womb, my memory wanders to friendship. The fruit of this mystery is that we would be emboldened to love our neighbor. I realize that God is showing me what to write. I decide to pray for every single friend I’ve ever made. I ask Jesus to bring to the forefront, each one—here amidst purple mountains, that are my prayer closet.
I wonder if my pals have had a Monday, like I’ve had. Are they lonesome, struggling, hungry, or sick? My hand glides from my sweaty neck, down to my miraculous medal of Mary, the mother of God, hanging from a silver chain, down to my heart. I ask in a whisper, “Mary, we need your prayers. Show us your son.”
So here is a list of every friend I can recall—first names only.
Find your name. Pour yourself a cup of tea, coffee, or whatever…maybe a glass of red. Raise it to friendship. Klink it with mine. You are not alone. I love you and God does too.
Gina- Regina-Jill-Kendi-Michelle-Michelle-Michelle-Michelle-Christina-Jennifer-Kathy-Cathy-Cathy-Cathy-Jackie-Kirsten-Janine-Lorraine-Page-Margie-Sally-Carolyn-Judy-Judy-Nikki-Kaye-Kay-Mom- Mom A.-Dara-Mary-Leslie-Sandy-Shannon-Kimy-Denise-Denise-Audrey-Julie-Maggie-Missy-Anne-Ann-Colleen-Rosemary-Glenda-Celia-Chrissy-Sarah-Sara-Laura-Brenda-Nancy-Susan-Rebecca-Holly-Betsy-Barbie-Molly-Francine-Francis-Linda-Debbie-Claire-Stacy-Stacey-Patty-Carol-Melissa-Marie-Wendy-Lindsey-Sue-Joni-Janet-Sharon-Cindy-Wendy-Robynne-Robin-Rickee-Liz-Elizabeth-Deanna-Lisa- Bunny-Sherri-Teresa-Peggy-Lynn-Stefany-Stephanie-Crystal-Marinelle-Bobbi-Heather-Janis-Valerie-Laurel-Carla-Kristi-Kelly-Kelli-Jessica-Kristen-Tara-Christelle-Wilma-Shelley-Karen-Tammy-Amy-Tonya-Vicki-Marti-Sheryl-Maren-Stella-Catherine-Serina-Haley-Nancy-Cornelia-Georgia-Marianne-Lois-Elissa-Angel-Susie-Mia-Dawn-Joey-Katie-Bethany-Danika….and the list goes on.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.