Six-thirty Monday morning, I flick on a lamp and stumble to the coffee pot to stage four school lunches. This week, our family faces volleyball, chorus auditions, piano, a football game over the mountain, trucks to unload, and toys to ship. I have one hour to make sure the dogs are fed and my husband and kids get out the door. I load the washing machine and set the delay button to an hour later, saved for a hot shower. I have about ten minutes to check my email and Facebook page before getting ready for work. I’ll arrive back at home around 4 to start dinner.
The caffeine is doing little to jump start my lousy mood and general feeling of malaise. I trudge through the Monday tunnel, mentally noting that the mortgage is due soon.
While dinner simmers, I decide that endorphins will do me good. I jog until a stitch needles a rib. I slow to a stroll and ask the Lord to show me what to write. I lean on The Rosary as my genre for prayer. The Joyful Mysteries are recited on Mondays, a beautiful way to start the week.
The ritual begins with the sign of the cross and The Apostles’ Creed. After that, I pray the first ‘Our Father’, otherwise known as the ‘Lord’s Prayer’—deliberately. I mean what I say, and say what I mean.
The meat of meditation then follows with The Annunciation, The Visitation, The Nativity, The Presentation, and finally, Jesus in the Temple as an adolescent. Through each event I worship the Holy Trinity at the finger of every Hail Mary bead. Not mindless or rote, it is selfless and contemplative. What I have lacked all this long, mundane Monday.
My body aches, but I feel less narcissistic. The sun glows through cloud cover and I respond to communion. After all, when we speak the words, “Our Father,” we pray not only for ‘self’.
The Annunciation illustrates the angel Gabriel visiting Mary. It is an opportunity for us to pray for all unborn children and recognize humility.
The Visitation refers to Mary’s journey, in greeting her cousin Elizabeth, who is also expecting. As John the Baptist, leaps in his mother’s womb, my own path parallels with gratitude for new life and friendship. 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 imagine what kind of Monday my pals have had. Are they struggling? My hand glides from a sweaty neck, down to a miraculous medal of Mary, finally resting over my heart. I whisper, “Mary, we need mothers who will say yes, like you did. We need true love of neighbor. Please show us your son.”
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.