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Monday, December 21, 2015

My Morning Coffee with Mary

Most people agree that your mornings dictate the course of your day.   If you wake up five minutes before your alarm goes off and can enjoy a few moments snuggle into the warm arms of your spouse before you get out of bed.....a good day is ahead.     Sleep through your alarm, jump out of bed, trip over the dog and stub your toe on the bedpost, and you can almost expect your day to be "crappy"!    Since my bipolar diagnosis, I have learned the importance of a morning ritual, but I'll admit, mine has changed drastically over the past twenty-five years. 

When I was a single mom, my mornings were filled with chaos, yelling and a lot of crying!    Every morning I would wake up at six o’clock with the best intentions of creating a calm, loving atmosphere for my children.   The daily goal was always the same, get them up, fed, dressed and out the door by eight o'clock.      Remember the cartoon of Snow White, walking through the forest led by bunnies with bluebirds singing joyfully around her head?    That was the peaceful scene I wanted for my children every day.     Each morning, with the best of intentions,  I would quietly walk into each child's room and gently speak to them in a voice as soft as butter, “It’s time to get up."       But we all know where good intentions can lead.... and by half past eight I’m screaming at those same kids, “Get your young butts in the car, now!”   “Butt” is not the colorful word I used, but you must remember I’m not perfect and cursing was and still is an “art form” to me.    When the kids were little, there were so many mornings, we would be rushing out the door when I would suddenly notice that my daughter’s head and hands were bare.   It would be January in Ohio and this little girl would not be able to find her hat or mittens!   In desperation, I would give her my gloves which were ten sizes too big for her little hands and then jerk one of my son’s blue stocking caps complete with a car emblem over her head.   Yes, morning routines were more like a scene from "Terminator" than "Snow White"!


Twenty-five years later my mornings are quite different.   All the kids are grown and live on their own.   I get up before my husband, let the dog out, get the paper, make my coffee then I sit in my favorite chair and pray the rosary.    This is my quiet time with Mary.   I’ve learned over the past three years that the rosary is more than just a series of repetitive prayers.   Each day I meditate on a different aspect of the life of Jesus.   I begin on Mondays with the Joyful Mysteries:   The Messenger of God announcing to Mary that she is to be the Mother of God; Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth;  The birth of our Lord in a stable in Bethlehem; Jesus’ presentation in the Temple as an infant;  and Mary finding Jesus in the temple when he was twelve.     Each day is a journey through the life of Christ; The Glorious Mysteries, The Luminous Mysteries and then on Friday I reflect and meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries.   I  meditate on  Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane; his scourging at the pillars, the crowning of thorns, Jesus carrying the cross to Calvary and His death on the cross for our sins.


When you think about it, Mother Mary was the only human being that was with our Lord his entire life.   She was witness to his self-magnification in Cana, his death on the cross, his resurrection, his ascension to heaven and she was in the upper room when the Holy Spirit descended.   After my Rosary, I thank God for everything He has given me, everything He has taken from me and everything He has left for me.   Then I read my morning reflection and post the Jesuit pray on Facebook.    This entire routine takes me about thirty minutes.   I can’t help but think how different my life would have been if I would have started my day with this routine when raising my kids.   


The rosary is my direct connection to our heavenly Mother…she is my lifeline.   She helps ground me for my day ahead.     They say it takes thirty days to develop a habit.  Praying the rosary every morning, in my car, on my way to work had been my habit for three years, but when I became unemployed, I struggled to find quiet time to pray.    I’m now enjoying my new morning routine, what could be better than to start your day with prayerful conversation and coffee with Mary.

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