Monday Morning Blues

It is amazing how many people suffer from ‘Monday morning blues’. In the monastery one day follows another without the ‘week-end’ as such intervening — the liturgical calendar is the all-important demarcator of days and seasons. This Monday, however, is different. With Ash Wednesday only a couple of days away, if we have not yet thought through how we are going to make a fresh start during Lent, this is the day to do it. Inevitably, one starts with the negatives: where do I need to pull my monastic socks up? It can all seem a bit dispiriting.

The advice St Benedict gives for making a good Lent is remarkably straightforward, and I’ll be going through some of it in a later post, but here I want to draw attention to just one element. He says of our Lenten observance that whatever we do should be done ‘with the joy of the Holy Spirit’ and ‘looking forward to Easter with joy and spiritual longing’ (cf RB 49. 6, 7). Joy and longing are not necessarily the first things we associate with Lent, but Benedict’s words remind me, at least, that ‘Monday morning blues’ can be  a trifle self-indulgent — or as Kirkegaard remarked, ‘The trouble with Christians is that they don’t look redeemed.’ Another challenge to meet!

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10 thoughts on “Monday Morning Blues”

  1. I suspect it is difficult to avoid the consciousness that one is giving up a pleasure and difficult to prevent that from affecting the joy of Christianity. Being miserable is a poor ad for Christianity – there is a lot to be said for the Salvation Army beating the big drum for pure joy!

  2. It is not even remotely amazing that so many people suffer from Monday-morning blues. Rather, it is amazing that there are not more people suffering. To hold down a job, perhaps a low-paid job, pay all one’s bills, do all one’s housework day after day, year after year is the lot of many people and to feel crushed by it at times is very far from being self-indugent.

      • There was nothing to be misunderstood in your post. Your words were clear ‘It is amazing how many people suffer from Monday morning blues’ and that ‘Monday morning blues can be a trifle self-indulgent’.

        I respect and admire the work of all clergy and religious but the fact remains that few whom I have met have had experience of decades of hard unrelenting work providing for themselves out of their own resources. It therefore seems particularly inappropriate to me for a religious to comment in such a way on the response which many have to the lot which is theirs.

        • I am sorry you have taken such exception to my words but they do not bear the interpretation you have put upon them. As a point of syntax, the comment I made about being a ‘trifle self-indulgent’ followed on an observation about myself. Those who know the community will know how we fund everything, including this blog and the other resources we make available to the visually impaired and on our web sites. Idleness is not only the enemy of the soul as St Benedict says, it is the surest route to penury!

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