That Monday Morning Feeling Again

The hum of the washing machine and a slightly soapy smell in the air are a reminder that it is Monday again. It’s a very ordinary Monday, too (St Josaphat is a ‘collect only’ memoria for us). All I have to look forward to are a number of forms to be filled in for the bank, the Charity Commission. and other worthy bodies. Even the dog has decided to have a duvet day by the look of him. So, do I launch upon the world my own version of The Inspirational Quote to make your Monday morning feel even worse than it probably does already? Certainly not!

The point about ordinariness is that it is ordinary. commonplace. Most people’s lives are filled with routine, the unspectacular quotidian, and it is no different in a monastery. We do the same things day after day, sometimes barely registering that we have done them, and only seem to appreciate their value when  we are unable to do them for some reason. But St Benedict is insistent that it is the ordinary that will make us holy, gradually fashioning us into the icons of Christ we are meant to become. It is no accident that we know next to nothing of Christ’s early life, the years of quiet obscurity in Nazareth, but their very ordinariness prepared him for his public ministry, suffering and death. For a Christian, following in his footsteps, all life is a preparation for death and the entry into fullness of life — even those apparently endless Monday mornings. Treasure them.

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4 thoughts on “That Monday Morning Feeling Again”

  1. Carrying on in a very ordinary way, much helped by your blog. Thank you. Please add to your prayers my late son, whose anniversary it is today, and all his widespread family.

  2. I rather like the routines of the ordinary. A few years ago I tried to adopt the habit of attaching a one sentence prayer that I could use for the things I do every day e.g. for the morning shower, “Cleanse me and renew a right spirit within me.” I still use some of them. As I loaded our washing machine earlier this morning I didn’t accompany that with prayer. Your post has reminded me that I could have uttered a prayer of gratitude for such a faithful (and generally reliable) ‘maidservant’ who gets on with the work of washing and sets me free for other things.

    • What a coincidence! This morning, as I did the laundry, I thought perhaps that I am overly meticulous about how I sort and hang the wet clothes (we don’t have a dryer), and that my sister would probably accuse me of being O. C. D. But then I thought of the monastic teaching I received as a novice long ago: that doing the smallest things with care and attention carries over into the larger things of life, including our interior life;
      that our attitude toward work influences in a real way our attitude toward prayer, and vice versa. Remembering this helped me to realize that, with the right attitude and intention, doing the laundry is itself a prayer.

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