By Ken Rolheiser
“Getting to heaven is not about Sundays, it’s about Mondays. What we do on Mondays.” Edwin Rolheiser
I have faced approximately 1400 Monday morning back to work blues in my working career as a teacher. After twenty years of retirement I am almost over that Sunday night feeling that Monday is coming. “Find a job you like, and you will add five days to every week.”H. Jackson Browne
Sundays are God’s gift to us. We need to rest and pray and prepare and repair our lives so that the work week can be approached with inspiration and enthusiasm. That is sage advice and comes to us in January which sports the worst Monday blues, culminating with blue Monday in the last week of January.
The dying breath of the last Monday of 2018 brought joy and inspiration to this writer. New Year’s Eve saw our family celebrating in the usual prayer and reminiscing as we gathered our strength for 2019 without my oldest brother whom I quoted above.
Many happy and painful memories were expressed as each family member in turn shared thoughts and news about the past year. Sometimes the way to bring the best of times from the worst of times is to experience tropically, in a figurative way.
In “Worst of Times is the Birth of the Best of Times” Father Brendan McGuire talks about our struggles in the darkest moments of our lives. That is when we believe in something deeper than ourselves, namely God. From that darkness hope is born.
McGuire shares the story of a 90-year-old parishioner, a wonderful woman of faith, who dies after a long illness with cancer. After 70 years of marriage and a wonderful life Rosa was ready to go. But she was waiting for her great, great granddaughter to be born. Little Holly got to spend two weeks with Anna before Anna died.
“When we gathered around that night, it was a beautiful celebration… [Anna] smiled and knew she was ready to go to the Lord. In the darkest of times, she knew that the light of God was coming for her. Through the birth of her great, great granddaughter, she could see that light return to the family. ‘In the darkest of times is the birth of the greatest of times.’"
McGuire reminds us, “Eternal life is real. It is hard sometimes to understand that when we are young and vibrant, and everything is going well for us. Eventually, we will take that last journey home.”
And so our family gathered on that last Monday of 2018 and steeled our courage and strength in the memories of God’s blessings over the life-times of family members who had gone before us.
One bible passage has always represented my father’s faith witness:“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.”
“But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—“ Psalm 103:17