Mondays need not be considered the “rainy days” of our week once we understand their special Catholic significance.
This is Part II in our series on popular devotions linked to each day of the week. See Sunday here.
“Rainy days and Mondays always get me down,” Karen Carpenter once sang. A more updated song describing this same challenging work-a-day feeling is captured in the lyrics of “Thank You,” sung by Dido: “My tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why I got out of bed at all; the morning rain clouds up my window, and I can’t see at all.”
But in this song, the “hell” the singer describes of a difficult job and a rain-soaked journey ends with these words that might as well be a prayer, if we were to utter them to God: “all I see is you/ And even if my house falls down now, I wouldn’t have a clue/ Because you’re near me and/ I want to thank you for giving me the best day of my life.”
Mondays need not be considered the “rainy days” of our week once we understand their special Catholic significance. Instead, as we follow the Monday Catholic devotions, we might just feel closer to the sentiments of that Dido song, “the best day of my life.” And why shouldn’t we at least strive to feel that way all the time, when each day is a new and precious gift from God?
In our Catholic tradition, Mondays are devoted to the Holy Spirit, and the souls in Purgatory.
It’s great to begin the work week with extra devotion to the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity to whom we pray for enlightenment, for wisdom, for the right words to help others.
We ask the Holy Spirit to work through us over the course of the day and remind us we are instruments, not the ultimate Music-Maker, and the good things that come forth from us are all led by the Holy Spirit.
What a hopeful way to start the work week and enter the secular world again after the peace and sanctity of Sunday!
Here is a great, brief prayer to the Holy Spirit written by St. Augustine:
Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.
Another way to enrich our daily grind on Monday with meaning?
Pray for the souls in Purgatory. This is something we have a responsibility to do, since we are taught that although those souls in Purgatory can pray for us, they cannot pray for themselves. It is a good way to do good unto others, for if we were in Purgatory, we would sure hope someone was praying for us.
Here is the famous Prayer of St. Gertrude for the Souls in Purgatory:
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
Any time you feel like your efforts aren’t adding up to as much as you’d like, drop everything for a moment and give assistance through prayer to the holy souls in Purgatory, some of whom, undoubtedly, you have known or crossed paths with in this life.
Many Catholics also dedicate Mondays to the Holy Angels. What a great way to start the work week, asking your guardian angel for help! Since so many of us need a lift on Mondays, it’s easy to remember that Mondays are a day of the week dedicated to our angelic protectors. (Others choose Tuesday to dedicate to the angels.)
Mondays can also be celebrated through praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, an uplifting way to start the work week journeying with Mary.
May we allow the reminder of Our Blessed Mother’s fiat, or holy “Yes” of the first Joyful Mystery, the Annunciation, to inspire us to say “yes” to whatever God asks of us throughout the week. It’s especially relevant today, when we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, transferred to today from March 25 to avoid falling during Holy Week or the Easter Octave this year.