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Rising Sun

August 11, 2010

In the Psalms, King David reminds us to pray from the very beginning of the day.

From the rising of the sun to its setting,

is the Name of the Lord to be praised!

Whether a mother rises before dawn

or at the hour of daybreak,

(perhaps without much sleep behind her)

she is already endowed with all the graces

of her calling.

The Church teaches that each of us receives grace to accomplish the work of our vocation. God calls; he also enables us to respond to that call. When we feel weak, which is often, we still have those graces.

But do we take them up? Do we ask for them right now?

One of the most famous images of Mary is the image on the front of the medal which occasioned so many conversions, healings, and other graces that it was nicknamed “the Miraculous Medal.” Mary stands over the world with her hands opened out in front of her and rays of light streaming from her hands to the earth. Once she gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem; for always, she “makes new Bethlehems” in us as we find in her presence the presence of Jesus and the graces of our vocation.

But in this image, not all rays reach the earth — because not all graces are sought and received. It is a matter of asking and expecting; it is a matter of trust. The graces are offered, but we must reach out and take them. We must not be like a child who does not open a gift because the wrapping is so nice. No, the gift is better, and it is the will of the Giver that we have it!

So a mother begins her day with praise. Maybe it is a sleepy praise with a child still nursing; maybe it is a glad praise because of big plans for the day; maybe it is a still and trustful praise after a sleep disturbed by sickness or the anticipation of demanding changes. But it’s always praise, always trustful, because there’s always a new day of motherhood and it comes with all the graces she needs to meet it.

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