s I made my way to my morning ritual of delighting in homemade brewed coffee, I proceeded with my morning pace (like 60 on the musical metronome) keeping in mind that it was my day off … to this quaint shrine in my room to light a tea candle in this tiny red glass container. I found myself a bit shocked as I had to put extra effort in opening my sleepy eyes to realize that the metal from the last tea candle was stuck from the oozing hot wax in the wicks final journey from the day before. I thought I’d leave it alone and move along in my pursuit for coffee!
Stuck like wax?
Birthdays are big events to me. It’s a joy to always celebrate life, especially with those you love. The other night my sister asked if I was doing the usual party for the big day which marks itself mid next week. I stood in the kitchen, thinking just for a moment, and realized, that I had nothing really planned. I was so caught up in reflecting this past year: all its transitions, major shifts, living environment, career change … to name a few. So the fact that life’s clock was turning 31 did cross my mind, but did not have a real shock factor to me. I don’t consider this way of musing as being “stuck like wax” more than I feel that the flame of my own candle reaching this special point before it begins to enthrall the wax of life once more … if that makes sense.
I think of Her
She adorns my room many times over than my own biological mother or little sister. The one whom Archbishop Fulton Sheen calls the world’s first love seems to catch my eyes attention no matter where I turn in my personal space. She adorns my room under many titles: Our Lady of Peace, Mother of Perpetual Help, Daughter of Saint Ann, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and I even have icons of her … direct from the mother land of icons: Greece. The room is also filled with her signature prayer, 50 small beads and 5 large ones that make up that special bouquet of spiritual roses. So it goes without saying that the Blessed Virgin Mary is no stranger to me. As a matter of fact, this 30th year has found her as my primary companion getting me through all the hurdles and needed consolations!
She struck a chord with me last night as I sang with the chorale. The rehearsal bookended itself with the sounds of her most popular chant: Salve Regina. It’s heard at the end of every funeral commending the souls of a priests and religious sisters. It’s heard in seminaries, parishes, small prayer groups, but never have I heard and chanted it with such affection than when I first learned this love song at the Mount.
I once learned that she told Saint Dominic that this was her most cherished hymn … I couldn’t agree more. The texts speak of deep trust and utter dependence on the Virgin Lady. Chanting such a beautiful hymn transported me back into the memories of how much I have leaned on her for her protection and care and how much I have asked her to help me become a saint.
So what am I really saying?
With all the trouble I had starting the morning, my life is not stuck like wax. As the 31st year slowly makes its way, I realized that my life is grafted into the life of the Virgin Mary. Mustn’t every believer, disciple, and catechist of Christ live life in this manner? Why? Simply because Jesus did. He was totally dependent on Mary as a child, he looked to her for nourishment and protection. He gave himself to her so that he can grow in wisdom and holiness. I want to do the same.
At the close of rehearsal, I peaked at my watch & realized that Compline was coming to a close and they too, the monks and seminarians of the Mount Angel Abbey & Seminary, were probably chanting the Salve Regina at the close of their prayerful liturgy ushering the quietness of the night as we were doing the same at the end of a vigorous rehearsal. I knew at that moment … that brief moment … I was united with them because of Mary. The bells of the mount will continue to toll calling people to prayer, I shall continue with my coffee & melting wax, resting assured that someone truly loves me and is watching out for me.