The Agony in the Living Room

My usual morning routine consists of getting out of bed at “O-Dark-Thirty” to spend a few minutes with Bill before he leaves for work. O-Dark-Thirty is mil-speak for “A Time Before Even Bakers Awake or Cocks Crow”.

He usually leaves for work at 515 am, and I sit on the living room couch and begin to pray the rosary. If I’m really lucky, I can get through 3 or 4 decades before Pete starts crying for me.

Today, I was mediating on the Agony in the Garden (the FIRST decade) when I heard the baby. So, as usual, I go up to bed, nurse him back to sleep and then slip back downstairs and pick up the rosary where I left off.

I was mid-way through the Scourging at the Pillar (decade #2) when I heard the boys in their bedroom, which is a downstairs room. It was 550 am. My already distracted thoughts are now completed shattered as I ponder why in the world they are up so early. Besides, of course, the fact that it’s beginning to be daylight.

I hear them come out of their room and peer into the living room. Then I hear Fritz whisper, “Billy, let’s go back to our room.” “Why?” “Mom’s praying.” And off they go.

Good, I think. They’ll stay there for a half hour or so. They have interrupted my early morning prayers before and they’ve been given three options: go back to bed, pray with me, or sit silently in the same room. The confines of their bedroom are much more appealing.

But I’m wrong. Each successive decade is interrupted by the sound of their door quietly opening, little feet trying to be stealthy, and an exasperated sigh as they discover that Mom is STILL praying. And so, instead of meditating on Jesus carrying the cross, I’m stuck in the Agony in the Garden as I ponder how Jesus prayed for a long period of time despite the distractions of unsupportive disciples, plotting betrayers and enemies and approaching soldiers.

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