“When you awake in the night,
transport yourself quickly in spirit before the Tabernacle, saying:
‘Behold, my God, I come to adore You, to praise, thank, and love you,
and to keep you company with all the Angels.'”
St. John Vianney
(sunset over the the gulf /Julie Cook / 2018)
The past several nights I have woken up around 2:30 AM—wide awake.
Despite the AC running and my husband gently snoring, sleep for me is over.
My back aching with the slightest move–and now an aching neck and shoulder.
It hurts to turn, to roll, to twist.
Dreams, when they come, have been vivid, leaving me wondering and pondering.
Pondering much too much for such an unwelcoming hour.
Time passes with no relief as the numbers of the clock tick on and on.
No calm nor slumber.
Sleep, for me, is often elusive but more so as of late.
When the morning light comes, it is almost rude and unkind as
I find it harder and harder to get up since sleep now tries to
arrive right when it’s time to get up.
Exhausted and ill, I grouse at the day.
Last night, my brain turned on, my eyes popped open and it was only 2:30— my mind racing.
I ruminated on and on like a cow chewing cud over my latest odd dream.
Unresolved ancient issues or just the aching of a herniated disc?
I examine the past.
“NO”, I shout to my hyper-focused mind…” this is not the time!”
So my brain now toys with me, as the unending partial lyrics to a song
begin playing over and over as the earworm bores deeper into my brain.
“STOP”, I silently plead to my restless brain….”just let me rest”, I implore.
And so…I pray.
Focusing on that which is greater than the madness, greater than my weariness.
I offer myself over to You as a sacrifice…
Hear my prayers oh Lord…
“Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner”
Over and over I repeat the soothing words until I sense my mind and body quieting in unison.
“My Lord, I offer you myself in turn as a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
You have died for me, and I in turn make myself over to you.
I am not my own.
You have bought me; I will by my own act and deed complete the purchase.
My wish is to be separated from everything of this world;
to cleanse myself simply from sin; to put away from me even what is innocent,
if used for its own sake, and not for yours. I put away reputation and honor,
and influence, and power, for my praise and strength shall be in you.
Enable me to carry out what I profess.”
Bl. John Henry Newman, p. 135
An Excerpt From