Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Cup of Tea

Some time ago this article was published at Catholic Mom.Com. I am offering it here today as a dose of inspiration for your day...

My Cup of Tea
By Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

I rarely sit down for a cup of tea. Even my morning cup is usually drunk on the go. I bring it with me as I go about my various routines around the house or in the car on my way out, seldom allowing myself a few moments to just sit and sip after having eaten my breakfast. More often than not I am usually drinking tea that has gone cold. It’s funny because I am the one always telling everyone else to sit down and relax. I say, “It tastes better sitting down.”

I am quite accustomed to this busy pace though, as a mother of five children and being an author always on a deadline, so I am not complaining. I love my life-hurried pace and all. God is good, I always say, surrounding us with many blessings even amidst the chaos or everyday trials of life.

“Relaxation of the mind from work consists in playful words and deeds. Therefore it becomes a wise and virtuous person to have recourse to such things. It is necessary at times to make use of them, in order to give rest, as it were, to the soul,” we learn from St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica.

It’s essential for all of us in all of our walks of life to take a moment here and there to take a breath and really consider whether or not we are actually living in the present moment or are more concerned about yesterday’s happenings or worried about what we are about to embark.

By taking the time out occasionally throughout our days and making a mental note of where our thoughts actually are, we can bring ourselves back to the present moment and ask our Lord how He wants us to spend this moment, all the while praying for His grace, asking to be His instrument to draw others to Him.


I have been more cognizant lately, of trying to pause and really take in whatever our Lord gives me-the good and the seemingly bad-everything, knowing that He works through it all and gives us opportunities throughout our days to come closer to Him in all things. Truly, nothing is a coincidence.

Recently, while out on a morning walk down a long dirt road, taking in all the beauty of nature with my senses, I really felt very solidly planted in the present moment. The breeze was gently blowing the leaves on the trees, making patterns on the road, caressing my face and arms with refreshment. The sounds of songbirds filled the air with angelic melodies that our modern day music couldn’t possibly imitate. The morning sun was kissing the back of my neck as I put one foot in front of the other, rosary beads in hand, giving my day to the Lord under the mantle of Mary. I felt very appreciative to be given the gift of that walk out in God’s country.

There was only one problem. Because a horse farm was nearby, a few stray horseflies were circling my head, threatening to bite, diving into me constantly with an annoying boldness and speed. I almost felt as if I would give in to the annoyance and feel annoyed-really annoyed. But no, God gave me the grace at that very moment to say, “Thank you Lord for this day, this wonderful day with all of its beauty and two legs to walk on to enjoy your gift of nature along this walk. And thank you, Lord also for the horseflies.” Lo and behold, they left! They had followed me, diving at me for at least a mile, and after I thanked God for them, they left. I stood there astounded, thanking God for His love and the beauty of our earth and my life and the grace to be present in that moment.

I know the story of these horseflies may seem like a silly example. But, I believe our Lord wants us to thank Him for everything in our lives. If we open our hearts to His love and grace, we will begin to see everything with a greater meaning as we are given more opportunities to get closer to our Heavenly Father. Meanwhile, an example is set for others around us.

Rest for the Soul

In addition to striving to live in the present moment, giving up our worries about our yesterdays and our tomorrows, we must also take the time to sit down and sip that cup of tea, savoring the moment. We need to try to slow down and spend more time with our families, trying our best to hang onto our family dinners and occasions together before they slip by. We need to take a little time out for relaxation to refresh our bodies and souls so that we will be able to meet the challenges each day with vigor and strength. We should seek out the joy in life and find it if we can, even amidst pain or sadness.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, whom I have had the great privilege to know, preached that “Joy is a net to catch souls.” Are we allowing Jesus to bring us His joy so that we may radiate it to others? When we do stay still for a moment to listen, do we really want to know what our Lord is trying to tell us?

Are there things in our lives that are just a bunch of clutter, taking up our time and focus? Where can we trim down our schedules so we are not just running from one event to the next? Where can we find the time for more prayer? These are some crucial questions we can ask ourselves. We need to truly seek our Lord from the depths of our hearts, praying that we can be open to His holy will in our lives. We can ask Him to show us the opportunities for grace and moments where we can retreat to our hearts to gaze upon Him who gives us life.

Meanwhile, how about a cup of tea? Come on over, we can sit out on the deck and enjoy our tea and our time together. Would you care for chai, green, black, chamomile, or orange pekoe? I hope you don’t mind a horsefly or two!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Donna-Marie! :)

    I would love to share a cuppa Chai with you. I just bought some yesterday. It's so soothing! Even my son Alex who's 4, and has a cold, enjoyed a little mug of tea this morning.

    God bless,


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