"Some people might think it contradictory to speak of 'contemplative' in the same sentence as 'mother of a large family.' But it is the contemplative spirit that has helped me survive the chaos that is natural when raising a number of children.
Just as a monastery cloister has enclosure and a grille to separate it from the world, so my heart has an enclosure. My enclosure is God's will. I strive to keep my heart enclosed in the Will of God. My grille is formed by Scripture, and the teachings and traditions of the Church...
The cloister in my heart is a place of refuge. It is a place where I can retreat from the world no matter where I am; in the middle of a crowded mall, or in a busy grocery store, or in my own kitchen. My cloistered heart allows me to sneak away from my 'Martha' busyness to be a 'Mary' kneeling at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42).
My cloistered heart is a refuge in the midst of the world. It is a place to which I can escape to think, to pray, to meditate. I also hope that the cloister in my heart provides a refuge for Jesus, a place where He can find peace and love and refreshment...
To be a cloistered heart, to live a cloistered heart life, is to aspire to be contemplative in the midst of the world and in the midst of my family. It is what makes me search out the quiet. It is what encourages me to walk the back roads and to take the less traveled paths. It is what turns off the TV and the radio. It is what makes me appreciate silence....." Rose
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(special thanks to Stephanie L. for her photo taken at Mobile Visitation Monastery)