Something beautiful was shared yesterday. Our friend, who tries to pray the Liturgy of the Hours regularly, said this: "If it's 9:00 and I want to pray the mid-morning prayer and as soon as I sit down my daughter needs me for something, then it's God's will that I not pray at that time or stop praying when half finished or whatever. I may want/need that time because I crave the peace and rest or I desire to worship God. However, God may want my obedience to my vocation as a wife and mom right now over my prayer. I figure that if I'm able to pray certain hours of the day, then that's what God wants. If my family needs me for something else at that time, then that's what I'm supposed to be doing. I don't try to make up for it or squeeze it in later. I just move on and try again at the next scheduled prayer time...."
I find our friend's perspective extremely important..... particularly as we prepare to look more toward the practice of Lectio Divina. We want to embrace aspects of the monastic life: primarily, the total commitment to God that draws every one of us. For some of us, regular prayer hours are possible, depending on our circumstances. For others, life brings so many changes in one morning that we can barely keep up with them. Our hearts can be totally committed to God, but the external circumstances of our lives are likely to be far different from the life of a cloistered nun. "No incense-scented hermitage awaits me," I wrote some years ago. "No hidden chamber but the one within. Acceptance of my enclosure must mean acceptance of the clutter, the noise, the interruptions..." (from cloistered heart book)
We might also recall something from an earlier post entitled "A Seamless Gift." In that, our friend Rose (mother of a large family) wrote "I remember reading, I think from St. Teresa of Avila, that obedience to one's superior is more meritorious than all the self-imposed mortifications, fastings and prayers. Then I realized my superior is really my vocation as a wife and mother. Therefore, my duties and responsibilities of motherhood must come first. And, done with the right intentions (as St. Francis de Sales says, 'for the greater glory of God'), all my actions are lifted up in prayer."
In this part of our "next monastic day," the bell has rung for "prayer time." But what will that be like for each of us..... individually?
As we prepare to look more deeply into Lectio Divina, I suspect we will have things to share about this. In the meantime, I've just ordered a book that I suspect will be of help in future "Lectio discussions." I am greatly looking forward to digging into it and living it. One of our dear "Parlor friends" has just written a review of it, which can be found by clicking on this line to get to the blog My Desert Heart.
I pray we will continue to hear and answer God's bells, to the glory of our great God.
Click here to continue this Next Monastic Day