Clear as a Bell

A Reflection from the Priory

Priory 8-17

As a homeschooling mother, I often find myself feeling more than a little irritated when I am frequently interrupted from whatever activity in which I may be engaged.  There is no end to the distractions and needs:  a fight between siblings that requires some refereeing; a meal that needs to be prepared and served before hunger causes little boys to start pleading for food; a math question that needs an answer before the lesson can commence; the diaper that needs changing; the boo-boo that needs a band-aid; the….

I often find myself yearning for an hour – or even just 30 minutes – of uninterrupted time to complete what I’m doing.  After all, I could get it all done much more efficiently, carefully, and mindfully without all the distractions, right?

I noticed when we were at the Priory, that the nuns are interrupted often as well.  You’re all thinking, “What?!?  Nuns!?!?  There are no little children, distractions and demands there!”  During our visit, though, I observed that the monastery bell rings quite frequently, calling each and every one of the nuns to stop what they are doing and line up for procession into the chapel for prayer and/or Holy Mass.  At those moments (nine of them throughout the day), they are being called to what is MOST important.  They are being summoned to the One who makes life worth living, the One who makes sense of it all, the One to whom all of our waking hours should be ordered.

The monastery bell makes a different sound and takes a different form in the Domestic Church.  I am starting to realize that these little “interruptions” are my monastery bell, and are likewise calling me to what is MOST important.  It is my summons to Christ Himself (Matthew 25:40).  Teaching my children, healing their hurts, satisfying their hunger, settling a squabble is all infinitely more important than the planned projects or activities that seem so urgent and compelling to complete.

I want to respond to this bell-clanging with great joy and love, seeing it for what it is:  God is calling me to Himself through all the circumstances of my life.  My response (and the attitude behind the response) determines how much of myself I am willing to give to Him in return.  May we choose to respond to God’s call in absolute charity giving all, now and always!  Just as the nuns have chosen.



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