I awoke at 4 something yesterday morning, roused from deep sleep by the newspaper delivery person who, every morning, does something that wakes me. I have yet to figure out what it is.
Prayers, meditation and hot tea ensued, followed by an unreasonable lift in my mood that somehow made me think that, after one morning of rising early, I was suddenly able to maintain a convent schedule. I decided to program Angelus prayers into my phone alarm clock at 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m., making a mental note that I could also attend daily 7 a.m. mass at the nearby church. By the time I realized that, however, I had already missed morning mass for that day, but resolved to do it on the following morning and thereafter.
Come to think of it, I could also schedule daily rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and Saint Michael Chaplet! Oh, boy.
The Angelus prayer at 6 a.m. was a given. By the time noon arrived, however, I was stuck on the telephone with someone with whom I had to converse and make arrangements to get help unpacking after the recent replacement of my floor.
I was taken away from that phone call by a surprise visit from a neighbor who had been depressed and decided to drop by for a little tea and comfort. Obviously, it is more important to be present and give consolation to my neighbor than to sit alone in my apartment and pray, so that is what I did, making a mental note to myself that THIS is why the protection of a formal convent is so valuable to those who have a vocation as a contemplative.
Between the logistics of incoming and outgoing mail, UPS package deliveries, meal preparation and eating, care of the animals, a few loads of laundry and other cleaning, the day ran away from me. OK, I admit to taking a nap in my old broken recliner in the late afternoon that slipped into evening. It was not an intentional nap, mind you. I had sat down to check my email and just drifted away. In the process, I missed the 6 p.m. Angelus.
At midnight, I found myself contemplating the remains of the day with my evening prescriptions, a cup of tea and a piece of home made bread from a loaf a dear friend had made for me, warmed in the microwave with a small piece of dark chocolate. The house is still largely messy, plenty of things undone, a monastic schedule in shambles, and most of my good intentions unrealized.
I could get mad and punish myself for being so unrelentingly common and fallible. Instead, I decide to accept myself and my limitations and to be exceedingly grateful for God's grace, without which I would be completely lost.
Copyright (c) 2013, Rose Marie Shea
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