Busy, Busy, Busy

Week-ends don’t happen in monasteries. We tend to be busier than ever, with more liturgy, more guests, more cooking and cleaning, more everything, in fact. It is always at such times that ‘the last straw’ occurs. You know the scenario. You have ringmarked some time to do such and such, which is really urgent, and at that point the boiler breaks down, Great Uncle Richard turns up, or you discover you have only a few hours left in which to submit your tax return/file your company accounts/extend your visa (delete as appropriate). It can be difficult to remain cool and cucumbery under such circumstances. Personally, I don’t even try. I find a quick squawk (to relieve my feelings), a fervent plea for help to the Most High and getting ‘stuck in’ is the only way to cope.

De Caussade dignified these situations with reference to the sacrament of the present moment, but it can be hard to recognize them as such when one is in the midst of them. That is why what we do at other, less pressured, times is so important. We have to work at cultivating a more receptive attitude. It isn’t difficult to see God in a beautiful sunset or a long, leisurely day doing something we enjoy. But to see God in the unpleasant tasks, the unexpected events that turn our world upside down or, at the very least, upset our plans, that requires something more. It requires us to be attentive to God at all times, to be listening for his voice in every situation; and as today’s reading from the Prologue to the Rule of St Benedict reminds us, that means life in all its fullness — and isn’t it that the real business of our lives on earth?


4 thoughts on “Busy, Busy, Busy”

  1. Once again, thank you!

    This is my weekend “off” and accordingly it is less likely (though not a certainty!) to contain moments where it is harder to find God in the minutiae – but there are surely times when I have that experience, and each time, have to remind myself that He is there, even if I am being wilfully blind…

    Blessings of peace on your weekend, Sister!

  2. I thank you for the reminder, going through time of watching and waiting for my mum to be at peace. My questions come in her suffering, dealing with the rest of my family who look to me to sort EVERYTHING out. I need the reminder that God is their in the darkness.

  3. Again, thank you for the reminder that God is with us in *all* situations, I no longer feel alone in my inability to remain “cool and cucumbery” in these situations. Praying that you have peace and calm in the centre of whatever storm you find yourselves in this weekend!

  4. Having my three and six year old granddaughters here with me for a visit of a few days has made topsy-turvy any new structures of scheduled tasks, reading and prayer. One forgets the 24/7 demands of child care – one hardly finds time to think or enjoy a proper cup of tea.

    I tend to rate time in prayer and prayerful reading as more holy and beneficial than the parts of my life that feel like intrusions on these. Yet this experience of the past few days with Lilly (3) and Gwennie (6) with all its joys and challenges is where life is lived, where love, service and virtue are giving life… A prayer of action?

    I’m behind in my readings, morning and evening offices are left unprayed for a few days and so forth. The minor frustration and guilt that shadow me need not be. God is ever near.

    What needs turning upside down I think is my thinking of what is sacred!

Comments are closed.