Friday, June 12, 2009

Rise and Shine

I am not a morning person. I've tried to be, but I've never made it; nor do I think I ever will. In high school, I'd wake up so grumpy! Everyone in my family knew to watch out. I had getting ready for school down to a science, and no one had better get in my way.

I woke up every morning at 7:32. I spent 3 minutes banging on the door for my brother to get out of the bathroom, 2 minutes getting ready (getting dressed, brushing my hair, brushing my teeth), 6 minutes looking for my shoes and matching socks, 3 minutes looking for my math book, and 4 minutes eating breakfast. Ta Da! I was then ready to leave at 7:50. Granted, sometimes that meant going out to the car with my shoes and socks in my hands.

In monastic life, we want to spend our best time of the day in 45 minutes to an hour in personal prayer. I entered the community and heard the sisters talk about how wonderful the mornings are. According to some, it is a time when everything is still and the sun is just coming up. Everything is quiet and peaceful. (I had to take their word for it because of my limited knowledge of mornings.) It sounded ideal, so I tried on two different occasions to give my mornings to God in personal prayer. I tried it each time for a little over a week. Guess what? I became the grumpiest person ever! I didn't even want to be around me!

Mornings sound good, but they're not for me. At least they're not my best time to give to God in personal prayer. I'm definitely a night owl, and that's OK. We're certainly not all the same here at the monastery.

It may sound a little crazy, but my favorite time of day is 8:07. I love that time. I love when I look at the clock and see 8:07 whether it's in the morning or evening. I always say a prayer of thanks for I am reminded that God is with me. 807 is my parents' address. The numbers take me back to when I grew up at 807 State Street.

I remember when I was going to meet the vocation director for a behavioral assessment test (one of the pre-requisites for entering). I was to meet her in St. Louis for the evaluation. When I got in my car, I looked at the time. You guessed it. It was 8:07. I knew beyond a doubt that God was with me. I was thankful for God's presence and for my upbringing.

There's room for a lot of variety in monastic life. I'm a night owl and have become good friends with other night owls. I may give mornings another try down the road, but right now I know they're not really for me. I do know that I've grown in this way of life. I'm no longer as grumpy as I once was upon waking up and I have an easier time finding my shoes.


  1. i loved reading your story.I think that everyone is free and as you said,you were brought up this way so it`s not easy,but i think that also the sisters are right when they say that mornings is quite and peaceful for God.I also wish to have such a chance in my life that i`ll be surrounded with quiteness and peace.Antoinette from Malta

  2. I think everyone is free in life.I enjoyed reading your story.I can understand your difficult.I`m trying also to give time for God in the morning,but not very early as i can imagine life in a monastic way.But i think that the sisters are right when they say that the mornings are a quite time for God.How i wish that i could experience again such a tranquillity with God.
    Antoinette from MALTA

  3. I am also not a morning person! I also believe that everyone is free. I am going to try my best to become more of a morning person once I enter your community on August 23! I am more of a night owl myself, maybe you and I can be night owls together sometime down the road! Thanks for sharing your beautiful story! God bless!
    Alex Larsen