Going out there is truly like a little glimpse of heaven. Driving out on the rolling gravel hills, looking at the top of each hill for the beautiful dome of the monastery. It is so peaceful and quiet. And it is here that the Carmelite nuns pray. Their life is very simple. They don't leave the walls of the monastery. They pray, eat, pray, do chores, pray, sleep, and pray some more. I crave the rhythm of their days. How different our days are, the nuns and mine. I think of them often. What their life must really be like to pray and be silent most of the day. As opposed to mine that are full of messes, chaos, and loudness, and that's just with the children. Not to mention the daily distraction that goes on inside of my brain. Thinking about this and that, what I need to do, need to go buy, need to get ready for, need to make for meals, need to plan, need to do to the house, and the list goes on and on. I squeeze time in for my prayers and to pray the rosary, but definitely don't spend the majority of my day in conversation with God. What would He have to say to me if I gave Him more of my attention?
I was able to take just Thomas and Annie, as Mass didn't even begin until 7pm and we thought that the younger ones would have a difficult time with it being so late. We, on the other hand, had a wonderful time together. Whenever I am alone with just one or two of them, I'm reminded just how important and fun it is to spend time with them alone. I watch them more, and listen to them a bit better. I try to let them talk and talk until their thought is finished instead of having to interrupt them.
Our Lady appeared to Saint Simon Stock long ago in the 1200's. In her arms were two things. One was the Christ Child, and the other was a scapular. She gave the scapular to Simon with the promise that whosoever dies wearing the scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.
As we were leaving, Annie noticed wild flowers growing in the ditch. She begged to stop and go pick one for pop. It was darling.
And we thought the perfect end to our special night would be stopping at Starbucks for a Carmel Machiattio....of course.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!