Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Babies and Monasteries

I spent this past weekend visiting Rich and Ginger in Grand Prairie, and meeting the newest addition to their family - baby Jack.

He is, of course, adorable!

The entire weekend was based on the rhythm of Jack. His needs for food, sleep, bathing, changing etc controlled what the rest of us did. We managed some boardgames, but if Jack was calling then gaming was put on hold. Meal times were about rushing to the restaurant just after Jack fed so that he would be content (and possibly sleep) while we crammed a few carbs.

It is a different way of living.

It got me thinking about Monasteries - not a place known for babies :)

Many monasteries organize their days around the Liturgy of the Hours. Set times of prayer and worship that repeat daily and are signaled by the sounding of a bell. No matter what task you are doing, when the bell calls, you respond.

The bell is very humbling, it reminds you that the work of your hands, the thoughts of your brain, even the very emotions of your soul, are secondary to the call of the bell. It's frustrating, it's not the way most of us live our lives. We want to believe that my work, my thoughts, my feelings are all the most important on the planet.

We are wrong.

So when the bell tolls -

Work stops for it.
Thoughts get put aside for it.
Emotions don't excuse you from it.
Sleep is interrupted for it.

When the bell calls - you go to worship.

When the baby cries - you respond.


Ginger said...

Thanks for hanging out with us! You are wonderful with Jack and were a huge help, especially in the lullaby department!

Also, thanks for posting the pics! I have a really cute kid, if I do say so myself! ;)

Memzie Latham said...

The baby is cute and has wonderful eyes.
I LOVE your thoughts and how you connected monasteries and babies together.
Maybe we all should have a "bell" in our lives.