Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blog # 167 Wake Up!

Blog # 167 WAKE UP ! Not being conscious of ever experiencing a single day I did not wake up, and not having heard from my mother or anyone else who might know with regard to the earliest days of my life I estimate I woke up a minimum of 30,496 times including today. In my grade-school days my mother would wake me. In the seminary one of my fellow seminarians appointed to the position of bell ringer would walk through the hall of our residence in one direction ringing his bell and then reverse his direction and on his way back knock on each door while saying in Latin "Let us bless the Lord", with each of us responding with "Deo Gratias!"("Thanks be to God!"). After ordination I used an alarm clock and as I gradually began to lose my hearing I used two of them and then three, all set for the same time in the morning. After that became inconvenient and ineffective I gave up on alarm clocks and began to depend upon setting my mind to get up at a certain time and that has worked out very well. In recent years, with no one else but God living in the house with me, and with no other resource available to me for performing the task, I habitually identify God Himself as the one who personally awakens me each day. In response to this conviction it has been appropriate for me to form a habit of making the first thoughts of the day the proclamation of Jesus identifying Himself more than thirty times in John's Gospel as being sent by the Father. "Here I am,Lord. I come to do Thy will!." Then it is a short series of standard prayers that includes the 'Morning Offering', the 'Memorare', acts of faith, hope, and love, a prayer for dedicating and preserving chastity, and an experience of calling to mind in thanks and praise a litany of people who have gone on before me and remain a source of inspiration and support. Positioning my watch on my wrist and putting on my shoes are also part of the standard ritual of waking up and 'getting on the road'. A watch is a wonderful example of a servant role. It stands ready to serve by telling the time any time at all, night or day, to anyone who seeks it. And shoes are great examples and reminders of how obedience works. They will go with me any place I desire, uphill or down, rain or shine, wearing themselves out in 'obedience' to me. If they had a human nature and the freedom that is mine they could be labeled perfectly obedient. Both the shoes and the watch are good teachers! I don't imagine many or any of the folks reading this blog, in light of the different circumatances of their life and mine, could or should even desire to follow the routine I have outlined as my own. But I would hope it might be an invitation to discover the grace and joy of being aware of God's presence and love throughout the day and appreciating each new day as a special gift from Him to be shared with Him in praise and thanks and with all with whom we meet each day in generous joyful love.

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