Carlo Carretto, one of the leading spiritual writers of the past half-century, lived for more than a dozen years as a hermit in the Sahara desert. Alone, with only the Blessed Sacrament for company milking a goat for his food, and translating the bible into the local Bedouin language, he prayed for long hours by himself. Returning to Italy one day to visit his mother, he came to a startling realization: His mother, who for more than thirty years of her life had been so busy raising a family that she scarcely ever had a private minute for herself, was more contemplative than he was.
A monastery is a place set apart. It's a place to learn the value of powerlessness. It's a place withdrawn from the world. A place in tune with the “monastic bell” calling you to drop whatever you’re doing and immediately respond to it’s summons, thereby helping develop the discipline to look beyond your own schedule to God’s agenda.
The principles in this article can apply to anyone in any vocation, but if you happen to be a young mother who longs for a consistent moment of prayer each day and wonders if you are making any spiritual progress in your hectic stage of life, I especially recommend that you print a copy and leave in your bathroom. Fortunately it's short, and you just may get two private minutes there to read it. :-)
Convent of San Marco Photo Credit: Web Gallery of Art