"The matraque whirrs with that strange sound which wakes Carmelites to a new day, and for which I was pleasantly prepared on my arrival as a Postulant by the warning: it will sound like a ton of coal being delivered at your door. It does.
Let your first thought be of God, we are always told in Religion, for that will set the theme for the rest of the day. And indeed it is true. I remember a girl I knew in the world, who told me that although she worked in a busy office and had to give her whole attention to what she was doing, yet the sense of her early morning Mass never left her entirely. If she heard a bicycle bell as she went out to lunch, its tinkle was sufficient to bring back to her all the grace of the hushed church in spite of the roar of the traffic around, and the moment she waited all day was the moment when, on her way home again, sometimes late, sometimes early, she could slip into the quiet chapel of some nuns with Perpetual Adoration, and kneel for a few minutes before the Blessed Sacrament.
Just an ordinary London business girl, but she knew something which many of us might be glad to know: how to begin her day aright and how to hold it there until its close. Each day is only one day in a long sequence, when all is said and done, and so, one supposes, when she comes to die, the same will be true for all her life.
To begin the day aright is most emphatically to begin it with prayer, and to follow that up with the Mass. The prayer may only last for a brief moment or two, or it may last for an hour, according to our circumstances, but it is enough to offer to God the day's work, the day's trials, the day's successes, so that everything in it will belong to Him, as it should by right, and nothing be left out. It is the act of the will which matters, the offering of everything to God and for God: after that it is mainly a matter of following the grace of the moment."
-- Catch us those little foxes by A Carmelite Nun
** Photo by lkw51