St. Margaret Mary, a Sister of the Visitation, had a strict schedule to adhere to of prayer, work and fasting, with vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. These she lived out to the best of her ability, humbly doing the work asked of her, and spending much time in meditation and worship, held fast by the cycle of liturgical prayer. She and the Sisters understood the importance of daily fidelity, of having a routine which revolved around God, and of being faithful to it.
We can learn much from those Sisters about our lives today. Rev. Ron Rolheiser, OMI, wrote on the subject: "We become emotionally better, steadier, less obsessed, less a slave to our own restlessness and more able to become what we want to be by particpating fully and healthily within the public life of the church. (Religious), with their monastic rhythm, have long understood this and have a secret worth knowing: namely, a regular program, a daily rhythm, participation in community, the demand that we show up, and the discipline of the monastic bell that calls us to activities, not when we want them but when they are set for us, have kept many a man and woman sane, and relatively happy besides."
That is true for all of us - we each have that "demand that we show up" for life; and while our monastic bell may be the alarm clock, the clock we punch at work, or our children's school bell, we are bound by that same sense of the rhythm of our lives. Without that call, we would be led by our own whims and would become totally self-obsessed. It is healthy to give ourselves over to this daily fidelity, and it is even healthier if it revolves around God: being an active member of the Body of Christ, faithful to prayer, to Eucharist, and to service.
Thank you, Lord, for St. Margaret Mary and the many who have kept the discipline of monastic life as an example to us all. Please bless us as we seek to keep a holy order in our own lives...Amen!
St. Margaret Mary, pray for us!