In addition to being my second child’s ninth birthday (Happy Birthday Jonah!) on this day, September 21, the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Matthew.
(Jesus) saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. (Matthew 9:9)
After breakfast on Friday morning I had a few minutes to walk outside in the morning air before we were to meet in the chapel for morning prayer. I love both Morning Prayer (Lauds) and Evening Prayer (Vespers). I rarely have the opportunity to do so in a community so this was a special treat for me.
Gemma joined me for the first few Stations on the path, but for the second straight day I did not allow myself enough time to make the full circuit. She wandered off the path and into the tall, dry grasses after a few minutes. I did not see my companion from last night. “Cocoa must be still sleeping” I mused.
After the first three or four meditations on the path above the creek you find yourself on the north side of the retreat house not far from the large back patio behind the dining room. There is a Marian grotto and bench there, so I spent the last few moments I had sitting and enjoying the view. I had brought along my breviary and while we were going to be praying Lauds as a group in about 20 minutes I had time to pray the Office of Readings for the day. There I read:
…live a life worthy of the calling you have received, with perfect humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another lovingly. (Ephesians 4:1-2)
And then I read the following passage from a homily by St. Bede the Venerable:
On hearing Christ’s voice, we open the door to receive him, as it were, when we freely assent to his promptings and when we give ourselves over to doing what must be done.
When taking all of those reading portions together I thought back to the question from last night, asked in the dark silence of St. Isadore’s: “What am I doing here?”
The answer to my initial response of patience and praise seemed more clear. I am answering His call. I am listening for His still, small voice as it beckons me to follow.
The question I have to ask myself is the same one we all must ask.
Will I follow? How far?
Will I do what must be done?