Our Little Bedroom Abbey
I do not like morning. In fact, I often accuse my husband of “working for The Morning” when he tries to wake me up, as if “The Morning” were some evil villain seeking to destroy all that is good. The alarm and I have always had a love-hate relationship. I hate that it wakes me up, but love that it does my bidding: when I hit snooze, it obeys and leaves me alone for a few (precious) minutes. I’ve never been good at “the heroic minute” and approach it with much fear and trembling…and failure. This has never been truer than in pregnancy, especially when we were in the first trimester.
So, a few weeks ago, when I saw that the good fellows over at Little i Apps had launched a new app called “Wake Up to the Creed”, my initial thought was, “umm…no”. I mean, imagine how guilty I’d feel if I were to “snooze” the Creed every morning! “Oh, I’m sorry, Lord. I’ll start my day with the Profession of Faith in another 10 minutes or so.” Which of course would be followed by, “Oh no! I’ve got to get up NOW!” and I’d start my day hurried and frantic – and un-heroic – once again.
But my conscience got to me. So I downloaded the app.
Here’s how it works: You set the alarm and select what days you’d like to apply that particular alarm to. (We set it for 6:45am on weekdays and – much – later for weekends.) Then you select your language and whether you’d like it to be a male or female voice, with our without background music. Then you go to sleep and wait…for the morning.
I was really surprised that first morning when I woke up to the chiming of church bells. No terrible beeping, no obnoxious talk radio, no peppy song, just the beautiful sound that I’ve come to associate with the call to prayer. We live only a few blocks from a Catholic church and I love hearing the 6 o’clock bells in the evening and the bells just before each Mass on Sunday. It reminds me of the time I spent at the Abbey of Gethsemani on a silent retreat a few years ago. When I heard the bells, I put down what I was reading or working on, or turned from my walk, and headed to the Church to join the monks in prayer. I even joined them for their 3:15AM Vigils and 5:45AM Lauds. (Yes, you read that correctly…AM!) The few days I spent there were peaceful, ordered by prayer, and my spirit was refreshed.
Each morning, when the bells starts ringing, summoning Josh and I to prayer, I think of the monks, how they’ve been up for a few hours already, praying for the world and for me. And so I snuggle a little closer to my husband and together, in our little Domestic Church, we profess our faith, the faith that sustains us and gives us so much life.
Now, I’ll admit…I often go back to sleep for just a little bit after we’ve prayed the Creed. My husband is a teacher and has to leave for work before I do (and he isn’t growing a person), so he gets the first shower and I get a little “snooze” until it’s my turn. But the alarm isn’t my enemy now and I’m not dreading the morning as much, since it’s beginning in such a peaceful and beautiful way.
It’s good practice, since in a few short months my sleep will be interrupted so much more frequently by a tiny person who needs me. Maybe I’ll pray the Creed at each feeding, or spend that time in quiet, peaceful prayer, and in that way, make my bed and home – my little Domestic Church – a beautiful Abbey.
Copyright 2013 Megan Swaim