This is the tenth of a series of posts reflecting line-by-line on the Anima Christi.
As a mom of 5 kids, I am often plan ahead for things. My older girls dance competitively, and so each week, I transport the whole family to dance class. As I begin sending kids to their respective dance studios, I can also be found dishing out dinner in pre-made thermos containers for the others who are waiting, passing out coloring books or homework, and hooking my youngest up to her tube feed or giving seizure meds. I often get comments on how prepared I am to have everything ready for our long nights away from home. This is true. I just have to be. Whether it is school, dance, appointments, or other daily tasks, as mom of a large family that also includes a special needs child, preparedness is just a necessity. It’s a way of life. This prayer got me thinking, though – am I truly prepared in the most important way? Am I properly preparing my children to be ready for God and His call? Upon reflection, these lines of the Anima Christi really speak to me about two important things – listening, and preparedness.
It is easy to get caught up in our everyday lives, schedules, and obligations and forget to listen. We shush the children to move forward quickly, rush through dinners to get to a practice, or don’t take time to hear what others are saying so we can finish an assignment and move on to the next task. Listening is often just ignored. With the noisy world we live in, we forget sometimes that listening is just as important as speaking. Actually, in our spiritual life, listening is probably more important than speaking. We need to listen to God and what He is calling us to do in our lives. During tough decisions, more than talk about it with 500 people, maybe we should listen for God’s peace. During hard emotional times, rather than discuss it with multiple friends, perhaps we should listen for God’s comfort. By doing these things, listening not only brings clarity to our lives as far as what God nudges us to do, but also helps us to be prepared.
Being prepared is so important in many aspects of our lives. Spiritually, this is imperative, as we all know this life is temporary. We are here only for a short while to do good, learn about God, and get ready to be with Him in heaven forever. In the rush of planning children’s dinners to take in the car, or buying supplies ahead of time for an upcoming projects, we also need to be helping them to learn to listen to Christ. I need to prepare them for the fact that His calling of us, is, well, unplanned. We do not know when God will call us home, but without lessons in listening or preparing our souls the best we can, we may let other things cloud that blissful moment.
At the end, when all on this earth will be left behind, we will want clarity. We will want peace. And we will want comfort from fear. What better way than to listen to God as we live each day, so when He calls us for that final time, we can remember with confidence His promise to be with us always…. “…in the hour of my death call me. And bid me come unto thee….”