Set Limits Around the Mountain to Make it Sacred

Dawn, Sun, Mountain, Landscape

Our lives are moving before us as we fail to catch up. The world is fast, but God is slow. Silence is not found in a place, but deep inside our souls. Silence, speak less. The rule of Saint Benedict #21, “To prefer nothing to the love of Christ.” Keeping silence in the light of community. Your home is that community. And it is not silence as in the traditional notion of silence, this silence is a peace. This silence is holy. This silence as young mothers is the inner core of what we hope to achieve and pass onto our children.

I hear from many mothers whose lives are in tumult. They want peace. Life is chaotic, children are chaotic, don’t let anyone fool you. Our expectations are high but are kids are four. Their conscience is barely formed… We are shaping clay, God is the artist through our hands.

And this is hard. It is harder when we look to attain Christ’s holiness. Secular happiness is easy to achieve- a cheap bottle of wine and a night of debauchery. It will make you happy, but it will not sustain you. Why does the world tell us as mothers to run away from our vocations? We don’t need a break from our children, we need a break with God.

The focus of our lives has to be the mountain, we must surround it. From morning until evening, our lives could use some assistance from the likes of Saint Benedict. A focus on God. Rising early to study Him. Spending the day surrounded by Him. Treating our families as the monastery community and not trying to live in spiritual isolation, that is not holiness. 

Place the beautiful boundaries around your time with God. Don’t expect your children to get up late, you get up early. Sacrifice is hard but needed. We grow in beauty and holiness when we set limits around the mountain to make it sacred, just ask Moses.

If we cherish something, we protect it. We stay on guard. We surround it. If we keep our mountain sacred, we keep the center of our life, Jesus sacred. How else will we protect our time with him if we ourselves have no boundaries?

For Mother’s Day, give yourself the gift of discipline. Set yourself a routine. Rise early and protect your space with Him so that you can live in community with your family and not in isolation. Buy yourself a bible if you don’t have one. Head for the mountain.

Exodus 19:23

But Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot go up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying: Set limits around the mountain to make it sacred.”

How to live “Christian”…

Good Sam GlassIf you have read much of my writing, you know that I have realized that for me, in my conscience, “sin” has acquired a fairly simple definition. “I ‘sin’ when I treat any sacred person or object, as less than sacred.”

Well, while reading through the tale of Paul/Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, God stopped me dead in my tracks at the words, “a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’“ (Acts 22:6b-8)

And I tried to move on, and the Lord stopped me time and again… “No, Little Monk, you missed it… look again.” And so I did, over and over. Until finally the words began to light up for me… “persecuting ME“… I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.”

It struck me how very strange… how wrong… this seemed. Wait… Jesus was already ascended. Saul never saw Him. Never spoke with Him. Never persecuted Him. Saul was persecuting FOLLOWERS, BELIEVERS… Saul was persecuting what we like to think of as “The Church”, an institution… a corporate entity…

No,” Jesus replied. “He WASN’T… He was persecuting PEOPLE. He THOUGHT he was attacking an institution, a corporation, a movement… he called it ‘The Way’… but he was helping arrest, try, convict, condemn, and execute PEOPLE. He killed them, trying time and time again, to kill ME.”

That was the breathtaking, heart stopping, realization here. “Me”… Jesus… King… Lord… not THEM… not Church… not movement… not follower… not even “precious child”… but “Me”.

If that were true…

If that’s what Jesus really meant in His cry to Saul…

If Jesus meant… JESUS… in Saul’s attacks…

Then… then…

Did that mean that when I offend another… when I attack them… when I injure them… when I belittle, or demean, or judge them… that it is not only THEM I hurt, but JESUS?

This was not a happy thought. I did not like this thought. I sought to push away this thought… and rather than help me with this, Jesus instead just “piled on,” reminding me of Matthew 25:31-46… that whole “Sheep-Goats-Judgment” thing, reminding me, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”

Do you see it? Do you see it too?

Now, Jesus never EVER whines to or at me. But sometimes, not often, but sometimes from time to rare time, His voice will tend rather to ‘yodel’ with excitement or frustration, when He says something like, “WHY, Little Monk! Why don’t they see, why won’t they hear? I am PERFECTLY clear here… but even YOU are only now starting to see My words, that are and were perfectly clear for centuries. I am NOT being ‘figurative’ or ‘poetic’! I am not exaggerating… I am THERE… IN THEM… and yes, when you hurt or wound any, with your actions, attitudes, silence, or words… yes, you wound ME! Any questions?”

“Nossir. No questions. I need to process this for a bit, though, if that’s ok.”

“Sure thing, Little Monk. You process away!”