But on Wednesday I got into the sacristy just a few minutes before the hour but the sisters remained silent. What's wrong, I wondered. Are they losing their touch. At the top of the hour I entered the chapel for Mass and glanced at the clock. It was a few minutes slow, and the sisters were simply being obedient to the chapel clock, as always. I must say it was the first time I've seen an MC clock slow, but it made me think that perhaps time does not hold the MCs in bondage as it does the rest of us.
Mother Teresa's clocks are mostly fast, but sometimes slow, and sometimes in agreement with our nation's atomic clock in Colorado. But always Mother Teresa's daughters live not in this world's time but God's time. Through much prayer and practice, these novices will learn to live within the times and places of God's choosing.
We've been hearing the story of King David at daily Mass. On Wednesday, Nathan the prophet tells David that it is not yet time to build the Lord's temple. Even though the King had amassed the gold, silver, stone, and wood for a splendid house of God, he was to continue worshipping in a tent until God gave the word. In fact, David would never have the satisfaction of carrying out his plan, and the first temple would always be known as "Solomon's Temple," despite the fact that it was his father David who had provided all the materials.
One sows, and another reaps, Jesus told us. One begins the building, and another completes it. Have you ever put great effort into a project (such as raising your children) and seen very little success come from it? Then another comes along and provides some little spark that brings your work to completion, and runs off with all the glory. To be a missionary (as we all are--sent from God to save souls) means to work without commensurate compensation in a foreign land. It means surrendering to God's time rather than insisting on our own expectations. It's not easy to plan (as we all must) and then accept the transmutation of those plans.
We are all Christian missionaries of charity during our earthly pilgrimage. And we are all novices in that missionary life. The Missionaries of Charity don't worry over much about exact time. Every time is the right time to praise God, and to bring that praise to others' hearts. So let us not be overly concerned about where and when we are. Let us hope, rather, that we can do something beautiful for God in the little time given us on earth, and enter before long into the eternity of happiness prepared for those who love Him.