In the course of my research the other day, I came upon some material from the IHM’s 1902 Novitiate Directory. Sisters who were novices, as well as those who were finally professed, arose each day at 5:00 a.m. to the sound of a bell.

Gabriel Bell“Rise in the morning at the first sound of the bell, without in the least giving way to sloth, thinking that it is God who calls them.”

The bell is an interesting way to image the voice of God. The bell imagery makes me think about the sounds that I hear in everyday life, and whether I associate any of them with the voice of God, calling me forth in service to Creation. One sound I hear a lot of is car traffic, because we live near a busy street. I don’t think of that as the voice of God, although I’m sure it’s in there somewhere. A sound I do associate with God’s voice is the quiet of the early morning, around 5:30 a.m. It’s not total silence – birds are singing, a breeze stirs the leaves of the nearby maples, a few tree frogs are murmuring. And when I hear God’s voice in these sounds, I arise and welcome the day.

How do you hear God’s call in the sounds of your everyday life?

**"Gabriel I" -- the bell in use from 1868 to 1939 at the IHM Motherhouse in Monroe, Michigan. The ringing of the bell called sisters to begin their day.