“God will not have his work be manifest by cowards,”- Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.”- Mary, mother of God
“But Gideon answered, “Lord, how can I save Israel? My family group is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least important member of my family.”- Gideon
Isn’t it hard to pray? We talk so much about it, but for many, the art of contemplation is at times impossible. There are books and guides and pamphlets and articles on how to pray, “wrong” ways to pray and endless suggestions that sometimes read more like how-to videos than the sacred art of prayer. I have struggled with prayer myself, wanting to spend hours in quiet, contemplative prayer only to realize that I am the mother of three small children and have a full-time job.
A word sparked my interest this morning, and sometimes that’s all it takes for me. A word, that leads to a thought, that leads to action. It is a word that I have treasured in scripture for some time, specifically as used in this verse-
“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Ponder- contemplative, sitting with, thinking about, there in that moment.
I never could get inside that verse. I wrestled with what went on in her heart. That was until I started to read about the saints and understand the art of contemplative prayer (which I never knew existed). It was the place I longed to go, the oasis in my heart.
When I read that word this morning it struck me. The quiet will not always be there. Life, it is ever-moving. Adoration is once a week for me. But to pray within the very depths of my heart even amidst the moving around and children’s restlessness and my endless nights of falling asleep praying my rosary. I have felt at times I have failed so miserably in the prayer life I so truly desire. But inside that word, in that word I realized that the simple act of thinking about God, wondering, pondering, these were small intimate prayers floating up to heaven. I have so many of these moments throughout the day, wondering about the art of happiness, thinking about life and the future He has for my children, and pondering in my heart all of these things.
I missed the experience I had a couple of weeks ago enjoying a guided meditation from a missions priest who opened my mind to who I was in Christ. I was in my element, pondering. No noise, no distractions, just the monstrance and the scripture, me and God.
But I realized I could be there again. I could always be there, if I believed I could. My heart, like the tabernacle, carrying the son of God. And my mother gently guiding me there, slowly, patiently.
There are no books that can teach you how to pray, no bible studies, no rules. When we are genuinely longing for God, even in just our everyday thoughts, He guides us to that place, the one made just for you, the place you’ll know when you get there.
Ask God today- Lord lead me to that place, the one you have for me, the tabernacle of my soul. Blessed Mother pray for me and lead me to your son, especially when I need it the most.
I pray this helps guide you to the place you desire to be with God