“But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
I was thinking about my prayer places today, other than Church, of course, and I wondered where I prayed the most. Of course, year round, there’s the Adoration Chapel at church. In the summer, there’s the “Woman Cave” where I journal and reflect on Sacred Scripture. In the spring, prayer is more focused on the tomato, broccoli, and squash plants as they are placed in the dark soil to grow and multiply.
The flow of time has not yet ceased, so the places I pray, where I connect with God, change. Each place becomes a quiet place where I meet the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit.
Of course, uniting with God in prayer can happen any place and anywhere. As I have aged, my secret places have changed. Now, I prefer climate controlled rooms in which to pray. However, on a beautiful day, I am willing to sit under a tree and praise God for His glory in all the Mercy He has shown us. On a cold, winter’s night, I prefer the warmth of my bed, immersed in warm blankets.
When the kids were little, I would try to find some quiet time, alone, in the bathroom. The kids knocked and knocked on the bathroom door. Then, my prayers were pleading with God for quiet time for me and nap time for the kids. Times change and places change. As the kids turned into teens, I prayed, frequently, in my dark bedroom, waiting for the safe return of my children from their night out and pretending that I had been sleeping as they snuck into my room for evening prayers. Then, when they left home for college, prayer was anywhere, anytime, with my intentions directed to God, St. Monica, St. Augustine for my children.
Times change. People change. Now, I am a senior citizen. I know that I’ve lived longer than I will live. My knees crunch and hurt when I stand. My back aches. My flesh sags more and more. Wrinkles squish my face into a new shape. I sleep less and wake frequently during the night. Any time I have a chance to whisper “Jesus,” I do. I find myself thinking and wondering what life was like when Jesus lived. I wonder if the problems were the same then as now? I wonder how His people handled them and how much He helped them.
My secret places seem to be almost everywhere. A butterfly feeding in my flowers carries a prayer on the wind. A snowflake floats with God’s gentle thoughts on its back. The secret places are sacred no matter where they are. Yes, some of my secret places are unusual, but they are sacred, and when I withdraw to them, I know God hears me. He might not always grant me what I ask, but He does hear me praise and thank Him. I’ve learned He has a plani for all of us, and in my secret places, I find His gentle touch and feel His urgings in my heart.
“Trust Me,” I hear in the gentle winds. “Jesus,” I whisper, “I trust in You.” Then I worry and fret and forget what I just said. The wind carries my problems to Our Lady who takes them to her Son. The rain brings down the gentle rains and the fierce storms that nurture and strengthen us. Again, I whisper, “Jesus, I trust in You.” The thunder claps. The lightning shatters the air. He’s there. The woman cave is open. My journal is full of static from the electrified air. “Jesus,” I whisper.
The water I drank makes me run inside to the restroom. I look to the future, then I realize, this is where I pray the most? This room where I sought refuge as a young mother. I laugh. I feel His joy! Jesus!
Jesus! I trust in You!