Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Walled In With The Lord, Protected by the Virgin Mary
My attempt to quit the sweet water backfired a bit yesterday. I drank a glass of iced coffee every time I felt the urge to swill down a Pepsi, and the result was that I stared at the clock most of the night. I had to get up early for an appointment and I felt out of sorts the entire day. Apparently, coffee packs a lot more caffeine than Pepsi so in place of a caffeine-withdrawal headache, I was wired.
Finally feeling like I was coming down to earth, I went, after dinner, to the Adoration Chapel, where I found the Lord all alone. After spending the amount of time I had set aside and saying the prayers I had intended to say, I started to hear an unfamiliar sound and I soon realized it was pouring rain outside. It was too dark for me to read so I just spent the time talking from the heart, the best that I could. I thought how unfortunate for the Lord that He was stuck with someone so uninspiring, ungrateful and struggling as myself. What a gift it would have been had He had a St. Catherine of Sienna or a St. Therese of Lisieux to keep Him company. But He did not complain. At the moment, I was the only person on earth with Him in that little chapel, the only person who, for whatever reason, had made the effort to visit Him and offer Him some small consolation.
This particular chapel is in the basement of a rectory of a church named for one of Mary's many titles. There is no shortage of statues on the grounds depicting her in one image or another. One very large bronze statue stands faces the nearby highway, as if to impart a special blessing of safety to travelers. It has always been a great comfort and delight for me to happen upon depictions of the Virgin Mary, especially those where she is holding the Infant or Child Jesus in her arms. I started wondering what she really looks like and what her demeanor would be. St. Therese often commented that she thought Mary would be more Mother than Queen. I had an image strike me of Mary gently but firmly getting after her children, and doing so even with a sense of humor, particularly where my son is concerned.
The Eucharist, the Source and Summit of our Christian life and Mary, our life, our sweetness and our hope.