July 23, 2014 Part II: I Phoned My Oldest Daughter Today–Mary in My Secret Place

~by Louis Templeman

“Oh, how well I know that happiness is not found in the things around us. It is found in the secrecy of the soul.”      St. Therese, the Little Flower.

Inside of each of us is where the Kingdom of God is found. The imagination, the interior conversation is a vital link to our source of wellness, our being, and our salvation. I learned years ago to use my imagination in pursuit of a better prayer life. Life as in living, breathing. Prayer of living. Prayer of breathing. I am not trying to be mystical, although it certainly is, but it need not feel unreachable or out of bounds. It is hard to tell of this thing. Perhaps, I should show it with a story.

Yesterday I spoke with my daughter for an hour and a half. I disclosed to her (the daughter of a former Pentecostal pastor, no less) that I have been praying for her comfort in regard to the chronic pain she experiences. I let her know I give her to Mary over and over and over, many times a day. This prayer is anchored in my daily rosaries. She accepted it. She is comfortable with my conversion to Catholicism. I cannot say that I am always comfortable telling such things to friends or family. I find it disturbing for my spiritual treasures to be met with eye rolling or debate.

I use my imagination in my meditation and see in my mind’s eye my cares (or prayer intentions) as burdens that I roll over on her. In my meditation I also see myself as a little child running to his Mommy with his troubles. This is my participation in the intercession which God asks of us; my way to bring the Kingdom of God and its resources into my real time world. It may seem too esoteric or like a mind-game to some but it is the way I do it.

Today, as I drove to a contemplative Eucharist in an Episcopal cathedral I was handed this reading which was used in the liturgy:

“In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal.”   Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

I was in an Episcopal Church where you rarely hear of Mary, except at Christmas and maybe Easter. And yet, her I was validated in the specifics of my prayer journey, especially as it pertained to my promise of prayer to my daughter. Mary in real time giving me real comfort.

When Jesus spoke from the cross he said to John and to all, “Behold your Mother.” We are not motherless children. Mary is our powerful help in prayer and in all of life.

READ PART I: I Phoned My Oldest Daughter Today

Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D.

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