Seek God Within You
“#319 Withdraw into yourself. Seek God within you and listen to him.”
I last read The Way by Josemaria Escriva in 2012. A lot has happened since then.
My present reality looks quite different, yet I am still drawn to truths that were underlined eight years ago.
I am no longer married, but I am still a child of God and mother. My relationship with Jesus is a journey of varying levels of intimacy with him, sometimes I feel His presence and at other times feel dry and distant, but the walk and journey is a constant in my life and that I am truly thankful for.
The last 30 weeks have been a particularly interesting and soul-searching part of my journey. I am coming to the end of my Prayer in Daily Life Ignatian Spiritual retreat, and this concept of seeking my special place of internal prayer has been key.
Early on, under direction, I discovered a garden.
I am British, and so naturally a garden became my place of prayer. As the weeks have unfolded and my intimacy with our Lord has deepened, so has my garden altered. Sometimes my garden is a formal garden with a path leading to a pillar of light, lined by beautiful shrubs, other times it is a carefully planted woodland, small little grotto by a humble water feature, or an overlook. In all these places I find the quiet within and can talk and listen to God.
The changes in my interior place of prayer directly correlate with my personal spiritual journey.
When I am seeking God, and walking in to prayer, I am in the formal garden looking at the pillar. There have been times when prayerful breaths are needed to blow away the weeds and leaves from the path and focus on the pillar of light. Sometimes this light is easier to see, sometimes it’s dim. It is, however, always there, a reminder that God is indeed always to be found.
At times of anxiety and weakness when I need his comfort, I go to the water feature area where Mother Mary is always sitting and contemplating, she holds my hand. It is a very nurturing part of my garden. This is where I am to be reminded of His mercy and love. Jesus often will meet me here. He reminded me recently of his love for me, and to empty my cup of anxiety and fear, so that he could fill it up again with His love that I am to then share with the world.
The woodland and overlook are new elements of the garden recently discovered. Oh, how thankful I am for this exercise in contemplative prayer, and how sweet our God is to understand us and meet us where we are.