Seven years ago, the “spiritual director” of our extended passed away in her sleep – her arm wrapped around a teddy bear and a rosary under her pillow. Elsie (Dee Dee) was my husband’s seventy- year- old aunt, and my daughter’s godmother. She had developed polio as a child which left her spine badly twisted. She suffered much in her life – physically and socially. Dee Dee inspired me! She taught me that one could be holy and fun at the same time. She was always joyful, even when she was hurting. I miss her very much.
When Dee Dee passed away, my mother-in-law asked me if I would like to have the kneeler that her sister had used each day to pray. Elsie was a lay Carmelite, so she had an extensive regiment of prayers that she would say throughout each day. I was so honored and thrilled. For awhile the kneeler was placed in an alcove at my house and pulled out from time to time. Then, I decided to create a “sacred space” in my bedroom. I set up a prayer table with some holy pictures and a small statue that I had. I hung a crucifix on the wall, and placed a small basket of prayer cards nearby. I pulled Elsie’s kneeler up to the table, and whalla! I had a prayer corner.
I often feel as though I don’t pray enough – especially when I am at home. The kids and chores keep me so busy. There are also the distractions of the television and telephone. Having the kneeler and holy reminders in my room has helped to foster a better prayer life. Often, I will be running in and out of the room processing laundry and putting things away. Jesus “calls” to me from the prayer corner, “Stop. Come and talk to Me for a moment.” Maybe it’s a guilt thing – who knows. I can only walk past the kneeler so many times, before I simply must give in.
Just the presence of this special, holy space has been a silent invitation to other family members, as well. I’ve come into my bedroom and have “caught” my youngest on the kneeler, playing with action figures and talking to Jesus. My oldest told me that he used the kneeler for about thirty minutes one day when the rest of us were gone, and he really needed to talk to God.
You may not have a kneeler, but you certainly could create a prayer table in your home, next to a comfy chair, or in bedroom corner with some large, fluffy pillows. If you don’t have holy pictures, many can be found on the internet that are free to print. God doesn’t require that we travel the globe to find Him. He is with us where we live and work. Invite Him into your home in a special way by creating your own “sacred space” for prayer.