On the Thursday at Micklepage I was sitting in the chapel ~ Wednesday had been that 3rd day of the retreat/pilgrimage when the defences are down and everything floods out and appears to absolutely empty our being of every sorrow grief and brokenness ~ It was a draining exhausting day ~ the day that the dam breaks. One would think the dam could only break once ~ apparently not. I have experienced the same dam breaking and invisibly mending and refilling itself over the past 5 years on more than a couple of occasions ~ until the next unexpected and shocking time.
At the opening of the retreat after the first evening conference we were asked the question ‘What are we looking for in the deepest of our heart?’ We were given a little piece of paper and asked to write our prayer upon it ~ fold it in four ~ and place it in the bowl before the altar. This is familiar to me ~ before I came to the church, on special occasions I would write my hearts deepest prayer on a special piece of parchment and then send it either up the chimney or commend it to the bonfire ~ so that it would spiritually be carried into the ether ~ where it might just be answered. Despite my prayers Fr Tom breathed the words ‘Remain in my Love’ at every conference. Regardless of where my conscience and my physical being allows me to reside I forever will remain in His Love. Because regardless ~ once you know God you wouldn’t ever want to be other.
But I have lost Trust in the Sacrament of Confession or Reconciliation through a human being ~ and I have lost Trust in sharing with a spiritual director priest the very depths and crevices of my heart ~ because man let himself get in the way ~ and since being encouraged to share my beautiful Truth, I have been held separated and thus unreconciled ~ where once when it was just God and me ~ I was free.
The most AMAZING confession I ever did was direct between God and me before the Tabernacle on Maundy Thursday, on the year that I was received into the Catholic Church. I received the deepest Grace in my many-hours-long confession spiritually handing over every sin that I could ever possibly recall ~ drained and cleansed by my own tears ~ and having felt like death that evening, which didn’t end to past midnight ~ upon waking in the morning I felt as light, and as free, and as pure as a baby white feather blowing in the gentlest breeze. Thats how I know the True blessings of the True Sacrament of Reconciliation ~ by the peace imbued.
Anyhow I digress ~ On the Thursday after the Broken Wednesday, and after the day of reconciliation at Micklepage ~ I was praying in the chapel before morning prayer ~ and Chantelle a lady from the Foyer team came in and sat next to me ~ I knew she was my personal prayer partner ~ because I could feel it through her presence. I knew too that she was in the room directly above my own ~ because I could feel this intense prayer and presence at times radiating through the floor of the old rambling farmhouse, and I had never even been upstairs. On the last day, upon my revealing that I knew she was my prayer partner, because of feeling this prayerful presence through the very fabric of the building, she confirmed it. And when I turned my lamp out in the darkest evenings, little natural fairy lights (holes in the floorboards) would light up my ceiling as if a spiritual canopy of stars in the black night were praying over me. Quiet Heavenly.
In the chapel this morning, she passed me my prayer-book from the pile, and upon opening it, just one of the many loose prayer cards fell out. I recognised it immediately. It was already familiar to me ~ It was Our Lady untier of knots.
I took it from the chapel to pray with during the day.
We were so blessed with such perfectly beautiful weather on the Foyer retreat. It was so important to lay down amidst the elements that God had bequeathed upon us ~ it was so important to use every possible offering as a way of deepening our prayer time in His presence ~ and absolutely being with Him in the present moment beyond conscious prayer ~ but as a united part of His creation ~ fully earthed + fully in prayer. And so each day I mindfully made sure to rest just there.
In the moments between worship, conference and meal times I would take the pink throw off my bed and lay it down upon the lushest green grass ~ in a little micro-climate secluded corner ~ at the South West side of the ancient farmhouse. I adopted rather a beautiful spot close to the sound of the running water, where for the magical arrival day I was blessed with a gentle pink, and then a pure white water lilly ~ the invisible becoming visible only to those who are fully present ~ for the water lillies open their beautiful praying petals to cupped hands for the one day only.
The micro-climate secluded corner was both in full radiant blazing sunshine, and partly dappled from the midday sun below a beautiful fruit tree. There were small ripe perfectly china looking cherry-plums hanging in Eden style temptation from the tree’s canopy, which I used to partially shade my laying place, when the heat from the suns rays became ~ ‘ Taut Feu, taut flamme.’
On the Fast-day I picked a whole little bowl of these cherry plums ~ beautiful free food ~ and I left them on the end of the farmhouse table with a little hand scripted note saying ~ ‘Free food from God, please help yourself’ ~ just in case anyone should be finding themselves a little light-headed from the Fasting. It turned out the community ate more food on the Fast-day than I would eat on any other normal day back home! :O) Later on in the afternoon when I came back into the farmhouse somebody had taken the care to perfectly swag around the little scripted sign and the bowl, a simple strand of ivy ~ it was so pretty.
I Love this place ~ it makes me smile.
I Love the kindness of people in silence ~ It is so much nicer.
I used my sunshiny blanket time for looking up scripture references from the conferences, and looking back over my notes, and lingering in thought about what had been recieved from Fr Toms beautiful ~ wonderful ~ inspiring ~ conferences ~ which I so enjoyed, because they referred to inspirational written works and to the Encyclical Letters, and for once didn’t underestimate our intellects. ~ God I miss that. I would use my blanket time for contemplating and pondering these things in my heart ~ and for writing my deepest thoughts in my prayer journal.
Today’s beautiful luminous miracle ~ that one might only ever see, if they have Amber eyes ~ is the visible flame of luminous light that I captured with my camera to reveal the invisible. ~ It appeared on my prayer journal whilst praying with Mary the untier of knots ~ and filled me with knowing peace.
T’is her ~ in prayer with me.
Full of Grace