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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

The Little Heaven of My Soul

October 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

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The Way of Perfection (Week 7 of 10)

Those who are able to shut themselves up in this little Heaven of the soul, wherein the Maker of Heaven and earth dwells, and who have formed the habit of looking at nothing and staying in no place that distracts the senses, may be sure that they are walking on an excellent road. They will not fail to drink of the water of the fountain, for they will travel a long way in a short time. They are like travelers on a ship, who, with a little good wind reach the end of their voyage in a few days, while those who travel by land take much longer to arrive.   – The Way of Perfection (Chapter 28, Paragraph 6)

The Little Heaven of My Soul

It is often said that a mother has eyes in the back of her head. Instinctively, I believe this to be true, as my children have tested me on this time and time again. That being the case, no wonder I have such a difficult time shutting myself up inside the little Heaven of my soul. There is no shutting, even when my eyes are closed.

Take this very moment, for instance. As I sit at my desk prayerfully considering this passage, I am keenly aware that my three-year-old is ravaging our home for “brown things” to wear, as she has been called upon by her brother and his friend to be a bear who chases the “coyotes” around the house. While I am no closer than 20 feet from the opening to her brother’s bedroom, my vision blocked by three walls and two doors, I can nevertheless see in my mind’s eye the frantic tearing of drawers off their hinges in her desperate attempt to find something – anything – brown, before the boys get bored and leave her behind. In her wake will be a “non” brown sea of clothing strewn across the floor, dangling from headboards, even dripping down the hall. You see, I’ve heard this frenzied tone before and it is always accompanied by destruction.

As quick as the costume mission begins, I hear the boys commiserating in the hall. They’ve now “upped” the ante – costumes are great but masks are better. The tone of their excitement escalates as they discuss possibilities. Bear and wolf masks from paper plates! Then they’re off – barreling down the hall and bounding down the steps, my three-year-old trotting close behind. Rushing to implement plans which no doubt include things like markers, scissors, tape, and string. I can already see the Sharpies and scissors being hoisted upon my unsuspecting countertops by imprecise but powerful little hands – needless to say, all quiet, interior reflection must cease until the kitchen has been spared…

As I return to my desk (after cutting, tying and attaching paper plate masks to three happy little bandits) my husband smiles and waves to me through a second-floor window, where he stands on a 25-foot ladder, painting the exterior of our house. So now I am distracted by paint. And paint colors. And decorating. I can’t wait until he finally finishes our exterior windows. Between replacing rotting wood and repainting, there has been a ladder leaning against the front of our house since Memorial Day weekend (for those of you who get confused, Memorial Day is in MAY, not September). In fact, our house has been a patchwork of paint and wood for so long that the neighbors have begun to ask questions. As in, Hint, Hint – Looking great, but Please finish that project and remove the eyesore from the front of your house so we don’t have to see it every time we pull into our garage.

As soon as the painting is finished – please, please, please let it be today!! – I’ve promised the kids that we will dig out our fall decorations and jazz up the front yard. I think I need to find a couple more scarecrows because I’m pretty sure ours have lost every last shred of dignity as their stuffing is no longer existent, and the mold and grime are getting hard to ignore after eight seasons of welcoming guests to our front door in both wind and rain. We also need a hay bale, some pumpkins to carve and the kids will want to set up that cute pumpkin man we had last year – hope I can find the straw hat…

I hear a banging noise, and I turn to see my husband standing on the ladder outside the office, bouncing up, over and down two stories in the air, literally trying to shift the ladder over a few feet without getting down. So now, I picture him falling to his death, or to permanently disabled status, as his talent is great but I’ve no doubt he failed Safety 101 years ago.  The notion that he is invincible did not disappear for him when he left his teen years behind. So this is the moment when I spend more time than I should imagining What if…..? What if he falls to his death or is permanently maimed? What would we do? Would we sell the house? Would we stay in Omaha? Would I have to get a job? Would I be able to continue to homeschool? Goodness – I don’t even know how to use that tire pressure gauge thingy in my car!

All this and much, MUCH more rushes through my head in the course of 10 minutes of prayerful reflection on my reading for today.

Are you so easily distracted? Perhaps you’d like to pray with me…

Lord,

Please give me directions so that I may find the little Heaven of my soul. It is so easy to get lost in the fields of every day life, the hills and the valleys of daily affairs. Once you’ve guided me into that sanctuary that is the castle within me, please help me to raise the drawbridge of my soul. Help me to remove myself from the world and to spend time with You and You alone. Away from the peasantry of materialism and the lowly chatter of common gossip. Help me to recognize the grand nature and great beauty of the castle within which I can recline with my King and Savior. And most of all, please impress upon my heart undying gratitude for your having given me all that I am and all that I need within the confines of this spectacular castle of your creation.

Amen.

Reading Assignment:

Chapters 30-32

Discussion Questions:

1. Are you easily distracted from prayer?  What do you do in an attempt to overcome those distractions?

2. If you have a routine that works for you to ensure that your prayer time is fruitful, please share it with us!

Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

Read More: http://rcspiritualdirection.com/blog/topics/book-club

For More Information on the Book Club:  http://rcspiritualdirection.com/blog/csd-book-club

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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages four to sixteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the SpiritualDirection.com book club so she could embark with like-minded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. She is author of the new book How to Read Your Way to Heaven - A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between. You can also find her at pelicansbreast.com

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