SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Reflections on Mary’s Pond – Gratitude

May 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Mary

In the midst of the eighteen year storm of my childhood, there were brief reprieves. Some of these came when my father would break away from his incredibly busy work schedule and take us fishing. Mostly alone in the mountains following some meandering brook in the hopes of finding a larger-than-life fish in a small stream was safe, and it caused the tumult at home to fade, at least for a while.

It was during these times that I learned to love the relative safety of aloneness, along with the mystery and beauty of clear cool water. The melody of a babbling stream as it forms from the base of a snow bank, cuts through meadows, pushes up flowers, is breathtaking – particularly when it links to a fish-filled lake where few cast shadows at that time of year.

Running water was and still is mesmerizing and life-giving to me. When Jesus says “I am the water of life” I have some intuitive sense of what he means.

So, when I knew that we were moving to Birmingham I prayed. It was a childish prayer. I asked Mary if she would intercede on our behalf that we could find a home with a stream. I knew we couldn't afford a house on that kind of property, but I prayed anyway. As it turns out, we weren't able to find a home in our price range with a stream (not even close). I forgot the prayer as the busyness of moving overwhelmed every thought and ounce of energy.

We moved in to our new home, then the storm came. This was a rain storm mind you – Alabama style. That means lots of water in a short period of time. Our backyard was flooded. The rain eventually stopped and I expected everything to dry up, but the water kept coming.

JosefMoroderLusenbergVirginOnce it slowed a bit I squished around in the grass to try to find the source. I suspected it was runoff from our neighbors' yards as they all live above us on a hill. To my surprise I discovered that the lawn was squishing in a more and more narrow pattern up the mild slope. Then it seemed to come to a single point. Now on my hands and knees, I pushed a finger into the grass. Water. A cool clear spring bubbled above the surface of the lawn and began to flow freely. I suspected it would stop eventually.

A year has passed and it is still flowing. But now the spring is at the bottom of a newly hand-excavated pond. Once the water is under control, I plan to build a grotto in honor of Mary and in appreciation for her gift of employment in Birmingham, for water, and for saying “yes” to the Water of Life.

How has Mary, in her life, and her intercession, blessed you?

Art: Lusenberg-Virgin, Josef Moroder Lusenberg (1846-1939), undated, Wolfgang Moroder, March 2012, CCA-SA, Wikimedia Commons.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, the High Calling Seminary Preparation Program, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. In 2018, he launched the annual Avila Summit held at Hanceville, Alabama. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband, father of four, and grandfather of one, the President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News, Inc., a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer, speaker and pilgrimage director who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

please consider supporting our mission with a donation!