But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6
Peace, solitude, tranquility, regardless what you call it, I believe the best way to offset any turbulence in life is to become a homing pigeon led to a space that may not necessarily be your physical home, but present an undisturbed place of respite.
Over these last thirty years, one of my refuges is Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Brookfield, Connecticut.
Whether I am in praise, joy, anguish, exhaustion or discourse, I come here to realign my thoughts and spirit and awaken my soul.I have never witnessed a burning bush experience, magically cured an ailment or miraculously transformed in some way. But I am always removed from the stressful boom of the secular. Humbled, I feel peace at my core, and I am ready to return my higher self to the world. That is, the selfless self that can stop ruminating about ME, turning the “M” into a “W” and forming the word “WE” and actually giving completely of myself to someone else.
Though the grotto is as solitary as its brick edifice, I have never come here without being overwhelmed by the sense of union that I feel as I kneel before the candles, religious statues and personal mementos that others have left, and I discover. This is another way that I get unstuck from my own navel gazing and feel part of a larger whole.
Oddly, over these many years, why others don’t flock here like they would a rock concert, I can’t figure out. Rarely, have I seen one other person visit the grotto while I was there.The grotto is off a busy road, buzzing with motorists that accelerate a good ten miles over the set speed limit. I always think how ironic that these motorists don’t see “it.”
Upon leaving, I always want to call to them.“Eureka!” I want to shout. “Look what’s here!”
But that is like asking a stranger to take a road without surface or form.That would be like something akin to faith.
That would be like saying to the passing motorists, “Come feel how small you are and how little true control you have.”
Most of them would likely rather attend a rock concert.
Stay tuned!…until next time…walk by faith not by sight!