Since we moved and acquired an additional 320 square feet of space, I've been wanting to set up a space in our home that in my mind, I could only describe as sacred. What I was thinking of was basically an altar: a place to sit quietly, to reflect, to pray. While I know that God is everywhere and that we are never confined by time or space in terms of speaking with Him, I felt an increasing need and urgency for this.
Even though I could not quite understand it, I wanted a spot that, when I saw it, would remind me to stop and pray.
While speaking with a deacon at our church this past weekend, he spoke about how while even the Israelites understood God to be omnipresent, they were in the habit of pointing out a rock, setting up a pile of stones, or recognizing a sacred space in the temple and this space was understood to mark the presence of God. When He is everywhere at all times, it made sense to me to need a place like this -- to say: This is where I meet with God. He is everywhere, and this place is how I remember that He is here.
The space is simple: just a bookshelf I've had with me for awhile set up near the entry way of our home, behind the couch. On it, I have a couple of candles, a rosary, and an iron cross, as well some icons: Jesus, Joseph, and the Theotokos (Mary, the Mother of God). It gives me something to focus on visually and is a reminder of to Whom I speak.
Also present there is some Blessed Saint Pio oil, a sacramental that my sister-in-law sent to us to aid in our prayers for healing. Saint Pio is a recent saint in the church's history and many miraculous healings have been attributed to his intercession both during his earthly life, and after it. The oil is a third-class relic, meaning that it has been touched to either a first- or second- class relic. In this case, it means that the oil has been in contact with one of the saint's gloves and the blood from his stigmata.
I use it when I'm praying for Ewan.
I've only used this space for a couple of days, but I already notice a slowing happening in me when I use it. I don't rush out the door like I used to. I speak to God openly and from my heart, but in a way I haven't before. I listen more. I'm quiet more. And I experience His presence there.
What about you? Do you have a special time or space that you use to be quiet? I'd love to hear how you carve out time and/or space in your home or somewhere else for yourself to think, pray, meditate, etc.