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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Inner Room or Cleft in the Rock

Jesus tells us in today's Gospel not to let others see the good that we do -- when we give "do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret."
When we pray, we are to "go into your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you." The same is said for fasting so there is a value in doing things in secret for then they are done only for God.
I love the image of the inner room! At this stage in my life, I go in prayer into "the cleft in the rock" to find the Heart of Christ. Sometimes I descend into a deep, still pool and there find the cleft in the rock. I suppose all of us have an inner room.
When writing this an image came to me of an inner room that helped me as a child; I owe the image to Demi Brooke in Alcott's Little Men which was my favorite book in fourth grade and one that I almost knew by heart. This is what captured my imagination when Demi was trying to explain to Dan what would help him be good. Demi said that he thought of his mind as a round room where his soul lived. The walls were full of drawers and shelves where he kept his thoughts and his goodness he left out and the badness he locked up. Every Sunday he would put his room in order. I like the idea of keeping any uncharitable thought locked up so it would not bother me again; and I loved the idea of filling the open shelves with good thoughts and beautiful scenes. It was one of my imaginary games and I know this inner room gave me power over my thoughts, imagination, emotions and desires. I wonder what my inner room looks like really and if my soul has trouble in keeping it clean and beautiful.

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