"The parents of Saint Catherine of Siena tried by every means they could to put obstacles in her way as regards prayer and meditation. Our Lord then inspired her to construct within her own heart a little interior "oratory" where she could mentally retire, even in the midst of exterior activity, and enjoy the solitude of her heart. Therefore, from that time on, she advised her spiritual sons and daughters to construct a small room in their own hearts and to dwell within it." (St. Francis De Sales)
Responding to the call of our Lord while living amidst the world is one that poses many challenges. There is the constant pull and influence of others, society, and daily pressures that can become great burdens to those trying to live a devout life. There is also a yearning and desire to be at peace- most importantly, a strong desire to be filled with the Lord and fulfil His call in our lives.
We must not be discouraged by any of these exterior pressures, but through faith we must persevere. Regardless of what may be hampering us within our surroundings it is important to stay grounded in our faith and seek the peace of God.
It is easy to deny ourselves interior peace and become consumed with external demands. We may often fall victim to the ways of the world and the perpetual pull of life's pressures. In these moments we may find ourselves in a sense of great unrest and ultimately complete exhaustion. These times are undoubtedly trying, And yet, they can also succeed in confirming our innate need for peace, tranquility, and for God.
St. Catherine of Siena offers us a very important message about the interior life. It is by building a place of tranquility and peace within our hearts that we can truly find a solution for coping with our exterior demands and pressures. This "oratory" that St. Catherine invites us to construct is only made possible with our Lord and a complete surrender to Him in all things. It is our Lord who can aid us in silencing the noise within our hearts and help us attain a safe residing place of solitude where He is able to dwell.
Lord, help us create a place for you within our hearts so that we may meet you there amidst our daily struggles and exterior activity. Provide us with a sense of peace so that we are able to shine as Your children in every situation. Help us Lord to understand our need for the Sacraments, consistent prayer, and courage throughout our journey. Amen (C.C)