“O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I have asked You for many favors, but I plead for this one. Take it, place it in Your open, broken Heart and when the Eternal Fathers sees It covered with the mantle of your most Precious Blood, He will not refuse it. It is not my prayer, but Yours. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in you. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in your love for me.”
These are the words that I recited to my Jesus as I lay down each night as a little child. Then I closed my eyes and fell asleep. It was my goodnight kiss to my Heavenly Father. I always felt safe in His arms in prayer. I still do! I cannot recall where I learned the prayer; I only know that it gave me great comfort and peace as I cast all my prayers and all my desires on Him. With childlike faith, I hid myself in Him. I still do! It is a gift that only God can give.
In this crazy busy life as a mother and wife we must all learn to hide ourselves in Him. Where is your favorite hiding place? Are you hiding from Him or are you hiding in Him?
“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who despoil me.” (Psalm 17:8-9)
I am hidden in Him. Just as we all searched for the perfect place to hide when we were a little child playing hide and seek, we must discover the best hiding place where we feel close to God. To some it will be the Sacraments, to others retreats, to many, the adoration chapel or a prayer closest, where we can be hidden alone with our heavenly Father. Maybe hiking in the mountains and enjoying the view or sitting in the sunshine at the beach listening to the ocean breeze leads you to that closeness that we all need. Your quietness may be found on the lake in a sailboat or just sitting in a rocking chair right in your own backyard. It is not so much where it is, but who you meet there that is of importance. It must be your hiding place where you go, awaiting the King of Kings.
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The other day I found myself among strangers in a foreign land conversing. Being a extra on a cable TV set took me right out of my comfort zone. I knew no one, but was welcomed at a table with all gals. Though we began as five women who had never met before, I’d like to think that we could have become friends. What was our bond? We were all “Daddy’s Girl!” The smiles on our faces when we spoke about our dads displayed how much we truly loved our earthly fathers. The tears that were shed, when three of us shared that our daddies had left this world way before we were ready to let them go cemented us together in a way we were not expecting. One lady shared that her dad was “always there for her.” I guess you could say that a father’s shoes are way too big to fill. We all agreed when our fathers left so early, a part of us went with them, leaving a hole in our hearts that was too large to ever fill. I do not think that any of us will forget that conversation.
There was an awkward pause as silence took over. I broke the silence with a word I felt came from God. “You know, ladies,” I began, “only Jesus can fill a hole that big in one’s heart. He will fill it with a Heavenly Father’s love.” Again smiles filled the room. Our Heavenly Father’s love is so much greater than our daddy’s love because it is eternal and no one can take it away.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39)
Recently the stress of life seemed to be way too much to bear. As I lay down to sleep, instead of praying that familiar prayer that I began this article with, I poured my heart out to God. I knew that he heard me in the silence. I felt safe in His arms. After I finished my monologue with my Heavenly daddy, I entrusted my cares and worries to Him and then fell sweetly to sleep just like when I was a little girl. The next day I was filled with a thankful heart that only He can give. I was grateful that I had a Savior I can run to. He is my hiding place. We must hide ourselves in prayer in the everlasting arms of our Father. We must let Him hold us, in our grief, in our crazy busy lives, in our loneliness and yes even in our fears. His arms are strong enough to hold us up no matter what season we are in Him. He will never let us go. Let us find our hiding place in Him. We are never alone.
Let’s face it, moms, sometimes everything seems to be calling our name. All we want to do is find a place to hide, a place where no one will ever find us. Christmas is one of those times. We consider changing our name from “Mom” to “Unavailable,” at least until December 26. We find ourselves toying with thoughts like: Where can I escape to, or perhaps I can find a deserted island where no one has my address? Just about the time we were ready to ask ourselves the question, “What is wrong with me?” reality sets in and we admit, we are overwhelmed. We feel we are even too busy to pray. Hiding yourself in Him is the best hiding place of all. We will never outgrow the need to be in our Heavenly Father‘s arms. Prayer gives us the grace to do what we need to do during this season of Advent. As we prepare for our Christmas celebration, let us first prepare our souls in prayer, in the arms of our Father. In quietness and confidence He will be our strength.
Mary and Joseph looked high and low for a place to house Jesus. Many doors were closed. There was no room at the Inn. Jesus is looking for a place to birth Himself in each one of us. “Christ in you, your hope of glory.” This Christmas season make the “stable” of your heart ready to receive more of Jesus and His love. Rest in Him. Hide yourself in Him. Is there room at the Inn of your heart to let Jesus in?
Copyright 2016 Ellen Mongan
About the Author
Ellen Mongan, a Catholic writer and speaker, has been married more than 40 years to Deacon Pat Mongan. They have 7 children and 12 grandchildren. Ellen is a host of WOW Radio Podcasts, a religious columnist for the Augusta Chronicle, and has spoken on both radio and television. She is the founder of Sisters in Christ, Little Pink Dress Ministry, and Women-Fests.