|http://www.sacredarchitecture.org/articles/a_noble_radiance/--notice on this website the explanation of the emblem of Ephesus. a nice synchronicity|
This is Raymond Cardinal Burke's private chapel in the Vatican. He will be spoiled for choice if and when His Excellency visits Malta.
Notice how simple yet elegant the decor and statues are.. and I am happy to see that the Cardinal loves the Sacred Heart so much as to put Him in the pride of place.
One has to decide on the rule that "less is more" when doing up a small chapel. I decided on icons for four reasons: one, I have several of my own, which God willing, I shall soon get out of storage; two, in a small space, one can honor Jesus, Mary and many saints with icons, as well as the angels; three: a kind donor jump started the chapel icon collection, which will include a fairly large icon of Mary, Queen of Angels, (below), the primary patron of this little chapel of mine--St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs, in Ephesus; three, icons create an instant atmosphere of calm and prayer; four, they are extremely portable.
This will be one of the main icons in the room, one for which I am waiting, sent to me by a donor.
I do not have a camera, and the chapel is just beginning to evolve, but if I meet someone with a camera or phone camera when things are a bit more organized, I shall share the chapel on this blog.
I have one bedroom with no beds, as I am sleeping on a horrid air mattress for my sins. Hopefully, God willing, I want to get three single beds so that two other women could stay overnight for Adoration, if God allows me to get this far. All night vigils in these days seem to be extremely important to me. Something like this house near Little Gidding is what I have in mind for brief and simple accommodation.
God has something in mind and I am being very patient, going day by day.
Watching with Christ at night is an important part of the monastic 24 hours of prayer. God has given me strength to do this and still clean, cook, and do the gardening, etc. This is the way of the hermit.
For example, last night, I slept for two and a half-hours and then was up for five and a half hours in the night praying, going back to bed for another two and a half hours.
I do not nap, usually, unless I am ill, and this "wake" at night is part of the Benedictine mode of work and prayer.
In silence, one can continue prayer while gardening, or cleaning or doing laundry.
God chose the name of this prayer place-it all started with me being called to "Ephesus", away from danger for the time being. John took Mary out of Ephesus shortly after Pentecost, when the great persecution of the Christians in that city began. I wish I had a "John", but I gave mine to the Lord and he is busy doing God's work elsewhere. We can pray for each other.
St. John built Our Lady a house, and there she prayed for the persecuted Church, in the Presence of God most likely totally in union with the Trinity constantly. We cannot model her singular holiness, but we can ask for her help.
The name of the chapel also includes the fact that Mary is in charge of all the angels, and they obey her as Queen. I preferred the old English title, "St. Mary of the Angels" adding "and martyrs". I pray for priests, seminarians and many others, including you, Dear Readers. I pray for future martyrs.
I have great devotion to the martyrs, as those of you who read my blog know. So far, I have a little icon of St. Joan of Arc, and one of the saints and martyr of Alaska, which is still in storage. My son has a great love for SS. Herman of Alaska and Innocent, who we as Catholics may honor as well.
For some reason, it is very hard to find icons of Western martyrs which are affordable. St George is a martyr who is easy to find, of course.
I really like this one I have of St. Joan, although it is very small, it seems more inspired than most icons.
At this point, I have no relics, having given them all away in the past. I had part of St. Therese' habit handed down in our family, and St. Philip Neri's vest, which I gave away long ago, one to a priest. My son has a first class relic of St. Augustine of Hippo, with Vatican papers, which we carried around the States and England.
He also has part of the bandages of St. Padre Pio. But, I have no relics for this little chapel as of yet.
Back into silence....I am still on retreat for another day.