Make my heart a dwelling place, a Temple, just for You
A consecrated resting place, a vessel ever true
Set my heart afire, with the brightness of Your Son
Make my heart a dwelling place, for the Holy One
Artist Jim Cowan
|Lori, Celeste, me, Cindy and Jarod in Springfield, Missouri|
The first state we visited was Indiana, where my first spiritual director, Father David Mary, now lives.
|Lori, me, Fr David Mary, Cindy and Jarod|
Fort Wayne, Indiana
The next stop was St. Louis, Missouri, where we briefly visited with Sister Lea, one of the
|Me and Sr Lea|
St Louis, Missouri
After visiting Sister Lea, we headed to see a few locations from the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I grew up on her stories, loving the idea of a more simple and family-centered lifestyle. I love all the images her writing creates-- everyone gathering around the fire, Pa playing the fiddle, walking to school with your lunch pail and slate. I admit, I frequently Google things and love technology, but the idea of a time of simplicity has always appealed to me. I bought a bookmark with a quote from her that says, “The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” What a perfect description of the kind of chapel I want to become.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
|Precious Moments Chapel|
Precious Moments Chapel. Both chapels were made as a way of giving back to God for His blessings. They were both very different and very beautiful. Thorncrown Chapel is plain with large glass windows on all sides and even on the ceiling. The amount of natural light as well as the view of God's beauty in nature is breathtaking. Words don't even begin to capture it. Precious Moments is a chapel built by Sam Butcher, the creator of Precious Moments. The chapel features hand-painted murals and stained glass windows of different Bible stories as well as a large mural containing people Sam met or who wrote to him, painted as the childlike images for which he is known. I was struck by the fact that Sam Butcher left part of the mural unfinished to recognize that God is the only perfect artist. The symbolism and little details he incorporated are mesmerizing.
Each of these visits got me thinking about my chapel. I want to become a beautiful chapel. I want to always shine His Light brightly, as Sister Stella showed me I once did to her. I want to be a safe place, a guiding light, like Sister Lea was for me. I want to be simple, honest, truthful, and courageous, like Laura Ingalls Wilder described. I don’t want to only let God in. I want for him to consume me and for others to see His Light shining through. The song in the beginning of this post that has been written on my heart says it most perfectly. What will your chapel look like to the world around you?
Christine Dufresne has been a Pauline Cooperator for almost 3 years. Originally from New Bedford, MA, she served at a mission in Kentucky for 16 months before settling in Waltham, MA. In addition to being a foster parent, she has been working with children in various ways for the past 20 years and is currently a nanny for several families. She serves as a Eucharistic minister in her home parish of St. Mary’s in Waltham.