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Prayer blog: My heaven, my castle and my joy

Maddy Kuyken  |  07 October 2015

The idea of heaven is that of clouds, people in white clothing, angels and God waiting at the gates for us. Yet for some people their view is slightly different. For me I imagine all of my family and beloved lost pets waiting for me at the gates, waiting with open arms to be able to embrace for me all eternity.

For most people some glimpse of heaven can be achieved before they pass away. This for me is being at home in my bed with my white, brown and black 11-month-old kitten curled up beside me, purring away as I give her a chin rub. It is still even heaven with my morbidly-obese, snoring-and-farting chihuahua Tommy, asleep under the covers (believe me you do not want to lift those covers up when he is under there!)

When away from home I suffer anxiety. 

I miss my bed, my animals, and dancing in my room but most importantly, I miss the peace and quiet of living in the bush. 

Staying in Melbourne drives me crazy. 

It is almost impossible to sleep with all the noise (I swear the other night I heard drag racing). 

The first night out of five that I was to stay in the city, I got no sleep. Just when I would start to drift off, someone would toot their car horn. To me this is utter hell. 

Normally at home in the country the only noises that wake me up at night are that of koalas grunting, the cat jumping on the window sill wanting to come in or my dog snoring and farting! 

These sounds do not bother me as I know I am at home and safe. Again my version of heaven. 

They say that God’s house has many rooms to it. All I can honestly say is that I hope the room with my name on it is filled with adorable kittens, puppies and lots and lots of food!….Particularly custard danishes which I am absolutely addicted to! 

Some people might disagree with this and say that you can only be in heaven when you die and are in God’s presence. God’s presence can be in the here and now though. For me, heaven is where I feel comfortable. I commonly say I am in heaven when eating some delicious food or am trying on a new pair of shoes that have padding and comfort. I would say I am in hell when it is over 30 degrees or riding on a roller coaster. 

My definition of Heaven is comfortable and in my safety zone. I know though, as I write this, that my heaven will be challenged as I grow, and that I need to find a little spot in myself where I can have my own private time with God.  

This week, a little google search tells me that we will celebrate the feast day of St Teresa of Avila, a 14th Century mystic from Spain. She wrote a book called the Interior Castle (I haven’t read it, I’m seventeen, #justsayin’!!)  but I was thinking due to the title a little about the film The Castle, where the main character Darryl Kerrigan talks about how a ‘Man’s house is his castle’. I thought of my own castle in the bush with my kitten and chihuahua, and of our ultimate home with God. 

St Teresa wrote of heaven and challenge in the language of her time: ‘The devil frequently fills our thoughts with great schemes, so that instead of putting our hands to what work we can do to serve our Lord, we may rest satisfied with wishing to perform impossibilities.’

My translation this week as I am away from home is the following: ‘I have lots of ideas, I am afraid, and pining for my creature comforts. I want to be brave enough to leave home and be a great journalist and take joy in the noises of the city and see them in their place. But I am just seventeen, and I know that there is lots I can do right now to pave a path to do something for God, that God has made me good, and that by being who God made me and learning in the process, I will get there.  

Maddy Kuyken is a Year 11 Student from Lavalla College, Traralgan (Vic) who has just spent a week doing a youth internship at Jesuit Communications. 

 

Topic tags: people’sstoriesoffaith, saints, ourrelationshipwithgod, thecatholictradition

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