Prayerful Mediating - Homemade Blackberry Wine Cake

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The bubbles popped and crinkled their fragrantly smiles upward along the peach-colored tile. My notebook and pen sat ready and waiting for my reflections, as did my fresh cup of coffee sweetened with cream and sugar. Kathleen Norris and Sarah Ban Breathnach promised me counsel. It was all so inviting and intimate.

Then the phone rang.

It was my oldest son on his way over the bridge to a college final. He needed to hear a “friendly voice” before meeting his assumed doom. The poor child suffers text-anxiety. Passing the class hinged on this final test grade. Never a good thing.

“I need prayers, Mom.” It was the voice of someone on his way to the guillotine.

It took only the blink of an eye for me to remember that tingling sensation in the pit of my stomach and my own feeling of helplessness, my own breath of prayers. Could prayers whispered twenty years ago be called upon to redeem prayers needed today? I would exchange them all for my own child to possess them.


I assured him of my morning rosary.

“It’ll take more than a rosary, Mom. You’d better start making some.”

We both chuckled, hoping to lighten the mood, ease the stress, and lessen the anxiety. I knew he had studied for this test. I knew he would do his best. I knew he had prepared for it as much as he was able.

The bubbles popped and crinkled their smiles and fragrance upward as I stepped into my blissful solitude, next to Kathleen Norris and Sarah Ban Breathnach; but I realized another woman must take their place and step into my confidence.

In my bubbly lagoon, I grasped my chaplet beads and began to pray. I meditated on the path of another mother. I meditated on the path of another son. I meditated on other miracles.

When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” …”Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” ~ John 2:3-7 (New American Bible)

I brought my empty jar to Mary; asking her to give me a few drops of wine for my son, asking her to help my son do well on his test. I asked our heavenly mother to be at his side when I could not—to calm him, to counsel him, to intervene for him. I knew she would do all these things. She is a mother, she knows. And she will intercede on our behalf because she knows that her son knows all the trials and sufferings we face in this world.

She is a mediatrix between us and her son. She takes our prayers seriously and straight to God because what mother ignores the pleas of her child and what child ignores the pleas of his mother?

And yet sometimes the outcome of our prayers is not the answer we anticipated. So what do we tell our child when their vessel is returned to them with mere water rather than wine?

Tell him that his hour has not yet come, but it will. All in good time. After the berry has ripened. After the wine has fermented. Doesn’t Christ usually save the best wine for last?

Homemade Blackberry Wine Cake

1 box of white cake mix
small (3 oz) box of blackberry jell-o gelatin (can be any berry variety including black cherry)
4 eggs
½ cup cooking oil
¾ cup blackberry wine

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour cake pan.
Mix together the cake mix and jell-o.
Combine eggs, cooking oil, and blackberry wine in separate bowl.
Beat all ingredients together for three minutes.
Scrape into greased/floured pan.
Put in oven and baked for 45 minutes.  Done when toothpick or knife inserted into middle comes out clean.
After removing cake from oven, poke slits in it with a knife or fork.

Homemade Blackberry Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup blackberry wine
1/2 cup butter

While cake is baking, place the powdered sugar, wine, and butter in saucepan. Bring to a boil.
Pour hot glaze over the warm cake. Glaze will soak into cake.
Allow the cake to cook while making the meringue.

Nutty Meringue

4 egg whites
1 tablespoon water
Dash of salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons of granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla
Chopped nuts (optional=desired amount)

Beat egg whites, water, salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
Sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar at a time into mix while beating.
Add vanilla and beat.
Top on cake and seal the edges with a spoon.
Sprinkle nuts on top of meringue and bake in 275 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Copyright 2009 Cay Gibson

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