I once received the following image in contemplative prayer. I am a child in search of cookies on the kitchen counter. I am not tall enough to see over the counter, let alone to reach up and grab them, but I know they are there. In my effort to obtain the treats there is a hope that I will have them, so much so that makes it as if I am, in reality, possessing the cookies.
The cookies, in my prayer, stood for holiness and, ultimately, for total unity with Jesus. I don't possess perfect holiness. I am striving for it, and in my striving and my total occupation with holiness, it is as if I possess it. That is why I, or the child in my image, do not get upset and either give up or break down.
My prayer did not end there. The child is not left grasping futilely forever. Who comes to my rescue? The Blessed Mother. Mary picked me up in her arms so I could look out over the kitchen counter. I was able to see the beauty of the cookies: more than what I had imagined. I was also able to see how far I was from them. My arm reaching over the counter did not come close. The Blessed Mother places me back down on the ground and hands me a cookie. One cookie is enough. Maybe if I had been able to reach them on my own I would have devoured the whole plate and been sick. But one is perfect for the moment and I realize how happy Mary is to give me the cookie, and how happy her Son, the baker, is to have me taste it.