Category Archives: Mystical Experiences

A Nun, a Book, a Dream, and a Hearing

Recently, I read a novel for the first time in decades. I have always found it difficult to discipline my thoughts enough to stay focused on a single book for 400 pages, or even 10, but I did it this time. A talented and precious religious sister recommended it to me. Coming from this particular nun and believing there was a message to be found in the reading, how could I resist reading it to its completion?

The story followed a man’s life from early childhood to a peaceful death. It was about Heaven. As I read it, I was reminded of how this nun brought back an early childhood memory for me. You see, she reminds me of a little girl with whom I had an infatuation when I was in the 1st grade. It was my first ever infatuation like that – where a boy looks at a girl’s pretty face and knows that he wants to be closer to her; it was one of those situations where a little boy has feelings and has no idea how to express them.

Unfortunately for me, there seemed to have been a mass awakening of similar feelings by other boys in my class because it seemed that everyone of them wanted to show their affection to her as they went back into the classroom after playing outside. She was holding open the classroom door as we entered, and in competition for her love, several of the boys were kissing her on her right cheek – big slobbery kisses – as they re-entered the classroom. I think she knew she had some kind of power over us, and maybe she didn’t quite understand or know what to do about the situation.

As I approached her, I started regretting the whole situation – firstly that I, having not been noticed by her, would have to compete for her heart; secondly, it certainly would be awkward to try to kiss her after not ever having said one word to her; thirdly, I would have to kiss her slobbery face after all the other 1st grade boys made their attempt to woo her – yuck! Well, I made an attempt to kiss her, but I don’t think I quite did; I think she drew away her face (embarrassing for me, of course).

I have always remembered her and had just a tiny wound in my heart because I didn’t quite measure up, and I could not have her as my girlfriend. I wonder how that has affected my personality over all of these years. Well, I’m certainly blessed to have my wife.

Anyway, it was a great book with an intriguing story. I completed it over a 2 week period. Now, I will state that it caused me to reflect on some of my own sinful inclinations in addition to my own trials and tribulations in life. You know, we sometimes are tempted by the perfection we desire but don’t have, and so we might be tempted to covet things and people and situations which, by our own vows, we should not. Those thoughts were coming to the surface, and it was a battle to keep them under control – like I was under spiritual assault. But, I kept reading and struggling.

I suppose it might have been like when Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and gave up the protection of the Spirit that He might have to struggle under temptation and show that He could win nevertheless. The struggle was real because, when I am struggling with serious temptation, my heart physically hurts – and it was hurting. It’s like Jesus is undergoing His Passion, except that it is happening in some way in my own heart. I don’t wish any pain on Him, but that’s what I think about. Of course, I was moved to undergo a thorough examination of conscience after reading the book, and I decided, yesterday, that I had sufficiently kept myself from falling into a mortal snare. The good thing is that the Spirit sort of convinced me to trust Him that I did nothing wrong in how my mind wondered out from and back to the Path.

Last night, I had a related nightmare. I can’t really recall the full set of circumstances, but I do know it involved me grabbing and throwing a deadly, colorfully-ringed snake, like Satan, away from me, watching it quickly coil for a strike, and then me scrambling to avoid it’s bites. It extended its body fully toward my feet and flared it’s venom pouches in readiness for a deadly strike, but it could move no closer to me. It was at my feet on the ground, which was all white, and extended its body toward me but fell short. I thought of smashing its head, but then I woke up. I’m not sure I would have actually smashed its head; it seemed too pitiful.

At the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this morning, after the Liturgy of the Word, and not long into the Liturgy of the Eucharist, I began to hear the Lord speak to me. He said:

“You know me.”

There were other words, too. Of course, as I’m sitting there in my natural anxiety, I’m thinking this is the Lord judging me. Right? I know Him? Does that mean that I know that He was hurting in my heart? Or, does it mean that because I know that, I can regret it and do whatever I can to console Him and prevent Him anymore pain? This must be the pain of True Love which the Lord always endures. Yet, how do we stop it and console the Lord? How do we return love and care like a soothing salve on a festering wound? That’s what I want to do.

“You know me.”

I know He loves me, and I can do nothing without Him. But, I can choose to love Him, and I try and am able the more closely I succumb to his virtuous, meek and humble Way.

Dream: Seeing My Girl Again

In a waking dream this morning, I saw a little girl looking toward me through a window. She had short-cut brown hair with golden highlights and sparkling greenish-blue eyes. I wonder if she is our only girl, Maddie in Heaven?

It would be no wonder, since yesterday I wrote to one of my two sponsored girls a letter about my prayers for her future life as a wife and mother. I prayed the Joyful Mysteries for her and explained my intentions and blessing for her in each Mystery. She turned 18 in June.

Thanks be to God for revealing sweet things such as these. Amen.

God Comes as Smile to Sophia

At the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today, during the Sanctus, the Lord came to us as a Divine Smile. I could sense the joy as the Divine Smile flooded my soul. This was a special Mass because Sophia, a little girl, would receive First Holy Communion this morning.

Indeed, at “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” the Divine Smile penetrated my soul. He said, “I am here.”

There was something very special today – Peace was in the nave and sanctuary. I could tell that the priest was at peace and, for the first time in years, he gave a homily which I could tell was coming from his heart – with real heart-felt passion – inspired breath. I was impressed.

Sophia, dressed in a tiny white wedding gown with white veil, timidly approached the Pastor to receive the Lord. She approached, did not bow and held the throne of her hands out. The Pastor placed the Lord on her little throne, and she looked up and asked what to do.

The Pastor gestured and she received Him. She paused. Then, in what seemed like unusual contemplation, she initiated a deep and profound bow slowly and tenderly in adoration. It was beautiful – what I saw happening in that little child. She returned to the pew with her parents and remained in prayer with her hands piously folded. Her mother was also in great peace.

How beautiful it all was. It was Divine Healing and Divine Life-giving. Amen.

Eucharist: “Melt Into Me”

At the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today (Sunday), I imagined the Lord Jesus Christ standing behind the Altar, smiling and speaking this with outstretched arms, “My peace I leave you, my peace I give you.”

After receiving Him in Holy Communion, I heard, “Melt into me.” This is an invitation to become one with the Lord, to let one’s self become saturated with Life, Health and Holiness.

When people marry, it takes them years to figure out that they must compromise in order to truly become one body together. With the Lord, He has no need to compromise; it is us who need to compromise our own selfish and often faithless ways. And so, to become one Body in Christ, *we* must compromise and melt into the Way of the Lord.

Holy Spirit – Special Intimacy

This morning at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, three things happened which were extraordinary [and I don’t mean the form of the Mass 🙂 ].

Firstly, I could see Jesus processing in and blessing us with His wounded hands behind the Altar. Secondly, I could see Who I believe to be the image of the Holy Spirit during the Creed. Thirdly, after the dismissal and during our Hail Mary prayer for vocations, I could see the Blessed Virgin Mary. I will cover the second two here.

Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life: We state our belief in the Holy Spirit this way when we recite the Creed each Sunday:

“I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.”

When I was reciting this part, I remembered many locutions in the past to “romance me.” This essentially means to “love me” in a special way which is appropriate to Divinity. I attribute this call to the Holy Spirit. And I envisioned our Personal God to be youthful, fresh, full of life, full of virtue, attractive and desirous of intimacy to the point that I felt like I was being refreshed in that moment, nearly to the point of sort of floating away – feeling very light and happy. But, I had full control and did not drift away. Thank you dear Lord for this blessing of grace.

Holy Mother of God, Mary Most Holy: After Sunday Mass, we always make two prayers – one to St. Michael the Archangel (to protect us from Satan – I often see from the vantage point of thrusting demons through a hatch into Hell using a very long battle lance – very effective, and they cannot come back in) and also to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Most Holy Mother of God for more vocations. I saw her, too. And, praying to her, she said “touch me,” (something I am averse to doing), but when I did, my heart leapt or skipped a beat, and I felt that something like the weight of sin had been taken from me. I think that because when I do begin to have sinful thoughts, my heart hurts like pressure is being forced on it. But, when I reached out to touch Mother Mary, my heart felt relieved or healed. I had been recollecting prior sinful thoughts and asking God for forgiveness, to which he replied as in a locution, “I have forgiven you.” But, Mother Mary gave me some sort of grace today which I do not recall receiving before.

This all gave me great hope in the Kingdom of God, Who is Love, Who Mercifully Heals.

How is this Possible? Now, one might ask, “How is it that one person in 2.5 billion Christians sees these Persons and Saint? Does that mean he is the only one? Or, how can these Persons and this Saint be present to one and many simultaneously?” Well, we can answer that question by the example of the Prophets. All Christians are called to be like prophets, but do we acknowledge, listen and respond to the Lord? No! Most do not! Most do not love the Lord our God as He asks. We stray, we get distracted, we don’t pray (we don’t speak to God), we put other gods before our Loving God. Who would make friends with you if you don’t think one important enough to talk to or listen to? I also fail in these ways, but I have taken the grace to repent when I do, and I return to be healed and love again and am always forgiven. Also, why do we try to limit the capability of God as if He were only a limited creation? When we do, we show our ignorance and lack of attention to knowing God.

Remember today’s Gospel message. We are all called to be like fertile soil in light of the “seed” which the Lord plants in us, that it might take root and bear much fruit. How do we become that fertile soil? Think about that. Are you the soil on the path, the rocky ground, or amongst thorns? Or are you the rich, fertile soil like that in a flood plain? What floods and is absorbed into your soil? Is it the pollution of sloth, violence, pornography, hatred, calumnious intention, financial wealth, career advancement, or personal power? Or is it the clean life-giving, cool Water of the Lord?

Waking Dream: Is Patricia in Purgatory?

This morning, as I was having a waking dream, I saw in my mind an image of an older lady. The image was like a still photo. The lady had glasses, was probably in her 60’s, wearing a hair net. Her hair was hard to see – probably gray. She was standing in the back of what looked like a large kitchen, perhaps one like that for a school cafeteria. She was behind what looked like a cage; perhaps it was a prison kitchen. My perspective was as one looking at her from about 25 feet away.

I asked, “Who is she?” I heard, “Patricia.”

I have no recollection of this picture or this lady other than in this image in my waking dream. My thoughts took me to concerns about Purgatory.

At the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I prayed for Patricia, whoever she is, that God may bless her in whatever way is necessary. I think that is what this was about. I mentioned this to my wife, and I think she agrees.

May Patricia receive healing, mercy, and peace. Amen.

Receiving Jesus, Again

Jesus in My Eye and I in His Eye

Yesterday, my wife and I both went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation in anticipation of receiving, once again, the Lord in the Holy Eucharist.

Today was our first day back to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass since the middle of March. Nave seating was limited to 50% capacity, and all were required to wear masks. Every other pew was cordoned off and tape was carefully laid on the floor to help us keep 6 feet apart as we processed up to receive the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

I was a little confused during Holy Communion. I was wearing a mask and trying to obey the instructions to let the mask dangle by one ear as I went forward to receive either in the hand or on the tongue. Why do I have to make this decision? My mind said, “I better receive in the altar of my hand” but then my body did the opposite and I received on the tongue. Grabbing the dangling loop of my mask, I reattached it and went back to the pew to pray and contemplate.

As I knelt, I started to see only Jesus behind the Altar wearing golden liturgical attire unlike that of the priests. He was looking at me with admiring or loving eyes, and I felt sort of bashful; my heart sort of burned in a delightful way. This happened three times. His hair was golden brown, perhaps from the sunlight from above, and His eyes seemed translucent – like honey with blue tones.

What does all of this mean? One day we will know. Something more wonderful than we know will happen on that Day when time is no longer relevant, and reveling in the heavenly experiences of the present will be all that matters.

I Envision Jesus at Pandemic Holy Mass

I’ve been wanting to share with you that I have been consoled these past Pandemic Sundays while watching the televised Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

I envision the Lord Jesus standing between me and the TV inviting me to a communion of friendship.  He has shoulder-length wavy and coarse golden brown hair, blue or translucent eyes, a golden brown beard,  fair tan complexion, and he is wearing a liturgical robe, off-white with red straps running from each shoulder to a point near the bottom center of His chest, like a downward pointing triangle.  He also seems relatively small in stature – a mature but young man.  Today, there was an embrace and I was comforted by His soft, warm beard on my face and the secure hug like that of a father for a son or a brother for a brother.

Early in the morning, too, I pray sometimes, “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.”  I do this knowing my dependency on Him for everything  – for our health, our safety and security.  I usually have a couple of drinks before going to bed – and sometimes three – and I worry for my health because of that; I get dehydrated.  And I pray to Him to give me more temperance that I may not somehow accidentally poison myself.  I think I am a hypochondriac of sorts – very sensitive to any unusual feeling in my body, and this happens more as I age.  And, so I pray to the Lord to help me with that.

Sometimes in prayer I hear, “Marry me” and that is a call which I do not yet fully understand.  I think that I have blogged about it before.  I figure that there is a love which the Father has for the Son, and a love which the Son has for each of us which is much stronger and longer lasting than Earthly, marital love.  He has a father’s love in that He is like a shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep.  He has a mother’s love in that He desires to pull us all under His wings like a hen does for its brood.  But, this inaudible whisper, “Marry me” is a call to an even deeper level of intimacy – a call to exclusivity and purpose.  I say, “Yes Lord, I will marry you, but how can this be?”  There is no answer.  I remember St. John, who calls himself the disciple whom Jesus loved, and I remember St. Peter who told Jesus three times that he loved Him, after Jesus directly prompted him three times. Of course, Jesus prompted St. Peter in order to heal him of his guilty conscience after rejecting Jesus three times.  He will let me know when I need to know.

And so, He comes to console, heal, give hope, inspire wonder.  Thank You, Lord.

 

Image of Jesus This Morning

Over the last several days, I have been restless beginning around 2:45 AM. When I wake up like at these times, I reflect on my ineptness and pray to the Lord, “Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy.” and I give Him praise by reciting the Gloria (the 2002 version) as best I can from memory. I stay in a sort of half sleep at these times.

This morning, though, without any willing of my own, I saw Him in my mind. He was lying down on His side with face towards me and gazing at me. His hair was long and basically straight but wavy; His eyes were transparent brown like honey, and his complexion was fair. He was wearing an off-white garment. I think He was grinning at me. The message was like, “It’s okay, Taylor. I have you. Don’t worry.”

In Sacred Scripture, we know that Jesus made several appearances after His Resurrection. We also know that He was not always recognized initially, but then He does something which causes the eyes of His beholders to recognize Him. I wonder why this is.

You Are My Husband

This evening as I was working on my laptop, I caught myself drifting into a half-sleep very briefly and I heard a lady say to me, in a distinct and inaudible locution:

You are my husband.

My wife had not yet come home from work. But, this was a very comforting thing to hear. Why did I hear it?

A Waking Dream, a Grinning Muslim Girl, and the Attack on Saudi Arabia

Last Saturday, in a waking dream, I saw very clearly in my mind a little girl, never seen before, who was dressed in what looked like Muslim attire.  It looked like it was made of a very dark brown and black wool and covered her fully (I could only see her from the chest up) and the material was probably 1/2 inch thick.  She was sitting at a 2 O’clock angle from me and sort of grinning at me.    I didn’t know the attire until I described it to a nun friend of mine who immediately told me it appeared to be of the Muslim tradition.  I’m attaching a photo which she found and which closely resembles what I saw (except the girls face was a little darker, probably from the sun).

afghan-girl-jesus-loves

Girl wearing Muslim attire.

Coincidently, the morning I saw the vision of this little girl (age 8 or 9?) was the same morning that either Iran or Houthi rebels launched the attack on the Saudi Arabian oil refinery.  I didn’t know about that attack until the following Sunday.  I was concerned all week about what might happen, and I am very pleased that President Trump did not act rashly.

So, who is this girl, and why did I see her?  It was like she and I were sitting an arms length away, face to face.  Her expression was kind.  My initial insight was that it had something to do with the very near occasion of war with Iran, and that, perhaps, things were going to be okay since she was grinning.  My other insight, and this came to me during the week which followed, is that she was a little girl desiring to become Christian, and that I could be that bridge to evangelize the children where she is located.  My second insight is directly related to locutions I had years ago while at Holy Adoration before the Lord who said, “You will be my bridge…”

It is common for me to sometimes see people that I don’t know during waking dreams.   I have expressed this in other blog entries.  I thank God for these experiences; I love these children, too, whoever and wherever they might be.

 

Finding God in “The Young Eyes”

As I was on my usual walk today with my dog, I was praying with the Lord. I had thought to pray the Rosary, but I was enlightened by the pleasantness of His Holy Spirit. My prayer was to Him to know Him when He is near. Then He said,

Find Me in the young eyes.

What do you find in “the young eyes”? Here’s what I think: You find youth, life, wonder, receptivity, joy and innocence.

Interestingly, this brings urgency to the fight against abortion. We may even find God in the eyes of those en-wombed infants whose very existence reflects the youth, life, wonder, receptivity, joy and innocence of our merciful God Who is Love Itself.

But even more, it is “the young eyes” of the spirit, that spiritual lens through which babes observe and judge. “The young eyes”, having yet to be bent over and corrupted by “the world,” have a clear eye through which goodness is seen in its true glory and evilness is seen as clearly as a Just Judge can see it. But, it is through “the old eyes” that those, injured by “the world,” having angrily forfeited or refused recourse to God now see goodness as evilness and evilness as goodness. “The old eyes” have grown dim, scratched and useless, and “the body” follows suit. Do not seek to find God in “the old eyes.” For as the Lord did say,

…but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! [Matthew 6:23]

Make no mistake, even the elderly who lean on God in prayer and works can have “the young eyes.” For as the Lord did say,

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light...[Matthew 6:22]

As a babe can be “full of light,” so too can the elderly who are receptively filled with the Holy Spirit, walking in humble obedience and producing the fruits of the Spirit which are:

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. [Galatians 5:22-23a]

Seen yet another way, we may look for God in the eyes of the holy and virtuous nuns and brothers who are fruitful in all of their ways and who do not go after titles and power and money and other things which seem desirable to the worldly and which bring corruption to those who abuse them for self gain. For as the Lord did say,

But woe to you who are rich,
    for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are full now,
    for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who are laughing now,
    for you will mourn and weep.

Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets. [Luke 6:24-26]

Yes, look for God in “the young eyes.”

The Lord’s Goodness – Two Souls, One Heart

Today, at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I was praying to express my faith in the Lord’s real Presence in the Eucharist there. I was met with the inaudible response, “Come. I give you peace and pardon” and I saw in my mind an image of Him standing like a giant, extending His hand to me, smiling.

Thereafter, before processing to receive Him in the Eucharist, I heard a call to divine marriage, something I do not understand well yet. I state “divine” because that is the only way it can be known – it must be clearly discerned from what we understand in human marriage. But, it was given to me to know that this marriage was so strong and intimate that it would be as if I had the Sacred Heart of Jesus as my very own heart – two souls, yet one heart, human and divine. I don’t understand this fully, but I believe that it is very good.

So, when we receive the Lord faithfully in the Eucharist, perhaps He is giving us His own heart and desiring that we accept it to replace our own injured, fallen stony hearts. This is part of our call to divine marriage, becoming one in Goodness. For as the divine intention is written:

A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. [Ezekiel 36:26-28]

Vision of A Lady Dressed for Matrimony and Understanding Metaphorical Marriage With God

At the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass yesterday morning, as the distribution of the Eucharist began during Holy Communion, I looked up, and in my mind’s eye, I saw the beautiful image of a lady dressed for her wedding. She was standing in the sanctuary to the right of the priest, our parochial vicar, who was facing the nave and distributing the Blessed Sacrament. She was also facing the people who went up to receive Jesus.

She was fully covered in a white matrimonial gown which appeared to be made of linen with pearls woven in (there were shiny glimmers here and there). There was no silk, no saffron veil, but all like a finely woven embroidery of linen covering her hair and face and draping over her gown. She was just standing there, her arms covered under her gown and veil.

This inspired in me the thought of a real Wedding Banquet, and the holiness of what we should be thinking when we approach the sanctuary during Holy Communion. The image was brief, but I saw her. Who was she? Was she a vision of Holy Mother Church?

Hear how St. Isaiah the Prophet writes of God’s love for the Church as His bride:

For your Maker is your husband,
    the Lord of hosts is his name;
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
    the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the Lord has called you
    like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
like the wife of a man’s youth when she is cast off,
    says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
    but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing wrath for a moment
    I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,
    says the Lord, your Redeemer.
[Isaiah 54:5-8]

Hear how St. John the Baptist speaks of the Lord as Bridegroom to His Church:

He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. [John 3:29]

Who is the bride here? We assume it is the Church after the imagery of Isaiah (and other prophets), and that the bride is not necessarily happy since it is only the friend of the bridegroom who is said to be happy. Hear also how St. Paul joins in to teach the reality:

For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. [Ephesians 5:29-32]

And with St. Paul, we see atheists Lord’s role as Bridegroom confirmed and understand more fully the Lord’s intentions to care for the Church as His Bride.

I think the image, then, was a reminder to us about the Lord’s intentions for the Faithful – that He give us a most Holy spouse in Himself, and that we be treated such that we may become healthy enough to respond to His call to be like a holy spouse in that divine metaphorical matrimony and marriage, the actual application and eternal living out of which remains veiled in mystical secrecy…and misunderstandings as a result.

Now, I think that many people, including devout religious, misunderstand this mystery of the metaphorical bridal imagery. I have misunderstood it, too. I’m sure that there are people who go after the religious, celibate life seeking something like a human marriage with the human person of Jesus Christ – an imagined, “perfect husband” who is found and intimately experienced in the heart and mind. However, those who follow this line of thought may easily be led into a fallacy, the fallacy of a real human marriage. This is not a human marriage – it cannot be; for how can a temporary institution be applied to an eternal state of being where that human institution, and elements of it, is no longer in effect? For as Jesus the Lord Himself revealed regarding the human institution,

…You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. [Matthew 22:29-30]

How do the angels of God live, and can their lives be spousal as we understand the word? We assume that we know about angels, but we do not know in fact since we are not angels and do not experience the life of angels. So, let us clearly state now that our relationship with God is metaphorically marital and monogamous, not really marital and monogamous in the sense of a real human marriage, and is somewhat like the little-understood lives and relationships of angels with God.

We can continue to build our understanding of metaphorical marriage with the Lord, and entrench our understanding of a requirement for metaphorical monogamy with God in the command which comes from God Himself,

you shall have no other gods before me. [Exodus 20:3]

Also, as the Lord commissioned Moses to teach to the Chosen People, Israel, a teaching which the Lord Jesus validated, we can understand a commanded metaphorical monogamy, not only between our current generation and the Lord, but also between our future generations and the Lord since we are to teach our children to also love God in a metaphorically monogamous way:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead,  and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. [Deuteronomy 6:4-9]

And, in summary, the vision of a lady dressed for Matrimony reminds us of the Lord’s faithful intentions for the Bride, the Church, in a metaphorical marriage with Him, and also the expectation that the Bride is or will become prepared to fulfill that honor, with a mind set for monogamy and, with that monogamy, the loving and dedicated care of the Lord.

The Lord: “Me, Look to Me”

God the Father and Holy SpiritLast Sunday, during the Liturgy of the Eucharist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I was praying and had a dim vision of the Lord sitting in His Throne.  He looked tired and His attire was a red and bronze-gold colored robe of  thick, ornate fabric – kingly and manly.  Looking at me, He simply said (inaudibly),

“Me. Look to Me.”

I did not understand the vision at first – it was short and to the point.  Why did He say that to me?  What is the context?  But, as we drove out of the parish parking lot, I looked up at the license plate of the car in front of us and it stated,

“TRNTOHM”

I had NEVER seen that plate before in my life.  It took me a few seconds to get that “eureka!” effect – when I realized that the plate means “Turn To Him.”  When it came to me, I thought how strong a confirmation this is that He really is serious about getting this point across to me.

Lord: “Me. Look to Me.”

Lord’s Messenger: “Turn to Him.”

So, here’s what I think happened.  Earlier that morning, I was viewing the recent Medjugorje message, and I had decided that I should begin reading ALL of those messages and take them seriously, and follow them.  But, then I had this vision of the Lord directing me back to Him instead.  Okay.  I totally got it.

So, how do I look to the Lord?  How do I turn to Him?  I have begun to pray more directly to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  I have also started praying seven Our Fathers / Hail Mary’s / Glory Be’s, but with more of my heart, meditating intently on what I am saying, and then stopping when I get an inspiration and then expressing praise or thanksgiving or remorse for sins and asking for His grace that I might be made holy and merciful as He is holy and merciful.  I am trying to draw closer to Him as my real father-father, and love Him as my super-superior father-father, especially since my Dad went to Him in September.  I am trying.  May He help me achieve His intentions for me.

And, now, I feel motivated to open up my heart and soul to greater faith in His total presence and love, not only for me, but for you.  I want to believe more deeply and talk to the Father and totally depend upon Him, in honor of His great love and total fidelity.  For as His Son, our Lord Jesus said:

“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.  For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.  Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish?  Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” [Luke 11:9-13]

I want to be a good and holy child.  Maybe, all that I need to do is ask Him for the help of His Holy Spirit?

Thank You, Father.  I love you and am very, very grateful.  I feel you in my heart now. Thank You.  I love You, Abba.

 

 

 

 

Lenten Appeals – Is Jesus Embarrassed?

Today, during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, our pastor reminded us about the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal, an annual exercise where pastors are required to direct their parishioners, while sitting in the pews, to actually fill out annual financial pledges for the Diocese.  He briefly reminded us about the pledge cards (from last Sunday) before he began the homily this morning.  I really appreciated the brevity, as it is our desire at that time to learn a lesson of God, not to be lectured on the needs of our very, very wealthy Diocesan church.

Resurrection and WoundsInterestingly, during he Liturgy of the Eucharist, with my eyes closed, I saw in my mind our resurrected Jesus Christ dressed in a common, dirty and dingy one-piece ankle-length tunic, as if atoning, standing behind the priest and deacon at the altar, inaudibly exhorting,

Come, all you who are thirsty and hungry! Come, take, eat, drink for free!  I give it freely! 

The Lord our God exhorts us that He does not charge us for His love.  He does not require from us a tithe to Him for what He offers.  It is offered freely, out of true love.  And, He gives us a symbol of personal atonement and embarrassment, on our behalf.

I sensed His embarrassment about the calls for funds, calls which seem to constantly emanate from the ambo in the sanctuaries of our parish chapels during these times.  The message is, “If you pay us, we will serve you and ourselves, too.”  This is not the Lord’s message, though, and He wants to make that clear.  For-pay permanent deacons, heed this warning.

I sensed His atonement for the sins of the Church Hierarchy.  The Lord is embarrassed at the many scandals which have been revealed – scandals at the hands of cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, religious, teachers and parents – and instead of the Hierarchy contritely atoning for sins, it continues – administering daily routines – focusing on the money that can be gathered in from the hands of the Faithful during this season of alms-giving, fasting and prayer.  But, who is atoning besides Jesus?  That is, who is making amends, in their hearts, for the wrongs that have been perpetrating on the Church by its own Hierarchy?

Perhaps, during Lent, the Church Hierarchy should be atoning with Jesus Christ and alms-giving, not project-promoting and wealth-begging.  Certainly, projects are necessary, but, perhaps, now during Lent is a very good time for atoning.  For as it is written and as it was read at the Ash Wednesday Liturgy of the Word,

Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?'” [Joel 2:17]

The Lord Jesus makes Himself present and known, “I Am here!  Know Me. I Am not leaving you.”  But, the Church Hierarchy sometimes makes Him seem less present, less real, more like Money, less like Love, less like He Who Atones and Redeems.  If priests participate in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, then priests should be moved, internally, to offer more outward signs of atonement for the sins of the Hierarchy.

At the end of the Mass for the final blessing, our Lord Jesus stood behind the altar, in front of His Tabernacle, and, with eyes closed,  I only saw His blessing.

 

An End-times Dream, and St. Padre Pio’s Message

This morning, in a waking dream, my brother handed me a written note from St. Padre Pio.

The hand-written message was on a crumpled fragment of paper, and on it was inscribed:

Blessed are you who are alive. The time has come.

Now, my brother is not Catholic, but I did give him a blessed Miraculous Medal, the one which I set at my Dad’s bedside when he was dying, a process during which beloved relatives were sent from Heavenly domains to comfort and take him, a medal which brother accepted for safekeeping after Dad died. My brother has a truly religious heart, and I think he is even closer to God than I am.

For you who doubt, have faith. For, as it is written of the end times,

I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    your old men shall dream dreams,
    and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female slaves,
    in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

–Book of the Prophet Joel, 2:28

And, again, St. Peter confirmed the prophecy when he spoke of Joel’s prophecy:

In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
    and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
        and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
    and signs on the earth below,
        blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
        before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

–Book of the Acts of the Apostles, 2:17-21

St. Padre Pio

Waking Dream: Peaceful Smiling Lady, “Haleigha”

This morning, in a waking dream, I was blessed by the gaze of a grandmotherly face, peacefully smiling at me. She was older, her hair gray and teased up some. Her smile was pleasant, one of love and caring. Her person was translucent and the light in the space around her was like the morning twilight, as if she was sitting on a chair beside me and gazing, as if I was a toddler sleeping. It was another place, not the one I was in presently.

Dreams like these, though very short in duration, are a real blessing for my soul. I do not know why I see faces, persons like these. But, it has been happening in recent history, perhaps related to my time of being received into the Church almost a decade and a half ago.

Who is she? Will I see her again? Where was she? How did I see her?

As I write this, I paused for breakfast with my wife. As I began to pray before breakfast this morning, I began to understand in my mind, “Like hallelujah…Haleigha.” It took me a while of waffling between words to conclude on Haleigha because it is like seeing an image through water – not immediately clear. Isn’t that interesting?

Who is Haleigha?

When My Dad Died in September

Of course, no one knows that the reason I did not blog in September or in October was because my Dad got sick and died in September.  My brother and I were with him: his body would not respond to treatment, and he slowly slipped away peacefully, without any struggle, according to God’s will.  But, God was with us.

During my time with him, I had placed a Miraculous Medal on his bedside table to help him in the case he was going to go on a spiritual journey to God – and to keep him safe.  He was still an intermittent Episcopalian, and I had no idea about the state of his soul.  I figured that it would be an aid, in some way, a draw of divine favor from God if he needed it.  Interestingly, I found it about a month earlier laying on the ground.  I had no idea what to do with it.  I kept it in my pocket looking for an opportunity to give it to someone in need.  And this is where the need was fulfilled.

MIRACULOUS-MEDAL

Front and back of the Miraculous Medal; the back shows the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary

Two days before he died (it was the anniversary of his own Dad’s death), in the morning, we saw great signs which gave us hope that he would heal and come back.  Treatments were working, he felt better, he ate some, he walked around, and he had lucid conversations with us.  He looked deep into my eyes twice and told me how much he loved me – the sincerity was firm – he was filled with Love.  It was a true blessing which we will always cherish.

But, on the evening of that day, he began to see the spirits of beloved relatives at the foot of his bed – those who had loved him and had since passed away – a few aunts and a first cousin.  He told me when he was seeing them, and I asked him how that made him feel.  He said, “Comforting.  It gives me comfort, son, a lot of comfort.”  A few hours before that, he had expressed an ambiguous feeling of fear – “I’m afraid!” – as if, perhaps, his soul had felt a certain slipping and uneasiness. I reassured him of my presence, and then came heavenly help which made all of the difference.  Oh, what a blessing for him, and for us, that God was with us and sent him comforters to ease his anxiety.

Dad was a truly good man, and I love him very much.  He was caring and merciful, and as Jesus promised, Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy [Matt 5:7].

My brother, a nondenominational Christian, asked me what should be done with the Miraculous Medal.  I told him to keep it, for it had been in the presence of the holy event of Dad’s passing away to God.  Brother kept it.

Requiescat in pace, Dad. 🙂

 

 

Gayla, My Child

This morning, I dreamed that my wife and I were driving somewhere together, and then in a cradle between us appeared a beautiful, fair-complected, fiery red-headed baby girl wearing a white dress. She could not have been more than 1 year of age. She was smiling and endearing to me, wonderful to behold.

I told my wife, “I don’t remember that we have a baby girl.” But, at that moment, I had memory of having a baby girl, named Gayla. I then held and carefully hugged Gayla, happy child, for she was soft and delicate in every way. And, I was happy.

According to my brief research, Gayla may be a derivative of the Hebrew name “Avichayil” (Abigail) which means “exalted father” or “father of exaltation.”

I am blessed to have had this dream, and to have seen and held this child. To me, it was indeed a “gala,” a festive event.

For those wondering: no, we have had no children of which we are aware, except for the child we miscarried, who my wife named Maddie. She says she has seen Maddie in dreams and in prayer, characterizing her like a little, strong and courageous St. Joan of Arc doing battle against demons alongside St. Michael the Archangel. Isn’t that interesting?

May God be praised. Amen.

Gayla is far more beautiful than this dear child. Can you imagine that?

Darla Jones and St. Peter

In two separate waking dreams yesterday, i saw two people.

The first was a lady resting prostrate in a hospital bed. I was sitting down and gazing at her over the rails of the hospital bed from about 5 feet away. She was black complected, had a pleasant face, and she was probably in her early to mid- 40’s. She looked like she was sleeping, and she was covered in a blanket with her face and arms exposed in a bed with metal rails – definitely a small, curtained hospital room. I asked myself, “Who is she? Why am I seeing her now?” It came to me that I should pray for her, and I did. Her name seemed to be Darla Jones. Maybe she has no family or friends. Maybe she does not have faith. Maybe people need to search out lonely people such as these to help and comfort. That’s all know.

Later, I had another waking dream. This one startled me because it was more forceful than the previous one. I found myself standing within 6 feet of another man, gazing face to face with someone I can only conclude is like a very young St. Peter dressed in modest liturgical attire. His eyes were large and dark blue, his face fair complected, and his hair and beard were of a very tightly curled golden hair. He was wearing what looked to be a white linen robe with a decorative mantel resting on his shoulders and covering his chest. He was just gazing at me with a pleasant face. He was standing in a room which was ornate, marbled walls and an opening which seemed to lead outdoors to a garden. There were no words. I asked, “Who are you?” I heard, “Jehovah,” but the person did not say this, and that could not have been God the Father. But it can be that God indwells the Holy Apostles in Heaven and that it was His will for me to see this person who I think to be St. Peter because of how closely he looked to the photo here except that his beard and hair were not puffed out, but well ordered and uniform..

The Living Music that Calms, Sustains

Pretty Singing FlowerThere have been times during my personally-sung Morning Prayer (Lauds) that I have heard a beautiful form of what I can only believe to be divine music which, in a mystical way is alive – living.  I hear what I imagine could be music which comes from living creatures who know their music and who must cooperate with an unseen director or choreographer to blend their music into a soothing rhythm which is beautiful, sustaining the spirit.  I become like a hidden spectator – there, but not there, a temporary spectator of a hidden place and event, hearing music in parallel to my own sung melodies.  The tones are low and rumbling, the beat is enlivening and energetic but moderate, and it seems to be a combination of winds (large woodwinds and things with expanding skins – like one would find in a big bullfrog but which looks more like a big air-breathing mushroom), soft drums, and “shish-shish-ing” shakers – things which are natural in their construction, perhaps even alive, and all harmonizing in low, soothing tones.  flowers-from-alice-in-wonderland-disneyThere are no metallic instruments at all – no sharp tones – no humans or humanoid creatures holding and playing anything artificial.  It’s all organic.  It’s all comforting.  It’s all phantasmic.  I hope it’s true.  I hope I hear it again when I sing Morning Prayer again.

Is Little Samantha an Angel?

Yesterday, in the early morning before getting up for work, I had a waking dream – a vision of sorts.  It was very simple.  It was as if someone had immediately and abruptly planted an image directly into my mind of a little girl – probably no older than kindergarten age.  I had no thoughts in my mind before that – it was like, “Woah!  Oh, hello!”  She was grinning at me with her dark blue-green eyes.  She had a fair complexion with blonde hair, was wearing a simple dress of multiple, conservative colors, and she had a slender gold band around her forehead.  She said nothing, but only sat and gazed at me.  The vision was brief – maybe 5 seconds.

I asked myself, “Who was that little girl?  Why did I see her all of a sudden and now?”

My first thought for a name was “Amanda.”  But, then I thought, “Well, isn’t that the name of the song from the group, Boston that I listened to the other day?” and I left it at that.  Later in the day, after noon-time Mass, I knew that her name must have been “Samantha.”  But who is she?  Why was I gifted with her presence in my mind?  My wife believes that it might have been a little saint from heaven, but I don’t know of a saint who was as young as this little girl appeared to be.

St Therese Liseux - Little Flower

Little St. Therese Liseux – The Little Flower

This is not the first time I have had a vision like this one.  Over the past 13 years since being received into the Church, I have seen visions, like this, of a handful of children – mostly static visions.  Their faces persist somewhat in my memory after having the vision.  There is one of whom I think about fairly often – I think of him when I think of my guardian angel; but I do not know for certain that there is a relationship there.  He is “Jeremy” to me.  I think of him as my son, though I and my wife have not had any children except for one child who was miscarried very early and who my wife says she has seen in a vision.

Virginal Love of God

On 2 December, as I prayed my Rosary while walking, I was enamored by the contemplation of Divine affections, a beautiful presence who whispered my prayers back to me as I prayed them, our lips touching and our breath exchanging, and holy, youthful smiles. I was blessed.

Statue of Hildegard of Bingen, Eibingen Abbey

Statue of St. Hildegard of Bingen Eibingen Abbey, Rudesheim, GE

Before I set out to walk and pray, I had listened for the first time to St. Hildegard of Bingen’s song, “O dulcissime amator” (O Lover Sweet) from her “Symphonia virginum” (Symphony of Virgins). St. Hildegard of Bingen lived in the 12th century and is a Doctor of the Church now. I invite you to read the words here: http://www.hildegard-society.org/2017/05/o-dulcissime-amator-symphonia-virginum.html or listen here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lkjODhUgrVs

I also contemplated the virginal love of God and how that might be. It is true that God, who is Love, desires to marry humanity. This is not just through the Incarnation; His desire is to indwell us with Holy Spirit, as we are all expected to be as building blocks of His Body, as holy temples suitable for His holy Presence. But what is the fruit of this glorified marriage, and how can this be?

Now, having gone back and found this draft, I am amazed to see that I have now visited the Shrine of St. Hildegard of Bingen without even remembering that I wrote this

Eibingen Abbey, Rudesheim, GE

Eibingen Abbey

inspiration, and without any real plan to visit her shrine.  I and my wife visited her sisters’ abbey (Eibingen Abbey) and also her relics in Rudesheim am Rhein, Germany on 23 December (just a few days ago).

 

It is wonderful to invite God to visit with you and then follow His inspirations and to take in the surprises which come with them.

 

Relics of St. Hildegard of Bingen

Relics of St. Hildegard of Bingen in her Shrine

 

A Hard Lesson in a Nightmare, and then a Locution

Last night, before I went to sleep, I considered whether some sins were, in fact, sins.  I asked this question in my prayers to God.  Of course, these were temptations, but I needed to ask the Lord Who knows everything.  I fell asleep without incident or response.

In my sleep, I had a terrible dream.  I was rebelliously barricaded in a place, and the officials  were coming to remove me from there.  I don’t know what the place was, but I do know that it was a place of rebellion.  One official was an elderly police officer dressed in European garb from the 1800’s, and there were several others.  There was another with me in this place also; I don’t know who – my guardian angel I think – an innocent person.  At some point, I decided to defend myself with a weapon, and I shot the elderly police officer in the chest.  The bullet seemed to flatten on the outside of his garment, but the indication was that I had killed him.

Not long after that, I realized what I had done, and I was ashamed and afraid.  The authorities came again, but this time without offensive fervor, but in peace, and I told them that I was guilty, then the authority smiled and said he would have to take me in, and I turned and he handcuffed me.  

In my mind, I worried about what they would do to me and how I would defend myself.  I realized that, at the time of the shooting, I was insane – I had lost all sense of reasoning.  I drew some comfort from this truth.  But I also realized that I had thrown my entire life away in one moment of stupidity – my WHOLE life.  This was a great burden on my soul to know this, and I became very sad; but, the justice of turning myself in, of realizing my fault and submitting to justice was a balm on my soul.

As the authority was driving me through the country to jail, I saw other horrors along the way, and a world which had become a victim of its own rebellion.  The destructive “machines” which man had created to destroy what had been built, like huge black mechanical crabs and scorpions, began to turn on their creators.  The result seemed merciless, and I was afraid.

When I woke up, I realized why I had the dream, and I prayed and told the Lord that I was sorry for questioning the reality of sin, which offends Him.

Shortly after that, I heard His voice in a way which I had never heard it before.  Some people hear the Lord speak as in a locution – inaudibly.  But this time, I heard His voice in my mind, audibly, and it was a softly-rumbling (like thunder) man’s voice, and He said, “I’m sorry.”  These words were intimate and comforting to hear.  

I can now say with complete confidence that when God’s voice was heard as a rumbling thunder in Sacred Scripture, it is absolutely true in the way it was described.  Have no doubt.