Category Archives: Mystical Experiences

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.

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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.