SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING column for July 31-August 1, 2000
SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING
Lourdes' Love Pours Forth in Illumination
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, may God's Infinite Peace be with you at every moment until eternity! When last I wrote I had just touched the surface of my personal experiences in Lourdes, and I believe God desires that I share more deeply that which He gave to me out of His Love, not because of my worthiness.
To recap just a bit: my beloved husband Michael, our sons Kevin and Kellin, and I had finally arrived in this very holy place after days of exhaustive riding on a bus, pushing Mike in a wheelchair, and Kevin, bless his heart, going on all the walking tours to take pictures for future use for The DAILY CATHOLIC. (By the way, he did a terrific job, although Mike refers to him as "The Mad Zoomer). We'd gone to the Miraculous baths on Friday, May 19th, then with Mike in so much pain in his legs, we rested quietly in our hotel rooms the remainder of that day. That was when we discovered that Mike had a really strong pulse to his lower extremities, which was the reason for the pain, for it was as if Mike's legs were awakening from a very long slumber. The following day, Mike was still in the wheelchair, and the weather was downright cold to us who had come from San Diego, where the weather is always "sweater" weather, and the ocean breeze is nature's air conditioner. Here, at Lourdes, I felt as if I had been plunged into a freezer, and I had not brought warm clothing for this particular spot.
We attended the service of Benediction and blessing of the sick in the underground Basilica of Saint Pius X on Saturday afternoon…and it was an experience that neither Mike, Kellin, or I will ever forget. Kevin, not feeling well, had chosen to remain at the hotel, and then had gone out to make the Stations of the Cross which required much walking in steep terrain. I must add that Kevin, not realizing how much walking would be involved in this pilgrimage, had taken a pair of shoes that were a bit small, so with each step his poor feet were becoming sore and blistered, yet her persevered!
Now, I am about to tell you something that might come as a surprise, or even a shock! Many of you have read the messages I was given by Our Lord and His Most Holy Mother Mary from September 1990, until the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1995. These were public messages, and remain so. Some of you might remember the talks I was ask to give by Our Lady, which took place from 1992 through early 1994. Many of these public messages warned about the abuses being committed by dioceses throughout the world in the implementation of the Vatican Council II documents. Our Lady talked about reverence very much in those messages. She still does to this day.
But at Lourdes God gave to me many graces, many enlightenments as He drew my heart closer to full conversion. As contrary as it may seem to those who remember the messages given to you through me, I learned at Lourdes the beauty, the fullness, the working of the Holy Spirit at Vatican Council II. The true spirit of this Council was made known to me, and my soul leapt for joy, for never had I understood the Council in this manner. Never would I have come to this understanding through any effort of my own. It took the Holy Spirit to awaken my heart, my mind, and the intellect of my soul to see through the controversy that had swirled around the effects of Vatican Council II for most of my adult life.
At this same healing service as the Holy Spirit healed not only the physical ailments of so many, He gave to all spiritual healing, which is far, far more vital than any physical healing. Thus I was also given the grace to see my soul as God sees it, and a thorough understanding (as much as my finite mind can grasp) of the beauty and meaning of the Mystical Body of Christ.
In this new understanding I received joy, for God so enlightened me to the mysteries of His wondrous power that until now I have not felt adequate to even begin to write about my experiences. Even now, as the Holy Spirit prompts me to write to you, I pray that my poor human words convey that which the Holy Spirit gave unto me. I beg the Holy Spirit to bring forth through my humble efforts here a new understanding in your own hearts and souls and minds, so that there will be on earth a unity through the Holy Spirit that is the only way to Peace on earth.
First, let me attempt to tell you what it was like to see my soul as God sees it. I had come to this healing service with so many intentions on my heart, especially for my husband and my sons, and for the many people I took to Lourdes in my heart, that I didn't know what else to pray for. I sat in this extremely large Basilica, utterly speechless. I couldn't even pray. I could only watch, listen, and in doing this, I was, without knowing it, praying. Once the service had commenced, as the Most Blessed Sacrament was brought to the altar to be adored, revered, honored and loved by all in attendance, I remember that all I was able to do was look at the magnificent Host, which was extremely large. Like Saint Thomas, all I could mutter in my heart, in the silence of my interior being, the words "MY LORD AND MY GOD!!!!!
When the military personnel who were there during this special week processed with bowls of incense to the altar, while the magnificent choir sang of Our Lord's majesty and power, of His Love and His Mercy, time stood still for me.
It wasn't a very long period. I do not remember just how long it was. Perhaps it was only seconds, though to me, at that time, I seemed to be in suspended animation. There, God revealed my soul to me. It was, in human words, like peeling off the glue strip on self-seal envelopes, where inch by inch my soul was brought forth for my own eyes to behold. I must add here that the strength of seeing my own soul was supported by God's power and might, not my own strength by any means.
I was shocked! Pure and simple, I was in a state of pure shock. First, I saw in my soul the times and means which had most pleased Almighty God, the places where His sanctifying Grace lived and made my soul shine as a brilliant light in the vast darkness of a world of sin. While edifying for me, it was merely the beginning of tremendous graces, for then God peeled away that layer (so to speak) of my soul, and allowed me to interiorly see the many places where His sanctifying grace did not exist. There were corners, nooks, crannies, hidden coves (I do not know any other words to express what happened) where God showed to me just how much pride I still had in my soul. Oh, it was more than shocking. Had God not strengthened me, I would have died right then and there from the mere understanding of how imperfect I am. The Holy Spirit, leading me on a journey through my soul, led me to understand the many times that I had actively prayed, actively acted, and of course the many times I had not prayed sufficiently and had not acted, leaving God outside, knocking on the door to my heart. I understood in these few seconds that I had lacked in purity of intention in my thoughts, words, and deeds. I saw very clearly how easily pride gets into our spiritual journey to God, how easily satan hides himself through pride in my heart.
Pride! It was a bitter pill to swallow, but through the Mercy of God I not only swallowed it, I accepted it as Truth, and then God was able to work in me to change my heart. The most tremendous grace of that moment was to know that I still had the chance, through His Mercy, to completely convert my heart, to take the least bit of pride, however cleverly disguised it was, and rid my heart and soul of it forever. It was a moment when God gave me the grace of Humility of Heart, a true and contrite heart, that saw itself as it was-a poor helpless child, barely able to say the name of Jesus!. Even saying His Name was a gift, a grace to me…one that I had taken for granted, not realizing that every utterance of His Most Holy Name, every action in my spiritual life was His gift, and not mine. I learned that I had nothing of myself, only that which He gave to me, and that which the world may look at and see as "good," was not always so in His eyes, for many times my intentions lacked purity, for there was a trace amount of pride that was hidden beneath the prayer, the action, the thought. In that instant I learned anew what I thought I already knew…that to become a saint it is not a matter of this or that action, this or that devotion, this or that thought, word and deed, but rather the PURITY OF INTENTION that counts in God's eyes.
In my next installment, I'll elaborate more on Purity of Intention. Until then, I remain always your humble little sister in Christ, who desires to share with you only that which God places upon my heart for His sake, which is LOVE.
Next week: Purity of Intention is the Key to loving God unconditionally
July 31-August 1, 2000
volume 11, no. 128
SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING
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