The past week, I had been trying to prepare myself for the feast of Pentecost. Yet, everything I tried didn’t quite click. Finally, I turned to God and asked Him to lay upon my heart that which I should focus on.
I went on to spend a happy Pentecost Vigil day touching the soul of God through an assortment of household chores which kept me busy and happy, yet undistracted.
Through them all, in my heart I prayed St. Augustine’s prayer,
Breathe in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.
Later that day, still confident that God would speak, as I read on a multitude of topics, I continued to ask Him to lay His word on my heart.
I felt a shifting in the air. Many things did pass before my eyes, but my spirit could hold on to nothing.
As I waited for sleep to claim me on the Vigil night, I sang in my heart an old Holy Spirit hymn that an Irish nun had taught me as a child.
Come, Holy Spirit, we need you,
Come Sweet Spirit, we pray,
Come with Your strength and Your power,
Come in Your own gentle way.
On the morning of Pentecost, an unexpected word was waiting for me.
And with it, an old post from Good Friday last year, They Have Returned.
I slept well but was awakened close to six in the morning by a dream.
I was outside a building. I had the feeling that there was water nearby, that it was a waterfront building. There were cars. I saw one, a humble, old car, a muslim father and kids inside. The kids were slightly impatient. I heard the father calmly tell the children to be patient a while longer. I sensed he and others were waiting for something or someone. I interiorly knew that the mother, a muslim too, had gone inside that waterfront building
Then, I too was inside that building. A priest was just ending the celebration of Mass. For some reason, I went up to the altar, to the right of it. Behind the altar, the doors of the building opened out to a huge, huge, flowing river. A golden river. The waters seemed to be even higher than the building I was in.
Suddenly, the moment the Mass ended, a great mist rose from the golden river and began to swirl around. There was something so deeply beautiful in that mist that the congregation collectively gasped at its beauty.
But I didn’t have time to immerse myself in its beauty – for I saw something the others had not seen yet.
That it was not mist.
It was children! Little children! Hundreds of them!
These children were alighting from a sort of river bus. Each one had a photo. I knew immediately that the little ones had come from heaven. And that they were going to be ‘matched’ to the person in the photo that each clutched.
In such a crowd of busy, silent children, it should have been impossible, but I immediately saw the one I sought. I rushed towards him and hugged him tightly as I sobbed and sobbed. All around me, the rest of the congregation at Mass, all of them parents too, surged forwards towards their children in tearful joy.
In that piercing dream, I was shown the two children I had lost through miscarriage long years ago. I had always strongly suspected that I had miscarried our first baby but because it had happened so soon, before I even had time to test myself, I could never be sure.
Yet, my heart mourned and I mourned for a boy, though I didn’t know why.
Then, after our eldest was born, a year later, I had a miscarriage at 2 months, but came to know only at the fourth month mark. We grieved very deeply over that loss and somehow, I always sensed it had been a girl.
That Good Friday dream of 2018, years and years after these wounds to our hearts, confirmed what I had sensed all these years.
Now with the word river laid on my heart, I realized something about little children was being shown to me. It was like a hidden bell tinkling in the mist, signaling that something lies ahead.
Something to do with children. A miracle.
Something not just for Christians but for all.
The following day, on the Feast day of Mary, Mother of the Church, God placed on my heart a sick baby and his brave mother. Too far away to offer any physical help, I decided to pray a special anointing prayer for them for the rest of June, using the St. Raphael’s healing oil I had. I asked for a miracle.
As I traced the sign of the Cross on my forehead in proxy for the mother and wee son, I sensed my spirit quieten even more.
Later, tuckered out from a busy day of home chores, I went to lie down for a short nap. I had been on a short break and it was my last day of respite from work. I would be returning to work the next day, returning to all the old and mottled lanes.
But something had changed. I no longer resented the call of work. While I wasn’t looking forwards to it, I did not fear it as I had before. My impending return didn’t dry out my spirit or rent my heart. Instead, a strange ray of hope had begun to shine through.
My heart plunged into thanksgiving for the beautiful break. Over and over and over, I gave God my grateful heart, humbled at how happy He had made me with little gifts tucked into each day. As each passing hour took me closer and closer to a world I still wished I was not a part of, suddenly nothing mattered now except my song of thanksgiving.
A short while later, I awakened. Going to my window, I looked up at the sky.
And I gasped.
Before me was a massive, massive rainbow, stunning beyond words, its colours so vibrant and vivid. Only once before, broken and in near despair, had I seen a rainbow as beautiful as this. That day, God had strongly spoken His word of hope to me. Upon hearing it, my weakened spirit had immediately revived.
Now, seeing this gorgeous gift from heaven, right outside my window, unbelievably huge, majestic in its presence, its colours pulsing with life, I rushed out of the house, into my garden to gaze at the bow in the sky, unhindered.
Standing in stunned, joyful silence, I breathed in its luminous beauty.
Golden river. Returning children. Feast of Mary the Mother of the Church.
The days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will fulfill the promise ~ Jeremiah 33: 14