As the sun dips to his rest, and the purple night gently ribbons across the skies, our hands reach out for light. However welcome the night in its cool flower-scented breezes and hushed life sounds, we seek the light to see and live.

          And so it is with the soul. Even in the wilful pursuit of all that chokes and stamps out the breath of God within us, the soul in loneliness seeks the Light. In every straying heart, the soul stands in diametrical solitariness, longing for that which gives True Life.


          So as the indigo mists of night drop their veils, heed the urgent whisper of the Spirit:       Go forth and light the lamps.


          Seek the barren streets, seek them in compassion. The paths where lonely snow drifts. In love reach out to those whose heads are bowed against the snow, intent on their cold aloneness because they think no one cares enough any more. Let love warm and melt the snow that they wear around their hearts, kindle unseen embers long dormant.


          Have courage. In patience, search for homes locked from within. Shutters clamped tight against the light, soil tilled no more, gardens listing to neglect. Walls adorned by sadness, loss of hope. Seek these homes of a thousand gray memories, dwelling place of souls fettered by the past and present. Seek them and let the Light stream in, for it’s only by His Light that the soul heals.


          Seek the faces on the streets of hardness, despair, fear and shame. Seek in earnest the faces of those who earn their living by the barrel of the gun of violence and drugs. Search out the souls who offer spousal comfort to those not theirs. In mercy and love, part the thorns that hide and protect those who choose to sever the bond between a mother and her baby in the womb. Go forth and light the lamps on those darkened streets of a thousand shadows. Give hope where hope has gone. Share love where hate has reigned too long. Light the lamp so the soul may be healed.


          Light the lamps in souls who choose their end before His time. Those so bereft of hope, who suffer the poverty of relationships true and strong. Those for whom love has fled. Let their grief light your path to them. Illumine the darkness of their agony with Christ, that they see in their sufferings, purpose amalgamated with the Divine Will.


          Go forth and light the lamps in lands where faith slumbers in peril. In prayer and deed, in a life lived true, guide hearts to the Pearl of the Blue Mantle.


          Shine the Shepherd’s Beacon in every pilgrim soul, away from the precipice of death, steer each one safe.

My Father – ST PADRE PIO ~ SEPT 23

Flower-Fairy-daydreaming-25485002-304-428[1]  My father loves me. Of that, I have no doubt. But he loves himself more. I am only loved to the point that he doesn’t need to exert himself too much, or give up something he loves more. Which unfortunately, is not God.

When you have a dad who loves you but loves himself more, he is not likely to make the necessary sacrifices of true Christian fatherhood. It would be easier to yell and hit, than to apply the teachings of the Bible with love, to correct the child. It would be easier to terrorise the child into good behavior without bestirring oneself to be a model of such. A lot less stressful to dismiss dangers and thus, not get into a knot trying to protect your daughter from them. And when the child is weighed down by problems, and not able to make her father laugh, or be a social comfort for him as before, then, for the father, it is the path clear of brambles to harangue the child, Move On! Go back to being the joyful person you once were – not said out of love and concern for the child’s well-being, but for the continued preservation of the father’s comfort and happiness.

After years of deep hurting and bewilderedness, I shrugged and decided it didn’t matter; it was time to stop whining for what I wanted but couldn’t have, others were worse off. But the truth was, it did matter. Having a father who failed because he didn’t try was a wound that needed healing, and healing didn’t come from stuffing the hurt down a dark hole in a dusty corner.

It was Our Lady of La Salette who brought my father to me. The light from my wound came from discovering the man who loved me enough to make me his daughter: St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.


fairytallflowers[1]  My Father Pio taught me that a sin was a sin, whatever the history, but forgiveness was readily available and it was imperative for a fresh start. I just needed to humble myself, for humility unlocked many doors, including that acknowledgement of wrongdoing.

One man from Padua, who had gone to confession to Padre Pio, tried to go to confession again before the eight-day waiting period had elapsed. In order to circumvent the waiting-period, he lied about the amount of days that had passed since his last confession to Padre Pio. When he entered the confessional, Padre Pio sent him out and forcefully accused him of his lie.  After being kicked out, the man said with tears, “I’ve told many lies during my lifetime, and I thought I could deceive Padre Pio too.” But Padre Pio had a supernatural knowledge of his action. Padre Pio demanded that each confession be a true conversion. He did not tolerate a lack of honesty in the confession of sins. He was very stern on those who made excuses, spoke insincerely, or lacked a firm resolution to amend their lives. He demanded frankness and total honesty from the penitent. He also required a true and sincere sorrow of heart, and an absolute firmness in a person’s resolutions for the future. 

Father Pio made it clear to me that in order to make a fresh start, I needed to make a clean break from my past failings.

flower-faerie[1]  Father Pio told me in no uncertain terms that I could not blame God for what was intended for my purification, and that my trials should take me to God, not fleeing in the opposite direction.

One woman who came on a long trip to see Padre Pio said to him in confession, “Padre Pio, four years ago I lost my husband and I haven’t gone to church since then.” Padre Pio replied, “Because you lost your husband, you also lost God? Go away! Go away!” as he quickly closed the door of the confessional. Shortly after this event, the same woman recovered her faith, attributing it to the way Padre Pio treated her – probably acknowledging how she had put her attachment to her husband above God.

Req-DaisyGirl-GraphicsFairy1[1]  I wasn’t in the habit of going to God with my problems and difficulties. I had an unhealthy self reliance that kept me from seeking His wisdom.

Padre Pio commented on the amount of confessions he heard, and how he was able to do it: “There have been periods when I heard confessions without interruption for eighteen hours consecutively. I don’t have a moment to myself. But God helps me effectively in my ministry. I feel the strength to renounce everything, ….”

vintage-flower-fairy-garland[1]  I wanted the firm guidance of a godly father. But I also liked humour, and Padre Pio had it.

One person in confession questioned the very existence of Hell. Padre Pio responded, “You will believe it when you get there.”

TheSnowdropFairy[1]  My father didn’t have much patience for much, and letter-writing/emails was the agony of agonies. I didn’t receive many from him, but the ones I did, I wished he hadn’t sent. St. Pio had many spiritual children, and he wrote them, and his letters were treasured for the life they gave.

Beloved daughter of Jesus, 
           May Jesus and our Mother always smile on your soul, obtaining for it, from Her most holy Son, all the heavenly charisms! 
           I am writing to you for two reasons: to answer some more questions from your last letter, and to wish you a very happy names-day in the most sweet Jesus, full of all the most special heavenly graces. Oh! If Jesus granted my prayers for you or, better still, if only my prayers were worthy of being granted by Jesus! However, I increase them a hundredfold for your consolation and salvation, begging Jesus to grant them, not for me but through the heart of his paternal goodness and infinite mercy….Therefore, be humble of heart, circumspect in words, prudent in your resolutions. Always be sparing in your speech, assiduous in good reading, attentive in your work, modest in your conversation. Don’t be disgusting to anybody but be benevolent towards all and respectful towards your elders. May any sinister glance be far from you, may no daring word escape your lips, may you never carry out any immodest or somewhat free action; never a rather free action or a petulant tone of voice. 
           In short let your whole exterior be a vivid image of the composure of your soul. Always keep the modesty of the divine Master before your eyes, as an example; this Master who, according to the words of the Apostle to the Corinthians, placing the modesty of Jesus Christ on an equal footing with meekness, which was his one particular virtue and almost his characteristic: “Now I Paul myself beseech you, by the mildness and modesty of Christ” [Douay-Rheims, 2 Cor. 10:1], and according to such a perfect model reform all your external operations, which should be faithful reflections revealing the affections of your interior. 
           Never forget this divine model, Annita. Try to see a certain lovable majesty in his presence, a certain pleasant authority in his manner of speaking, a certain pleasant dignity in walking, in contemplating, speaking, conversing; a certain sweet serenity of face. Imagine that extremely composed and sweet expression with which he drew the crowds, making them leave cities and castles, leading them to the mountains, the forests, to the solitude and deserted beaches of the sea, totally forgetting food, drink and their domestic duties…. 

          Don’t worry if you are unable to answer my letter for the moment. I know everything so don’t worry. 
           I take my leave of you in the holy kiss of the Lord. I am always your servant. 

Fra Pio, Capuchin 

I loved Padre Pio’s letters for the light in them and their lightness of burden. When the human will is exerted in letters, it is a burden that weighs down on you and takes the skin off your shoulders. It makes you go in any direction but heaven. I didn’t get that letter from my Father Pio, but it could have been written for me, and I too treasure it for it is a letter from a true father, setting me in the direction of God the Father.

2534033067_47c872012f_z[1]  In recent months, I have skipped away from my Father Pio, but in pursuit of heaven still. He does not bully me home or petulantly force me back in homage to himself, but prays me on my journey. Only a true father….

Wipe My Blood

From the time Jesus appeared to me in the dark of 1999, sometimes, like a tiny breeze weaving its way through a room, the memory of the vision would come back, and with it, the mental imprint of Our Lady wiping the Wounds of Her Son. Yet, as one year folded into the next, marked by events both happy and sorrowful, I never went beyond the memory of the visions and the release accorded to me. I was too preoccupied with my remaining, ever increasing battles to really search for the meaning to Wipe My Blood.


In November 2010, as the aging year began to wind down, I sensed an interior longing to pray the Rosary using only the Sorrowful Mysteries. The grief held in for so long, needed an outlet. Not just any release, but a release into Heaven’s comfort. I was inexplicably drawn to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries but didn’t understand why.

Then, Mother Teresa’s Come Be My Light came into my life, and I read and read, and the light began to shy in.

Come Be My Light

Come Be My Light

One day, deep in the night hours, I sensed an awareness leaning against my soul. I put the book down and stared at the Divine Mercy picture on my wall and waited. Then, it came. An unseen finger traced the words, Wipe My Blood, on my soul again, and life was breathed into them. The words from so long ago began to throb in my soul, like a caged bird seeking release in understanding.

How, Lord? How do I wipe Thy Blood?

In response, I again felt the pressure of the words, Wipe My Blood. The images from Mother Teresa’s book swam before me. I saw the old saint and the love she took into the slums. Her struggles. Her faith. Then, I knew. Wipe My Blood was the bell chime of absolute freedom, telling me it was time to flee the confines of my childhood cage, every one of it, and to go out and love like I have never before. It was a call of Love, to love.

In a motion of light, month after month, year after year, from that day on, an unseen angel lifted the veil to places where I was to answer the call, Wipe My Blood.

I saw the children I had birthed after years of barrenness. I saw the tired, dogged determination to do what was best for them. I saw all too clearly the frustrations, the anger when things didn’t go my way. The hate for myself when I couldn’t enjoy my own wee ones. Wipe My Blood. God wanted me to love and enjoy my children. To feel the tickle of bubbles from a baby’s trumpet-lips. To enjoy the buttons that wouldn’t button over fat tummies. To lean into the paws that batted my face, telling me baby didn’t want to sleep but play. Love them, Jesus said. Love them differently from before.


Cook for the family, He continued. Cook the way you want. So, I began to cook differently. Cooked away from the shadows of remembered recriminations. Simple things. Simple cakes. Some flat, some with so many holes I wondered how they stayed together.The patter of feet into the kitchen. Happy squeals over a favourite dish coming, eager peeking into the oven. Cook for the family. Wipe My Blood.

The call sounded again.

I sought to make my husband and children happy. I sang to them. Sang funny songs with made up lyrics. Blessed with a voice like an old fishing trawler, I am no Whitney Houston, but sang I did because it produced horrified giggles, tickled funnies. It was no longer about waiting to be happy before I made others happy. It was about stepping outside of my circle of grey, and taking the Light I didn’t feel, to where it was needed. And when my doggy-loving child begged me to sing her Patti Page’s How Much is That Doggy In The Window as I brushed her teeth,  I saw that creaking-door voice or not, He wanted me to make my baby happy, and to find happiness in that, because it meant wiping His Blood.


And from my home, the angel led me further out. He took me to those who chose to suffer away from the gaze of others. To hold and to pray for them as they weathered the storm. To stay by their side because others had long left.


One day, the angel had me follow him to an old path, rutted in weeds and wildflowers. I was led to write again, after long forgotten years. To find release and freedom. To ponder mysteries by writing. To read my thoughts and learn who I truly was. And then, slowly, to write to heal others. Most of my adult life, I had received letters from home. Letters that should never have been written because they left me with a blackness long after they had been crushed and thrown away. To wipe my Lord’s Blood, He wanted me to write peace, to bring others the gold of joy and giggles, because the best way to purge the past was not to paper over, or to bury it, but to set it on a standard, like Moses did with the bronze snakes in the desert, and to use it to heal others.


As I obeyed the call, I began to heal. And slowly, I began to see glimpses of Heaven.

But Wiping My Blood was not as much about personal healing as it was about ministering to wounded-ness. There are far too many beaten and left for dead, many who mourn in the shadows.


There are far too many tears than there are hands to wipe them away, and to tilt lips in an upwards curve of a smile. The sorrows of this earth are many, and they cannot wait till I am healed completely before they are attended to.


My Lord calls, and with no delay or hesitation, His summons must be answered.

1999 ~ JESUS


For most of my life, I lived in the bosom of shadows. I was held against my will there. But the Light always intrigued me. I’d part the leaves of my abode, and peer out into the golden cheer, and wonder how it’d be to live in the Light forever.

But as much as others chained me to darkness, I too allowed them, by the darkness in my own heart: my willfulness. The unwillingness to bend in yielding to God. I wanted to be free, but I wanted to do it my way, my time. I wanted joy, but not the Cross, and so, while I did carry my crosses, I did so with a great deal of unpleasantness. There were more than enough storms wrought by external circumstances in my life.

But I did my part in creating more.

I was born into this world with a singular purpose: To raise my birth mother’s name to perfumed heights. From my earliest memories, she drilled into me, day and night, that I was to go forth and make her, not Our Lady, known.

At every family gathering, in every conversation with family or friends, I had to seize opportunities to perfume the name of my earthly mother. I had to remember how to praise her, use the right words to let everyone know how well she cooked, how well she raised us, her many sacrifices. Woe betide me if I ever let one pass up. After every “marketing opportunity”, there’d be a post mortem of my performance at home, and the report revised and referred to for the next ten years.

When I married and swapped the dark roost of my childhood for another dark pit of my own making, I was forced to further grow into my role as Ambassador-for-my-mother. She wanted me to shine in my job, in my kitchen and shine spiritually too, and when others were drawn to my light, I had to point them, not to the good Lord, but to her – so all would bow down and pay my mother homage for her success in raising a good daughter.

There was one problem. I couldn’t cook. Born into a family of cooks, I struggled mightily to serve up half decent meals. My mother was immensely proud of her cooking skills, and I was deeply interested to learn from her. But for some strange reason, she kept me chained to just a couple of recipes, and refused to teach me more. She hid her recipes. She gave excuses. She fumed over the way I managed to underperform in cooking even those few dishes.

I tried but couldn’t get the dishes just right. I hadn’t married yet, and the only kitchen I had to practice in was hers, so there was no chance to cook alone and build up my confidence. But even after I married, my cooking standards remained low, because I remained obedient to her to never try anything other than what she had taught me. I didn’t think of buying a cookbook on my own because despite living miles away from her, I would have needed her permission. My mother had chained me to her from my birth, and I remained chained to her even after my marriage. So, my pathetic cooking continued its downward spiral. My mother writhed in agony over the shame I was to bring to her, by being the non-cook in a family of those born to please palates. She wrote me letters entreating me to try and learn to cook decently the dishes she had taught me or I’d bring so much shame to her – she, who was known to be a wonderful cook.

Letter after letter. Call after call.

Why letters, in this modern age? She wanted me to read and re-read her letters and commit her words of lament and admonishment to memory.

One night, the pain of those words got a bit too much. The house was in a mess. Dinner was in a worse mess. I looked over at my calm and unperturbed husband, and shame burned in me at how I had failed in my duties as a wife. My mother’s words of how I had failed the family numerous times before, as a child, and even then, as a wife, burned their roots into my soul. I was barren, couldn’t bear him children. I couldn’t keep house. I couldn’t cook a simple meal right.

That night, I reached the end of my tether. I left my husband watching tv and retired to bed to hide the tears that flowed unrestrained. Silently, I screamed and screamed and screamed to God to take my life. Over and over I sobbed like I had never before that He end my life before I hurt my husband who had loved me enough to marry me but whom I could not make happy.

I prayed for courage to drive the car over the cliff that it would appear to be an accident, so my family need never be shamed by the stigma of my suicide.

I screamed and sobbed deep into my pillow. At some point, I slept off.

Towards 2 or 3am in the dark night-dawn, I was awakened by an awareness. I sat up and looked around the dark room, searching. I turned and looked at my husband, sleeping in peace, blissfully unaware of the nutcase beside him. Finding nothing, I settled back on my pillow.

And nearly died of utter shock.

At the foot of my bed, towering above me, stood Jesus.

Jesus of the many paintings, and yet, a Jesus, never seen before. His eyes a blue-green that did not belong to this earth. There was none of the expected tenderness in His eyes. He fixed on me a look that reached deep into my soul.

The look reserved for a recalcitrant child.

After the initial paralysis, I suddenly realized I had tons to tell Him, and I had to do it fast, in case He left before I was finished. So, I let it all out. All the pain, all that had happened. My lips unmoving, from my heart to my Lord’s. On and on I went, slipping and skidding in my rush to have them all out.

He listened to me in silence. Still and utterly within my pool of pain, stood my Lord.

Slowly, I wound to a close, every heartache brought to the light.

In the stillness, He spoke words I never expected to hear:

Let go, Relax,

Let go, Relax,

Let go, Relax…

Over and over, they washed over me, like waves bearing the Light of Truth and Healing.

Let go, Relax,

Let go, Relax,

Let go, Relax…

I began to see another vision unfurl by His side. I saw Mother Mary wiping the wounds of her Son. They were not the wounds of the scourging. They seemed to be smaller ones, less severe. Wrought by me? Perhaps. But it was not the focus then.

Mother was tending to her Son’s wounds. Watching her, I had the strong sense that it should have been me doing it.

I fell asleep hearing the words, Let Go, Relax but I felt these final words imprinted on my soul: Wipe My Blood.

I woke up on the morrow no longer the same. I sat in the mess of my living room, and looked at the Jesus in a picture. I thought of his words, Let go, Relax, but didn’t ponder them, didn’t try to discern their meaning. I let the words hang suspended in my mind.

I called my mother and told her about the vision and the words I had not rehearsed or even thought of came out: From now on, I will cook but I don’t care how I cook because Jesus came and told me it’s not important.

Not a croak out of my mother.

Never again did I agonise over my cooking for her sake.

But in my ebullience over this culinary freedom, I failed to recall and ponder the last words He wrote on my soul:

Wipe My Blood.



A true story of a man haunted by the past, whose life had been totally miserable due to the harrowing burden of guilt……

A priest in California was preparing to go to bed on a Sunday night after a busy day when the phone rang. It was a nurse at the hospital which was a couple of hours drive away. A man was dying. He was a Catholic and would “Father” come. The priest was reluctant because there was a storm raging outside. But he decided to go. Upon arrival he entered the room of the dying man. He introduced himself and was gruffly told to “go to hell.” The conditions of the storm had worsened, so the priest decided he would hang around for a while. An hour later he approached the man again. “I am a Catholic priest. You are dying. Are you sure I can’t help you in any way?” Again the man rebuked him, demanding that he be left alone. For some reason the priest decided he would try once more. He waited another hour. Then he entered the room for the last time. To his surprise the man responded, “Well, I may as well tell you.” Then he began to relate the story of his life. Forty years previously he worked on a railway signals box. Everything was done manually in those days. It was Christmas time, and he had been drinking. When the train was approaching he pulled the wrong lever. The train went down the wrong track and collided into a car as it was crossing the lines. A woman and her two children were killed instantly. He told the priest that from that day onwards he had lived with the guilt of that accident. He kept to himself, never married, and gave up on life. He lived in quiet despair.

The priest, who had been listening very intently, asked him a few more questions about the date and time of the accident. Then he said to the dying man, “I want you to listen closely to me. You did not know this. But there was another little boy in that car. He lived. And when he grew up he became a priest. And he is speaking with you right now! And I want you to know, I forgive you.”


          That man, who had spent his whole life in such an awful prison of self-hate, guilt and self-recrimination, was able to hear from the priest the words of forgiveness that set him free. He was finally able to forgive himself as he not only heard the words of absolution from the priest, but also the words of forgiveness from the little boy who had lost his mother and siblings in an accident 40 years previously. He died in peace…



          When you live in the darkness of depression and despair, when the Light shines in, even a sliver of it, it is deeply welcomed for it liberates the imprisoned soul. There are so many of us living within prisons. Trapped by ourselves. Trapped by others. We grieve and rant for we are unable to find the key to the lock of our dark, dank cells.


          There are too many sitting in prisons, and too few holding the keys to unlock those prison cells. And this is why, even as we live imprisoned lives, we must strive to release others. We cannot wait to be free ourselves before we free others. We need not wait! And if we know the pain of being imprisoned, it must never be our wish to see others share our fate. Guard against it we must, that perverse joy of seeing other souls suffer as we do. No comfort must we seek in seeing the numbers increase in prisons like ours.

Maria Bolognesi painting[1]

And even if that sordid wish lives in a secret crevice within us, we must turn away from it and not give it life, for it makes no sense to welcome death for others while we fight it ourselves.

Even as we stumble along the lonely terrain of Calvary, even as we bleed and hurt, we must train our wounded-ness to find joy in freeing other imprisoned souls.


To watch in peace through our own prison bars, that other soul soar free. To welcome that inevitable sting of sorrow that others are free whilst we aren’t. For that sting is not selfishness; it is our wounded-ness.


And when we have freed others, and if that Sting comes – that they are free and we arent, we must know that angels stand in gentle wait to take our pain.


          Our wounded-ness in all its forms, our own imprisonment, must never hold us back from freeing others. We are both prisoners as well as jailers. We might not possess the keys to our own freedom, but we have with us that which can unlock other cells not ours.

And unlock them we must.

For to free others is to love Him.

To free others, is to free ourselves.


This delightful poem – beautiful in its simplicity, beautiful in its truth, tender in its reminding – was posted in http://www.acountrypriest.com. It was God reaching out to me in a Sunday lesson straight from heaven.

Which Hand?

The devil is prowling around like a roaring lion,
looking for someone to eat.
Stand up to him,
strong in faith.


The beast is clever; he knows our weaknesses
and he knows how to push our buttons.
But God is Wisdom; He knows our strengths
and He gives us the grace to overcome temptation.


The beast is full of hate; he wants to trap us
and leave us devoid of hope.
But God is love; He reaches out his Hand
and pulls us out of darkness.


The beast is sadness; he wants to drag us into the pit
and keep us away from light.
But God is joy; He wants our ultimate good
and our presence in His light.


The beast is cunning; he knows how to use us
– our weaknesses, our brokenness, our hopelessness –
to stray.
But God is infinite. He is Truth;
He knows how to use weaknesses for Good,
He uses our brokenness to show Beauty,
He uses our hopelessness to manifest Truth.


The only condition is that we cooperate with Him.

When God reaches out His hand, we decide whether we take it.
When God grants us His grace, we choose what we do with it.
When God gives us His own self, we can take it or we can leave it.

The devil puts out his hand;
So too does God.

To which hand will you hold?
The one that will push you into the pit


The One who will pull you out?