SIGNS

The Sign of Children

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Many spiritual undertones are concealed in little things.

~ Entry 112, Divine Mercy in My Soul, St. Maria Faustina Kowalska.

          This has been the lesson over the past few days. Taught over and over, yet differently each time, it feels as if all of heaven has suddenly come together to impress upon me the signs of the times, the signs for the way forward and the signs of the things to stay away from. From near absolute stillness, there has begun now a sort of insistence, gentle yet with power, telling me that the signs are in the little things. That even as the world shouts and attempts to influence us about events and threats and all manner of future events, God wants my eyes on the little things because that is where the signs will be concealed.

In things which lie underfoot, hidden, obscured among the brambles and chaos of distraction and human insistence.

          The first sign came through one of the two most trusted people in my life. I had sought their holy discernment of a dream I had on the morn of Sept 14th, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Instead, they hurried to give me their thoughts, as they themselves made clear. For such a holy and devout couple usually given to prayerful consideration of everything, all of a sudden, their personal perspective took centre stage. The result was a body hit that that left me reeling, the tumult of old fears once again attaching themselves to me with glee.

          Still, I resisted my own intuition. I’ve been wrong about things many, many times before. I could be wrong this time as well. And so, even as my entire spirit rose in rebellion, I probed the waters gingerly, seeking a sign that said I was wrong and they were right.

          It took many hours of pondering and prayer. But I refused to yield to hurt, instead going deep into the heart of my family, the Heart of God in man. There, from its deepest, most pure confines, I saw it. It was the littlest of signs, hidden among the other things that were said. The sign told me to heed the cry of my spirit – and not insistence that was blinded by human frailty – even if it came from people I had always trusted, even if it came from elders of the church.

And the sign was of children.

I was told by the people I trusted that my hands would not be sanctified until I ministered to those in the dark even at the cost of endangering my children.

          What sounded the trumpet was that God has taught me many times that my children must be my life. And I have learned some hard lessons when I chose to turn away for a while; in fact, anything that has taken me away from my children has not worked out well. Hence, now, while I will not withhold them from sufferings that strengthen and purify, I will fight anyone who tells me I must put my heart’s loves in danger – supposedly in the name of God.

          That was why heaven screamed its warning through the events of the weekend. Because, in effect, I was told I had to put my children in harm’s way so that “the Light” could be shone into dark lives.

          Once the truth seized me, I gently made clear my stand, then turned away. It is sad when truth comes to us this way, more so when it involves family. But when we give our lives to God, earthly pillars are bound to crumble and fall. Some of those we trust and respect might fall before our very eyes. Some might reveal to us their hearts. It is a pain I must learn to face and bear, for I know it is in exchange of something far, far greater – complete trust in God and in God alone.

          And so, I left the tumult of the weekend, to come into the new week. Give me a sign. A sign as high as the skies, I had prayed many times. And so, it began. The stream of signs didn’t end with the weekend revelation. One after the other, they came, tiny, tiny ones, gently and in quiet order.

          Like a little child shyly pushing his play blocks towards me, seeking only my eyes and my love.

The Time of Now

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          Dry days are here and my spirit has gone to its desert. Even as I partake of life and laugh and love and pray, the aridity within me does not yield. Nothing reaches my innermost sanctum, except –

photos of harvested hay bales sitting in fields

and

the phrase, It is time.

          What do they mean? Why do scenes of a harvest – yet only those with hay bales – quieten me into watchful silence?

The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun…   ~   Matthew 13: 39 – 43

          In every season of our life, it is always time for something. So, what is the time of the now for me?

          As if in answer, 2 things appear before me.

          First, a dream from last year. A dream about my neighbour, and her daughter moving back in with her – and the number 4. On the Feast of the Assumption this year, I received a sign indicating that the time for the fulfilment of that dream is near. Although that dream and its fulfilment per se has little to do with me, I now understand that it is the time of that fulfilment that is relevant to me.

          Still trying to discern, I turn my mind back to the day of the dream last year. I had awakened from it, instantly clear-minded and alert but I did not understand the dream. At that moment, from deep within me, I had heard the unmistakable strains of a Christmas song, an old Michael W. Smith one. Knowing instinctively that the song was linked to the dream, I let it play in my mind until the answer became clear. But soon, my mind had misted up and I didn’t know where I was going. So, I sought the help of St Anne, the grandmother of Jesus. St Anne, I had prayed at that moment, which part of the song must I focus on?

          It was as if St Anne had been waiting for my question, so swift and smooth was her reply.

You’re almost where the journey ends
Where death will die and life begins.

          Now, a year after that dream, asking for what the time of now means for me and for us as a family, the very same lines from the song appear before me once more.

You’re almost where the journey ends
Where death will die and life begins.

Almost There

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          Last night, I was with my family in my living room, engrossed in my reading while the rest were watching something on the telly. Suddenly, from the telly came this,

Something is about to happen. Trust in me.

          I didn’t even look up to see who had said that or what was playing. It was as if everything had immediately tunneled into introspection.

Something is about to happen.

Trust in Me.

          Trust in Me had been a constant reminder, with a few more chimes earlier that day. A few hours earlier, I had asked God to give me His sign for whatever lay ahead, what I needed to do, whatever He wanted of me. In a new daring, I had asked for a quick and clear reply, but when that didn’t materialise, I just shrugged and stuck to my perch by His heart.

          And then, when I least expected it, came that voice out of the television.

          I had an idea about what might be coming, but as usual, there was more than what I was expecting. Today, on Trinity Sunday, at 3pm, we received news that the restricted movement order in my country was being lifted. Work and life would more or less go back to what it was before except for the social distancing.

          Of course, the part about work was enough to cast the clouds deep and heavy. Nevertheless, I pulled myself up firmly. God had given me more than 2 months’ respite from that hell. It had been unexpected and totally welcome, a true gift. I would not slump now.

          But there was more. I soon heard that almost everyone in my workplace was looking forwards to returning to the office. It had nothing to do with the longing to work or the mounds waiting for them.

They were plain sick and tired of being stuck at home with family.

          That hurt me to the core.

          They were ready for the daycares and care providers to take over what they had struggled with these past months. They were ready to resume their posts by the beaches of fun and play. The blasting of music. The endless celebrations. The parade of buy-and-shows from online shopping.

          The children were a burden. The husbands were useless free loaders. The wives trying and annoying. Work was the escape my colleagues missed and longed for each and every day of the lockdown.

          For me, that spelt the worst thing ever to return to: a life unchanged. To work amongst people who considered family a burden. Even worse, these were a people who had barely been touched by the sorrow Covid-19 had wrecked upon so many countries, so many families. As far as they were concerned, Covid-19 had justly been the infidel’s nightmare; their faith had protected them from the worst of the ravages.

          Needing a short rest, I took my heavy heart to bed. Before I closed my eyes, as an affirmation of my trust in Him, I told Jesus I was leaning against His heart. I asked for St. Anne, St. Faustina and St. Margaret Mary to sit with me, to help me understand His words.

          Just before I woke up fully, I dreamt of my neighbour’s clothesline, all laden with laundry. They seemed to have more than the usual lines strung up. And on the line closest to our fence, hung 4 little baby clothes. As I gazed at the 4 sweet baby-wears, I mused that my neighbour’s eldest daughter must have returned with the restricted movement order now lifted.

And then someone placed my eyes squarely on the number of baby clothes hanging there.

4

          With that, I woke up.

          4 had marked the start of this lockdown with the 4 crosses in the night sky. 4 warriors going to battle for us.

          And now, as the time in our hermitage draws to a close, 4 returns once more.

          What does it mean, 4 baby clothes on the line? I asked St. Anne, St. Faustina and St. Margaret. Slowly, as if from a great distance, I heard the strains of a Christmas song that has come thrice before during this lockdown – Michael W. Smith’s We’re Almost There.

          Hearing it today made it the 4th time.

          For some reason, I completely lost the lyrics in my head. I could only hum along, the words all gone. Again, I turned to the 3 saints who had stayed with me. Which line? I asked them.

          Gently, they unfurled the answer,

You’re almost where the journey ends
Where death will die and life begins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lent 27 ~ The Sign is Given

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          I was roused from sleep early this morning with the words,

… will die from this

          ‘This’ referred to Covid-19. And I was told the family member who would succumb to it.

          Then, I was taken back to an old dream of 2016, of a white map in the sky, pointing to a time of coming terror. In that dream, my gaze was directed to 3 continents in succession. Not together. I saw them one after the other.

First – Africa

Second – Europe

Third – Asia

          Almost a year later, in 2017, another series of events on a single day. And through them, I was made aware of the need to consecrate the world to Jesus – through Mother Mary.

Mary the Gate

          Several times, I brought up this dream of the white map to some people dear to me. Together we tried to make sense of it. Each interpretation made complete sense. Yet, I was always left feeling that our views were not quite on the mark; that there was something more.

          Yet another year later, in 2018, suddenly the mists parted a little.

Africa. Europe. Asia.

wasn’t referring to continents specifically. It was pointing to 3 consecutive years.

2017. 2018. 2019.

          3 years before the explosion of events, leading to the Covid-19 pandemic in the 4th year.

          In the dream of the map, everything had been covered in white. I sensed it meant something but didn’t know what it signified at the time of the dream. In 2018, interiorly I understood that it referred to a coming winter. Sure enough, soon winter began to appear at unexpected times and in unexpected ways, in Nature as well as metaphorically.

But this morning, I finally saw what that white of winter actually meant. It was the time of being indoors as one would in the winter. And that winter was this pandemic. A winter being experienced by every country on God’s earth.

          One by one, slowly things were revealed and illumined this morning.

The death

The map

          And finally, When Communism comes again. This prophesy was given to a seer of the Garabandal apparitions which began in 1961 in Spain.

When Communism comes again, everything will begin to happen.   ~  Conchita Gonzalez

          When Communism comes again, it will be the marker indicating the time we have been alerted to in many different ways. A time of sorrow. A time of revelation. Of unmasking. There are several predictions about this time when the unimaginable begins to happen, and I concurred with at least one.

          But what was conveyed to me in the dark pre-dawn hours of this morning was that the marker of Communism coming again is Covid-19, originally named the Wuhan virus, after the city of Wuhan in Communist China. Where it all began.

Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!   ~  Isaiah 7: 10 – 11

          I asked for a sign on the Feast of the Annunciation yesterday. Covid-19 is that sign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lent 20 ~ A Time to Trust

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Restricted Movement Order.

          It feels good to be at home and not at work where I’m unhappy. Good to be away from the senseless, endless, inane chatter. Away from the stress and terrible work weeks we’ve had.

          The sun dapples kisses on the grounds and the winds hold trysts among the greening trees. Everything is in bloom. Every day, a new zinnia blooms, a new rose. Even the Desert Rose is about to bloom. The girls’ marigolds are coming up too. They’ve never planted Mary~golds before, and are happily awaiting the first flowers.

          In this little sunny spot bordered by pretty blossoms, it’s easy to feel as if God has cupped it out of the land just for us. Sitting beneath the whispering star tree and the purple~crusted brooches it wears, looking out at the green grass and all the loveliness before me, the anxiety over the pandemic falls silent. Despite the dark news, despite the worrying updates, peace blankets over the fears and the worries.

          Last night’s 4 Crosses in the sky feel like 4 swords, belonging to 4 warriors – all those I’ve consecrated my country to. But that is my thought; God hasn’t spoken to my heart yet. Some who have heard about it saw it as a warning and advised vigilance. Others felt joy. God is watching over us, said my cousin.

          I believe all of them are right. It is not a time for merrymaking nor for careless and irresponsible cheer. The sprawler’s revelry must end. It is a time of quiet and waiting. We must take up our positions in the watchtowers and along ramparts. All the signs and words written on my heart from years ago are slowly converging.

Prepare

This is the year

Go indoors

The warning will only be given once

 

          A promise is about to be fulfilled. We stand in vigil at the cusp. There is only one prayer for the moment, and that is,

Jesus, I trust in You.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lent 19 ~ Night of Four Crosses

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We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with You.
But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received;
As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks,
or thousands of fat lambs,
So let our sacrifice be in Your presence today…   ~  Daniel 3: 38 – 40

 

          I had been praying with blessed oil for physical and mental healing of a few people. Then, I missed the prayers two days in a row. Today, I went back to the blessed oil – but with an odd knowing – I am to pray differently. As if the missed days were some sort of marker, a break to indicate a transition of intention. So, I trace the Cross on my forehead today and pray a special Protection Prayer for all I carry in my heart – beloved family and friends, – and well, for the not so beloved by me too.

          Restricted Movement Order issued. A few steps removed from complete lockdown. From being cheery and carefree yesterday – despite knowing about the order – today – a strange urgency and uneasiness descends upon me late this morning.

          On business in the city, far from home. I’ve got to get home, I’ve got to get home. No panic. Just urgent.

          In the face of the pandemic, I had asked my husband a few days ago if we needed to stock up on essentials, in case we went into lockdown. No, we’re fine, he replied confidently. I left it, trusting him.

          Today, I’m away from home in the morning, and he calls me and tells me he’s gone and bought us enough supplies.

          This wasn’t what we discussed yesterday. My stomach tightens at what made him change his mind.

          I’m driving back in the afternoon. Uneasiness increasing. I probe it, trying to discern the reason. I tell myself it’s to do with the Restricted Movement Order, but deep inside I’m not so sure. I pray for the safety of all in my heart. Anxiety increases.

Jesus, place Thy hand upon my heart, I pray. If it’s from You, tell me what to do. If not, take it away.

In a slice, the tension vanishes.

          I reach home. Life goes on. I’m my old self again.

          Hours later, returning home with my husband late at night after a quick trip to the town, I think of the empty church in the city and in many places the world over. Masses and prayer services cancelled. This was prophesied centuries ago, I tell my husband as I alight from the car.

          Looking up at the dark night sky, the Southern Cross constellation catches my eye. Nothing new. Every time we get home at night, I see it when I get out of the car. I pause and gaze awhile at it. As I always do.

          But as I shut the car door behind me, I catch sight of a second Southern Cross. My husband has busied himself with his roses. I turn back to the sky, trying to puzzle out what I’m seeing. A mirror image of the first constellation. I must be mad.

          I call for my calm and practical husband and he comes. And he sees it too.

          Then, he raises his finger towards the dark sky, dotted by a million diamonds. There’s a third Cross, he points out.

          And he is right. Out of all the stars, yet another set of 4 especially bright ones, unmistakably positioned as a Cross.

          I am calm. No fear nor excitement. Fully alert.

          Look, says my husband again. There’s a fourth.

          Four Crosses in the southern night sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cross of Light

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          On this delightful day of simple joys, I asked God once more for His sign for me. All through the chimes of hours since the break of Christmas dawn, through Christmas Day Mass, and Christmas visits, I waited in peaceful expectation of His answer. Towards evening, home again, tired yet happy, I gaze up at a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary above my front door, on the eastern side of the house. Last year, on Christmas Day too, during sunset, I witnessed something impossible in the Heart of Jesus, which I never saw before or after that day.

The sun setting in the west on Christmas Day last year had shone through the Heart – but from behind it.

At that moment, I felt Jesus was reminding me about the Illumination of Conscience.

          Today is Christmas once more. A whole year has gone past. Like a playback, I’m in my living room once more, listening to the tangerine~pinked winds sing the last song of the day. It is sunset again as the sun prepares for grateful slumber. My thoughts return to the miraculously illumined Heart of last year.

          Suddenly comes a prayer I’ve never seen, bringing to light a secret hope of a reunion.

Prayer to St. Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings

O Raphael, lead us towards those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us! Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings, lead us by the hand towards those we are looking for! May all our movements, all their movements, be guided by your Light and transfigured by your Joy. Angel Guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to you at the feet of Him on whose unveiled Face you are privileged to gaze.

          Is it a sign or a mere coincidence? Is it a trick? I look at out at the trees bathed in the last rays of the setting sun to clear my head.

          At that very moment, the rays of the Christmas sun pierce the trees in a bright, unmistakable Cross of Light.

          And I have my answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Have Passed a Threshold

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          Over the past 3 days, one word has been shining out like a star, tiny, yet as brilliant as a diamond.

Vindication

          On the first day, watching the news on tv, my husband heard it and mentioned it. It lodged in my memory because my husband has a gentle spirit; the spirit of this word has no foothold in him.

          The next day, to my amusement, it winked at me from the 1st reading from Isaiah 48:

If you would hearken to My commandments,
your prosperity would be like a river,
and your vindication like the waves of the sea   ~  Isaiah 48: 18

          Today, on the memorial of St. John of the Cross, I pause to hold close to my heart the saint who saved my life. Perhaps it is a sign of his presence that once more  vindication appears, this time in the Responsorial Psalm.

Commit to the LORD your way;
trust in Him, and He will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.   ~  Psalm 37: 5 – 6

          This time, it sobered me. It drew me back to the months of this year especially. The year with the almost incessant hits and near misses of every sort. I had often mused that we seemed to be passing through a spiritual asteroid belt, littered with the stones and rocks of numerous challenges and trials.

          Vindication is certainly not new to me nor to my heart of hope, but only now, with these 3 chimes, has my spirit hearkened to it. It is not my human hope – of that I am certain. Since I sealed my gaze to the Evening Star, since its peace slipped into my heart, my spirit has found a different meadow, one carpeted by the blooms of skips, mirth and light. And later as I stood beneath her, the final full moon of the year and of the decade on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe gave me a deeper than usual sense of comfort, calm, and strength as I gazed upon her.

Each giving seemed like a benediction.

          The uncertainties of coming weeks and months are ever present. But for now, I am strangely untroubled.

          It is into this significance that vindication lights its lamp today. As my spirit stills before it, God sends His word through a dear friend who tells me, …there are 6,666 days between SEP/11/2001 and 12/12/2019, the last full moon of the decade.

          If I discern this well, he says, we have passed a threshold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boys in Prison

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          I had a strange dream this morning. In it, my immediate family and I spent 3 different days visiting boy inmates of a prison. The other visitors to this prison comprised strangers and even members of my extended family. This dream was like a reel of snapshot moments, focus sharpening on certain scenes, on certain individuals. The dream raised no alarm of distress within me. It was even a little vague, as details I remembered during the dream immediately faded out when I awakened. For me, that is always a sign – those details were not to be focused on.

          The dream showed roughly 4 main groups of visitors –

my family and I,

a cousin, her sibling and his wife,

an aunt and her family, and

another unknown woman, somewhat wealthy, and her brood of many kids.

It appeared that we were all visiting different inmates. Except for the cousin’s family, I was either told or shown who the other inmates were but I was not detained there.

          In the dream, on the first day, it appeared as if I was visiting my son. This was not clear – I never actually saw him in the prison cell, just that it was vaguely alluded to. Visiting there too were all the others as mentioned above. In reality, I am extremely close to those members from my extended family. But in the dream, while they were aware of my presence and scooted over to make place for me on the visitors’ benches in front of the cells, and despite the fact I could sense their compassion, their focus was totally upon whoever it was that they had come to visit. That told me that each group was there for only one person.

          The next thing I was very clearly shown on that first day was that other wealthy mother. She was visiting an incarcerated son who didn’t seem to much appreciate the visit. He wore that bored, disinterested look so many kids have, totally impervious to his mother’s busy efforts to secure his release. And busy she certainly was, moving swiftly here and there to get his papers in order, yet oddly at ease with the system.

          Interiorly, I knew that she was used to the drill. That it wasn’t her or her son’s first time in jail.

          She was also the only one there at this stage of seeing to the release documents. So, her son’s time in jail was coming to an end. Yet, looking at his insouciance, I thought to myself,

The kid doesn’t care. He’s taking his mum’s efforts for granted.

          The dream then folded into the second day. We were all there again, each group sitting on those benches in front of a specific cell. There was a lot going on for that other woman again. This time, I could see the assortment of release documents she held. They were ready. Her boy was walking out of his cell when suddenly, his release hit a snag. A commotion  ensued – although the mother remained unperturbed. She took it on her chin and moved on quickly to undo the knots.

Her son didn’t do a thing to help.

He was indifferent to her buzzing around, with all his much younger siblings following her like little ducklings. He had no interest in them either, no interaction whatsoever.

He was a kid who clearly lived for himself. And it looked like he was going back in.

          Then, came the third day. This time, my husband and I were driving up to the jail and parking in its tiny porch. As we alighted from our car, our son got out too. So, it meant he was no longer incarcerated. There was another family in their car beside us and they were leaving, their car in reverse, when all of a sudden, their car battery died. The husband tried to get the car started but each attempt failed. My son, normally shy and reluctant in social settings, suddenly went up to this car, then turned towards me to indicate I should help that family to jumpstart their battery.

Oh no, I groaned. Trust him to get us into this.

Interiorly, I communicated to my son, I can’t help them. We would miss visiting hours.

          I know how it sounds but that response is uncharacteristic of me. If anything, I’m impulsively compassionate, often being where I shouldn’t be. And yet, this time, it was clear that I was not called to this need, that it was more important to me that we not miss the prison visit time. As if to confirm the correctness of my decision, yet another car leaving after a visit came into view, indicating that those occupants would offer the help needed now. And so, we hurried inside the prison.

          This time, in the first cell previously occupied by my son, was a new, unknown occupant. It was told to me that he had been anxiously waiting for me. This desperation was conveyed by the fact that he had used a thick, long  wire to snag the prison drop-down door and forcibly keep it open. He wasn’t trying to squeeze out from under it and escape, though.

          Instead, as I moved to go past this cell, this unseen occupant reached out from beneath the metal doors and caught my feet – in an abjectly pitiful gesture – of begging. In an instant, I understood that he was begging for prayers. That he had no visitor, no mother or father or relative keeping vigil on the bench before his prison cell, thus no one who’d pray for him – unless I did.

          Then, I woke up, a grey morning misted in rain, peering in.

          Immediately, my thoughts went back to the dream. It didn’t leave behind any residual emotion which I could use as an indicator of how to move forwards. Must have been last night’s movie, I shrugged, and dismissed the dream.

          But it wouldn’t go away. Like a gentle wraith, it stood close, quietly and firmly.

          I went to my morning prayers. At my home altar, I looked up at the Crucifix. At that moment, I recalled that 3rd day and the unseen boy begging for prayers. Movie-induced dream or not, at the very least, I was dutybound to pray for this soul. And so, I offered him up to the Heart of Jesus.

          And continued to offer him up several times more through the morning grocery shopping as I puzzled the dream out. At one point, waiting for my husband to return to our car from a quick errand, I opened my copy of In Sinu Jesu and began to read. The words gently floated by, evading my spirit’s open window. All except this,

I have saved you, through a particular intervention of My Most Holy Mother, from the fate the Evil one was preparing for you   ~  In Sinu Jesu, pg. 53

          But since my heart did not discernibly react to this, I shrugged off the words.

          For someone who shares everything with her husband, this time I had no urge to tell my husband about the dream. And I definitely wasn’t going to tell my son who was facing important exams and already so stressed out over them, that I had dreamt of him in a prison cell.

          But in the afternoon, a strange nudge pushed me towards my son and I found myself telling him what I had been shown. Far from being upset, he listened alertly and intently. I confessed that I wasn’t at all sure what he was to do.

          Then, recalling that wealthy woman and her ungrateful son, an answer from heaven came. I gently suggested to my son that perhaps he needed to work on his gratitude and thankfulness. Facing such an important exam, it was easy to lose yourself in them and shut out the rest of the world. It was easy to be so focused on yourself and on your academic struggles and to think little of the burdens others carried.

          And it was possible that he hadn’t given God the thanksgiving he needed to offer for the depth of support we and his siblings were giving to help him prepare for his exams.

          The minute I got that out, it was like a key which unlocked the next door of discernment. I suddenly knew who that unnamed, unseen occupant of the cell was: it was an acquaintance of my son, a boy who had made me very angry over the weekend by lying and trying to cheat me. Honestly, I had always disliked the boy. He was sly, honesty and sincerity not part of him. Since the weekend, I had been praying for guidance on how to deal with the situation involving him – whether to tell the boy what he had done was plain wrong or shut my mouth about it. I was veering towards letting it go because seeing how angry I still was about the incident with him, I’d likely say way more than I should. Like my son, this kid too was facing exams and I didn’t want to upset him in any way. Besides, after the exams, they’d go different ways, that would be that. He’d be someone else’s problem.

          Still, my conscience didn’t quite rest.

          The very next moment, my prayer was answered. In a 180º turn from what I intended to do, I saw another way to deal with that situation – and it was the best! Gentle yet calling sin exactly what it was – a sin – and then, giving the boy hope by showing him the way forward.

          It was then that I recalled the morning’s In Sinu Jesu reading. And I understood it. I had narrowly avoided falling into satan’s traps of indifference and of biting anger. Who knows what both actions would have led to –  for the boy, for myself?

          From the moment I spoke of my dream to my child, I understood all the other aspects of the dream as well. Never before has discernment of a dream come as swiftly and as clearly.

          The dead car batteries of the dream referred to dying faith. This is different to faltering faith or faith struggles. For some reason, while God has called me many times to be there for others who are struggling, He somehow holds me back when it involves faith that is dying. Even when He has shown me those whose faith is dying, it is never about me undertaking intense intercessory rescue efforts; all He has asked is that I call others to minister to this need.

          And that I resist feeling guilty about walking away. Because it is never about indiscriminate compassion, spreading ourselves thin running to jumpstart every dead or dying battery. It is never about occupying every visitor bench outside every prison cell. Working in God’s vineyard is always about obedience to Him – not to the dictates of others, not to the impulses of the heart.

          As I write this, the date of the dream, October 28, tugs at me. It takes some time before I realise it is the Feast of St. Jude – the very saint who told me exactly 3 years ago, to Pray for Others. In that dream, he had shown me that all those I had been praying for at that time, family mostly, had been prayed safely into the Church. It didn’t mean the job was done; just that they had been passed into the next pair of hands. And that it was time for me to move on, to pray for others.

          Today, on his feast day, he came once more bearing this call. St Jude had slipped into my morning, to bring me a boy from prison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About to Unfold

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I will not abandon or forsake you. I am faithful. I have chosen you and you are Mine. My blessing is upon you and the designs of My heart are about to unfold for you. You have only to trust Me. Believe that I will keep you as the apple of My eye. You are safe under My Mother’s mantle. I will hold you close to My wounded Heart. Trust that I will bring about all that I have promised you.   ~  In Sinu Jesu, page 42

 

          A week ago, in the happy silence of a still church, I felt Jesus speak those words to me. It was not my imagination, nor was it desperate hope. Just a quiet confidence that my Lord was addressing me.

          Work has been tremendous, the ante upped as it usually is towards the ending of a year. The only difference is that this year, we are being led by cruelty. Masked by the outward appearance of dedication and concern, cruelty is running the show at work. Stooped backs are being further bent by force of work. Weary minds in a chokehold, forced to remain in pursuit of someone else’s goals.

          And yet, a secret flame burns somewhere within the folds of my spirit. Most days, I am so tired that I think I cannot walk another step. But from its hiding place, a mysterious energy flows into the dry gullies of my being. Somehow, I can go on – and go on well!

          And I am quietly happy, mirth in easy bubbling at the slightest tickle.

          On this grey morning, as robins sweet~note from rain~pearled boughs, my mind returns to the recent days. Days of rainbow after unexpected rainbow, willing me to recall God’s Word to my heart,

The designs of My heart are about to unfold for you.

Trust that I will bring about all that I have promised you.