Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sharing Experinces: God Is So Real

"So have no fear of them; 
for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, 
and nothing secret that will not become known. 

What I say to you in the dark, 
tell in the light; 
and what you hear whispered, 
proclaim from the housetops. 

Do not fear those who kill the body 
but cannot kill the soul; 
rather fear him who can destroy 
both soul and body in hell. 

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? 
Yet not one of them will fall to the ground 
unperceived by your Father. 

And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 
So do not be afraid; 
you are of more value than many sparrows." 

These Words of Jesus fascinate and stir the mind and soul.  I recall years past when the Holy Spirit began to actively awaken my inner life to various spiritual experiences, drawing me closer to Jesus Christ and the Father.  I kept a journal, and sometimes I shared some dreams and visions with a close friend or two.  But I did not understand what was what, as far as putting labels to the phenomenon, and I did not have a repertoire of some of the personages and understanding what the messages may mean in the future.

Since two-thirds of my life thus far was lived as a Protestant Christian, I can compare and contrast the understanding to the recent "third" of my life as a Catholic Christian.

God called me into the Catholic Church, bit by bit, over the course of ten years.  He utilized a couple of colleagues, another doctoral student in the psychology studies, references in some books.  He then began utilizing visions, both corporeal and image visions, as well as locutions and dreams.  He utilized (and still does) all these tools at His disposal and creation, plus He utilizes His Living Word, worship, prayer, and temporal world situations and experiences.

As a Protestant, sharing how God works in our lives seemed to be more acceptable in some ways.  However, perhaps some of what I shared with a friend or two seemed odd to them.  I do recall one who hummed "The Twilight Zone" theme song; and a woman, when I shared in an adult Sunday school class a dream involving a soul on the other side, came to my house with concern that I was a necromancer who consulted the dead.  However, over all, we shared freely our love of Christ and how He actively, directly and indirectly interacted in our lives and souls.

As a Catholic, I learned that seemingly people do not share their spiritual lives but rather are counseled to not tell anyone anything.  However, I find it contradictory when I and others--even some priests--read various books which are extremely helpful and inspiring and are filled with that person's spiritual experiences and what God taught them, and how He made Himself so real to them in their daily lives.  Obviously, the person writing the book or the person writing about the person's spiritual life, shared in detail how God worked in their lives.  

Sometimes I read of persons in the past century or so, doing so "only" out of obedience to a priest or superior who ordered them to share.  But most often, they wrote or others wrote what the person told them, as a call to do so from God. Perhaps it was a result of grasping His Living Word and realizing that such sharing helps and inspires others of us who are striving to do God's will, to love Him as Himself and others in Him.

However, some experiences, and maybe most, I did not share so openly.  I had to learn how to suggest to someone to see a doctor, if I was shown an illness or something life-threatening.  Then I had to learn how to accept if the person did not accept the suggestion and died.  I also had to learn how to cope if I was shown something but did not say anything, and rather prayed.  If the person died, then I had to deal with wondering if I had had the courage to say something to warn him or her.

It took learning to listen and discern, such as if I was told "He does not have long to live!"  In that case, I discerned it was a statement of fact.  However, as it turned out, had I said something to the person, there would have been ample time for surgery to remove a blood clot.  I still feel bad about that one, but I lacked courage and was too selfish, knowing if the man complained to Rev. Msgr., I would have been chastised.  And if I got the showing wrong--oh my.  

For already in the case of a young priest who was preyed upon by a thrice-divorced woman, the Rev. Msgr. told me to only pray.  But the Bishop told me to write to him and pray, so I wrote, and I reminded the young priest of how he was shown to me in a crowd when a stranger to me and a seminarian.  He was at a parish ice cream social, one among a crowd of 200 or more.  He distinctively stood out--and no, was not wearing black nor a clerical collar.  

I reminded him, and I also shared a vision I was shown of how the devil was tempting him through the woman, and that otherwise he had quite a calling ahead of him.  (This was after he became a priest.)  But he left and married.  I have no idea how his life is going, but he gave up when he had been truly anointed by the Holy Spirit.  I will never forget that waking vision, and having him stand out as anointed, in the crowd.

Continued in next post....

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