"The kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy, in the Holy Spirit." Taize' Chant
(To hear a sampling of Taize' Chant, visit this site- Taize'MP3 and Podcasts.)
In a previous post, I mentioned that my niece Jenny and I recently spent some time together sharing faith stories. Jenny was so excited about a new book she was reading about a woman from Ireland who was experiencing revelations from Jesus about the beauty and wonders of heaven. When she spoke about it, her face just lit up with joy. The title of the book was Climbing the Mountain by Lay Apostle Anne.
The day after my visit with Jenny, my children and I visited the beautiful church and adoration chapel at a nearby convent, and here I felt God intervene in my life in a most interesting way. My friend Mary Catherine would call it a "God-incidence." The adoration chapel was open, but nobody was there and the monstrance was not exposed. I tracked down the sacristan, whom I had never met before. She gladly opened the tabernacle door for us. Then she handed me a book and said "Read the page I have marked. The entire book is wonderful, but just read this passage. You'll love it."
The book was called He and I by Gabrielle Bossis. The book was about the revelations that Gabrielle had of our Lord. It was the words of the Lord spoken to this French woman. Here is the passage that the sacristan had marked...
"If you could only see My splendor in the tabernacle...My power and My tenderness and the guard of honor formed by My hosts of angels burning with zeal. What reverence, what a sense of nothingness you would feel! You would see the utter unimportance of everything that is not love. You would realize too, that nothing could possibly give you more joy. And you could no longer cease to gaze on Me and Me alone. For I am all attractiveness. I am Charm and the Charmer. I am heaven itself.
Heaven is inside the tabernacle. Adore with all the heavenly hosts. Love with them. Sing. Praise. Never can you overdo it, since all you have is what I have given you and all my merits are yours for the taking.
Do you know about my merits? Only the Father knows them all. And do you realize that if it were necessary I would begin all over again? Find a new way of praising Me every day. Keep on exploring My hidden treasures. You can never come to an end of them. Discover, discover until fires undreamed of are kindled within you, and you will say "It was You, Lord. How blind I was! The best of me is always You!"
And while you are talking to me, I'll continue to heap blessings upon you, for My heart is filled with them and to give eases its burden. It takes a mere nothing from you to make it overflow. If you only knew! My poor little ones, wake up to your power over Me! Get to know Me better. Stammer out your words of love, I'll complete them. You've seen the great sun dancing in tiny mirrors? Who can bear it's dazzling brilliance? But what is a mirror without the sun?"
What beautiful words! They enhanced my time of adoration in a most meaningful way! When our time spent adoring the Lord was through and the sacristan closed the tabernacle door once again, she followed me out of the chapel and told me that she would like to speak to me. Then she told me all about the same book that Jenny had just shared with me the night before! She said exactly the same things that Jenny said, how it was a very joy-filled book about the delights of heaven. She told me that there were levels in purgatory and the Lord showed this woman how effective our prayers are. There was a man at the lowest level of purgatory, who had barely escaped hell. The Lord told Anne to pray for him. She did so and he immediately advanced higher in purgatory. She spoke of the colors and the beauty of heaven, and just like Jenny, said "I can't wait to get there!"
When I asked the sacristan her name, she said "I'm just the sacristan here, a long time Sister of St. Francis, my name isn't important." It almost seemed like some kind of vision, it was so surreal! But what lingers with me is how her face became bright and her voice was filled with excitement as she spoke with me, just like Jenny's. Now I'm not one to easily believe in revelation stories. I am a bit of a skeptic. But this was just too profound of an experience for me. I am going to go out and buy both of these books!
If you're interested in learning more about this book and the Lay Apostle Anne's experience, there is a web site called Directions For Our Times which explains more. If you have read either of these books or visited this website, I would love to hear your opinion and thoughts on this topic!