Strange things have happened to me since my return to the Catholic Church

A miracle brought me back to the Catholic Church in March 2017. Now I will tell you the wonderful, strange things that have happened to me since that day.

(1) I received a vision of heaven in a dream.

I dreamt I was walking along a beach, which curved ahead of me in a half moon shape. It was close to sunset. I was alone surrounded by nature. Past the sandy part of the beach I could see only trees and beyond them, majestic mountains. The place looked a lot like Greece. Suddenly, everything before me became charged with energy, a very intense energy that was not of this world. I don’t know how else to describe what I saw and what I felt. I knew that I was looking at heaven and I began to run towards it with my arms raised in the air. In a few seconds, I woke up and received an interior message that it was indeed heaven. I also understood that the vision of heaven had been given to me to encourage me in my return to the Church: to pray fervently, to increase my faith, to remain ever hopeful, to do penance, to perform works of mercy. I don’t remember any other dream in such detail, but this one is as vivid as if I had just dreamt it a couple of minutes ago.

(2) I began to find jewellery.

Very shortly after I returned to the Church, I went on a long trip to Europe. One afternoon, while I was sitting at the edge of the bed of my rental apartment in the southwest of France, I happened to look down toward the floor. Lying there was a delicate bracelet of gold and agate stone. I put it on and it fit me perfectly. My wrists are very thin and I have a hard time finding bracelets that don’t slide off. This one was just the right circumference. Then, a few weeks later, I went to Paris. I was sitting in the garden of a museum, a quiet place where I could get away from the crowds. I looked down and there, lying on the pebbles, was a gold ring. I placed it on my ring finger and it fit me perfectly. Next day, I spent an hour confessing my sins to an Irish priest. It was my first Confession in 40 years.

(3) The first Rosary I bought since my return to the Church, came from the Albi Cathedral in France (note: the Albigensian heresy was defeated by St. Dominic after he received the Rosary from Our Lady).

I don’t know why I bought a Rosary in that particular Cathedral, and not in the other churches I had visited in France and Spain on my trip to Europe in summer 2017. When I visited Albi, it had been 3 months since I decided to come back to the Church. I had already developed a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary: I promised to say the Rosary everyday (I had been using my fingers to count the Ave Maria prayers). When I bought my Rosary in the Albi Cathedral shop, I had no idea that Our Lady gave the Rosary to Saint Dominic to aid him in his battle against the Albigensian Heresy in that region, so I did not know the importance of Albi Cathedral and its link to the Rosary. It was only months later, reading Saint Louis de Montfort’s book, “The Secret of the Rosary”, that I discovered how special Albi is in the history of the Rosary and in the Church’s battle against heretics.

(4) My mission in life was revealed to me in a dream.

In January of this year, I began doing a lot of mental prayer. I asked Our Lord: what is my mission in life? Most of us think of our mission in life as something quite grand and heroic: to establish a religious order; to go on a mission to the far corners of the earth; to write a theological treatise; to become a martyr, etc. Anything but this mundane life, right?

The answer given to me in a dream was very surprising and not at all what I would have imagined: my mission is to love.

A powerful Voice said: “Who is going to love people if not you? Who will comfort them when they’re sad, lonely, in pain, abandoned, dying? Who will feed the hungry and house the homeless? Who will give hope to those who are so deep in despair that they want to kill themselves? The Voice continued: “One day, I will come and as I promised, I will make all things new. No one will suffer anymore. But until then, you, My servants, need to do My job on earth. When I return, I will ask you: did you do the tasks I assigned to you? You will be judged according whether you did the tasks I gave you.”

I woke up from this dream in tears. I have kept these words in my mind and I ask myself if I’m doing it. Every day I infuse all of my actions with love for Our Lord: chopping vegetables, grocery shopping, talking to my husband, dining with my friends, etc. When I started doing this, I realised how impatient I am and how I lose my temper very easily. This mission hits me at the heart of my worst vice: my pride. This mission to love is not any easier than a mission to start a convent or go into the Amazon jungles to preach the Word of God. It is very difficult to remain mindful of my thoughts, words and actions every day. I find that I fail often and have to go to Confession.

(Side note: I finished reading the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux last week. In the book, she says, “At last I have found my vocation; my vocation is love!”)

(5) Prayer request regarding meaning of John 16:5-16 was answered.

A few days ago, I did my mental prayer/meditation on John 16:5-16, the passage in which Jesus tells the Apostles that it is expedient for Him to go away. I did not understand it. Why did He have to go so soon? Why not continue preaching for thirty or forty more years after the Resurrection? I pondered this for 15 minutes in mental prayer, asking for illumination on what this passage really means. The next day, I woke up and when I checked my Podcast app, and there, downloaded, was a sermon on the meaning of . . . John 16:5-16! I listened to it and finally understood why Jesus had to leave so soon after the Resurrection.

(6) I prayed that the insurance company reimburse me for medical expenses and they did – in full.

My insurance company had been giving me a hard time for five months on a claim I filed for reimbursement of medical expenses. The amount is significant. Week after week, I received nothing, but lies and bureaucratic rubbish. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to pray for assistance in the past, but a few days ago, I did. Within 48 hours of my prayer, I got an email from the insurance company informing me that they will reimburse me for the entire amount. I was shocked. I had expected to recover at most, fifty percent of my expenses. Lesson learned: never doubt the efficacy of prayer.

(7) Serendipitous finding of a clean plastic bag – a funny coincidence.

Last week, while walking with my friend and her dog, we realized only after leaving her apartment that she had forgotten to bring a small plastic bag to pick up the dog’s droppings. We were in quite a panic, wondering where was the nearest convenience store. What happened next is amazing. We both looked down on the sidewalk and saw, right in front of our eyes, a clean plastic bag. How did it get there? Why at that moment? Sidewalks here in Japan are spotless and don’t have rubbish lying around, least of all plastic bags, let alone ONE CLEAN plastic bag. So she picked it up and a few minutes later, of course, she had to use it for the dog.

The occurrences I’ve mentioned above never happened to me in my “old” life, before I came back to the Church. It’s all very strange and marvellous.

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2 thoughts on “Strange things have happened to me since my return to the Catholic Church

  1. Inspiring. I’m a Lutheran who married a lapsed Catholic a year ago. This past year, we’ve had conversations about which way we should go when it came to picking a church. He had been an atheist for many years until he watched Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, making him rethink his life. I veered off into exploring the occult while playing Christian in that same time period before we met (my mother’s untimely death was the trigger).

    I remember looking up the Lutheran rosary during one of many moments where I resolved to be a better Christian and happened upon the original rosary said by traditional Catholics. From that point on, even when I sometimes fell back into my occult research, I felt this urgent need to read more about the Catholic faith. There were many things I was told that turned out to be false and so much more that I was simply ignorant of. I’ve been conflicted the last few years, but I had many small miracles happen that nudged me closer and closer to the Catholic church.

    St. Anthony is the first saint I asked for help, believe it or not about a year after Mom’s death, when a Catholic aunt sent an email about him helping her find something. I was going to a convention one weekend and kept losing things. Three times I asked St. Anthony to help me find what I lost, and every time he either returned, replaced, or compensated me.

    I’ve called on other saints in desperation when pursuing a man that was toxic to me, and they either warned me or allowed me chances to learn from this bad experience. They weren’t exactly subtle about it either. The most profound intervention came when I asked St. Micheal, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael for three things: To help reconcile me with the man I was pursuing, whether or not we are meant to be, to meet the man who is to be my future husband, and to find a way to pay off my school debts.

    The very next week I met my husband. The other man I eventually remained friends with but as our romantic interest waned, he simply fell out of my life, and I was fine with that. I am also on my way to paying off the school debt that had been hanging over my head for most of my adult life. If I could ask one more thing of them, I would ask that they would help me become the stay at home wife and mother my husband always wanted. I’m currently working, so I hope to change that in the near future.

    I’ve prayed the rosary every so often while continuing to educate myself about the Catholic faith, and by the time I was walking down the isle at my church during my wedding, I was seriously thinking about converting. As beautiful as the ceremony was, and as traditional as it was in the Lutheran sense, I still felt something was missing. I have gone to a couple of Latin masses in the first couple months of our marriage and though we keep talking about trying a conservative Lutheran church, we never followed through.

    We went on a trip to San Antonio, Texas this past April, where I had the opportunity to visit all five missions and step into their sanctuaries. All but one are still active parishes (The Alamo obviously isn’t), and all but one were open to the public (due to vandalism in that one parish, it was only open during services). I also visited the San Fernando church in the heart of San Antonio. There, I visited the relics, the remains of some of the Alamo defenders kept there, a statue of Saint Anthony himself for whom the city is named after, and even took some holy water and bought a Saint Anthony medallion from the gift shop. While I was doing all of this, I kept asking myself, what was holding me back?

    The subject of finding a church came up again recently, as I reminded him that we need to find a place to have our babies baptized, and he mentioned the one where we attended mass. He seems fond of it. The only problem is that he isn’t consistent in his commitment. I’ve received a couple of green scapulars recently, hoping to strengthen our resolve. For me, It’ll require a massive change, and I need my husband’s full support on this. I’ve received nudges to keep praying the rosary, not just for me, but for my husband and my family. Even those who are Catholic in my family, do not live their faith as they should.

    I currently live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where there is a rich French Catholic history and tradition, though many do not ascribe to the Catholic faith anymore. It was a huge change from my Texas hometown, but my husband, who is a New Orleans native, helped me to fall in love with the culture as well as help me appreciate my own roots even more. It’s difficult for me to find help in making this very big step into a new world that I’ve admired from afar for so long, back even when I was a more devout Lutheran. We’re both very introverted and approaching people at the church we went to is intimidating for me. Thank you for sharing your story. It gives me hope that if someone whose led a life like yours can make this change, so can I.

    Lily

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    1. Lily,

      Thank you for sharing your story. There are a lot of people like you and when they read your story, they don’t feel so alone and hopeless.

      All of us here on earth are meant to support one another. We have to do Our Lord’s work for Him here – to love one another and help each other – because He is not physically here anymore (though He will come back one day).

      Praying regularly is very important because we can’t do everything by ourselves. We need His help. When things look hopeless, grab your Rosary and pray. Our Lady is the Mediatrix of all graces and she, like the perfect mother, comes to our aid when we ask for help.

      I know what you mean about Catholics not living their faith as they should. It’s not only Catholics who fail. People who follow other religions fail to live up to their precepts, too. The reason for this is original sin. But the Church gives us the sacraments of Confession and Communion to help us diminish our sinful tendencies and to purify our lives. I used to make fun of Catholics who would go to Confession, only to sin all over again. I don’t make fun of them now because I have been going to Confession and Communion, and I can attest to the healing power of the sacraments. I will write another post about that.

      I am very introverted too. I like being alone. I’m not the kind of person who goes in for Bible study sessions, Church-related social events, etc. I prefer to sit at home, pray, read St. Augustine (Confessions and City of God), G.K. Chesterton, the sermons of Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, Bishop Fulton Sheen’s books, St. Therese of Lisieux’s autobiography, St. Francis de Sales’s “Introduction to the Devout Life”, etc. Check out the reading list on the Menu of my website.

      God created everyone to have different temperaments, so we come to God through different ways. My way is to be alone, to pray and do mental prayer, to read worthy books and to write.

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