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Archive for December, 2014|Monthly archive page

Dreams and Visions

In Faith on December 29, 2014 at 11:48 am

 

The night before Christmas, on Christmas Eve, having been ill for so long and worried that I truly might not recover this time, I laid down and wept to God. I held my cross in my hands, and fervently prayed. I did not really care if I got well, but only that my passing be as peaceful as possible, and would not inconvenience too many of the people I loved. This was one of the reasons I was going to wait until the day after Christmas to go to the Emergency Room. I was reminded so much of my father and his passing on Christmas Eve.

I wept myself to sleep.

In a dream I saw the Blessed Mother, Mary come to a figure of a human being crumpled on the ground. I then realized it was me, spent of all energy, broken. She scooped me up as if I weighed nothing, and held me in her arms. She walked a ways…and then I saw the Lord sitting with children all around Him. Mary approached, and as she did, with each step the figure in her arms —which was me—got smaller and smaller until I was a small child in her arms. She then laid me in His arms. As she laid me in her son’s arms her own arms outstretched and then she glowed with a radiance and this radiance was added to the glory of Her Son’s.

I was at peace.

 

 

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Christmas Miracles And Glorious Gifts

In Faith on December 26, 2014 at 6:31 am

For ten days I was sick. Well, in all honesty I had been very ill for some time, and it was worsening at a rate that my nurse’s training kept telling me was, well, not good. But for the last ten days I have felt like I could be dying, and my worry turned into alarm. I began to prepare myself, and I told John with frank honesty how many symptoms I was having. I had not ever told him before, because I did not wish him to worry, but John of course, was a witness to all this suffering, as my lungs filled with fluid, and my body began to shut down. He can attest to how truly ill I was. His own worry and apprehension deepened, and the concern in his eyes troubled me,  I could not breathe laying down, I was coughing up horrendous amounts of mucus, my belly began to swell, my heart was constantly irregular, I was weak and could barely stand. At one point I almost fell, and fell against the sink in the bathroom, knocking a seal loose on the pipe of the sink. I thought: My heart is failing. This is end stage Congestive Heart Failure.

Yesterday on Christmas Day, I told John that if I made it through the day, and I was still feeling as I was, that I would go to the hospital. Those of you who know me well, know that I loathe doctors and hospitals. It is annoying, inconvenient and expensive to be ill. I avoid going to the doctor unless I feel I am dying. But I felt I was dying. I made it through the day but in the evening I told John: I cannot make it, we must go now. An urgency filled me, a sense of panic almost and my only thought was: Get to the Hospital NOW. I prodded John once: Hurry John. He was so moved by my sense of urgency, his own deepened, and he almost ripped the phone cord out of the wall as he grabbed his phone and shoved it in his pocket and rushed to the door. I had grabbed my purse and stuck on a coat — I did not even put on shoes. I stumbled to the car, holding onto John for support. I felt at any moment my heart might stop. Once in the car I told John my sense of urgency was because I believed I was dying and I was afraid it would happen in the house and he would not be able to carry me to the car. But if I was at least in the car, then they could pull me out at the hospital.

We got to the hospital and I told them: I may be having a heart attack. They hurried to help me and put me in a room and began the routine of triage for heart failure. I told them: please call a priest. They stuck me with needles, opened a port, put me on the monitor, drew blood for the lab. I told John: get my rosary. He ran to the car, got my purse and pulled out my rosary. I held it in my hands and leaned back and began to pray: Our Father, who art in heaven….

As I lay on the exam table, every so often would whisper instructions to John. “I want no Heroics.” “We are taking care of that.” he replied. Again I laid back, peace began to wash over me. I whispered: “I trust any decision Mysi will make, please tell her this.” He composed a text to send her, read it to me, and I approved it, adding merely: No heroics. No tubes. No shocks. He sent the text.

As they continued to run tests the peace continued to wash over me til my voice was a weak whisper every time I had to reply. It was not the same type of whispering as before, however —the struggling to breathe to speak that had been happening the last few months as I struggled for air, It was a whisper that was as one asleep and in a glorious dream who awakens for a moment and then falls into peaceful rest. I asked God: Am I dying? Is this death?

I leaned back and suddenly I saw around me a glow and the presence of people and angels and I closed my eyes and I could feel tears streaming down my face. John saw all this from his seat nearby. I told him quietly: “I think they gave me something. I am so peaceful. Perhaps they gave me Valium”  (I found out later they had given me nothing up to that point, and only two baby aspirins after the doctor confirmed the x rays were normal). I honestly thought in the rush of bodies around me that they gave me something in the port to my veins they had opened on arrival to the room.

I held my rosary, began again the familiar prayers on the beads. “Hail Mary, full of Grace, The Lord is with thee….”

More and more I felt this head to toe warmth, as if I was in a fresh warm bath. I would on occasion try to glance behind my head to see the monitor, and each time I did, the greater desire to just rest in this wonderful warmth and peace overcame me.

Finally, the doctor entered and only confirmed what I already knew. “All the tests are normal. Her lungs are completely clear. Her heart is completely normal.” I said with a voice that when the words exited my mouth shocked me at their strength. It was a voice I knew. It was my old voice. The voice I had years ago before my heart had begun to fail. “You are certain?” I asked. John began to ask trivial questions, and at first I was annoyed, but I waited and again asked: “You are QUITE CERTAIN?” Then he began to blather about options to be sure but my mind was elsewhere. It was praising God. I turned to John. “John, did you see me when I began to cry?” He said yes. Then I explained. That was the moment John, when I felt the Holy Spirit begin to wash over me.

I began to laugh and I was certain anyone who heard it from outside the room probably thought there was a madwoman in the room. “What a GIFT!”  I exclaimed several times, in between episodes of laughing. As I sat up I could breathe… deeply and clearly and it felt so good! I was in no pain, I felt strong. John returned after talking to the doctor and said: “They can either send you home or put you in a medical eval unit.” There was no need. I was well. I told John this.

To John I said: “It happened this way John, so you could witness it. It happened this way so that they would confirm it for me. It happened this way John, because it is Christmas.”

And to myself:  It happened on a Thursday, the day on the rosary where we remember The Baptism in the Jordan, The Miracle at Cana, The Preaching of the Kingdom, The Transfiguration and the Holy Eucharist.

“I am well, I want to go Home.”

Some of you will believe this tale. Some will scoff. For some it will be a confirmation of their own belief and Faith in God. For me it was a Miracle. Witnessed and confirmed.

There is more to tell than this, of course. But I have been given the greatest gift of all on Christmas this year. A gift of the Holy Spirit.

Hey God, Are you Up There?

In Faith on December 10, 2014 at 4:10 pm

I had resolved to pray at a chapel in War Acres for the unborn, and I began. I also included in my daily prayers, prayers for the unborn, and tried to be more outspoken about my feelings about abortion. This is an ongoing process, this openness about things I truly feel deeply about. I realized that although I am known for being opinionated, I generally only share my opinion on matters that do not ruffle too many feathers. Take it or leave it topics of no real consequence. And although I am thought of as “argumentative”, in truth, in those matters I feel more keenly about, I do not argue at all. I am silent.

If I feel that no one knows me then, it is in large part my own fault, because I hide so much of who I am. Many think my arguments, when I have them, are in anger. They misconstrue anger with passion. If I am truly passionate about something, then it may seem that I am quick to anger. But it is not anger. It is conviction.

Recently I have also been questioning if any of my prayers are reaching God.

I had my hair cut a couple weekends back, and the hair dresser began to speak to me about her Faith. (Many people over the years have done this, I am used to it, though it can make people with me uncomfortable as a simple outing is suddenly turned into an kind of impromptu counseling session.) And she asked me if I had ever lost my Faith. I told her no, because I find myself screaming YOU DO NOT EXIST! at the very thing I am saying does not exist, and the absurdity of it always catches me. She was surprised that I yell at God, and said in a whisper…”You yell at him too?” I said, Oh, yes…I have screamed many times.

So recently I had screamed. HEY! THE WORLD IS GOING TO HELL IN A HAND-BASKET DOWN HERE! YA LISTENING TO ME AT ALL THERE????

Today when I woke up, I said my usual prayers, sat with God, opened my heart. Then sighed and opened up my news.

http://newsok.com/controversial-oklahoma-city-area-abortion-doctor-arrested-after-undercover-investigation/article/5374338

The Abortion Dr. that was practicing 20 feet from where I was praying in Warr Acres was arrested yesterday.

I began to cry. Then to weep. Then to praise God. Then to pray for his soul.

You are listening God. You are listening.

The Still Quiet Voice

In Faith on December 9, 2014 at 7:10 am

It is another Advent. The beginning of the Christian Year. This year God has placed upon my heart that I should use the gifts He has given me. I thought on this for some time, looked over my worthless self, and then replied: What gifts? The answer: Write.

Now, I have always felt that writing was one of my talents, but (there is always a but) I have not felt that I was especially called to evangelism, or proselytizing — in fact, just the opposite. I share my faith mainly with those very close to me, and even then, I walk a very solitary path. Christianity to outsiders looks very hypocritical I think, because people outside of the Faith believe we all instantaneously become Holy Do Gooders, and should act as such, and those inside the Faith are already there struggling with me, and so I fear any efforts I make to edify them might inadvertently lead them into sin or to stray from their own paths, and so I generally leave all the writing and the teaching to those I feel are better equipped than I.

I feel.

I feel.

I note as I write that paragraph that it is perhaps more filled with what I think, than what God thinks—what God wills. And this is the heart of the Christian struggle.

There is the doubt, too because I have failed before when I have heard the Still Quiet Voice saying: “Write.” And I have resolved to do it, and then through my doubts have laughed at and mocked my futile efforts, thinking “Who do you think you are?” and “What makes you believe you have anything at all that is worthwhile to say?” Or, I fear that if I were to truly open up I would scare people or worse—that their voices would rise with my own in ridicule or unbelief.

My favorite passage in the Bible when I am filled with self doubt and my fear of ridicule is the Crowning of Thorns. (Mark 15:16-20) I visualize this and press on, because our Lord has been ridiculed and pressed on for my sake, I can do the same for His, surely. Recently while meditating on this passage the part about the striking on the head with a reed stood out to me. I had always overlooked this part of the passage, instead being mesmerized by the crown of thorns itself. But this — reed — is so significant to me now that I use it alone as an inner prodding to persevere through self doubt. In one gospel it is many reeds, and in another it becomes a King’s scepter. The crowd of guards, circling Jesus, like bullies in the school yard, ridiculing him: “King of the Jews!” while striking him on the head with reeds.

Press on.

Press on.

Through my own self ridicule. Through my own self doubt.

Write.