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I consider myself as having been a lost sheep who,  prior to my awakening (The Waterfall of Knowledge), had not consciously practiced any form of religion in approximately 15 years. Then, suddenly, at the age of 33, I was provided an understanding to the existence of God and become immersed into discovering the truth, the light and the way.

Granted, in the beginning of this journey, my spiritual compass was being directed by fear. I believe my motivation, at the time, was self preservation. The main fear was concerning “The end times.” I began reading anything, regardless of source, to do with end times theories. As a result, my perceptions on the subject were all over the map. And, though I was a spiritual pinball at the time, I was still working towards the truth and tuning into the way.

The affect of being awakened made a huge impact on how I was living my life at the time. It’s one thing to live life with a concept that some entity might be watching over you, it’s entirely different when you know that God sees every deed and hears every thought. Couple this understanding with the notion that the end is near and one can begin to appreciate how unnerved I was during this period.

Having made many changes to our lives (daily scripture reading, daily rosaries, reconciliation, daily mass, fasting twice a week, abstaining from premarital sex), my girlfriend and I, were working towards getting ourselves right with God while in the process of planning our wedding just months after my awakening. Part of this process was confessing to one another past indiscretions that occurred during the years we had dated. It was our desire to go into the marriage with a clean slate. I, however, elected to not share one incident that I feared would upset her.

It was also during this period when I began reading into my daily environment and believed that I was able to see a warning fast approaching. I convinced myself that the sign of Jonah, three days of darkness, would be occurring in the immediate future (The sign of Jonah being the warning prior to the final judgement). I trusted that there was a logic to why God had awakened me and as a result I was able to recognize the signs that He was providing to our culture.

I convinced my finacee that we should be near family if indeed this event were to occur. We drove to the beach where she stayed with her mother and I stayed with my sister’s family. I had mentioned my concerns to my sister and her husband, who’s own faith had dramatically developed since we were all awakened together just a few month’s previous to this visit. And, though I suspect they didn’t believe it, they did respect that I believed it.

In the middle of the night I awoke on their living room couch with a sickening feeling. It is a feeling I had never experienced before. It felt as though I had been poisened, as the sensation of overwhelming dread coursed through my body. I immediately felt a compulsion to get on my knees and begin praying. I trust this came from the Holy Spirit because I’m aware that electing to pray would not have been my first choice in reaction to the suffering (crying out for help probably would have been).

I began praying, very softly, an unfamiliar prayer, which I’ve never been able to recall the words. It was a short prayer that I kept repeating over and over. I blacked out for a period of time, but, was awakened by my sister and her husband as they came running down stairs to find me standing in the living room yelling this prayer. I recall commanding spirits to vacate the home. And, I could see a dark spirit hovering over the bed of my niece who was asleep in her second floor bedroom and demanding that it leave her. Needless to say, my behaviour was very upsetting to my family.

My sister and brother-in-law sat me down and tried to calm me, but, I was a raw nerve, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. My senses were so acute that any sounds, movement and conversation had my mind racing in an effort to solve it’s reasoning. I was completely unnerved. I recall questioning them as to who their Lord and Savior was as I was petrified at the state of my being and needed some form of assurance that I was in a safe environment. Again, my behavior was seen as very unsettling to them. Then, as it had done so previously when I was originally awakened, my body began trembling to it’s very core. I knew something was about to happen.

Seeing me in my condition, my sister and brother-in-law decided to call my financee thinking that speaking to her might calm me. So, I sat there trembling as they handed me the phone after explaining the situation to her. I remember that hearing her voice did provide me with some solace as I trusted her more than any other. By the tone in my voice she immediately understood that I was suffering, presumably from a state of shock. As I began to converse with her, my Sister and Brother-in-law felt the situation had begun to subside and returned to bed.

As I sat there alone in the darkened living room, trembling, I felt compelled to share with my fiancee the indiscretion that I had elected to keep from her. I believe, given my condition at the time, that I understood that she was the person that was there for me, and with me, in my darkest hour and deserved to know the truth. I began explaining to her why I wanted to tell her of this indiscretion and what I had done. By the time I had finished my confession, He appeared before me.

Bright white light poured from the image of Jesus Christ as he appeared before me. I, genuinely, do not believe I can provide a just description as to how magnificent His appearance was to me. It was not as though he were standing in the living room, but, rather that He was being projected into the room before me. His light filled the room. He was so dazzling that I sat completely transfixed and dumbfounded.

I recall not being able to speak at the sight of Jesus before me, however, my wife recalls me repeatedly stating, “Oh my Jesus” over and over to her on the phone. I do recall recognizing that I still remained in my Sister’s home as my peripheral vision confirmed that I hadn’t died and gone to heaven as I could slightly see the walls of the living room. And, as if the image of Jesus weren’t enough to fill me with awe, He spoke. 

“You are purified”, stated Jesus. His voice was strong and kind and seemed to have a slight echo, as if it were amplified. I said nothing. A part of me has always wished I would have fallen to my knees and praised Him or thanked Him, but, I recognize that I was weak in my faith and love for Him at that time. And, shortly after He spoke, His light began to dissipate, as if it were being drawn out from the room, and within moments He was gone. My encounter with Jesus lasted no more than a minute.

I sat there, still trembling, in a frantic state. My immediate thought was that my death must be imminent or that the end was near for the entire world. It was the only logic I had at the time. Understanding that I was dealing with some traumatic episode, my wife told me that she would come for me shortly. And, within minutes she arrived and literally had to help me to her car as I was on shaky legs. The only thing that I recall saying to her at the time was repeating, “He is coming.”

At that time I believed that Christ’s return was imminent. And, even today, a part of me suspects that His return could occur in the not so distant future. It’s this suspicion, with the understanding that would come from an encounter that immediately succeeded this one (Abba), that motivates me to prepare my soul.                                

In the months that succeeded my encounter with Jesus, I asserted that His message to me, “You are purified”, came as a result of my choosing to confess my past sin. However, I now trust that I had nothing to do with it, but, that He was teaching me the lesson which He had accomplished 2000 years previously, that we have all been purified through Him by way of His love and sacrifice.   

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