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Jesus with the Sheep that was Lost

Jesus with the Sheep that was Lost

 

At the beginning of Lent I promised to share a supernatural occurrence I experienced after my first confession.  It was one of those rare, special moments when one has a glimpse into the spirit realm.  I share this experience with you this Easter Season, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.  It is and should be one of the most joyous times of the year. 

This celebration, marked by Christians, noted solely as the ‘visitation of the Easter Bunny’ by much of the secular world and outright scorned and mocked by atheists, should be a very joyous, sacred, awe-inspiring, thankful celebration.  Instead, as the world veers more and more into darkness, rejection of God, rejection of the Church and disdain for holiness and celebrates instead the faint blinking lights of humanity’s own reasoning, the light of truth and the celebration of truth are being lost. 

And yet the truth of Christ’s resurrection, as a means for us all to be resurrected in the life to come, is the hope of our entire lives here on earth!  How many do not believe this fact anymore!  How horrifying to think that many people will only come to realize this truth at the moment of death.  How much better to at least open yourself to the possibility of the truth of the Bible, to even just err on the side of caution…

And so, to assist you in the opening of your hearts, I have established this website.  And today I share with you another glimpse into that truth – this experience, which illuminated, for me, the Parable of the Lost Sheep.  I believe it was a moment when I saw, just a little, rejoicing in heaven over the fact that I ‘repented of my sins’ after my first confession in the Catholic Church. 

I know that many hearing me speak of the need to repent immediately feel apathy, disdain, disbelief, even loathing that such ‘an antiquated concept’ is still being preached…Nevertheless, I know that God is asking it – both through a dream I have already shared and through experiences I will share in future.  What if I am right and this need to repent is true and urgent and you ignore the warnings and never do it?  I, for one, did not want to take the chance…

Here’s what I experienced after I made my first confession after almost 40 years of life on this earth, unfortunately making mistakes , as we all do – some little and some not so little…

 

Rainbow Halos

Rainbow Halos

It was, I believe, the fall of 2000.  I was in the RCIA – the Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults – and was looking forward to becoming Catholic the following Easter.  In the meantime I was voraciously reading a book given to me by a good Catholic friend.  She had received it from a friend of hers and that friend had told her that she just knew that my friend was supposed to give it to me.  It was a book called “The Apostolate of Holy Motherhood“.  It is a compilation of visions and messages that a woman in the United States purportedly received from Jesus and Mary in the late 1980’s.  It has received the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur.  In one of the messages Jesus is advising not to put off availing oneself of the Sacrament of Reconciliation – urgently advising people to go to confession.  He says something to the effect of ‘do not delay – tomorrow is no more – go even as you read this.’

I was on my second or third reading of this amazing book (click the link above if you would like to get a copy).  It wasn’t until the third read-through or so that I realized – wow – he is saying ‘go – even as you read this’.  I started to think ‘maybe I should go’.  So, even though I wasn’t yet Catholic (but had been attending for years with my family), I decided to err on the side of caution and heed the advice.  I called my parish priest and made an appointment.  He agreed to see me and hear my confession, even though I was still in the RCIA.  I sat face to face in his office and went through everything I could think of in my life that was against the Commandments and potentially a sin.  Suffice it to say it was a ‘good confession’.  He gave me penance and absolution and stood up and gave me a big hug.

I left his office that evening feeling very emotional and, well, unburdened.  I started to cry a little as I walked in the darkness to my car to drive home.  It was then that I looked up at the streetlight.  It had the most beautiful circular rainbow halo of many colours around it.  I hadn’t remembered seeing a light appear this way at night before. 

However, since I wear contact lenses I assumed it was some sort of natural effect of my tears as I looked at the light.  I got in my car to drive home.  As I drove I realized every light I saw had this most bright, beautiful rainbow halo around it – all the streetlights, all the headlights of the cars.  It was so beautiful!  Then, as I drove along a stretch of road I looked up at what I thought were the streetlights and was absolutely bombarded by two rows of these rainbow halos (one on each side of the road) in a long stretch down the darkened road ahead of me – it was so beautiful and I was so overwhelmed I actually drove my vehicle off the road a little as I took in this breathtaking sight.  Because I drove off the road, which was a little scary, I remember exactly where I was when I did this.  It was in front of a farm, kind of coincidentally called the ‘Valleyview Little Animal Farm’ (where they have little animals, including sheep…I’ll leave the reader to ponder that one).

At the time, however, I did not realize the significance of what I was seeing where I was seeing it.  I just drove on – in a state of euphoria, taking in the beauty of these rainbow halos everywhere I looked.  It was so beautiful and I was so overcome I made the decision not to go straight home – I didn’t want it to end.  I ended up driving around the larger neighbourhood for at least half an hour, when, gently, the experience of seeing these beautiful halos started to pass.  So, I finally drove home and told my husband what happened.

I carried on with my life – never forgetting what I had seen, but not really knowing whether it was a ‘natural’ occurrence or a ‘supernatural’ one (as I had already been experiencing some pretty amazing things).  It wasn’t until Christmas Day over a year later that I realized the fullness of the experience. 

It was one of those Christmasses that many of you who are parents will sympathize with, where one or more of your children wakes up and is really sick.  Why does this always seem to happen on days that matter?!  But it does…Anyway, because one of our children was quite sick we had to make the decision for one of us to stay home with the child.  My husband volunteered and I dressed up the rest of the children and proceeded to Christmas mass with them by myself.  I was sad and disappointed that we would not be able to go to church, on one of the most beautiful celebration days in the church, together, as a family.

I drove back along the same path that Christmas morning to the same church where I have gone for many years – and also where I had made that first confession.  I noticed something I had not noticed since the incident.  As I got to that same stretch where I had seen the most amazing rows of rainbow lights, brilliantly lighting up either side of the road, (where in my euphoria I had driven off the road) I realized that there are absolutely no streetlights whatsoever along that entire length of the road!

That Christmas morning I was given the uplifting gift of knowing that those lights I had seen were not of the ‘natural’ variety and they became gift all over again that Christmas morning, as I drove to the church in sadness.  Instead of being sad, however, the realization filled my heart with joy all over again, and I had and have always kept, a most secret smile of joy, gratitude and amazement at the beautiful array of halos that lit up for me the night that I first repented…

It was then, truly, that I knew the truth of the scripture, The Parable of the Lost Sheep:

Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?  When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’  Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”  Luke 15:3-7, NRSV, Catholic Edition

When I told my spiritual director of this experience he just smiled and said that God often works this way.  Often His manifestations are done subtly, gently, so as to blend in with our natural experience.  An aunt of mine calls it a ‘wink wink’ experience.  Others I know describe it as synchronicity.  Others don’t really pay attention to these unusual moments and write them off as coincidence.  Whatever you call it, I believe each of you has had and will have your own ‘wink winks’.  All we need to do is pay attention and ponder their meaning more deeply.  When we do so, we open ourselves more fully to waiting grace and the action of God who so eagerly awaits to rejoice over His sheep that was lost.

This Easter season, may you more fully participate in the resurrection of Jesus, and experience directly the waiting arms of the God who created you.

Karen

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