One of our readers shares how God revealed Himself to her in a very powerful and unexpected way, that transformed her life.
A few years ago, a friend of ours, who we knew from church, told my husband that whenever he started to pray he could see in his mind a picture of my face and my heart. He said that he had no idea what it meant but he felt that it was some sort of warning and suggested that my husband should pray for me. As you can imagine, we were quite disturbed and after praying about it we decided that I should go for a medical checkup, in case God was somehow telling me that I had a problem with my heart. So I had a full examination and all the test results came back as normal. I was relieved that my heart was functioning as it should and we gradually forgot about the friend’s message.
In 2012 I attended a ten day residential retreat run by Sehion Ministries in preparation for Pentecost. I was a very committed Catholic and had attended other retreats but I had never had a personal encounter with God that many of my friends seemed to have experienced. The Pentecost Retreat was led by Fr Binoy, a priest from Kerala in India and he spoke passionately about how the early Apostles had an experience of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. He said that we too could have that experience today and he urged us to earnestly desire an encounter with Jesus. Each talk he gave moved me deeply and I went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which brought me amazing joy and healing.
It was an incredible time in my life and I didn’t want the ten day retreat to end, without my having had any experience of God. I longed for His presence, but at the same time, I wasn’t sure if my longing for Him was enough. I remember praying “Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, the Power of God, multiply my heartfelt desires a thousand fold, so that they are enough to experience you, because on my own I cannot long for you enough. I am exhausted, but you are my all powerful helper.” Towards the end of the retreat, during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, my loving Father allowed me a divine experience that I will never ever forget. I can only describe what felt like a fleshy heart, surrounded by thorns, being dropped into my body and my insides being shaken. I had an amazing sensation of God being with me.
I WAS CHANGED
Now in 2015, my heart is still healthy. Outwardly nothing has changed but inwardly I’ve noticed that my heart is full of love towards God and towards others, even those who persecute me. The Holy Spirit helps me to pray for them, which I was not able to do before. Now, I am trying to live my life as Jesus would want me to and when I fail the Holy Spirit leads me to the Confessional and reminds me of Jesus’ teachings. Before, I could not relate to them in my daily life. Now when I feel hatred, jealousy, pride or selfishness stirring within me I think of Bible verses and I can overcome the feelings. Of course I fall in my weak moments but the Lord helps me to get up and start again. When I am impatient the sweet heart of Jesus calms me down. My circle of prayer has grown from just my family to the Church and to the entire world. Reading the Word of God has started to produce fruit in me, because it is the rich soil given by God Himself. I hope that I am on the way to produce thirty, sixty or hundredfold fruit and the evil one cannot steal what is sown in my heart.
A NEW HEART!
Now I know that my friend’s vision was a prophecy of what God wanted to do in my life. While I was thinking that I might get heart disease, Jesus, my Lord, was planning to give me a new heart. This is what he wants to do for all his people. In the Old Testament He told the people of Israel “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:25-28).
Heavenly Father, You are my God. Sacred Heart of Jesus, give me a new heart to love you and a new Spirit of Wisdom to understand your words. Help me to produce the fruit of holiness in my life. Holy Spirit, help me not to harden my heart, when I hear your voice and give me the gifts to understand the secrets of Heaven. Amen.