Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Podcast – Rosemary Fisher

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Transcription

John McDougall:  …Hi. I’m John McDougall and I’m here today with Rosemary Fisher. She’s the author of “Recycled Women.” Rosemary, tell us a little bit about your background and conversion story.

Rosemary Fisher:  Absolutely, and thank you, John, so much for inviting me on this podcast. Many, many years ago, I was brought up in church. I was raised going to church actually three times a week. On Sunday for two hours, Tuesday for one hour, Thursday for two hours.

I was brought up in a very legalistic environment which means a lot of rules, a lot of regulations. It was all about pleasing God, because if you didn’t please God, you were in a lot of trouble. I was raised not only in a legalistic atmosphere, but it also caused a lot of emotional fear because I knew God more as being a judge than I did as a loving Father.

Then to add on top of that, my environment was my father was also a working alcoholic. He overworked and he drank a lot. He was very, extremely angry.

I don’t know the whole story of how him and my mother came together. I know they were from two separate religions. We brought that into the family dynamic as well. People believing two different things from two different religious backgrounds, and I was stuck right there in the middle.

I received a lot of verbal abuse. I saw a lot of physical abuse between my mother and father. Then we would go to church and my mother would have black eyes. There was a lot of judging and a lot of finger pointing.

Seeing people embrace her because I loved her with all of my heart, I saw her as being the weak one in our family, which all it did was fuel me up to want to try to protect her when really parents are supposed to be protecting their children.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my parents. I lost my father when I was eight years old to an alcoholic accident on his birthday. He died. The family was pretty much relieved just due to the fact that we didn’t have to worry about beatings anymore, and so on, and so forth.

Continued to go to church, but I never saw any love. I never saw really, truly what I believed is the hands and feet of love in Jesus Christ. I also never saw any transformation taking place in church environments.

You read the Bible, you hear these amazing stories. You’re supposed to live one way and you come home or go visit family and friends of the same denomination or religion, and you see no transformation.

About the age of 14, I started meeting people outside of church. I started going to school and realizing that the people that were living real were the people that I wasn’t supposed to hang out with, but at least they were real.

They weren’t living a double life, is what I would say, of saying one thing and then walking out the church doors and doing another. There’s a real popular song on at the time by Van Halen, called “Running with the Devil.”

I just thought to myself, these people are at least real. I had a lot of church hurts and church ruins to add on to my rebellion that began at that time so I just decided I’d rather hang out with the people that partied, drank, cussed, and everything else.

At lease if they didn’t like you, they would tell you [laughs] they didn’t like you. Instead of someone smiling at you and then talking badly about you behind your back.

Long story short, I just hit the streets. I left church. I let everyone know I’d rather hang out with the sinners than be more or less of a pharecy. I ran and I ran.

My mother committed suicide when I was 16. I blamed God. I blamed the religious people. I really, truly was bitter and angry. It just fueled my alcoholism, my drug habits, and everything else to give me justification of becoming everything that I never wanted to become, more like my father.

It wasn’t until the age of 30, with a lot of train wrecks behind me that I finally hit the floor in my apartment building and just cried out to God and said, “Look, if you are really, really there, then I need you to show up right now because I cannot do it any longer.”

At that point, what happened was this sense of peace, this embrace that I can’t even possibly put into words, just fell upon me. As I wept, I probably wept for three days.

John:  Wow.

Rosemary:  Friends and family came over…

John:  Amazing.

Rosemary:  Yes. Co‑workers that I would call family were concerned about me and I’m crying going, “No, it’s good. It’s good.” Basically, what I believe is, I was just being purged. With all the stuff I played with, all the things I did, I just really believe at that point, my conversion took place of receiving God’s Holy Spirit.

From that point forward, my life began to transform. When I say transform, it’s all of a sudden, the things that used to be so attractive to me, going to the bar, hanging out, having promiscuous relationships, and it just no longer felt right.

I knew it was wrong and I wanted to live differently, not self‑righteously, but to live as a new creation that the Bible talks about in 2nd Corinthians 5:17. “When the old is gone, it’s gone. You have become a new creation.”

The inside was brand new. My circumstances did not change. However, because I was changing, things started to change because of my choices. That’s one of the reasons why I wrote the book.

It was to show people that when it really, really happens, when you finally realize that you give up and you call on the Almighty God to take over and be your Lord and Savior. He’s such a gentleman. He’s like, “OK. It’s about time. Let me help you live a successful life.”

Now he called me back into the church, which has been a blessing. When he first called me to the church, I was like, “Uh, could you send me to Africa?”

[laughter]

Rosemary:  Really what he wanted me to do was number one, to heal. Number two, forgive. To be different, to make sure that I can be that person when someone is hurting in the pews, that’s afraid, or that’s been mistreated.

I can be his hands and feet and wrap my arms around them. Take the journey with them and be respectful of where they’re at. Help them to where they need to go in pointing to Jesus instead of pointing to rules and regulations.

John:  Wow. That’s an incredible background. You have a lot of support now with people in your life that are on that right path and trying to stay on that?

Rosemary:  Yes, I have. What I have found through my teaching, and through my writing, and speaking engagements, is that there is such a deep desire within the church of all these broken hearts sitting in the pews, that just want real. They just want real.

I find that the more transparent we are, we’re sharing where we were, or what we’re struggling with. The Holy Spirit and God will just place people around you that will edify you, that will help you along and will also stand in God’s word.

I was one of those. I laid the Bible down. I just said to God, “You know what Lord, I know there is some stuff in here I don’t understand. I know your word says that your ways are higher than my ways. I’m not going to understand everything but I’m just going to trust you. I’m just going to do what you say to do and I’m just going to trust you that it’s going to work out.”

John, to this day, every time I do everything that’s opposite of what the world says to do, than what’s popular, I get so blessed. Not only am I blessed by it, but I’m also able to have that solidity in saying this really works.

John:  Wow. That’s great. Sounds like you have a great sense of peace and you’re inspired with your ministry, and things you’re doing. What are some things you do to keep up beat and inspired whether it’s books or people you’re around?

Rosemary:  That’s a great question. I think the first thing that I always have to remember, number one, is that God is bigger than me and I need to just really trust him to really let go and do what I need to do to live a good life. Stay in his word. His word is alive.

I tell the people that I speak and teach to, which is a great inspiration to me, is to always talk, share, and listen to people. Find out what their struggle is. I dangled in new age religion.

I tried everything before I got on my faith, worshiping myself basically as I am my own God or whatever. I can relate to a lot of different people where they’re at spiritually.

Not saying that they’re wrong in what they believe, but for me to give my own personal testimony because I’ve experienced it for them to consider it as, “Wow, I never thought of it that way.”

My inspiration is definitely to help others. My inspiration is to stay in the word of God because there will be things I read two years ago, and all of sudden I re‑read it and it’s as if he just put it in there just for me.

My other inspiration is my son. My husband and I both lived wild child, rebellious lives. We became followers of Jesus Christ, late in our life, in our thirties.

He’s 16 now and we purposely made choices to reverse the curse that both of our families were deep into. This kid gets to see a couple parents that really truly love each other, love the Lord, love him, and although we make mistakes, we know how to say we’re sorry.

We repent. We try to learn from it together. He’s my inspiration to really let him see what real is out of being a believer in Jesus Christ. Not a bunch of rules and regulations and then live with a double life. It’s really important for us to live real 24/7.

John:  That’s great. Sounds like a real nice family. I think your son is in a good place. That’s a great story that you have your husband as well that was similar to you and you guys can relate to each other, and keep each other on track. That sounds good.

Rosemary:  I just want to thank you so much. John, feel free to visit my website. It’s Rosemaryfisher.com and I’d love to send you any video files or anything that you need.

If anybody has any questions, they can feel free to email me. I would love to share whatever I can on my own personal experience and testimony to let people know they have value. They were created for a purpose and a reason, and that God loves them and wants to see them win.

John:  That’s amazing and very generous to offer for people to reach out. Your website again is Rosemaryfisher.com?

Rosemary:  Yes, that’s correct. It’s Rosemary and then Fisher. F‑I‑S‑H‑E‑R.com.

John:  OK, that’s great. We’ll check it out and thanks for talking to us today.

Rosemary:  Thank you. God bless you, John.

John:  Yeah. Peace. Talk to you soon…

A Southern Baptist Liberty University alumni becomes Catholic

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Every spiritual life is a journey. Mine began in Warner Robins, Georgia in 1971. I was born into a good Methodist family and had a strong Christian foundation laid for me in childhood. But unfortunately, as is all too common, during my teenage years I drifted away somewhat from this good foundation and was lukewarm at best towards Christianity. I still attended weekly church services and youth group activities, but my interests were mainly in having fun with my friends and having a spiritual life was far from my mind.

But at age 17, I had a profound conversion experience that impressed upon me the reality and urgency of Christianity. I gave my heart and life to Jesus and experienced a great sense of meaning and purpose in life. Around this time, my family and I became Southern Baptists, which matched well with my new fervency and devotion.

I ended up going off to college to Jerry Falwell’s well-known Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, which proved to be an ideal place for me at the time to deepen my devotion and learn more about the Faith. It was a great time of spiritual development for me, and by the time I graduated in 1995, I felt energized and excited about where Our Lord would lead me and what He would do through me.

However, with the external support and security of a self-contained Christian environment taken away from me, and being thrust out into “the real world,” I found myself depressed, lonely and struggling to find my place. I had moved back to Georgia, but I could not find a church where I truly felt at home. The usual format of singing a few praise and worship songs and listening to a preacher for 30 to 40 minutes no longer fulfilled my spiritual hunger as it had before. Even my own private devotions of Bible reading and prayer also left me feeling empty. Talking with God became more and more of a struggle and trying to maintain that prior tangible sense of fervent devotion became an oppressive burden. It was a crisis moment in my life.

I was not aware of it at the time, because it was not a teaching that I ever came across in my Protestant circles, but what I was going through is a common stage in spiritual development and growth: After an initial period of zeal and sensible delight in the spiritual life, a period of dryness and seeming darkness is passed through as Our Lord draws souls closer to Him and away from self-seeking in pleasurable spiritual consolations. He leads them through this to teach them to rely more on faith alone, and not on good feelings. But I knew none of this at the time. I only felt like my Christianity was dismantling around me and that there was nothing I could do about it. My strength was as sand and I felt lost in barren darkness. No matter what I did, I could not find those familiar sensible indicators that I was close to God. He seemed very distant, even absent, and my cries out to Him seemed to be ignored.

New light did finally come to me after many months, oddly enough, through the writings of some medieval Catholics such as St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila. St. John’s “Dark Night of the Soul” and St. Teresa’s “Interior Castle,” provided me with new spiritual insights and made some sense of what I was going through; they gave me hope. Their writings also ignited in me a strange new sweetness of intimacy with Our Lord that was quite unlike anything I had experienced before: profound and deep, but simple, quiet, peaceful. I discovered that a relationship with God was not always a matter of me thinking about what to say in prayer, or even in always studying Biblical texts for some applicable truths. Those laudable activities are only the means to reach the ultimate goal, which is a real loving experience with the living God. I learned about something called “contemplation,” which was the name given to the simple serene loving intimacy with God that my soul had been craving but had been fighting against in trying to regain some past sensible devotion that I felt I had lost.

I began to embrace this new quietude and sweetness, but after a few months I was again plunged into a deep darkness of spirit, which frightened me greatly. A depressing weight seemed to descend upon me. I felt like I was suffocating and I was desperate to get out from under it. I felt like perhaps moving away from my hometown would be the sort of stimulating change of setting that I needed to expand my horizons and renew my outlook on life.

My foray into the wide world took me initially to New England. One night, I stayed at a Benedictine retreat house in Still River, Massachusetts. I still considered myself firmly Protestant despite the fact that my reading material was at that time mostly written by medieval Catholic saints. I also felt drawn to monastic settings for some reason, and had a handful of retreat houses picked out prior to my trip that were close to where I would be traveling. At St. Benedict Abbey, after a friendly dinnertime debate with some of the monks about Catholic beliefs, a fellow guest gave me a copy of “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic” by David Currie. She said that she would be praying that I would one day become Catholic. I thought to myself that she could pray all she wants, but I would never become Catholic. I tucked the book into my things and moved on the next morning.

I eventually settled in Louisville, Kentucky where I had friends from college. Over the months that followed, I continued to try to find a Protestant church to suit me, but I was unable to do so. I knew that I needed more than what I was being offered in the typical Baptist service. Occasionally, in my private time of prayer, I would still enter into moments of that certain deep contemplative peace, but I found upon entering a Baptist church service I would be pulled into something much more superficial, with all the songs and preaching and giddy exuberance. I recall on one occasion, I managed through the songs at the beginning of the service, trying unsuccessfully to get into the spirit of the singing, but when we sat down and the pastor got up to preach, I felt compelled to get up and bolt out of the door, which is exactly what I did. I decided that I could not sit there like that anymore and listen to another lengthy talk. Christian worship had to be more than that. But where would I go? I had experienced in years past the extremes of Pentecostalism and I knew that I did not want that. On the other side, the more “reverent” liturgical churches seemed to have, in recent decades, softened into a shapeless liberalism, so I steered clear of them as well. I looked objectively at all the different types of Christian groups, and I began to be very disenchanted with the fractured nature of Protestantism: So many competing groups, all claiming to be following the same Jesus and reading the same Bible. If the Bible was the authority, why did all these Christians disagree on so much regarding doctrine and practice?

I read more on the histories of various denominations and competing theologies and, in the process, my eyes were opened to the fundamental fallacy of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, that the Bible alone is the sole authority for Christian belief. As I later discovered, this issue was the turning point for so many who end up becoming Catholic: The teaching that all Christian teachings must be taught in the Bible is not itself taught in the Bible. When the paradoxical truth of that statement settled into my heart and mind, I realized that I could not remain Protestant anymore. Protestantism was illogical at its very foundation. However, although I could not remain Protestant, I also felt that I could not become Catholic either, since I still felt that with doctrines like Transubstantiation, “worshipping” Mary, praying to saints, the infallibility of the Pope, Purgatory etc. it was a gravely misled religion.

I spent many months in this odd limbo of being between worlds and with the frustrated feeling that I was at an impasse. After wrestling with it from all angles, I decided to “just live” and not drive myself crazy over it. At least I still believed in Jesus, even though He seemed so distant to me. He was real to me by faith and I would trust Him to sort all these things out for me in time. Since I did not know which group to associate with, I actually stopped going to church services for a while, but I did not stop reading the Bible and trying to pray. Praying, at least with words, was like trying to swim upstream, but I tried not to worry too much about it. I eventually gave up trying to pray words at all and would just allot a certain portion of time each day to kneel quietly before Our Lord.

I began making weekly day-trips to the nearby Abbey of Gethsemane in Bardstown, Kentucky (where Thomas Merton had lived) for more intense quiet time with God. These peaceful retreats were the most nourishing times to me during this period, and it was the closest that I felt to a spiritual home. I would often attend Compline, or Night Prayer, in the chapel. Being there with the monks chanting the Psalms was a very peaceful and prayerful experience and it caused my spirit to truly soar. There was a strong sense that my seeking after God had brought me there, and it matched so well with the longing of my spirit. I ceased to try to make everything fit together and make sense. I could gain nourishment from these Catholic resources and places without actually being Catholic. Besides, I was not Protestant anymore. I was not sure exactly what I was except a follower of Jesus, but I was neither a Protestant nor a Catholic. It was a strange time.

My apartment in Louisville was very close to Holy Spirit Catholic Church. I passed by it daily. As an act of reaching out for more avenues of spiritual nourishment, I decided to attend Mass one Sunday evening. I sat there alone, spiritually burdened, exhausted. But here was something new: A worship service that matched my current spiritual climate and answered that unnamed longing. Music and singing there were, but it was peaceful, worshipful, reverent, with a subdued and beautiful joy. There were non-embellished prayers and readings from Scripture, followed by a mini-sermon that touched on a couple good points and then was mercifully over.

This was followed by the Eucharist, and I was prepared then to endure through some strangeness, some glaring vestiges of ancient pagan rituals. However, I was pleasantly surprised: The Eucharistic prayers sounded scriptural, very Christ-centered, and quite rich and meaningful. There was no strangeness, no invoking of pagan deities. The priest, in normal language, was expounding on the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, which I wholeheartedly believed in. Above the altar in that particular church, there was a life-size, very life-like statue of Jesus hanging on the cross. I found myself gazing up throughout Mass at His outstretched arms. He seemed to be reaching out to embrace me, to draw me close to Him, there in that place. I did not quite understand everything, but I knew that I would return the following week.

I started to feel very much at home there at Mass. I still felt strongly that many of the underlying doctrines of the Catholic Church were wrong, but I was finding nourishment there, and as I had not found it elsewhere, I continued to come to Mass. I felt confident that I could glean spiritual nourishment by coming there and still not become Catholic.

Eventually, I was moved to begin reading “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic,” which had been given to me so many months before at St. Benedict Abbey. The book actually made me angry the first time through, as the author seemed to me to be somewhat arrogant in his absolute certainty of the truths of the Catholic Faith. How could he be so sure? I continued to make the weekly trips to the Abbey of Gethsemane. I read the book again. I read the writings of the Early Church. I came quietly kneeling before Our Lord daily, like a mute beggar.

Then, through continued prayer, reading, study, and attending Mass, a great miracle took place. Nothing else except a miracle could explain the melting away of so many barriers and long-held misconceptions I had about the Catholic Faith. The first doctrine I accepted was that of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. I saw then those scriptures like the 6th Chapter of the Gospel of St. John in which Jesus speaks so clearly of the necessity of eating His Body and drinking His Blood. This was confirmed to me by the Early Church writings I was reading that spoke of the Eucharist in ways consistent with the Catholic teaching. The Lord’s Supper in the Baptist always seemed to be a bit lacking to me, and now I saw that it did not match up with either scripture or Early Church practice.

Papal authority and apostolic succession came early on and filled for me the authority gap that Protestants had unsuccessfully sought to fill with Sola Scriptura. Again I found confirmation in the Early Church writings of the authoritative role of the successors of the Apostles and that of the local bishops. After the authority question was settled, the other “problem” doctrines fell into place: Purgatory, Mary and the Saints, Indulgences and so on. Catholic doctrines and practices are so beautifully woven together that once someone begins to accept some of the Church’s teachings, the entire theological system eventually falls into place.

And so, on the 18th of February, 1999, after joining the RCIA program at Holy Spirit parish, at long last I was received into full communion with the Catholic Church. Words cannot express the fire that Christ ignited in me through union with His One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, truly a Treasure of Treasures. I could go on for pages and pages about the Eucharist alone, as well as the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Communion of Saints, the Rosary, the Divine Office, the feasts and liturgical cycle of seasons, the myriad of precious devotions, the vast 2000 years of Christ’s Church on earth, and the increased love for Our Lord that He has instilled within me! New vistas and vast oceans of boundless and unspeakable riches have opened up before my eyes as the clear and brilliant light of Truth – O Glorious Truth! – unmuddled, unchanging, shines brightly in the bosom of Holy Mother Church, in the Bride and Body of Christ dispersed yet One throughout the whole earth! I knew Jesus Christ before, yes, but the crumbs and morsels of Him that I tasted and cherished before, I now find laid out in fullness before me upon the richest and most glorious Banquet Table – the Catholic Church! Praised be God Forever!

You can read a more detailed episodic account of my journey at my blog: http://catholicsojourner.blogspot.com

May God bless you in your own journey.

Todd Meade

Journey back to the Catholic faith from Yoga and visions

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from a book in the making that deals with Jane’s spiritual journey back to the catholic faith.

INTRODUCTION

This little book is a series of vignettes describing the key events in my life, and those in my spiritual life. I am an artist who fell away from her faith and this is the story of my journey back to the Catholic Church, and to the Cross of Jesus. And also, the story of some of the things that happened along the Way.

I grew up in West Sussex, England, and moved to London aged 17 in 1982, in the middle of my A levels. I spent the next 16 years of my life living in London as a bit of a nomad, until I managed to buy a place in Ealing in 1998. I moved back down to Sussex in 2004 and now live with my mother in Horsham, West Sussex.

After studying fine art and textiles at Goldsmith’s College in the 1980’s, I spent a number of years developing a painting technique on glass. The effect of painting directly on to the glass is that the image changes with the movement of light upon its surface, with myriad effect.

I have had some success with this and commissions followed. These include a major series for Royal Caribbean International, The Saudi Royal Family; London’s Capital Hotel; Holiday Inn, Vienna; and others both here and abroad. I have been invited to exhibit at Wilkinson of Mayfair; Harrods Knightsbridge, The Royal Commonwealth Society; the London Buddhist Centre; South Bank’s Oxo Tower and Art in Action in Oxford.

My journey back to Jesus involved a journey through Yoga and I took initiation into Kriya Yoga in 1999. In 2004 I came under satanic attack, the devil was twisting the words to the Rosary in my ear. I was prayed over by an Exorcist to whom I had to renounce ‘all forms of occult practise’ – this meant Yoga – and felt free of a heavy bondage. I surrendered myself totally to Jesus. This was however, at a time that I had separated from a long-time boyfriend and started hearing voices the same day I split up with him (I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia the next year, in 2005). The voices ended the same day that I finished the first draft of this book, in 2011.

August 2011

Chapter 5

A few months later my car had broken down and I was on the train back to London from visiting my mother in Sussex. I had a vision of Jesus on the train. I had been crying out to Him from the depths of my heart for a husband. I had asked God for an ‘earthy’ love. I don’t know why. It seemed a long time since I’d had a boyfriend and I thought it was about time that I got married. I was looking at an article in a magazine about a beautiful garden in Belguim called Beloeil ‘Good Eye’ which was built on the principles of Sacred Geometry, when Jesus appeared out the vanishing point of the picture – an avenue of Beech trees at Dusk. He reached down into the earth and made a heart out of the earth, and without losing eye contact with me, put it inside His chest which He opened with a simple movement of His hands. He said ‘this is your loving’ when I fearfully questioned Him as to what the vision meant. I heard the words in my head. I did not understand.

He was wearing a luminous white robe (as he wears in the Divine Mercy image, but I didn’t realise that then,) and His eyes were ‘full of all the suffering in the world’ full of all the suffering in the world. I could not forget that. Yet they were also full of tenderness, humor and love. What did it mean? I asked myself. I don’t know how long the vision lasted, whether it was second or half a minute. I wondered, and felt afraid that I was not loving enough. (Now of course, I realise, He was saying His is the earthy love I was praying for!)….

Jane

Conversion Story from Dan

Monday, December 7th, 2009

I was a cradle Catholic and grew up in the faith of my parents, went to Religious Education classes but the faith really didn’t belong to me until June 25, 1998.  Our family faced many difficult times, we nearly lost our first born son but a brand new doctor showed up at the last minute with a cure the more experienced doctors didn’t think know about.  We were told he would be retarded and physically handicapped if we tried the treatment.  He graduated with a double major and a BA from a well known university.  Our daughter didn’t have any problems at all.  Little did we think that nineteen years latter on April 26, 1991 our second son would be killed by a drunk driver and the only reason my wife is here is that a high school student that just finished a CPR class gave her life back to us.  Stress was high in the family; we all seemed to go our separate ways in search of meaning.

My wife Betty came home the next year with this crazy idea about a modern day Fatima happening Bosnia.  Anyway my attitude was wonderful.  So what’s for dinner?  My attitude then was if I couldn’t feel it, touch it, smell it, and see it live, then it’s probably not real.

The next year Betty dragged me off to an annual Medjugorje Peace Conference that’s held at UC Irvine, CA.  I was board but felt compelled to stay because of Betty and the fact that we went in one car.

The Sunday morning speaker was Mary Lou Mc Call somebody that worked for I think CNN or NBC.  Anyway she went to Medjugorje to do a story.  You would have to hear the talk.  She was great.  She assumed like any of the better news media people that you knew nothing of Medjugorje and she explained everything in detail; She went as a skeptic and returned as a believer.  She explained the whole experience step by step.  Mary Lou got me interested.

I read every one of Wayne’s books, then another and I decided it was time for a trip.  I had things pretty much set up before talking to Betty about it; you really had to see the look on her face.  “You, Medjugorje?”

A couple of months later we were staying with Ivan’s cousin just two houses down the street from his.  Ivan is one of the visionaries.  We were also right next door to Jakov, another visionary.  Marianna lived across the street.  We had the chance to meet or at least hear each one of the five visionaries speak.  I am still at the “Ya, so prove it to me stage.”

An interesting aside is that Ivan, one of the visionaries (a person that speaks with the Blessed Mother), married a girl from the Back Bay in Boston.  He met her in the states at one of the Medjugorje conferences.

Ivan is very nice to be around.  He invited our tour group to his house so that we could be present for an apparitions (coming of the Blessed Mother) for her daily talk with him.  She appears to him not to anyone else in the room.  There was a pregnant lady with us.  You had to see her unborn baby going wild when the apparition was going on.  When the apparition stopped so did the unborn child.  My first thought was when Mary visited Elizabeth and the baby stirred in her womb.

As part of the trip we took a bus ride to another town to meet Fr. Jozo.  He was the pastor when the children, now 25 years older, began having apparitions.  The church didn’t believe the visionaries, there was a communist government in power, so Fr. Jozo was removed as the pastor of Medjugorje because he did believed and supported the children.

He had a nice talk.  I’m still at the ya, so show me stage.  Fr. Jozo blessed the priests with the power of the Holy Spirit

And then were sent into the crowd to pass on the blessing.  I decided to go to the restroom early so I left the church.  When I returned Betty still hadn’t come out, so I went back in.  What the heck everyone is getting blessed and so I decided to join the line.  One priest came to me, places a cross on my forehead and repeated the blessing.  The power of the Holy Sprit came into me then.  I had this warm and overwhelming feeling of peace and security.  It’s hard to explain.  I had to grab on to the pew to stop myself from falling backward.  I wasn’t the only one that it happened to.

We returned to Medjugorje it was June 25th, our wedding anniversary and the anniversary of the beginning of the apperations.  People started to share, what had happened to them since arriving.  They were bringing out pictures.  I didn’t have much to say because I was still trying to explain away what had happened to me at Fr. Jozo’s.  You know it must have been group hysteria, weak at the knee because of lack of food but I simply couldn’t find a logical explanation for what happened.  Betty was getting a little upset with me because she wanted to talk but I didn’t want to, I wanted to think.

The English Mass is held each day about noon.  On this particular day because it was the anniversary of the apparitions, there was an additional Mass being held outside for about 30,000 people.  This Mass was said in I don’t know how many languages and the homilies went on forever.  Because there was so many people our group we couldn’t sit together.  As it turned out it was a good thing.

At the consecration of the Mass, the sun divided into two distinct suns and they began spinning in opposite directions.

Suddenly the crowd started making ouing and ahhing sounds and turned to look at the sun, so did I.  As you know looking at the sun is not something humans can do for very long.  I this case you could look at it until the two suns rejoined.  Well, that did it for me.  First Fr. Jozo and now two suns, what else do you need?

We went back to the house and shortly after that our group came together for what we affectionately called group therapy.  Nearly everyone in the group saw what I just described.  Guess you can see why I don’t share this with people unless they ask.  You really had to see my daughter Kathleen’s face when I told her about it.  It was the look of what have you been drinking on the plane.

Our local church sent a group and one lady had been having trouble with her knees for sometime.  Her knee problems stopped and have not restarted since the trip.  Another lady had her rosary turn into gold.  There are many more stories about people in our group.

The thing to remember is that you shouldn’t go to Medjugorje looking for a miracle.  You should go looking for inner peace.  Life is much easier for me now.  People that were a pain in the neck have now drifted away from my life.  The new people have come into my life are truly a joy to be around.

My wife of 44 years will tell you I experienced a true conversion in Medjugorje and I would have to agree with her.  It seems God nudges you little by little until you travel the narrow path. I now have a doctorate in divinity and operate the www.SaintPaulMinistries.net website.  All of the materials offered on the site are free and we average 20,000 downloads per month.  Many times people will ask questions, sometimes people will try and attack myself or the faith but it always seems the Holy Spirit is there to give me the patience and the right thing to say.

Dan Mayne
www.SaintPaulMinistries.net

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ”
St. Jerome