I have always had the horrible habit of "stuffing" things when I am worried or troubled. I avoid thinking about them during waking hours. So when I am sleeping, I am relaxed and unguarded, leaving the door wide open for these tormenting demons. I realize that I am not alone in this. And when I say that I am "not alone" I mean two entirely different things: 1) Most people are haunted at night by things that are bothering them; and 2) I am not alone because I have Jesus Christ in my heart, because I am a child of God.
With this past Sunday having been "Divine Mercy Sunday" I was very aware and curious to learn more about what this means. From EWTN's website (click here for a link) Divine Mercy is explained as:
During the course of Jesus' revelations to Saint Faustina on the Divine Mercy He asked on numerous occasions that a feast day be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and that this feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. The liturgical texts of that day, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, concern the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, the Tribunal of the Divine Mercy, and are thus already suited to the request of Our Lord. This Feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on 30 April 2000. In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that "throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come." These papal acts represent the highest endorsement that the Church can give to a private revelation, an act of papal infallibility proclaiming the certain sanctity of the mystic, and the granting of a universal feast, as requested by Our Lord to St. Faustina.
After learning about Divine Mercy Sunday, I had a much greater appreciation for what this wonderful feast means for all of us who love Jesus with all our hearts, and accept Him as their Lord and Saviour. And then I went on with my day. It was full, and great fun. We were with good friends on Sunday, celebrating the awesome achievements of one of their sons. The next day was my birthday. Having been raised in a family that makes a big deal over birthdays, I've always looked forward to my day. All in all, it was a good day. However there were disappointments along the day... and looking back now, a few days later... they were not worth the energy that I used in getting upset. During the course of the day, a few "worrisome" things occurred, but being determined to 'enjoy my day', I tried hard to pay them no mind.
So it is not surprising, that my dreams were troubled, and my sleep disturbed. And then, "it" happened. I saw an image of Jesus, very similar to the image at the beginning of this blog. It was the image of Divine Mercy. And I knew that it was meant for me. It was more than a picture... it was Jesus standing before me. The love in his eyes was amazing... the love and light coming from His body was dazzling.
I do not know if this is a vision, or a dream, or a both. I do know, however that the message was very real. It came through, loud and clear. It told me that I was not to fear.. that I was to trust in Jesus. It told me that Jesus was with me... walking with me through the valleys of despair and angst... as well as the peaks of joy and jubilation. And I recall feeling an amazing sense of peace. My dreams ceased to torment, and I slept a peaceful and nourishing sleep. Waking the next morning... I gave this no mind. I went on with my morning chores... and got ready for work. I was still vaguely bothered by things, but I somehow knew that they would "all work out".
It was not until later in the day when I suddenly remembered. And then I knew. I had, had a vision... or a dream. Jesus had come to me. I have friends who have told me stories of dreams they've had... where Jesus comes to them. And I've felt envy and awe upon hearing their stories. The awe at my own experience is incredible. The joy is amazing.
I am a child of God. I love Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ loves me. He is always with me... He walks with me on my path. He walks with all of us who have our hearts open to Him, and have accepted him.
Thanks be to God!