A Porch, a Swing, and Christine describes my very first encounter with Christine Watkins, which took place on a summer night of July 3, 2017, as I sat in my home before my computer screen. It was early evening and I had been praying the Rosary. After the Rosary, I decided to tune into Marytv.*
I found myself viewing a live-streaming video of a gentle, soft-spoken, beautiful woman giving a miraculous testimony of her own healing and conversion to Catholicism. With eyes transfixed on the screen, I somehow knew my Rosary had drawn me here before the computer and linked me to this sacred moment in time. My spirit felt within that something was unfolding here, and I knew the Holy Spirit was hovering above!
I was totally open to hearing Christine share her own story and also give short testimonies of five other people whom she wrote about in her book, Full of Grace: Miraculous Stories of Healing and Conversion through Mary’s Intercession. More information about this wonderful book can be found by clicking here. I was so intrigued by the sharing of her own personal experience and the little cameo previews of the other five people, whose conversion stories were just as powerful. Below is the last paragraph of the foreword to the book, written by Fr. Robert Faricy, S.J., which best captures the spirit of Christine’s talk that I was so privileged to listen to over the internet that evening.
“These are witness stories. They give testimony to this fact:
The Lord speaks, acts, gives great graces, and does marvelous things through Mary and for you and me.
These inspiring true stories tell us who God and Mary truly are for each one of us.”
– Fr. Robert Faricy, S.J.
That evening of July 3, 2017, I realized great graces and marvelous things were about to happen to me, all through this woman named Christine Watkins. At the end of the witness stories she shared, she invited those watching and listening to enter into a Guided Prayer with her, called Meeting Mary, which can now be found on the Queen of Peace Media website here. Again, I found myself totally open to this invitation . . . for I had worked at a Jesuit retreat house for many years and was quite familiar with this kind of meditation.
As I sat on my straight-backed chair at the computer, I entered into Christine’s guided meditation and found myself walking along a country road at dusk on a warm evening. There was a wooden house ahead of me with a porch and a swing, and I found my spirit being beckoned by a beautiful woman to come and visit with her. She invited me to sit on the swing with her, and as I sat down, I found myself literally rocking back and forth on my straight-backed chair as I listened to the voice of Christine. This woman beckoning to me was certainly Mary, our Blessed Mother, and the graces and power of that meditation were extremely life-giving for me.
I found myself shedding copious tears that seemed to somehow make me feel like I was drinking in salt water. All the pain and sorrow that I was experiencing in the loss of my husband a couple of years prior started to pour out. I had managed with the help of the Lord after his death to be “joyful” in each day that passed, but in the nights . . . the walls heard my sorrow of losing such a precious husband, soulmate, and life partner. They say “tears are sacred,” and each tear that we shed tells a different life experience that becomes part of our history. The tears that streamed down my face were grieving tears that had been bottled up within my heart. Somehow through Christine’s guided meditation and gentle voice, they became uncorked.
After the meditation, I had to find out all about Christine. I actually emailed her asking how I could get a copy of Meeting with Mary. I explained to her that a flood of tears poured out of me on that “swing with the Blessed Mother.” Through our emails, I found myself sharing with Christine the history of why these tears flowed so much. Over the next couple of days, one email led to another between us and then came an invitation from Christine to become a blogger and part of the wonderful team of Queen of Peace Media.
After prayer and discernment which came about quickly, I found myself giving a “yes” to the invitation extended to me. Writing has always been with me since I received a little pink, leather diary for my 10th birthday from my mom and dad. In my “yes” to this beautiful venture of blogging, I have found the Holy Spirit prompting me to share my faith through my own stories and life experiences.
I believe, too, that on July 3, 2017, it was a West Coast meets East Coast story. Not only did I get to meet Christine through the Internet and form a beautiful spiritual friendship, but I have been given the great opportunity to get to know the rest of the team of sister and brother bloggers in this wonderful family of Queen of Peace Media. Getting to read their blogs and enter into their own faith journeys has truly been life-giving for me and also to be able to work with Dan Osanna . . . my dear editor. I give grateful thanks to God for all these abundant blessings.
My “meeting with Mary” through the Guided Meditation of Christine Watkins brought forth so many graces and marvelous things in my life. When we commit our time to prayer, to praying with the heart . . . marvelous things do happen for us! Again, I repeat the truth-filled words of Fr. Robert Faricy, S.J:
and for you and me.”
©2018 Anita Guariglia
image – Pixabay.com
Quote by Fr. Robert Faricy, S.J. . . from foreword to Full of Grace: Miraculous Stories of Healing and Conversion by Christine Watkins
*Mary TV (http://marytv.tv) is a lay apostolate founded to put at the Gospa’s service (Our Lady’s service) modern communication technologies to bring her presence in Medjugorje – and her school in Medjugorje – to the world.)