Writing about my own personal silent retreat on the last posting, I deviated from the path of writing about the experiences of visitors to my home during the summer of 2018 with the “Visitation of the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.” With this current blog, I am back on track and wish to share the visit of Anna and Liz and what unfolded on a Friday afternoon in my living room.
The first time I met Anna was when Loretta, a mutual friend brought her to my home. I had never met her before. As soon as she walked through the front door, I knew Jesus and Mary were bringing a new heart into my life. She was open to prayer and reading from the book, He and I. It was clear when she opened up the book for a passage that the lines she was reading touched her heart greatly. Anna spoke the words into the air for us to hear, “Jesus was asking Gabrielle Bossis (author of the book He and I) to adopt me.” They were powerful words and touched not only Anna’s heart but mine and Loretta’s.
Anna would come back a couple of times after that and then asked me if she could bring her sister, Liz here. “Why not?” I said, “Of course, Liz can come!” She explained that Liz was being inundated with problems arising in her life and needed to receive peace from the heart of our Mother Mary. It was a Friday afternoon when I met Liz. She came through the door pretty much as her sister Anna had done weeks before. She was warm, engaging and had the most beautiful blue eyes. Eyes, that Jesus would relate later to me in our prayer that were a copy of His.
Liz clearly showed that she was happy to be in my living room before Mama! Sitting on the couch, she gazed around the room and seemed to be very enchanted with my sun room which was filled with plants. She made mention of those plants a few times and how comfortable she felt sitting with her sister and myself. We began to share before we prayed together and Liz told me that chaos was ruling in her life. She still was recovering from “Hurricane Sandy” hitting her home and all the busyness that we all feel in our present day lives. The pressures of work and long hours, being a mother and just trying to get through your daily routine and truly feeling inundated by “life.”
I told Liz that I wasn’t a therapist or a priest but two questions seemed to pop up into my mind, so I asked her if I could pose these thoughts to her. Again, Liz was open to all.
“Do you have faith?” I asked her. “Oh yes, I have faith!” she replied. Anna and Liz were brought up in a beautiful loving and faith-filled home, so the first question was a no-brainer. I proceeded on with my next question. “Liz, do you go to Mass?” The answer came back just as quickly as the first. Liz shared that it was hard for her to get to Church on Sundays with all the commitments in her life. I understood clearly what she was telling me, but for some crazy reason I began to laugh. Both Anna and Liz must have thought I went off my rocker!
I proceeded with a conversation about the plants that were present in my living room. I asked Liz to take a look at them and then asked “What do you think if I got up and went over to one of those plants and clipped a branch off?” We all knew that answer quickly. Liz sat and pondered that for a moment. She was anxious to pray and so the three of us prayed together and Liz then opened up to a reading in a book entitled, Mary, Queen of Angels. . .Answers to Universal Questions by Janice T. Connell. The book itself is arranged with scripture first, a title and then a question.
As she looked at the reading, Liz then looked up at her sister and myself with a startled expression. Then she read the following to us:
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without Me you can do nothing.”
Whoa!!!!! The words that followed that little piece of scripture was a title that read: Cure for Exhaustion (Burn-out).
This is the question that Liz read:
Q: Spiritual Mother, I am quite exhausted. Can you help me?
A: “My love for you is so vast that it is beyond your present comprehension. You are my child. Allow me to care for you as my child. Please hear my voice. Please obey me. Choose the events in your daily life with great care. It is not pleasing to God to allow greed to keep you at work for the long hours you are spending. Greed has many faces. More prayer will give you the strength you seek. Pray now for my children all over the world. Pray and sacrifice for them.”
We were all blown away and knew that Liz was being loved in my living room by the hearts of Jesus and Mary. She was receiving a calling home to Sunday Mass and she knew that in the deepest recesses of her soul. Our time together came to a close and we said our good-byes at the front door. I sat back down before “Mama Mary” loving and thanking her for the way she was taking care of all the visitors who were coming before her in my living room.
The Holy Spirit is never outdone in surprising us when our hearts are being wooed by the love of God. So it was with Liz! The image of the “vine and branches” was going to come into the life of Liz once more through a little brown box delivered to my house!
The next day was a Saturday and the postman came to my front door with a monthly package that I receive from my son and daughter in law called, “Faithbox.” Faithbox is a Christian community that helps you stay centered in Christ every month with devotional and inspired content and hand picked products that do good. Each month is a different theme and so you are surprised each and every month with new items. I absolutely love receiving these boxes and every month the scripture in big bold black letters reminds you to keep persevering!
My usual routine is to sit down on the couch and slowly go through the box as I unwrap each item. That Saturday as I looked into this box of treasures, I found a little silver pouch that had the words “Sanctuary” printed on it. Inside the little bag, I was astonished to find a silver necklace with a little branch on it! Jesus had sent Liz a forever reminder of the scripture that she read the day before! I immediately contacted Anna and shared with her the gift that was sent here for her sister. I placed the necklace into the hands of the Blessed Mother statue on my mantle and that is where it stayed until the necklace was placed into the hands of Liz for her to wear.
Liz returned back home that Sunday, attending Mass and once again she was united with the Body of Christ. She had received the answer to her chaos through the hearts of Jesus and Mary. They had beckoned her back through the simple vision and scripture of vines and branches that spoke so clearly to her mind, heart and soul.
Below is an image of the necklace that Liz received from Jesus and Mary:
Sanctuary is an organization that helps young women escape human trafficking. The women are able to earn a fair wage and gain employable skills. By purchasing this jewelry you are helping them and also helping to change lives. Their link is isanctuary.org.
©2018 Anita Guariglia
Scripture verse quoted from book “Mary, Queen of Angels by Janice T Connell”
Image of Vine and Branches/pexels.com
Image of Necklace/Anita Guariglia
Image of Faithbox/Anita Guariglia