Something unusual (9.12.20. For A.K.)


Image: Michelle Maria, Pixabay


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Something very unusual happened today. It was a cold, grey morning, and I set off to walk the short distance to church at about 9.30, as usual. This generally takes about 5 minutes, depending on how slow I am.

I was the first person to arrive, so I sat down to pray in the stillness, whilst waiting for mass to start at 10 o’clock. I remember checking my watch, only to find that it had stopped at 9.35, so I didn’t know the exact time.

The church was quite dark, apart from a small spotlight above the statue of Our Lady of Rushen, and a dimly-illuminated panel of the Last Supper on the front of the altar. As always, the red tabernacle flame was flickering in its glass holder.

One by one, a few people arrived quietly, the silence deepening as they settled down to pray.

Hearing the priest come out of the sacristy, I looked up, and watched as he prepared for the service by lighting the altar candles, and the first two Advent candles. These were on an ornate metal stand, next to the altar. The first took several seconds to light, but the second burned immediately.

As the second flame steadied, the priest, the stand, and a small area around them were suddenly bathed in a glowing, translucent, Marian-blue light. Time seemed to stand still. I gazed in wonder, unsure of what I was seeing. Were my eyes playing tricks on me? Was I imagining it? Could anyone else see what was happening? The effect was soft, yet bright; exquisitely beautiful, mysterious, and awesome. Overwhelmed and disturbed, I hid my face, and prayed, full of confusion. I had no sense of how long this continued, but it couldn’t have been more than a few minutes.

Then there was a click, and the main church lights came on. I looked up, but the radiant turquoise-blue light had disappeared. The little sacring-bell rang; we all stood up as the priest entered to say mass. I knew it was exactly 10am, as he is always very punctual.

After the service, I stayed in the church to pray, then walked back slowly, feeling very strange, and trying to make sense of the whole experience.

When I got home, I found an online message from a friend, which included the following sentence:

May you know the stirring of His Spirit within you,
guiding and sustaining you today.

The message had been sent at 9.44am, which must have been just around the time when the strange light appeared.

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All is God

God will be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28; NLT).

1. Lord God,
You love everything you make:

2. The fruit of all you think, and say,
And do;

3. Mass, and time, and space,
Which are all one;

4. Nothing is left out,
For all is you.

References

1. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made (Psalm 145:9; NIV).

2. He himself gives life and breath to everything (Acts 17:25; NLT).

3. The Lord is God, and he created the heavens and earth (Isaiah 45:18; NLT).

4. There is one Lord […] who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).

Christ is all and in all! (Colossians 3:11; NRSV).

God is Spirit (John 4:24; NLT).

When we leave your side

1. Father, when we leave your side
And come to live on earth,
We enter time, and space, and mass,
Through pain and blood, in birth.

2. Here, we must face change and growth
Through suffering and loss;
Here, we strive to follow Christ,
By taking up our cross.

3. Here, we long to find again
The bliss we knew above;
Here, we struggle to forgive,
And slowly learn to love.

4. Help us, Lord, in our short lives,
To serve in all we do;
For then, in death, eternally,
Our souls will rest in you.

References

1. Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble (Job 14:1; NIV).

2. If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23; NLT).

3. I long for you, O God (Psalm 42:1; NLT).

4. My soul rests in God alone (Psalm 62:1; HNV).