Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I believe

I had promised myself that I would write about this.

But it's hard, because it's such a deeply personal experience and not only do I not want people to think I am losing my marbles, I also don't want them to think that I am a religious nut. Because it seems to me that many people discount religious nuts.

See, I've been on a sort of spiritual upswing lately, and it's, well, it's kind of amazing and I just feel like I have to share it with you. It swells my heart, this love that I feel from the Father and it spills over into all the other areas of my life. I have Susan to thank for getting it started actually. When she told us about the novena I definitely felt compelled to go.

I arrived by myself the first night, at the Chapel of Our Lady. I was hesitant, not knowing the others, and I selected a seat across the room from the door. The service started and within a couple minutes I felt my soul settle into prayer and I felt the Holy Spirit wash over me. I'm sure it's different for different people, but for me it's a small shiver and then a feeling of deep calm and I can feel my self kind of sinking into myself, for lack of a better descriptor.

I've always loved praying in communion with others. From my first retreat in 8th grade, to the retreats in high school and college, to the retreat that Mr. Q and I went on for marriage preparation, I've always felt the power that comes from praying with others, and especially from lifting voices in song together.

That night, I started to pray the rosary, my fingers moving over the beads that were a wedding gift from my husband 14 1/2 years ago. It felt so familiar, so comforting. It felt like home.

A lady knelt in front of me, with a dark curly ponytail cascading down her back.

After a few minutes, I glanced over to the right and noticed a shadow on the wall. I instantly thought "MARY" for the shadow on the wall mimicked the profile of the Blessed Mother as she is often depicted with her head covered and bowed looking at the baby Jesus or in prayer. It was so clear. The word "among" popped into my hear instantly. As I've reflected on this experience since then, I now have the feeling that it was more of a phrase: "I am among you."

The lady with the curly ponytail stayed for a while and then left.

The time for prayer ended, I stood to leave and stopped to introduce myself to the organizer. As I left, I saw the lady with the curly ponytail and decided to tell her and the organizer what I had seen. We talked about it for a minute, I assured them it was not an apparition, there was no need to call EWTN or Fox News.

As I turned to leave, the lady with the curly pony tail called to me, "What's your name ?" "TSM," I responded. "And yours ?"

"Santa Maria."

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