About eighteen years ago, I began to experience what are termed ‘mystical experiences.’ I do not know how to describe these in words, as there are no created words that could describe something so beautiful that comes from God. I could try, by using such adjectives as ‘beautiful,’ ‘wonderful,’ but these words are insufficient, as a drop of water is in a vast ocean.
Just why Jesus should choose me to bestow these upon, I don’t know either. I am just an ordinary person who does ordinary things. I believe in Jesus Christ as a personal God, but I am more than content with what He has given to me in the Catholic Church, and I find great spiritual comfort in it.
These experiences that I speak of, have been described as ‘ Saint John of the Cross’ experiences. Saint John of the Cross was a Spanish ‘mystic’, who was a contemporary of the great Saint Teresa of Avila, who founded the discalced Carmelite Order. Saint Teresa is one of the great Doctors of the Church. God gave Saint John, many deep and mystical truths. He came to know God through the great darknesses in his life, which brought his soul fully into the Light of God, the Bridehood, union of the soul. He has written many books on the subject, such as ‘Dark Night of the Soul,’ and many poems of his longings for his ‘Beloved.’ The one that I feel best describes my own experiences is ‘ The Living Flame of Love.’
These experiences, which I am still having, are to do with the deep, inner things of the soul – things I know nothing about; but it seems that I am experiencing them. I did not go seeking these, but it appears that they have been placed within me – infused into me – for I have had no knowledge of these ‘hidden things’, until I began asking what was happening to me.
From about 1985 – 1991, I told no one about them because I could not put into words what went on deep within me. Then I told a local priest as these ‘touches’ of Jesus, or ecstasies, were becoming so strong and intense, that I thought many times that I was going to die in them. If you can imagine someone turning on a shower directly above your head and the water pouring, not only over your body, but completely filling your mind, will, intellect, and soul. I felt as though I was on fire, being totally consumed, burned, eaten up and deeply, deeply Loved.
The first time that this happened, it lasted approximately fifteen minutes. Since then, they can last anything from one hour to – as happened once – two weeks.
It would take too long to describe these ‘touches’ – as I call them – but each one is different. They come in different intensities. Some are so gentle that I hardly know that they are there, while others are strong, yet bearable; and again, others are so intense that I feel that my heart will explode, or that only death will relieve it. Jesus, in these ‘touches,’ invades me with something that I cannot relate to anyone. All I know is that He does not know when to stop.
These can also come in great longings for Jesus, when my soul thirsts for Him. Nothing upon this earth can satisfy these longings – nothing. These fill me, and are some how different from the ‘touches.’ They are compelling, like a pain or a thirst. All of these can come at any time. There is no warning, and I do not have to be at prayer. In the beginning, these longings came just before receiving the Eucharist, and I felt nothing could have stopped me from receiving Jesus.
After I had shared with my local curate, he advised me to seek spiritual guidance from someone with experience in these matters. As I was looking for this, I spoke to a Sister in the parish. She confirmed what I had been told, and I was bewildered by all of this.
The ‘communications’ with Jesus were not yet in Message form, only ‘touches,’ and I had no way of knowing what He wanted of me, if indeed anything.
My prayer life, at this stage, had developed and deepened and great urges at times overwhelmed me and called me to prayer. It was as though I was entirely wrapped in Jesus, and I felt a deep, intimate relationship with Him.
Prayer took on newness at this time. It seemed that, if I made any move to pray, Jesus took over. He called me into His world. Although I was still basically aware of what was going on around me, I was lost to this world. He was consuming me, instilling me with Love. I began my prayer with a simple ‘I love You, Jesus,’ and I was enveloped by Him.
I asked the Sister’s advice because I could not pray vocally and, up to this point, I believed that vocal prayer was prayer. She advised me to read Scripture, as it was a form of prayer. Then she said to read a passage and absorb it and, for about fifteen minutes, to do something else. After this, I was to return and write down any thoughts that I may have had.
I took this advice and tried it. For the first two days, it seemed to go the way Sister had said. On the third day the thoughts that I was writing down were coming like prophecy. I could not understand this, and I became afraid and stopped immediately. I did not feel comfortable.
About a week or so later, I spoke with the nun again and told her my fears. I showed her the writings, and she told me not to be afraid, and to carry on. I then remembered that, during a ‘touch’ about a year before this, I had, had a great urge to write. It was compelling me to write, even though I tried to ignore it and push it away. I finally had to do it. When it was written, I did not look at it. I went and hid it. I did not know what to do. This was the beginning of the Messages, and many people might think that they would be delighted to be in this position. It did not affect me in this way. I was uncomfortable with it. When I began to realise that they were communications from Jesus, I could not believe it, and I began to ask Him to remove it, because I was afraid. I had great doubts. I do not, for one moment, doubt the power of God, but I doubted my own capability.
From there, I moved on through two Spiritual Directors, hoping that one of them would tell me it was wrong. They gave me tremendous help.
The Messages continued, and about one and half to two years later, the Director of this time gave me leave to speak openly about the Messages, and share them. Except through friends, I did not know how to begin to do what Jesus was asking in the Messages.
One night, I went to Kilnacrott Abbey, County Cavan, to do an all-night vigil there. I met with a man who was promoting devotional medals. I did not realise that he was also called very deeply by Jesus, and that the Lord had great plans for him also. We did not speak at length, and it was a month later when he telephoned me to find out more about the Messages of Love. The man’s name was Patrick O’Kane.
We spoke for about two hours on the telephone, and arranged to meet a few days later. We met and talked for a long time about the Messages and Patrick told me that he would offer his car to drive me to any meeting, anywhere. I could not believe his great generosity and should have known that the Lord Jesus had His Hand in everything.
We soon became great friends and together we went to many prayer meetings at which I’d been invited to speak, not realising that Jesus had also called Patrick to be an equal part of the Messages.
Jesus told me one night in a Message that He wanted Patrick to begin to speak at prayer meetings. His reaction to this was fear. But he obeyed what Jesus had said, and began to speak, not only at meetings, but Jesus also gave him the Gift of Prophesy. This was met with bewilderment.
Since that time, the Lord had also spoken through Patrick in many beautiful Messages but, in his humility, he did not want this known publicly. But Jesus has made it clear to us that He wants it made public now, as He has said ‘It is time.’
The Ways of Jesus Christ are not our ways. He has told us in many teachings that He, Himself, has brought us together in this mission at different times in our development towards Him, so that we could learn from each other, as well as from Him.
He has described us as two halves of a jewel. It is only when we are one that His Light can shine through us – for anything we do is done in Jesus, for Jesus, and through Jesus.
The Messages of Love are an ‘Invitation to Love Jesus’ – the Love of His Most Sacred Heart, as given by Him through His Dove, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, contained, once more, for our time, in these pages. It is a Love that endures much Pain through Loving us.
The Writings of Jesus are full of great Tenderness and Love. He is calling us to His Side. He challenges us to be the people that we say we are. He speaks often of His beloved Church and He calls us back to the Sacraments where His Love is made manifest to us.
Do not just read these Messages, live them.