Writings » Autobiography of Elizabeth Wang, Part 2

This text forms part of Elizabeth Wang's Falling in Love: A Spiritual Autobiography (1999). It tells the story of her life and of her spiritual journey as she came to know Christ and His Church.

You can find the other sections here on the main WRITINGS page.

Please note that some of the text formatting has not transferred from the printed copy to this website.










Normal type is used for Christ’s clear but soundless prayer-time instructions, which I have ‘translated’ into words.

Lower case italic type is used for words which were ‘given’ to my soul by God: by Father, Son or Holy Spirit, although the words were not spoken.  This typeface is used, also, where the words are enclosed in brackets, to indicate some of my own prayers to God.

Lower case ‘italic type with speech marks’ is used for words which were spoken to me by God: either by  Father,  Son or Holy Spirit,  yet which  were  spoken only within my soul, during prayer.

SMALL CAPITAL LETTERS, also, are used after T:1264 #4 for the silent yet powerful teachings which I have received from God our Father.   I have ‘clothed’ these vivid but soundless teachings in my own words - and have placed them at the centre of the page.  Italic type has been inserted wherever - in the same teaching - God’s own words have been received, either ‘given’ or spoken. (See above).

ITALIC CAPITAL LETTERS, also,  are used after T:1750 to show out the specific teachings which I have received from the Holy Spirit.  Such an identification was not requested of me at the time when I was writing Volumes One and Two of “Teachings-in-Prayer”; but it has been the Will of God, from the time of writing Volume Three onwards, that I use this means of providing a clearer ‘picture’ of the work of all Three Divine Persons within the soul, when the soul is more fully ‘immersed’ in God’s Life in the later stages of the contemplative journey.

Bold type is used throughout for teachings which were given to me with especially-great power or glory.








“Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God.  The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’  The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God.  And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.


I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us … From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free.  For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved …


The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness.  For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.


We know that by turning everything to their good God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those that he has called according to his purpose…” (Rm 8:14-32)








Wounded by His work.


Christ gave me one day of brief bliss and deep grace.  It was a little taste of a Heavenly way of life - similar to that which I enjoy today: a firm promise of joy which could be called a Betrothal.  But after such a singular day of reconciliation the work of God went on.  By the promptings of grace, and the help of prayer, I went contentedly about my work in darkness again; but it was a healing darkness given by a merciful Father.  It was like a blanket or a bandage which held me quiet and still until some of the inner wounds had begun to heal.


During the process, I suffered agonies from my memories, and came to see the various ways in which pride and cowardice had combined with fear and self-pity to keep me in a spiritual pit of desolation.  But the ascent to joy was underway.


For many months after this new, true conversion, I walked around in torment.  I was outwardly carefree, but was inwardly pierced by a shame so intense that I could scarcely bear it.  I could hardly go on.  It was a tremendous grace, though quite unrecognised at the time.  My soul was so fiercely scorched by the pure dark grace of God as it burned within me that, at times, when I was doing my shopping, I nearly groaned out loud in the street.


In His Love for me, God appeared merciless as He burned away impurities in order to pour His Purity into my soul; and even though I saw myself and all my past actions in that dreadful Light, I found that the more I emptied myself of all desire except the desire to do His Will alone, the more He filled me with His Presence and gave me strength.  He upheld me in my daily tasks as I stumbled from one chore to the next, burning in a sort of grief, wounded by His work, and dying within at the knowledge of His Holiness, and of my sins (T:22).



[God’s burning light.


Not one word of what I’ve written about God’s burning grace in prayer is an exaggeration of my pain.  Writers might tell us that humility comes from meditation on our frailty, or from acceptance of humiliations for the love of God.  But they say, too, that humility is a gift from God, and this is true.  Yet it’s a gift which can be received only by those who are prepared to


die to themselves, as Christ taught; and God alone can uphold the one who permits Him to uncover the soul, naked, in His pure Light, as the soul accepts - for the love of God - the death of its long-cherished illusions about its own self, and also accepts the death of its many foolish ambitions.  The torment is indescribable, and one is tempted to turn away.  Yet - we can’t fail to continue, if we truly long to know and love God, since He alone can make us fit to see Him, despite the terrible cost.  Faith and hope and love, given freely by God, persuade us to go on.]



Spiritual Light.


Praying regularly, despite the pain of it, I suddenly found numerous aspects of my life laid bare by Christ, as He ‘held up’ in my soul and mind everything of importance to me, and pierced it through by the sharp ray of His Truth.  He showed me, down to the smallest details, what He wanted of me; and I know that He only taught me in this way because at last I’d given my free consent to His Will being done henceforward in every detail of my life. As I knelt, day by day, before Him, I was given clear but soundless instructions: the first to be given to me in a new era of true ‘Communion’.  I was shown that the path to Heaven is very simple and straightforward.  He taught me:-


                        Go to the Sacraments. Keep all My Commandments and the Laws of My Church. (T:22 #1)


                        Be faithful to private prayer. (T:22 #2)


                        Do all your work for My sake. (T:22 #3)


                        Take a short break each year, and thank Me for the leisure in which I enable you to think and pray more deeply. (T:22 #4)


                        Suffer whatever I permit, without complaints. (T:22 #5)


Then Christ reminded me of my importance, in His sight, and encouraged me further:-


                        Pray to Me in all your needs, however trivial or embarrassing.  Nothing is trivial to Me, if it concerns you. (T:22 #6)


                        Remain completely trustful from day to day. (T:22 #7)


                        Love others for My sake, with your whole heart, leaving all problems in My hands. (T:22 #8)


                        Put all of your problems into My hands.  Take reasonable steps to try to solve your problems, but leave the results to Me. (T:22 #9)


                        Accept every possibility as part of My plan for your life - if I should permit it to occur.  Strive to preserve life and health, obedient to My Will; but accept with equal calm either failure or success, health or sickness, or life or death. (T:22 #10)


                        Love and serve others as well as you can. (T:22 #11)


Then Christ reminded me that the whole point of our efforts is that we become Christ-like.  So He urged me:-


                        Bear patiently any complaints about you. (T:22 #12)


                        Pray for people who criticise or annoy or ignore you.  Love them.  Don’t be perturbed by their judgements. (T:22 #13)


Pain and peace, side by side.


Prayer continued in darkness, but it was sometimes lit by great shafts of spiritual light. It wasn’t the Light we associate with bodily sight, but was something spiritual like a swift blade of lightening - or like the awesome, brief and far-above illumination which is seen at sea, when a ship in distress has sent up a flare.  Yet this ‘light’ was invisible.  I can’t explain it; but I experienced it.  I knew it was from God.  It ‘contained’ within itself both wisdom and majesty, and then it was gone before I recognised what had happened.  All of the early ‘teachings’ which I’m quoting came to me soundlessly, as if in the wake of the mysterious wave of spiritual light: yet everything was ‘given’ in a split-second, as a gift, in the new calm of my contrite but painful prayers.


Pain and peace hovered side by side.  I was tormented by regrets which interrupted my prayers and made my hours of mundane work almost unendurable; but I tried to turn my mind away from wishful thinking, and learned, with God’s help, to walk through the pain.  I knew that at each new stage of the spiritual life, even if we’re unaware of ‘stages’, we have to begin again, like a baby taking its first steps.  We’re more likely to reach our goal if we have a determined heart, and rely on Christ for courage.


Having learned through grace that there are truly “SO MANY THINGS” (Lk 10:41) which aren’t worth worrying about, I simply endured from day to day, saying to myself about God, in the words of Holy Scripture: “LET HIM KILL ME IF HE WILL; I HAVE NO OTHER HOPE THAN TO JUSTIFY MY CONDUCT IN HIS EYES”  (Jb 13:15). I asked Christ never to let me fall away, but to teach me to trust, and to love. I begged Him never to let me push Him to the margins of my life; and because of my sincere prayers, and His grace, I began to do nothing but what I thought He wanted.  All that He permitted, through the circumstances of daily life, I accepted.  I learned to speak out when required, in certain circumstances, in order to uphold truth or justice, but I looked for no reward except the knowledge that I did His Will, without complaint, in an unremarkable domestic routine (T:23).


Faith told me that I was forgiven, though I felt nothing but shame.  Faith told me that Christ loved me but I felt absolutely nothing at all of this wonderful love: I only believed.  Faith alone told me to thank Him and serve Him day after day, as well as I could, whether or not I had any evidence of His involvement in my life: so deep was my usual spiritual darkness; but I was no longer disconcerted in the way I was before.  In the depths of my heart and conscience I was utterly at peace: utterly determined  to have no ambition other than to allow God to do what He wants with my life.


Teachings in prayer.


Once, I had read: “WHATEVER YOU EAT, WHATEVER YOU DRINK, WHATEVER YOU DO AT ALL, DO IT FOR THE GLORY OF GOD” (1 Co 10:31). So, I decided, the smallest of my new efforts  wouldn’t be wasted. I could work a little, pray and suffer a little, cook meals, act patiently, hold back a complaint or forgive a hurt - all for the love of God.  All of these small things would be accepted by God, in His service, in reparation for sins, and in intercession for the needs of the world and the Church.  It was what Saint Thérèse had taught me many years before, yet it wasn’t until now that I believed wholeheartedly in the worth of small, secret sacrifices.  I was at last convinced, however, that God sees everything we do for Him and that He rewards us for every kindness, whether something practical done for a neighbour or a charitable thought.  More and more confidently, I began to offer Him my small, daily tasks, and to trust in His Providence. Every chore was done to please Christ - and also to help the family.  But Christ was first on my list. 


For Christ, I endured every unavoidable problem in silence. To Him, in His Passion, I offered every weary walk upstairs, every burdensome trip to the front door and every ‘phone call that disturbed my sleep.  Such tiny things: but so precious in His eyes.  I know this, by faith, but I know it too because He has told me so; and the more I did for Him, because of my love for Him, the closer He drew me to Himself in prayer.  My over-riding aim was to please Him, and He continued to teach me. I even began to enjoy walking quietly along my lonely footpath, freed from concern about very many things which had once distressed me.



Wisdom, in prayer.


Month by month, and now that I’d placed all my trust in God once again, as I said, I found that I was receiving a sort of wisdom in prayer: received with no effort, and still without words, but extraordinarily clear; and it was wonderful to notice that Christ taught me as much about hope and joy as about sin.  He showed me that the point of all our efforts is to respond to His invitation and to become His friends.  He told me, to my astonishment:


                        Let your faith convince you that all occasions of humble, sorrowful prayer are worthwhile. (T:23 #1)


                        Remember that I rejoice more in one poor, pitiful, small but holy desire to please Me, than in any number of grand projects which are set in motion by self-glorifying ambition. This is true of both secular and ‘religious’ works. (T:23 #2)


                        Learn to love Me, willingly, with your heart as well as with your mind and will.  You can do this by withdrawing your heart from all My ‘rivals’, by which I mean from everything and everyone who tempts you to steer your hope and your loyalty away from Me.  By such mortifications, you will prove your love for Me, strengthen your faith, and enjoy a more peaceful heart. (T:24 #1)


                        Make your way towards true joy - the joy which comes from loving obedience to Me - by aiming to serve and please Me more than any other person. (T:24 #2)


                        Give up all sin and foolishness.  Substitute loving friendship with Me for grim duty!  You cannot be happy in My service if your heart is torn between two masters, or two courses of action. (T:24 #3)


Utterly determined to love, work and pray wholeheartedly, whatever it should cost me, I began to grow accustomed God’s new and wordless help.  I had no idea what was happening.  For a long time, I hadn’t appreciated the fact that God ‘cannot’ generally give His help to persons who - whether carelessly or fearfully - fails to look straight towards Him.  Truly, God has given us free-will; and until this new conversion I’d been incapable of receiving further Knowledge from Him in prayer.


Patterns of behaviour.


At last, I’d put everything into the hands of God: life, health, reputation, future: all I had to give Him.  My only hope was the true hope which He gave me in the darkness of prayer: a hope in which I believed, but which I didn’t feel.  The past was gone, the future was His; the present moment was all-important.  Here alone could I prove my love.  It was so simple.  My heart was in a strange way liberated, even amidst continuing miseries. Christ guided me in the darkness more clearly than ever before. His Will slowly became my joy as well as my duty.  Rarely, in future, would I be perplexed about what I ought to do; I’d need courage and trust to do what was now so plainly, and daily, revealed to me: revealed so fully because I was at last choosing to look constantly in Christ’s ‘direction’.  I knew that even there in the darkness of prayer, I was gazing at Him face-to-face. 


With a new awareness of my many faults came a new realisation of how certain events of my early life had left me fearful  about the repercussions if I failed to please everyone.  That was partly why my personal, independent decision to enter the Catholic Church had demanded so much courage; and that was why each new decision cost me all my strength, as I shook with fear at the thought of disobeying God, but was just as afraid of displeasing anyone else.


Meanwhile, I continued to examine every facet of daily life, to fulfil Christ’s silent request, as He drew me towards Himself.  I went about my work in darkness, still, but I was willing to let Christ lead me.  I was content to accept both outward and inward changes for His sake, and to walk silently wherever He wanted me to go in the spiritual life and for as long as He permitted.  Amidst all the difficulties, I struggled to think clearly, and to consider everything before God, in silent prayer.

Horribly aware that I wasn’t a good example, and nearly overcome with shame, I saw that my longings for the welfare and Salvation of other people were simply a further ‘problem’ to be handed over, trustingly, to God.  At each celebration of the Holy Mass I offered the whole of my wretched life to Him,  asking Him to change it, and to use it for His work and His Glory.  And in going about my shopping and my chores, I smiled and thanked anyone who advised me to try a special remedy or to take more exercise. I had to please God, above all; and I clung to that Commandment, determined not to worry about anyone’s opinion. Although I longed to make other people happy, I was no longer anxious to placate them.  I relied on Christ, who showed me where my duty lay.


Plain duties.


My first duty, as ever, lay in looking after the family as well as I could.  But if I were ill,  I learned, I must see that as God’s ‘problem’.  He knows my needs.  He expects me to ask for help, and therefore I should expect help - and meanwhile I should do what was physically possible.


With what energy I had, I played with the children, prepared meals, washed clothes and tried to keep the house clean.  Unable to do more than that, I stopped feeling ashamed. I even decided to find someone to help with the cleaning: and three wonderful woman - each at a different time of my life - have helped to keep our house ‘ship-shape’. God knew all about my physical weakness and my problems; I was sure that He’d see me through it all somehow; and indeed, that’s what has happened.  It seems so wonderful to me, now, that  we can look back, occasionally, to discover that God’s help was greater than we could have dreamed.  We can see how wise He is, and how limited are our desires. There I was, begging Him for strength, but He gave me a different gift: the one I really needed.  I’d asked for strength and He had given me trust, without which steady spiritual advance is impossible.


My new campaign went on: of taking practical steps to ease spiritual problems.  For example, when it seemed that books would have to be relied upon for words of encouragement about the Catholic Faith, due to a continuing dearth of Catholic friends,  I put a bookshelf in the kitchen, so that I could read a few pages whenever I was tempted to be sad or fearful. I was determined to thank God for every good experience in my life, and to avoid complaints and self-pity.  It became clear that I ought to leave my reputation entirely in God’s hands, and to stop worrying about whether other people thought me idle or ill.


One of the lessons I learned was that true trust in God meant relying on His help for one single second, hour and day at a time, even if I was exhausted or apparently unsuccessful.  I knew that I had to avoid all speculation about my state of health.  Common-sense told me that I might get better again, in which case I’d be grateful.  However, if my health grew worse, I would have to assume that God would help me to cope.


At my every unspoken thought about personal fulfilment, the words of Christ arose in my mind; He’d given a warning that each of His followers should  “RENOUNCE HIMSELF AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS” (Mt 16:24).  So I realised that since God Himself - the Divine Son of God, Christ our Saviour - had been willing to walk upon this earth and to accept death in torment, for our sakes, it was my duty to ask for the courage to imitate Him in my small, ordinary way.  I couldn’t hope for special comfort and respect, when Christ was content to accept whatever came His way: whether praise, or spittle and mockery.  As Holy Scripture says: “A SERVANT IS NOT GREATER THAN HIS MASTER” (Jn 15:20).



The right road.


It all sounds so simple; and I sometimes failed in my resolutions; but I was astonished to find that several years passed in this way, with an increasingly-steady spiritual ‘health’, and with occasional remissions in my mysterious illness.  I changed my priorities as new needs arose but I felt I was on the right road. 


Something that was enormously helpful was the short break I organised each year in obedience to Christ’s wordless suggestion: a brief stay, alone, in a quiet place in a different town, with time for prayer and thought, and daily Mass.  It seemed such an extravagance; but every family member was having trips away, from around that time.  Plans were always in the air for one conference or another - or for an extended school trip; and people in every sort of paid job have some sort of change each year, I persuaded myself.  Most housewives, surely, would benefit from a short retreat.


The three or four-day respite which I planned annually, from then on, and at Christ’s prompting, was enough to refresh my soul for a whole year. Our social life was so hectic, and the domestic routine so busy, that the mere appearance on my horizon of that oasis of peace, for decades to come, made everything seem so much easier; and it was made possible by the kindness of my husband, who agreed to look after the children.


Month by month, my inner contentment grew.  Some things which had seemed important couldn’t be fitted into my new way of life, but it didn’t seem to matter very much.  It simply wasn’t possible to paint much for a while; but I matter-of-factly painted when I could, with great concentration.  When I was doing other tasks I forgot about my own hopes or modified my ambitions.


Since I know that it’s when we die that we’ll see things clearly, I longed to be ready to answer Our Lord’s question without fear.  I don’t think He’ll ask me: “How many pictures did you paint?” - though of course if life allows we can use the talents that He’s given us; but He says He will say to those on His right-hand: “I WAS hungry AND YOU GAVE ME FOOD ... NAKED AND YOU CLOTHED ME” (Mt 25:35). It seemed to me that He meant that I should feed my hungry family, and visit my neighbours, and clothe my children and my sick relatives: activities far more important than any sort of hobby or worldly ambition.


There was the question about having to make time for rests; but since rest was essential, I rested whenever it was convenient, not making a ‘song and dance’ about the need, but making the most of every quiet moment. I abandoned my efforts to please everyone, everywhere.  With some qualms I became more straightforward, learning to be more prudent, sometimes saying ‘no’ when friends or family suggested extra tasks, although I was thrilled to be able to organise anything from dinner parties to carnival floats in the two or three periods of time in which the illness went into remission.


During this gruelling period of mixed contrition and reassessment, I grew ashamed on realising how easily, almost unawares, one can slip into some of the despairing little ploys of the sick: the sad frown or drooping shoulders announcing one’s pain to the world.  I ruthlessly excised them; yet the opposite tendency had to be avoided: the brave glare, daring the questioner impudently to mention one’s health; rather, I just had just to forget about cultivating impressions or opinions, and learned to “act natural” amidst my embarrassment, aiming to cope with enquiries in a frank and graceful way  whilst being more anxious to listen than to be heard.


Greater contentment.


We went away on numerous family outings, throughout the nineteen-seventies and eighties, as hard work was interspersed with parties and holidays.  I was always exhausted, but managed the essentials in a calmer way, although aware of how tiresome I could be as a weary family member. My memories were almost insupportable, but, at times, I could look calmly at the present and the future.  I resolved not to worry, and so I made the general plans that any mother ought to make, whilst striving to remain ‘flexible’.


Christ was my rock: Christ in the Mass, in the Blessed Sacrament, in Holy Communion, and in the tabernacle.  It was because of God-given commitments that I could rarely go to Mass more than once a week; but occasionally I was free to attend a late-morning Mass on Thursdays, which fortified me even more.


It was a new experience for me to have an utterly quiet conscience, and I became more content, aware of an almost unchanging peace in my soul, which rarely left me. I could scarcely feel it during trials and temptations but quite soon it persisted throughout each day.  We still led a busy life, but I learned how to be more honest with everyone, gently declining invitations to undertake this extra task or that, and not quite so full of pride - hoping to impress others with my ‘talent’ and ‘generosity’.  I went backwards and forwards to the doctor, whenever it was necessary, but I stopped thinking about a diagnosis - or the lack of it.


At last, I’d come to believe that God our Creator cares for us more tremendously than we can begin to understand; and He can keep us going through every sort of anguish. It’s when our hearts are perpetually agitated through lack of trust in Him, or are cluttered with selfish ambitions and desires that we fail to notice His helps or can’t accept them.


Establishing priorities.


The task continued.  The darkness persisted.  But occasionally, even the apparently impenetrable blackness of my soul in prayer was pierced by the sudden and amazing Light of Truth.  The peculiar and wordless guidance by God - which I described a little earlier, about Christian duties and love of one’s neighbour - made me look at life with a clarity which I’d never experienced before.


Examining anew, by God’s ‘Light’, all my acts and attitudes, all my works, hopes, goals and  intentions, and even my thoughts and phrases, I leaned on Christ as I cut and pruned, and established our priorities in life, since I was now adamant that His aims and mine would be the same.  I left the future in His hands, though, to tell the truth, it’s possible that if I’d known what spiritual sufferings still lay ahead, I might have given up the idea of achieving union with God in earthly life.  To have seen all future suffering clearly would have been the same as having to gaze all-at-once upon the pains of Purgatory, whilst being invited to enter in order to reach perfection, and God, and Heaven. And yet everything which God permits us to endure can contribute to our eventual joy and to His Glory.


For one minute and one day at a time I walked with Him by faith, and lived with Him, and did His Will wherever it led.  There were failures, but none too serious.  He never let me down.  I noticed with astonishment - now that I’d given my whole life to Christ, so late, and so very reluctantly - He refused me nothing that I asked (T:23-34).


I really loved Christ at last; and for His sake I ignored all that tempted me, dumbly bearing burdens and suffering “wounds” which I can hardly bear to think about; but I had this relief: by uniting them to the Wounds I made Christ bear, mine seemed very small, as long as I continued faithfully in my dark and peculiar prayer, day by day, and clung to the Sacraments in faith and love; and the teachings went on.


Christ began to teach me about the heart of the Christian Faith: about His own nature: about love.  He showed me what’s involved in the struggle to be Christ-like.  He explained to me, emphatically:


                        Always love and comfort other persons, in every circumstance, whatever impression they might give by their words or actions.  If you who are so blind and weak have longed for understanding and leniency, you ought to be lenient with others. (T:26 #1)



One goal.


Imperceptible changes were taking place: things I didn’t recognise until much later; but life began to seem very simple.  I was content to be able to make new efforts to put Christ’s commands into practice; and I discovered that the constant heart-ache of sorrow-for-sin was eventually accompanied by a constant conviction of being ‘on the right track’, with very little dithering about tasks, duties or goals.  Every effort was totally devoted to the one goal: to please God and to love His Will.  All lesser goals seemed to fit with greater ease into my life’s new pattern.  Suffering was part of that pattern, I realised: but Christ had been showing me how to suffer: to suffer in union with Him, and not to waste these various bodily or mental torments, but to make them fruitful.  That was why, through all the years of pain still to come, I sat with Christ in Gethsemane, my heart and mind united to His, day after day, as I learned to bear my pains and humiliations with His agony, and, with Him, to make one willing act of Reparation and Love.


Other sufferings had to be endured.  Not all were brought about by my own stupidity or my own flawed nature.  Besides the illness, and other problems, I was suddenly bereaved.


One summer, at the end of a holiday abroad, I returned to England with the family to find notes all over the house, left by anxious neighbours.  On phoning my parents’ home, I was told that my father had been seriously ill for a week, and had just died.  I hadn’t been able to say goodbye.  Comforted solely by the hope that we’d meet again one day, in Heaven, I tried to comfort others, especially the children, to whom he’d been a lovely Grandfather. It was wonderful to see how my mother’s faith upheld her.  For two years more she remained vigorously independent and active; and meanwhile, I pressed on with my usual occupations.



[Achieving good, even in darkness.


It seems very important that I stress, at this point in the story, that none of the miseries and struggles of the past few years had been ‘wasted’; and I say this with confidence - in order to help those who doubt that any good can come from their  own struggles - not just because I know it by faith but because, several years later, Christ confirmed it.  He told me, to my astonishment, that He was delighted by every effort I’d made to please Him, even amidst my mistakes and hesitations.  He said that He was pleased with me for every good thing done out of love for Him and for every wrong thing avoided. (T:1187)


That’s why I’m bursting to say to every spiritual brother and sister who is wondering if our battles are worthwhile: “Don’t despair.  Don’t give up.  Although you don’t perhaps realise it, it’s at this very moment, as you’re plodding along in spiritual darkness and yet are still battling to remain faithful for a minute at a time that you’re proving the depth of your faith and love.  It’s right now that Christ is doing great work through your faith and perseverance. Right now, and for as long as you hang on to Christ, even in darkness, your soul is actively being purified, your faith, hope and love are being strengthened, and the precious people in your heart are being helped, whatever you see or don’t see.  The Church on earth is made stronger, through your life and  love, the souls of Purgatory are helped, and the Saints and Angels are given greater cause for joy. Christ delights in your love, the Holy Spirit sees that His work in you is fruitful, and the Father of Light and Glory - your Heavenly Father - is glorified, and draws you more surely towards Himself so that you can one day share His Bliss and Glory.  On that day, these torments will seem like a dream - or will be seen as mere pebbles over which you once stumbled, briefly, on your journey to Heaven!”


I want to say to every spiritual friend: “ I’m speaking from the heart about these things because I know from experience that they’re true.  I haven’t yet reached Heaven, but I’ve ‘reached’ the Father, “in Christ”, through Christ’s merits; and He has shown me much about our trials and their true significance.  It’s because He loves us so tremendously that He draws such a great good from our ‘bad’ times as well as from the good, if we only trust in Him and endure, until the time when He chooses to give us consolation.”


Undergoing temptations.


To everyone who is undergoing temptations which make him feel humiliated or ashamed I want to say: “Keep fighting.  Ask for help in prayer.  It’s by these struggles that you’re proving your love and growing in virtue.  And even if you ‘fall’, don’t despair.  Keep on going to Confession.  When you’re reconciled, you are shining with God’s grace, even if you can’t see it; and He loves to come to good-hearted and purified souls at Holy Mass, in Holy Communion.  That’s one of His rewards - as well as being a spiritual food and strength for us.  But He has even greater rewards in store for you if only you’ll persevere.”]



Un-Christian views.


The new ‘Rule of Life’ which had emerged was very flexible, and changed with my needs. But as circumstances changed, I saw that some things must remain the same, whatever the cost.  Prayer, as ever, was supremely important, three times a day, at home or away.  Holy Mass, as I said, was the source of all my strength. I went as frequently as I could to Mass and Holy Communion.  Each year seemed to bring greater peace and patience.  I had a thousand reasons for gratitude, and tried to make every aspect of life thoroughly ‘in tune’ with God’s wishes.


Much time in the past had been wasted, I saw, reading silly novels and magazines.  It was true that they were entertaining and took my mind off my problems and pains; but many of them promoted amoral or un-Christian views.  It had been sheer self-indulgence to read so many.  It was pride that had me confident that I could read whatever I chose, without being influenced to some degree.  By such carelessness I’d filled my mind with rubbish and endangered my faith.


I owned a book, in those days, which I had bought myself, had read at least three times and was tempted to read again.  In some ways it was a magnificent book, written with skill and passion, and full of fascinating anecdotes about women’s lives.  But one day I realised that if I continued to read forceful and angry works by women who advocated ‘liberation’ from male ‘aggression’ I’d become bitter and angry, and would lose all trust in God and in His Providential care of us. I wasn’t uncertain about truth or falsehood. I feared the book’s influence as one fears being swept into a hot-headed mob in the street. A passionate hatred surged through some of those stories; and it was directed not at the real source of pain in many women’s lives, which is sin - but only at men. I found that in many of the books I read, half the human race was condemned by feminists outright, and collectively, as responsible for the sufferings of women of every era.


It wasn’t enough for the authors to denounce a few injustices and then to unfold the history of real improvements in the status of women who have been ill-treated in various ways.  Certain relentless denunciations of men and of male-dominated institutions were so vehement, and stirred up such a violent sympathy in my heart, that I realised I was being tempted by the ploys of clever propagandists to leave aside not only a long-held Christian point-of-view, but every sort of sensible analysis of mens’ hopes, marriage itself or the state of modern society.


In attractive pieces of writing which were truly so witty and skilful that the ‘core message’ was prettily disguised, various columnists and authors were tempting me to look at life through a different ‘eye’ and to ask not: ‘What is God’s Will for His people on earth, and God’s Will for me, and how can I know it?”  Rather, they encouraged women to demand: “Why should I suffer; why should I make sacrifices or stifle my dreams, or forgive other people when they marginalise or hurt me?”


All my years of listening and reading had taught me, through the Church - and especially through the Saints - that it’s through self-sacrifice, rather than through self-love that Christian women in families can do most good for the whole human race.  I saw that while some injustices can’t be condoned, indeed ought to be strongly opposed, many real, dispiriting and long-term evils can surely be borne by Christians with God’s help - in order to avoid all the terrible tragedies which can come through ‘self-assertion’.  I began to be appalled that so many families are destroyed so that one member should feel happier.



[Christian self-abnegation.


It seemed quite evident to me that no-one should concentrate, primarily, on his or her own ‘self-fulfilment’, I mean, in the worldly sense of ensuring at all costs that one’s natural skills and aptitudes are appreciated and used, whilst still claiming to be seeking, primarily, the Will of God.


In every age, we can see that God sometimes calls people - for His own good reasons - to endure loneliness, or to make some great sacrifice, or even to accept martyrdom.  Although reasonable efforts should be made to secure fair treatment for oneself as well as others in the interests of justice, Christians have always been invited to imitate the self-abnegation which Christ practised during his life on earth; and that’s why it’s so sad to see that many women have split their families, egged on by fervent critics of ‘domestic slavery’ in marriage.  Children have had to grow up with divided loyalties.  Some mothers even rid themselves of unborn babies, with permission from people in authority.  What wonderful ideals and persons have been sacrificed on the altars newly-raised to the cry of womens’ ‘freedom’.


How dangerous it can be when an author’s superficially attractive but un-Christian ideas are freely imbibed by a naive or over-confident Christian who wants to be educated or entertained.  Truly, careless reading or ‘viewing’ of many things can damage hearts and minds, and stealthily encourage the worm of rebellion or of secret rage or envy: or whatever we might carry hidden within us, not yet “Christianised”.


For these reasons, and others, I never again picked up reading material which provoked but which didn’t help me.  Also, I avoided becoming fruitlessly agitated about abuses or problems in areas of the world where I couldn’t become involved in practical ways; instead, I wrote letters about them, and lifted up to God in prayer all the people being hurt.  In that way my heart and soul and mind were involved, but my practical energies were used for the good causes to be found within the obvious duties of daily  life.


How easily we can be tempted to misdirect our efforts, supposedly in God’s service: to overlook the small injustices which it’s our duty to correct close-at-hand, and, instead, to rage ineffectually about tragedies which are best handed over to the power of God, for remedy, through fervent sacrifices and through prayer.]



Favourite authors.


When I was still struggling to cope with the daily physical load, but was more at peace, and was less anxious to escape into a fictional world, I turned to books which would teach and encourage me in every circumstance.  I read something ‘spiritual’ every day for at least half-an-hour, and ended each episode with a brief prayer - even if this meant that I had to set the alarm and go downstairs far earlier than anyone else.  It gave me time to ponder, and to put things ‘in perspective’.  No matter what difficulties might arise in the day ahead, I’d find that one or two useful phrases from my reading would come to mind, just when they were needed.


Good books were like steel for my will, or like true friends urging me not to fall.  Whenever I wondered how I’d cope with certain things, or whenever I was tempted to become scrupulous and fearful again, a few paragraphs of de Caussade or some other favourite author set me free from worry.  I was reminded to keep my thoughts on the “HEAVENLY THINGS” (Col 3:2) which I ought to pursue at any cost.  These authors, too, had walked through the “NARROW GATE” (Mt 7:13) long before me, in order to find Eternal life.


Heartening influences.


Every good Catholic writer reminded me of our need to use our God-given intelligence as well as our faith.  It was encouraging to read accounts by people of different centuries, and especially of the present day, of how they had re-organised their lives, even in little ways, in order to leave enough time for prayer and silent reflection.  It was heartening, too, to hear what other people said about the Mercy of God, and about God’s loving influence upon their souls, no matter how reluctantly or painfully they had served Him nor how frequently they had given in to despondence or sin.  I re-read works by the Abbot, Dom John Chapman, and by Cardinal Newman.  I ‘discovered’ the Abbé de Tourville, and I clung to him for sustenance when memories or scruples threatened to pull me down.  Once again, St. Francis de Sales helped me to think more carefully about the Christian life. Gerard Manley Hopkins’ description of his “Hero” inspired me.


“The Great Divorce” by C. S. Lewis was fascinating; I still admired much of his work.  But I realised that his heavy emphasis on doom and punishment was bad for me.  His Creator seemed closer to my old “Headmaster” God than to the Father in Heaven whom we praised at Mass; so I left C. S. Lewis behind, to re-read Ronald Knox, more profitably, since I learned more about the teaching Church, and about Eucharistic devotion, and Saints, for example.


Biographies still fascinated me, and poetry, and films; but some of them left lingering after-tastes which were a danger to my faith.  The desire for them grew less when my appreciation of what is truly good in life increased: by which I mean simple kindness and loyalty, patience in all our small duties, and happy moments with family and neighbours; and as I was reading,  I found more new ‘friends’ amongst the Saints, some of whom had seemed fierce and frightening when I was twenty-one and was amazed by their asceticism.  I grew to love the Curé of Ars, and St. Bernard - through his sermons - and St. Dominic. I was much encouraged by stories of modern Christian heroines: all different but all full of faith and love: Corrie Ten Boom, Mother Teresa, and then someone who had died in the month that I was born: Edith Stein, also known as Sister Teresa of the Cross.


For the first time, I read “Orthodoxy” and “The Everlasting Man”, by G. K. Chesterton, and marvelled at the clarity with which he explained the Christian way of life.  I was full of wonder at his inspired word-pictures and analogies.  F. J. Sheed - in “Theology and Sanity” - was more ‘technical’ in his approach to the Faith, but like Chesterton was accurate and straightforward.

Within a few years I’d discover a whole host of ‘new’ authors, some of whom I’d never heard of until then because they were rarely mentioned by some of the post-Vatican-II writers who wished that the Church were less ‘dogmatic’ or ‘old-fashioned’.  Books by Fr. Tanquerey and Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange figured prominently in second-hand book lists, so I read a few chunks of “The Spiritual Life” and other works with tremendous joy, before discovering Dom Columba Marmion whose “Christ the Life of the Soul” went straight to the top of my list.  Then along came other good works which persuaded me that there was still solid ‘meat’ to be found in Catholic bookshops and catalogues, amongst some of the watery dishes on offer.


Unorthodox works.


But my reading wasn’t confined to Catholic authors; I was encouraged and taught, for example, by the wisdom of Gonville Ffrench-Beytagh and others, touched to read of their love for Jesus, and their passionate involvement in the great adventure of the spiritual life.  I explored a number of further works, too, by present-day Catholic authors,  but two problems held me back from great amounts of reading, first, the eye problems which accompanied my illness, and then the sadness which threatened to engulf me every time I opened a new book, looking for nourishment, only to be astonished that yet another Catholic author, in widely-published writings, was attacking the Church. 


There seemed to be no limits to which some persons wouldn’t go in print, in their criticisms of Church discipline and Church teachings and even in mockery of the present Holy Father.


Many of them claimed that their opinions were consistent with what they called “post-Vatican-Two-theology”.  However, having familiarised myself with the documents of that Council, and having absorbed and respected the Council’s recommendations, I knew that none of the Council Fathers had newly-enshrined in our Faith any fundamental changes to our doctrines or moral code; nor had they expected the promotion of true ‘renewal’ in Church life to be made an excuse for disobedience.


It was a treat to find that Bishop Restieaux had authorised a re-print of his wonderful sermons about the Catholic Faith.  I was fortunate to be able to buy several copies, to share them with friends.  Cardinal Hume had written a new introduction.  At around the same time, an American woman called Ann Ball wrote two volumes of the lives of “Modern Saints” - lavishly illustrated with photographs.


As I turned more frequently to both new and old “Lives of the Saints” - many women amongst them - I was comforted to read their stories.  Most of these people had been full of love, not full of hatred of men or of institutions.  They didn’t pour scorn upon the Bishops and priests in their day; nor did they express dismay that the Church should ceaselessly and unhesitatingly state what was right and what was wrong.  They were grateful to God for His care of them in the midst of life’s trials.  Many canonised saints had denounced injustice, but the fuel for the fire in their hearts wasn’t scorn but a love of truth. That was why I became bolder in asking for their prayers: asking for help in all sorts of situations; and I began to ask the help of the holy Angels, more frequently, just like generations of Christians before me, overcoming my slight feelings of embarrassment.


Prayer and duty.


I never missed my daily prayer-time before God, even if I had to kneel at the side of the bath, which was sometimes the only peaceful spot in the whole house, due to our lively family and social life. Hordes of the childrens’ friends used to drop in, the excited voices interwoven with noises from the television, perhaps with someone’s lawnmower roaring outside, whilst trains thundered through the nearby cutting every ten minutes.  Also, every meal, every peaceful moment, or visit from friends or relatives was interrupted by telephone calls from anxious patients or hospital staff.


Absorbed as I was in domestic tasks, and filling in the ‘gaps’ with prayer, there was no time to be bored.  Letter-writing was squeezed into gaps between ‘school-runs’, and visits to sick friends and to healthy relatives.  I was interested in very many other things - in history, art, and gardening.  My husband’s job was so demanding, and my health so poor, and the needs of relatives so great, that I didn’t go to a major gallery for several years, but I satisfied my curiosity with books.  By visiting the Blessed Sacrament whenever I went out shopping, I never failed to receive greater hope and strength; and when I was well I took part in little art exhibitions on the village common.



[Mundane, dutiful work.


It seems plain to me now that although God would like us to develop our talents if circumstances permit we ought to look very carefully at our true motives.  We’re surely wrong if, for selfish reasons, we exchange mundane, dutiful work for something outwardly more “heroic.”  For example, someone who spends all day in gruelling fund-raising work for ‘Charities’ or who passes each day in back-breaking work for the needy, but for his or her own glory or satisfaction, is doing work which is quite unrewarded by God.  And the work of the many who, noticed or unseen, quietly tend the sick or clean lavatories, or queue weekly for someone else’s pension, and who do such things for the love of God and neighbour give joy to Christ and to all his Saints and Angels, as He has shown me.]



Beloved children.


Despite my never-ending longing to tell the world about Christ’s love for us all, I spent years struggling to live with my shame at having served Him so badly.  My hopes about bringing other people into His Church seemed very fragile.  If I was asked about my faith, I stoutly defended it, as always, but I was convinced that if only Catholics led holy lives and were more articulate about their faith, many more people would come into the Church; and I wished that I myself were fit to tell other people just Who could be found in the sanctuary, in the Blessed Sacrament. I was sure that crowds would be flocking up the road to church, struggling for the chance to be near our Blessed Lord, like the crowds in Galilee - if only people would realise the astonishing truth about His Real Presence.


Although I was lacking in confidence, I wasn’t afraid to admit that God had gradually brought me to a truer understanding of his Will.  He yearns to see us obey Him not as slaves who pander to the whims of a tyrant, but as beloved children of a Father Who alone knows what will make us truly happy and content.  I realised that what God wanted for me was that I live faithfully in His Love, in my weakness, unconcerned about the approval of others, willingly accepting blame or criticism, but quietly and lovingly doing what I saw to be essential for the fulfilment of my duties.  He wanted me to entrust to His Providence all that I could not - need not - actually do.  That is why the new road, in one sense, was easy; I had only to be loving and forgiving, as I slowly worked out where God’s Will lay in each single moment, amidst the details of ordinary life.


My main regret was that my love for God and my readiness for sacrifice had grown so slowly and so grudgingly that I’d waited until near-despair before being persuaded to give my whole life to Him - and my whole heart.  I hadn’t leapt unhesitatingly into His Love, but had waited until I’d lost all other means of support.  But how thankful I was for faith in Him. I had great faith in His love and His mercy, even though I lacked other virtues; so  I carried on, expecting to struggle in the same way for the rest of my life.  Nothing mattered but to try to love God, and for His sake to love other people: especially those with whom He brought me into contact from day to day.


I still had to fight my fears, weaknesses and scruples.  I had no idea how I’d ‘get through’ the next day or year; but for the first time, my will belonged wholly to God - through the Christ Whom I couldn’t hear, see, feel or touch.  I hoped I’d remain grateful, forever, for the sacraments and for opportunities for penance.  I accepted the darkness in peace.


The Will of God.


The beginnings of a true resurrection were lived out in very simple ways. I worked, I rested, I was ill, I was well again: I learned to say “Fiat”.  That was the word from the Gospel by which Christ’s Holy Mother had consented to the Will of God being done. “Fiat”, or “LET WHAT YOU HAVE SAID BE DONE TO ME” (1 Co 15:57)  and “Deo Gratias,” which means “LET US THANK GOD” (Lk 1:38) became my most frequent prayers.


The family grew more independent, and the work-load eased for a while: “Deo Gratias”. My closest friend moved away: “Fiat”, again.  Some things gave me joy, some things saddened me, but by God’s grace I recognised God’s Will in everything, and was content.  I came to the stage when I could even be glad that through these experiences I’d begun to learn about trusting God.  How could I have been brought to trust Him, if I hadn’t turned to Him in desperation, appalled by my own weakness: desolate and fearful?


What a great gift is faith: a gift I’d been given, undeserved.  But there was no gladness in it, for many years.  I had no sweet words to say to God in prayer.  I sat or knelt at Mass as usual, saying, “O God,  I want to love You,” which was the truth; and even though I didn’t know this, my faith was being strengthened by every little prayer and every little effort.




Within two or three years of that new resolution, I happened to be with my family, on holiday in France; and we stopped in Lourdes for twenty-four hours, to enable me to pray at the shrine of Our Lady, and to let our children see the famous torch-light procession.  I remember standing at the edge of Rosary Square before the main procession began, leaning on my stick, and watching a procession of wheelchairs race through the large crowd.  Well-trained brancardiers held us back from danger until all the carriages had flown by; and I felt so unwell - and so lonely there, as the only Catholic in the family - that I prayed a fervent prayer to Our Lady, begging her to help me.  Never could I have imagined what good things she could bring about through her prayers and God’s grace - and my mustard-seed of faith.


Within twenty years I’d find myself praying at almost exactly the same spot, yet this time surrounded by grown-up children each of whom had freely chosen to become a Catholic in adult life - and with the elder son newly-ordained.  Furthermore, there stood beside me the husband who was preparing to be received into full Communion: and who indeed was received and confirmed in Harpenden at our Easter Vigil in 1998.  So I hope and pray that other people will believe that Our Lord and Our Lady can help them, and that it’s worth persevering in prayer. God is so good; and the results will astonish us, if only we don’t give in, and give up.


That’s one of the reasons why I now thank God for those dark, safe years: but ‘safe’ only because I put Christ first in everything, at last: not ‘safe’ because of any special feelings of comfort. Faith did its work and told me that Christ loved me, but I felt as though I’d been abandoned.  I couldn’t escape seeing my sins in memory, day by day, as I prayed in spiritual darkness to the invisible God.



God’s purifying Fire.


For several years, and for my own good, Christ led me along in utter blackness as I clung to Him in desperation, feeling lost, with dangers at each side. I made frequent acts of faith, hope, and love.  The first two years were spent in ‘fire’ and in darkness, by which I mean: in a state in which I endured the experience of God’s purifying fire as it burned within my repentant soul.  The remainder were spent in pure ‘darkness’ which was occasionally - and suddenly, briefly, puzzingly - lit by an extraordinary Light.


There were human woes and misunderstandings; and these were no minor things, but severe trials, hard to bear when it seemed as though God Himself were silent.  I was in  pain, and suffered weakness in my legs for months at a time. It seemed as though I was a ‘failure’ in almost every way.  I had failed in my work and in my ambitions - even in my supposedly good aims. No longer could I see myself as an excellent wife and mother, welcoming friends with boundless energy, and being gay and hospitable to strangers.  Ever more clearly, I was able to look back and recognise my obvious mistakes.  Formerly, I saw, I had tried to be heroic, but sometimes for the wrong reasons.


In my attempts to please God I had undertaken tasks which He hadn’t wished me to do, and had made misguided attempts to please others: sometimes through fear, and sometimes from a desire for peace or for popularity.  Persevering in tormented prayer, I encountered my true nature, day by day, as I prayed before the face of God, no longer flinching at the sights He revealed within my conscience and my heart, but accepting them all as God-given glimpses of Truth. 


Then a marvellous process began, or, rather, continued - but far more surely.  It became evident that the more I uncovered my soul for God, then the more I learned - wordlessly - about His ways.  The true, great, marvellous conversation of prayer was at last underway.  It was utterly mysterious and extremely dark and frightening.  It was also a silent conversation, one which God rarely undertakes with a soul who refuses to look steadfastly in His direction, in awe, and with some semblance of regret and humility.  I remained quite blind to a great a number of faults, but more and more frequently, in prayer, my intention was pure, by which I mean that it was set on pleasing God and not myself.


As ever, I wanted to please God solely because He Is: because He is God, and so ‘deserves’ our obedience.  It didn’t occur to me to try to do good primarily in order to be rewarded or to go to Heaven; yet I can say from experience  that I’ve been helped to avoid doing greater evil, at various times of my life, because of the Church’s constant reminder of Christ’s own warning: that evil is punished.



The door opens.


One day in 1980, having prepared me by suffering, God took pity on me. He knew that I loved Him.  I had faith and longing, though without much understanding.  He knew that my whole desire was to please Him.  He knew that I had no ambition except to do His Will until the moment of death; and that is why, within our dark prayer of silence, a new life unfolded.


Something now happened within me, deep within prayer.  Now that I’d spent many years in  prayer and penance, and after many years of kneeling in spiritual darkness, I made a discovery.  Christ had moved the clutter that had held tight the ‘door’ of my soul. I was able to open the door in prayer, to let Him in.  What was happening was wholly spiritual, but it was experienced as even more ‘real’ than real ordinary life.


A terrible light shone around when Christ came at last to my soul’s centre.  Many foul things were to be revealed: depths of junk, and spiritual and emotional horrors, impossible for me to move alone.  But Christ kept me free from all anxiety about this.  Whether I knelt before Him in church or at home, I was taught by Him, wordlessly, to carry on in His way, and to serve Him faithfully for a single minute at a time; and He gave me the courage to let Him continue with His work, as His burning light scoured the interior of my soul in a way never experienced before.  Christ taught me, in my soul’s silence:


                        Be glad that your faithful preparation is showing results.  After many years of prayer, penance and reparation, you have removed the ‘junk’ and clutter and wrapping - as if layer by layer - from the interior of your soul, revealing, at last: a ‘door’.  In only a moment, I your Lord, can remove whatever has been holding it tightly shut. (T:25 #1)


                        Give me permission to enter your soul, in prayer.  I can remove every remaining obstacle.  I can enable you to open the door of the soul, and you can invite Me to enter. (T:25 #2)

                        Recognise the gift which I have given to you.  Only after many years of faithfully reciting your words of praise and thanksgiving, sorrow and petition were you privileged to open the “door of the soul”, to let My light shine through. By your obedience to My wishes in regular and dutiful prayer you were giving Me ‘permission’ to act within your life and soul. (T:25 #3)


                        Don’t be upset by ‘bad’ feelings in prayer.  My Light is bound to reveal all sorts of ‘junk’ within your soul - junk which it is impossible for you to move alone.  Bear the pain which must accompany the beginnings of humility. (T:25 #4)


                        Avoid all anxiety during the ‘scouring’ which I am doing, and which is your soul’s purification. (T:25 #5)


                        Carry on in My way, for one minute at a time. (T:25 #6)


                        Open the interior ‘door’ of your soul every time you pray, whatever the cost.  It is opened by contrition and by a true longing for union with Me. (T:25 #7)




Christ gave me the strength to bear my shame each time that I knelt down in prayer.  I was racked by mixed feelings of hope and regret, but was learning to show Him my whole heart, and then to move forward in a prayer of pure faith and supernatural love.  I was full of fear and reverence towards Him, but since my only desire was to please Him whatever the cost, even if it should cost me everything,  I’d been released from a servile terror.


Life went on its usual pattern; work, prayer, leisure, work, prayer, reading - work!  To and fro, Christ led me in the darkness: to the various persons whom He’d put in my care, and then back to Him in prayer. It was as though I sat with Him in fire and darkness day after day, not really knowing what was going on: but I trusted Him with my entire life, at last, hoping that because He’d led me through so many dangers He wouldn’t suddenly give up His work.


As the strange, silent ‘teachings’ continued I had no idea what was happening; but my only aims were to please Christ, to pray regularly and sincerely and to be cheerful in fulfilling my duties. Christ taught me something about ‘aiming’ one’s heart and soul towards Him unerringly, in prayer.  He explained how our burning feelings of guilt and shame should be accepted as by-products of the process of spiritual purification.  He advised me:


                        Keep on praying.  It is through your prayer that I can change and strengthen you. (T:28 #1)


                        Meet Me in the most secret ‘place’ within your soul.  Whenever you pray, turn your heart and mind towards your soul’s dark ‘centre’. (T:28 #2)


                        Throw away your ‘armour’ in prayer - all your hesitations, excuses, and self-justifications.  Sit patiently with Me in what seems like both fire and darkness, as My purifying Light does it work within your soul. (T:28 #3)


                        Again and again, in prayer, let Me burn away the clutter within your soul, so that My Light can shine here more brightly. (T:28 #4)


                        Accept and endure all burning shame in prayer, since - with a desire to please Me - it serves as a penance for past sins.  It is a proof that I am at work in your soul. (T:28 #5)


                        Ignore all fantasies and images in prayer.  Peer deeper into your soul’s interior darkness as though reaching out your heart and mind to Me, within. (T:29 #1)


A warm heart.


On another occasion, Christ showed me how to deal with distracting images.  He told me:-


                        Recognise idols, within your soul, when you come to prayer, whether they are constant or fluctuating, grotesque or attractive.  Ignore them. (T:29 #2)


                        Permit Me, though I am invisible to you, to ‘steer’ you within our soul’s darkness.  Look beyond images, monster-Gods or phantoms into My own universe in your heart, where I, Christ your God, reign. (T:29 #3)


                        Look upon your soul as the Kingdom where We - the Holy Three, One God - reign in Light. (T:29 #4)


It amazed me again to realise that God, our Infinitely Holy Creator, not only loves us but always awaits us.  Whenever we demand His time, His love or His presence, He is here!  We never fail to find Him.  There is no place where He ‘is not’ - and He never keeps us waiting, but listens to us with love whenever we turn to Him.  I was reminded that it’s faith that assures us of God’s love and concern, whether we sense His presence or not.  Feelings come and go, but God’s love is real and everlasting, and our faith in that love is increased further at every occasion on which we turn to God in naked trust. (T:29)


As I prayed one day, in my usual darkness, trying to reject all images and sensations for the sake of Truth who is God, my heart was warmed when He made His presence felt for the first time in about ten years.  He knew then, as He knows now, that I expected no extraordinary consolations.  I had no ambition other than to do His Will; and so this experience of His presence was a pure gift: pure kindness, and pure grace.  Though I think He could scarcely have bound my will to Him more tightly, He at last bound my heart, which became entirely His.


I thank God for the darkness of those years, in which Christ enabled me, quietly, to grow braver and stronger. I thank Him, too, for my ignorance of all that was to be put before me.  Had I known in advance of the trials and torments I’d face in trying to be loyal to Him, I’m not sure I’d have had the courage to begin the journey.  How wise He is.  He knows how much we can bear during our training, and gives us strength at each moment; and so I thank Him profoundly for having given me the grace to persevere in prayer, and so to retain a degree of hope in my heart that some sort of joy and fulfilment awaited me.



Household changes.


Daily  life continued very full and busy as usual, in the early nineteen-eighties, but became much more joyful, even amidst family crises.


About two years after my father’s death, my mother became unwell.  Her treatment was unsuccessful, so she agreed to come and live with me and my husband and children.  She was much comforted by relatives and old friends, and found this was a happy time, in many ways.  She had gladly laid down the burden of work and house-keeping, and had been able to renew her acquaintance with several grand-children.  She sat in an easy chair out in our garden for a few hours each day throughout that long warm summer, all her plans completely surrendered. We had moved to a different house by then, and had plenty of room for her, and for all her visitors.


She gave her whole life cheerfully back to God, helped by the tender care of our doctor and by the Sacraments received from our parish priest when he visited every day or two.  Our dear Canon Keenan was by now very old and somewhat disabled, but continued to make his usual cheerful and loving sick-visits.


Far from being dismayed by our household changes, I was delighted to be able to look after my mother.  All my thoughts, over the years, on work and duty and suffering had led me to see the Christian life as one of service and self-sacrifice, yet with these untainted, I hoped, by a martyred air.  I mean that I’d learned something about prudence, and had developed a bit of common-sense in arranging my own activities; so instead of blindly charging into another anguished sick-bed routine, I resolved to care for my mother as wholly-heartedly and as cheerfully as possible - but at the same time I arranged a corner of the house where I could paint undisturbed in the occasional hour or two that I could spare from her company or from other occupations. I’d long given up any remaining ambition of taking up serious study: for example, of doing what is called a distance-learning degree.  I’d decided that it was impossible to make that sort of commitment if I might find it necessary, instead, to welcome a new guest; and that’s why I’d concentrated on a more modest ambition, such as developing as a painter who specialised in flowers and still-life.  That sort of work was possible to organise at home; and when I eventually became a founder-member of a Botanical Art Society, I was able to exhibit in London every summer.


My mother had always enjoyed my paintings and had encouraged me to do more.  So her delight in what she saw as my recent and unexpected artistic ‘success’ was communicated to all her friends.  She took great pleasure in telling them all that her daughter had even exhibited at the Royal Academy; and she took pleasure, too, in sharing some of her own story with a ‘new’ priest.  Canon Keenan had at last retired - and then died suddenly, to my great sadness.  But he’d been replaced by a very kind and dutiful priest called Canon Maurice O’Leary.


We were able to care for my mother until she died, grateful for that precious opportunity.  Once again, faith enabled me to entrust a departed soul to God. I hoped and prayed for her eternal joy, and for our reunion one day in Heaven; and I asked Our Blessed Lady to be both my spiritual and my earthly mother.


A Catholic child.


During the next few years other relatives died, and also friends of our own age.  Life’s pattern no longer surprised me since experience had proved to me that all our plans and activities are interspersed by unforeseen joys or griefs.  I had learned that it’s wiser not to cling to anything on this earth - neither persons nor things.  It’s easier and wiser to accept whatever God gives us at the present moment, and to accept that the people we love are entrusted to us only for a short while.  Then it becomes easier - with His help - to remain accepting and trusting when, inevitably, things or persons are taken away, whether by robberies, or by ‘misfortunes’, or by death - which, for those who trust in the merits and promises of Christ, is only a temporary parting.


But what great joys were given, amidst the sorrows!  About a year after my mother’s death, our eldest ‘child’ - a son who was nineteen and was about to set off for university - told us that he’d asked to be received into the Catholic Church.   I hadn’t expected a joy as great as that, having learned to live in the present moment, and not to worry about my own future or anyone else’s.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude to God.  It was a tremendous privilege to go to Mass and Communion with one of my own children, in his end-of-term holidays.


Another cause for personal celebration was that from about 1984 or 1985 the times of Masses at the local church were changed, and I was able to go there daily, when the family’s breakfast was eaten and cleared away; and that’s why I began to meditate, each evening, on the daily readings of the Mass.  I was too weary to continue to read the Breviary as well, and it seemed sensible to alter my routine; so I swapped the Breviary for a Daily Missal, treasuring the Church’s choices in the three readings from Holy Scripture each day, even if I was less than enthusiastic about recent translations of Psalms and prayers.  I wasn’t disturbed by the loss of archaisms but by the occasional lack of accuracy.



Jerusalem and Galilee.


Little problems were briefly swamped, soon afterwards, by yet another tremendous joy.  The people and events of the Scriptures were to be seen in a new light after a marvellous trip to “the Holy Land”, as I still called it, from habit.  I seized a wonderful opportunity, and flew to Tel Aviv airport in the spring of 1985. So fervent had been my longing to visit Israel one day that I’d even prepared to some extent by learning Hebrew at evening class, as I mentioned, when I’d taken weekly lessons from a Rabbi, with a dozen other enthusiasts. I can’t describe my joy at being in what was Christ’s own country, amongst His people; and I wept on seeing the coast from the aircraft. I visited and prayed at every possible shrine, touching my crucifix to those ancient stones.


Based not far from the centre of Jerusalem, I took coach tours, daily, to the places where Jesus had lived or walked or suffered during the life we’ve read about in the Holy Gospels.  It’s not worth trying to share my impression of the whole trip when thousands before me have written about those sacred places; so I’ll content myself with mentioning little pleasures.


It was thrilling to discover Bethany, where Christ could count on a welcome from special friends. Then when I travelled North, to gaze at the hills surrounding His home town of Nazareth, it was marvellous to know that His eyes had seen those very sights, since the hills don’t change even if buildings fall down or people disagree about the authenticity of the holy places.  In just a few days, the marvellous childhood words such as ‘Galilee’, ‘Wilderness’, ‘the Jordan’, ‘Jericho’ and ‘Jerusalem’ all came alive in my mind in a new way, no longer ‘festooned’ with shreds of inaccurate associations, of the sort which I’d gathered since the age of three.  My faith didn’t change, although I recognise that Providence helps us in all sorts of ways, especially through our acts of devotion when we’re on pilgrimage; I mean that the images and historical facts which can feed or sharpen our faith became more truthful and effective.


Amongst personal highlights was a moment of prayer in the church in the garden of Gethsemane, seeing the great stone where Christ might have lain weeping with fear.  I learned something more about His great love for us.  And I was awe-struck on approaching another great rock: the stone of sacrifice sited within a mosque on Temple Mount.  What an ancient site, and how holy!  I was awe-struck to be so near the spot where Abraham had stood in obedience to God, and near which Isaiah had trembled, knowing himself to be unworthy to be in God’s presence.  I would have liked to have stayed there silently for the whole day, but the crowd pressed round chattering, and I knew the tour-guide would be waiting.



New authors.


Once back in England, involved in the usual hectic routine, I made time for further encouraging spiritual reading.  New authors helped me to keep my resolutions.  Yet, despite my determination to be ‘broad-minded’, since works by Christians of different loyalties were all interesting, I found that there was no substitute for ‘solid’ Catholic nourishment.  The documents of Vatican II were most enlightening.  But I tried to keep an historical ‘balance’ by reading a certain amount about the early Councils, the great Church fathers, and also about the Council of Trent, the teachings of which are still valid, as the Church tells us, no matter how much they might be criticised or ignored by some modern theologians.


But several modern writers were helpful, such as William Johnston and Sheila Cassidy. Thomas Merton’s work led me towards Catherine De Hoeck Doherty.  Then I discovered Fr. Aidan Nichols’ “Looking at the Liturgy” and Cardinal Ratzinger’s “Church, Ecumenism and Politics,” when at last I’d found some reliable Catholic booksellers and publishers. Certain other authors, praised by friends and reviewers, seemed sentimental or unsound; but it had been useful to read widely and to find out what different Christians - even different Catholics - believed. As ever, in new books or pamphlets, there were ‘new’ Saints or holy persons to discover.  St. John of the Cross caught me by his humility and Matt Talbot touched my heart by his total self-giving. So many of them strengthened me by their prayers.


For some time I’d been helped, too, by modern translations of Holy Scripture.  It was a marvellous experience to read the letters of St. Paul in each new modern version.  They sounded as though he’d written them only a week ago.


Greater peace.


Prayer-times became almost as peaceful as the times spent with a book.  I still knelt in  prayer in faith mingled with fear.  But as my trust grew, nourished by frequent Communion, the fears lessened and joy crept in from time to time, accompanied by greater hope; and as I went on in darkness, I began to discern a new pattern to my life.  I was free from scruples most of the time, and free from concern about my health - or lack of it.  Christ  had taught me to repent of my failings, but never to dwell on minor things.  By interior self-laceration my heart had been kept anxious, bleeding from the wounds of memory.  Acts of trust and firm resolutions lead me closer to Christ: closer to His peace.


But if ever I made foolish choices, not from weakness but from selfishness, the peace disappeared and I was left in torment - something different from mere guilty feelings; it was a terrible spiritual pain.  I’ve experienced this on only two occasions in the past few years, and about faults which can’t remotely be called serious; and I hope and pray that I may never, ever, offend Christ again.  When He has taught someone about His Will, by personal instruction, He is very strict about any deliberate little betrayal.  He would overlook such things in the life of someone who is genuinely good-hearted but not in the life of someone who is acting selfishly even after having been privileged to receive extra ‘coaching’ from Our Lord.  He wants to see real change and self-sacrifice, not self-indulgence.


Christ had always been as lavish with encouragement, however, as with necessary rebukes; and He’s also known about every difficulty and every cause for sorrow.  He alone knew that I’d lived in an interior night for so many years - in pain, still, and struggling; but He alone could see ahead; He could see the wonderful gifts which He was longing to shower upon me more and more lavishly as I went through successive spiritual purifications.



Pierced by ‘Knowledge’.


All I expected was that I’d carry on in darkness for the rest of my life; but I was astonished and puzzled to find that the usual gloom of my prayer was pierced, occasionally, by an extraordinary, invisible Light.  Every few weeks - then every few days - when I was praying at Holy Mass, I’d find that my soul had been ‘pierced’ by ‘Knowledge’, and that in a split second I’d learned something marvellous about God, about Christ and His Church, or about grace, prayer, and souls.  I learned nothing new, but many truths already learned through worship or through books and sermons were wonderfully given anew or illuminated.  The ‘occurrences’ were always unexpected, brief and astounding: totally new and strange.  Never had I anticipated anything like this happening in my everyday spiritual life.


All that I’d ever read had warned me to mistrust strange ‘feelings’, although these weren’t ‘feelings’ - but “happenings” which disappeared as quickly as they came. I tried to ignore the knowledge and the ‘events’, and to pray as I’d always prayed.  It had never occurred to me to hope for special gifts: someone like me!  Also, every authoritative Catholic writer had warned the reader to flee anything unusual experienced in prayer.


In my ignorance, I didn’t realise how or why I was being taught.  But Christ had brought me to a new way of life where He Himself was teaching me about the life of grace.  It was totally unexpected; I’d hoped for nothing more than to have enough grace simply to endure.  But every few weeks - then more frequently - when I was praying after Holy Communion, in darkness, I’d find that Christ had suddenly illuminated my soul with His soundless wisdom.


I confessed my sins and made acts of faith, hope and love.  I adored God in darkness, and knelt in a numb silence after Mass.  The daily routine was the same; it consisted of self-offering, and the ‘Jesus Prayer,’ with morning and night prayers, all prayed in faith alone as year followed year. I combined them with secret penance and with regular attendance at Holy Mass, as I said, and Reconciliation.  Meanwhile, I told no-one about the teachings.  Whom could I tell, and why?  But I eventually realised that each gift of ‘knowledge’ clarified in a marvellous way the truths of God and of His Church.  I felt secure, because although I hadn’t looked for such experiences they seemed to have increased my faith and fervour, and caused the Scriptures themselves to come alive in a new and wholly beneficial way.  That’s why I dared to believe that they came from God and not from an evil source.  Who but God, I reasoned, could cause me - by this extraordinary means - to love obscurity, to consent to being ignored or misunderstood, and to grow more patient in my pain?


It seemed to me, at last, that I’d be very ill-mannered if I ignored what God was choosing to do for me; so after Holy Communion one day I solemnly and briefly thanked Him for what I’d learned. He knew that I wanted nothing except His grace and strength so that I could keep walking on in darkness, if darkness should be what He permitted.  He knew that my faith and hope weren’t dependent on extraordinary experiences in prayer.


It was the right thing to do, though I continued to pray that Christ would preserve me from all evil and self-deception.  Meanwhile, He continued to give me this sort of ‘knowledge’ in one brief unexpected moment after another.  Each time, I learned more in a split second about Christ and His mercies than I could have learned from reading and thinking for years and years.


A plateau on the Mountain.


Now that I was clinging to Christ through thick and thin, He began to encourage me in a more vigorous way. For example, He showed me an image in prayer: of myself, standing on a hill-side high above a great plain; and then He astonished me by explaining:-


                        Learn to see life so far as a long journey which you have made with Me.  Though you couldn’t see Me, I was beside you all the time. (T:31 #1)


                        Turn to Me in prayer, and - whilst you are kneeling here before me - consider the details of your daily life.  This is how you can see each day’s incidents and problems most clearly.  (T:31 #2)


                        Look back, as if to gaze upon a ‘wide plain’ below, to see all the events and trials of your life in a new light, which is My Light. See the battles which you have fought for Me and the triumphs which you have won! (T:31 #3)


                        Don’t be afraid that I’m going to remind you of your sins and failures.  In My sight, nothing of them can be seen.  By confession and forgiveness they have been taken away for ever. (T:31 #4)


Aspects of Goodness.


It was still only by naked faith in God that I believed in His love for me, and in the forgiveness that I’d received in the Sacrament of Reconciliation; so this teaching certainly consoled me.  But there was more to learn. I wasn’t going to be allowed to slacken my efforts.


Christ reminded me once again of the importance of my loving my neighbours and also of seeing Divine goodness in them.  He explained this one day by means of a vision, when I was praying at Mass.  I was shown an image, in prayer.


I saw the faces of a few people I knew, appearing, indistinct, in a great ray of light which seemed to come from God, from far above.  I stood in prayer, near the left side of the church, beneath a window; and as I prayed, I suddenly found that Christ had explained to me:


                        Be grateful for every good and loving quality which you see or experience or sense in the people you meet.  All goodness is from Me.  It is a gift.  Every aspect of goodness is a gift from me. (T:32A #1)


                        Ponder the marvel of it: that every good person’s good act, gesture, word or thought or expression reflects some aspect of My Almighty, extraordinary Goodness. (T:32A #2)


Thus He encouraged me to be more thoughtful and observant as I lived and worked amongst all sorts of different people and continued with my efforts to love everyone for Christ’s sake.



The illuminative way.


It wasn’t to be until much later on that the ‘teachings’ which suddenly appeared within my soul in prayer ceased to surprise me, or rather, were recognised as comprising a normal part of the spiritual life.  I was going to be shown by Christ that He has lavished His teachings upon me in such abundance for a specific purpose, which is that I share them with the whole Church, through my paintings and writings, as a reminder and an encouragement of important truths of the Faith.  But I believe that all who persevere in prayer and try to be loyal to Christ and His Will, no matter what it cost them, will be ‘taught’ by Him in some manner, in what’s known as the Illuminative Way; and as I look back to those early ‘teachings’ and notice the way in which Christ taught me, by a wonderful interweaving of truths, as He gave me detailed instruction in the teachings of His own Church and also tactful advice about personal concerns, I am touched to the heart by this evidence of His goodness. 


As personal concerns decrease.


Just in case there are readers who prefer not to see this narrative interrupted more and more frequently by ‘teachings’, I’ll better explain that the number of such excerpts must increase in the second half of this book.


Since I’m writing this story of the ‘journey’ of the soul at Christ’s request, and since a main characteristic of any journey towards Him is that personal concerns decrease as there arises within the soul a longing to see Christ’s Will fulfilled, I must let Christ’s words replace my own, to a large extent - or, rather, I must let the teachings of the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity replace my comments and opinions.  In this way, I hope to show out not just the several stages of the journey, and not just which topics are most important in Christ’s eyes, but, most importantly, the way in which Christ has led me to the Father.


As I include further excerpts from these teachings, I must suppose that most readers will notice the somewhat stilted language in which I’ve ‘clothed’ the teachings.  It was Christ Who invited me to translate His silent teachings into words, as well as to record His own ‘given’ words, when He had chosen to use them. Yet I was so appalled at being involved in such work for God in spite of my unfitness that I could barely bring myself to write.  Inevitably, the language of my early ‘translations’ reflects more of the crippling awe which I felt in the presence of Christ than His own true simplicity and beauty.  But anyone who perseveres and examines the language of later teachings might believe that it corresponds more closely with Christ’s tender, gentle and unhurried way of explaining things - whether points of theology or expressions of delight in my efforts to please Him.



A cry on Calvary.


Right at the beginning of what was to become an unending stream of ‘teachings’, I was given a powerful reminder of my debt to Christ; and this was necessary, I’m sure, in order to place all of the ‘teachings’ on a very firm foundation.  The humility which Christ has always tried to foster within my soul is not only vital for a truly-Christian way of life but is absolutely essential for someone whom He has called to a way of contemplation and reparation.  So that’s why He startled me one Palm Sunday as I was listening intently to the solemn reading from Holy Scripture in which Our Lord’s Passion is described: about how “THEY CRUCIFIED HIM THERE AND THE TWO CRIMINALS ALSO” (Lk 23:33).


As I stood in the crowded church that morning I suddenly saw and heard in my soul, though not with my eyes or ears, Our Lord’s terrible cry on Calvary; and I was silently instructed:-


                        Listen to My cry of agony as I hang on the Cross; I - the Lord of Heaven and earth - have been punished as a criminal (T:32B #1)


                        Try to comfort Me in My Passion, by your compassion.  I Who am God and man suffered tremendous torments for you - and for each one of you, not merely for ‘mankind’ - on account of your sins. (T:32B #2)


                        Spend time sitting prayerfully with Me in Gethsemane, or in any place where I suffered for your sakes.  This comforts Me, and also helps you to persevere. (T:32B #3)


                        Offer your pains and sorrows to Me, in reparation for sins, and as a proof of your devotion. (T:32B #4)


I never forgot that cry. Christ’s Passion became, for me, something recognised as being very closely connected with my life: with my ‘status’ as a child of God, and with the security and hope which have been brought to me in the Christian way of life.


Then, very soon afterwards, I was given a teaching, or a ‘vision’, which brought me not only information but consolation.


Joyful news.


Every new ‘teaching’ puzzled and astonished me, but what I was shown next, with extraordinary clarity, was something I’d never in a hundred years have expected to see; I’m speaking about the state of soul of a person who had died; and it was only as I was praying to God the Father in the Name of Christ that this was suddenly shown to me, by His choice.  I had always prayed fervent prayers for departed souls, ever since I’d become a Catholic, but I’d always been content, then, to leave them in God’s hands and never to be impatient thinking what had become of these people, but only to pray for each one in case “THOUGH HE IS SAVED HIMSELF, IT WILL BE AS ONE WHO HAS GONE THROUGH FIRE” (1 Co 3:15).  It’s so sad that some desperate people try to achieve knowledge about the dead by dangerous means.  But what Christ chose to show me, to my astonishment, was the sight of a very good person who had died and who was now rising upwards to Heaven in great happiness and glory.  I was much comforted, because the man who was now looking so young and carefree was my own beloved father, who had died only a month earlier (T:35) and whose purification had evidently been very brief.





Christ gave me numerous other teachings which of course I can’t possibly include within this book. These frequent “piercings” of Knowledge were extremely puzzling, as I said earlier; but the puzzlement was slight in the sense that I’d spent many years in simple work and worship.  As a busy mother who had been further restricted by physical weakness, I had seen years pass by in apparent spiritual stagnation while other people managed to attend retreats, conferences, discussions or prayer-groups; and although I didn’t resent this, I came to see, later on, that because of my isolation I had little idea of what other people experienced in prayer.  So the ‘knowledge’ was a total surprise to me, unsought, unexpected, and puzzling: a mild mystery which I assumed would probably cease in the near future.  I was content with whatever Christ chose to give me in prayer, or to withhold.


It was true that during the past few years I’d learned through books, sermons and pictures that holy people  in every era have been disturbed by visions and peculiar phenomena.  But I knew only too well how sinful I am, and so I never labelled any of my ‘happenings’ as ‘visions’. I thought of them as a strange sort of prayer which God arranged in me for His own secret purposes; and the teachings I received bore no similarity to the multi-coloured apparitions which I supposed the Saints had seen before their bodily eyes.


It was true that when I’d prayed to Christ for help many years before, He had appeared to the eyes of my soul; but that wasn’t an ‘apparition,’ as I understood the word.  He hadn’t been a phantom whom I could have chased away, but had really been present to my soul, somehow.  I’d accepted it as a normal, though disturbing, spiritual ‘happening’, which was due entirely to His kindness.  Hadn’t the Scriptures said that the Lord promises that “THEY WILL CALL ON MY NAME AND I SHALL LISTEN” (Zc 13:9)?


In recent years I hadn’t thought much about it, living in a darkness of soul which had grown familiar, even though it was terrible to bear.  I lived fully in the present moment, not in memories, and wouldn’t have dared to demand either light or relief from God.  I was quite incapable of looking back joyfully at any earlier spiritual experience.


But one thing I did notice was that the ‘Knowledge’ was utterly “pure” in a particular way; and since I want to explain about ‘purity-of-Knowledge’ I must first explain something about memory, or rather about my personal manner of recalling things to mind, whether thoughts, events, or writings.


Information with no ‘style’.


It’s probably true that I’ve always taken for granted the fact that I have what’s called a photographic memory, by which I can recall to mind various facts or events, whilst also remembering where it was that I read or absorbed a certain piece of information, and even the size and colour of the book in which I had read it.  This aptitude had proved very useful when I was doing history exams at school.


But now, for example, were I to recall a paragraph written by C. S. Lewis, on Purgatory, I’d  know that the words were his.   The concept would be put across to me in his distinctive style.  A different style would be noted if ever I recalled Abbot Marmion’s wonderful phrases about “Christ in His mysteries”, or Fr. Knox’s comments about the Eucharist in his book the “Window in the Wall”.  Yet, the pure ‘Knowledge’ given in prayer was word-less and immediate.  There was no visible or audible ‘vehicle’ bringing it to me.  It had no ‘style’ except its own marvellous fullness and purity.  I hadn’t ‘recalled’ it from an historic source.  Every scrap of such ‘knowledge’ was a total surprise to me: unsought, puzzling and mildly mysterious.  It would go away one day, I supposed; and meanwhile, I was genuinely content to welcome my soul’s interior darkness for as long as God willed that I should remain in it.  I accepted that agony as a penance, since faith told me that I had only one task of importance to do; I was to cling to God at the centre of my soul as I worked to be loving and patient for His sake.  I was to get up repentant but confident whenever, in my weakness, I failed to love others as perfectly as Christ loves me.



Work, and dark prayer.


As I tried to trust in God in the darkness, and to avoid sin and to find the courage to do His Will, my heart was secure.  All the moments of ‘Knowledge’ were so pure, so sudden, and so utterly unsought, that my fear lessened.  These were the truths of the Gospel: truths which urged me towards nothing else but love and endurance and sacrifice for the love of Christ. I knew the weakness of fallen human nature. I knew that we can deceive ourselves; but I also knew that, thanks to the grace of Christ, I could at last see very clearly.  I wasn’t deceived; neither was I agitated or depressed.  Besides, I didn’t think that any delusion could bring not merely brief ‘imagined’ joy, or patience or calm, but the pure Knowledge which only comes with faith and which, like faith, too, is a pure gift from God.  Of course, knowledge is mediated through one’s own self with one’s limitations and inadequacies; and all Knowledge is useless, without love.


Year by year, and throughout each new day, amidst parties, meal-times, supermarket trips and various visits, my mind, when not occupied with normal work, became full of amazed awe at the Glory of God, or saturated with pain at the knowledge of my sinfulness.  But since I still had no idea how or why I was being taught in prayer, I continued my work and prayer as usual, trying to be faithful to Christ no matter what I suffered.  Most of the time, I worked and knelt and prayed in utter ‘interior’ darkness, just as I had for the previous decade and more.


I yearned for everyone to be able to know and love Ch rist; but what I asked of God most sincerely was the grace to be able to love Him, and - for His sake - to make other people happy from day to day.  My occasional failures no longer surprised me.  I was appalled by my weaknesses, but I’d begun to understand what Saint Paul wrote, about Christ’s assurance that: “MY GRACE IS ENOUGH FOR YOU; MY  POWER IS AT ITS BEST IN WEAKNESS” (2 Co 12:9). I’d been taught in prayer simply to do my best, and to leave the results in God’s hands.









A daughter of the Church.


Each dark morning, after my new conversion, and with winter approaching, I began to find a strange comfort and strength in those broken-hearted prayers in the kitchen, before anyone else awoke.  I grew accustomed to the darkness of those years - the strange, safe darkness.  Christ gave me courage, and the sure hope that I was on the right path.  He never ceased to encourage me to believe in His Love, and in our friendship.


One great day at Mass, I was praying as usual; and for a moment I wondered how I dare go to Holy Communion. It was true that I’d been reconciled; but my life had been so sinful and my weakness so profound that I was astonished, again, at my faith in daring to approach the One who is so Pure and Holy.  Straightaway, at that moment, Our Lord showed me that I can walk confidently towards Him. He astonished me by showing me a vivid image of myself walking up to receive Him in Holy Communion: walking up the central aisle in church, wearing a long gold cloak; and then He explained to me, forcefully:-


                        Believe in My work in you.  Don’t worry.  It is I Who have led you to a new repentance and to Reconciliation, and so have prepared you again for Holy Communion. (T:33 #1)


                        Recognise your dignity.  You are a daughter of the Church, reconciled and forgiven.  By My work in you and through My Merits, entirely, you are now more fit than the greatest princess to approach Me, the King of Glory, at the altar. (T:33 #2)


                        See how generous am I, Who have clothed you in the beautiful ‘garment’ which is the Life of Grace.   You wear a long, gold cloak, through My generosity.  What dignity you have, as you approach Me, worthy to receive My Holy Body and My Precious Blood! (T:33 #3) (WC:33)


Influencing other souls.


Christ wanted me to realise that my efforts to please Him were going to be fruitful for other souls besides my own.  He reminded me one day after Holy Communion:-


                        Respond to Our call.  We Who draw you towards the altar, the Most Holy Trinity, are ‘at work’, to save you.  The Father ‘calls’ you; My Holy Spirit ‘propels’ you to turn towards Me, Jesus Christ; and I unite you to Myself as if in One Offering from the altar, during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. (T:37 #2)


                        Reach out determinedly, in prayer, despite trials.  We, the Most Holy Trinity, truly draw on and attract, enfold and guide the faithful and courageous soul; and by a like power, that soul pulls along in her ‘wake’, in a life of prayer, all who belong to her in some degree, though of course they are all free to resist Our grace and influence. (T:37 #3)


It’s because prayer is so important that Christ reminded me very gently why we should all pray in church - and elsewhere - with great reverence:-


                        Think about Me, your Lord, Whose Sacrifice is offered before you.  It is not fitting, during the awesome offering of Myself on the altar, that you worship with minds and hearts alone.  If you who are so weak are careless with your bodies, or lazy or untidy in your communal gestures, you are led to be careless and distracted in your minds.  Thus, you might fail to pay Me the honour and holy worship which are due to My Majesty. (T:36A #2)


Then He urged me to persevere in intercession and always to pray with great confidence in His goodness.  He showed me an image of the whole globe of the Earth suspended in space; and the globe was wrapped in a sheet which represented prayer.  Christ then taught me:-


                        Persevere in intercession.  As you kneel and pray in My Name, your prayer ‘wraps up’ the whole earth, as if a vast sheet, and enfolds it. (T:39 #1) (WC:39)


                        Believe in the power of prayer “in Christ”.  There is no part of the earth which is not touched and enfolded by grace, when, by prayer, you beg Me to touch it and to help the people who live there. (T:39 #2)


                        Make requests of Me for others, whilst accepting mankind’s real freedom.  Others may refuse the graces brought near to them by those who have prayed for them. (T:39 #3)


Reaching towards God.


Day by day, and more and more frequently, God poured secretly, into my inmost soul,  knowledge of Himself, of the most Holy Trinity, of Creation, of sin, and of mankind and its redemption through Jesus Christ. He taught me, in a manner sometimes unknown to me and always ‘unfelt’, about the Church, about prayer, about union with Christ - but above all about Love: about Christ’s Love for us, and about the power of the prayers which we pray in His Name to the Father; and each time I received one of these teachings, my soul became more confident and hopeful. As I said earlier, there was no question of my wanting or seeking ‘experiences’.  Christ, more than anyone, knew my heart.  If I had been swamped beneath a deluge of fierce emotions or colourful images I would have fought or fled them, but this wasn’t what was happening.


It was true that some of the teachings were being given to me as images which were accompanied by ‘Knowledge’ or understanding.  But most of the occurrences in prayer were imageless; and each arrived unexpectedly - yet always within prayer - at the point where my heart was at peace, and was totally devoted to reaching towards God in the darkness of faith, in penitence and worship. 


Everything I learned from God within that darkness was suddenly and unavoidably received. In a swift and secret manner, the knowledge pierced my soul and left its mark. Each experience was so brief and unexpected that it had finished before I could even react to it or think; and only the ‘knowledge’ remained.  That’s why, in the midst of my slight puzzlement, I was content to know that I’d been hoping or searching for nothing except to know what was  God’s Will for me at each moment: whether in prayer or ‘out’ of it.


All my will was centred, now, on trusting in Christ in each new earthly joy or grief, and in doing His Will as perfectly as possible - by relying on His power.  It seemed to me that only one grief would be utterly unbearable: the sorrow of failing to respond to His love, after learning so vividly what He’d suffered and done for us all.  All other miseries and disappointments are minor, seen in this way.  There’s nothing which isn’t foreseen, understood and encompassed by God; nor need we allow anyone or anything to take us away from His care: that’s what I’d learned, even though I was still in pain, and still had hardships and turmoil to bear; I was still weak and sometimes afraid.  But I’d found from experience that nothing serious could defeat me, as long as I kept on turning to God in constant prayer.



Centred on Christ.


All of my struggles were ‘beneath the surface’ of my life.  Outwardly things seemed the same. We worked and travelled, and entertained friends.  I nursed my own mother, as I mentioned, and cared for the children day by day, as usual.  Attendance at Holy Mass was - is - my greatest source of strength.  Prayer at home was pursued in private, although I didn’t always kneel, but sometimes sat.  I’d been well and strong for short periods, but eventually the weakness became permanent.


Through every episode of pain and every hospital visit, the old ‘classics’ helped me.  The psalms, the rosary and my crucifix all held me up; and when it was difficult to go on, the “Lord’s Prayer” and the Creed were like jewels in the dark, and fulfilled my need to offer words of fervent praise to God when I felt almost too tired to pray.  The Divine Praises were like a ladder leading to peace, although I still found that silence was my best prayer.  But when I was tired beyond belief, the “Jesus Prayer” almost said itself in my mind, and I was led further on in trust and hope and love.  I can never thank God enough for my faith in Him, which enabled me to face each new day.  It was above all through the belief that I’d be pleasing Him if I remained faithful to my various duties that I was enabled to get up and start again each day, and to make the ‘morning offering’ with a sincere heart.


Meanwhile the ‘teachings’ continued; and despite my determination to ignore all I learned, and not to dwell on the ‘occurrences’, I found that they interrupted my usual darkness more and more frequently, as I knelt in church, at Holy Mass.


Dumb endurance.


Resolutely pressing on with my work, puzzled by the ‘teachings’, I learned how to live in the ‘present moment.’  For a long time I continued to take no notice; I really tried to ignore the “knowledge”, the events, and continued to pray as I’d always prayed.  I repented of my sins, made fervent petitions, and knelt in dumb endurance throughout the Mass.  I would sooner have died than ‘miss Mass’,  unless kept away by illness or by duty.  Faith told me that it was the source of all my strength, and experience proved to me that Christ, at the heart of the Mass, is an infallible source of peace.


In the darkness, spurred on by all that I learned at Mass, I lived only by faith.  I mean that even my attendance at that Holy Sacrifice was itself a sacrifice in that I rarely felt a spark of inspiration or joy.  I went to church, I prayed, I listened to the words of Scripture, and adored Christ, blindly, in Holy Communion; but I still lived in spiritual darkness, still fighting against feelings of shame and fear.  Even in my prayers at home I found no tangible comfort or joy - nor did I expect any.   It no longer mattered very much to me what I felt, as long as I knew that my prayers were sincere, and that in everyday life I was still trying to please Christ and to be faithful to my duties.


Daily, I prayed in simple words about my sorrow for sin, my gratitude to God for His gifts, and about the needs of my family and friends - and of the Church.  Daily, I adored God in darkness, certain, however, that He accepted my homage; and week by week the teachings continued.  I assumed, vaguely, that one day I would find myself praying as before: not only lonely and in darkness, but quite baffled as well; but it didn’t matter to me what happened, as long as I could be faithful to prayer and to God’s Will.


Our parish priest until 1984, the year my mother died, was the generous-hearted Canon Keenan whom I’ve already mentioned.  But it didn’t occur to me for years to ask a priest about the teachings. I felt quite unworthy to speak to a priest about anything, even about prayer; and I really thought that this might be a passing ‘phase’.  I had no desire to draw attention to myself; nor did I think that one ought to chat casually about God’s secret gifts, unless there were a pressing reason.


As I’ll explain further on, I sought advice a few years later, by which time Canon O’Leary had been with us for a few years; and I wasn’t merely reassured but was told that the teachings were a “gift from God”. I can’t begin to describe my awe and gratitude; but at the time of which I’m speaking, I was frightened as well as puzzled, afraid that the “occurrences” would be seen as a sign of ‘emotionalism’ or ‘neurosis’: a sign that I was a weak, foolish woman who ‘imagined’ her pains and weaknesses.  But I thanked God for enabling me to continue. I calmly and quietly did the essential tasks for my family whilst my physical weakness increased but the ‘teachings’ went on.  As I shall explain, they continue still.


Learning patience and trust.


Daily work became gradually less gruelling, when I was no longer coping with small children but with young adults, who were extremely kind.  New problems arose when some tasks were evidently beyond my strength; but nothing made me depressed, thanks to Christ.  The only things which made me really appalled and ashamed, later on, were the two or three occasions when Christ Himself rebuked me about some sort of selfishness or self-indulgence.


Unseen and unheard, until future occasions in prayer, Christ taught me to be patient and trusting, and to bring all my problems to Him.  He taught me to work as He wished me to work. But He never left me for long without encouragement, even though that encouragement was known only through faith, at that stage.  There was no pleasure in it.



A different way ahead.


The spiritual life is such a mysterious thing.  Although I was unaware of this, all the occurrences of both pain and light were being given to me in preparation for a very different way ahead.  I was being given glimpses, in darkness, of many things which would become even clearer when at last I’d been brought to real union with Christ.


In prayer-times, in between family meals and meetings, the teachings continued.  Sometimes I walked home after Mass stunned by what I’d unexpectedly seen.


Eventually I noticed that all the Knowledge from Christ in prayer gave me something besides hope and understanding.  I received greater courage to do what I thought He wanted, in the life of our church community.  That was why I began to attend routine meetings of the Parish Council.  Besides, the children were more independent.  I had no extraordinary motive, beyond duty; but  I had a little more leisure time and thought I could quite contentedly talk of either gutters or liturgies, taking my turn at a necessary task.  Then I was asked to be the Catholic representative on the Council of Churches in our town, and so  I attended many more meetings, and came to feel as though I really belonged in this community, of Christians together, living for love, cherishing one another through work, prayer and conversation.


I relied on Christ to bring some good out of my attendance at inter-church gatherings and to help me to be crystal-clear and truthful as I wrote numerous minutes and reports.  I realised that the trust which He inspired brought wonderful rewards to me as I was set free from anxiety about results, in any field.


Council Documents.


It seems Providential to me that in the nineteen-eighties, in my efforts to be scrupulously fair and accurate in discussions with fellow-Christians, I was conscience-bound to turn to the documents of the Second Vatican Council which deal with the Church, and with Ecumenism, and Mission; and as I let one document lead me to study another, I was thrilled  to see plainly explained all the great Catholic doctrines and recommendations which I’d already known and admired for so long, and which I’d promoted - as best I could - in the previous twenty years. But that delight came not because I’d been provided with some sort of armour in which to protect myself in ecumenical discussions.  Rather, it was a delight in seeing stated as central to the Faith the wonderful Church teachings which had been labelled by discontented Catholics as peripheral or old-fashioned.


As I’d been reading and pondering, through two decades as a Catholic, I had never wavered in belief. I had stated plainly  to any enquirer just what it is that is central to the Faith, and what are matters of discipline or custom - and how ‘custom’ means a different thing from ‘the Tradition’. The perpetual drip-drip of criticism of Catholic teaching, however, which is encountered by anyone who reads ‘across the spectrum’ of Catholic journalism, can have a demoralising effect; and so I was re-invigorated by the discovery that no Council document recommended the ‘loyal dissent’ which some Catholics so loudly promote today.  No document recommended ‘indiscriminate’ worship with other Christians, nor the sort of ‘multi-faith’ worship which for the sake of false peace ignores the existence and the Mediation of Christ.  Many documents had been widely misquoted, in the sense of a different perspective being given to a particular subject by the omission from the quotation of certain phrases which, in the original document, had helped to provide a balanced view.


Selective quotation.


The damage done by the use of selective quotation of Council documents by Catholic critics of Catholic doctrine was evident in the ecumenical field. It’s true that the Church documents state that we can recognise ‘seeds’ of goodness in other cultures and other faiths: and we’re all invited to promote whatever good is found in other faiths.  But I had never heard quoted by any apostle of a false harmony the ‘balancing’ paragraph which I found in the Constitution of the Church: in chapter two of “Lumen Gentium.”  The Council Fathers explain that Salvation is indeed possible for those who, through no fault of their own, don’t know the gospel of Christ or His Church, yet who sincerely seek God and try to do His Will as it’s made known to them through their consciences; yet the Fathers also explain that people are more often deceived by the evil one, which is why the Church is still continuing with her missionary work and still hopes that the entire world will become One People in Christ, the Head, for the Glory of God the Father.


How very different is the ringing proclamation of the Council document from the bland statements of those who have been urging us towards the ‘indifferentism’ so widespread today.  It was heartening for me to see such evidence that the aims of the Church of God - of the One, true Church, and not of those of its voluble members who defy her authority or mock her teachings - remain the same in every era, even though re-statements and clarifications of her eternal truths are appropriate for different times and places.


Seductive ideas.


There was something which saddened me, however, as I became more involved in Eucumenical work. I’m referring to my discovery that a number of the Christians with whom I discussed faith, prayer and morals at various official meetings or Lent-groups appeared astonished if I said that “Yes, I do believe in the teachings of the Church, and I have great respect for the Holy Father.”


Of course, I’m stating this so bluntly in order to point out that these good people had gained the impression from the media, and even from the Catholic press, that the ‘normal’ Catholic finds the Church old-fashioned and its teachings foolish.  It was blithely supposed that I believe the Pope to be misguided, that I choose to steer an individual course in moral matters and am delighted by every opportunity to move away from the ‘authoritarian, paternalistic and guilt-inducing’ doctrines and practices of past centuries.  That’s why much of my time was spent explaining that the Church’s teaching never alters, on matters of faith and morals, and that many of us believe in that teaching still, no matter how difficult it might be to put into practice, and no matter how loudly and critically it’s discussed by some who wish it could be changed.


It was by this gradual process of study, discussion, reflection and report-writing that I came to see just how subtle are the temptations put before faithful Catholics today by many discontented Church members - and just how seductive these ideas can prove for people who have never studied the Faith carefully or for those who prefer to drift comfortably into the arms of one group or another which holds out an apparently easier and less abrasive way of being Catholic and Christian.



Emerging from darkness.


As I write this account of how I studied our Faith as best I could, in ordinary ways, and then of how I learned to accept and to treasure Christ’s teachings in prayer, which so marvellously ‘replicate’ in a different idiom much of what I’ve learned through the Catholic Church, I must recall a handful of events of the last few years: years in which the daily rhythm of prayer and ‘teachings’, of simple work, rests and conversations was quiet and steady.  Good news as well as sad was woven into a simple pattern as I wrote, painted and prayed - and frequently just lay quietly at home waiting for some energy to return.


The events of which I write have all happened in the years since late 1985, when Christ showed me that the worst part of the spiritual journey had ended.  He lifted me from darkness to glory; and I’m yearning to tell other people to keep trusting in Him, no matter how great their present darkness.  There’s no one like Him: no greater friend.  I want to shout out, almost - hand on heart - that He’s worth any sacrifice.  I’ve found from experience, especially in these past few years, that our tiniest efforts to please God or to love our neighbour are staggeringly rewarded, despite our dreadful mistakes; and that’s why I’m planning to write in the last few chapters about the astonishingly joyful life to be experienced at the ‘heart’ of the Holy Trinity.  Meanwhile, I believe that Christ wants me to share further details about the long journey, for the sake of those who follow the same path . 


So many pages in this book speak about union-in-darkness, pain and fear.  But Christ cannot leave in darkness those whose main desire to please Him and serve Him and who have abandoned everything which might cast a shadow on their path towards Him.


It was in 1985, on the eleventh of December, that Christ came to me, utterly unexpected, to draw back the curtains on my long and lonely night, and to lift me up by the  power of His Spirit into the warmth of an eternal and unshakeable union with Him.  All of this is what He explained to me, later on.


Christ Himself came to my soul, visibly, for the first time, and in the same way, since my ‘conversion’ about twenty years earlier.  But this time His radiant presence brought me not torment but bliss; and now I dare to hope that the darkness has been taken away forever, through His indescribable kindness.  It was a day which another writer might have chosen to call the day of his or her spiritual ‘marriage’.  I see it as the day on which Christ lifted me wholly into a very close friendship.  It’s true that each of us is made an adopted and true child of God by Baptism; yet Christ has told me that of those of us who survive beyond earthly childhood very few are making every possible effort to remain close to Him; and of those who neglect or betray Him, very few make wholehearted efforts to be fully restored to His friendship and also to be made ready for Heaven.


A new temptation.


It was on a dull day in December that Christ came to me, transformed me, and stayed close to me, all day and ever after; and now I’ll tell how it happened.


It was at a time when I could say at last, by God’s grace, that Christ had first place in my life.  For more than a year after my mother’s death in 1984, I’d ‘plodded along’ determinedly in the usual way.  I did the chores, prayed, read, and went regularly to Mass  and to the sacraments; I also cooked meals for hordes of friends, painted works for galleries and fulfilled individual commissions.  But I wanted nothing more than to be allowed to battle from day to day to love God, and to make others happy for His sake.  If I failed, I was no longer surprised.  I did my best and left the results in His hands.  During 1985 - for the whole of that year - I had worked and prayed in utter ‘darkness’,  just as I had for very many years, though wholly determined at last to love and serve Christ whatever it cost me.  But one evening, in the midst of all sorts of afflictions, I was tempted to lose hope, and was tempted to love and serve God  less than perfectly, and to make conditions and demands.  But I said my prayers as usual, and went to sleep.


The next morning was hectic, with the usual chores and interruptions; but then I dashed to the station, to go to London to do some much-needed Christmas shopping; and as I sat on the train that morning, and thought about my life, I began to pray in silence, in a moment of profound sorrow. I felt entirely without hope except for the hope I held in the darkness of faith.  There was a feeling almost of horror in my heart at the thought of saying ‘yes’ once again to God’s commands.  Then I paused for a split-second in order to remind myself of my very reason for living. There was a real danger that because of frequent illness, with other problems, I could plunge into the depths of self-pity. Clear-headed and very determined, I willed, with all my will and heart, to see, again, the true meaning of abandonment to God and the true meaning of love.


Freely entering a tomb.


Christ said that “IF A MAN SERVES ME, HE MUST FOLLOW ME” (Jn 12:26); and now that I’d  seen once again that real love is about perfect self-giving, I was led to make a firm decision, for the love of God, with all the strength of my soul. I resolved to love - to keep on acting only, and utterly, for the love of Christ - even if what I considered the worst should happen, by which I meant the death of all my hopes and desires.  I was even willing to forgo all natural or supernatural happiness for the rest of my life, if that had been what God Willed for me.  As I sat there on the train, praying in silence, oblivious for once to the people around me, I gave my entire life to Christ once again. 


It was just as though I was entering a tomb: a place of burial for every private hope or dream.  By an act of the will, I closed the door behind me, or, rather, I rolled the stone across the doorway.  I made a sincere and whole-hearted self-offering, in voluntary sacrifice, so that Christ would reign supreme in my life; and as I prayed, my feelings remained normal human feelings of grief and near-despair.


So familiar was I with suffering that I’d almost forgotten about the promise of Resurrection.  So weak was the virtue of hope, in me, that I was almost deaf to Christ’s promise that all who make sacrifices for His sake will receive, even in this life, “GIFTS FOR YOU: A FULL MEASURE, PRESSED DOWN, SHAKEN TOGETHER, AND RUNNING OVER” (Lk 6:38).



A resurrection.


What a marvellous day that was when, finally, I made God truly Sovereign in my life, and determined to do His Will even “to death”: to the death of every dream and personal plan.  Only by His grace did I do it, but I’ve been extravagantly rewarded.  In giving my life to Christ yet again, I arrived at the moment of what I can only call my spiritual resurrection.  Christ powerfully demonstrated to me the truth to which I’d clung for many years in the darkness of faith: the truth that God’s glorious Love for us infinitely surpasses human love, and obliterates every sorrow and heartache.


As soon as I’d said that new and whole-hearted ‘Yes’ to God, and to His Will, I suddenly, astoundingly, and quite unexpectedly, saw Jesus.  In the very moment that I saw Him blindly, with my soul’s eyes, dazzled, I was lifted to His Glory, and was united with Him in Heaven’s bliss and joy and light.   In the wonder of reaching up and seeing myself loved by Christ, every memory, fear and pain was left far behind. 


We were beyond time and place, and beyond thought too: beyond every earthly limitation.  I was entirely His in unimagined and perfect happiness and peace; and although I say that His light dazzled me, rather, He Himself was the light.  He was so brilliant that I couldn’t see His features clearly at any time.  I hope He’s saving that joy for me in Heaven; but in that pure Light, love, understanding and knowledge where Christ held me I knew Him and recognised Him.  I knew Him better than I know myself. I saw that He delights in me, and loves everything about me. He showed me that He loves me better than I love myself. 


At last I understood the fact that God ‘is’ Love.  I was astonished to find that the living, radiant Christ Who is so precious to me, was now familiar, and at the same time glorious, as the Son of God must be glorious.  Furthermore - and I could have died for joy on seeing this - He was full of admiration for me, and tender, almost beyond belief: and to someone who’d been so reluctant to love Him as He deserves.  I experienced then more pure bliss, joy and celebration than in my entire life.  The mere memory of it, now, brings me almost more joy than I can bear.  But it wasn’t just a time of personal spiritual fulfilment; it became a feast, or a festival of praise and thanks with the holy and blessed Company of Heaven who in their happiness shared my joy.


Living in Christ’s friendship.


Although I couldn’t fully appreciate at the time the magnitude of Christ’s generosity, my life was transformed, then, all at once, and forever.  At the same time, Christ taught me about that transformation.  Soundlessly, and with great gentleness He showed me the new state to which He’d brought me.  He even referred to my determination to serve Him faithfully.  He told me:-


                        Here I am!  Rise up with Me to Glory!  Rejoice in your self-conquest and self-sacrifice.  You and I are now united in heart and longing. (T:43 #4)


                        Accept these moments of Glory.  I, Christ, am the Light which now illumines your soul.  I am the Light in Whose radiance My holy Saints are living and rejoicing, even now as they greet you! (T:43 #5)


                        Accept this new joy which is My perpetual gift to you.  Where I am, there is also Love, understanding, knowledge, innocence, friendship, fearlessness and joy! (T:43 #6)


                        Live in hope, in My friendship.  With My Saints, I live in unutterable bliss and celebration.  Now you can see why anyone, believing in this bliss, would be willing to endure even a thousand difficult life-times in order to be made worthy of Heaven! (T:43 #7)


                        See how I Myself love, reward and praise one who has suffered for love of Me.  My Saints add their tender greetings to mine.  Heaven’s rewards are unimaginably wonderful and heart-warming. (T:43 #8)


Then the conversation continued.  Christ’s Light and Christ’s presence still held me secure. I remained in His bliss for about half an hour: half an hour spent in Heaven; that’s what I knew then, and believe now, though it would have been quite impossible for me to write that in my first brief reminiscences. I hadn’t spoken to anyone about Christ’s gifts to me in prayer; and my mind was struggling to cope with two apparently conflicting truths: first, the truth that Christ had taken me to Heaven; yet, secondly: the truth that I’m not fit to be there.  That’s why I first wrote, of my meeting with Christ on that extraordinary day:  “I do not know where.”   I couldn’t have done otherwise, until I’d spoken to someone who had the wisdom of authority, someone who could confirm that my ‘teachings’ and experiences could be ‘accepted’.  Only then did I find the courage to say: in print and out loud: ‘I’m not fit to receive such joy and such gifts.  But the fact that I did receive them only proves God’s goodness, and proves His love for me, someone weak and sinful.’


Living in Union.


After about half-an-hour I emerged from that overwhelming rapture to find that the train had arrived at St. Pancras Station.  Christ didn’t leave me.  When I returned from where He’d taken me, I took the tube-train to Oxford Circus; then I walked where I’d planned to walk, still marvelling at His presence and at my unbelievable joy.  Who would concentrate on shopping with the Prince of Peace at her side?  I hardly dare to say this, but it’s important, and true: Christ was with me in that way, that day in London, for half the length of that part of Oxford Street, as I tried to do my shopping, then failed and gave up the attempt.


A mere glance at Him, there in the street, was guidance, knowledge and peace; but I couldn’t think about what to buy during our wordless conversation. I was almost struck witless by the knowledge of His love for me; so I decided to go home, and then to shop for Christmas presents on the following day.  My heart was stunned all day long by His presence, by His joy in me, and by my heart and mind’s unceasing bliss.


Falling in love.


If it hadn’t been for this personal revelation, I might never have come to realise that our love isn’t just ‘owed’ to God, but is something which utterly delights Him.  I could hardly have conceived of the notion that I, such a weak and weary admirer of Christ, could not only serve him but could touch His Heart, and could give Him so much joy.  So I plucked up courage, then, to ask Him, silently, about all sorts of things, and about people too, by a glance and by a mere look.  He gave me many answers, tenderly.  It was quite extraordinary, as though we were communicating in a soul-to-soul manner  in pure knowledge and love.


Time flowed by.  All care and effort were gone.  For several hours Christ was entirely present to me in this way; and He taught me clearly, at the same time, that He’d like to see me more confident about His Love.  He explained with infinite tenderness:-


                        Believe in My immeasurable love for you.  I love you truly, here, now, just as you are, even before you are perfect.  I love you in your weakness, just as I love all sinners.  Yet I long to see every one of you delivered from sin and made happy. (T:43 #9)


                        Be glad that you make Me happy!  Even the love of someone like yourself can give joy to Me, Who am thrilled by your efforts to be loving.  I delight in you. (T:43 #10)


                        Have faith in Me and in My Holy Church.  Continue to be obedient in everything which I ask of you through My Church.  Understanding comes later.  It grows according to your advancement in love. (T:43 #11)


That day was the first of all the new days spent with Christ, with Him beside me, before me, and continuously here. There’s no way I can thank Him enough for His love, except by living for love, until I die.  All my cares and resentments had gone in an instant.  What could now frighten or defeat me in future, with the powerful help of a Saviour Whom I knew, by experience as well as by faith, to be a loving, tender and constant Companion?


That was the day when - in the purest sense - I “fell in love” with Christ.  That was the time from which my every new effort to please Christ and to serve Him would stem not just from faith, as it fuelled the whole aim of my will, but also from the deepest yearning of my human heart, which had been so profoundly moved by His tenderness and by His evident affection.



A souvenir.


After a few hours I was able to concentrate, for Christ’s sake, on loving tasks for the family: but all the while with such joy and fervour that all tasks seemed the same. I was amazed to find that everything I’d previously found tedious or boring had become easy to do.  All chores were simply opportunities of serving my holy Friend, or of loving my neighbour for His sake, whether I was preparing for a birthday party or mending socks.  I had years of pain ahead of me; but I found myself going joyfully from one thing to another with a lightness of heart which astounded me; and, all the time, it was as though Christ held me in His peace.  He encouraged me to be faithful in everything, and taught me to live in greater trust. He taught me not to worry, but to turn to Him in every need, and in every sorrow.


The experience of Christ’s kindness on my journey to London had so stunned and reassured me that I became determined to mark the event in some concrete way, even in secret.  I imagined that nothing so precious might ever happen to me again.


I hadn’t the faintest idea of what plans Christ had in store for my life, nor any inkling that the joys which lay ahead would make that day seem less like a ‘summit’ of the spiritual life than like the top of a peak in the foothills, from which my willing soul would eventually be led to Himalayan heights: and not only ‘by’ Christ but “in” Him, and wholly within the Holy Trinity.  But meanwhile, I vowed to myself that if all that should happen to me from then on was that I grew old, disabled and toothless, I would leave some mark behind at which I could point one day, saying perhaps to my children: “That was the date.  That was when I learned the real extent of Divine love for poor sinful people.”


At a local jewellers, I chose a thin gold ring to mark the event.  I didn’t tell anyone about it, for years.  It had a bark-like pattern on it, which reminded me of the wood of Christ’s Cross; and I arranged to have engraved, within it, “11.12.85” and also: the signs “A and W”.  I wear it now, as well as my wedding ring. 



The Alpha and Omega Day.


The gift of joy which was lavished upon me on that December day has been like a secret current running through my heart, ever since.  The last thirteen years have brought new and unexpected trials, yet that joy has continued to flow in my life almost continuously.  It seems to me to be one of the greatest proofs, for me, of Christ’s visits and graces; and it’s a joy so great that it nearly breaks my heart by its strength each time I go to Holy Communion.


Since no-one could live on earth, and walk and talk, or work, when preoccupied with such company and such bliss, Christ’s presence became less strongly felt, though still with me.  He arranged this, in His mercy, for the sake of all the work I still have to do, and for the sake of all the good people I love and with whom I share my life.


I’ve named that day, to myself, the Alpha and Omega Day; and I’ve celebrated it gratefully as a feast on the eleventh of every month, and also on the anniversary each year, by having a Mass offered in thanksgiving.  I’m almost lost for words to describe my present state of joy, but this is what I’ve found: Christ is with me, unseen but present here, all the time.  I continue to do my work and to pray in ordinary ways, but His Knowledge and His gifts have been poured upon me almost unceasingly ever since the day of our true union.


Christ has remained with me since that day, although, as I’ve explained, His presence has become unbearable to me whenever I’ve done wrong.  Yet even such warnings seem to be blessings by which Christ, for His own purposes, teaches me more about the life of grace. So I can genuinely thank Him for his severity as much as for His kindness. I’ve learned so much from both.  As for the joy He brings now: if anyone should say that the words spoken to me were imagined, or that His ‘teachings’ were a delusion, I can only reply that I myself believe in His teachings and have done my first duty by writing them down; and something else which I’m happy to declare to anyone, now, is that Christ chooses “WHAT IS WEAK BY HUMAN RECKONING; THOSE WHOM THE WORLD THINKS COMMON AND CONTEMPTIBLE” (1 Co 1:27-28), as St. Paul says, to show and prove His goodness and His power for the sake of the faith of people who don’t know about His love.  He has certainly chosen “what is weak” in this case; but I’m thrilled by His friendship, and I long to please Him by encouraging others to go to Him, to love and to be loved, and so to arrive at a degree of peace and security which I’m sure is unknown elsewhere.


Christ’s life now mine.


What I find quite extraordinary now is that since I gave Christ my whole life - every aspect of it and every dream - He has given me His.  As I freely gave my consent to His Will being worked in me, so He now reigns more truly over my will, my memory, and my understanding. He wants to make them entirely His.  That’s why He’s been purifying them, as He’s shown me, by the fire of His love, so that there’s no aspect of my life or my being that isn’t being offered for His use and service until my life’s end.


There’s nothing on this earth, now, which I prefer to His presence; I mean that such leisure-time distractions as television or certain social events are quite simply distractions from His presence: from His holy companionship: His own precious self in this sanctuary of the soul.  The earthly joys which we can share with other people remain real joys which can be enjoyed with gratitude to God, and also for the sake of God and of our neighbour; but I can say with passionate conviction that there’s no music, sound, sight or touch more sweet and beautiful than the silent, invisible but real presence of Christ within the soul.


In spite of all that I’ve just said about joy, it’s true that there’s has been one occasion, which I’ll mention later on, when Christ left me apparently alone in torment for a whole week; I was as if suspended over an abyss of desolation.  Only in that way,  I was to understand, could I learn true humility.  By that powerful teaching, Christ reminded me that everything good that I’ve ever received is from Him, and that I’m nothing without Him; yet even that teaching was a work of love.  It’s because He loves me that He wants to make me fit to do His work - and also fit to go to Heaven, when He calls me.


A desire to make Christ known.


Otherwise, Christ is here with me; and I’m lost for words with which to thank Him. I hardly dare to say this, but my whole desire is to make Him known and loved.  The opportunities have seemed pitifully few,  until recent times; and everything is held back, it seems, by my weakness and bad example.  Yet I trust Him entirely now; and I leave this wretched life and these feeble efforts in His hands.


Since that day in 1985, I’ve seen more and more clearly how Christ rewards me for every loving choice, as He rewards love by Love; and He includes in His gift a pure joy in the mere sound of His name.  I hear ‘Jesus’, or say it, and can hardly bear the joy which the sound, the thought, or the presence bring to my heart: such a pang as I never expected to feel again, when I was merely enduring from day to day, sustained in a longing for Divine love by dry faith alone.  When I recite the Creed, today, I can scarcely manage a few phrases without being half-enraptured by the Glory each phrase suggests.


In the months after this union, when I was wondering how Christ our Lord, Who is so bright and beautiful and holy, should do such things for a person like myself, I thought of St. Paul’s warnings about “AN ANGEL OF LIGHT” (2 Co 11:14).  But since I knew, by then, that in the midst of even greater trials and afflictions than ever before I still wanted nothing except to do God’s Will, whatever the cost, I was reassured.


It didn’t seem possible that anyone evil could have given me not just peace and joy in prayer but such an increased determination to do good. I was also encouraged later, as I’ve said, by the judgement of my parish priest.


From about that time it became almost overwhelming to listen to the Scripture readings in church: to hear in the Gospels the words used by the very Christ Who, in His goodness, had revealed Himself to me.  It’s as though I’d once received letters from a distant relative whose character and speech had only been filtered through stories or news reports.  If I were to meet that relative: if I travelled to his home, talked with him and heard his voice, how much more joy and knowledge would his letters give me, once I was at home again, reading what he wrote, with a true acquaintance at last established.



Friendship with Christ.


To return to the ‘story’ of the ‘Teachings’: three years went by, yet Christ continued to teach me in the manner I’ve described; and it’s usually been in Holy Communion that He has taught me something more about Himself, and about grace, prayer and souls.


Many of the earlier teachings, as I’ve described them, sound very simple; but neither words nor pictures can describe the glory, the fullness, or the simplicity of the sublime things which I’ve learned by God’s power.  I’ve rarely used my imagination in prayer, but I couldn’t have begun to ‘imagine’ all that I’ve been taught and shown during the past fifteen years.


For example, when I was praying at Mass one day, Christ reminded me about the astonishing power of the prayers that we offer, through our union with Him, to our Heavenly Father.  I was astonished to learn:-


                        Remember to Whom you address your prayers: to the Most High God, in My Name: the Name of JesusYou who are united with Me by love and obedience offer your prayers with My authority and love.  I am truly your Champion and your Intercessor. (T:51B #1)


                        Pray with confidence, whenever you pray in My Name: the Name of Jesus Christ.  It is as though every prayer you make is vouched for by Me.  It is as if I stand beside you, saying to the Father - as though to a King - “Accept the message of this person, my own friend, as though it were issuing from My own lips.” (T:51B #2)


                        Pray in spirit and in truth, through Me - Jesus Christ your Lord.  How, then, can you not be heard?  Try to stay close to Me, and so be closer to the Light which pours around Me from Heaven. (T:51B #3)


Loyalty to Christ’s Mother.


Soon afterwards, on another day at Mass, Christ suddenly explained to me something about the importance of His holy Mother, Mary.  I didn’t understand how I ‘saw’, but I saw her standing beside Him, in Heaven, and I heard Christ explain to me:-


                        Look towards My Glory in prayer and see the gentle woman who now stands beside Me.  Don’t be afraid to love her whom you rightly call the “Mother of God”.  How precious is My Holy Mother.  How tremendous is My Love for her who  lives with Me now in Heaven.  How vivacious is My Mother, in her joy and beauty: how full of love and happiness. (T:53 #1)


                        Thank My Mother for all that she has done for you.  How greatly she has suffered so that I, the Word, might be revealed to the world. (T:53 #2)


                        Love My Mother, and thank her for giving Me to you by My Spirit’s power.  How loyal you should be, ever-grateful for her devotion and concern. (T:53 #3)


                        Defend My Mother.  How loyally you ought to defend her against those who - through ignorance - think they please Me by ignoring her, My dearest creature. (T:53 #4)


The Father’s Glory and splendour.


On another day, I was astonished to be taught something more about our Heavenly Father Who is the goal of all our strivings.  Christ taught me, in an extraordinary, soundless and also sightless ‘vision’ of the Father’s Glory:-


                        Consider the Glory and Splendour of the Father, the Source of all joy, Who “Is” in His bliss - in life and union and Love - the sublime heart of the Most Holy Trinity. (T:55B #3)


                        Believe, of the Father, that He exists “in” the blissful embrace of Word and Spirit, which is to say, in a perfect and joyful state-of-union with Myself, the Divine Word, and with My holy and Divine Spirit: three Persons yet One Lord. (T:55B #4)


                        Believe, of the Father that He “Is”: is the Source of all that is created.  He is Glorious beyond your imaginings. (T:55B #5)


                        Believe, of God your Father, that He “Is”, holding in His embrace the Hosts of Heaven: the Saints and Holy Angels who worship and adore Him.  He is holding in His heart, in bliss, all who have been ‘freed’ to live in His Love and who are now united in love with one another: faithful departed souls who have been “freed”, through death, to live with Him eternally.  He is the Father of all, the Source of all beauty.  He is My Father, Father of Me, the Holy Son Whom, through tenderness, He sent to redeem you and with Whom He is united in the unfathomable love of the Holy Spirit. (T:55B #6)


The Holy Trinity.


Then one evening when I was kneeling in prayer at home, I was also shown by Christ - about our new stage of prayer and the work of the Most Holy Trinity:-

                        Follow My inspirations and come to prayer whenever I ‘call’ you by an interior prompting. (T:56 #1)


                        Believe in Our Love and work: the work of the Most Holy Trinity.  We act within your life on earth.  You cannot see the end of the journey, but it is I, Jesus, Who hold you all the while, in your ‘travelling’; it is My Spirit Who fills your heart, whilst you and I, together, go gently towards the Father, Who is nevertheless ever-present in your life and ever-welcoming. (T:56 #2)


                        Be glad that you are not trying to make a spiritual journey alone.  You need Me, your Guide, your sure Way and your powerful Intercessor. (T:56 #3)


                        Persevere in prayer and sacrifice.  Turn to Me in every circumstance.  I invite you to pray, and also to throw yourself into My “river” of grace in every temptation, weakness, or trial.  My Life within you is like a river of light in which you will “bathe” one day.  You will be completely submerged in that ‘river’ of grace when you live with Me in perfect union. (T:57)


A window into time.


Even though Christ gave me hope and consolation, He vigorously reminded me of the cost of my redemption. It was at Mass one day that He revealed to me the ‘sight’ of His Crucifixion.  It was during the Consecration. Christ showed me what seemed to be a “window into time” which was set high in the wall, beyond our priest.  Through that ‘window’, in the centre of the circle, I saw Christ our Lord hanging on the Cross.


Christ was suffering in agony: helpless in the cold dark air.  The dark sky behind Him reflected the pain of that terrible Sacrifice, made once for us, so long ago, and made present for our sakes today, through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Then Christ taught Me:-


                        Be confident about what you profess.  I, your God, really entered into time, and into earthly existence.  I really was crucified, and I died on the Cross to save you from sin and from eternal death. (T:59 #1)


                        Make my Holy Sacrifice your own.  Through your participation in the Holy Mass, where My once-for-all Sacrifice is made present, you benefit from its power.  I love you so much that I died for you; and through our Communion, you can become more like Me, your Saviour. (T:59 #2)


                        Imitate Me, your Saviour.  What really counts in your ordinary life is love and tenderness and simplicity. (T:59 #3)


                        Strive to live in pure love of Me and of your neighbour, day after day.  All the “understandings” of the years - given during prayer - are gifts from Me, your merciful Lord, for My own purposes, and you can take no pride in them at all. (T:59 #4)


                        Don’t be despondent.  You should accept My gifts with joy. Accept, like a child, the pure and holy gifts and graces which I Myself shower upon you, especially in Holy Communion. (T:59 #5)



Reason for hope.


Christ alone  knew just how lonely and hesitant I sometimes felt, on my strange new path; and that’s why, one day in prayer, He showed me a simple image which was accompanied by very encouraging words. Christ showed me an image of a small figure, vigorous and determined, who was leaping into God’s life of prayer, utterly trusting, arms outstretched, expecting gifts and blessings.  Then He explained to me:-


                        Always believe in My Love for you, and in My nearness.  For as long as you live on earth, you can live in hope, and you are invited to make the free decision to serve Me, and to avoid being entirely and eternally separated from Me. (T:65 #1)


                        Be confident that, throughout your life, you live and breathe and exist “in” Me, your God.  Whether you are holy with My holiness, or selfish, you “fall” into My embrace with every movement of your hearts.  ‘Up’ or ‘down’, in hope or sin, and whatever you choose, now, you are surrounded by Me still. (T:65 #2)


But whatever discoveries I was making in my friendship with Christ, I wasn’t to be allowed to forget the supreme importance of charity.  Christ taught me about the best way of loving my fellow-Christians, and other neighbours. One day at Holy Mass I was shown the power of prayer, by which I mean intercessory prayer for others.  Christ showed me a glimpse of the Saints in Heaven, in Glory: and He explained to me:-


                        Never forget that although I am hidden at present, you are present before My Glory whenever you turn to Me in prayer. (T:67 #1)


                        Learn to  pray as if you are standing in this vast “Hall of Light”, in Our Presence: the Presence of the Most Holy Trinity.  In prayer, you need only lift your friends into Our Light, by a word, a thought, or a pang, and they are helped and renewed by your intercession, if they do not shut it out. (T:67 #2)


Christ taught me, also, about how to deal with supposedly-controversial matters, whenever I encountered opposition to His teaching - to His Church’s teaching - in magazines or conversation.  He explained that my task is simply to believe, love, pray and hope, in the way that Faith teaches me to believe, love and hope.  He told me:-


                        Don’t waste time or endanger your soul by listening to opinions or by entertaining thoughts which contradict the teaching of My Church. (T:69 #1)


                        Keep to what is important.  Obedience is important, vague curiosity is not. (T:69 #2)


The Sign of the Cross.


On another day, Christ reminded me of one of the ways in which I could bind myself even closer to Him, if I took more care with my prayers.  He urged me:-


                        Use the sign of the Cross both to begin and to end your prayers.  It is a sign of your life “in Christ”, and is a devout and holy prayer to Us: to the Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity.  It is like a firm rope which binds you to Us in every task or every danger. (T:75 #3)


Then He encouraged me to be content to accept the fact that I’m a weak person who needs much help.  He advised me how to approach Him now that I longed to be able to change.  He urged me:-


                        Be a ‘beggar’ before Me in prayer.  Leave behind your achievements, props and self-satisfaction. (T:78 #1)


                        Trust in My kindness.  It is when you have nothing to offer to the Father but My merits and My Love that I can change you and use you. (T:78 #2)


                        Rejoice that you have greater cause to be hopeful when you are weak and in pain, and yet trust in Me still, than when you have something  to boast about.  It is when self-love and conceit are flowing away from you that I am most truly with you, surround you with My peace. (T:78 #3)


Every gentle rebuke, however, was followed by words of immense encouragement.  Christ told me:-


                        Be content with lowly tasks or even with loneliness.  It is in ‘hidden’ hearts that I am now powerfully at work, in apparent darkness.  Through My power, something secret and magnificent is being done in your life - for your good and for My Glory.  It arises from your faith and humility. (T:78 #4)


                        Don’t worry if you see no apparent results in this life.  My Love is at work in you, through faith, trust and love.  I know everything; and I ‘see’, already, all the good things which ‘are’ being accomplished, later on, through your present secret sacrifices. (T:78 #5)


                        Join in formal worship as well as you can, but never be anxious if you are tired or ill and therefore inattentive or distracted.  I listen with unimaginable Love and understanding to all your sincere prayers.  I am always ‘waiting’ in patience, throughout your wavering prayers and distractions. (T:79)



Christ: the Bridge to Heaven.


The subjects on which Christ chose to teach me astonished me.  Once, when I was at Holy Mass on the anniversary of my mother’s death, I was shown an extraordinarily-powerful image in prayer: of Christ crucified, with His arms held out to make a bridge across the Abyss in which He was standing.  I could see thousands of people walking from one side to the other. Then He told me:-


                        Turn to Me, in order to find Heaven.  I, Jesus, am the ‘bridge’ between earth and Heaven.  Through Me alone can you pass into the holiness of Heaven.  I am the “bridge” over the Abyss which separates mankind from GodYou can cross the Abyss in safety only if you join My People, who stream across as One Body. (T:81 #1)


                        Don’t worry about faithful people who have died and who have come to Me, that is, don’t worry about whether you can hurt them.  They are quite beyond the reach of any hurtful conversation.  None of your memories or thoughts can upset them now.  But pray for their deliverance from purification. (T:81 #2)


                        Look upon Me as the ‘channel’ through Whom your thoughts and words can ‘flow’ to the departed, as you offer your prayers to the Father “through Christ our Lord.”  Only good thoughts and prayers can ‘flow’ through Me, the Good Christ, when you pray in My Name. (T:81 #3)


                        Unite every humiliation and suffering to Mine, in My Passion.  By your union with Me, our sacrifice is One, both in your heart-felt private prayer, and at the altar. (T:83 #1)


                        Consider the power of your union with Me.  Through it, everyone you care for and pray for is drawn into My prayer.  Just as you, through Me, gather others into the Father’s Light and Love so they in their turn will gather one another. (T:83 #2)


                        Strengthen My Church.  It is by your prayers for others that the Church is made even stronger.  By your intercessions, you and your brothers and sisters lift one another into My Light.  My Divine ‘Light’ on earth is increased by your fellowship, and the ‘circle’ of love is stronger: One Body, growing stronger. (T:83 #3)


                        Strengthen fellow-members of My Church in the best way, which is by helping them to grow in faith and in love. (T:83 #4)



An altar, in my soul.


In November of the same year, on the feast of the dedication of the Cathedral Church of Rome - St John Lateran - Christ astonished me in Holy Communion by appearing to the eyes of my soul.  At the same time He announced His purpose and my new vocation.  That day, after Holy Communion, Christ appeared in my soul in glory, showing me an image of a stone altar, around which beautiful flowers had been scattered.  Then He explained that He Himself had placed this altar at the centre of my soul.  He told me:-


                        Try to do My Will in the best possible way, which is by sacrificing your own will. (T:88 #1)


                        Make your life into a continual sacrifice of praise of Me.  I deserve your free submission. (T:88 #2)


                        Dedicate your life to Me.  “In you, I have set myself an altar, and nothing shall dislodge it.”  My plan for your life is being fulfilled, step by step, as you live wholly committed to the fulfilment of My wishes.  Despite all your faults, I know that you love Me above all things, and I have accepted all your penances and sacrifices. (T:88 #3)


                        Rejoice at whatever I permit to happen in your life.  Continue on the path of obedience to My Will, until your life’s end, for your good, and for the good of My Church, and for My Glory. (T:88 #4)

                        Let go of all selfish desires.  Your life must be a continual sacrifice of praise, in the sacrifice of your own will so that My Will may be done. (T:88 #5)


The profoundest implications of this declaration were hidden from me, only to be revealed in the future; but although such a solemn announcement puzzled me, the formality and grace with which Christ had spoken to me on this occasion showed me with what careful attention He deals with each soul.  As we greet Him with reverence, so He honours our dignity: such is His love for us all and His admiration for those who endure all sorts of things for love of Him.


Christ’s Glory in our souls.


For the whole of that day, Christ remained with me, more ‘present’ than was usual. He continued to teach me about the life of holiness and grace, by showing me an image in which He was seen standing, glorious, close behind a certain person, holding her hand, and showing her where to walk; yet He was letting her take the first steps forward.  I saw that Christ’s Glory is so powerful that it shines even ‘through’ His special friends; and He explained to me:-


                        Stay close to Me; I am a sure guide for everyone who wishes to please the Father and to do His Will. (T:90 #1)


                        Realise that you are free.  I allow you real freedom in which to make your choices.  I have not created the human race as a race of robots.  (T:90 #2)


                        Co-operate with My work of grace within your soul.  I not only accompany and help one whom I love and who loves Me.  I make everything within you pure and clear and gradually ‘transparent’, so that, more and more, you and I will look at everything together as one. (T:90 #3)


                        Consider the ‘fruit’ of your union with Me.  When you have learned to do everything in union with Me, My Glory will shine out from your feeble life, words and actions. (WC:90) (T:90 #4)


Christ reassured me one day, after Holy Communion:-


                        Permit Me to work within your soul.  It is by your prayers and sacrifices that you invite Me to set to work.  I am brushing aside the rubble and untidiness of selfishness within this ‘room’ which is your soul, as I make a home for Myself within, now that I am welcomed. (T:91A #1)


                        Abandon all fuss and worry.  I can eradicate your uncharitable habits and opinions; but I will do so gently, from  moment  to  moment,   as  you  and  I  sort  things  out


                        together, as I help you to do good and to avoid evil. (T:91A #2)



‘Facets’ of Divine Life.


Throughout 1986 I was still amazed at the goodness shown to me by Christ.  Yet I couldn’t understand why He was showing such extraordinary kindness to someone like me.  The more I ignored all that happened in prayer, determined only to do my duty and to work faithfully for love of Him, the more He sought to reassure me that He was leading me on a noble and truthful way; and He showed me something else about the way in which I was being ‘taught’:-


                        Accept whatever I give to you, in prayer.  I Who am Truth cannot mislead you.  I Who am Wisdom deal with human souls wisely. (T:91B #1)


                        Don’t confuse My gifts with My Being.  Anything which you ‘see’ in prayer is only a ‘facet’ of My Divine Life, like a flash of light thrown from the side of a sparkling diamond. Such ‘flashes of light’ may be revealed to a devout soul, during prayer, if such is My Will. (T:91B #2)


                        Realise that, in the course of your true and humble prayer, nothing is ever revealed to your soul through your own decision or yearning.  These special gifts which I offer to your soul are offered only because of My sovereign Will. Yet you would not receive them, had you not already ‘opened’ your heart to Me. (T:91B #3)


                        Accept My all-holy Will.  No-one but I can choose what ‘facet’ of My Life will be revealed in prayer.  Nothing which I show of My Life can be ‘grasped’.  Each glimpse is shown for a moment, in prayer, according to My Will. Yet none of the ‘facets’ of My Life “is” Myself, Who am briefly, inadequately and mysteriously ‘reflected’ across the Abyss which separates My Divine Nature from your frail human nature. (T:91B #4)


But Christ explained, too, that He - the God/Man, our Saviour - is very close to us; and we ought to turn to Him in every need, since His Love for us is unchanging.  Furthermore, He explained something which almost completely banished by fears about ever losing His friendship.  He said to me, very tenderly:-


                        Trust in My Love for you.  I never leave you.  It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do, I will be there with you at every moment. (T:95 #1)


                        You must never fail to trust in Me.  I cannot possibly ‘leave’ anyone who - by every effort - tries to stay close to Me.  Yet, people are free to leave Me. (T:95 #2)


                        Remember that “I was with you all the time”, today, at every moment of the day.  I Whom you love and serve have made you My own; “nor shall I let you go.”  You are now totally Mine.  You now belong to Me, and I will allow nothing and no-one to take you from My Heart or from My service. (T:96)



Christ, speaking to me.


As you can see from the use of ‘speech-marks’ in the paragraph above, it was at around this time that Christ began to speak to me, within my soul, in a new and remarkable manner. I couldn’t adequately express my gratitude to Him not just for His words, but for the peace and joy which He was bringing, daily, as well as for all the other blessings of my life.  As the days went by it seemed plain to me that the vivid expressions of truth and love which God gave me in prayer were so abundant and so marvellous, that they weren’t meant to help just myself, but others too who were struggling to be faithful.


Over and over again, I had found how pure and delicate were the ‘occurrences’ of Knowledge.  They were neither moods nor emotions.  Over twenty years had passed since the day when I had first called out to Christ with firm faith, and He had come to my side: and in all that time I’d neither spoken  about nor written anything about His dealings with me.  For about six years, now, He had been teaching me not only through His Church in the usual ways but also by pure Knowledge; and it was because both Church and prayer-time provided me with the very same truths of the Faith that my confidence increased.  I can’t remember the date of it; but I decided one day that I ought to follow my inner prompting and to write down a few words about each of the ‘teachings’.  I bought a small black notebook, and in one afternoon, without a pause, I noted over seventy graces or teachings which were still extraordinarily clear in my mind. 


From that day on, I made brief notes on all of Christ’s teachings, if not on the same day, then usually in the week when they were given.  But I was very self-conscious, and so jotted only a line or two, even on momentous subjects.  All I wanted was enough to jog my memory.  I had no idea where this was all leading, nor any inkling of my future task; but I was happy that every  detail of the teachings remained clear in my mind, and could be recalled when I eventually decided to write at length on the different subjects.


I wanted to be obedient, and so far as I could tell, my writing didn’t displease Christ. He continued to encourage me and to show me His care and concern; and since He had been so strict about my deliberate faults, I felt sure that He would have corrected me if I’d been mistaken in making that record; yet it wasn’t because of kind words spoken to me in prayer that I came to trust in His guidance, but because He guided me so frequently in accordance with the teachings of His Church. I mean that anyone who had taught me things which contradicted our beliefs would quite obviously not have been Christ.



A fruitful union.


It was a source of wonder to me, that day after day, in this new state, there was no longer any need to reach “outwards” to find Christ.  He filled every day with His peace, within and around me.  Also, He gave me new courage to face further, unexpected trials.


But they weren’t pointless trials, Christ explained, as He told me:-


                        Accept your privileged state.  Since I am truly with you, nowadays, and since, by your free choice you are truly ‘with’ Me, I will live through you for others.  Your union with Me will be fruitful. (T:92 #1)


                        Persevere in your soul’s work.  The more you empty yourself of sin, selfishness and earthly desires, the more will others - on seeing you and your actions - see, instead, My action, My love and My tenderness.  The more successfully you banish your preoccupations, the more ‘transparent’ shall you become for Me.  You will shine with My Presence! (T:92 #2)


                        Don’t hesitate now, just because you have been so sinful.  I not only pardon and heal you but permit you to bring My grace to others! (T:92 #3)








Forceful reassurance.


As the implications of my task grew plainer, I was so worried about my faults and weaknesses that Christ taught me the simple meaning of trust in His care.  He gave me forceful reassurance, as He urged me:-


                        Have no doubts about My Love for you, nor about the special union of Myself with you - with you who are now transformed.  Only I could have given you such perfect joy, not only for a day, but at every moment for the past year - and amidst real sufferings. (T:93 #1)


                        Follow Me wherever I lead you, no matter how strange the path.  I will continue to guide and uphold you. (T:93 #2)


                        Fix your soul’s gaze on Me in prayer.  I never ‘try’ you beyond your strength.  But you must ask for the graces which I long to pour upon you! (T:94 #1)


                        Rely on Me for the graces which you need in order to do the work which I Myself have put before you.  I am bound to help you! (T:94 #2)


Then Christ explained - about my requests for help:-


                        Ask Me for virtues; but be bold, and ask for all the virtues. The virtues are not to be wished for separately.  It is useless to long for patience, for example, if you are unwilling to receive all of the other virtues. (T:99 #1)


                        Look upon the virtues as being like a number of coloured rays, all emerging from a ‘White Light’ which is the source. I am like a glowing white light; I am the Source of all the virtues. (T:99 #2)


                        Don’t be confused by your self-examination.  You may see yourself as more in need of an increase of one virtue rather than another.  But all the virtues are with you, and are part of My presence in you, even though your obvious faults may be distorting your perception of the state of your soul. (T:99 #3)


                        See how much cause you have for hope.  Wherever I am, there are My virtues, poured out on you in a way that perfects your present nature with My grace. (T:99 #4)


Christ reassured me that He understands every difficulty which stems from illness.  He told me:-


                        Don’t struggle to praise Me with elaborate greetings.  Don’t tire yourself - when because of illness you are flagging - by thinking about how to greet Me worthily.  You can rest here, quietly, in loving prayer, united with Me before the Father. (T:100)


Then Christ said to me, on the 6th February 1987:-


                        Be confident and joyful about your life in My loving service.  You have been begging Me to help you, and now that you try to love Me at every moment, you can be sure that, from now on, “you are no beggar, but My daughter!” (T:103 #1)



Ignorance about the task.


Perhaps this is the point at which I should give a reminder that for every moment of consolation in Christ’s presence, as the teachings continued, I experienced a thousand moments of silent recollection mixed up with times of puzzlement or shame.  The whole direction of my life was changing to an astonishing degree; and it’s easy, now, to forget how much ‘in the dark’ I was about Christ’s plans for me.  I didn’t know, in 1987, that He had been training me for the whole of my life - despite my terrible hesitations and falls - for the huge task which today involves not only myself but most of my family.


Since I was so ignorant about many things, I had no idea, at first, of why I was being taught in prayer; nor did I know that the ‘teachings’ would continue.  I didn’t know, when I wrote the “First Version”, that Christ would urge me to produce further versions which in their different ways have reproduced His messages and instructions more fully, and have also made me, through this repetition, ever more familiar with them.  The details, phrases, images, words and concepts which Christ has been pouring upon me so lavishly have been absorbed more thoroughly by my heart and mind at every re-writing of them in a different style or format; and it’s now marvellous for me to realise that this ‘familiarity’, thus re-inforced, is part of Christ’s plan.  He knows that I’ve sometimes been so busy writing down His teachings, in between domestic tasks, other work and friends’ visits, that I haven’t even had time to let them ‘sink in’.  Not until days or months later, therefore, have I been able to ‘step back’ and appreciate His extraordinary kindness and so of course thank Him in a more worthy fashion.  I didn’t know, when I was first writing the teachings, that I’d be asked to share them with other people, that I’d produce oil paintings of some of the more important images, that I would one day write little essays based on what I’d learned from the teachings - for example, about the Most Holy Trinity or the Holy Mass - or that I’d ‘end up’ with half a roomful of writings and pictures.  This very week I’ve been trying to put them in some sort of order, or rather, to catalogue and label them more efficiently, to help people after my death.


But Christ is so kind and so wise that He’s been gradually enlightening me about His plans and wishes, showing me just as much as I need to know from year to year: though much more in recent times, since we’re now true friends, as He has explained.



Several levels of teaching.


Throughout the late 1980’s, Christ continued to enlighten me, by giving me a series of extraordinary teachings, interspersed with minor teachings of a personal nature; and it seems to me now that Christ was building yet another ‘platform’ on which  to begin the next stage of a ‘building’ of teachings which would one day form a complete catechesis; and He was giving me nothing new, but only a reminder, in a contemporary form, of what His Church already tells us is important.


I wrote ‘another’ platform, because it was as though the foundation had been laid at my Baptism in 1942.  The first level had been built in 1957, when I was told, by silent ‘knowledge,’ that my true home lies elsewhere.  The second level had been laid in 1964 when Christ brought me to repent of my sins; and the third level was constructed in 1968, as I was received into full Communion, was confirmed, made my first Holy Communion, and then was marvellously taught how to leap into the depths of God, in prayer.  The fourth level had consisted of the basic teachings given throughout the 1980’s about recollection, love of neighbour, intercession, Christ’s Passion - and the Church and the Holy Mass: as recorded in the pamphlet “An Introduction” and also in the Blue Book of “Instructions from Christ.”  But it was as though the fifth level was achieved through union with Christ as described in T.43.  The sixth level began with the Holy Family vision which I’m about to describe in the next chapter; and for the construction of that new level it seemed as though Christ brought me with lavish generosity to a greater understanding of some of the marvels of the Catholic Faith.


He ‘showed’ me, in this way, the work of the Holy Trinity (T:314), the magnificence of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (T:369), the power of Our Lady’s prayers (T:465), the welcome which is given in Heaven to those who resemble Christ (T:496), the unique and important role of Our Blessed Lady (T:735), the significance of our knowledge that “God is Love” (T:771), our true Communion with the Angels and Saints - including Saint Joseph (T:896). The perpetual Presence amongst us of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament (T:928) - and the meaning of sacrifice (in T:1003A).  These are the teachings which I shall write about in the next four chapters.  But there was a special reason for this extraordinary collection of teachings on some of the truths of the Catholic Faith - besides providing a reminder for people in the Church.


It was as though Christ was showing me that these things are all true, and important; yet even more important are the deeper truths for which these are a preparation, by which I mean things of an seventh level, things such as the power of the Holy Spirit at work at the Consecration (T:1360), the Sacred Tradition (T:1386), the New Covenant of Christ’s Blood (T:1613), the Immaculate Conception (T:1734A), the work of priests (in T:1770), the heart of the Liturgy (T:1804), and Christ’s work of Substitution (T:1829); and this more ‘obscure’ series of teachings, interspersed as usual with ‘minor’ teachings, culminated in an experience of meeting the Father (T:1941). 


The Father Himself taught me, to my astonished delight, at what I shall call the eighth level, about his Love for us, and the meaning of Union; and in that way I was shown something about the supreme purpose of Christ’s whole plan for my life, which is to cause the Father to be ‘seen’ anew, discussed, admired, praised and glorified.


For the Glory of the Father.


Since it’s to the Father that Christ leads us, since it’s to the Father that the Church prays as one body, since it’s from the Father that Christ has been given to us, and since it’s to the Father that Glory is given because of all the wonders which He has worked for us, the truths He has taught us and the Saints He has sanctified for us, so it’s to the Father that Christ has been leading me steadily in prayer; and He has been doing this so that, at what I now call the ‘ninth level’ of this building, I can receive many, many teachings not solely about the spiritual life or about the Church but from and about the Father Who ‘lies’ beyond and beneath everything good that we believe. Therefore I’ve been taught about the Father’s beauty, about His Love and His nature, and also about the work and life of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and about the meaning of “Life-in-God,” either on earth or in Heaven; and I shall write much more about these subjects towards the end of this book, as you’ll have guessed from the ‘Contents’ page.


Perhaps the ‘tenth level’ will be dying and death: and the Eternal Union for which I yearn; but it’s as though I feel a spiritual vertigo, as I describe all this at last, and see it in black and white.  These are the things which have been happening in my life for many years, by God’s choice and not by any plan of mine, but only at my puzzled consent.  Yet now that I see everything so plainly I’m beginning to be over-awed, again, by God’s astonishing goodness and by His kindness to me; yet I shan’t waste more paper by saying again that I’m not fit to do the work.  I’m awed, also, by God’s great Love for the Church which is in such dire need of both encouragement and instruction, even through a work as flawed as this; I mean flawed in grammar and presentation, not in truths expressed; and meanwhile, I hope and pray that God will keep me fervent and faithful, whatever happens.



Strict correction.


How little room there is for boredom in a vigorous spiritual life!  I mean that every word of thanks to me from Christ, in a moment of delight in prayer, has been tempered by a warning about my faults - just as every severe comment has been balanced by an expression of tenderness which has nearly broken my heart.  That was how Christ trained me, at that stage of my life, to put Him and His interests first, at all times; and it was only necessary because I have so many faults.


On several occasions, I’ve been made painfully aware of Christ’s displeasure at my faults.  Yet it’s only because He wants to bring me real fulfilment and happiness that He’s gone to such lengths to make me whole-hearted in His service.  He’s spared no effect to prepare me for the task which I was born to undertake.  It’s been through His strict correction as well as His extraordinary kindness that I’ve learned how to please Him best.  As part of my training, Christ showed me, more than once, that He was offended by my priorities.


I remember a day when I’d found an exciting new novel, and became so enthralled that only I did the bare essentials of my household duties, and sat in a chair reading for the rest of the time.  I was even anxious to avoid conversations in order to bury my head in my book.  But, when Christ’s  scorching light shone in my soul, it left me aghast with shame; and at the same time Christ taught me, in an instant of scorching prayer:-


                        Don’t repay Me, a generous Lord, by greed and discontent.  Whatever you do that ‘blots Me out’ entirely from your life is quite unacceptable, as when you sometimes, briefly, try to ignore Me in order to fulfil your own plans or longings. (T:63 #2)


                        Be recollected.  I alone should be the ultimate object of your thoughts, attentions and desires.  All the good things which I permit you to enjoy should be enjoyed through and with Me, but not ‘instead of’ Me. (T:63 #3)


                        Be grateful for the good things which are appropriate for your way of life, and which I permit you to enjoy.  But don’t fill your whole mind and soul with ceaseless words and music.  How can you hope to grow close to Me in prayer if you fill every spare minute with songs and novels and therefore ignore My silent and loving presence? (T:63 #4)


Self-indulgent ways.


No-one should think that I’m suggesting that novels are evil. I suppose that good novels are an art-form, equivalent to good plays, operas or films. I only mean that Christ didn’t want me to read them in my own particular circumstances, at that stage of my life.  He showed me that to be self-indulgent in certain ways was quite unacceptable; yet time lavished in apparent idleness with relatives and friends never displeases Him: quite the contrary, since He wants us to show our love for one another; and generosity with our time is a great proof of love.


Christ was teaching me that by burying myself for long periods in novels, I was running away from reality.  That’s why He asked me, at around the same time, to do without perpetual background music on the radio or cassette player.  Music and conversation were to be valued - and enjoyed with friends at home or at occasional concerts; but, as with books, it was a question of priorities.  How could I “pray CONSTANTLY” (1 Th 5:17) and always be alert enough to recognise Christ’s Will and His guidance, if I were deliberately distracting myself for long hours with someone else’s ideas and melodies?  I understood that my attention to His wishes would be more sincere and profound, if I’d accept His invitation to turn away even from legitimate distractions.  So I made the sacrifice which He was inviting me to make; and, in return, He drew me closer to Himself and taught me to love silence.


I wasn’t forbidden occasional concerts, since music is truly His gift.  But He was teaching me that the Giver - adored in silence, by faith - is more precious than any of His gifts; and how could Christ ‘teach’ me, if my heart and mind were full of different voices, preferred to His?


It was at about this time that He showed me further behaviour which isn’t appropriate for one of His friends.  I say ‘at about this time,’ because I’d become so determined to please Him that He had begun to show me in detail not only what was sinful in my life - every uncharitable word or resentful thought - but what was merely foolish or unnecessary.  He had chosen not to show me these things earlier, when I might have been crushed at seeing His displeasure.  But now that my love for Him was stronger, I was allowed to understand, for example, that it was better if I didn’t wear much jewellery.  I should stop dying my hair, and also wear more modest clothing.


Attention to externals.


Little by little, Christ steered me towards the sort of quiet attention to externals that would result in a more harmonious way of living: if in every aspect I tried to reflect His joy, simplicity, modesty and truth.  I can hardly bear to write this, when I’m so ashamed of the way I’ve lived much of my life, but this is what Our Lord wants me to say; and I hope it will help people who are dithering about His wishes.  There’s nothing wrong - indeed, everything right - with lovely clothing or necessary ornamentation; I’ve already written about the dangers of being puritanical.  But Christ made it quite plain to me that in a number of little ways I had vainly or thoughtlessly compromised with current secular attitudes; and He showed me that I would please Him enormously by being faithful to His Will even in these minor matters.


Christ’s tenderness.


Whenever I sincerely tried to correct my faults, discipline was swiftly replaced by tenderness; and when, one day, I was worried about the direction of my life, and about the ‘teachings’, besides being full of memories of past sins, Christ stood beside me in prayer, gentle and consoling.  He said to me:-


                        Don’t worry about your experiences in prayer.  “Haven’t I shown you enough”!”  Since that which you learn is genuinely good - is in accordance with the Faith as taught by My Holy Church and believed by Saints - you can remind Yourself that all good things come from Me, your Savour, Who am Truth and goodness. (T:243 #1)


                        Don’t be afraid.  You do well to be cautious, but, truly, it is My Spirit Who teaches you good things about Me.  Someone like yourself who is content to pray in order to please Me and who does not run after new experiences, and who longs only to live according to My Will, is unlikely to be deceived during prayer. (T:243 #2)


This was a wonderful consolation.



A Robbery.


Within a year or so, real trials came upon me.  It was on March 11th, 1988, that my slowly-increasing trust in Christ was thoroughly tested.  Yet each year, I suppose, I invariably find that I have some new reason for making a vigorous renewal of my commitment to Christ’s way of patience and sacrifice.  Towards evening on that particular day I answered a knock at the back door, and was horrified to be seized there by two armed men, and to be pushed down onto my kitchen floor.  My child was taken to another room, but, mercifully, she was left unharmed; I was warned and threatened, and then, for half-an-hour, was dragged at knife-point around my house in the search for valuables.


As I said earlier, everyone on earth must live at the mercy of people who choose to do evil, just as other people suffer when we ourselves act uncharitably.  Yet trials are certainly more frequent when the enemy of Christ - as Holy Scripture tells us - is at work in the world trying to draw away from God those who are weak yet who want to be faithful and trusting.


Although I shook with terror, I relied on Christ’s power, which enabled me to speak quietly as I replied to the intruder’s questions. I prayed the ‘Jesus’ prayer silently, over and over again; and Christ kept me calm and helped me to be polite to the masked man, who finally apologised as he and his companion left with our few treasures. I say ‘few’ because we’d been burgled once before, at home, and I’d also been robbed in a London street.


I thanked God for His goodness, finally aware that we were safe, though frightened.  Nevertheless, I’d learned several lessons about greed and fear and trust.  So, first, I resolved not to collect things which I didn’t need. I wouldn’t plan ‘bigger barns’, nor would I permit my possessions to be a source of temptation to others.  I was given one little gift, anyway. A pendant with a ‘Nativity’ scene on it was dropped, unnoticed, by one of the men as we left an upstairs room to search the rooms below.  I didn’t find it until late that evening, but I thanked Our Lord for the souvenir.


Through mentioning all these details I’m trying to say why the whole episode affected us immensely, probably for the rest of our lives.  All that makes an earthly person feel carefree and invulnerable was to be lost for a while. But the gains were immeasurable as we learned to look to God for the sort of security that really counts.  I don’t mean that I didn’t hope to prevent the same thing from happening again.  On the contrary, I did everything that was reasonable to make our home secure; and I was so frightened, for a while, of being attacked again, that every trip to the back door with a basketful of washing, or every return to the house after a trip to the shops, ended in a moment of terror as I approached our porch, half-expecting to see someone else crouched down there, ready to seize me.


It isn’t appropriate, here, for me to speak about my daughter’s reactions.  Her life is her own; it’s not for me to write her story; and so I’ll say no more than this: I was amazed by her courage; and I’ve been deeply touched by the way in which she comforted and encouraged me, as indeed I tried to comfort and encourage her, during those dreadful months immediately afterwards.


Although it’s true that I’ve never again been surprised at meeting earthly problems, at the same time I’ve never been more sure that if we can remain determinedly ‘fastened’ to God in our hearts by faith and by prayer, He can help us to endure whatever might happen.  In one sense, every difficulty we meet can be seen as a test.  We’ll be tempted to fail in trust towards God, perhaps asking why we should suffer so much; or we might even be tempted to congratulate ourselves on our courage and forbearance, forgetting that God Himself gives us the grace to endure. “I WILL NOT EVEN PASS JUDGEMENT ON MYSELF” (1 Co 4:3) as St. Paul says.  But I’m just so grateful to God for the grace to have kept on praying.


Fear and weakness.


Although it was all over, I remained terrified for months, whether sitting at home half-expecting to be attacked again, or walking past the shops and almost cowering when young men in jeans and ‘trainers’ walked by. I didn’t waste time feeling guilty about my feelings; I already knew how weak and human I am, so I concentrated on working out practical measures to lessen my fear.  Christ, I knew, didn’t condemn human emotions; indeed, He’d been terrified Himself.  More clearly than ever, I understood something of His feelings in Gethesemane: probably shaking with terror, though determined to persevere; and although I can’t deny that I hope never to be attacked again, yet neither can I deny that I’m glad to have  had a little glimpse of what Christ suffered - and of what He still suffers, in a way, in the lives of those of His children whose lives are so much harder than mine.  It made me less dismissive of the fears and weaknesses of other people, and more ready to praise the tiniest efforts towards what is good or brave which are made by people who live in horrible circumstances.


Strangely, it was my turn to be ‘reader’ at Holy Mass, on the very day after the robbery.  I read from the pulpit some words of Holy Scripture about how God permits us to suffer; yet it is “HE WHO SOOTHES THE SORE” (Jb 5:18).  Then Christ taught me, when I was praying:-


                        Cling to Me in My Passion, in your distress, when a terrible experience leaves you in turmoil. (T:201)


It wasn’t God who had hurt us. He’d allowed the men to use their free-will;  and I had no excuse to be bitter, when on so many occasions I myself had made selfish choices.


Of course, I thanked God for the strength which enabled me to go about normally; but I felt safe nowhere, except in church, until I’d undergone a Providential aversion ‘therapy’. I mean that I was confined to the house by illness for the whole month of June; and it was only because I was ‘forced’ in that way to spend many hours in my kitchen and sitting-room, although still jumping up whenever I heard a strange noise outside, half-convinced that I’d see further intruders, that I learned to be at peace there once again.  I was helped, as my health improved, by a regular cycle of quiet occupations: by prayer, housework and sleep; and meanwhile, the ‘teachings’ went on. 


“Shaped and tested by suffering.”


One day, in prayer, Christ showed me:-


                        Believe that your sufferings and trials can be fruitful. (T:209 #1)


                        Bear your burdens bravely.  It is good to bear all things patiently - even temptations - for My sake and for the Glory of the Father. (T:209 #2)


                        Take comfort from the knowledge that your sufferings will be fruitful.  The more you grow like Me in love, shaped and tested by suffering, the more you can stay close to Me, holding My wounded hands, pleading with Me before the Father.  Many people will benefit from the prayers which you offer, prayers which are united to mine. (T:209 #3)


I was reminded through the Scriptures that: “UNLESS A GRAIN OF WHEAT FALLS ON THE GROUND AND DIES” (Jn 12:24) there will be no growth and no harvest.  But one day at Holy Mass, after these words of Scripture had been read: “GOD LOVED THE WORLD SO MUCH” (Jn 3:16), I was astonished to be reassured by Christ, in my soul:-


                        Believe in My Love for all people - for “you too!”  My Love is personal and tender, yet I wish to ‘form’ you and make you beautiful, and this is achieved through trials and storms. (T:202).



A happy routine.


During the next three months, I was led to make more profoundly self-emptying resolutions, as Christ taught me even more about true love and true hope.  I went to daily Mass and tried to put into practice everything that He’d taught me in Church.


I worked hard when I could, and rested when I couldn’t work any more.  Everything I did was very ordinary, but I didn’t mind. I looked after the family and tried to help friends and acquaintances in little ways.  I cooked, shopped, painted, cleaned and sewed. I wrote letters, and visited sick friends in hospital and clung to Christ in every pain, thanking God for all my beloved friends and family members and praying for each one every day.  The needs of the world expanded, it seemed, before my eyes; so my daily intercessions included even more people, known and unknown, living and departed; and all the prayers were woven into the minutes and hours of my hum-drum but happy routine.


All the time, too, I asked Christ to help me in my acceptance of everything I found difficult to bear.  I begged him to bring some sort sweet ‘fruit’ out of my life; and so He continued to ‘hollow out’ my soul and my aching heart, in prayer.  I asked Him to destroy my selfish desires, and to help me to create a better home for Him within my soul; so He kept me low and quiet in His company.  He gave me everything I needed, through His own power, and through the words of His priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 


In past years I’d gone to ‘Confession’ every month or two, before major feasts; but now I realised how silly it is to neglect such a marvellous source of grace and advice.  Since then, I’ve attended more frequently in the certainty of receiving help from God, but also as an act of humility which pleases Him - as He has delightedly shown me.  But I rarely thought about rewards or punishments. I hoped for Heaven one day for the sheer bliss of seeing God at last.  My heart’s main hope was that I’d serve him faithfully in little ways, and that He wouldn’t  allow me to be deceived.  When I told Christ of my fears, He said that He’d chosen me so that, united with Him, I’ll “BEAR FRUIT IN PLENTY” (Jn 15:5).


Throughout these months, Christ showed me not only His own great love for me, but also the love which the Angels and Saints have for us; and He brought them to comfort me in my weariness at Holy Mass (T:161).


Very close to Christ.


Christ continued to teach me, more by pure knowledge than by words; yet whenever He spoke within my soul I was tremendously comforted and strengthened.  I was urged to love my neighbour, to trust in God in every circumstance,  to accept with gratitude all the gifts which come to me through Christ, and to remain always aware that His grace is not earned.  Christ reassured me about the value of prayer, as He explained  to me:-


                        ‘Touch’ Me in My Holy Sacrifice by uniting yourself with My Offering, with My intentions and with My own Self in Holy Communion.  When you ‘touch’ Me, you touch, also,  something of joy of Heaven, and you approach the depth and the breadth of My Divine Glory. (T:191 #4)


                        Never let the plain sight of your sinfulness keep away from Me.  As you kneel before Me in prayer, in all your weakness, conscious of your faults, you are like a beggar in rags before Me, Who am sinless.  Yet, I love you, in your rags!  I love you truly, with great warmth, tenderness and affection! (T:192)


                        Reach out in prayer, through Me, to those who have died.  It is through and “in” Me that you find the dear faithful departed, since they now live with Me.  All their loving thoughts towards you, and all your prayers for them, find a channel in Me, Jesus, Who have brought together earth and Heaven. (T:193 #1)

                        Think about your nearness to Me.  How thin is the ‘veil of Unknowing’ which separates earth from Heaven. (T:193 #2)


Heavenly Friends.


Even in difficult times, when it was becoming harder for me to get out and about, and to see my friends, Christ didn’t leave me alone, and lonely.  One day at Mass, after Communion, I was thinking about how amazing is Jesus’ Sacrifice, and was considering my own reluctance in sacrifice; and suddenly I learned:-


                        Have faith in Me.  I have given you many loving helpers. You are assisted and encouraged not only by Myself but by the whole court of Heaven: the Saints and the Holy Angels. (T:234 #1)


                        Believe in your Heavenly friends.  The Saints and the Holy Angels are full of compassion and tenderness for you who have not yet reached the end of your struggles to be faithful. Listen to their encouraging words: “We all want to help you along.” (T:234 #2)


                        Let Me bring sweet fruit out of your ‘emptiness’.  It is true that you have much suffering to bear, but by this ‘hallowing’, I make a home for Myself within your heart.  (T:236)


                        Notice how lavishly I reward all your sincere little efforts to please Me, especially when you have been to ‘Reconciliation’ and Holy Communion.  Truly, I reward you lavishly in the presence of My Saints and Holy Angels, even if you are not always aware of My generosity. (T:260)


                        Believe in My great Love for you.  “You must believe that all the time.”  Your faith in Me ought to be constant and ever-increasing, since, here and always, My Love for you is real, tender, and reliable. (T:261)


                        Don’t let frailty hold you back from service.  “Love people”,  for My sake.  Every small, good act or thought or prayer is valuable.  When faithfully done, such things are better than greater tasks badly done, and better than foolish unfilled dreams of tremendous acts. (T:262 #1)


Christ forbade me to worry.  He rewarded me for my acceptance, for His sake, of the little pains and humiliations which I suffered because of ill-health.  He led me, again, to offer my whole life to Him, for His work.  He gave me an interior joy so great, however, that it seemed to me as though the joy which He has promised us - in the Gospels - was mine: “a hundred fold” (Mt 13:8), not just through spiritual delights, but through ‘earthly’ blessings.  My husband and I spent a wonderful evening with our children, on July 6th of that year, celebrating our silver wedding, grateful for all that we’d been given, especially for the children: and grateful too for all that we’d endured and achieved together with the help of God.



The Holy Family.


Then came a marked change in the ‘type’ of certain teachings.  During the summer of 1988, Christ taught me about Himself at Mass, for the first time - at this stage of my life - not simply by pure wordless “Knowledge”, but by an appearance before the eyes of my soul.


One weekend in the summer, we went away, as a family, to attend a wedding in another town; and when the celebrations were over and we’d stayed at a local hotel, I was offered a lift to the local Catholic Church.  I didn’t want to miss Mass, anyway, but this was a special day; I’m sure it was the Vigil of the Assumption, rather than the feast itself;  and I’ve loved Our Lady more and more, since I became a Catholic, and have given special thanks on her feasts.


I entered the church as I enter any church - looking for the holy water stoop.  I blessed myself with the Sign of the Cross.  Then I reflected on the lives of the martyrs who had lived and worshipped nearby in penal times.  I made my way to a vacant place on one of the benches.


Having learned to pray anywhere, at any time, I wasn’t distracted by the strange church or by the unfamiliar faces; and Holy Mass was celebrated with great reverence.  When I was praying, after Communion, Christ came to my soul in the usual way, but this time He lifted my soul not to joyous darkness, but to Glory.  He held my spirit there, high in His peace and joy, as I gazed at Him Who is “THE RADIANT LIGHT OF GOD’S GLORY” (Hb 1:3).  I saw Him quite clearly, with my soul’s eyes, but - just as when I saw Him in 1964 - His Holy Face was too dazzling to see.  I was amazed to see His Mother Mary by His side; and Saint Joseph was beside her - all three of them standing before me, though some distance away.  Christ immediately taught me:-


                        Draw close to Me in prayer, and close to My Mother and St. Joseph, who are greeting you. (T:275 #1)


                        Rejoice that My radiance no longer causes you pain. (T:275 #2)


                        Be joyful.  I, your Saviour, have much to teach you, and so I welcome you, now revealing to you a glimpse of the Glory of Heaven, where I live with Mary My Mother, and also with Saint Joseph.  Each one of us, each member of the ‘Holy Family’, is radiant, beautiful and joyful. (T:275 #3)


                        Rejoice in the privileges which you can enjoy during prayer. I wish you to share our joy and Glory. (T:275 #4)


                        Make sure that My holy Mother occupies an important place in your life.  “When you look at Mary, you see Me.”  Every one of the true and good spiritual characteristics or virtues which has been noted in My holy Mother is also true of Me, her Divine son. (T:275 #5)


                        Turn to My Mother.  She can be loved and imitated.  She gives you comfort. (T:275 #6)


                        Rely on My Mother.  She and I both long for your joy. (T:275 #7)


                        Remember that I come from My MotherNo mother can be more tender than I! (T:275 #8)


                        Have faith in Me, and trust in My Mother, Mary.  United with Me, she comforts you, and she prays all your prayers, that is, she offers your good prayers through Me to the Father. (T:275 #9)


                        Marvel at the glory and power which I have given to My Mother and to Saint Joseph.  Marvel at the wonder of intercession - My Mother’s intercession, and Saint Joseph’s, and yours!  I have given tremendous power to those who pray for others. (T:275 #10)


Beneath the surface.


At the very next moment, all-at-once, Christ taught me something more about what should be our attitude to prayer in everyday life:-


                        You must pray even in your weakness; that is of no account to Me when I listen to your prayers. (T:275 #11)


                        Be confident, in prayer.  You glide trustingly in the depths of My Love, during your prayers and pleadings. (T:276 #1)


                        Be confident about My care of you. (T:276 #2)


                        Wait patiently, in times of trouble.  Learn to live within My embrace, through prayer.  Let me wholly enfold you.  Glide and turn with ease, in My ‘waters’, and rest in Me, just like swimmers beneath the surface of the ocean, during surface storms. (T:276 #3)


                        Put your trust in Me.  As you face the various trials and upheavals of your life, I have every sympathy for the agitated thoughts and emotions which I know you cannot entirely control. (T:276 #4)

                        Trust in your Holy Angel, who accompanies you everywhere. (T:277 #1)


                        Offer a continual sacrifice of praise to the Father, everywhere, your pains united with My sufferings, in loving intercession for everyone in your heart. (T:277 #2)


Then I left the church at the end of the celebration, almost overwhelmed by Christ’s beauty and kindness.



Learning to trust.


Ever-grateful for what I’d been shown, I still told no-one about such a ‘teaching’; I had no idea why Christ should show me these things, but I was happy to believe that He had good reasons of His own; and so I tried to put into practice what He taught me, which, as I said, was nothing new.  It was a loving reminder of the blessedly simple ways of life urged upon us by Christ’s Church and Christ’s Gospel.  Constantly, in His teachings, Christ urged me to be both realistic and trusting. He assured me that although it’s my vocation to share in His sufferings and so to help other souls, His courage and patience are mine, if I ask for them.


It was during a holiday, as I travelling from place to place, in the summer of 1988, always exhausted, that I was helped by Christ’s presence, and was assured that He had a definite plan for my life. After Holy Communion one day, as I battled amidst various torments, I was shown by Christ:-


                        Put your entire trust in Me, even though I might keep your soul in quietness, or in ignorance of My plans, until your spiritual training is completed. (T:278 #7)


But something about my vocation was revealed with great clarity,at the end of 1988.  I was shown, by Christ, at Holy Mass one day:-


                        Look upon all your sufferings as a sharing in My crucifixion - as you freely make reparation for your sins and for the sins of others. (T:302A #2)


                        Make every effort to be brave, and to suffer patiently, in imitation of Myself.  I love you deeply, and I look tenderly upon you, full of admiration for your virtues.  I stand beside you, upholding you in your sufferings. (T:302A #3)


                        “Don’t worry, Lizzie,” about your temptations and torments, when your will is fixed wholeheartedly on trying to please Me.  “You’re so much a part of Me that nothing can separate us.” (T:302B #1)


Then right at the beginning of 1989, when I’d made my New Year resolutions, I was comforted by Christ once more, as He told me:-


                        Don’t be ashamed of revealing all your silly faults to Me.  I use even sinful people for My work.  Yet, I love you, and I work in and through your weaknesses. (T:303)


Made fit to praise the Father.


Christ reminded me of how privileged we are, to be able to live in union with Him, and to be able to offer worthy praise, through Him, to the Father.  He told me:-


                        Treasure the Holy Sacrifice, and thank Me for My work in your life, as I prepare you to take part in the Holy Mysteries.  Whether the congregation be large or small - and even with all your faults and failings - you are hallowed and made fit to praise the Father through Me, and to intercede for others. (T:312 #2)


                        Be more generous towards Me. (T:312 #3)


                        Imitate My Mother, whose surrender to grace, at the message of the Angel, was immediate and spontaneous, like a natural breath from her pure and undivided heart. (T:312 #4)


                        Stay quietly ‘beside’ Me, throughout each day, in order to grow in resemblance to Me.  The more you resemble Me in sacrifice and in purity and in conformity to the Will of God our Father, throughout all suffering, and the more you stay quietly with Me in work and in prayer, one with Me in mind and heart and prayer, then the more fully will the Father use you for His Glory and for the comfort of your neighbours and the cause of Truth. (T:314)


I didn’t really understand what Christ meant, but I believed Him.



Always before me.


As the months went by, and as I learned to live in greater trust and obedience, Christ taught me much more about prayer and about union with Him in this life.  Yet the more frequently He taught me about His wishes, the more frequently I was obliged to struggle against my weaknesses for His sake, and to be brave and uncomplaining!  I know that although nothing in my power could have made the ‘teachings’ occur in prayer, they wouldn’t have continued if I hadn’t attempted to follow Christ’s advice.  He couldn’t have led me in this strange way towards “THE CITY OF OUR GOD, THE HOLY MOUNTAIN” (Ps 48:1) if I hadn’t continued to put one foot firmly after another on the pathway which was being revealed to me - lit by Christ’s radiance in prayer.  This isn’t to say, however, that I was satisfied with my efforts; but I tried to please Christ, and I tried to accept whatever sufferings God permitted me to undergo; but when I wasn’t at rest with Him in prayer, I felt that “I HAVE MY SIN CONSTANTLY IN MIND” (Ps 51:3). I was ashamed of how little I did for God, Who has done so much for us.


I wanted to walk every step of the way with Him, wherever He might lead me, since Scripture said: “YOU THEREFORE MUST BE HOLY BECAUSE I AM HOLY” (Lv 11:45), and I couldn’t ignore that command.  I was aghast at my sinfulness, but hoped that somehow, Christ would deal with it.



Devotion to Our Lady.


When I was busy with very simple chores, I used to puzzle over the purpose of the ‘teachings’; but one thing in particular surprised me, as the ‘teachings’ continued: I mean, I was astonished by the prominent place which Our Blessed Lady seemed to hold in her Son’s ‘thoughts’.


It must have been partly because of my Protestant upbringing that my automatic instinct, for many years, was to suppose that the role of Our Blessed Lady in a Christian life was important, but was in danger of being over-stated; yet here was Christ explaining again and again, in prayer, the great importance of His Holy Mother and the details of her ever-continuing work and example. I say ‘again and again’ because much more was explained to me than has been appropriate to record in this autobiographical prologue to the books of His teachings.


It was around that time, before the “Holy Family” teaching, I think, not afterwards, that I regretted my timidity about paying honour to Our Blessed Lady. I quite deliberately and confidently added a new phrase to the offering I make to the Father in prayer each morning.  I was unsure of the complete meaning of the phrase, but I knew that it was important.  I added the words to those which I’d used for about twenty years.  Daily, I had begun my prayer: “Abba, Father, I offer You all my thoughts, words, actions and sufferings this day ...” but now I added: “through the most pure heart of Mary” - which was a phrase used by Popes and Saints for centuries; and then I continued as usual: “for the intentions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Heaven; and I beseech You never to let me offend You, but faithfully to love and serve You and to do Your Holy Will in everything, from this moment onwards until the moment of my death.”


This little change, coupled with a more frequent praying of the Holy Rosary, later on, and with daily wearing of Our Lady’s ‘scapular’, helped to bring me closer to my Heavenly Mother; and the adoption of these few practices helped me to ‘tune’ my heart and body more closely to ancient Catholic culture. Faith is only half-formed, I believe, if it rules only mind and conversation.  I’m not suggesting that everyone should follow the same devotions, just hoping that Catholics everywhere, especially adult converts, can be less awkward and embarrassed about taking on some traditional pious practices which honour Our Blessed Lady and which therefore delight Christ, her son, and which make us spiritually stronger, and therefore more joyful.

Those who are crushed in spirit.


At this point in the ‘story’, it seems unfair of me to mention my physical weakness yet again; however, it’s part of the whole pattern of my life, and an essential component of my story; so I must tell how late in 1988, I was asked to enter hospital once more, because of recurrent illness.


My weakness had grown more serious; so I plucked up courage and packed my bag again, prepared for more humiliation but ready for the family’s sake to risk an answer.  The children were now nearly adult.  They were delightful company and very tolerant of my weaknesses, yet puzzled by my nameless difficulties and limitations.


Sitting on my hospital bed, preparing to be prodded and questioned again, I took a few notes from my handbag; I’d photocopied the Church’s choice of Holy Scripture for that day, so  I was reminded that we can say, about health and about life itself: “YAHWEH GAVE, YAHWEH HAS TAKEN BACK” (Jb 1:21). Then Jesus encouraged me to put my entire trust in Him, as I waited to undergo a series of tests.  For the first time, instead of endlessly thinking of my fears, I was able to say wholeheartedly to God: “All these tests are in Your hands.  I’ve been impatient, but I trust You now.  If something definite is diagnosed, I shall thank you for clearing up the mystery; however, if I’m regarded with bafflement again, I shall thank You still, for all You’ve done.”  I hoped I was ready to welcome anything He allowed: health or sickness, indifference or understanding.  By His grace, I could say, at last:- “I want only what You want.  Show me the way: only Your way!”


Surrounded at every moment by other patients and busy staff, I adored Christ in silence, thanked Him for all His blessings, and gave everything back to Him, to be used as He Willed:- life, heart, mind, soul and body, memory and will, for His Glory.  I said “Fiat” to the waiting: “Fiat” to anything He decreed.  Whatever the results might be, I knew that “HE HELPS THOSE WHOSE SPIRIT IS CRUSHED” (Ps 34:18).  So I resolved: “O Jesus, I will bring you to others.  I will see You in them.  I will make Your presence known.  I will love You and show Your love to others.”


I was forty-fix years old, and for over half of that time I had thought to myself: “If only I knew what was wrong!”  Twenty-five years of ‘not knowing’ had enabled me to live at last from day to day, content to aim at kindness rather than efficiency, although it was a dreadful thing to know that one’s problems made life difficult for other people.  I trusted in God that I’d continue to muddle through; and I trusted Him with My entire future, as well.


A diagnosis.


The Consultant who came to see me was a kindly man who had delivered bad news before, to many others.  He told me briskly that I have a mild Multiple Sclerosis.  He was to tell us later that I’d suffered from it for twenty-five years.  He said that the expert who had dismissed my symptoms over ten years ago had been wrong; “They often say that to people with M.S.”


Feeling so ill at that time, I was almost numb on hearing the news.   I was neither upset nor surprised, but, rather, released from fear - although not from future trials.  I saw clearly that yesterday I’d been unwell, and that today I was unwell in just the same way; so nothing, in that sense, had changed.  But this doctor had given me what I’d once longed for: understanding, and justification in other people’s eyes.  But through the grace of Christ, I’d come to value Christ’s opinion above all, and I’d stopped worrying - most of the time.  I saw that the diagnosis was Christ’s choice for me, and His gift, whatever happened next.  It would bring sadness to others, but I hoped the sadness would give way to relief.  Perhaps we’d all be able to cope with illness, if it could be faced and accepted, and if we could all encourage one another at home, no longer puzzled by my ‘decline’.


Once out of hospital, I was able to attend Mass again. I offered myself - life, body, soul and strength - in union with Christ in His Holy Sacrifice.  Through the priest, I was given the graces of the Sacrament of the Sick.  I’d asked my parish priest for this wonderful help, and so he anointed me with holy oils as we prayed that God’s Will would be fulfilled in me.


Wholehearted acceptance.


One day soon afterwards, back in my usual domestic routine, I experienced real helplessness in the street, when I was shopping.  I found myself unable to walk far, and unable to do the work I usually do.  I asked Christ in prayer to show me what to do in my powerlessness, and to show me how to do it.  Then I was inspired to unite my weakness with His own helplessness on the Cross; and immediately, I knew what was to be attempted.  I knew that Christ was encouraging me towards a repeated and wholehearted acceptance of my physical weakness.  Prompted in this way, I resolved to want only what Christ wants for me, at each moment of my life, and to do gladly only what He permits, at every moment.  Then I resolved never to regret not doing the things I can’t do.  I resolved to accept and to absorb my very helplessness, and to thank God for having an opportunity to show my love for Him by trying to be patient in every circumstance and by accepting His Will for me.


I knew that my small sacrifices could comfort Christ in His Passion since God isn’t bound by time. I prayed that this union of our wills might be the cause of His Will being done in others, though only through the merits of His Sacrifice.  Then Christ poured out His courage and peace on me, as He urged me:


                        Do My Will fervently and frequently, simply for love of Me.  You will find that, more frequently, I will do what you want. (T:305 #8)



Speculation discouraged.


Occasionally, having more time to think, and astounded by the implications, I half-wondered if the ‘teachings’, or, at least, the ‘visions’, would inevitably be attributed to my illness: whether that was what other people would believe, if ever I were to speak about what I’d been shown in prayer. Yet why should anyone doubt me, I wondered, if it was only within a disciplined prayer-life that I was ‘taught?’  How could I make sensible judgements about a catalogue of subjects relating to several areas of life, and pass a driving test, and study Hebrew, if my mind were weak or unstable?  I couldn’t deny my many failings; but surely all sorts of people wouldn’t be turning to me regularly for comfort and advice, I wondered, if I was fanatical or unbalanced?


Still sure that other people would one day look for explanations, I wondered if someone would see the ‘teachings’ - perhaps - as peculiar ‘surfacings’ of things from my memory-store; yet what was ‘surfacing’ included aspects of our faith which were previously unknown to me; and they were beautifully ‘presented’, quite unlike the way in which snippets of past reading can sometimes emerge from the depths of our minds, emerging festooned with half-remembered thoughts and emotions from another era.


Besides, I wondered, why should I worry if I were considered to be a victim of delusions if everything I was learning in prayer was thoroughly orthodox?  What reason could there be - apart from God’s ‘intervention’ - for my receiving, in prayer, what I can only describe as ‘chunks’ of theology?


None of these queries is an attempt to prove the origin of the ‘teachings’, but they give a glimpse, perhaps, of the sort of thoughts I couldn’t entirely control.  Although my inner conviction at every single stage of the spiritual life was that the teachings and visions had come to me from God, my acceptance was uncomfortable in the way in which other information can be painful.  Anyone who has ever been shocked to hear that an acquaintance has died, yet who irrationally thinks: ‘That can’t be true; I was speaking to him only this morning’, will understand my discomfort.  I knew that I was being taught by God; I also knew that I’m not a good person; and yet something - snippets of what I’d read - told me that God only teaches good people, not a failure like myself, whose mind was more full of remorseful thoughts than of praises of God’s goodness.


All of these speculations were firmly discouraged by Christ, Who wouldn’t permit me to continue with any sort of dissection. He was very strict about this.  Of course, my faith in His wisdom and power wasn’t as strong as later on; and I wasn’t aware of how wonderfully He can put our minds at rest - whether my own mind, or the minds, for example, of those in authority who are now having to ‘weigh and judge’ me.  But I’m utterly sure that there’s no-one wiser or kinder than He is; and I leave my life and work and reputation in His hands.  He can do what He likes with them, as long as He gives me the grace to remain faithful.


Christ made it plain that I was to carry on peacefully, trusting in Him in every little difficulty. He also explained, as I’ve hinted, that if I made various sacrifices for His sake - music and novels were only the start of a new ‘reformation’ - and if I managed without inessential day-time medicines, I could be very attentive to Him in prayer.  Every pain could be united to His sufferings, to draw down graces upon myself and upon other people. Of course, I was supposed to save life or limb with such blessings as antibiotics, but I learned that any remedy which banishes pain must be treated with caution.  Our poor little prayers offered in sickness are tremendously valuable; but nothing is more precious in ordinary times than to be alert before Christ, attentive to His presence and also alert to the ‘stirrings’ of  His Holy Spirit.


Together, looking towards Heaven.


Throughout the following year - 1989 - the training continued, as did the “teachings”.  One day at Holy Mass, Christ began to urge me, more fervently:-


                        Reach up to the Invisible Father and intercede for others.  Every prayer made in My Name is welcomed by the Father. (T:317 #2)


                        Obey My inspiration, and remain within your soul, close to Me, in My Passion.  Turn to Me, your loving Saviour: to “Jesus Wounded”.  Unite your prayers to Mine.  Together, we can look towards Heaven, and you can offer our pleas to the Father on behalf of others (T:317 #3)


                        Believe in your adoption.  You really are a “child of God”.  The more surely I am present on earth in you, and the more fully you really live on earth “in Me”, then the more surely is Heaven joined to earth - by My power - as if by a column of Light.  Thus, within your soul, I pray continuously to the Father. (T:317 #4)



A total offering.


Despite my best efforts, that winter, I found it very hard just to get up every day to do the bare essentials; and so I was prompted, in prayer, to turn to Christ more fervently than ever before and to say: “I offer everything: every moment, every action and pain: my whole self, to be used however You wish.”  I begged Him to permit me to stay faithful and peaceful in His company, even though I’m so weak and inadequate.  I resolved to remain in my soul - as it were - with “Jesus wounded”, pleading for help for other people, minute by minute, although I’m aware that our prayers are effective only because of the Merits of the Precious Blood which Christ has poured out for us: poured out for everyone who is close to my heart, indeed for the world.


Then Christ taught me, delightedly, in Holy Communion:-


                        Reflect on the joy and privilege which is yours as you take part in the Holy Mass.  You are a member of My Church, in her holy worship, praying with Me for the whole world. (T:312 #1)


                        Rejoice in your friendship with Me.  I delight in your efforts, as you prepare to take part in My Church’s worship.  All who take part can be made worthy to take part by confessing their sins and by leading a new life in Me, despite all remaining weaknesses and imperfections. (T:317 #6)


                        Rejoice in your dignity.  Consider the majesty of those who are called to take part in My holy worship at Mass.  You reflect My own majesty and dignity as you stand, glorious with Me, your frailty clothed in gold. (T:317 #7)

For the remainder of the day I plunged into my normal work.  Then I rested, and worked again, having learned by then, by God’s grace, how to remain for longer and longer periods of time quite without speculation about God’s plans and God’s ‘teachings’, but truly content to do my work, for His sake, in each ‘present moment’.  I had no inkling of the joy in store.


Enfolded by the Holy Trinity.


I was determined not to complain, but to be patient, and to be grateful for all the good things in my life, and for the friendship of Christ, above all.  So that day passed in its usual fashion; by the evening I’d forgotten about my ‘offering’ because I’d been concentrating on my work. I eventually sat down in an armchair, glad to be at rest, reading a book.  All the members of my family were away, or out.


When I was sitting in peace in my home, - at about quarter past nine - Christ suddenly appeared to my heart - though without sight or sound; and just as swiftly, and with a power that astonished me, He led my soul upwards into the very Life and presence of the Most Holy Trinity; and there, He showed me, as He held me in incomparable peace and radiance:-


                        Rejoice that you live “in God”, wholly united to Us in heart, mind, and intentions, and now gathered up into the warming and enlightening movements of Our Love: the love of The Three Divine Persons. In Us, the Holy Trinity, you are assured of love, grace and safety.  To live “in God” is to be ‘saturated’ with Our peace, and to be saturated also with knowledge from Us, within the Light in which We live: the Light in which We contemplate Our own Being. (T:318 #1)


Then I was taught, very suddenly and wordlessly, about God’s own Being.  I was shown:-


                        Learn something about Our Divine Life. God the Father holds all, in existence, and all lies within His Love.  I, Jesus, am your sweetest friend and lover.  My Spirit continually holds and soothes and strengthens you. (T:318 #2)


                        Be comforted by Our merciful care of you.  God the Father cools the burning pain of the two ‘spears’ - which are shame and fear - so that although they still pierce you as wounds and nails, they are softened by His kindness.  They will check your pride, even though in your pride, weakness and silliness you are wrapped in Our care, and loved. (T:318 #3)


                        Submit joyfully to My wishes.  It is My loving Will that you stretch out your hand, as many do, across the Abyss between yourself and your beloved other-Christians, that is, between yourself and your spiritual brothers and sisters who are not in communion with My Holy Catholic Church.  You must welcome them with joy.  The Abyss is very deep, but not wide, and they can step over. (T:318 #4)


In the Light of the Holy Trinity.


Here, I realised that the formal teaching had ended, yet God still ‘held’ me. It was as though He was offering me an invitation to take part in a real conversation between friends: between a weak woman and her God.  I was awe-struck, but joyful, and was so wholly at peace in that state that it was just as when a child is resting on its parent’s lap, confident of having its questions answered.  Then I remembered all the people whom I carry in my heart. I named and held and ‘established’ each one in the Light of the most Holy Trinity.


In the presence of the Father, I made a new resolution, and told Him that from now on I was determined to live and wait and rest in Him, without thinking about effects or results or the opinions of others, and unconcerned about my own helplessness.  From moment to moment I would live with Him and in Him, doing whatever He wants, for the sake of His People and for the glory of His Name.


I prayed to the most Holy Trinity: “I abandon all rushing, all anxieties, and all straining and speeches, and even  the sort of interior, verbal self-laceration by which I’ve kept reminding myself of causes for shame.  Just as I am, so will I rest in You, as You are, held here by Your grace, and loved.”


Then I thanked and praised the Father for Christ’s faithfulness and mercy; and I resolved to accept others  and to be merciful to everyone.


I was able to say: “Most Holy Father, I accept Your love, Your forgiveness, your medicines and mercies and friendships - all the days and joys and pains and wounds of prayer, and all the dancing delights of the spiritual life - and the times of peaceful waiting too.  May I only live and die in You.”


I prayed that - whether I always remember the goodness of God, or forget - I’d be able to leave aside all useless speculation, in order to trust and to persevere.


I prayed that, by God’s grace, I’d stay hopeful whenever I fall, pausing briefly to let Him look at me and heal me. I resolved that I’d move on ‘in Him,’ with confidence.


I prayed that I’d be able to convey to others the peace which had been given by God to me.


Jesus: my whole life.


The whole experience affected me profoundly.  Awe and joy were intermingled in my heart. The embrace of this prayer lasted for less than an hour, but the peace given then has rarely left me; nor has the thought of the goodness of God, even in recent unimaginable trials.  From that day onwards I no longer hesitated in admitting to myself that, at last, truly, Christ was my whole life and my whole desire, and that I had found in Him everything I’d ever hoped for or needed.  Hour by hour each day Christ patiently revealed His Will for me, through my normal duties, through the teaching of the Church, through the Holy Scriptures, and through prayer, as usual: sometimes by His own words and instructions, so long as I worked and prayed solely for love of Him.


However, through experience, I found that the least unfaithfulness on my part left me in darkness: I don’t mean the faults or failings into which we fall despite all our efforts.  But the smallest movement of pride in my heart for any of Christ’s gifts, or the merest flicker of hope that He’d lead me in extraordinary ways, and I’d be left in darkness for my own good, thus being purified in my desires and trained to work and pray solely for the glory of God, in obedience.


Christ’s words and visits continued. His teachings and His gifts were always unexpected, unasked, sudden, and usually delightful, as I learned through Him to hope for nothing but the grace to seek and do His Will in everything, in darkness or in Light, day by day, motivated solely by love for Him.  And He didn’t allow me to become engrossed in my work or in His ‘teachings’, but gave me many instructions about looking outwards as well as inwards.  He emphasised my obligation to love my neighbour, and told me:-


                        Reflect on My Sacrifice of Calvary.  My Precious Blood was poured out - brimming over  - and was spilt for you.  My life ebbed away so that I could give you Eternal Life. (T:365 #2)


                        Imitate My true self-giving.  True sacrifice involves self-giving even to the last breath in your body. (T:365 #1)



The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


It was only a few weeks later, in 1989, that Christ began to teach me much more about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: not solely reminding me about its importance, but explaining in what special ways it is supremely valuable.


One day, at Holy Mass, at the Sanctus, Christ taught me something more about the joys of being “in Communion” with other people in the Church.  He told me:-


                        See how closely you are united with other people who love Me.  You who belong to Me are wrapped and encircled in My Spirit of Love, in one Sacrifice of praise to the Father, at Holy Mass. (T:359)


Christ gave me enough time to ‘digest’ the wonder of this ‘Communion of Saints.’ Then, shortly afterwards, in Holy Week, when I was praying at Mass, I thanked God the Father for everything that He’s done for us through Jesus; and I adored Christ, Who was Really Present; then I was suddenly overwhelmed with ‘Knowledge’; and the whole teaching was about the God-man Who is “THE SACRIFICE THAT TAKES OUR SINS AWAY” (1 Jn 2:2) because His Blood was shed for us on the Cross.


The splendour of Christ’s Divinity.


By God’s great kindness, and with piercing clarity, I learned many dazzling truths about Christ’s One Holy Sacrifice.  In an instant of prayer, Christ taught me all of these things:-


                        Never doubt what My Holy Church teaches about Me, in that I am truly, gloriously Present on the altar, after the Consecration, in all the splendour of My Divinity and power and Light and beauty and energy. (T:366 #3)


                        Live as if you could be “another Christ” on earth.  Those who suffer for love and who are most like Me, Christ, in their self-giving, are most easily able to ‘leap up’ to stay with Me in love and in prayer.  They and I so resemble one another that, through Me, they are drawn to the Father more easily than others who do not resemble Me so closely. (T:366 #4)


                        Believe in My Love, and in the power of My Holy Sacrifice. (T:366 #5)


                        Rejoice at the marvel of My Offering.  All who are present at My Sacrifice, united in faith and joy within My Holy Church, are gathered up by My Spirit and are joined to Me, their risen Lord.  They are made a part of this glorious Offering and union - an Offering to the Father and a union with Him through Me, Jesus - the splendour of which cannot be imagined or described. (T:366 #6)


At the same time, I was given a reminder which was directed not at myself, but at other Christians.  I was told:-


                        Let all who are not “in Communion” be patient.  All who are not yet members of My Holy Church, or who are not yet united with her in faith and worship, yet who would take a handful of this Glory - by going to Holy Communion - must be patient, and should ask Me to bring them into the unity of My holy family - by which I mean My holy People. (T:366 #7)


                        Be joyful.  During the Holy Sacrifice, you can be sure of being in My Presence.  I, Christ, am Present in the splendour of My humanity and My Divinity, and the Sacrifice which I offer is perfect.  The love and joy of this holy Offering and acceptance is complete and blissful.  You can believe that God gives to God, in this Holy Sacrifice, perfect honour and perfect Love, in a bond of perfect joy. (T:366 #9)


A true sacrifice.


As I was being taught in this way, I could see a light before me on the altar, a blazing white fire - though seeing it with the eyes of my soul; and Christ was explaining the meaning, all in one instant.  He told me:-


                        Consider the meaning of sacrifice.  You see before you, during the Holy Mass, an altar, a holy Sacrifice, and a Victim.  The “white fire” of sacrifice is consuming the Victim, which is to say: the pure, perfect, fiery and Divine Love of the Father “consumes” Me, Jesus, Victim, in our bond of perfect Love. (T:366 #10)


                        Never doubt that what My Church teaches you about your faith is true: My Offering in the Holy Mass is a true Sacrifice, and is accepted by the Father as an offering for your sins. (T:366 #11)


                        Rejoice in My Love for you and in the power of My Sacrifice.  The radiance of My glorious Offering falls upon all, whether living, still, on earth, or departed “in Christ”.  All of My people, living and departed, can benefit from the offering of My Holy Sacrifice. (T:366 #12)


I was shown all this in a split-second.  It was nothing but what the Church has taught about how the Sacrifice of the Mass bring enormous benefits both to the living and to the ‘dead’; yet the truth of it all had been made plain to me in a startling yet glorious way; and I grew even more grateful for what Christ had done for us when He first instituted the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, at the Last Supper, and so provided us with a living memorial of His Passion and Resurrection.



All the ‘wounded’.


The ‘teachings’ continued, week after week. I was instructed further about the life of grace within the soul.  One day at Holy Mass, Christ taught me:-


                        Cling to Me, the “broken Christ”, in all your weaknesses.  The Father, in accepting My Sacrifice, also accepts all who belong to Me and who live in love, united by My Spirit.  The Father is ‘conquered’ by humility. (T:379 #1)


                        Accept your soul’s ‘wounds’, out of love for Me.  You can be sure that I hold all the ‘wounded’ in My embrace. (T:379 #2)


                        Say   to   Me:  ‘Your  Will   be  done’,    and  so  unite  your


                        acceptance to My own acceptance of the Will of the Father. (T:379 #3)


                        Accept from the Father all that He Wills, whether life or death, pain or joy, cruel delays or moments of comfort.  All your faithful prayers and sacrifices can be united to My prayer, to become One prayer which can be offered for the Glory of the Holy Trinity and for the benefit of My Church and of the world. (T:379 #4)


After such encouragement, I was able to offer every pang I felt to the Father, in union with Christ’s own sufferings: such was the offering which Christ so frequently encouraged me to make.  Then, soon afterwards, in Holy Communion, I learned even more about the union of our wills with the Will of God, in all circumstances.  Christ showed me something more about the soul.  He urged me:-


                        Follow My Spirit Who leads you into silent adoration of the Father’s Glory. (T:460 #2)


                        Look upon your soul’s centre as a “place” which is vaster than any place you can see around you.  Within the “interior universe” We, the Most Holy Trinity, may be adored and worshipped. (T:461 #1)


                        Rejoice at the marvellous work which I have been working within you.  The soul which is full of My Life is a ‘place’ on earth where I am First and Last, and have been enthroned and adored by one who consents to do My Will, and who permits Me to reign in every detail of life. (T:461 #2)





All the while, as the teachings continued and my friendship with Christ grew closer, the every- day events of family and village life kept me outwardly busy.  But the various aspects of life all seem to ‘fit’, at last, as my prayer overflowed into my work and guided me in conversation, and as the various friendships and relationships of a busy life were all being pulled into my prayers before the Blessed Sacrament.


There was a new unity in my life.  It was a gift from Christ, which was, at the same time, the cause and the effect of the peace within my soul.  It didn’t usually matter to me any more, in my ‘heart of hearts’ - although I sometimes wavered - whether I were busy or resting, attending a dinner or writing a letter, or being praised or overlooked.  It was God’s Will that I longed  to know, whether it brought difficulties or consolations; and there’s so much extra help for us all when we’ve discovered and really believe in everything that the Church can give us, or, rather, in everything that Christ is willing to give us through His Church: so many sacraments and sacramentals, with His own Presence in the tabernacle - and the help of an army of Saints and holy Angels: and the loving-kindness of His own beloved Mother.

Blessings, through Our Lady’s prayers.


One day, during Holy Mass, as I praised God for Mary our Mother, for Jesus, and for Mary’s prayers, I was suddenly shown that Christ was pleased with my devotion.  He told me several things which increased my confidence.  He reminded me:-


                        Ask Me for the prayer of My Holy Mother Mary.  She scatters grace like rain, at the very moment that you ask Me for her prayers. (T:465 #1)


                        Have confidence in My Mother.  She does My Will now, as ever, and since it is in My Will that she help you, you can be sure that through her you are showered with blessings on earth. (T:465 #2)


                        Turn to me ever more frequently.  You are changed into ‘other Christs’, the more you are united with Me in heart and will.  As you grow in grace and in sanctity, you remain yourselves.  You retain all that is good and distinct about yourselves, but you are made ‘whole’, and ‘willing’ - that is, willing and ready to serve Me in any good way. (T:465 #3)


Christ even increased my hope that I’ll enter Heaven in the end.  He urged me:-


                        Be hopeful about Heaven.  Through your whole-hearted striving to love and to know Me - and if you become like Me - then must Heaven ‘open’ for you, and, “clothed” in Me, you shall enter the true home where you belong. (T:465 #4)


                        Put your trust in Me.  My Mercy to sinners is greater than you could possibly imagine. (T:465 #5)


After such teachings as this, my longing to please Christ increased.  I longed to act as lovingly towards everyone as Christ acts towards me.  For example, as Christ had recommended, I tried to learn a little more about how to listen to others. I wanted to chatter a bit less about my own affairs and concerns and to follow the good example of a priest I knew; and I saw that a loving heart is more inclined to listen to others’ troubles than to speak about itself. 


As long as we’re seeking to ‘entertain’ others, or to show off in subtle ways, or to score points, or to insist on being ‘right’ - we’re not usually listening or loving; and so we’re not doing Christ’s work.  There’s a place for reasoned argument, I know; but in my usual daily conversations it was sympathy that was needed more than arguments or lectures.



A deeper spiritual ‘night’.


The teaching continued; and even as they were being given to me, Christ simultaneously hollowed out my heart to receive them. I mean that He never ceased to train me in the practice of the virtues: sometimes stern with me and at other times all tender encouragement, like a good parent.  Although I didn’t know it then, He was preparing me for an awesome task, and so was determinedly teaching me the true meaning of humility, without which any work supposedly done for God is a waste of time and does no lasting good.


That is why, towards the end of the same year, Christ led me to look more clearly at the whole of my earlier life. He purified my soul more severely than ever before, through a re-kindling of memories.  He permitted such torment only for my own good; but once the new trial had begun, I didn’t know how I’d survive it.


Suspended over the Abyss.


If anyone should say that what I’m about to describe stemmed only from my imagination or from a normal but prolonged bout of anxiety, I can only warn him or her that “IT IS A DREADFUL THING TO FALL INTO THE HANDS OF THE LIVING GOD” (Heb 10:31). All of our shabby thoughts and acts and habits and grudges burst into flame within us when - by our free consent to Him in sincere prayer - we permit this great Lord to shine His Holy Light into every corner of our soul.  And that burning Light causes the greatest pain in the one whose depths have been hidden in darkness longest; and the torment of our gazing at those depths when at last they’re revealed, with no hope of shadow or concealment, can only be borne by someone who is utterly determined, blindly, to obey God, since it seems as though there’s no end in sight, and no hope of relief.


It happened that when I was alone one day, I was suddenly swamped with terrible memories and fears, and - once again - with scruples.  I had hoped to make a brief retreat which would bring some peace to my busy mind and rest to my soul.  But instead, I found that day after day was spent in torment, as I remained clutching blindly to what seemed like the very thinnest thread of hope.  I prayed to God at every moment in naked faith, in deepest night, whilst half-remembered, half-denied causes of shame and remorse were revealed at last to the eyes of my soul in an utterly clear and relentless light.


I felt as though I were damned.


Knowing that there was no hope of enduring the pain, except by trusting - utterly defeated - in the Blood of Christ, I went to find a priest; and then, in great sadness and darkness, I was more thoroughly Reconciled.


I reminded myself that penitents throughout the ages had been loved and forgiven by Christ, but nothing made me feel better. I made acts of faith hour by hour, resolving to stay really ‘low’ and grateful, and resolving never, ever, to offend God again. I vowed that I would never forget His mercy towards me, and that I’d never look down on other people.


For several days more, my soul was confined in a prison of utter distress and loneliness.  I had to make acts of faith in order to force myself to go to Holy Communion, nearly overwhelmed by a temptation to despair of having received Christ’s forgiveness.  Aware of my own nothingness, and aware also of the power and unseen Majesty of the God Who had brought me into existence and Whom I had once offended, I had never in my whole life known such complete and relentless desolation.

A gulf between mankind and the Godhead.


After a few more days, the teachings began again.  Wordlessly, Christ taught me about His Sovereignty, speaking more as a Father than a Brother.  He showed me how important it is that I recognise my utter dependence on His graces and that I live in perpetual gratitude and humility.  He told me:-


                        See how helpless you are, without Me.  There exists a great gulf between mankind and the Godhead, a gulf which is like a wide, deep and steep-sided Abyss which is so dark and so infinitely deep that you cannot see the bottom. (T:472 #1)


                        Remember the meaning of Salvation, which is Life in Me.  Unless a soul lives in Me, it is lost.  If pride, rebellion or self-sufficiency predominate in someone’s heart, that person is doomed. (T:472 #6)


                        See how every good thing stems from Me: life, hope and Salvation. (T:472 #7)


Reasons for humility.


Although I didn’t know it, this purification was a preparation for great joys ahead.  For the moment, however, it was only naked faith that took me towards Christ in the Sacrament, and kept me ‘glued’ to Him each day, in hope of being able to carry on.  It was a great blessing that I found the courage to ask for advice; and so I was encouraged to say to God: “If You wish me to go through this Desolation, then I accept it.”  I did accept it; and then I found that a pain accepted is, mercifully, a pain lessened.


Once, briefly, Christ came to me, appearing to my soul’s eyes as a King.  There, during the Holy Mass, He explained to me why He was letting me see myself - by an image - sitting at His feet as a penitent.  He was reminding me that I would be grievously sinful were I to nourish the least scrap of pride or conceit about His gifts, when He had rescued me from the death-of-soul of former years.  Even then, He hadn’t finished His work.


Each time I went to Holy Communion, Christ reminded me of the great debt which He has paid to save sinners.  He told me:-


                        Be glad that you can live in the truth of the knowledge of your weakness and dependence.  It is true that you are dust, yet you are made, loved and sought out by Us: by the Three Divine Persons who dwell in Glory: One God. (T:474 #2)


                        Never forget the reason for your present joy and continued hope.  It is through Me, your Saviour, that you are re-born, ennobled and lifted into Light; yet you have been redeemed at a terrible price. (T:474 #3)

                        Consider My life’s end.  I, Jesus, died in torment, crucified and raised up before scornful witnesses.  This was the consummation of My earthly life.  How can you who follow Me hope to receive earthly glory and popularity? (T:474 #5)


                        Understand the reason for earthly power.  The Father above permits earthly thrones not that you might struggle for power and position, but that you might see in them a glimpse of the true Throne and the true Majesty of His Kingdom, where I reign. (T:474 #6)


                        Honour the Mother who bore Me.  Lowly and unknown, she was given by Me a tremendous dignity, and she is now given great honour and glory in High Heaven, where - full of grace - she lives in My Light. (T:474 #7)


The price of our sanctification.


Then one day, Christ showed me, in Holy Communion:-


                        Think about My life: the life of your beloved Saviour, Who hung upon the Cross in agony, to save you. (T:474 #4)


                        Don’t begin to think that you can ‘save’ yourself.  Great effort is needed in the spiritual life, but you are saved from sin and eternal death, and made holy, not by will-power but through My Precious Blood which was poured out for you on Calvary.  This is the price of your sanctification: Myself, Crucified. (T:475 #3)


Christ was obviously determined that I should be ‘rooted’ in humility; and so I stumbled on through each day’s chores and conversations, determined to endure whatever He allowed me  to undergo.



An Abyss of desolation.


For a further week or more Christ left me helplessly suspended over an abyss of desolation which words can’t describe.  But one day He took pity on me and encouraged me to look upwards, towards Heaven. Suddenly, within our usual prayer, His teachings recommenced.  Christ led me once more into His radiant Light, in Holy Communion, restoring my former joy.

Truly, “OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE” (Heb 12:29); yet He knows what we can bear, for the good of our souls, and perhaps, of the souls of other people; and He gave me what I really longed for, after those terrible days and hours. He gave me peace.  Past, present and future were now laid out before Him, seen in His Light.  The very “attics and cellars” of my soul had been sorted out and scoured.  I saw that there’s nothing good in me which He hasn’t given to me.  I also saw  that to take pride in anything good I might see in myself  would be sheer madness, like a lie, or like a theft from the Source of all good.


Vowing, more fervently than ever, that I would allow nothing to take me even an iota away from Christ, I longed more surely than at any time in my life to fulfil the all-important aim of any daughter of the Church: for the love of Christ, to believe, to hope, to trust, to love, to work and to pray.


Christ can’t leave us, however, without good advice, and comfort.  Within a few hours of hearing me make new resolutions, Christ taught me how to pray well from the ‘depths’ of a new humility.  He advised me:-


                        Don’t be anxious, in your weakness.  You can pray well in Holy Communion by offering My praise from within your soul.  You have nothing good of your own to offer the Father; but because of your faith in Me, which brought you here to receive Me, you can be confident that I am the “All” that you now have, the “Everything” of goodness, Really Present here, Whom you can offer to the Father, for His Glory.  (T:477 #1)


                        Don’t dwell upon your unworthiness, in prayer.  It is through your humility - especially after purification - that I delight in leading you into Our ‘heart’: the Heart of the Holy Trinity, in prayer. (T:477 #2)


                        Follow wherever I lead you, in prayer, even if such prayer is wordless, incomprehensible and apparently fruitless.  (T:477 #3)


                        Surrender to Me completely, in order to be made fruitful.  If you ‘give’ Me every day and every moment to be used entirely as I wish,  you will live to make Me known and loved - as you so greatly desire. (T:478)


To my surprise, further teachings followed.  What I didn’t know was that I was being trained not only for Heaven, as is every Christian who tries to co-operate with God’s grace, but also  for a new task which I couldn’t have foreseen: the task of encouraging others.  But I had to learn how to do so without the least scrap of pride in my soul as I spoke up about Christ’s teachings and about prayer.








The gate of Heaven.


Throughout every new difficulty, in 1989, Christ provided me with reassurance. In Holy Communion one day, I was shown some of the reasons why we all ought to thank God for the tasks and trials which makes us stronger.  Christ spoke to me very clearly, as He revealed the wonderful sight of Himself, with His Mother Mary, standing in Glory at the very edge of Heaven.  He told me:-


                        Look towards Me in your living and in your dying!  I am the Way to the Father, in life and in death.  At the “edge” of Heaven, I await all the people who, after death, approach Me in the presence of My Saints and My holy Angels.  My Holy Mother stands next to Me. (T:496 #1)


                        Think about the moment when at last you will hope to see Me, Jesus:


                                    I, the Crucified, wait at the Gate of Heaven,            looking for those

                                    who bear the marks of the Cross,

                                    who resemble Me,

                                    who have borne all things for Me,

                                    who are weary from My service,

                                    who have loved all poor and wounded ones

                                    for My sake,

                                    who have given no thought to their own glory,

                                    but longed only for Mine,

                                    who have kept on through criticism and humiliation,

                                    their hearts aching like Mine

                                    for the world’s pain, not for their own.

                                    I know My own.  They resemble Me. (T:496 #2)


Then Christ reassured me:-


                        Don’t worry about appearing shame-faced, weary and with head bowed, when at last you stand before Me, your Saviour.  Truly, you will have good cause to be hopeful if you are weary from My service, obediently holding out your wounded hands to Me, your Wounded Lord.  I know My own.  They resemble Me.  It is when people resemble Me that they are fit for Heaven. (T:496 #3)


Sweeping away distractions.


Not all of the teachings were so worthy and chastening.  Some were given to my soul by Christ in sheer celebration and joy.  One day, He reminded me:-


                        Remember that I am at work in your soul, in Holy Communion.  I am radiant and beautiful, Really Present and active.  I am preparing your soul for the work which we can do together.  I am sweeping away distractions so that you and I can rest here together in silent love and worship, for the Glory of the Father. (T:509 #1)


Then soon afterwards, when I was at Mass on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, I was shown a further glorious sight which consoled me.


Saint Anne, with an Immaculate child.


It was on the 8th of December, 1989, when I was praying my routine but fervent prayers, at the Consecration, that I was astonished to see, with the eyes of my soul, that Saint Anne stood before me in Glory, her head encircled by a halo.  She was youthful and radiant.  Her arms were held protectively in front of her body, since a gleaming circle of light indicated the presence of a child in her womb.  Then Christ explained to me:-


                        Praise Me for Saint Anne, in whose womb was conceived Mary, the “Immaculate One” - like a host - from whom would come My Sacred Body.  Everything of My human nature was received by Me from My Immaculate Mother Mary who, as I now show you, was ‘immaculate’ at her conception. (T:519)


I was amazed at Christ’s generosity in coming to me on Our Lady’s feast-day to explain in such detail what a special person she is, and why she had been worthy to become His Mother: Mother of our Divine Saviour.


As I was to discover, this was simply one more in a long procession of teachings - over many years - about Our Lady’s special privileges and virtues; and so I became even more grateful for what God and Our Lady have done for us all.



Painting, and colour theory.


In all the conversations and joyful gatherings of that year, with family and friends, I found it difficult not to tell anyone what I had ‘seen’ with my soul’s eyes in prayer; but I knew it wasn’t yet time to tell the whole ‘story’.  I spoke freely about the truths of the faith - however they had been learned - whenever it was appropriate; but I said nothing about the origin of the images which I’d recently begun to incorporate into a series of ‘prayer paintings’.


At last, by my late ‘forties’, I had become established as a painter: a founder-member of the Society of Botanical Artists; and I’d regularly exhibited in London galleries.  My artistic aims were simple. I enjoyed using paint to reproduce things which were beautiful or interesting.  That’s why I had illustrated a book, and had painted designs for greetings cards.  However, by the late nineteen-eighties I was no longer strong enough to control a fine water-colour brush for the length of time which it took me to produce my usual work.  Many of my “still-lifes” had taken me sixteen or seventeen hours to complete.  Now I found I was exhausted after sitting upright for even an hour.  So I took up oils for the first time in about fifteen years, and, using a large brush or a painting knife, enlarged and brought to life some of the tiny landscapes sketched during past holidays.  In the same period I made a systematic study of colour harmony, followed Johannes Itten’s theory; and this was all fitted around household tasks, conversations and social events, with periods of rest, and attendance at daily Mass; and I continued with the jottings in my notebooks.


Then, in my art-work, a strange thing happened.  Since I couldn’t produce my usual professional work, I made an exploratory leap in my painterly thoughts and practice that I wouldn’t otherwise have had the time to make.  The freedom given to me because I was no longer producing my usual work for the London gallery led to the creation of a whole body of new work, entirely different; and the images on my new canvasses - on board, to be strictly accurate - came not from nature but from my own soul.  Until I began to do this work in 1988 I had never before composed a painting ‘about’ prayer.


The ‘Mass Paintings.’


A series of work which would in future be known as ‘the Mass Paintings’ began unintentionally one day when I wondered if I could paint a particular ‘resting place’ which I had experienced in quiet prayer.  As I was explaining earlier, the constant darkness of prayer had gradually been relieved by a distant ‘light’.  I began to paint what would later be called the “KYRIE”. Through colour, I tried to convey something about that ‘light’, and to indicate my sense of shame before the holiness of God.  The darkness of the soul is contrasted with what I perceived as the distant Glory towards which we travel, throughout our life in Christ. I purposely chose certain colours to convey my sense of awe.


I added several small figures, who stand, humbled, before the tremendous Light of Glory.  They are obeying God’s command that they “HUMBLE THEMSELVES, AND PRAY AND SEEK MY PRESENCE” (2 Ch 7:14), even as they tremble with a holy fear at the thought of approaching God.  They’re aware of His Purity, and of their own sinfulness; yet they believe firmly that He is “TENDER AND COMPASSIONATE” (Ps 103:8).  They represent all believers.


When the painting was finished, I called it “KYRIE”, as I said, or ‘Lord, have mercy’.  Then I realised that it not only summed up my feelings about private prayer at that time, but expressed something else.  It seemed to illustrate the point at the beginning of the Holy Mass when we remember Whom we adore, and we plead for mercy and peace.  That’s why the “GLORIA” - ‘Glory be to God’ - (3)  next came to mind, as a moment of great importance; so I began a second “Mass” painting.  However, this time, it was different; all gloom and fear had disappeared.  The worshipper bows with joyous reverence amidst Light and Radiance.  He isn’t grovelling before God; rather, he instinctively and gladly imitates the loving reverence of the Saints who worship in Heaven.  So this was an ‘expressionist’ painting, with a simple, imagined figure, and intense colour; and thus it was that the Series began. I decided to complete and to offer - through board and paint - what composers bring to us all by their unique arrangements of simple notes. 


My intention was to indicate something of the splendour and majesty and power of the Mass, and the marvel of the Presence of Christ amongst His People; but since I believed I was busy with a simple painting project I allowed one of the first designs to be used as a book-cover; one of the intuitive, ‘expressionist’ compositions.  It wasn’t until I’d completed five of these oils that it occurred to me that I could do more than express the feelings in my heart and soul; I could utilise and ‘amplify’ the God-given images from prayer.


Through Him, with Him, and in Him .....


After the “KYRIE” and the “GLORIA”, I moved on to the “INTROIT,” or ‘Entry to the Sanctuary’ (1) and then the “DEO GRATIAS”, or ‘Thanks be to God’ - (20).  But then I painted the “CREDO” (Creed - (5)) and the “HOC EST” (This is my Body (9)), in which, for the first time, I incorporated an image once given to me within prayer.  But the ‘centrepiece’ of the series was an image which Christ had once given to me, at the “PER IPSUM” (- ‘Through Him, with Him, in Him ....’)  Christ is seen robed as a priest.  He stands facing the Invisible Father, arms wide in adoration; and it had been at the summit of our offering of the Holy Sacrifice in church, one day, that Christ had shown me this image, and had taught me:-


                        Allow Me to draw you steadily towards Heaven.  Be solemn but joyful.  I am here before you.  I am wearing My priestly garment which is decorated with the Sacred Sign of the Cross.  Thus robed, I offer My Holy Sacrifice on your behalf.  I look upwards in love to the Father, and you - who love Me - are the ‘jewels’ on My robe, you who make the Offering with Me. (T:535 #2)


One by one, new aspects of the Eucharistic Celebration seemed to me to be essential to the whole concept of a Series of Mass Paintings.  Eventually, I found that I’d painted eighteen pictures, covering the most significant moments of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; and those first eighteen pictures were exhibited publicly in Holy Week, 1990, in the local Anglican Church, by invitation of the Rector, Neil Collings.  He hoped that his parishioners would use them as focal points for their meditations.  Later, I produced two further paintings.




Pictures, for meditation.


Two years had gone by, as I’d worked in this way.  I had cooked and sewed, attended meetings, and chatted with family and friends; and I’d been to daily Mass and Communion.  So the pictures were done amidst life’s usual occupations.  The  painting was a true part of my normal life, as was the faith which inspired the work and the Sacrament which gave me strength.


In the Spring of 1991 it seemed clear to me that the twenty pictures shouldn’t be tampered with any more.  It was tempting to add further images - of the “Sign of Peace”, perhaps, or of the “Breaking of Bread”.  However, my task wasn’t to produce a sort of catechism-in- pictures, or a child’s picture book.  This equivalent of a musical “Mass” had to stand just as it was.  I hoped to produce other series on different aspects of prayer, later on, using the images which Our Lord had given me, but I knew, at last, that the ‘Mass pictures’ should be circulated to encourage fellow-Catholics in their worship.  I wrote the first edition of a little leaflet about the paintings and the Holy Sacrifice, so that each set of photographs would be better understood.


Several hundred sets of photographs were printed within a few months after Holy Week that year.  They were circulated amongst friends who, in their turn, passed them on to other people.  Numerous enquirers wrote to me asking for ‘sets’ of their own; and then one day a religious teacher wrote, asking if ‘slides’ were available.  Soon afterwards, a theologian-teacher and a priest made the same request.  The pictures were used as study-aids, and were chosen as a starting-point for meditation in retreats.  They seemed to appeal to different people for a variety of reasons.


I was told that sets had been framed and hung in a place of quiet prayer, or pasted in books to be carried about and studied.  I was pleased that they were helping to give people a deeper understanding of the Mass.  The slides were used in schools and lecture halls, and I was told that they stimulated a more trusting yet still-reverent attitude to prayer.


It seems important to say that I’d always been a ‘realist’ in painting, and I remained one, still.  While some of the pictures were composed as expressions of my feelings during Holy Mass, combined with a ‘real’ view of the priest or congregation, the others are all ‘real’ in the sense that they portray - if inadequately - what really happens in our sanctuary during the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice: things which Christ has ‘really’ shown me, although not through my bodily sight, but to the eyes of my soul.



Christ’s plans.


Little of my earlier work seemed important to me, once I’d completed the ‘Mass’ series.  Much that I’d done before it seemed to have been a preparation - almost, an apprenticeship - for work that I couldn’t have foreseen when I was struggling with both paints and prayer, two decades earlier.  The last few of the “Mass Paintings” had been intriguing for me to compose.  It was exciting to be able to convey some of the truths of our Faith in paint: doing so in an everyday medium, and without drawing attention to myself; and that was the reason, of course, why I suddenly withdrew from all my usual commercial ventures, to concentrate on providing to others, freely, the images which Christ had so generously given to me in prayer.


All twenty of the paintings were soon to be exhibited in a side-chapel at Westminster Cathedral, and then elsewhere, but simply with a view to encouraging people in their faith.  There was no question of putting them on sale.  By then I’d gladly given up all my ambitions, and would have been happy to lend the pictures anonymously, or even to stop painting, if that had been God’s Will.  However, it became plain that - although the time wasn’t yet ripe - Christ wanted a real, visible person to speak boldly to other people about the Mass, indeed, about the whole Faith.  He made it plain to me, in prayer, that although some people teach by preaching sermons, and some teach about the Mass by saying Mass, my job was to paint and to write, and at a later date, to speak boldly about what I’d seen in prayer.


As Christ began to lead me into my unexpected and more prominent role, He showed me that no lay-person with a job to do for Him should do strange new work without being in step with the Church. He made it plain that I shouldn’t undertake anything extraordinary without seeking the advice of the parish priest, who is my spiritual superior in certain matters, even though I’m not formally ‘tied’ to him by vows, like a religious who is bound to his Superior. That’s why I began to keep my parish priest informed as each stage of my new journey was unfolded.  I was prepared to be obedient in anything which might affect our parish; and meanwhile, Christ continued to teach me.


Through His instructions in prayer, and by His grace and kindness,  Christ increased my courage, and helped me to bear both interior and exterior trials. He explained that it wasn’t enough for me just to circulate the “Mass Paintings”.  It was no use my hoping to lead a quiet life, circulating religious art-work, trying to spread the Gospel as an anonymous artist and housewife.  He had a special role for me, if I’d overcome my sense of unworthiness in order to speak out about the supernatural, and to proclaim out loud what I’d seen and understood.


There was no reluctance on my part about sharing good news about Christ - but only about whether I was a suitable person.  Now that the whole series of paintings was complete, I was longing to say to others: “Come and see what God, in His Mercy, has gradually revealed to me about the Glory of His Holy Sacrifice: revealed through faith and also through the Church, and also through prayer, in daily worship.” I say this because I didn’t think an atheist could have painted these pictures with quite the same fervour.


I longed to be able to confide in close friends and relatives about the development of the series.  It had been conceived as an art project, and was one still, to most minds.  But I couldn’t answer my friends’ queries about ‘light in prayer’ without speaking of the ‘Teachings’; and I didn’t like to let them assume that I’m inventive, or have an extraordinary imagination, when that isn’t the case.  But I had to wait until the right time.  Christ had a plan, and it was my duty to work and to speak at precisely the times which He was going to indicate to me - and not before.



‘In step’ with the Church.


Throughout the last few years God has lavished many gifts upon me; but I’ve been especially thrilled by His gifts of faith to my family. In January 1990 another great joy was given when my younger son was received into the Church, and was confirmed, and received Holy Communion for the first time.  I was more grateful than ever that Christ was very evidently at work in the people I love so much; and I was shown, at Mass, that everyone who responds to His love truly lives in Him, becomes alive in His life, and so can rejoice at being brought ‘with and through Him’ into the Father’s arms.


Meanwhile, as my faith seemed to grow stronger and my joy increased I became physically weaker.  I could no longer stand for very long, but of course I hoped to go on with my work if it were possible.  By using an electric wheelchair I was able to continue with the shopping and also take myself to Church each day, to Holy Mass.  I was given new energy, too, since by sitting down as I toured the shops I was sufficiently rested to prepare simple meals at home.  Also - whilst at the shops - I could listen to anyone who stopped to chat with me.  I no longer felt my legs fail half-way through a conversation, nor did I look at queues in despair, as in the past.  Amidst some remaining trials, though, Christ came to my soul in great gladness and continued to encourage and enlighten me.


At around that time, during the Mass, Christ’s words to me became so clear that I felt I couldn’t continue on my strange path any further, unadvised.  None of us follows the Christian way of life alone; and I had to be sure about the “teachings”: sure of walking in step with the Catholic Church in my home town, and therefore in step with the whole Communion of the Catholic Church.


Although my heart knew the truth of what I’d been shown by Christ for many years, I couldn’t  be at peace without submitting myself to the judgement of the parish priest - who represented the Catholic Church.  So, when I’d prayed for help and had asked others for their prayers, though without explaining why, I plucked up courage to make an appointment and to speak of what I’d experienced.  A further reason was that I felt sure I didn’t have many more years to live.


The real essence of all the ‘teachings’ was already being passed on, in conversation with children and friends whenever we discussed the ‘spiritual life’, although I didn’t say why I was so confident about our beliefs, and I’d told none of my friends about having being taught in this way.  But I didn’t want to mislead anyone, nor to be misled in whatever time I had left to me; so I kept my appointment at the presbytery, to ask our priest for advice.


Asking for advice.


I’d been to see Canon O’Leary before on several occasions, to ask him about topics of importance to me in my working out of God’s Will.  Then I confided that I’d recently been asking myself what I’d feel I’d neglected if - say - I were told that I hadn’t long to live.   I knew  without a shadow of doubt that I’d wish I’d sought advice on what was now the only thing which disturbed my peace of soul: something which, until quite recently, I hadn’t mentioned to anyone.


Part of the ‘problem’, I explained, was that I seemed to be teaching a lot nowadays, teaching all sorts of people in ways which he wouldn’t have known about; and everything I say, advise or think or paint or draw nowadays is based entirely on what I know: but most of what I know about God has been taught to me, by God, in prayer, in the past few years.

What I’d learned was nothing new: nothing which isn’t already taught by the Catholic Church; but if I were wrong about this, I’d be in danger of misleading others, and I didn’t want to take that risk without consulting a priest.  I said that I didn’t want to take up more of his time with the story of my life, but I needed to say something about the earlier years: about how at twenty-one, my renewed faith in God’s existence had caused me to turn back to Him; and I’d come to know Christ - a little - in prayer.  I had a passion for prayer.


Here, I didn’t take up Father O’Leary’s time explaining just how I knew Christ ‘a little’.  I didn’t mention the experience of sinfulness before Christ, in prayer, in 1964; but I said that I’d become a Catholic, and had spent the next ten years trying to do what many Catholics do: trying to keep the Commandments and the laws of the Church, to do good, to pray, to be a good Christian and to find out about what God wanted.  At the end of that time,  life was difficult - dreadful in all sorts of ways.  Through ill health and misunderstanding, overwork and different things I was brought near despair.  Prayer was pure darkness; but in utter misery I kept going to confession and Communion; and in the end, I came to a decision. I would never, ever, deliberately offend God again, in the least degree; and I would keep going, for Jesus’ sake, trying to love God and my neighbour, and to do my duty in every area of life, no matter what the cost.


I explained that I’d made that vow about ten years before, and that prayer had continued in pure darkness for five more years.  I had walked around in torment for three years, as if walking through fire, almost overcome with shame at my sins.  I didn’t feel as though I loved God, and could only pray “O God, I want to love You,” which was the truth, at the time, in my heart.  Yet there came great moments of light.  I found that every few weeks - and later on, even more frequently - God would quite unexpectedly and suddenly teach me something in prayer: something about Himself, or about things to do with Him. I received a totally pure knowledge in which I learned and understood more in a split second than I could have learned from books, or from thinking for years and years.


It seemed so amazing - so mysterious, and so frightening.  Who was I to be taught in a special way?  At first I tried to ignore it all - putting the remembrance of these things aside in my mind.  I hoped that, working, praying and trusting always in Christ’s teaching, and trying  to do His Will alone, I couldn’t go badly wrong.


In the end, it seemed to me that if God were truly teaching me, it would be tremendously rude to ignore Him and not to give thanks; so, one day at Mass, I had thanked Him; and it seemed to be ‘all right’.


Occurrences of ‘Knowledge’.


I went on to explain that in the brief occurrences of ‘Knowledge’ in prayer I had learned much more about God Himself: about His Glory, about the most Holy Trinity, and about Our Lord, and what He’s done for us.  I said that I’d also learned about prayer and ‘how it works’ - and many other things which had seemed too stupendous to ‘belong’ to me.  I said that I knew I’d absorbed it all; and it became part of my faith as I lived and prayed and struggled and encouraged others, from day to day.


All of these things were truths of the Catholic Faith which I had believed in for many years; but so many things were now not only believed, but made amazingly vivid and clear.


I explained that after about six years of living in this way - in total darkness in prayer, except for the momentary teachings - my life, generally, was even more difficult, and I was still struggling with awful problems, living entirely in Faith.  I had led a dreadful life in many ways, but didn’t deliberately offend God at all, any more.  I had no human hope - only the hope that comes through faith; and my feelings about life’s difficulties were feelings of near-despair; and so it was almost with horror, in 1985, I said, that I’d decided to go on, for Jesus’ sake, and to keep on loving God and my neighbour for the rest of my life.  But suddenly, quite unexpectedly, Jesus was with me.


Here, I offered to tell the priest more details if he asked, but I said that Jesus had been with me ever since, except for three occasions, when whether He was absent or whether His Presence was too terrible to bear I could hardly tell.  The first occasion was when I’d spent two days reading a novel, except for doing essential tasks.  The second was when I’d spent too much money on myself.  The third, I reminded him, had been when I’d come to ask his advice a few weeks previously, when Jesus had left me ‘suspended’ in utter desolation for a week: to teach me humility.


I explained that I’d never doubted that this Person was Christ, although I’d had qualms about my own power to judge.  However, I’d eventually decided that since this Person was encouraging me in prayer only to be loving and more thoughtful towards others, and less selfish, and since He made me quite willing to be ‘stepped over’ or ignored, and since I wanted only to love God and to do His Will, and to love my neighbour for His sake, then I thought that what was happening was good, and was therefore from God; and so I’d carried on in my usual routine, working and praying, finding that Christ is with me constantly, teaching me as before; and I, in my turn, teach others.


Then I told the priest that I had only one ambition, but that it might sound terribly bold.  I said that I long to see God, and to see Our Lord clearly.  I had led a dreadful life, but God is so amazing that I trust him now, entirely, and I only want to do His Will.


It seemed important to say that I had no worries, apart from the reason for my visit.  Whether I lived or died, were healthy or well, praised or misunderstood, I’d given myself totally to God a year ago: giving my whole self, my life, my death - and even my worries about my family.


All my ambitions had gone, except to love God.  I’d entrusted all my family to Him, including Mary my daughter. I had no worries about her, having asked Our Lord to look after her; so I was happy to spend the rest of my life trying from minute to minute to do God’s Will; and although it was true that I’d had more trials and sufferings recently than ever before, yet I’d never been so happy in my entire life - apart from this question: was it all right to accept it all?  Did he understand?  What did he think?


Gifts from God.


As I waited for an answer, I was quite content.  I’d put my trust in God, and in the priest as His representative: as the voice of Church authority in our town.  I was so ignorant about what I’d mentioned that I really had no idea what our priest would say.  I half-expected that he’d tell me to do what I’d tried to do, anyway, for several years: to ignore the ‘teachings’ and to get on with my work.  But he was a theologian as well as a parish priest, and he recognised what had been happening.


To my immense relief, He answered that it was quite all right: that these teachings were gifts from God - Who gave gifts to some, he said. though not to others.  I ought to thank God for them.


He said quite matter-of-factly that I could accept them; and when I said I felt I must write about some of these things, he suggested that perhaps Providence would make use of any writing I might undertake, but there was no cause for concern.  Then Father reminded me that for as long as we’re on this earth, we’re still able to ‘grow’, meaning: to grow in charity and understanding.


Freed from fear.


Although greatly encouraged by his words, and by his calm acceptance of what had been happening to me, I was puzzled why he was so sure about it; I’d expected questions, or even doubt.  But I was overwhelmed with gratitude that in this way, and through God’s Church, I’d been set free from fear.  I decided to rejoice in God’s gifts, and to use the Knowledge for God’s Glory, in whatever way might seem appropriate.  Indeed, in the years to come I was guided very surely in prayer about the precise ways in which I ought to share the teachings with other people without neglecting any of my usual duties.


After that reassurance I became even more content to grow weaker and to fade quietly away into decline or even death, if that were what God Willed.  Pains or misunderstandings or other trials remained painful on the surface, because I was - and am - still weak and human.  But even they were a delight in another sense, since God had permitted them, and He had been encouraging me to welcome every manifestation of His Will.


Each opportunity to imitate Christ in His patience, if accepted with love, could enable me to make reparation for sin, through Christ’s merits.  It could draw grace upon myself, upon those I love, upon the Church and upon the world; this was traditional Catholic teaching, and was also what I’d learned in prayer.  Nothing in my life - no event or experience - need be wasted.


So, in this way, and through His Church, God delivered me from my quandary.  I gave Him thanks through Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, for all His graces.  There were never-ending struggles, however, despite my good intentions; and one day in Holy Communion, as I timidly complained to Christ: “I’m so weak,” He suddenly taught and consoled me, saying:-


                        Be glad that you are weak!  “That is why I came” - came to earth for your sake in My holy Incarnation and come lovingly to you now in Holy Communion. (T:631)




‘Write the vision down’.


Many months later, I was shown by Christ that I must begin my new work, which consisted of writing down almost all of His ‘teachings-in-prayer’, solely in obedience to Him, for the Glory of the Father.  For Christ’s sake, I was ready to reveal these things when the time was ripe, despite my timidity.  I had come to see that - despite my apparent uselessness - others might one day benefit from what I was doing. I hoped that others would be comforted, and would turn to God more swiftly than I had done.


Wanting to make a good start, and to be able to concentrate, I arranged to go away for about three days; and there in my room, alone, I asked our Holy Mother Mary and all the Saints and Angels to pray for me; then I set about my new task in silence.  First I made small brush-and-ink pictures of the images I’ve mentioned, which Christ had given to me in prayer from time to time to illustrate what He’d taught me about prayer and the spiritual life.  Then I began to write a full account of every important ‘teaching’, most of which had been given to me in prayer through pure Knowledge, unaccompanied by any sound, image or sensation.  I did this, because I’d been instructed by God (T:632) on 11th August, 1990, at Holy Mass:- “Write the vision down” - which was a Scriptural phrase which I find slightly altered today, when I read in my Bible: “Write THIS ACTION down IN A BOOK TO KEEP THE MEMORY OF IT” (Ex 17:14).  It was made plain, however, that the writings were to be put aside until Christ gave me further instructions; and of course, He did so - but not until the Spring of 1992.


The first draft of a prologue.


When I’d completed that ‘First Version,’ based upon my notebook jottings, I began to write what was the first draft of this ‘Prologue’, that is, the story of my up-bringing as a Christian, with my memories of conversion and adult commitment; and I did so as a response to a further un-spoken request from Christ, Who made His Will clear to me in every area of life.  As I wrote, I decided that because Christ’s ‘teachings’ hadn’t been given to an automaton, but had been given freely to a free human being, and had sometimes been given  in response to decisions and vows which I had made in particular circumstances, I ought to explain precisely when and where the teachings had occurred in my ordinary, everyday life. I knew instinctively that I must write about Christian faith and struggles rather than about the external details of my routine.


Christ made it plain that although He was pleased with the work, I was to write my story up to that date and then put it on one side for a few years.  It wasn’t the right time at which to share it, but there was something else.  Christ knew something that I hadn’t yet realised, which was that if I were to look at the ‘Prologue’ occasionally over a number of years I’d be able to see things in better perspective; I’d also be able to soften my judgements of people and events.  Christ’s intention in leading me forward in this way was to enable me, in time, to look at persons and events - and even at my own life’s problems and mistakes - as if through His eyes.  But it was also to spare me being overwhelmed with work today, in 1998, when it’s been a struggle to write the final ‘up-to-date’ section of this book, and when I’m glad that so much of the ‘ground-work’ was done when I had more energy.



[Life at many levels.


Perhaps it seems from these reminiscences that I’ve been pre-occupied with my own soul at every moment of every day - but that hasn’t been so.  Each one of us lives out a life at many levels; and throughout the events which I’m trying to describe in order to be obedient to Christ I was happily involved in the physical, outward aspects of life on earth throughout each busy day, and with the changing emotions of a normal, “multi-occupation” life.


As I’ve indicated in a sketchy sort of way, no year has passed without my being fully involved with family, friends, church community, visitors, neighbours, work and social life.  I haven’t written about these aspects of my life because I haven’t been asked to do so.  The only reason for my writing at all is because Christ has instructed me to do so.


Books could be written, by any one of us, about numerous events in family or village life; but it isn’t appropriate, here, when I ought to be writing above all about prayer, to speak about family life, meals, hobbies or holidays: or about achingly-funny outings or conversations, or heart-breakingly-joyful birthday treats.  If I put in all the fun, and all the times of quiet contentment, too, this book would be a thousand pages long.  But it’s not my task to speak of these things.  That’s another story.]



Several subjects.


Besides writing out the ‘teachings’ during the past few years, and composing a ‘Prologue’, and writing reports on ecumenical work, with long letters to various friends and acquaintances, I was busy in the early 1990’s with other writings.  From that time until now, Christ has been urging me to write on one further topic or another: a few pages here and there on subjects of His choosing.  It’s as if I’ll have no peace unless I leave my other work - or my rest - to go and write down what I know, about whatever matter He has silently mentioned: whether the Holy Trinity or Marriage.  And the facility I sometimes have in expressing ideas, and the unending stream of ‘Light’ on various topics is such that I know I’ve ‘only’ God to thank for these things, although it’s true to say that I hardly dared to write, at first.  I was still wondering: ‘How can I believe that anyone would want to read what I say?’


But in my heart I did believe that the writings would be valuable, even though it’s obvious that I’m not a scholar, and I didn’t know when they’d be used.  At that stage, when I pondered the growing pile of writings in a box which were ready to be typed one day, there was no publisher on the horizon, nor had I any idea that Christ would ask me to make arrangements to have my work privately printed.  That’s something I’d never have thought of doing, anyway, without His direct invitation.


Christ’s foreknowledge.


One of the pieces I wrote when I was less busy than today was on the subject I mentioned: the Holy Trinity; and it thrills me to realise that Christ urged me to write it, then, just as He’d urged me, even earlier, to write a piece about prayer-categories, because He knew by His Divine foreknowledge that these would be just right later on as chapters of this very book; and thus He ‘provided’ me with two chapters just when I was in need of them but just when I’d have found it a struggle to sit down and concentrate for long enough on topics of such importance!  His goodness is indescribable.


A reminder of my frailty.


During those first few weeks of writing out the teachings I sometimes wondered if I should be spending every spare minute in that way; but Christ reassured me, in Holy Communion.  It was clear that I had to persevere in the work, even though I didn’t understand how or where it would be used.  So I continued to draw, paint and write down nearly all that Christ had shown me, offering Him every thought and word and work, so that His Glory might shine out even through my weakness.  I was ashamed of my poor writing and bad grammar; but as I worked, I was astonished to hear Christ speak to me about the faith and hope that He’d seen in my heart as I’d tried to serve Him throughout the years. He’s full of tenderness towards us all, especially in these days when we’re condemned in some quarters for being “religious”; and He’s full of sympathy for us about our physical problems, too. 


Just when I was finding that I had to rest after even a short period of standing, Christ spoke to me with astonishing impact through the Holy Scriptures.  He told me that I can say, about His teachings and my frailty:-  “We are only the earthenware jars that hold this treasure, to make it clear that such an overwhelming power cOmeS from God and not from us” (2 Co 4:7) and then: “always ... we carry WITH us in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may always be seen in our body” (2 Co 4:10).


So, at appropriate times and in various ways, Christ either reminded me of my frailty, in order to foster humility, or gave me marvellous encouragement.


Words from the Father.


Throughout 1990, Christ was preparing me, as always, for the fulfilment of this special work, but He was also preparing me for further stages of the spiritual journey: for a closer relationship with God the Father.


On the 11th of October, 1990, when I was praying before a Requiem Mass, I was so determined to please God by praying ‘well’ that I asked God our Father to teach me the very best way of praying.  I was astonished to be suddenly instructed that the best way is:-


            “... by the sacrifice of your own will.” (T:689 #1)


I sat in the pew for several long minutes, stunned by the impact of that phrase. Although I’d heard Christ speaking to me on a number of occasions, this was the very first time, as far as I can remember, on which I heard words spoken in my soul by the Father: by the same God, but by another Divine Person of the Holy Trinity - by God our Heavenly Father.


Kneeling alone at the front of the church, near the old organ-loft, I was almost overwhelmed at the mere fact of receiving such a teaching from Heaven; and I was amazed at the wisdom of that reply to my simple question - and at how different the answer was from one that I might have expected to hear.  I mean that I’d asked about faith or approach or method, in prayer; yet the Father had shown me what’s really important: our attitude: or, rather, our humility, sincerity and purity-of-heart.


At the very same time, Christ explained to me, wordlessly:-


                        Hope to resemble Me in self-abnegation.  If, like Me, you prefer the Father’s Will to your own, you will find that your prayers - united to My prayers - will be more glorious and effective. (T:689 #2)


Teachings such as this left me with mixed feelings of awe and puzzlement.  I could see more clearly, however,  that an increasing amount of special work for Christ would only be effective if it were accompanied by a corresponding growth in trust, with a fervent longing for holiness.



A modern woman.


As I continued with my writing, it felt very odd to be covering pages by the dozen with descriptions of Christ’s teachings.  I was extremely self-conscious and ill-at-ease.  After all, I was a modern woman.  What would people think, when they learned more about my peculiar task - or, worse, about my life, and my daily routine.  How would I cope?  Although I didn’t know it, glorious help was on the way.


Daily life continued in pain and struggle, but I kept on writing; and then I prayed at Holy Mass one day more fervently than usual: for myself, for the Church and the world.  The Word said in Holy Scripture: “LISTEN, DAUGHTER, PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION: ... DRESSED  IN BROCADES, THE KING’S DAUGHTER IS LED IN TO THE KING” (Ps 45: 10-14)  and also “YOUR ANCESTORS WILL BE REPLACED BY SONS” (Ps 45:16).  Then, Christ taught me something of the beauty of our friendship and of the purpose of my training.  He told me that this reading described the spiritual gifts in which He was clothing me; and He continued:-


                        Never despair.  I have great plans for those who remain faithful. (T:733 #1)


                        Put your trust in Me, amidst all your weaknesses.  Out of the struggles and labours which you have endured for My sake, I am bringing spiritual children. (T:733 #2)


A  new resolution.


At that same celebration, after Holy Communion, when I was truly repentant that I didn’t try at all times and at all costs to do the Will of God perfectly, I made new resolutions. I vowed to love God with all my heart, and to love my neighbour as fully as Christ loves me.  I resolved to give myself fully to the one goal or task that Christ wants me to undertake at each moment, and to avoid, vigorously, all weakness, haste, vanity or fear.  Then, after Mass, I worked and prayed as usual until the evening.


As a total and awesome surprise, I was about to receive a visit from Our Blessed Lady; and I’m mentioning this here, in order to tell you how kind she is, and how kind is Our Lord, Who asked her to come to me.  He has explained to me, recently, that I myself wasn’t worthy of such a privilege; but He allowed it because of His Love for me and because of my need. 


He could see how terrified I was at the thought of being drawn from obscurity to prominence as His teachings became more widely known; and if there was one person who could help me by a woman-to-woman conversation, it would be His own sweet Mother; so that’s what happened; He brought her to visit me, and, after a long time, I was reassured, and was made more content with my task and with the implications of the whole Divinely-conceived project.


Now I’ll tell how it happened: one evening when my husband was out, and the children, too, were away at different events.



A visit from Our Lady.


On a Thursday evening towards the end of 1990 - on November 22nd, when I was alone in my room - I decided to say my night prayers early.  It was only eight o’clock; but after prayer to the most Holy Trinity, I recited the Hail Mary as usual, but for the love of God and of her, only, as I was exhausted.  Then, suddenly, as I sat there in the armchair, I saw our Lady within my soul.


I hardly dared to believe that my Holy Mother - Mary - was truly beside me, as I prayed; but I saw her with me, as Jesus began to explain about her in His usual way, as if Mind to mind.  I’ve put His silent teachings into words, below, as usual; and as I said earlier, the words in italics are His very own.  Christ taught me, as I sat awe-struck before Heaven’s Glory:-


                        Look towards My Holy Mother, who has come to join you as you greet her devotedly in prayer.  (T:735 #1)


                        Revere My Mother Mary.  See how great is her dignityHer holiness surpasses that of all other mere creatures.  Her glory is dazzling. (T:735 #2)


                        See, before the eyes of your soul, the vastness of Space, in which the earth shines like a little jewel!  Notice the small figure who stands alone, poised ready to receive an outpouring of Divine grace.  This is My holy Mother, the Virgin Mary.  I poured My Spirit on her, from Heaven, and made her fruitful.  Thus, she conceived Me in her womb.  (WC:735) (T:735 #3)


Mary: “Mother of God”.


Here I begged my Holy Angel to deliver me from deceit or illusion or danger, and I made the sign of the Cross with holy water, yet Our Lady was still present to my soul’s eyes; and Christ permitted me to understand even more.  By a simple image, and with a soundless implanting of knowledge within my soul, Christ taught me, about His Incarnation:-


                        See, before the eyes of your soul, how a stream of grace poured out through Heaven’s gates, to tumble downwards, to enfold this Holy Virgin.   Because of her immaculate soul and pure heart, and her great love and obedience, the bright grace of Heaven came to a dark earth. Thus did I take flesh of Mary, and enter your world, through the power of My Spirit.  She was made fruitful for the sake of the whole world. (WC + OIL:736) (T:736 #1)


                        Rejoice that this great gift of the Father was lavished upon the world for every era.  He worked this marvel so that Divine grace would always pour out through Me, Jesus, the Son of God, and through My Holy Mother. (T:736 #2)


                        Turn to your Heavenly Mother.  “Mother of God”, you rightly call her!  I your Lord came from her, took flesh and blood from her, was subject to her and was taught by her.  She who ‘formed’ Me in My earthly life can help you in every circumstance. (T:736 #3)


There, at that very moment, what had been a glorious ‘teaching’ about Our Blessed Lady and her magnificent role was transformed into a visit.  I still saw her only with the ‘eyes of the soul’: yet from then on she was really with me in my room, beside my chair - and for the reason which I’d be shown later, as I told you. 


All I could think about was my unfitness to be there before someone so holy.  Yet I didn’t leap up, or kneel, or say special prayers.  It wasn’t required of me, I knew.  I wasn’t well; and besides, my whole heart and mind were so stunned by what I was being given, that it didn’t occur to me to do anything of my choosing.  I knew that if God wanted to teach me, I ought to listen rather than talk.  Everyone in the family was out somewhere, as I said.  The house was silent; and because I wasn’t worried about being disturbed, I gave all my attention to God and Our Lady for as long as I was being ‘taught’.


When there was a pause in the ‘teachings’, it seemed as though Our Lady was waiting patiently beside me, inviting me to speak if I chose.  So - still sitting in the armchair, astounded by Our Lady’s presence, and by her holiness - I dared to speak to her about my unworthiness: telling her about my sins.  But she didn’t mind.  She knew that I was sorry, and that I’d been reconciled.  I even began to make requests of her, at last, knowing that she can do wonderful things for those who trust her; so I asked her to arrange that even my failures would somehow be used, by their good effects, for the Glory of God. I know that He can work wonders for people who really trust in Him, and can even bring good out of evil.


Mary: “the wise Virgin”.


Suddenly, Christ began to teach me once more, by infused knowledge; and this is what He told me:-


                        Honour My Mother.  This Holy Virgin is like the “wise virgin” of the gospel story. (T:737 #1)


                        Look upon this Holy Virgin, who stands before you, dazzlingly beautiful - a lamp in her hand - her head veiled, her clothing brilliantly white.  She is the purest of all ‘mere’ creatures, totally dedicated to My service and ever-alert to please Me. (T:737 #2)


                        Give all your attention to My holy Mother as I teach you about her and encourage you to trust her. (WC:738)  (T:738)


                        Follow My inspiration and speak to My Mother even about sinful and stupid things, even as you consider her great holiness and your worthiness.  Just like Me, she is tender, just, and understanding. (T:739 #1)


                        Imitate My Mother by sharing her concern for  others. Speak to her about everyone dear to you  (T:739 #2)


                        See what special care My Mother gives to one who has been named in her honour and entrusted to her care! (T:739 #3)


It was so wonderful to be there.  I was awe-struck, horrified at my unworthiness, and yet immensely joyful: dazzled by her radiance and beauty, convinced of her kindness.  I was able to speak about stupid and sinful things without a trace of embarrassment because I knew she’d be just and understanding.


Since I couldn’t possibly experience such joy without gaining a share - as it were - for the people I love, I instinctively prayed: “Mary, Mother, here are my four dear ones, one by one before you;” and I was suddenly shown, by a vision, something of her motherly concern for us all. One, she watched gently.  One danced, it seemed, before her in their mutual joy. Another was cherished by her; I learned that she can rely on his loyalty, especially.  Then I saw that she carried in her arms the child whom I’d named in her honour, many years before.


After a little while longer, the vision of my family faded away, and I saw that Our Lady was standing very close to me.  She was still dazzlingly bright, but I began to see her more clearly.  Until then, I’d hardly dared to raise my eyes to look at her.   But now that I’d grown a little used to her radiance, and felt a little less ashamed, I could see that her head was veiled.  In fact, she was clothed from head to foot in dazzling white garments.  She was looking straight towards me; and she held her left hand up level with her shoulder, although I couldn’t see that shoulder because she was holding up a little lamp which was casting its rays all round for about half a metre.  Then Christ was silent again, as He allowed me to see that Our Lady, who put her trust in God at every moment, is truly like one of the wise Bridesmaids of His Gospel who “WENT TO MEET THE BRIDEGROOM” (Mt 25:1).  Christ made it plain that His Mother can be entitled: ‘The Wise Virgin’.


An extraordinary privilege.


I was left in silence, untaught for a while.  Christ stood aside, unseen, leaving me free to speak and free to learn more.  I had no idea what would  happen next, and my heart was thumping with a mixture of awe and fear.  Fervently wishing to know and serve Our Lady much better, I told her that I longed to see her clearly just as I hoped to see her face of my beloved Christ; yet I was happy to wait, I said, if it be His Will that I wait all my life, until Heaven.  I was still determined, as ever, not to look for special consolations in prayer, preferring truth above all. 


Straight away, through the Will of God and her great generosity, Our Blessed Lady showed me her holy face, which is so like Christ’s. I was utterly amazed at that brief but detailed glimpse of her.  My heart was almost overwhelmed with a mixture of bliss and astonishment.  I had no idea why this was all happening, or where it would lead me.  Then Christ showed me:-


                        Put your trust in My Mother, Mary.  Like Me, she is full of love, good, gentle and calming.  She is like Me in so many ways.  Consider her astonishing beauty, modesty, and serenity. (T:740)


The experience was wholly unexpected. As I realised later, it was such an extraordinary privilege.  For perhaps half-an-hour I’d been rooted to the spot in Our Lady’s presence, attentive to every word and instruction, almost overwhelmed by my unworthiness and her dignity, and  remorseful to be able to look at her properly.  I felt like a bashful twelve-year-old before her graceful figure.


A real woman.


My surroundings were forgotten.  Our Lady was gazing at me steadily, very tenderly. For a few moments, I saw her lovely features clearly.  Her veiled head was framed against what seemed like a dark blue circle, like a halo.


She had the grace and serenity of a happy fifty-year-old, but looked only about twenty-five or thirty, depending on her expression: gently smiling or thoughtful.  I noticed that she had a high forehead, beautiful eyes - with straight dark lashes and slightly curved eyebrows.  Her nose was long and slim, not tip-tilted, and her mouth pretty and with rounded lips: feminine but not doll-like. Her cheeks were gently rounded, and she had a little rounded chin.  She was utterly lovely, though not in the sense of glamorous; and every attempt of mine to draw and paint her has been quite inadequate.  She was perfectly feminine, without any sort of ‘sparkle’ or posing. I think she might have been about five foot five; and she was slender, but not slim.  Although she was as simple as a child, she was a real woman; and I can’t describe how honoured I felt to be there in her presence.  Who wouldn’t have been overcome before the holiness of the one especially chosen to be the Mother of God?


She gazed at me steadily, eyes quiet and gentle, dark eyes in a serene and beautiful face, and with a look that was serious but not solemn, but was ready to smile.


If anyone should wonder how I can describe her face in such detail, they can remember that I’ve painted many, many portraits.  I’m used to letting my eyes ‘run over’ faces, marking each feature: remembering the height of the brows or the slant of an ear.  But of course, the details I’m now mentioning were only noted because of God’s goodness, which caused Him to offer me those few moments when I saw Christ’s wonderful Mother so close to me, and so patient and gentle.


How can I describe her?  She had an oval face, and a slim neck.  I could see her black hair parted, beneath a plain white veil which fell down on each side of her face to cover her shoulders.  She wore a plain white dress with a round neckline.  I saw no frills or jewels. I was so absorbed in her holy face that I noticed nothing below about shoulder-level, and have no idea how she held her hands after that first holding-up of the lamp.  But she was quite beautiful, and - more important - she was utterly ‘full-of-love’: simply good and trustworthy and calming.


Several times before, in prayer, I’d glimpsed Our Blessed Lady, but usually as she stood at Christ’s side, in Heaven.  Never before had I seen her face so clearly.  Never before had she stood beside me in my room; and never yet had I heard her speaking.


Waiting for me.


After a while spent, captivated, gazing in silence at our Lady’s beautiful face, I suddenly realised how long I’d spent in prayer.  It seemed as if Our Lady had distanced herself slightly, simply to leave me free to think or to turn away. 


Twice, I turned away and looked around my room to reassure myself that although I was being honoured with an extraordinary visit, everything else about the moment was normal. I mean that I confirmed that even though Christ was drawing me up time and time again into His extraordinary bliss and Knowledge, I was sitting in my usual place, in my room, and - except for the few moments when I was wholly ‘lifted up’ in spirit to be given a teaching about Our Lady’s role, for example (T:736) - I was able to look around and to reflect rationally about the marvels of our Faith and the holiness of my visitor; and this reassured me.


Each time I turned back to her, Our Blessed Lady was still there waiting for me.  Having known her for so many years only by faith, in spiritual darkness, I now saw her in an extraordinary way: still by faith, but with faith illumined for a moment by God’s freely-given Light; and I gazed upon her continuously.


Still feeling some remnant of fear, and some astonishment at my own ‘impudence’ at believing that Our Lady would dream of coming to someone like me, I made the sign of the Cross again, using holy water, knowing that if it were really Our Lady, she wouldn’t be insulted. I asked my guardian Angel, once again, to keep me in true prayer and to help me to avoid anything evil: I meant evil persons or evil thoughts.


Gratitude for Christ and for His Mother.


But my courage grew, and Our Lady still stood before me; and, because I longed to be more worthy of her and her Son, I asked her quite spontaneously: “Show me how to love you”.  It didn’t really occur to me that she’d answer.  I often ask questions of God in prayer, knowing from long experience that many of His answers are given as clearly through events as through words; so I was astonished to receive an answer.  I was astonished to hear Our Lady reply, straight away, and quite clearly, in an almost childlike and matter-of-fact way, as though simply stating truth, without apology: “No-one who truly loves Christ can fail to love me”. 


I realised that this observation was for other people besides myself; it was part of a declaration of truth, not just part of a personal conversation; and by the way, her voice was lovely.  She  sounded just like anyone I meet around here, yet very simple and calm.  Then Christ took part once again.  Invisible and silent, He taught me more about Our Lady, and told me:-


                        See how My Mother looks upon all her children.  Her gaze is not limited to Heaven.  She understands the hearts of all who try to serve Me, her Divine son.  She sees the actions of all who oppose Me. (WC + OIL:741) (T:741 #1)


                        Encourage other people to honour My holy Mother.  Tell them what you discovered so many years ago: that you can all ‘prove’ your love for Me by loving the holy Mother whom I Myself revere. One who truly loves Me is therefore full of praise for the Motherhood of Mary, and is full of gratitude to her for her joyful consent to her holy task, whereas one who does not love Mary proves by that stance that he does not truly love Me, Jesus, or he would be grateful to her for giving him, by Divine grace, so great a Redeemer as Myself. (T:741 #4)


                        Follow My inspiration, and confidently ask the prayer of My Holy Mother, as she stands before you. (WC:742) (T:742)


A private litany.


These teachings were ‘new’ to me only in their phrasing.  In essence, I learned nothing that the Church hasn’t taught us before; and since the manner in which the ‘teaching’ was being given to me was familiar, I began to gain confidence and to stop worrying about being deceived.


Apart from my inner conviction that the beautiful woman was Our Blessed Lady, and was good, I was by now content to trust that the God to Whom I pray continuously for help wouldn’t keep me with an impostor; and I was sure that nothing evil could have urged me to feel so grateful to God and to Our Lady; so, less timidly, and at peace, I stayed in prayer with this Queen and true Mother.  Then, not wishing to keep such extraordinary peace and joy just for myself, I asked her prayers for the world and for the Church.

When I had prayed enough to satisfy my conscience, I sat peacefully before her for a long time in quiet wonder and admiration.  I asked her, over and over, but gently and at peace: “Mother Mary, pray for me.”  It was like a private litany, prayed with extraordinary joy, there in her visible presence.


When a great deal of time had passed I started to grow tired; and then I began to wonder if I’d remember everything I’d been shown; so I asked Our Lady if she minded if I turn away to write.  I was happy to be obedient to whatever she said: but she didn’t mind whether I wrote or not: it wasn’t important.  This was explained very graciously, but without words.  So when I’d looked around desperately, not wanting to leave Our Lady for long, I found a piece of paper; and there in her presence I made hurried notes about the ‘teachings’ of the past hour or so, already stunned by the implications of her visit.


Our Lady’s kindness.


When I’d finished scribbling, I hurried turned to Our Lady again.  I’d suddenly realised that I’d asked her prayers for the living, but not for the departed.  I was prompted by Christ:-


                        Ask the prayers of My Mother for the faithful departed. Her prayers are powerful and effective. (T:743 #1)


Ashamed of my neglect, I looked up at Our Lady again and asked: “Mother Mary: please help my own mother” - and it was God Who reassured me, through Our Lady, that my mother is now in Heaven.


Then I was urged, in prayer:-


                        Ask My Mother to help you to be faithful in your ordinary daily duties - to be a good mother. (T:743 #2)


I asked Our Lady: “May  be a good mother”; and I sat still with her for a long time, in bliss, just looking at her in my heart, confident that she would help me by her prayers.


For most of the time it seemed as if Our Lady were almost passive and serene, quietly waiting; I mean, waiting with delight in case God should choose to explain something further to me about her role, and waiting at times - with marvellous charity - for me to ask the questions which I think she half-expected.  Or she simply waited, utterly content and kind, whilst I sat stunned with joy in prayer before her.  What graciousness and self-giving.


Throughout this time, Christ waited, unseen.  He didn’t intrude or interrupt her conversation; and I was amazed, still, by Our Lady: astonished that we two women could walk side by side, it seemed, as I entrusted others to her care.


Then I was taught by Christ, in the presence of Our Lady:


                        Admit your sinfulness and imperfection beside the purity of My Holy Mother and Myself.  Accept that you are as a crippled or disfigured one, wounded by sin, beside her purity.  Yet even one so pure and great as she despises no-one who is in need of help. (T:745 #1)


                        See how kind and gracious is My Mother, content to wait, to listen and to pray, as I wish, and now walking beside you as you entrust others to her care. (T:744)


                        Imitate My Mother’s generosity.  Just as she listens tenderly to your words, and patiently helps you,  so must you walk in great charity with others; you must always be patient and tender with other people, and must always remain aware of your unworthiness to serve them.  You must count it a privilege to be able to do so. (T:745 #3)


Whoever imagines that Christ was cruel, in speaking so frankly about sin and imperfection should be aware that we’re all marred and marked by what Christians call ‘Original Sin’ as well as by personal failings - except, of course, Christ and The Blessed Virgin Mary; and so Christ’s words about sin were chosen not to humiliate me, but rather to emphasise the beauty of the purity-of-soul of His Immaculate Mother.


The reason for the visit.


Next, for the third time, I paused again, asking the help of my Guardian Angel.  I made the Sign of the Cross with holy water again.  I was still wondering: ‘Who am I, so wretched a sinner, to talk with the purest, most Holy Lady of all?’  Yet Christ continued - for His own purposes - to teach me more about His Holy Mother, in pure Knowledge, with silent words. I learned:-


                        Don’t worry about your sinfulness.  Love Me and accept My gifts. My graciousness, and My Mother’s, are greater than you can imagine. It is because of our love for you that My Holy Mother has come here to reassure and comfort you, as you press on with your difficult task.  The teachings which you receive from Me will serve a great purpose. (T:747 #1)


Ordinary duty.


When that ‘teaching’ ended, I plucked up courage and looked up at the clock, not sure whether a few minutes or a whole evening had passed by.  I had learned so much and was beginning to worry about people coming back. Then I saw that it was nearly nine o’clock.  Nearly a whole hour had been spent with Our Lady.


After thanking Almighty God whole-heartedly for this blessing, I thanked Our Lady, saying: “Mother, you know my heart - my hesitations and feelings ...” - I was aware that my duty lay not in praying for any longer, but in doing my work.  I asked, trustingly, if she would please let me know if I were wrong to leave her to do the ‘chores’; but I was astonished to learn, immediately:-


                        Don’t be afraid to reveal your heart’s true thoughts to My Mother, even your longing to please Me by leaving her to do the washing up, since it is your duty. She wants you to be obedient to Me, and it is My Will that you look after your family’s needs.  Listen to what she is saying: “I am not going to leave you!” (T:746 #3)


I left my studio and went into the kitchen.  And as I did so, and as I put on my apron, I half-expected to find that Our Lady had gone; I was so puzzled, and so amazed that she should come to someone like me.  Yet I did believe it.  What else could I believe in the presence of someone so holy and so close to Christ?


Filling the kitchen bowl, I started washing the dishes, and I concentrated on my work.  I knew it wouldn’t be kind to welcome back the family to a messy kitchen, just because I might have hoped to prolong the joy of my prayer with Our Lady.  They were due to return very soon. As I worked, my heart still stunned and awed by the experience, and my mind still thinking of her, I was suddenly taught, by pure knowledge from God:-


                        Trust that I am at work in your prayer.  You are taught Heavenly things according to your capacity - capacity of heart, mind, health, or yearning, and according to your need, such as for your consolation or in preparation for some task ahead. (T:746 #2)


                        Don’t be despondent about your sinfulness. My Mother is delighted by a heart which - with soul, mind and strength - is dedicated entirely to My service.  She scarcely sees little failings in love, and little weaknesses, in one who lives for My Glory and for the good of souls. (T:747)


A conversation, and a kiss.


It amazed me that I was being taught in this way about God’s dealings with the soul, and about prayer.  It was usually in church that God taught me this sort of thing; but I saw the truth of what I’d been told; and when I was still standing there, leaning against my sink, terribly moved by God’s goodness, yet determined to live only in crystal-clear honesty with Our Lady, as I already tried to do with Our Lord, I decided to speak.  I decided that if I didn’t confide in someone as wonderful as Our Lady, I’d waste an opportunity; and that’s why I determinedly said to her then, standing in my kitchen, “Mary, Mother, see this weakness”, daring to show her how faint-hearted and fearful I was about the consequences of speaking out even more widely about Christ’s intervention in my life and about His teachings-in-prayer.  I knew she’d be willing to listen to anything and everything, as she’d done earlier.  Then, suddenly, I was shown, by Christ:-


                        Follow My inspiration and reveal every facet of your heart and life to the gaze of My Holy Mother.  Like Me, she is utterly trustworthy, and understanding. (WC:748) (T:748)


                        Don’t worry about upsetting My Mother, who, like Myself, is quite unshockable. She is delighted by your trust and by your longing to be truthful. (T:749 #1)


                        Trust in My Mother.  She sees you as you really are: her child, and her Son’s close relation.  She is reassuring you, again: I am not going to leave you!” (T:749 #2)


                        Listen to the advice of the best possible Mother, who is insisting: “Elizabeth! Do not worry!”  With the help of both My Mother and Myself, you can peacefully set out to do My Will from  hour  to hour and day to day,   released from

                        the fear which has overshadowed you.  (WC:749) (T:749 #3)


As I turned away from my sink, I stood, head bowed, in front of Our Blessed Lady, showing her my heart; and she leaned over to comfort me.  She treated me as her true child; she kissed me on the forehead; and how like a true mother she was, when she spoke to me: using this child’s proper name!


After my work I was utterly exhausted.  I couldn’t sit up straight any longer, because of my illness, or stay awake to listen to her further; but I knew that she understood my weakness.   I went off to bed eventually, my heart full of gratitude.  I was determined to honour her more reverently for the rest of my life.


I resolved, too, to pray and work in her honour, especially on the 22nd of each month, out of love for her and for the Glory of Christ her son, just as I already celebrate the 11th of each month in memory of His kindness on what I call the ‘Alpha and Omega’ Day.



Extraordinary steps to help me.


Anyone who reads the first volume of the ‘Teachings-in-prayer’ will see explained once again the reason for this particular visit.  The knowledge which had been given to me, by God, in Our Blessed Lady’s presence, of the pouring-out of grace and Divine Life at the Incarnation, was a small part of the whole series of ‘Teachings’; but the personal, extraordinary kindness of Our Lady on that occasion was given to encourage me in my task of writing and explaining the teachings.  God knew that at times I’d been almost paralysed with fear at the thought of the questions I might be asked and the friends who might desert me, and also the ridicule I might have to bear if, in our modern world - though every age is ‘modern’ to itself - I made myself conspicuous, in obedience to God, by truthfully claiming to have received ‘teachings’ in prayer.


I know I keep stressing my unworthiness; but Christ Himself showed me how true this is, when He explained, later on, that my task alone was worthy of Our Lady’s visit, which hadn’t occurred because of any merit of mine.  Christ has explained not once but many times just how important it is that the ‘teachings’ are recorded and - at a time decided by Him - poured out, through His Church, to help His struggling People and also many others.  That’s why He and His wonderful Mother have been willing to take extraordinary steps to keep me going during the past few years.  He has also explained that the knowledge of Our Lady’s kindness to me would affect other people so much that it would ‘soften’ many hearts, and so prepare those hearts in the way that seedbeds are prepared, so that they’d be ready to receive a lavish ‘planting’ within them of the other teachings which He’d been giving to me in prayer.


It makes me very happy to be writing this account of the visit.  I yearn to tell people about Our Blessed Lady’s goodness and beauty.  But sometimes I feel ashamed, when I think about her visit, because what excuse have I, now, at ever failing to love, after being offered such a Heavenly example of loving concern?  And what excuse have I, ever to stop being joyful, when Christ has promised me that He’ll let nothing and nobody take me away from Him?  The goodness and tenderness of Our Lord and Our Lady is indescribable.








“God is Love”.


As I reflected on the goodness of Our Blessed Lady, I made more resolutions!  I hoped that I too would always be kind to anyone poor or sick or lonely, and that I’d never judge or  dismiss anyone at all. I resolved always to speak and act in true love and compassion - by the grace of Christ - out of gratitude to Christ Who has taken pity on me in my needs.  I’d at last given up every notion of somehow keeping my own life ‘to myself’: and that’s why, about  two weeks later, in Holy Communion, I found that I could say to Christ in prayer, and with my whole heart: “All I am, I give to You”. I was led to say this, peacefully, over and over again; but I expected nothing but the grace to carry on with my duties, living in hope, grateful for whatever simple gifts and graces Christ might to choose to give me - or withhold.


On the following day, at the Vigil Mass of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, I prayed with new fervour after the Consecration, offering all my pains to Christ in union with His pain, in reparation for the suffering of His Passion.  I offered Him, again, my whole life in sacrifice, and then suddenly, God’s own words were given to me.  Speaking of Himself, with devastating force and clarity, God the Holy Trinity pierced my prayers by His truth.  The eyes of my soul were dazzled by His majesty and Glory, as Christ taught me:-


                        Accept My reassurance and comfort, as you open your heart to Me in prayer.  All that you have learned and believed about Me is true.  Listen to your Heavenly Father Who is now teaching you - as if in words of fire, and about Our nature - that:


“God is Love.

He is.”


                        You are right to believe that We are surrounding and upholding everything - and every being - which We have created. (T:770 #4)


Thus Christ confirmed much of what His Church has already taught us about His nature, His power, and our freedom.  Then I was powerfully taught, about the Godhead:-


                        Understand Love’s meaning: My entire nature consists of Love, and therefore “includes” generosity, mercy, justice, faithfulness, and every good, with unchanging delight in all that is good. (T:770 #6)


                        Understand the difference between Creator and created.  I, your God, am ‘Being’ Itself.  I have not been created.  I had no ‘beginning’, but am eternal, whereas all that I have made - visible or invisible, in or around the earth and in the whole of Creation - exists only because I am keeping it in existence. (T:770 #7)


                        Understand that, from the depth of My goodness, I have created only good things, and have also created good beings who - in their real freedom - may refuse to do or to be good. (T:770 #8)


                        Understand that just as I Who am Love ‘cannot’ - because of My loving nature - create anything evil, so too I ‘cannot’ reject any being whom I have created for a loving relationship with Me.  I Who am Love cannot be unloving; however, others may reject Me. (T:770 #9)


                        Consider the importance of the right use of your free-will.  Consider My goodness in permitting My creatures such freedom.  Beings who freely turn their backs on goodness and who thereby turn away from Me, the Source of all goodness, are thus demonstrating their aversion to “Life-in-God”.  My ‘enforced’ presence - should such a thing happen - would bring only torment. (T:770 #10)


“Jesus is Love.”


When those initial statements were ‘poured’ within my soul, it was with such magnificence and glory that I wouldn’t have been surprised to have heard trumpets prefacing each phrase.  Then, when I was aware that I’d received this marvellous knowledge, but before I’d had time to reflect upon it, I was suddenly shown that Jesus was standing before me, dazzling in the radiance of His holiness.  It was as though Christ stood at the heart of a blazing furnace; and as I gazed at Him, I was told:-

                        Listen to your Heavenly Father, as He proclaims about Me:


“Jesus is Love!”


                        Don’t be afraid to declare, boldly, that I, Jesus Christ the Divine Son, have the same nature as the Father and am therefore rightly to be seen as equal in majesty. (T:771 #3)


Then Christ taught me about our attitude towards Him.  I understood that many people who try to look towards Christ in prayer or at death are forced to look away, so unbearable is His brightness; and at the same time, I was taught:-


                        Consider the meaning of Divine perfection: I, Jesus, am burning with a blazing purity.  I am glowing with a terrible, awesome Love, in Glory now.  No longer earthly, I no longer wait for death to claim Me, and My Sacred Body is incorruptible.  I have died and am Risen.  I am transformed and risen to Heaven.  I am burning with the Divine Life and Holiness which - through prayer and the Sacraments - I can share with you in order to make you holy with My holiness, and pure, and wholly transformed. (T:771 #4)


                        Consider the reason for spiritual pain, shame and guilt: All that is not Love blazes at My touch.  I, Jesus, now triumphant in Heaven, am all Truth, Love, Beauty, Purity and Power.  No-one who loves secrecy, selfishness, disobedience and darkness can bear to experience My presence, nor My generosity, beauty, holiness and majesty.  The radiant Light of My Glory is unbearable for those who are unwilling to look upon Me, or who are unprepared: by which I mean, who have not yet undergone purification - whether during earthly life or after death. (T:771 #5)


                        Be joyful, knowing that between Myself and the soul which lives in a true communion with Me, the “veil” which separates Heavenly beings from earthly, is very thin.  If you love totally, I, Jesus, am therefore “yours” to offer to the Father, you and I together pleading for others, asking for anything - as prompted by My Holy Spirit.  The ‘door’ will be opened by the Father, for the sake of Myself, Whom He loves and Who am yours!  (T:771 #6)


Then Christ showed me:-


                        Understand the meaning of prayer ‘in Christ’ which is prayer that conforms to the desires of My Heart.  See, therefore, why no-one can offer to the Father, in My Name, a plea for something which is evil, impure or foolish.  Such ‘prayers’ cannot be called true prayers. (T:771 #7)


                        Realise that the Father’s response to particular petitions depends on your generosity in loving and serving Me, His Divine Son.  All that the Father gives to you is given for the sake of Me, His Son, Who died for you and Who have made you My beloved friend. (T:771 #8)


A single plea from a single Christ.


Next, Christ explained to me the reason why I should be confident and joyful as I dedicated myself more and more determinedly to the sort of prayer into which He had been leading me.  Christ showed me, by an image, that whenever I pray in His name to the Father it’s as though we’re praying together to the Father, offering a single prayer to Him.  Christ explained to me:-


                        Consider the marvel of prayer made in union with Me, Jesus - and the power of such prayer.  When you cling to Me and try to please Me, your prayers and Mine are utterly united.  It is just as though you and I stand praying before the Father, Whose Light shines down from Heaven upon us both; and since you stand in front of Me, so closely imitating My stance - standing reverently in prayer - and since you resemble Me so closely, by a sincere love of the Father’s Will, your words and intentions could well have sprung from My own lips. So the Invisible Father in Heaven ‘sees’ only a single plea from a ‘single Christ’, and answers your prayer for the sake of Me, the Saviour, as I pray - with you - before Him. (T:772)


I can’t describe the impact of this teaching, which I had learned in one way, of course, through Christ’s Church; but never before I had understood it with quite so much clarity and joy.  I wanted to share the news of the richness of it all, and of God’s goodness to me, but I knew that I ought to wait until the appropriate time.


Every day, I was free to tell other people, in one way or another: “God is pure love; God’s love for you, and for everyone on earth, is tremendous”; but I couldn’t yet talk about my experience.  It was one more gift which must be quietly pondered and absorbed, and written down; but I returned home from church that day resolving that my whole life would be a thank-offering for all of Christ’s blessings and graces.


The Saints: jostling to help us.


As time passed it seems as though my resolutions almost made themselves.  There was no end of the trials of life, generally, but I lived in peace and contentment for a while, full of gratitude for new friendships, for opportunities for painting, and other joys; and week by week, I was taught more about prayer.


About six or seven weeks after the visit from Our Lady, I learned more about the Holy Mass. Christ showed me the power of the Holy Offering which He makes on our behalf.  Then, on the same day, when Mass had finished and I was praying alone, Christ brought my spirit, in prayer,  into the presence of His Saints, at the ‘edge’ of Heaven.  I think it was to encourage my faith in the unity of the whole Church in Christ’s praise to the Father.


In Holy Communion, that day, I had spoken my usual words of gratitude to Christ; and later, I’d asked all the Angels and Saints for their help in my struggles; and I suddenly found that Christ was teaching me about these wonderful friends in Heaven.  He explained to me, all in one moment:-


                        Turn towards My Saints in Heaven, and ask for their prayers.  Don’t struggle alone.  You honour them by your request.  My Saints ‘jostle’ for the privilege of helping you or of helping anyone(WC + OIL:812A) (T:812 #2)


                        Consider the life of My Saints in Heaven.  My Saints are full of love, and are full of longing to help you because they are so completely full of My own Love!  They are full of grace and joy, dazzling in their glory. (T:812 #2)


                        Remember to thank and honour My Saints.  Each one is gladdened by the joy given to any and every other Saint.  They are delighted when you confide in them, pleased when you ask for assistance, have every sympathy for you in your struggles and understand your temptations. (T:812 #3)


                        Don’t be tempted to think that any of My Saints is too ‘grand’ to help you.  Each one has the gratitude of a little child, in the face of My astounding Love. (T:812 #4)


Before the eyes of my soul, and in the radiant Light of prayer, I could see the Saints in Heaven, above me. I was astonished to see St. Thérèse of Lisieux.  In pure Knowledge and love she responded to my heart’s request, and came to stand at the centre of the group. I saw that she loves us dearly; all the Saints shared in her joy at being greeted so fervently by someone on earth.


When I prayed to Saint Teresa of Avila, she turned towards me, very loving and motherly and wise.  Then I asked St. Thomas More to help me; and he smiled at me, and I realised that this wonderful man understands our problems.


St. Dominic was with me next - grave and gentle in his humility and his love for Christ.


Then I was encouraged, by Christ:-


                        Ask the help of many more Heavenly friends, especially of My holy Mother, the Queen of Saints.  How great is her love for you.  She honours you by her prayers.  (T:812 #5)


I realised that I hadn’t asked for our Holy Mother’s help, so I did so, ashamed of having waited for so long.  I watched her walk to the centre of the crowd; and Christ showed me:-


                        See how My Saints draw back in honour and reverence when My holy Mother stands amongst them.  They admire the beauty and simplicity of this Most Holy Virgin, through whom mankind was given its Saviour: Myself. (T:812 #6)


There was Our Lady standing at the centre of a huge crowd of radiant and joyful people.


Then I asked St. Maria Goretti for help. I saw that St. Maria  is loved much, by others, in her wisdom and innocence.


It was possible to use my will in order to communicate, wordlessly, with the Saints, and to reflect on the goodness of God who was permitting me to be so close to them; but at the same time I was held up in bliss.


St. Mary Magdalene stood before me, next.  She is honoured by everyone in Heaven; and she is beautiful - and at peace in her sanctity, and very dignified.


St. Paul seemed to be almost embarrassed at our love and veneration, although I feel sure there can’t be any real embarrassment in Heaven.  He would have given a thousand lives for his beloved Christ.  St. Peter was full of humility - awed, I felt, that Christ had chosen a man like him.


Then I saw dear St. Joseph, whom I’d seen once before because Christ is so generous and kind.  I asked him to pray for me, a sinner - then suddenly realised that I had to leave the church.  It was going to be locked for the rest of the day; and nearly everyone had gone; so I thanked all the Saints, and Christ as well, and then left the Church and made my way home.


All the way home, I was full of the peace given to me by Christ, and full of joy having seen the wonderful Saints whom I hadn’t hoped to see in this life - only in the next.  I asked Christ to help me to benefit from their prayers and from their example. I asked Him to bring me to join Him one day, to meet the Saintly “WITNESSES IN A GREAT CLOUD ON EVERY SIDE OF US” (Heb 12:1), and to be united with them in the praise of the Most Holy Trinity, in Heaven.



Christ: A devoted ‘parent.’


I didn’t reflect on these things as much as I might have hoped because all the writing that I’d done in obedience to Christ at that time had stirred up a whole host of memories, which became distractions.


I tried to brush them aside, gently, knowing that we’re not blamed for little things we can’t avoid. When I spoke about this turmoil to Christ in Holy Communion, and ask Him to help me, I was reassured by His loving Presence; and He led me swiftly into His silent and unknowing praise.  This was, by now, the pattern of almost every Communion, although I tried not to take good things for granted. I was determined to live for love alone - not for sweetness here ‘below’ - and to follow Christ blindly.


The following weeks were full of the usual tasks and joys: writing, friendships, household jobs, family conversation, and attendance at daily Mass.  One day, when I was flagging, I was shown by Christ that it didn’t matter if, through illness, I could hardly concentrate during the Mass.  He told me:-


                        Be confident, in your humility.  I love you, and I understand that some of My ‘children’ are sick, weary, or despondent; I invite you to “come and sit here.”  Rest quietly, as if in a place by My feet. (T:857 #1)


                        Be like a little child who sits beside her devoted parent.  I pray for all of you who are too weary  to utter even a single word or pious thought!  I delight in your loving desires, and in your desire to pray, even when you can scarcely begin! (T:857 #2)



One single ‘Hail Mary’.


One Saturday, a few weeks later on, when I’d been to Confession, I made my way to the Lady chapel for a few minutes of quiet prayer.  There, I continued to make acts of faith in Christ’s love for me.  I was nearly overwhelmed with weariness and work.  I dutifully said a “Hail Mary” as I paused before the Blessed Sacrament, thinking of Christ’s love for us and thinking of Our Lady’s love for us, too, and praying for those I love.  Then suddenly, I was shown:-


                        Believe in the tremendous value of your prayers: prayers which are made in My Name and with My power. (T:859 #1)


                        Be confident that the effect of a good prayer is real and immediate, even if unseen and unrecognised.  Think about the prayer which you recite so frequently:


                                    “Hail Mary, full of grace. 

                                    Blessed art thou amongst women,

                                    and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.


                                    Holy Mary, Mother of God,

                                    pray for us sinners,

                                    now, and at the hour of our death.”


                        I assure you that one single “Hail Mary” - said for someone’s welfare - is like a drink which has been poured into a chalice for someone’s refreshment.  By a single ‘Hail Mary’ you can help, to some degree, each person you meet, or hear about, who is in need of help. (T:859 #2)


By this single teaching I was helped to look outwards rather than inwards and to give more frequent and sure help to all sorts of people.



Submitting my work for appraisal.


One day in March 1991 when I’d been writing for many months besides doing my usual work, I learned from Christ that it was time for me to explain things again.  So put the whole ‘work’ into God’s hands and asked for God’s help.  I arranged to see our parish priest once more, in order to explain that I was obliged to publish an account of most of what Christ had taught me, since I’d found that these things aren’t for me alone, but are a gift, through me, to His Church.  Our priest replied that he would try to find someone to advise me.


For the next four weeks, I spent every spare minute finishing the writings, and trying to accept, gladly, all the normal daily duties and visits, and interruptions.  No special work is worthwhile if it means neglecting everyday duties, and so failing in love; and I wasn’t lacking in encouragement to do good, as Christ told me:-


Prove your love for me, whilst you still live on earth, by faithfully fulfilling little duties as well as large!  If you have letters which need answering, letters buried deep in your handbag, “love means clearing out your handbag!”  You fail in charity if you neglect your friends or relations. (T:893 #2)


Then Christ showed me, at Holy Mass, the beauty of His worship, and encouraged me to trust in Him entirely.  He spoke about all sorts of things, during prayer: about life’s huge problems as well as about little duties.  It was when I felt very ill one day that He even told me:-


                        Don’t be afraid.  One who truly loves Me need not fear death, because My Love will then be experienced in all its fullness of joy.  No earthly joy, nor any love, can compare with My Love, as experienced by the soul who loves Me and who is loved by Me. (T:893 #1)


There was yet further encouragement.


Saint Joseph.


On the twenty-fifth of April, 1991, I had finished writing an account of all of the teachings in prayer which I’d received up to that time.  In the evening, when I’d resolved to pray the “Stations” for love of Christ, despite late activities and exhaustion, I prayed my “night” prayers also.  When I had said the ‘Hail Mary’ as usual, and finished my prayers with the sign of the Cross, I decided to ask St. Joseph for his prayers.  I was thinking, briefly, that I ought not to ‘neglect’ someone whom Our Lady loves so much.  It doesn’t take much energy to say: “Saint Joseph, please pray for me, a sinner.”


At the very instant that I turned my heart towards him, Saint Joseph was present before my soul’s eyes; I was astonished.  Christ, unseen at first, was with us, wordlessly teaching me:-


                        Turn your gaze to St. Joseph, who is here before you.  See how magnificently I am responding even to a tiny prayer.  We are delighted that - because of your belief in his virtues and your desire to please My Mother Mary - you turned to him in prayer and asked for his help. (T:896 #1)


                        Reflect upon the marvellous qualities of St. Joseph, who acted as a good father to Me, his beloved foster-son, when I lived upon earth. (T:896 #2)


                        Ask for St. Joseph’s prayers.  Show towards him, now, the tremendous love, respect and admiration which I showed towards him during his life on earth and which I now display towards him in Heaven. (T:896 #3)


                        Consider St. Joseph’s virtues.  He is so noble, fatherly and kind that My Mother Mary was fortunate to be entrusted to such a man - though he was fortunate to be married to someone as loving and holy as she. (T:896 #4)


                        Don’t look upon St. Joseph as the bumbling old man of some caricatures: someone foolish and graceless married to an ethereal being and wholly unworthy of her.  My Mother is a real woman - and very warm-hearted, yet dignified and very holy; and St. Joseph is worthy of her love.  He, too, is a loving person; he is a man of great stature, though very sweet and tender.  I gave him all the qualities which were needed for his highly responsible task. (T:896 #5)


                        Be confident.  Remain happily in St. Joseph’s presence, for as long as you are able.  Your friends in Heaven are delighted by the prayers and greetings of those who love them and - more important to them - who love and serve Me. (T:896 #9)


Not Christ’s ‘natural’ father.


At this point I asked Our Lord: “Jesus - don’t let me be misguided”, thinking:   “Who am I to pray a simple prayer and to receive such a gift?”  But He replied to me immediately:-


                        Turn to St. Joseph for help.  “How can you be misguided by My Father?!”  He loves you, as he loves all who love Me and My holy Mother.  He loves you and he prays for you. (T:896 #6)


                        Realise that he whom I chose to act as father-on-earth to Me the Christ-child is one whom you can trust.  With great esteem, I call St. Joseph “Father,” because he acted as a very good father to Me in loving and caring for Me on earth, although he was not My ‘natural’ father. (T:896 #7)

Even as He was speaking, Christ suddenly appeared to me.  I saw Him standing quite close to Saint Joseph.  Christ was making a lovely gesture: holding out his hand towards him, thus encouraging me to look closely at the beloved foster father who stood, all the while, head bowed in humility besides his God.


For a few minutes of awe and bliss and wonder, I sat quietly in their presence - too unwell to kneel.  Then I made the sign of the Cross with holy water, still amazed that I should be so honoured, but hoping that Our Lord wouldn’t permit me to be deceived in the very centre of my soul, where He dwells.  He knows how I long only for Love and Truth.  After some time, when I’d sat silently in prayer in their company, I explained to St. Joseph that Jesus would tell him that I’m weak, and can’t sit up for very long.  St. Joseph smiled and blessed me; but I was amazed to notice that he didn’t leave me.  With true charity, he waited for me to leave him; and although I could hardly bear to tear myself away, I didn’t want to fall asleep in front of him.  So I left that silent prayer, and began to prepare to go to bed, my heart full of gratitude to God for His kindness and full of love for Our Lord and St. Joseph.


The next day, I pressed on with my household work and my writing as usual.


Hard work: and extra helpers.


When I wrote a little further back that I had “finished the writings”, I meant that I’d reached the stage where I was able to take a good look at the three piles of paper in front of me.  I had a Prologue which led up to 1985, and also a Narrative (1985-1991), as well as the Teachings and the paintings.  I photocopied the most important sections to produce a “Summary” - of which a tidier version would later be printed as: “Teachings-in-prayer: an Introduction.” Then I handed the work to my parish priest.  I didn’t know who would assess it, or when I’d receive an opinion on it; and I quaked at the thought of laying myself open to criticism or mockery. 


I was less worried about my parish priest having to read my writings.  He was always straightforward and courteous with me. I was still self-conscious, however, and horribly aware of my spiritual and literary failings; so I was both touched and astonished when my parish priest sought me out on the day after I’d handed in my work to him, and asked me: “What, exactly, is the message?”


As I’ve said somewhere else, I was still ‘in the dark’ about much of Christ’s purpose for the teachings.  But I wrote a letter to our priest next day, trying to explain what I’d learned so far. It will be easier if I reproduce some of that letter, below.  I told him that I was almost as puzzled as he was about the purpose of the teachings; and I continued (T:910):-


“ ... I said, a few weeks ago, that I could see no further than one step ahead, whilst I was busy writing all that I had been taught in prayer.  That was true, then, as Christ kept me in darkness so that I could finish one part of my work.


The next task was to hand over to you (and thus to the Church) the revelation about Christ, Our Lady, Holy Mass, Love, the Saints and St. Joseph.  I have done this, in part, by giving to you the ‘Summary’ to read or to share; I have no idea what you are supposed to do, but my only hope and security has been in trying to be obedient to Christ at each new and extraordinary step - I’m sorry if ‘all this’ causes you problems.


This morning, you mentioned someone who delivered a message.  In that instance, God chose someone young and innocent who could quite guilelessly say to her parish priest - “I have seen Our Lady ... she asks for prayer and penance.”  That was how God, in that century, used one of His creatures for His eternal purpose:  His Glory and the sanctification of souls.


I hardly dare to write this, but I think I have been led to offer you a message for the same purposes, but led in a different way, to meet the needs of our own time.  The method is ‘back-to-front’, in this sense:-


Christ has trained me by suffering, for over twenty years, and throughout that time He has been teaching me His Knowledge.  So: the ‘message’ I have written down about Himself and His Holy Mother and His Holy Sacrifice and His Saints is marvellous, and it should be published; although there is nothing new here, as I said, but I think it is an encouragement to people in the Church, that God, Christ, Our Lady, the Saints, the whole Church (living and departed), the Sacraments, Prayer, Penance, and Reparation through patience in suffering, are important today, AS EVER.  (I did not choose what I was taught - nor how much I was taught.  I suppose that some ‘messages’ are brief, and some are longer.  That is Our Lord’s decision, not mine.  All I can do is repeat the message, through you, to the Church.)


However, there is another ‘aspect’ to the message.


Each part of the major ‘teachings’ was given (I see now) in response to a loving and costly sacrifice on my part - prompted and sustained by grace alone.


I dare to think that my task, now, is not only to reveal the ‘messages’ or ‘teachings’ for their own sake: as aspects of the One Revelation given through Christ and His Apostles.  Their publication, I think, will reveal, too, the graces of Christ IN and THROUGH my own wretched life; that is why I have written at length (in obedience) about my life, conversion, repentance and sickness and daily life.


So: that is the second message which God wishes to give through these revelations, through me, a sinner: “Here is grace at work in one who is weak, and inadequate. Here is Christ teaching a soul to be faithful to God, to be obedient to His Church; for the sake of Christ learning to accept sufferings with patience, trusting in grace and being nourished by the Sacraments.  Listen to her.  She speaks the Truth.”


I am, I dare to say, one of His ‘little ones’: a sinner, un-learned, poor - in the sense of being dependent on others’ generosity - female, a lay-person, married, and sick: the “rubbish of this world” (cf. 1 Co 5:15).


Yet even as I (at last) gladly and freely accepted my status and my sufferings, for the love of God (by His grace) Christ was teaching me about Himself, and adorning’ me (- rubbish -) so that others might one day listen to me speaking about faith, obedience, prayer, hope and Heaven - about all the things which He has taught me. The ‘major’ teachings are my ‘introduction’ - for His purposes.  (I have not been ‘used’, briefly, and then ‘put behind a door’ like a broom, but have been behind the ‘door’ for nearly three decades as an adult, being prepared for the time when I must direct others towards God, through Christ and His Church, and using His teachings and images.  Ours is a visual age; that is why the “Mass Paintings” seem to me to be important.  I shall gladly do whatever you say, but if I am permitted to say: ‘This is what Christ has shown me’, many more persons will benefit.


Whether I should teach by direct speech or by writing, I have no idea, since I am very feeble, and do not know whether I shall live for another week or another decade.


I could be tempted to groan at the thought of being questioned or pestered, mocked or scrutinised, but I do not dwell much on the future.  I am simply trying to do the Will of God from one day to the next, trusting that Our Lord will prop me up and help me to persevere; I really have no courage but Him.  Meanwhile, my youngest child was eighteen years old last month; that means that my long-lasting, immediate responsibility for ‘children’ has ended, (though not my love).  I shall, perhaps, be ‘free’ to do a different work.  Right now, I have to say: “I have seen the Lord!”  Should you or your superiors tell me that I am merely silly or deluded, then I hope that Christ will be satisfied with my obedience in speaking to you; I hope I shall quietly carry on as usual, cooking meals and going to Mass, and writing.


On the other hand, should you believe everything that I have written, then I hope that I will be given the grace to follow your advice, whatever it is, and wherever it leads me.


... I think I have left out as much as I have included, in all the writing I have done in the past few months.  Much is private and personal, but the ‘pieces’ which I have included are meant to point others towards the beauty and grace of Christ, not towards myself.


Anyway, I have explained many more things about prayer and writing in the large version which, perhaps, someone will have to ‘plough’ through, at some stage ...”



One step at a time.


It was a year before I heard anything more about my writings.  But throughout that year the ‘teachings’ continued, and I continued to write them down for future use, knowing that this was what Christ wanted me to do.


One day at Holy Mass, Christ gave me further encouragement, by telling me:-


                        Make generous acts of trust in Me. (T:912B #1)


                        Walk with Me through each ‘present moment’.  Walk one step at a time, neither dwelling on the past - since you are repentant and reconciled - nor peering anxiously ahead.  I long to see you living peacefully - all the time - in complete rest. (T:912B #2)


                        Never think that I am ‘absent’, as you complete your earthly journey.  I am pleased to see you happy and patient as you do My work, and to see you believing in My presence, even though you cannot see Me.  It is as though I stand on one side of the ‘veil’ which divides Heaven from earth. You are in My presence and you are loved by Me, although we are not yet completely united for all eternity. (T:912B #3)


Heavenly friends to assist us.


On another day, as my courage flagged, I went to Confession, and then prayed for a while in church.  There, before the Blessed Sacrament, I said to Christ: “Lord - I have You alone to help me!” I meant: “See how weak and how lonely I am in my struggles, with such strange work to do.”  Then I suddenly saw Christ within my soul, as He gaily indicated that His beloved Mother was present, with all the Angels and Saints who long to help us. He explained to me, wordlessly:-


                        Rejoice that I care for you deeply, care so much that I give you innumerable extra helpers!  I entrust you joyfully to the care of My holy Mother, and to all the Saints and holy Angels who long to help you. (T:915 #1)


                        Don’t think of yourself as alone or lonely.  You have many holy friends and helpers; a great number of Heavenly friends can assist you, as they can assist all my friends. (T:915 #2)


                        Confide in My Saints and holy Angels.  Ask your heavenly friends to pray for all who are dear to you and in need.  Name them one by one.  You can be sure that your holy friends are leaning forward, eager to hear about even more beloved persons whom they might have the joy and privilege of helping by their prayers. (T:915 #3)


When I said: “There are more in my heart” - meaning that there were many more people for whom I wanted to pray, but I couldn’t remember all their names, I heard this tender reassurance:-


                        Be secure in the knowledge that My holy Company respects your ‘privacy-of-soul’.  Yet be glad that everyone whose problems you have unveiled before Me, so that I can help, is therefore ‘known’ by the Saints who live “in” Me.  All whom you have at some time - however briefly - brought before Me, are now known by the Saints to be in need of prayer, which is thereafter given gladly, lavishly and lovingly.  My Saints are reassuring you about your beloved people: “We know all about them” and about their needs. (T:915 #4)


                        “Weave” the melody of your frequent prayers into the blessed harmony which is the prayer of My Holy Church.  How like a great symphony is the love and prayer of My whole Church of earth and Heaven, as the prayer of each member is touched and intermingled with the prayers of My Saints and My Holy Angels, My holy Mother and Myself. (T:915 #5)



Intercession, and ‘Unknowing’ prayer.


It seems as though there’s no end to the ‘treasure’ that we can find through Christ. When I was going to the shops one day, and was silently offering a little prayer for someone I met on the way, Christ suddenly showed me His delight in my effort.  There in the street, He taught me, in one swift moment:-


                        Turn to Me in order to receive gifts which you can give to others. It is as though I walk beside you, laden with gifts; and whenever you ask Me to reward, help or support someone I invite you to plunge your hands into the pile of “jewels” which I am carrying, and to draw out presents of faith, hope and love for the people you meet, as well as special helps for people with special problems.  I delight in answering the prayers of My friends; therefore, since you turn to Me on behalf of others, and since I understand every human heart, I see clearly exactly what sort of help is needed. (T:909)


On another day, in church, He explained something more about a different type of prayer:-


                        Follow My call in prayer, whenever - through My Spirit’s urging - I invite you to follow the path of contemplation. (T:913 #1)


                        Give instant obedience to My prompting; this is how you can move silently towards the invisible Light of My ‘unknowing’ praise.  I ‘point’ to the Father and I lift the soul into ‘unknowing’ silent and sightless worship; I ‘work’ My praise and My Will within the soul who has consented to leave behind all words and preoccupations. (T:913 #2)


Christ is my praise.


On another occasion, I was given answers to questions which I hadn’t even asked; yet most probably the answers were to be remembered for other people.  In that moment, at Holy Mass, I was taught once again that Jesus Himself, at Holy Mass, is our prayer to the Father.  I was instructed:-


                        Allow Me to work within your soul.  I will lavish My gifts upon you.  “I furnish you with all you need,” as you try to serve Me and do My Will. (T:911A #1)

                        Understand the infinite value of My Worship, as I come to your midst at the Consecration, during My Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to make My infinitely worthy Offering to the Father.  Turn with Me to the Father, in prayer, and consider:


                                    - Would you give praise to Him?

                                    Here I am, Jesus, Myself, praising the Father.

                                    - Would you give thanks to Him?

                                    I, Jesus, am your means of thanksgiving, your Offering.

                                    - Would you offer reparation to Him?

                                    Here I am: Jesus, your Sacrifice.

                                    - Would you plead with the Father, in intercession?

                                    I, Jesus, plead with you: does the Father refuse Me?! (T:921 #2)


                        Unite to My Act and words and Offering at the Holy Mass each of your little acts and words of love for the Father or your little acts of sorrow-for-sin.  Your offerings, when united to My infinitely-worthy Offering, are perfect, and are accepted by the Father. (T:921 #3)


                        Approach the Father with great gratitude for His goodness, in that you are the children of such a King, and the sisters and brothers of so sweet a brother as Myself.  See how little it matters that you are poor, feeble or sinful, as you stand before the altar, preparing for the Holy Mysteries.  Through a contrite heart, and through My prayer, you can offer a prayer of infinite power and glory from within your frailty. (T:921 #4)


This was an enormous encouragement to me whenever I was tempted to become despondent; but of course it didn’t mean that we should give up the struggle against sin and discouragement.



The promise of Baptism fulfilled.


Only a few days later, on the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Christ spoke to me about His Divine Life within my own heart and soul: about how that life is active and fruitful.  He was rewarding me for a vigorous act of faith in His Love; and He taught me:-


                        Continue to be fervent in prayer, turning to Me for faith and strength.  I delight in your trust. (T:925 #1)

                        Be grateful for the union with Myself which you now enjoy: a true union, even here on earth, a union in which - even amidst real sufferings - you receive ceaseless joy. (T:925 #2)


                        Be at peace, in My Love!


                                    What a steady prayer has been

                                    My own prayer, as I have prayed

                                    in your heart,

                                    through our union, from baptism.

                                    What a Fire of consuming prayer

                                    now pours to the Father

                                    from your union with Me in Communion,

                                    as you say: “Here is Jesus”,

                                    trusting in My perfect praise.

                                    Thus, the promise of baptism is fulfilled

                                    when the spark of faith becomes

                                    a burning torch to lighten the darkness. (T:925 #3)



Christ, in the tabernacle.


On the 15th June, when I had spent several hours persevering with my simple chores, and had interspersed the tasks and moments of rest with prayers of acceptance of God’s Will, I ‘offered-up’ my pains and weaknesses to God the Father in union with Christ’s pains. I said ‘Fiat’ again, on my way to the evening Mass.  I meant ‘Yes’, again, to all of Christ’s plans for my life, whether to silence, suffering, and obscurity, or to anything else He might permit, as long as He’d keep me close  to Him, and would allow me to do His Holy Will.


He is so generous to those who give up all their desires for love of Him!  As I greeted Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, before Mass began, prepared to list my pleas and to name everyone who is specially dear to me, I found that He wouldn’t permit me to continue speaking.


I was astonished to see Him standing near the tabernacle, His arm outstretched in prayer, and His whole being radiant with Glory, as a group of reverent Angels stood around Him in adoration.  Then Christ told me, very lovingly:-


                        Adore Me in the Blessed Sacrament.  Direct the eyes of your soul towards Me; I am Really Present in the Tabernacle.  My holy Angels surround Me; they stand silently in adoration. (T:928 #2)


Awe-struck, I adored Christ. I gave my heart and my life to Him, again.  Then I asked the Angels to teach me how to love and serve Him; and suddenly, I heard them say, as one voice within my soul, as clear as a child’s voice: “Do as we do,” which meant: look towards Christ, always, yearning to serve and to please Him, poised to do His Holy Will in the least manner, out of pure love for the Saviour whose face was too dazzling to see.


Immediately, I prayed “Jesus, don’t let me be deceived in this holy place”, frightened of being led astray, even there in His sanctuary.  But as I continued to adore Christ, yearning only to do His Will and to stay in His Truth, He showed me, by an image within the soul:-


                        Put your trust in Me.  I Who stand before you - clothed in white and dazzling in My Glory - bear the Wounds which prove My Love for you, Wounds on the pierced feet which are visible below My dazzling robe. (T:928 #4)


                        Look towards Me; I await you at the tabernacle.  Stay close to Me. (T:928 #5)


                        Have faith in My power.  Even here amidst the usual bustle and muttering in the Church before the Holy Mass begins, and as you kneel at my feet, I am praying to the Father on your behalf. (T:928 #6)


                        Accept the fact that - a frail human being - you seem to be in darkness, below the Light of My Divine Radiance.  Truly, by yourself you are small and powerless, but this is not a cause for worry, since My arms reach out to the Glory which you cannot see, in an image of the Eternal Prayer to which all your prayers are united, through My Merits and your union with Me. (T:928 #7) (WC: 928)


Then the bell rang and Holy Mass began.  I vowed that I’d rather forget everything that Christ had shown me than be distracted during the Holy Mysteries; and by His grace I was able to pray the usual prayers, disregarding His wonderful teaching until afterwards, when I recorded a few details in order to obey His instructions.  But I was given a further ‘teaching’, in Holy Communion, when Christ told me:-


                        Prepare your soul for further contemplation by understanding the path upon which I sometimes lead you. First, you turn to Me, and welcome me, then you wait in silence for My Will to be made plain.  Next, you follow My Spirit to “unknowing” praise, and so you permit My praise to be yours, in utter emptiness and self-offering.  (T:928 #8)


                        See how little you need be troubled by the thought of your real frailty.  Your faith in Me is all-important; and you can rejoice to know that My praise, when offered from within your contrite soul, is a torrent - unimpeded - which rises to the Father! (T:928 #9)



The Cross, in ordinary life.


Month after month, as I worked and prayed and rested, Christ taught me about prayer and weakness and suffering - but as much for the sake of all the people who would read my work later on as for my own sake.  On July 26th, 1991, He taught me:-


                        Rejoice in your weakness.  You who are sick are tremendously loved by Me.  Your worship is enormously precious, in My eyes.  This is because in your frailty, you trust in My prayer and My Offering.  It is also because - even in frailty and suffering - you have faith in the goodness of Me as Father.  How you are loved!  (T:959)


                        Follow My inspirations in prayer.  Reflect on My Passion.  I look lovingly and tenderly upon one who shows devotion to My terrible sufferings and who - through following the “Stations of the Cross” - accompanies Me in My journey to the place of crucifixion. (T:960 #1)


                        Let your compassion drive you to action.  All your little sufferings can be united with My torments.  They can be “offered” in reparation for your sins, for the good of My Holy Church, and to save souls from sin and damnation. (T:960 #2)


                        Ponder the reality of the life of faith: that tremendously significant events in your spiritual life have taken place amidst dreary surroundings, with few or no witnesses, and with only faith leading you on.  This was true of Me during My life on earth. (T:961 #1)


                        Don’t imagine that My earthly life was glamorous or easy. Think about the noise which you can hear nearby during the offering of My Holy Sacrifice: the noise, outside the church, of the local school-children playing.  Their shouts and calls are like the everyday noise, bustle and shouting which I heard as I hung on the Cross in agony, dying, redeeming Mankind, whilst passers-by gossiped, and rushed about their business. (T:961 #2)


I’d never been able to stand in a busy street or a market place, since that day, without remembering that our Redemption was won amidst similar crowds of hagglers - by Someone Who was dying in agony only a few yards from the indifferent pedestrians and shoppers.








Preparing to meet the Father.


As I begin this paragraph, the date is August 6th 1998: the feast of the Transfiguration; and I’ve just been awed and consoled once again in prayer by the Glory which was poured within my soul today, in Holy Communion, and which is Heaven’s daily gift to me, now that Christ has led me to the Father; and it has just occurred to me that I should give a brief summary of the ways in which Christ has taught me about Himself and about the life of grace, and then I can move forward to describe the stages of my journey to the Father.


It seems best to reproduce, in the paragraph below, the descriptions of prayer which God prompted me to record in 1993 and which I copied and sent to Father Edwards so that he’d have a better understanding of the ‘Teachings’ which he was checking from year to year.  I’m reproducing the exact words I used because the whole piece reflects not only what I’d learned, but also what I still hadn’t achieved at that time; I mean that I was still writing with some timidity.  I’m not suggesting that we ought not to be humble and cautious if we’re given extraordinary tasks by God; I’m noticing how obvious it is that I still lacked a happy and carefree confidence in His Love and in His loving purpose for my life.  It was as though I was ‘on the edge of my chair,’ still anxious about my experiences, and still fearful that by the least carelessness I’d displease Him.


What I copied and sent to Father Edwards was this piece called “Extraordinary Prayer:” 


“What follows is a brief explanation of the different ways by which (in my experience only) pure knowledge is imparted to the soul by God - in prayer.  But first I must mention that many of God’s dealings with the soul are so secret and marvellous that we see or understand very little of them.  Also, His Holiness is so sublime, and so unimaginable and pure, that none of us can see Him in this life.


The best prayer - the most pure and holy praise of all - is that which He works within us, secretly, through the power of the Holy Spirit in our union with Christ.  This secret, silent prayer of love takes place unseen in the soul which has been purified by God. He chooses when to unite the soul with Himself in this marvellous way: a way which is so pure and so secret that we cannot sense, see, hear, taste or touch anything!  We do not know what is happening; God praises God in our soul whilst the mind, the imagination and the memory


circle - as it were - below.  The will strains towards God with all its might, (but peacefully) and He, unseen, unknown, gives His gift of prayer-in-union as and when He wills.


So - all that is felt, sensed or seen in prayer is not a ‘grasping’ of God.  He, in his tenderness, sometimes permits these ‘touches’ for His own purposes or for our sake.  I have written much more fully on this subject elsewhere.  But it seems to me that - admitting the superiority of unsensed, unknowing, pure prayer of union - the ‘occurrences’ which I have noticed in prayer are of a certain order of purity and grace.


In descending order, I would list these types of prayer in the following way:-


  1. “Knowledge”.


First and most  holy, is the unexpected, pure, sudden, instantaneous and wordless KNOWLEDGE of God or of His attributes, given in prayer, usually after Holy Communion, though sometimes at other times during the Mass, and particularly at and after the Consecration.  When God wills, He unites me entirely with Him by knowledge, with no consciousness on my part of thoughts or memory or will or imagination.  He has utterly enfolded my soul to give me His pure gift.  Just as suddenly, I am released (back) into ordinary prayer, and (if distracted) am aware of what I have just learned; I then try not to think about it but to continue in prayer, as before.


As I will tell, I wrote down nothing of this during the first few years but I found later that (if I chose) I could spend hours writing down all that I had learned in that brief instant of teaching. When Providence demands that I write on one subject or another, learned in this way (prayer, perhaps, or intercession, or Holy Mass) I find that I can write about Catholic doctrine and teachings at great length.


I have hardly dared to write this, but it is true - although how, God only knows!  I might have read much in books, but I could not remember it all; or if I had - I would be unable to see the connections between one thing and another, or be unable to explain with such conviction and ease all that in truth, I do know, thanks to Him.


  1. “Knowledge” with Translation.


Sometimes the wordless and pure, sudden, brief knowledge is almost simultaneously ‘translated’ (in the same state of body and soul) into an image in my soul.  The image is not conjured up by me - in fact, I can do nothing but receive - (I do not know what I am doing). It is a pure gift - for me, and, perhaps, for others later on.


  1. The Same - at length.


Sometimes these gifts of ‘knowledge’ and ‘translation’ are of greater length, continuing for five minutes or an hour, and might be received when I am not totally enfolded by God, but am still conscious of my body (although my heart leans towards God in prayer).  I would ignore mere images, but when I am taught in this way, I can rest in God, wordlessly accepting what is silently being revealed, when it immediately is gone.


  1. Prayer of Felt Union - with “Knowledge”.


Sometimes, Christ’s felt presence (after Communion) saturates my soul so entirely that it detaches me from all that my body would experience as I kneel or sit in prayer in the church.  In this state I might receive knowledge with or without a “translation”.  He makes me completely absorbed  in Him, or in the most Holy Trinity, but I never faint or fall or lose consciousness: any person could (can) attract my attention.  It can last for up to thirty minutes, in this way.  It is entirely His gift, ‘unknown’.


  1. Prayer in Union - but alert.


Sometimes in prayer outside the time of “Communion”, Christ absorbs my soul in this way.  I can still hear conversation around me but am undisturbed.  I am free, too, to become less absorbed in Christ, in order to give the correct responses during Mass, since that is my solemn duty when I am at worship during the Holy Sacrifice.


­6.  “Knowledge” with Words.


Sometimes in prayer, when I am ‘saturated’ or ‘absorbed’ in Christ entirely, Christ speaks to me, within my soul.  He speaks clearly but not ‘out loud’ - others cannot hear.  The words have in no way been conjured up in my imagination.  (I know that this is possible, but if it happens the words are very different).  Christ’s own words to me are always quite unexpectedly and quite suddenly heard in my soul with great clarity - and, usually, are brief; they always bring great joy, and explain much more to me than such simple phrases might ordinarily suggest.  Hearing His words is like receiving pure knowledge, too.  I immediately receive great knowledge, with the words - which I could write about at great length, even years later on.


  1. “Knowledge” with a Given Image.


Sometimes in prayer, although aware of all around me, I see an image of great importance, with the eyes of my soul.  This means that it has not come from my imagination; it is not like those images which we can move about at will - as when we select and alter visual memories in some though-processes or meditations.  This image is seen within the soul clearly, unchosen, suddenly appearing, and still.  It lasts for a longer time than the images of the “Knowledge-Translation”, and knowledge accompanies it.  I might think that it is a gift which can be contemplated later, or communicated to others for their encouragement in faith, but because my first duty is to pray, especially at Mass, and  not to be distracted by any image, I turn away from it, if I can.


  1. “Knowledge” with a Living Image.


Sometimes in prayer, Christ Himself has appeared to the eyes of my soul, alive and moving though dazzling in His glory; He wordlessly gives me knowledge, or encouragement.  Sometimes, too, He is here with His Holy Mother; He is nearly always accompanied by angels, and sometimes by saints too.  I am absorbed but not wholly enfolded and am free to turn away. If I turn away to think about His appearance, He leaves.  If I turn away, however, to praise God in the Mass, or to do something kind for a neighbour at Mass, He remains there in my soul waiting for me to return.

  1. The Same - at length.


Sometimes, whilst praying or working or reading at home, or elsewhere, I have become aware of the felt presence of the enfolding love of the most Holy Trinity or of our Lord Himself, or of the most Holy Spirit, or I have seen within my soul Christ or Our Lady or the Saints, wordlessly present (occasionally speaking) here in my soul in peace and glory.  This is always sudden and unexpected; it usually brings knowledge too, and sometimes continues for minutes or hours.  I am always, at these times, free to stop my work or my reading in order to pay attention, and to give myself up to love, in prayer.  These are not mere images or distractions, but are - in some way - the persons to whom I usually pray - or so I conclude, when I am urged towards love and unselfishness.


  1. The Same.


Occasionally, Christ teaches me more and more, entirely without words, whilst our thoughts move to one another in an exchange of pure love and knowledge.  I am conscious but uplifted and am free to turn away, either (because I’m) distracted, or (because I’m) turning away to fulfil some duty as Christ looks on in love.


  1. The Same.


Very rarely, in the state of prayer just described, have I been gently urged to ask questions, concerned for those I love; I have been led to hold up each dear one to Christ or to His Holy Mother, and have been answered with pure knowledge, spirit to spirit, and with gentle gestures.  Sometimes Christ teaches me with words; He is present within my soul, sometimes seen and sometimes unseen.


  1. Guardian Angel.


My angel walks with me and guards me.  I do not see Him with my eyes, but sometimes glimpse ‘him’ with the eyes of my soul, or feel his presence.  Sometimes, through Knowledge, I am made aware of his response to my prayers, requests or actions, and witness His gestures of reverence or of celebration!  Sometimes, with my soul’s eyes, I see many angels at Mass.


  1. Our Lady.


Wherever Christ our Lord is, there too is His holy Mother even when I do not see her.  This will be explained later, in the detailed writings.


  1. “Knowledge” with my own image.


Sometimes when I have received knowledge about something without any ‘translation’, my mind has immediately provided an image, and I am aware that this image (alone) comes from my imagination.  It is to be ignored, since worship is so important, but I am permitted to recall it later on, since Our Lord prompted my imagination to clothe - as it were - His knowledge, for my encouragement and the encouragement of others.


  1. Memory.


In these writings, when I recall some great grace or moment or action or decision, I have noted ‘(M)’ for memory - meaning that the picture painted of that occasion is of what I recall with my memory of everyday life at the time. 


‘(U)’ denotes understanding; that is: not a mere insight into something from thought or meditation, but a sudden gift of understanding, similar to knowledge, though not as extraordinary in its intensity or purity.  It is more like a sunrise in the soul, with regard to something told, than like the narrow, blinding, piercing beam of pure Knowledge to the soul, unknown, in prayer.  However, it is a gift.  It is quite different from the experience of light ‘dawning’ in one’s intellect, in thought.


  1. Scripture.


‘(S)’ denotes the words of Holy Scripture used by God our Father or by Christ Himself to teach me something in particular about God, or about my soul, or to instruct, command, rebuke or encourage me - all this with great impact and immediacy, quite unlike hearing other parts of Scripture read aloud.  These phrases are directed to me with clarity and power, and I understand far more than the simple words suggest, but not by thought or by imagination, but by grace.


I must add that all the numbers given above (1-16) are given only to help the reader to follow my thoughts during these few pages.


The different types and stages of prayer are described more fully in a separate work, and there (in “Prayer-in-Union” which includes the aptly-named “Categories”) I have listed these stages and have labelled and numbered them more succinctly.”



Words from the Father.


I suppose it was in 1991 that I began to walk along the final stretch of my journey to meet the Father; and every year since then has been outwardly busy but has brought increasing joy and peace to my soul.  It’s with amazement and gratitude that I now look back, and see how thoroughly Christ had prepared me to receive - from His Infinite goodness - occasional brief teachings from the Father. 


It was on July 27th in 1991 that Christ reminded me, of Himself, (in T:963) that THE FATHER AND I ARE ONE(Jn 10:30)At the same time Christ taught me how to rest ‘in Christ,’ by the Spirit’s power, in the Father’s presence, in prayer; and He assured me that by such a prayerful repose in the height of contemplation I am brought as close to the Father as it is possible to be, in earthly life.  This reminder of the Oneness of the Godhead - the Trinity in Unity - was Christ’s way of holding me firm in that belief just as I was about to receive far more frequent teachings in prayer specifically from the Father’s ‘heart’ rather than from Christ’s own lips.



A new ‘stance’ in prayer.


It was in August 1991 (see T:971) that we were all reminded at church, in the Holy Scriptures, that: “YOUR SONS WILL ALL BE TAUGHT BY YAHWEH” (Is 54:13); and Christ urged me, in the same month (in T:975) to be like a true child with Him, in simplicity and trust, as I prayed and received teachings in prayer almost daily.  Furthermore, I was shown (in T:977) how to stand before the Father in unutterable peace, and how to pray Christ’s prayer of trust, sacrifice and obedience.  Then, two days later, on August 19th, Christ spoke to me as I began my daily intercessions (T:978). He urged me: “Ask the Father.


Christ was leading me to adopt a new ‘stance’ in prayer: urging me to look ‘past’ Him to the Invisible Father.  Christ wanted me to be perpetually aware, first, that it is only through Him, my Saviour, that I have been brought to a wonderful state of friendship with God in prayer and conversation. He wanted me never to forget that it was by His Passion that my spiritual journey towards Heaven was taking place; but, secondly, He wanted me to go through Him, with Him and “in” Him to the heart of the Godhead both in daily prayer and in everyday life: to dwell in the heart of the Holy Trinity at every moment.


This doesn’t mean that Christ didn’t want to see me pray to Himself any more.  He was encouraging me, rather, to live out fully, in prayer, our belief in the Holy Trinity, a belief by this time regularly confirmed for me as I prayed, though confirmed only by spiritual means, and still through faith.  Christ was training and teaching me how to co-operate very gracefully and yet intelligently with the promptings in prayer of His Holy Spirit, so that it would be as if I were always standing at the ‘centre’ of Divine Life.


Prayer from within God’s ‘heart’.


Some time later on, Christ explained this more fully by showing me (in T:2513B), that when we look at God as if from ‘outside’ we are like persons who gaze at a circle as if from far away; we see ‘only’ a unity.  Then He explained that if we pray to God by praying wholly “in” Him - which means praying to the Father, but praying while dwelling wholly at the heart of Divine Life through Christ, and in the Holy Spirit’s power - it is as though we stand to pray at the centre of a circle; and we cannot therefore ‘see’ the whole of the circle, but rather whatever is “in front” of us.  When we pray to God from within God’s heart, therefore, we don’t usually describe our prayer as a meeting or conversation simply with ‘God’; rather, we identify which of the Three Divine Persons is communicating with us at a particular moment.


I didn’t understand all that at the time.  I mean that I had no idea that one could ‘meet’ the Father in this life in the way which was going to be revealed to me later on.  But I was content to follow Christ in prayer as usual, knowing that nothing that I was learning was against Catholic teaching; and I continued to send all my writings for unofficial approval, year by year, to the same Jesuit Father.  By his kind response to my first set of writings, with his assurance that, in his opinion, God had ‘intervened,’ and that my work was orthodox and ought to be published, he had made me very happy; and the knowledge of his kindness helped to lessen my nervousness whenever I took another package of writings to the post-office, to send them off to him for checking.


The nervousness I mention was due to the realisation, when I’d stood with my hand up to the letterbox with one of the earlier packages, that there was no turning back.  My life could never remain the same, once I’d consented to let some of my work and therefore my life be weighed and examined outside the small circle which is our family circle and our parish.  I once experienced a few moments of sheer terror, before making yet another act of trust in God and in His Will for my life; then I posted the parcel and continued with my shopping.



A little ‘death’.


In one way or another, Christ rewarded me for every act of trust; and more and more, I was able to feel confident of Christ’s love for me.  I showed Him every thought of my mind and every movement of my heart.  That’s why, on 16th September in 1991, when I was trying not to slacken in fervour, and was longing to do Christ’s Holy Will in everything, I went to Holy Mass; and as the Word said in Scripture: “WE CARRY WITH US IN OUR BODY THE DEATH OF JESUS” (2 Co 4:10), I showed Christ a little death which, by His grace, I had freely accepted for love of Him.  I offered it in union with His Holy Sacrifice; and at the very moment that I showed Christ the struggle, and the ‘wound’, I suddenly heard within my soul:-


                        Never regret the struggle and pain of your self-offering to Me, as you try to obey Me by accepting each little death to self, and as you unite your offering to My Sacrifice of the altar.  “This is the highest kind of love.” (T:994A #1)


My heart ached at receiving such consolation; but Christ continued to teach me.  He told me:-


                        Rejoice, amidst your trials.  Take comfort from My showing you that this type of love - of honouring, by sacrifice, My known Will, in love and obedience - most resembles My love for mankind. (T:994A #2)


As I began to think about how the sacrifices I’d made had been outweighed by my many failings, Christ told me:-


                        Consider the simple reason why one as weak and sinful as yourself should have been led to such a loving union with Me: “it was through your surrender!”  When you willingly agreed to make a great sacrifice, solely in order to please Me, such an utter gift of your will to Me - inspired by My Spirit - was the channel by which I was ‘enabled’ to pour My grace upon and through you.  Such is My goodness and generosity. (T:994A #3)


A warning about complacency.


On another day at Holy Mass, when I showed Christ - with ever more honesty - every one of my heart’s secrets and all my true thoughts, He rewarded me again with Unknowing Union. He showed me a little later:-

                        Be glad that you can follow in My footsteps.  Through sacrifice, you imitate Me.  I did My work alone, in pain, and lonely, but determined above all to carry on in obedience to the Father and to be faithful to the end. (T:999 #2)


Then one day, at Holy Mass, I heard the words from the book of Job, in Holy Scripture: “I HAVE BEEN HOLDING FORTH ON MATTERS I CANNOT UNDERSTAND, ON MARVELS BEYOND ME AND MY KNOWLEDGE” (Jb 42:3) ..... “AND IN DUST AND ASHES I REPENT” (Jb 42:6).  I was awe-struck, once more, thinking about God’s goodness and my failings.


Then when I reflected that these words were as true now as in 1964, Christ comforted me, and accepted all the hopes and prayers and people that I entrusted to Him.  He led me deeper into humility, and taught me:-


                        Never forget the time when you were almost entirely ignorant of My Church and of My real wishes.  It is I Who have brought you to your present joy and security; you are entirely dependent on My Love and on My graces, and so you ought never to grow complacent. (T:997)


But since He always wants to see me cheerful and grateful,  He told me:-


                        Rejoice in your union with Me, as I lift you up towards Heaven and ‘towards’ the Father.  With what an intimate and true union you can present My Sacrifice to the Father, the more you resemble Me in the wounds and sacrifices of love. (T:1000 #1)



Words from the Father.


At the end of September 1991 (in T:1003) the Father taught me with startling clarity about the essence of the self-offering which He invites us all to make; and He did so by holding up Christ’s Passion before me, as a teacher holds up a story-book before a child, to illustrate an important message.  Through showing me Christ’s wounds, the Father showed me the meaning of discipleship; and this happened on a day when I was in danger of becoming despondent, and was struggling just to ‘keep going.’


This happened on 28th September, when I’d been to Mass in the morning, and was still battling with temptations from within and without. I was strengthened and comforted by some words from Holy Scripture: “I WILL BE A WALL OF FIRE FOR HER ALL ROUND HER, AND I WILL BE HER GLORY IN THE MIDST OF HER” (Zc 2:9).  Then I found myself struggling again during the evening Mass.


As I prayed to the Father about my weakness and sinfulness, I said to Him:- “Abba - I offer You Christ our sacrifice, our reparation”.  Then I was suddenly shown a vivid image in prayer; it was the sight of Christ at the time of His scourging; and at the same time Christ Himself taught me:-


                        Understand the worth of My suffering and sacrifice, through which reparation was made for the sins of mankind; but don’t imagine that My torments were - in themselves - somehow satisfying for the Father to behold.  Listen to the Father, as He assures you:


It is Love that counts.”


                        My supreme and utter sacrifice of Myself, in Love, is what redeemed you.  It was because of Love that I came to earth to save you.  It was because of Love that, during My life on earth, I willingly travelled wherever the Father led Me, in order to speak Truth, even accepting mockery, arrest, and trial, rather than be disobedient.  I even bared My back for the scourging, before going on to be crucified. (T:1003 #1)


                        Consider how horribly I suffered, during the scourging.  Listen to the Father speaking, as He shows - by an image - the terrible wounds which were inflicted upon Me:


“It was sin did this.”


                        Understand, therefore, that your Heavenly Father does not devise tortures for His beloved people, although He inspires brave and loving people to make sacrifices on behalf of others.  So you can profess that God Willed the Sacrifice, yet men caused My Blood to flow.  (WC+ OIL: 1003)   (T:1003 #2)


“God Willed the Sacrifice”.


Here, I was astonished at the richness of the teaching: and also at the fact that, as well as Christ, the Father had spoken to me yet again; and as I was shown the image of Christ’s naked and wounded back, and saw it bleeding from the scourging, I understood more deeply than ever that sinful people like ourselves were the cause of Christ’s pain.


This is such a great Mystery that I hardly dare to write anything else; yet: truly, Christ showed me:-


                        Believe in the Father’s Wisdom.  The Sacrifice which was offered by Me, His Divine Son, on behalf of mankind, is a great Mystery; yet you can be sure that the Father’s Will “encompasses” all that He permits to happen on this earth, or has ever permitted.  The Father - the Righteous One - is not pleased by wounds and pain and suffering, although, in the mysterious and holy Sacrifice which was My Passion and Death, they were “necessary”.  Yet the Father permits them, and He delights in the love and obedience and thanksgiving which have been offered by Myself and by My Saints, even amidst our torments. (T:1003 #3)


                        Look upon the subject of My holy Passion as something sacred.  You have read in Holy Scripture that no-one unworthy ought to venture onto especially holy places; so, My sufferings can be seen as holy ground on which only a prayerful friend of Mine might venture.  My Passion is so holy and awesome that no-one ought to speak of it lightly, cynically or carelessly. (T:1003 #4)


                        Encourage others to look upon My Passion with reverence, since there - you can tell them - “God was suffering for sinful men”; and all who turn towards Me ought to ‘look’ upon My suffering and repent of their sins, or keep silent. (T:1003 #5)


An uplifting reminder.


How grateful I was, to have been led to a deeper understanding of Christ’s Passion; and how kind is Christ.  Every such ‘teaching’ which might have unnerved me or made me sombre has been ‘balanced’, it seems, by something very uplifting.  Christ told me one day, soon afterwards, for example:-


                        Believe in My Love for you.  “I love you all the time!”  I’m glad that you have learned to confide in Me; your trust is well-founded, since I never change.  I Who loved you many years ago - as you well know - love you just as much today; and you are right to trust in Me and in My Almighty power. (T:1016 #1)


                        Persevere, quietly, with the task which I have entrusted to you, and remain unconcerned about the outcome.   Everything which frightens you can be overcome or endured by My enduring grace. (T:1016 #2)


Infallible prayer.


Within a short time - on All Soul’s Day, November 2nd, 1991 -  as I rested peacefully in prayer, in Christ’s own praise, in Holy Communion, I offered to the Father Christ’s own perpetual praise, and trusted in Christ’s merits; and then I was suddenly reminded of why I can be so confident in prayer.  Christ told me:-


                        Aim to live in unceasing union with Me, so that My prayer and yours will be ‘One Prayer’ to the Father. (T:1020 #1)


                        Offer My Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as the most powerful prayer for every good intention.  There, at the altar, I offer My Divine  Praise, My infinite thanks, My perfect reparation and My perfect pleas. (T:1020 #3)


Understand something about the perfection of your worship, during the Holy Mysteries; that perfection is due entirely to Myself, Jesus Christ your God and Saviour, Who am Really Present before you. (T:1020 #4)


                        Proclaim, joyfully, that which the Father is teaching you about My holy Sacrifice of Cross and altar:


                        “Jesus’ prayer is the best prayer.

                        Jesus’ prayer is infallible.

                        His praise is perfect,

                        His reparation is infinite,

                        His thanksgiving cannot be surpassed,

                                      His pleas cannot be refused.” (T:1020 #5)


                        Remember that during the offering of the Holy Sacrifice I ask the Father - on behalf of you My brothers and sisters - for many gifts, all of which are granted.  So the best and most effective prayer for an earthly friend is for My Holy Sacrifice to be offered for that person’s intentions; and the best and most powerful prayer for a departed soul - ‘best’ because it is prayed by Myself - is My Holy Sacrifice, offered as a plea for pardon and Salvation. (T:1020 #7)


The ‘Source’ of Divine Love.


It was wonderful for me to see, day by day, that Christ was as keen to comfort my heart with tenderness as to feed my mind with Truth.


One day in Communion, wordlessly, He explained that I must never think that He doesn’t love me.  It may be that His presence seems obscured sometimes by the noises and distractions which arise from work or ill-health, or from times of turmoil.  Yet: here He is - Who loves me in all circumstances.


Christ spoke to me  on the Vigil of the Feast of Christ the King,  at Holy Mass. I had been truly Reconciled, in preparation for the Sacrament of the Sick; and in the midst of my trials and heart-ache I found that Christ came to me in Holy Communion and showed me:-


                        Entrust your whole life to Me, and make especial efforts to be trusting in Holy Communion.  “Now that I am here, is there anything to worry about?!”  There is no situation on earth where I am not ultimately “in control”, even though I have granted you free-will.  There is no-one - whose welfare concerns you - who is not known by Me.  There is no-one on earth whose opinion should cause you to fear, when you are trying to do My Holy Will from moment to moment, obedient to My Holy Church.  It is My opinion which ‘counts’! (T:1028 #1)


                        Let Me guide and reassure you.  In longing for, and loving wholeheartedly, My Divine Will, you are most surely open to the action of My grace and are most surely led along the path to Life. (T:1028 #2)


I knew by then that the “WAY OF LIFE” (Ac 2:28) was the path to the Father which was unrolling before me.



Three Persons, teaching.


Towards the end of 1991 it was beginning to seem almost ‘normal’ that I was taught in prayer - albeit very briefly - by the Father as well as by the ‘Son’,  my Saviour.


The Father spoke to me briefly, again, on 26th November (in T:1030) when I showed Him how sorry I was for my failings; but this time He spoke my name, saying “Elizabeth ...”. He reassured me that I live in His Love, and explained that my sins had vanished from His sight.  I was astounded by His tenderness; and also puzzled.  Although in the same month (in T:1034) Christ Himself still taught me about a great number of topics from week to week, it was the Father Who spoke to me in answer to one of my questions about prayer; and each time He spoke I was nearly struck dumb with awe and gratitude, and with a sort of aching compunction because He is so  pure and holy, and because He was kind enough to speak to someone like me.


Of course, when I say that He ‘spoke’ to me, I don’t meant that I heard a human voice, but that He gave me spiritual ‘Knowledge’ as ever, but sometimes in the form of ‘Knowledge-given-as-implanted-soundless-words, in short statements which pierced my soul by their purity and charity.


But as I said, I almost grew used to His teachings in the sense that they became more and more ‘inter-woven’ with Christ’s own teachings, and then - more and more evidently - with the clear illuminations and instructions of the Holy Spirit.  In this way, the Three Divine Persons were leading me into an extraordinary way of prayer and life which has both developed and continued right until now.  But at the end of 1991 I still hadn’t ‘met’ the Father in the way that I’ll try to describe after this necessary preamble.  I still had much to learn; and Christ continued with His preparations.  He inspired me, daily, to new efforts to conquer my faults and to grow in humility and charity; and for every effort, He rewarded me.  The more I trusted in His Mercy and love, the greater were His exclamations of delight in my ‘progress’; and then He began to reward me by revealing His Glory to me in Holy Communion: not once, but (as in T:1037) at frequent intervals: whenever I had made special efforts or sacrifices for His sake; and every moment of bliss encouraged me to turn more swiftly to Christ in every difficulty.


A secret ‘alchemy’.


One night, for example, when I was a bit despondent, I turned to Christ in prayer; I was suddenly urged by Him:-


                        Show your wounded heart to Me.  I, too, suffered on earth; and in wounded hearts I work a secret “alchemy” of Divine Love.  Whenever - prompted by Myself - you turn to Me and you offer freely the pain and hurt of a heart which has been wounded for love of Me, then this accepted pain is the cause of the ‘wound’ which is therefore made within your soul, a wound through which the ‘gold of grace’ is poured out for others! (T:1042 #1)


In order to encourage Hope, I was shown something wonderful a few weeks later, at Holy Mass; it was after the Consecration, and as the Precious Blood of Christ was held up for our veneration.  Christ told me:-


                        Persevere in reverent prayer, during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


                        My plea to the Father, now,

                        in My One Sacrifice of the Cross,

                        which is made present here before you today,

                        sustains My Holy Church in this generation,

                        draws grace upon those who love Me, and

                        changes the hearts of sinners. (T:1064 #1)


                        Approach the sanctuary with awe and wonder.  Revere the holy altar where My holy Sacrifice is offered, and adore Me - your Saviour.  I gave My life for you.  I sacrificed Myself for you, from Love. (T:1064 #2)


With such encouragement as this, I grew more confident about trusting the Lord Who so frequently showed me His wishes.



The ‘fruit’ of penance and sacrifice.


In March, 1992, Christ began to reveal my task more clearly than ever before, through a further series of ‘teachings’.  It was partly because I’d boldly shown Him, one evening, the true yearning of my heart: that even someone like myself  longs to give Him glory and to make Him known and loved, and longs to see His Holy Mother and St. Joseph honoured and loved even more than at present.

I’d been wondering if my small “way of the cross” were to continue in much the same way; and as I asked Christ to help me whatever might happen next, I was suddenly taught a great deal, as Christ told me:-


                        Co-operate with My Will; your soul is like a seed which, planted ‘underground’ in a darkness and loneliness which is permitted by Myself, is softening, changing, growing and ‘splitting’, as a preparation for growth and harvest; and through enduring this time of darkness you can learn patience and obedience. (T:1074 #2)


                        Remember the purpose of your soul’s purification, which is to make your soul fruitful.  Your soul is like a plant from which a shoot has been emerging - and now many shoots appear; the whole ‘plant’ continues to burst upwards with life, until the branches fall sideways, bent under the weight of the abundance of ‘fruit’.  Thus, by the “fruit” which is My work within your life, I am proving that your loving sacrifices have been worthwhile. (T:1074 #3)


                        Have faith that even now I am drawing up the great results which spring from the love which you have shown for Me during your penances and sufferings.  Your renewed and vigorous spiritual life is like a burst of Light, like the light which springs from an indoor firework which - when lit - produces much light and growth.  From so small a device, extraordinary results are brought about during its own destruction; and that “destruction” is like your self-immolation through penance and sacrifice. (T:1074 #4)


                        Consider how - in the natural world - a burst of lava flows from a volcanic mountain after many years of only tiny subterranean movements; the steady flow of fiery light is the product of many earlier and unnoticed ‘fires’.  So it is with the faithful soul; tremendous results or ‘movements’ take place because of earlier penances and purifications. (T:1074 #5)


                        Consider your own life, into which I am lavishly pouring My Light and My instructions, during prayer.  The purifications and sufferings which you have patiently accepted are now leading to fruition.  By My Will, that ‘dying’ of those silent years now produces this “fruit”: My “teachings”. (T:1074 #6)


A white booklet.


Very soon after Christ had given me that teaching about the ‘fruit’ of the past few years, He showed me precisely how I could share it with other people. One day while I was resting at home, I was shown in astonishing simplicity what to do with my writings in order to fulfil Christ’s Will for me.


In an instant, I was shown that the ‘teachings’ could be printed and then given out to friends, who in their turn would pass them on to be read by others; thus, the ‘teachings’ would be spread around in much the same way as the ‘Mass paintings’.


Furthermore, Christ gave me very specific instructions, in a moment of prayer.  He asked me to circulate, privately, a small, plain white booklet which should contain a selection of the major teachings, in a slightly simplified form.  At that stage, it was to have no illustrations. They would appear in a book, later on.  But it ought to have a few introductory words about faith in Christ and trust in His Church - written by myself or by someone else.  I was made to understand that illustrations shouldn’t yet be placed within the text.  It would have proved too complicated at that stage to try to select and print them.


Because I was nervous about relying on my own judgement in such matters, I sought advice before circulating my teachings, although, privately, I immediately began to re-arrange and prepare the writings according to Our Lord’s wishes. I bore in mind the words of Holy Scripture: “FOLLOW RIGHT TO THE END OF THE WAY THAT I MARK OUT FOR YOU ... THEY HAVE NOT PAID ATTENTION; THEY HAVE GROWN STUBBORN AND BEHAVED WORSE THAN THEIR ANCESTORS”, and, in another place: “COME IN: LET US BOW, PROSTRATE OURSELVES, AND KNEEL IN FRONT OF YAHWEH OUR MAKER” (Ps 95:6).  


Then Christ revealed to me that many souls in the Church today are in danger.   He urged me to keep working to save souls, telling me:-


                        Speak to other people about friendship with Me. (T:1087A                    #7)


                        Follow My instructions faithfully.  Your primary task is to encourage people of your own country to be true to the Catholic Faith, first planted here many centuries ago.  Many members of My Church in England are unfaithful to the Faith which they have received from their martyred ancestors, and are blithely endangering their souls. (T:1087A #10)


                        Encourage fellow-Christians in prayer; invite them to adore Me, and to pray with the profound reverence which you all owe Me. (T:1087A #11)


“An Introduction”.


A kind friend offered to type my brief summary of the ‘teachings’; and when her work was finished and when that first edition of the booklet had been printed, I began to distribute copies to any friend or acquaintance who expressed an interest.  Each copy of “Teachings-in-prayer: an introduction” was prefaced by a few pages about conversion and about prayer in daily life.


Christ had explained that although I shrank from publicity I ought to put my name to the book, since I am a witness to His Love; and my future work would consist above all in speaking about what I have seen and learned in prayer.  Then He urged me to go back to my priest, once again, to explain about the little book, since it might cause ‘ripples’ in the Church; and although there was no strict need for me to seek approval from the authorities about communicating privately with friends and acquaintances, courtesy demanded that I mention this new project: a project planned by Christ, to encourage His People to be faithful to prayer, and to Him.


As I had to explain to different people, later on, the ‘teachings-in-prayer’ can be seen as containing something for everyone, even though they’re very personal.


The general advice about prayer is for everyone, that is, the advice about repentance, reverence, and putting God first, and about making time for prayer - and remaining faithful.


The instructions about the Church are for everyone, since Christ’s wish is that everyone hears His Good News about the forgiveness of sins, and that they freely come into the Church - into the Catholic Church, with its Sacred Tradition, and the Holy Scriptures, and the lavish gifts in the Sacraments, and also the guidance of the Holy Father and of the other Bishops, and many more good things.


Quite a number of the ‘instructions’ were just for me, at first, since they are about my job of writing, and sharing the teachings.  But they are for other people indirectly.  Christ wants people to know that - even if we feel a bit cowardly - it’s always best to trust in Him and do what He wants.  We don’t usually see where we’re ‘going’, but it’s important to try to follow His plans and not our own; and He can help everyone to do this, just as He has helped someone as tired and timorous as myself to undertake this peculiar task.



A ‘normal’ life.


In case it seems that there was nothing happening in my life except frequent prayer-times, I must say that very little of what I describe about the visions and teachings was evident to anyone else, as I carried on with my usual cooking and shopping.  Conversations and hospital visits  were mixed in with the writing and painting, and all the normal things of domestic life, with minor crises and all sorts of delights; and some of those delights were wholly unexpected.  It seems to me now that, in the early 1990s, the changes in both domestic life and in prayer heralded a period of fruition - although I didn’t know it then. I’m astonished to realise just how many good things arrived all at once. 


As Christ continued to teach me at Mass every day or two, He kept introducing wholly unexpected joys and challenges into my life. For example, it was when I’d spent a few weeks at the beginning of 1992 writing the first draft of this ‘Prologue’, in order to be obedient to Christ, that my elder son suddenly announced that he thought he was being called to be a Catholic priest.  I could hardly contain my joy at the knowledge that he was even considering that vocation.  Then, at the beginning of April of the same year, twenty of my “Mass Paintings” were exhibited - though not for sale, of course - in a side chapel in Westminster Cathedral, in Holy Week, to encourage people in their meditations.  Then when I was at home one evening, enjoying a bit of peace, and praying as well, I was astonished to be shown by Christ that no part of my life must be seen as wasted. He assured me that even the ‘difficult’ years had been worthwhile, and He showed me, in an instant, the quiet gathering-together which was now taking place of all the strands of my life.  He explained to me:-


                        Never look upon any part of your past life as ‘wasted’.  You have been following a lengthy path, coming upwards towards Me - as if in a spiral.  But the progress is constantly ‘upwards’. (WC:1079B) (T:1079B #1)


                        Recall the path along which I have led you, through all events, circumstances, triumphs and set-backs.  I was never absent, but was always present, in bad times as much as in  good. (T:1079B #2)


                        Notice how everything which has happened in your life - and this includes the apparently unimportant or puzzling things as well as the good - has contributed to shaping and fitting you for the task which I now wish you to do.  Even recent restrictions and renunciations are helping you to concentrate on your work and on My Will! (T:1079B #3)


                        Be sure that just as I have led you throughout your past life, I can and will lead you through the rest of your life. (T:1079B #4)


                        Remember the trials and failures from which I have delivered you.  All that you have undergone in past years  has prepared you for your present efforts to fulfil My Will for you.  You have seen for yourself that I have drawn good out of every evil, since I cannot be ‘defeated’. (T:1079B #5)


At the same time, Christ urged me:-


                        Don’t keep your joy and gratitude to yourself.  My gifts are to be shared.  Share My teachings with friends and family. As your courage grows, you can say to others - through the written word and through conversation: ‘I have seen the Lord,’ and then: ‘Repent, and believe the Gospel!’ (T:1079B #6)


                        Don’t be afraid.  You can tell that My grace is definitely at work in you when you continue in very quiet but steady work for Me, despite many difficulties. (T:1080 #1)


                        Be  grateful for the “hiddenness” in which you work.    You


are safer in ignorance of all the things which - by My grace - are being done through you and your work than if you were  aware  of  what  is  really   happening.    Your present

                        solitude leaves you less exposed to temptations to pride. (T:1080 #2)


                        Be glad to accept insults for the sake of My Gospel. (T:1080 #3)


                        Comfort yourself, if anyone thinks you misguided or mad, by remembering that “that is what they said about Me!” (T:1080 #4)


The distribution of booklets.


Whenever I was out and about in the village, and whenever it seemed appropriate, I continued to speak to one person or another about prayer, and God, and offered a free booklet. As I mentioned earlier, my parish priest had managed to find a Jesuit priest who was willing to examine my work, in order to reassure him about its orthodoxy.  After a year-long wait, we had been reassured about the ‘teachings’; and that’s why I had no qualms about offering newly-printed booklets not only to relations and to distant friends but also to my fellow-parishioners.


Some people were interested.  Others made no comment; and some never spoke to me again, though whether from fear, awe or embarrassment Our Lord didn’t at that time allow me to know. I didn’t ask for comments; I just did what I thought I ought to do, sometimes feeling a fool but knowing that that wasn’t important.  I ‘offered up’ every humiliating encounter.  I knew that if God had given me a special task to do, He would grant my prayers; He would give me the grace to persevere, and to fulfil His Will for my life. 


There was no special feeling in my heart or mind that I was busy with a privileged task.  This book-sharing was one more job on my list of jobs to do, in the sense that I did it as well as I could, and then carried on with something more urgent.  I didn’t have much time to reflect upon it, because of my normal chores; and besides, Christ had shown me very  little about its full significance - and for very good reasons, which He explained later on.  He told me, three or four years later, that the lengthy period of time He’d allowed to pass by as I initiated conversations about the books, and had several more books printed, was so that I’d be able to shed my crippling self-consciousness, so that I’d have further time to grow in humility, and so that there would be an astonishing amount of work ready and available later on, and all at once, for the “great outpouring” which He was arranging should take place at exactly the right time.


Later that month, I gave my first-ever talk on prayer, to a local group.  I spoke for far too long, because I was so nervous; but it was wonderful to be able to encourage a few more people in things I know to be important. 


Then, just as I was painfully accepting what seemed like a ‘deafening silence’ from many of those who had accepted booklets from me about Christ’s teachings, I was very much comforted (in T:1128) by another extraordinary visit from Our Lady: not a little glimpse of her, with a little teaching, as has occurred in prayer from time to time, but another special visit; and it wasn’t even in England, but in Spain, when I was on holiday with my husband, on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James, in Santiago de Compostella.  It was on 26th May 1992 that Our Lady astonished me by her tenderness, by her patient listening, by her holy courtesy, and by the way in which she encouraged me to keep silent about difficulties, and to keep on being willing to suffer and to pray so that God’s Will would be accomplished. Yet I shouldn’t have been surprised, since she’s just like her son - always gentle and loving.


In August of that year, when I’d spent a lot of time putting together another collection of teachings and paintings to show to our priest, as well as doing the usual work, I was praying fervent prayers at the Requiem Mass of a parishioner, although I was tired.  But Christ said to me, in Holy Communion: “Thankyou for all you do for Me, Lizzie!” and I felt so ashamed, once again, that Our Saviour is so grateful and courteous, when I’ve been so reluctant to do difficult things for Him (T:1172).


Yearning to serve Christ.


It seems strange and wonderful to me, now that I can see how everything has happened for my benefit and for the progress of this work at what has been obviously ‘the right time’. In September 1992 I had just celebrated my fiftieth birthday.  My youngest child was about to go away to University.  Life was hectic but fulfilling - even though the whole matter of my ‘being taught’ was beginning to change my life and the life of the family not only inwardly but also outwardly, as more than one room became submerged beneath piles of papers, box-files and prayer-paintings.  And it was at that most-perfect-possible moment that Christ began  to show me in greater depth the meaning of life-in-God, and therefore made me yearn with all my heart to live to serve Him.  I yearned to be able see Him and to be with Him forever.  The desire began to consume me.  This was the approximate time at which I began to approach prayer-times not with a dry sort of hope but with joy and yearning: not just with the knowledge that by sincere prayer I would please the Holy Trinity, but with a longing to be drawn yet again and again into the ‘heart’ of God.


That’s one of the reasons why, later on, when the church was re-opened for about ten hours each day, I began to go to church for a short while every afternoon,  when possible, as well as to Mass in the mornings. I was praying all day, of course, in one way or another; but the extra commitment brought extra inner strength and joy, and also - Christ taught me - greater help to others: and all the time, in the nineteen-nineties, in order to please Christ, and to do my plain duty, I’ve been switching my mind from Christ’s Glory, to a new recipe for chicken, and back to His teachings - and then to the time of a dental appointment, as I’ve learned to ‘mesh’ gracefully together every aspect of my life and every hope of my soul.



Yearning to give Christ glory.


It was in the autumn of that very busy and joyful year that Christ steered, or rather, ‘drew’ me in prayer through two further purifications, as an immediate preparation for a way of life at the heart of the Holy Trinity.

On the second of September 1992, we heard at Mass, in Holy Scripture: “HAPPY THE NATION WHOSE GOD IS YAHWEH, THE PEOPLE HE HAS CHOSEN” (Ps 33:12). I was so grateful for this reminder of my current state of joy, that I greeted Christ fervently in Holy Communion, repentant of every distraction and weakness.  But He led me into what had now become my one perpetual prayer: a plea to be able to glorify the Father and Christ His Son, with a plea for sanctity: and then a plea for conversions, so that others - with myself, I hope - will be brought to the Heavenly Kingdom.  I also prayed that Christ’s Holy Mother will be venerated, and Glory given to the Most Holy Spirit Whose power is at work as our hearts are changed and sanctified; and it was because of these fervent desires and because the best moment had arrived for Christ’s purpose, that Christ came to my soul in Holy Communion on the following day, approaching me almost as ‘Fire’: as my Lord and God, in the purity and power of His Divinity (T:1178)


A strange feeling of dread overcame me, as I considered my sinfulness and my many failings.  I was suddenly made aware, by the goodness of God, that I was about to step up to a new stage in the spiritual life; yet it was made plain - all at once - that this stage would not be achieved without my free consent.


A living flame of Christ’s Love.


The nature of the change wasn’t shown to me.  All in a split second I was being invited by God to consent yet again  to His plan for my life and for my soul; and that consent had to be given in naked faith. 


Always, it seems, this is God’s way with the soul who trusts in Him and whom He encourages to trust in Him even more.  He asks for a further demonstration of trust - and then magnificently rewards the soul for that trust; and the soul, having made such an act, has of course advanced closer to God’s heart and has become stronger; and that’s what happened in 1992 , when I gave my silent consent to His Will, but when I also whispered to Christ - Who is always so just and kind - “Lord, have pity!”


Even as I spoke, I ‘saw’ that Christ was ‘enveloping’ me in His fiery Glory.  I can describe this in no other way; and in that extraordinary meeting, He changed me, and also showed me that what Holy Scripture describes is true of His nature and of His work, that: “ ... OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE” (Hb 12:29); and at the same time He explained to me:-


                        Have courage, and respond to My Will for you as I reveal your true vocation. Surrender to Me, Jesus, as I prepare you for your task.  See how, enveloping you wholly, I approach your soul, almost as Fire,  as I make you a living flame of My Love, a ‘flame’ which is now reaching up in praise, perpetually consuming within itself all that is unworthy, on fire as a lamp before the Father and a Light for  others. (T:1178 #2)


                        Offer perpetual praise to the Father, and help others, by My grace and power. That is the life which you may now lead, if you are ‘fire’ from My Fire, and if you are burning in adoration at every moment. (T:1178 #3)


                        Ponder the marvel of real union with Me.  By the soul’s existence in this holy state it gives Glory to Me at every moment - even in a silent, steady and simple routine in which nothing momentous is done, and which appears to be insignificant. (T:1178 #4)


                        Don’t be perturbed by fading health, diminishing strength, or general physical decline. The interior of the soul which belongs wholly to Me is wholly flame, burning upwards, full of life and movement, even though the frail body which ‘surrounds’ the soul should weaken. (WC:1178) (T:1178 #5)


                        Be ready to ‘fade away’ into My silent embrace, as all earthly and bodily things are abandoned. (T:1178 #6)


With the Mind of Christ.


In some way that I didn’t understand, Christ had changed my soul, which was now burning with praise for Him.  Then, soon afterwards, Christ opened my eyes to some of the effects of our union and His graces.


One week-day in September, I paid a visit to the shrine of Saint Alban, to ask for his prayers; and Christ comforted me through His teachings about the Angels who guard the shrine (T:1186 #2) and then about the way in which His close friends gaze upon ancient sites - or new projects.  Then when I’d finished my visit, and was outside the church, walking towards my car, I thought about the sad history of Saint Alban’s Abbey, about the shortness of life, and about my own brief residence in this area and this era; then Christ suddenly recommenced His teaching.


He reassured me, with astonishing clarity, that my way of surveying and ‘weighing’ various persons and institutions conforms very closely to His own. Christ reassured me about the close degree of union with Him which I now enjoyed, telling me:-


                        Notice how much more surely and steadily you are being led to look upon everything with My Mind!  I give this gift to those who live in a true union with Me.  Everything upon which you gaze, whether persons, communities, histories and traditions, problems, tasks, trials and joys, and places and claims and duties, can be seen as with My Mind.  Furthermore, not only can they be seen; they can be probed, weighed and ‘touched’ as if with My understanding gaze.  It is as though I am looking ‘through’ you, with My loving concern and My truthful analysis; and all this is for the cause of truth, and for a true understanding of the meaning of life on earth; it is therefore also for the good of souls and for the Glory of the Father. (T:1186 #4)


Received as an embrace.


It seemed such a pity I hadn’t always seen things as Christ sees them; but Christ nearly broke my heart for joy, only a week later, as He reassured me even about the ‘bad’ times, by saying:-


                        Never regret your past penances, trials and sacrifices.  Never bewail a single moment of the contrition and repentance in which you struggled during many years of darkness.  I love you, and I have always delighted in your love for Me. Everything you have offered to Me - every tear and every act of love - has been received by Me as an embrace.  Your sorrowful embrace has been like the embrace of the weeping woman in the Gospel story.  “You did this to Me,”  through your great efforts to make amends; and you have touched My Heart! (T:1187 #1)


                        You must believe - even of the ‘difficult’ times - that I have delighted in every good thing you have done for Me and in every wrong thing avoided, even in times when you received from Me no apparent glimmer of Light, nor any apparent response. (T:1187 #2)


                        Never doubt that there is a good reason for My apparent ‘distance’ from the soul at certain times.  A soul which has turned away from me can feel such a ‘distance’; yet I permit a similar perception to linger within the soul of one who consents to undergo a spiritual training. (T:1187 #3)


                        Remember that I am always at work, teaching and sanctifying My friends.  By My Will, I can ‘bury’ someone in a dark night of ignorance and blindness, until that soul - with faith strengthened by My merciful care and training - has been prepared to come out into the Light of My comfort, and is at last enabled to bear the joy which I wish to lavish upon her soul in Holy Communion. (T:1187 #4)



A lingering ambition.


Gradually, I became used to the thought of having to claim that I am “LIVING IN THE LIGHT” (1 Jn 2:10); but my hesitation wasn’t due to any shame at proclaiming the plain teachings of the Church, or announcing my faith in Christ - as I’d done whenever necessary for many years, even though I hadn’t set a good example.  The reluctance I was now fighting had arisen for two reasons: first, that in a secular culture - and amongst Catholics who had been affected by that culture - I met considerable embarrassment when some people realised that I was inviting them to read about the supernatural and about visions of Christ.


In my heart of hearts, I sympathised with them, because I’d probably have run a mile if someone had come to me a few years ago not simply with a story of conversion but also with information about messages from Christ.  I’m such a cynic at heart - though nowadays desperately keen not to sit in judgement on anyone.  I could cope with embarrassment, however; but what I found difficult was coping with the feelings of rejection when certain persons avoided me, or when they greeted me and conversed with me but never again mentioned my work: either afraid that I’d given them evidence of dementia, or so perplexed that they preferred to ignore the subject - or, a few of them, so awed at God’s work that they couldn’t hold a normal conversation.  Whatever the reason for their being ill-at-ease, it meant that some friendships were ship-wrecked and others made difficult; and although I continued to “offer up” all the distress, my heart ached, and I felt very lonely, even in the midst of kind people and a busy routine. When it was a struggle to go on, and whenever I wept, I did so in private; and meanwhile I found it immensely difficult, also, to explain about the teachings to the different members of my close family.


The study of Theology.


There was what I can call a negative aspect of the physical process of writing that caused me a few heart-pangs; I’m referring to the fact that I was to be so busy writing for several years to come - indeed, until the present day - that there wasn’t a minute in which to fulfil what had remained a lingering hope in my heart - that I’d be able to study, by post, for a Theology degree.


It’s rather strange, I suppose, even to think of being disappointed at not gaining a certificate in Theology when the Word Incarnate was teaching me; but that’s how silly I’ve been - as I’ve shown Him in prayer, now that I no longer hide anything from Him. He knows how my heart had still yearned to do something which would meet with approval from my peers. 


In itself, study is a ‘neutral’ thing; its value is surely dependent on whether we really ought to be studying: on whether it’s the Will of God for us at a particular time.  There’s more than one sort of danger in being ambitious in this way  The Church has always warned us against unbridled curiosity; and it’s surely a sad thing if anyone studies solely for peer-group acclamation or for eventual worldly glory; so I knew that I could please God best and also do what was best for my own soul by avoiding that sort of self-indulgence, and by agreeing, instead, to spend all my spare time doing work that it was wise to have inspected by priests, and that was rejected or never spoken about by certain acquaintances and friends.  But that’s why Christ urged me so often in the ‘teachings’ - as you can see even in Volumes Three and Four - to surrender every remaining ambition; and that’s also why He has rewarded me so lavishly. 


Christ knows that weak people find it difficult to make sacrifices for His sake.  He delights in the love which drives us to make them, whatever our feelings; and He has never failed to encourage me to look upon it as a privilege that I’m allowed to follow in His footsteps.  For example, it was on 19th September 1992, that Christ urged me, in prayer:-


                        Follow My inspiration and surrender your entire life to Me, whatever might happen. (T:1188 #1)


                        Be joyful about My choice for you.  It is a cause for joy, to be led by me along My ‘Way of Suffering’.  It is a privilege to be able to walk  where I walked,  and to be  as if hand-in-

                        hand with Me, Jesus, Who was delivered from death! (T:1188 #2)


Yet I’m ashamed that I was even thinking about my assorted problems.  On that very day, my elder son was packing, ready to go to Seminary in Rome; and the thought that he might have a vocation to the Sacred Priesthood never failed to thrill me.



Entering the Fire.


When I had learned to be bolder in speaking to various people about God’s goodness and also to be bolder about confiding every thought and longing of my heart to God in prayer, I was led by Christ in Glory before the Father to confide my remaining fears to Him (T:1194); and the Father rewarded me for every frank confession of weakness.  Two days later, therefore, on October 10th 1992, Christ filled my soul with His burning Glory once again: with a spiritual Fire; and there, in the Father’s sight, Christ invited me to step wholly into that Fire, so that I could be further purified by God’s own action.  Christ taught me, as a kind parent speaks when leading a young adult to develop a new maturity:-


                        Co-operate fully in your purification.  I can achieve this within you, very simply, in prayer, when, through My grace, you display all your failings.  Thus, of your own free will, you ‘open’ your soul to the Father, and by your contrition you invite Him to ‘scour’ the interior of your soul; and this is how - by the power of His Glory - your Heavenly Father ‘burns’ away and so banishes your failings. (T:1189 #2)


                        Prepare to plunge into My purifying prayer of union.  It is My Divine Love which is the purifying Fire which  - through this Holy Communion - I am inviting you to enter.  One who would be close to Me must bravely step towards Me - so bright and glorious - and towards My Divine ‘furnace’ which is My vast, warm and all-enveloping, pure and fiery Love.  (WC:1195) (T:1195 #1)


                        Leave the ‘safety’ of your self-centred prayer.  Gaze towards Me as if from the edge of a cliff; by a free act of your will, resolve to step fully into the ‘flames’ which you see around you.  If you wish to co-operate in this purifying prayer of union, you need only - bravely - wait in silence and ignorance as My perfect Glory does its work in you, and

                        throws its splendour Heavenwards in praise of the Father. (T:1195 #2)


                        Understand that there is no way in which anyone can hope to purify himself solely by his own power.  In prayer, just as after death, it is My own true Glory which burns away all dross and imperfection.  Nothing can exist in this ‘Fire’ except whatever is true, eternal, pure, proven and strong. (T:1195 #3)


                        Notice, more clearly now, that your good but self-chosen penances have been only a preparation for the true purification which comes from Me.  Through My presence within the soul, sins are burnt up and destroyed, if you give your permission. (T:1195 #4)


                        Let nothing remain in your heart which might hinder My work within you. It is My Will that nothing remains in your heart and soul which is not part of the Work of Glory.  No thought, longing, action, hope, joy or memory should remain in your heart except those which spur you on, in the One Way which is My Way, in union with My Most Holy Spirit. (T:1195 #5)


True Communion.


Nothing could have been achieved without God’s invitation and my cooperation: but five days later, when the major purifications had been completed, Christ led me to the heart of the Holy Trinity.  He shared with me His own Understanding of life in a true Communion. It was at Mass, at the ‘Per Ipsum’, that He showed me the astonishing consequences of a meeting between a purified soul and her Saviour.  He lifted me entirely into His Light, and taught me:-


                        Rejoice in your privilege;  listen to My teaching;  be glad to  share that which I now reveal to you about  your reverent and Holy Communion:


                        Communion in God, “in Christ”, resembles

                        the Love of God for God, in God,

                        flowing in the Heart of God

                        in Eternity,

                        in utter purity and majesty and simplicity.


                        This simple and everlasting Love in Heaven

                        is a three-fold Love of Father,

                        Son and Holy Spirit; and when

                        you touch your Heavenly Father

                        and enter His Life,

                        through Me, Jesus,

                        in the Holy Communion which is yours on earth,

                        the Love is the same Love,

                        The Persons are the same,

                        but you are now ‘drawn in’ by adoption.

                        The moment is the same,

                        since Love has no end or beginning.

                        The Bliss is the same bliss,

                        though muted, here,

                        lest you be destroyed by joy.

                        Yet, because of all these,

                        you can truly say:

                        ‘Heaven is here;

                        I taste Heaven, in Christ!’

                        (T:1199 #3)


Christ’s own Action.


Such teachings as that - about Holy Communion - provided me with fuel for ever more fervent prayer; and it seemed as though Christ was now longing to bring me to a very much greater understanding of the intertwining of our hearts and lives, and of the ‘interweaving’ of our prayers.  He showed me much more about the Holy Mass, and about my ‘part’ in His prayer to the Father, through our union.  He urged me:-


                        Treasure the Holy Mass.  There is nothing on earth more magnificent or fruitful, nor more worthy of awe and gratitude than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is My own Action. (T:1218 #3)


                        Ponder the marvellous Offering which is yours to offer; all the Glory which I have possessed from all ages is offered to the Father, in My One Holy Sacrifice of the Cross, the very Sacrifice which is now being offered on the altar. (T:1218 #4)


                        Consider how perfect and powerful and worthy of the Father is My glorious Sacrifice of the altar; and see, therefore, that you need not worry about the right words, the right phrase or the right manner in prayer, provided that your intention is true.  You can prove your good intention by your reverent thoughts and behaviour, but - more important for you to know - My praise is perfect and glorious, and My praise is yours, if you are Mine! (T:1218 #5)


                        Don’t let little failings make you downcast; there’s no need for you to search around within your soul for special gifts worthy of being offered to the Father, in an attempt to prove your love and your sincerity.  I, Jesus, am the most pure, holy, and precious Offering that you could make to your Heavenly Father; and I am yours to offer at every Mass, or at every moment in which you voluntarily unite your heart and your thoughts with My Holy Sacrifice. (T:1222)


                        Consider the marvel of the powerful and holy Sacrifice in which you share. My Love of the Father is tremendous, and that Love is expressed powerfully during My eternal offering of Myself in the Holy Sacrifice - and forever.


                        My prayer to the Father is

                        like a wall of flame,

                        Love matching the Father’s Love,

                        Fire meeting Fire,

                        My Will: One with the Father’s Will,

                        My prayer: the same as His:

                        One Fire, in which you share,


                        (WC + OIL:1223A) (T:1223A)



Extra gifts.


As I wrote down Christ’s marvellous teachings and pressed ahead with my task, I had no proof that wonderful results would one day be achieved through my peculiar work. I had faith, and hope, and a conviction that Christ was guiding me; but every now and then a further encouraging gift from God was suddenly presented to me and to the family.


For example, my youngest child - my daughter - announced one day that she, too, was planning to be received into full Communion; and when, on the day after her happy celebration, I was unable to go to Holy Mass yet was full of amazed thanksgiving that my daughter had been received and confirmed at last, I turned to Christ to make my evening prayers, asking Him to be with me in a Spiritual Communion. (T:1240)


He not only came to my soul in that special way, but was with me very powerfully even before I had finished speaking.  He was delighted at my gladness.  Straightaway, He taught me how much He delights in my love; and so I can say that I’ve been rewarded in a thousand different ways for every little sacrifice I’ve ever made in order to please Him.


By the Son, in the Spirit, to the Father.


My daughter was received into the Church in mid-December 1992; and it was in the few weeks before and after that event that the life and work of the Most Holy Trinity was more astonishingly revealed to me. 


The Father’s loving self-revelation through Christ Our Lord was made plain in a wonderful way (in T:1244).  Something of the Holy Spirit’s holiness and beauty was shown to me, and also His manner of guiding us (in T:1249); and it was in the New Year, on January 23rd 1993, that the Father made known to me His acceptance of my offering, by which I mean my earlier dedication to Him of the whole of the rest of my life.  My heart was pierced, in prayer, and was set on ‘fire’ by Love.  Here below, is a necessarily lengthy account of how this all came about.


As if through a window.


It was on the 19th of December of that year that Christ brought me to the Father and revealed Him to me more closely than ever before. During the Mass, at the Sanctus, when I had spoken to Christ once more in sorrow for sin, with heart-felt thanks, too, for wonderful gifts, I was suddenly shown, as if by pure Knowledge and Understanding reinforced by an image, that the Father had decided to reveal Himself to me, at Christ’s request; and yet even that was only the beginning of the ‘revealing’ that has  now continued for several years.


How can I put such sublime things into language?  Yet I have to try. Already, I’ve spent very many pages describing conversations with Christ Our Lord and visits from Our Lady - with descriptions of some of the Heavenly companions who help us on our journey; but nothing I’ve mentioned so far - except the joys of the ‘Alpha and Omega Day’ - had been as heart-achingly precious and significant as the ‘meeting’ with the Father which I must now try to describe.


I was sitting in church, wholly surrendered to God in prayer, as our priest prayed at the altar; then, all-at-once, in a wonderful way, Christ taught me:-


                        Live in perpetual gratitude for My goodness towards you.  You have good cause to be confident in faith, since there is no situation from which I cannot draw blessings upon you. (T:1244 #1)


                        Consider the Father’s Love for you;  He is always longing to pour out His gifts upon His children on earth.  From Him has come the joy which is now yours.  The Father’s Love is over-flowing, warm, generous and tender; and from the bliss of His being - from His perpetual ‘newness’ and youth and Beauty - He delights in giving you good things, good news, and spiritual joy. From His generosity spring all the gifts which delight you - such as the friendship of Myself your Divine Redeemer and of your Heavenly Mother, and the spiritual progress of your family. (T:1244 #2)


                        Turn to Me, Jesus, true God and also true man, Who now appear before you as if silhouetted against the Light of Heaven’s Glory. (T:1244 #3)


At this moment there appeared to the eyes of my soul an image of a beam of Light which shone down from the height of Heaven; and where the beam ended at the earth’s surface, it changed shape.  The straight sides of that bright beam were seen to be man-shaped; and the bright light within that outline of a figure represented - I learned by a soundless gift from God - the Divinity of Christ: the Glory of the Son of God, now made incarnate.


Christ reveals the Father.


By this image and this ‘knowledge’ I was also shown that Christ has the same nature as the Father, although Christ is a distinct Person: One of Three Divine Persons.  I was made to understand in what way Christ can be said to have ‘revealed’ the Father to Mankind.  Christ taught me:-


                        Look at Me, Jesus, to learn about the Divine nature and attributes which were revealed through Me during My life on earth. (T:1244 #4)


                        Believe in Me, Jesus Christ your Lord, Who have come ‘out’ from the Almighty, unseen Father.  I have come out from Him Who is pure, mysterious and powerful, and Who is  a  furnace  of  Love,   inextinguishable;  I,  your Saviour,

                        came from Him, and I have the same Divine nature. (T:1244 #5)


                        Believe in Me, Jesus, Who took flesh from Mary and lived amongst you. I am true God, on fire with Divine Love.  No impurity exists in Me, your glorious Redeemer.  Only through Me has God been fully revealed; I, alone, have given ‘shape’ to Divine Light, in My human nature. (WC:1244A) (T:1244 #6)


Christ, at work in our lives.


There was more.  Christ explained about the Father’s nature, which ‘consists’ of utter Bliss and joy, constant and Eternal.  He told me:-


                        Learn about the Father.  Let Me show you, as you open your heart, in prayer:


                        Delight is!

                        Joy is!

                        He is

                        like Me, Jesus.

                        His Love is the same as My Love;

                        He gives you Myself, His Divine Son,

                         through Whom He is revealed;

                        His Light shines through Me,

                        and I ‘touch’ you for the Father;

                        I touch you now, even here.

                        I am already at work in your life,

                        in the Love of the Father.


                        I give you free gifts, in prayer, gifts from Him; but remember:

                        humility opens the ‘door’. (T:1244 #7)


                        Make every effort to draw even closer to Us: to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Open the ‘door’ of your soul, in prayer. (T:1244 #8)


                        Bend “low” in humility, near the little door of Truth within your soul so that you are poised to see if the door ‘opens’ to release upon you a further torrent of graces.  By humility, be ready to receive gifts from Me in prayer; if you are upright in pride, you cannot see the ‘door’ of the soul - and so cannot receive all the gifts that I wish to give you. (T:1244 #9)


There in the church, as I was praying, it was as if a window had opened in the sky above me, in a spiritual night; I saw, too, that Christ was standing very close to me: and I was shown how Christ is the image of the Father.  It was explained to me, by pure knowledge, that through His humanity, Christ was ‘sent’ as if from that window like a pure beam of Light. Christ was sent to us by the Father to show us what the Father is like; yet Christ is also - and at the same time - the Word of God “embodied” and thus made visible for our Salvation and delight.


Then I saw with rapturous delight that God the Father had appeared at that window. Furthermore, He Who gazed through that window was gazing at me with infinite tenderness; and  I saw that He looked like Christ.


But, Oh! - The heart-stopping tenderness of God: Father and Son. I couldn’t ‘see’ the Spirit Who was guiding and enlarging my understanding; but Christ reassured me:-


                        Consider what a marvel and a Mystery is the Father’s Love.

                        Believe in the Father’s Love.

                        Look upwards in prayer, as I, your Saviour, reveal Him.

                        Look upwards, as if into the darkness

                        of a night sky, where a window opens,

                        and a curtain is drawn aside for a moment

                        so that the Father might gaze on you,

                        and you on Him.

                        He is gazing joyfully upon you; He delights in you!

                        Oh!  What indescribable consolation for your soul:

                        His face is the same as My face, and

                        His Love is the same as that which I, Jesus,

                         have shown to you.

                        His Love - the same as Mine - is fervent,

                        never-ending, transforming, and heart-warming.

                        Share His delight.  He delights in you, His beloved!

                        He is gazing towards you,

                        gazing - as if from the height of Heaven -

                        with a look of unspeakable tenderness.

                        (WC:1244B) (T:1244 #10)


What a gift this was!  But I don’t mean that I learned anything new about God the Father: nothing new to me or to the Church.  I mean that I was shown with heart-breaking clarity just what I was shown by Christ on the Alpha and Omega day.  I was shown by the Father how deeply I am loved; and so life could never be the same, after that; for if you not only believe that God loves you, but know it - and delight in it - you couldn’t be unhappy, even if the whole world were to think you a fool.



The Holy Spirit’s gift.


What a long time I’ve taken just to reach a description of that part of the recent road where, as if by an image, I was shown the Father’s Love.  But His new work for me had only just begun.  He had purified me by His power, in prayer.  He had even shown me how He had achieved that purification - and I’m only writing this because He wants me to describe His work. I wouldn’t dare to write that as a personal opinion, since I see so many faults and weaknesses.  But He next taught me about the work of the Holy Spirit (T:1249), and did so with astonishing power.


It was when I had confided in Christ one day, in prayer; and then I’d decided, from gratitude, to say the ‘Divine Praises’ with greater fervour, and so I began the prayer.  I said:-


            “Blessed be God.

            Blessed be His Holy Name.

            Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.

            Blessed be the Name of Jesus.

            Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.

            Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.

            Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.

            Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.”


But when I said the phrase: “Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete,” I was astounded to be shown how this same Spirit was at work.  Christ taught me, all in one moment:-


                        Offer heart-felt adoration to My Most Holy Spirit, Who is all Holiness and Beauty: loving and powerful, gracious and glorious.  Here, whilst you honour Me by your reverence as you recite “The Divine Praises”, you can ‘see’ that My Holy Spirit now ‘accompanies’ you in prayer from one phrase to the next, as a music-master might guide a child in the reading of a melody.  It is My Holy Spirit Who enables you to believe what you are saying, and Who - through your belief - has brought you to prayer. (T:1249 #4)

By this extraordinary knowledge, Christ made plain to me that throughout my life on earth, as I live and work and pray in order to please Him, His Holy Spirit is overshadowing me, or rather, is hovering, as it were, in perpetual loving attendance, encouragement and supervision. This is true for everyone who believes in Christ and tries to serve Him; and so it’s a cause for gratitude; but it must be a cause for humility, also, since - as was made so plain - we would be quite unable to do good things without the Holy Spirit’s guidance and power; and by ‘good things’ I mean even a word of praise to the Father.


Christ taught me:-


                        Realise that without this gift from My Holy Spirit, you would not - could not - believe in the truth on your lips as you continue the Divine praises, saying:


                        “Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy,

                        Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception,” and:

                        “Blessed be her glorious Assumption.” (T:1249 #5)


                        Rejoice in the faith which you have received from My Spirit.  You are right to pray:


                        “Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.

                        Blessed be St. Joseph, her spouse most chaste.

                        Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.”

                        (T:1249 #6)



Pierced to the heart.


In successive waves, it seemed, in prayer, Christ continued to give me first encouragement, then warning, then instruction - and then another invitation to move closer to Heaven; and that’s what happened when, in the New Year - on 23rd January 1993 - God the Father made me His own, in an astonishing way; and now I have to write about it - although it doesn’t matter to me any more what anyone thinks of me.  What I know and say unashamedly at last is the truth: that God the Holy Spirit led me into Christ’s Church, long ago, and has continued to guide and to teach me; God the Son reconciled me with Himself, and made me entirely His own in December 1985; and God the Father accepted my sacrifices and praised me for my devotion, in January 1993, when He sealed our union; and it happened in this way (as is mentioned in T:1263 - as described at the end of the Blue Book.)


One  morning at home, I was all alone and in pain.  I prayed my usual prayers, and asked Our Lord to help me to cope with each new trial.  I begged Him to increase my faith, and said to Him: “Let me live in perpetual repentance.  Let me remember to thank You for the gift of faith.  Let me not worry about what others might say - about the work You’ve given me to do.  Let me imitate You, O Christ, when You set out for the Synagogue.”


But as I prayed in this way, and made my Morning Offering - “ I offer You all my thoughts, words, actions and sufferings this day ...” -  I received a spiritual blow to the heart which left me almost unable to move: unable to articulate another word in prayer, though my heart remained wholly devoted to God.  Indeed, God had seized my heart and attention.  By His grace and action I had been pierced to the heart: suddenly made more thoroughly united to Jesus in wounds, and in pain, and in abandonment to God’s Will. I had ‘thrown away’ my own life and ambitions for the Father’s Glory, in ways that no-one knows about; and at that very moment I was taught that my offering had not been rejected.


This is what I learned from Christ at the same moment:-


                        Follow the inspirations of My Holy Spirit; it is He Who draws you into a real and intimate union with Me, from which springs your continued and repeated surrender to Me, in a daily self-offering.  Renew your offering. (T:1263 #1)


                        Accept this great gift from the Father, here, as you make your morning offering; you are now pierced to the heart - by His grace and His action - as a sign of His Love for you, and as a sign of your union with Me, Jesus your loving Saviour.  Accept these wounds, through which you and I are more closely united.  By this great privilege, our union is sealed.  Every sacrifice that you have placed on the ‘altar’ of your heart has been worthwhile.  As the Father now tells you:


“The offering has been accepted”.

                        (T:1263 #2)


The consummation of the Sacrifice.


Then Christ urged me:-


                        Rejoice that every aspect of your life which you have given to Me has been made holy.  The consummation of the sacrifice began last year, when the Flame of My purifying Love wholly overtook you. (T:1263 #3)


                        Prepare for further suffering.  From today, this living sacrifice of self - offered in union with My Sacrifice - will ‘burn’ more brightly.  By this, I mean that your sufferings will be more intense, and, also, will be noticed by others. (T:1263 #4)


                        Be glad that, because of your sufferings, you resemble Me so closely; all during this ‘burning’ - which is constant self-offering - ‘heat’ and ‘light’ are being given out; and this ‘heat’ is My consoling prayer, within your life, and this ‘Light’ is My wisdom, in your soul; and this ‘heat and Light’ now flow outwards to  others,  for  My Glory,  for the

                        salvation of souls and for the good of My Church. (T:1263 #5)


                        Look upon this moment as a moment of great grace. The flames of My Divine Fire are  now warming your heart; see this as My gift to you, before you continue your difficult journey.  Recall the words which I used about your soul and My teachings: that your soul is like a jar which is slowly being filled with precious drops of wisdom from Heaven; realise that, now, the ‘jar’ can be broken, for the ointment of grace to pour out upon a wounded Church.  By this I mean that you will become even frailer and more feeble, as hard work and ill-health take their toll; however, through your slow ‘dying’, in imitation of Myself, the Father is being glorified and My Church is being renewed. (T:1263 #6)


                        Bear your ‘dying’ with great patience, in imitation of Me; thus, as My teachings are circulated, your work will be fruitful. (T:1263 #7)           


                        Thank Me for the gift of faith; live in perpetual repentance; don’t worry about what others might say about you, but patiently explain My friendship with you, and My longing to save you all. (T:1263 #8)


Like a simple child.


            Then Christ reminded me:-


                        Obey My inspirations. (T:1263 #9)


                        Always be loving. (T:1263 #10)


                        Don’t look back, but accept your weaknesses and do My Will in simplicity. (T:1263 #11)


                        Speak as a ‘child of God,’ and fulfil the unique task which I have given to you alone. (T:1263 #12)


                        Turn to Me more and more frequently from love as well as from need; I delight in revealing more about Myself to hearts which are eager to know Me; I love to welcome a fervent soul to share in My Life and therefore to share in My knowledge of Myself.  “Come and see.” (T:1264 #1)


Christ our Mediator.


Next, Christ instructed me:-


                        Remember the cause of your close ‘connection’ with Me:

                        Through the merits of My Sacrifice

                        My Divine Life can now penetrate

                        every aspect of your humanity.

                        Through My suffering,

                        I broke down the barrier

                         between Divine Life and human,

                        bridged the ‘chasm’ between My Life and yours, and

                        entered into your suffering. (T:1264 #2)


                        Consider the consequences of My Sacrifice on your behalf:

                        You are raised up - through My grace - to My Glory.

                        You are made divine-by-grace: divinised.

                        You are made My children, by adoption. (T:1264 #3)


                        Consider your dignity as My children:

                        At the summit of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,

                        I lead you - My children -

                        into the Glory of My self-offering,


                        united with Me before the Father. (T:1264 #4)



For the renewal of the Church.


Only three days after the Father had sealed our union in that astonishing new way, I was in church on the feast of Saints Timothy and Titus, on 26th January 1993 (T:1265). I was told in Holy Scripture that: “I AM REMINDING YOU TO FAN INTO A FLAME THE GIFT THAT GOD GAVE YOU WHEN I LAID MY HANDS ON YOU ... SO YOU ARE NEVER TO BE ASHAMED OF WITNESSING TO THE LORD” (2 Tm 6:8).


By the grace of Christ, I was encouraged to go on with my task, hoping to see many more people grow in hope and love and faith.


I wanted nothing but to do His Will from day to day for the rest of my life.  My perpetual prayer was for a greatly increased love of God and of my neighbour, for the renewal of His Church, the salvation of souls - and for final perseverance: all for the Glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the honour of Our Blessed Lady and St Joseph and all the Angels and Saints.  Despite my hesitation and embarrassment, I was longing to speak to many more people, to say that friendship with Christ is worth any sacrifice.








The soul’s journey.


When I began this spiritual autobiography, I was asked to put it on one side, as I said earlier, until the right time came for it to be used.  It’s now about three years since I last made additions to the story of the beginnings of my spiritual journey.  Some of that story was shared through “The Introduction”: which was the small white pamphlet I had printed, at Christ’s request.  But I was content to leave most of the spiritual autobiography unseen: a box full of paper in a corner of my room.  Today, however, God the Father has shown me that the time has arrived to share the whole story, and He has encouraged me to write a few more pages, to bring it up-to-date.  When I asked Him in prayer, only two or three weeks ago, whether He really wanted me to enlarge the book in this way, He said immediately: “It is the end of the journey.”  What this meant was that it wouldn’t be right if I just told people about the difficulties and heart-aches of the early stages of the soul’s journey towards Heaven and yet failed to describe something of the bliss and glory which are experienced near the end.


He has shown me how important it is that I be simple and childlike, so that I can explain to everyone who reads this book that no friend can ever be found who is as loving and faithful as Christ.  His friendship brings joys and consolations more sweet, astonishing and profound than anyone has ever imagined.  I must say more emphatically than ever before that there can be no life as fulfilled and as joyful as a life in which God the Holy Trinity is Creator, Inspiration and Beloved; and nothing can be more worthwhile than to grow in the love and knowledge of God and His Will.  That’s how we can please God during our earthly life, and yet also prepare for life in our future home in Heaven, at God’s ‘Heart’, in Eternal Glory. 


It’s precisely because God is ‘on fire’ with love for us, and yearns to see us choose to move towards Him and towards true happiness that He has given me this extraordinary task to do; and it’s a task of such complexity that it was through God’s goodness that I was left in ignorance of its full significance for many, many years - until about the time that I finished writing, a few pages ago.  But since then, it’s as though the Lord has drawn together all the ‘threads’ in my life, to weave a bright ribbon for me to inspect; and now I can thank and praise Him for the pattern I can see - a pattern I couldn’t see earlier because it wasn’t Christ’s Will.


Training for the task.


When I’d finished writing the early ‘Introduction’ to Christ’s teachings, and was busy distributing the first copies, Christ continued to teach me.  It seemed to me that the teachings which I’d described in the booklet were enough for Christ’s immediate purposes.  I still didn’t know more than a few details of His plan, except that, however this is achieved, Christ’s Will is always directed towards the Glory of the Father, and the good of souls. I could have written many more pages about Christ’s kindness.


It’s true that He frequently asks us to take up our cross and follow Him, and to bear sufferings patiently, like Him; yet I’ve found that Christ gives us peace - even in the midst of our trials.


Ideally, we ought to serve God simply because He is God and not for rewards; but for many years I’ve longed to be able to tell people who despair of ever being happy or at peace that the grace of Christ can change every willing human heart, and therefore every situation.  I haven’t learned until recently, however, that it’s part of Christ’s plan that I shall have opportunities in which to speak and teach about Him, on a scale which I would never have dreamed might be possible.  Indeed, I couldn’t have known that, because it wasn’t Christ’s Will for me then.  He was still training me for my future task, and was doing so partly through His own instructions, and partly through the inspiration which He had given to my parish priest: to the priest who had advised me that the teachings were a gift from God.



A severe test.


When I was beginning to grow accustomed to the teachings, and quite soon after I’d obeyed Christ by speaking to our priest about Our Lady’s visit, I was made to undergo a time of trial. My wise and holy parish priest decided to test me, severely; and he did so for a period of about two years - but without telling me, of course.  I know that this is true, partly from the circumstances in which the testing ceased.  But all I knew at first was that after years of good-humoured conversations with him, and meals shared with him and the family at home, I suddenly found myself totally ignored, unless charity demanded that he speak to me to convey information at a Council meeting, or that he listen when I arranged to have a Mass offered for a special intention, in which case he’d be very courteous. 


Only by God’s grace was I sure that Canon O’Leary was acting to help me: to steer me firmly away from the danger of becoming proud about having seen Our Blessed Lady and about being ‘taught’ in prayer.  It was all for the good of my soul, and so I continued with my efforts to be cheerful and courteous. I’m even grateful for what I learned, since it taught me once more not to lean on anyone except God, and not to hope for encouragement or consolation, unless God Wills it. It taught me to be wholly unconcerned by reactions to my presence or to my work.  It taught me, also, to be more courageous, since, throughout that whole episode, I was sent back to our priest time after time, by Christ, to tell him something else that Christ had told me. 


Christ wanted me to obey Him in this way whether my messages or statements were welcomed or not - and they never were.  It was made ‘worse’, in fact, and yet even more profitable for my soul, because almost all of the messages were about Christ’s gifts to me.  It was as though Christ wouldn’t allow me to relish any new spiritual gift from Him, or to endure a particular spiritual danger, unless, at around the time it occurred, I was obedient in going to our priest to describe it.


Speaking about Christ’s gifts.


Some of the things I mentioned to Father O’Leary were private.  I can say, however, that I was sent to tell him that Christ was going to use me to help His Church.  It was very embarrassing to have to make such a claim when I was so obviously inadequate, but that was before I came to trust in Christ much more and also to have confidence in His training.  Then I was also invited to tell our priest about Our Lady’s visit to me - and then to describe how Christ shows me about the departed souls for whose welfare I pray sincerely: about their true state, whether joy or pain. 


On a later occasion, Christ asked me to mention that it was in obedience to Christ’s wishes that I’d re-adopted the custom of covering my hair in church, in accordance with Scripture and the Church’s tradition. Wearing a scarf again was one of the most difficult things that Christ had asked me to do, because it made me conspicuous.  It is true that Saint Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “ASK YOURSELVES IF IT IS FITTING FOR A WOMAN TO PRAY TO GOD WITHOUT A VEIL ...?” (1 Co 11:13) and also “TO ANYONE WHO MIGHT STILL WANT TO ARGUE: IT IS NOT THE CUSTOM WITH US, NOR IN THE CHURCHES OF THE LORD” (1 Co 11:16); and yet I knew that various people would think me foolish or old-fashioned.  But although it’s not a matter of good or evil, but a matter, rather, of how to pay God the greatest possible reverence in prayer - as He has told me - I was determined to obey; and it was Christ’s wish that I speak to our priest about His wishes so that the priest would know that I wasn’t trying to cause division or to strike a pose, but only to do Christ’s Will; and Christ overwhelmed me with rewards for my obedience in speaking.


One of the other things I was required to mention - for what reason only Christ knows - was an assault by the evil one which I’d suffered in my kitchen.  But Christ showed me that through my obedience to Him in these difficult matters I was keeping thoroughly “in touch” with the Church authority about His work in my life and about the opposition I endured; yet I was also proving  to the priest that I was willing to be docile and to accept humiliation for Christ’s sake.  And I was humiliated; but I knew it was doing me good.


Then one day Christ asked me to tell our priest about a gift I’d received quite a long time earlier: a gift of knowing the intentions of human hearts.  In order to be obedient, I explained to our priest that Christ wanted me to explain that although I can’t read everyone’s thoughts, I am shown by God in which ‘direction’ each person’s true intention lies.  That was the best way of describing such unsought, invisible and intangible ‘knowledge’.  But from the day that I explained this to our priest, he ceased his testing.  He knew that it was pointless to continue, if I knew what he was doing, and why.


From then on, he was always joyful and smiling with me, even ready to tease me about little things: so very different, and so heart-warming, though I’d always known he was acting for the eternal good of my soul.  He didn’t feel free to say out loud that he believed in the whole project; but he respected the writings enough to advise me to apply to the Diocesan censor for an ‘Imprimatur’.  I found out, soon afterwards, that this isn’t given to private pamphlets, but only to works sent in by a publisher; but it was good to know that Canon O’Leary wasn’t unhappy about the books; and when he’d retired, later on, he always answered “Yes,” when I asked him if he’d like a copy of each new volume.


I’m only writing about these things now because he has died, and so I can tell some of his story.  It’s Christ wish that I do so, anyway; and it was by Christ’s kindness that I was shown, only one day after Canon O’Leary’s peaceful death, that he had arrived in Heaven, at the foot of the steps which lead to the throne of our Heavenly Father (T:2320).


When I look back to that difficult time, I can remember a day when I was thinking about Christ’s teachings and was puzzling over the reason I receive so many. I remembered Our Lady’s visits, as well; and I asked myself why, since I was so weighed down by God’s gifts, I wasn’t more joyful and light-hearted; and the answer which eluded me was that I was still undergoing radical spiritual purifications: both ‘exterior’ testing by human beings, and spiritual opposition.



Meeting evil.


The evil spiritual assault which I suffered at home and which Christ asked me to mention to my priest is something which at first - like the teachings-in-prayer, until I understood their purpose - I preferred not to mention.  I’d tried never to pay much attention to spiritual evil.  I mean that I’d never talked much about Satan or about his tactics against God’s People.  As the Apostle says: “LET YOUR THOUGHTS BE ON HEAVENLY THINGS” (Col 3:2).  But he also says that people who try to do good are certain to be attacked  - whether by violence, sickness or temptation, or by disappointments of various kinds, or even by the sort of naked evil which I’ve I endured.


It seems wise, however, to seize this opportunity to urge anyone who reads this: “Never, never, never ‘dabble’ in evil.  Never do wrong, by which you perhaps align yourself with dark forces; and never take risks by ‘flirting’ with evil supposedly for fun, perhaps by using ouija boards, fortune-telling cards or lucky charms.”


I thank God for having kept me away from such dangers.  I thank God I had simple and sensible parents who deplored even any mention of such things in our presence.  How sad it is that even many Catholics are deeply affected today by what other people are seen to do - whether through T.V. shows or through the habits of favourite ‘stars’.  That’s why I say with some passion: “Avoid evil with all your power; and never copy anything un-Christian.”


The ‘tactics’ which I’ve mentioned above became more evident as my work began to reach its fulfilment, and as one member after another of the family decided to enter the Catholic Church.


It seems right to mention these things as an introduction to a page or two on the reality of spiritual danger; but I must proclaim that I’ve never gone through life on the look-out for evil or danger, nor have I attributed any happening to a strange source if there was the least possibility of a natural explanation.  But having said that, I must also say that I’ve recognised evil at work in recent years in just the ways that I’ve recognised good: by God’s Will and through His understanding.  And God has hidden from me - He has told me - the worst of the knowledge of evil, whilst showing me that various phenomena were designed to frighten me: to make me agitated and untrusting so that I’d neither complete this work nor cling entirely to God.  Yet, through God’s goodness, none of these things could ‘shift’ me.  Neither by assault, scrapings, bangings and sudden noises, nor by a silent evil presence have I been deterred from trying to do my plain duty; though I’ve only coped so far by God’s grace and by prayer.


Repulsive sights.


Another of the evil one’s tactics has been to conjure up before my mind - whenever I’ve tried to rest for a while - fearsome images of disgusting and repulsive sights, things quite impossible to drive away.  So I advise anyone who suffers such assaults to do what I’ve learned to do, which is not to fight, but simply to turn one’s thoughts and heart away, towards God.  If that seems to be impossible, it’s best to get up for a while and to pray with a book - and, of course, always to use the Sign of the Cross, and Jesus’ Name, and holy water.


In case anyone should ask, I’ve never drawn or painted such sights.  First, I’ve hoped to forget them; and secondly, it seems to me that artistic skills are best used for increasing the beauty to be found in the world, and not for reproducing ugliness and decay.  But the mention of this subject, too, gives me the chance to say to anyone who will listen: “Never do evil.  Never associate yourself with evil activities.  Think about spending eternity with creatures whose perpetual state is in cruelty, rebellion, spite, pain, ugliness, darkness, anger and loss: then do all in your power to find God, and to make Light and goodness your ‘medium’.”


It’s not going to worry me if anyone says that I’ve imagined every cause for distress.  So many Christians today are ready to proclaim that there’s no ‘real’ Heaven or Hell, reward or punishment - and certainly no devil.  And my words probably won’t change their minds, or the minds of those who have already decided that because of all the visions I’ve described I’m untrustworthy or demented.  But I’m writing this for the few who are utterly determined to believe in God and His Church, and to persevere in His service.  They will meet troubles and danger; but if they hold tight to the Person and the Name of Jesus, and call for help, too, to His Mother Mary, they will find that no evil presence can defeat them.  And I say this because I’ve met naked evil, and have survived: but only because of Jesus, of Whom Saint Paul wrote: “GOD RAISED HIM HIGH AND GAVE HIM THE NAME WHICH IS ABOVE ALL OTHER NAMES SO THAT ALL BEINGS IN THE HEAVENS, ON EARTH AND IN THE UNDERWORLD, SHOULD BEND THE KNEE AT THE NAME OF JESUS AND THAT EVERY TONGUE SHOULD ACCLAIM JESUS CHRIST AS LORD, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER” (Ph 2:9-11).


The evil one.


What I’m about to describe can be seen as much as a temptation as a spiritual attack, I suppose: a temptation to despair of God’s help, and to abandon my determination to stay close to Him.  I can state quite firmly that the experience, in all its horror, was the worst-ever experience of my life; so although I’ve understated it from beginning to end, please don’t read the next three pages if you’re a nervous person.  But from beginning to end of it, in my heart and soul, I was adamant that with God’s help I’d stand firm.  I’ve decided to describe it, despite my reluctance, because in pondering what happened, it seems that what I felt is the nearest I’ve been able to understand with my heart - rather than with my analytical mind - something of what Our Lord experienced during His time on earth, in this matter of evil assaults or temptations; and so I’m sure it will be useful to certain persons.


There’s no comparison, of course, between a merely sinful woman, and the God-man of the Gospels; yet there is a similarity between a baptised and reconciled Catholic and the Lord to Whom she is united by all sorts of bonds - supremely, love - in an everyday and day-long communion.  That’s why I dare to describe what happened, and to ponder Christ’s own life on earth - thinking particularly about the ‘reverberations’ we feel as emotions are disturbed by external forces, yet our hearts cling to God.


The presence of evil.


During a time when I was being tested in all sorts of ways - it was on February 17th 1994 - I was alone at home one evening.  In general and particular terms I was pressing ahead well with this work for Our Lord through the ‘Booklet’ distribution, and by continued writing down and painting of His teachings and images.  The priest who so kindly checked my writings had written encouragingly of my work; and my parish priest - as I also said - had reassured me that I could accept the teachings.  I had never for a second doubted their Source; but it was good to be reassured that I wasn’t doing anything I shouldn’t.  And I was utterly determined to keep on with this work for Our Lord, until I ‘dropped’, if that were His Will.  With my whole heart and mind I was determined  to please Christ, no matter how many friends I lost, nor how peculiar it seemed to various persons, and despite the constant problems of everyday life, from broken machinery to health problems, from burglaries to plumbing disasters - and with constant visitors, and the usual duties.  I don’t meant that I was good, but that I was so utterly grateful to God for life and love and faith that nothing - I was determined - would stop me from loving and doing His Will.


Looking back, it was as though I was about to undergo a ‘test’ or a temptation which was to be worse than anything before it: and I haven’t even mentioned the ‘internal’ temptations which, if succumbed to, can spoil work such as this, such as self-satisfaction, or irritation at people who oppose the work, and so on.  But on that February evening, I was sitting in my kitchen chair, resting between one chore and the next, when I was suddenly and wholly unexpectedly confronted, to my utter horror, with the presence of evil; and I knew that the evil one was in front of me, with all his power and malice and his ‘delight’ in causing fear; and he was wholly invisible. 


There was nothing for my eyes to see or my ears to hear, yet his presence was so overpowering that it felt as though I was almost enveloped in him, and yet he remained external, entirely, as every scrap of my heart and mind and being was as if recoiling with terror at meeting such naked hatred.


Naked hatred.


Now, the purpose of this piece is to give a warning about some of the dangers of the spiritual life, and also to say with conviction that no evil can conquer us, if we’re ‘armed’ by Christ’s power, and keep on praying in His Name for courage and endurance; and so I’ll just say what struck me, especially: then I’ll try to reach some sort of conclusion.


This assault of evil was wholly from outside myself.  I don’t have a scrap of doubt about that.  Before it, I was happy and had been busy; and although the sudden presence of evil was so strong, the power of Christ remained so strong in me, through prayer, that the ‘heart’ of myself, if I can describe it thus, was held firm and inviolate.  I remained untouched throughout the experience: as if ‘walled around’ by my steely will, and by grace.


The evil presence, as I said, was invisible and intangible; and yet I know that - all during that time - there was something more than a presence.  There was being presented to my imagination,  from ‘outside’, and in order to terrify me, an image which was of the most revolting, malevolent and terrifying face and figure that I had ever set eyes on; and the evil one was trying to use this image to frighten me further.  The horror I experienced at this presence, at this malice, and at this image, was worse than anything I’ve experienced in my entire life: even worse than when I was pushed to my kitchen floor and threatened ten years ago, by a knife-wielding intruder: worse than any episode of fear. I know that it was an assault by someone who, from sheer malice, wished to spoil my enjoyment of some aspect of God’s work in my life, even if he couldn’t actually stop the whole project. The experience of evil was also a temptation - and wholly external - to make me despair of God’s power.


The Holy Names, and the Cross.


There wasn’t even a split-second in which, interiorly, I had the least intention of not continuing  to trust in God, even in the midst of such a ferocious assault.  There wasn’t a single moment in which I was unsure that God would help me to endure this episode as - I am sure - He will help me to continue with the work.  But, nevertheless, I had to ‘fight’, as it were, at every second for an hour, to maintain what I can only call ‘composure’ during that time: to fight against the need to shriek with terror, and instead, to continue to pray desperately for help.  I did this by a fervent recitation of the Rosary which, as usual, was near-at-hand, and with heart-felt cries to ‘Jesus!’ and ‘Mary’ - and to the Holy Trinity, with frequent signs of the Cross, and kissing of the Crucifix. Although I believed with all my heart that, with God, I could win, I had to fight, as it were, to stay upright in the face of such malice and also to remain hopeful that the experience would come to an end.


One of the worst things about naked terror, whether brought about through meeting ‘naked’ evil, or through facing evil armed attackers, is that you don’t know when the terror will end.  That’s almost the worst thing about it - and what makes people long for death, I believe, as perhaps being better than continuing terror.  It was an experience, then, of feeling that I was about to be crushed or annihilated by the evil force, although I knew by faith that Christ’s power was greater and that I needed only to keep trusting in Him.  So, the evil was wholly external; and there was a little area in my true self or soul into which evil couldn’t enter, it seemed, and “in” which I prayed fervently and confidently to God for strength, even though my emotions were reverberating from the assault.  My imagination was being presented with an image which I didn’t want to accept, and my spiritual senses recognised and recoiled from the almost-all-enveloping presence of ‘pure’ evil.  Yet at the end of that time, the evil being suddenly abandoned the attack and disappeared.


The spiritual assault had lasted for an hour.  It has never happened since, in quite the same manner, for which I’m profoundly grateful; in fact, I so dreaded a recurrence that I became more sensible and regular about my use of the Rosary and of holy water.  I arranged to be invested with the Scapular; and, thus armed, I was even able to cast off my fear - for which I thank God, Our Lady and St. Michael - and others.



[Guardian Angels.


It seems hardly right to spend so much time writing about spiritual danger without also saying a few words about a special sort of help.  I’ve already said so much about Our Lord, and about the prayers of Our Blessed Lady and the other Saints; but I haven’t said much about the Holy Angels who not only serve God, but who give us tremendous assistance.  I suppose I’ve been confident that many readers will come across the teachings from Our Lord about Angelic help and about prayer, teachings which can be found in the volumes I’ve already had printed.  But I’m bound to say that if every Christian paid regular attention to his or her Guardian Angel, by which I mean through courteous greetings and through regular prayer, each person would find the spiritual life made easier and more joyful.


How many Christians today believe that God has provided an Angelic Companion and helper for each one of us, as Our Lord indicated, and as His Church still teaches?  It’s true that this is a help known only through faith; yet we greet, know and converse with Our Lord and the Saints of Heaven ‘only’ through our faith and God’s goodness.  I’m not in the least implying that we ought to be drawn, by a foolish curiosity, into peculiar by-ways to do with spiritual matters.  It’s just that God has provided so many marvellous helps for us for our day-to-day Christian living; yet some of what we can call the ‘basics’ are routinely neglected by a great number of Christians, as they themselves admit; and I say this not to condemn anyone, but to say how sad it is for us to see such helps passed by.  It’s almost as though we can see a stretch of rough water where swimmers are in danger of drowning.  We see people call out for help, and at the same time we have to watch them as they ignore the life-belts, ropes, and other aids thrown out from a boat to help them.  They continue thrashing at the water as before, because they’ve been conditioned by what they’ve seen in films: let us say, to expect a helicopter to appear every time they’re in difficulties; and so they ignore the small but life-saving props which are lying around.


That’s what Christians are like, surely, who grumble about trying to be faithful to God and who complain about their duties but who never reach out to ‘pick up’ the life-lines which He has provided for their guidance or rescue.  They don’t realise that the tiniest prayer, made with faith to God or to one of God’s friends, can save them from danger.


Saints and Angels: our powerful friends.


By every good act we perform in order to please God - even a little act of trust - and by every sincere prayer we make, whether to God Himself or to His Saints or Angels, we enable God to make our faith stronger, and allow Him to give us powerful assistance: whether through an obvious intervention, or by light for the soul, or strength in the will.  I hope and pray that many people will open their spiritual eyes, so to speak, to accept with faith the wonderful news that we have a Saintly family in Heaven urging us on to holiness; and by ‘family’ I mean the Church.  I hope and pray that they’ll realise that we have many Saintly and Angelic helpers close by us who are willing to assist us in every difficulty, if only we’ll ask for help.  These helpers resemble God not only in their charity, but in their respect for our freedom; and although there’s much that they do for us that we don’t know about, but will find out in Heaven one day, God Willing, it’s as though they are waiting quietly for our requests for even more effective help.


A mere few words can bring that help immediately, if we have faith, and if we’re willing to turn to them to say, perhaps: “Most Holy Angel, please give me your special help in this difficult task”, or: “Saint Joseph, please take charge of the household today,” or “Immaculate Mother, please pray for me.”


It’s very simple.]



Truths of the Catholic Faith.


It’s only recently, when the purifications which I mentioned earlier have almost been completed, as Christ has shown me, that I can see what He’s done for me.  Only since that time of testing has Christ woven freely into His ‘teachings-in-prayer’ the numerous and very detailed explanations about the reasons for my prolonged training, and about the ultimate aim of the whole work; and He has continued to teach me on the usual subjects, although has somewhat perturbed  me by the ‘depth’ of some aspects of those subjects.  That’s why my descriptions of the truths of our Faith haven’t all been achieved with the same degree of ease.


One of the ‘teachings-in-prayer’ that I wrote down three years ago caused me a few heart-pangs, but not because I found it fearsome in its subject matter nor because I was inaccurate in the expression of the subject, which is the Holy Mass.  Rather, it was because I found myself writing confidently about something which - until I received that ‘teaching’ in prayer, - I knew very little; and so I’ve sometimes found myself hovering, since that time, on the very edge of fear, since, unless I go to outside sources, I no longer have anything in my mind against which I can ‘check’ the truth of what I’m writing.  It feels as though I’m walking on a high-wire, an inch from disaster, and yet, I do believe that everything I’m writing conforms to - merely ‘illuminates’ - that which the Church is teaching today.  I don’t in fact look up ‘sources’, but rely on a kind priest, as I said, to check my work for mistakes.  Every new twinge of concern has made me resolve to carry on courageously and to ask in prayer for continued guidance, and for trust and humility.


Living Truth, within the soul.


When I talk about ‘checking’ truth in my mind, so far, I mean that until recently I’ve had no fear at all that anything I write about God might be against Church teaching.  I wouldn’t set down in writing anything which I believed was against our teaching.  But, besides, I’ve routinely evaluated every word I write by a swift, intuitive act in which I ‘hold up’ my own words - as when someone holds a faint piece of hand-writing against the light from a window - against the living Truth which I believe fills my heart and mind and soul; and this ‘living Truth’ consists of all that I know of our Faith, but faith’s details as made known to me on two levels.


I can check my own phrases by weighing them against everything I’ve remembered from ‘external’ sources.  Only God has given me the gift of faith by which I’m enabled to believe what the Church teaches, but the ‘concrete’ facts of faith and its doctrines have been culled throughout my adult life from many sources: Church catechisms, Catholic authors, Popes, Council documents and homilies, and through the prayers, pleas and readings of the Liturgy, the words of Holy Scripture - and the Church’s interpretation of those words - and through good Christian friends and the advice of priests.  This jumbled list, alas, is not necessarily given in the right order; but the whole body of sources provides - with details of tradition, and the writings of the Fathers of the Church, and the witness of the Saints - a good ‘picture’ of what it is that Christ has done for us, and the ways in which He wants to see us cooperate with Him so that we can glorify the Father through Him in the Spirit’s power, help our neighbour and be made ready to enter Heaven.


So, if I were to be shown things during ‘teachings-in-prayer’ which were not according to the ‘mind’ of the Church, as I have understood it - for example, if I should be taught that Jesus didn’t die on the Cross - I would try not to ‘listen’.  I’d assume that the ‘teaching’ was in fact a temptation from an evil source, or perhaps a day-dream. I wouldn’t write it down, since I have no interest in recording untruths; and anyway this never seems to happen - I mean, I never learn in prayer things which are against Holy Scripture or Tradition.


Now, that’s only the first ‘level’ against which I can check the teachings.  I can also ‘check’ them against what I know of God from life, prayer, and experience.


A ‘pattern,’ within my soul.


I have to be bold, and say that God - in His teaching of me over a number of years - has shown me, all-at-once, and also in separate ‘bursts’ of explanation, something of what-He-is-like; and in learning from and of Him, the Source of Knowledge, I have therefore necessarily learned not only ‘what-He-is-like’ but ‘what-His-Son-is-like,’ and His Mother, and His Church, and His Saints.


So I can say, despite recent fears having surfaced, that “God-within-me” is like a ‘pattern’ against which, intuitively, I have been holding up every thought and query which arises from my heart, intellect, imagination, memory, or will.  I hold up everything in ‘God’s-light-within-me’; and I evaluate every teaching in order to affirm or discard it, to refine or refuse it, or to write it down gratefully or try to forget it.  So, throughout recent years, as I’ve been writing about God, Church, prayer and Salvation, I’ve been able to say, confidently, about every  piece of writing that I’ve have done: this is the very truth which is explained to me by Church sources, or by God Himself, even if the ‘setting’, or analogy or parable, should be novel.


I mentioned ‘hovering on the edge of fear’ because some of the very lengthy ‘teachings’ which I’ve received in past years go ‘beyond’ all that I’ve learned from books, Liturgy and conversation.  In my heart, I’m quite certain that everything I write is ‘good’ doctrine; but at this new ‘level’ I no longer have anything ‘concrete’ in my memory, imagination or ‘working’ intellect against which I can ‘check’ it: I mean, ‘checking’ it by memory.  I have ‘only’ God within - by which I mean God-as-known-by-me - as the ‘pattern’ against which I ‘test’ the truth of every phrase I write.  And that’s why I’ve been glad to know that all my written work is checked by someone else.  I’m happy that someone learned is able to reassure me that I haven’t been misled.


Although I’ve always been quite satisfied with what I’ve learned from Popes, Church sources, Councils and Catechisms, I’ve led a ‘sheltered life’ in the sense that I’m not an academic who has been able to exchange views or read ‘exploratory’ theology.  I’m not ‘au fait’ with modern theologians’ diverse, adventurous or perhaps risky ways of explaining eternal truths in twentieth-century idiom.  So I’m perhaps more ‘alone,’ humanly-speaking, than many others who write about God.


I can sum up the reason for my caution by explaining that as I’ve recorded some of the things which I’ve recently been taught in prayer, I find that I write about things which I don’t already know - in such detail.  So I’ve had to ‘take a deep breath’ and ask advice before carrying on.  But no-one is as thoughtful as Christ.  All the time that I’ve been translating His teachings into words, He’s been weaving encouraging and personal teachings amongst what I think of as ‘chunks’ of theology.



Continual encouragement.


Month after month, Christ has explained even more about His tremendous Love for me - and for everyone; and He’s continued to encourage and delight me by bringing His holy Mother to visit me on especially-significant occasions.  So that’s why I’m glad to be able to obey Christ by writing a few chapters on a handful of further topics which are like the threads I’ve mentioned: strands woven by Christ into the ‘ribbon’ of my life: woven not just for my sake but for the sake of many others who long to know about the hope which Christ brings.


Boasting about Christ’s Love.


In order to fulfil Christ’s wishes I must write something in the next few chapters about Christ’s very clear instructions about what books to have printed, whom to visit for advice, and when to act on His behalf.  I must write something about my own role in this huge task - a role which Christ has unveiled for me, now that He has trained me sufficiently for me to be able  to bear the ‘knowledge’ and the ‘weight’ of it.  I must mention some of the gifts which Christ has showered upon me: not to boast about them, but to boast about Christ’s Love, and to say that it’s ours - yours - whenever we open our hearts to Him.  I must tell about the stages of prayer through which Christ has led me in these past years, as He has drawn me up to the Father, and so has ‘immersed’ me in this Love. I must weave amongst Christ’s own teachings some of the extraordinary teachings of God the Father which have astonished me more than anything in recent years; and that’s because, when He began to teach me, I didn’t even know that it was possible to converse with Him in the way with which I’ve become familiar - through His Infinite kindness and through the Name of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit Who ‘lifts’ my soul into prayer.


I must speak - as if from the house-tops - about what Christ is really like, and also about the peace which I’ve found in Christ: “A PEACE THE WORLD CANNOT GIVE” (Jn 14:27), and which Christ has given to me; and then I must speak about the life of incomparable bliss at the heart of the Holy Trinity.  All of these topics are mentioned in the following few chapters.


Images to share.


The booklets of teachings which I began to offer to friends and relations from about 1992 were received with all sorts of reactions,  as I think I mentioned.  But Christ rewarded me for my efforts, even as some people reacted enthusiastically on meeting such encouragement-in-faith, and others never spoke to me again, being unable to cope happily with a friend who spoke about Christ and visions.  I found it very distressing; but I ‘offered up’ every humiliation, and continued with my efforts.  I tried to speak according to each person’s capacity, either using a few words about prayer, or giving a lengthy explanation.  At the same time I offered free photographs of my paintings of some of Christ’s images about prayer and the Mass.  I’d composed a caption for each  picture, so that it would be understood, and could be used for meditation or catechesis; and the pictures proved to be more popular than the books, for various reasons. 


Pictures are so immediate: easy to assimilate and with enjoyable colours - and in an age when comparatively few people read books.  I began to see why Christ in His wisdom had given me so many images to share: glimpses of holy things and holy people for twentieth-century searchers who were used to cinemas and videos, picture-adverts and pictorial street-signs, and many of whom rarely approached a whole page of text.




Most of my friends are familiar with my vividly-coloured oil paintings of Christ’s prayer-images; but it seems right to add a few points here about the huge series of monochrome watercolour sketches which I began in 1992.


It was only when I’d seen how many people had been led to meditate on the ‘Holy Sacrifice’, and only after I’d obeyed Christ by recording all the “teachings” for a possible future use that I came to realise the significance of the images which had been given to me in prayer; and I realised my plain duty.  Yet as I hesitantly began to record in brush and ink all of the images given so far, I instinctively trimmed or altered or repositioned each image within the rectangular frame before me, as would any artist who is accustomed  to making an artistically-acceptable picture from a very simple initial concept or image.


It was true that each new work was a valid design; yet I would soon have to start all over again, in order to forget about ‘design’, and to record with great simplicity, and accurately, and therefore in monochrome, exactly what I’d been shown in prayer, with no embroidery or sophistication.  I realised that I ought not to ‘develop’ or use any further ‘prayer-pictures’ before I had painted a precise record of what had been given to me by Christ our Lord, for His own good reasons.  I would have to paint hundreds of small, faithful images, each of which would have to be labelled and categorised and, when copied, placed within the typed ‘teachings’.  Only watercolour would convey the delicate and luminous quality of the God-given ‘images’, although, sad to say, many of the pictures are so clumsy and of such poor quality that only the barest inkling of the true, marvellous images is conveyed. For three or four months in nineteen-ninety-two, however, I worked very fast to complete the project.  Despite my being rather ‘ham-fisted’, I consoled myself with the knowledge that the images were at least ‘down’, almost exactly as they’d been given to me.  Most of them lacked detail, but most were full of light and glory.


None of them was in colour; and I know that this has puzzled some people.  Certainly, in a handful of ‘teachings’ I’ve said, for example: “Christ stood before the altar wearing a priestly robe adorned with a Cross in red.”  But on such an occasion, the Glory of Christ was glimpsed as I’ve described above; and it’s been solely “by knowledge”, according to God’s Will, that the redness of the Cross has been made plain to me, not by the soul’s sight.


Images of Light-and-Glory.


It seems to me - after reflection - that there’s a particular reason for the absence of colour in the ‘visions’.  I believe that the colours which so beautify our natural world and gladden our hearts, which so powerfully stir our emotions and which can be used to indicate gloom or decay are a gift of God, on earth.  But it seems to me that they have no place in prayer, which, if truly supernatural, is so far above natural beauty and so peaceful that it has nothing to do with the changeability of human emotions.  That is my experience; and that, I believe, is why the images given or permitted by God in some of the ‘teachings-in-prayer’ are full of light or light-and-Glory only.  There’s no need for any stirring-of-emotion, since God’s truth and invisible Beauty give the heart and soul, even here on earth, in the fullness of contemplative prayer, almost more joy than can be borne; but I’d better explain why, in more recent years, I’ve persisted in making vividly-coloured oil paintings which are based on some of the most striking or significant of the prayer-images.


Even though most of the facts about prayer and the spiritual life which Christ wants to explain through the ‘teachings’ are explained best, and with great simplicity, through monochrome works, I’ve come to realise that there’s also a place for colour in this whole project.  It’s because all the prayer-images have now been captured in their simplicity and can be seen by anyone who needs to understand them that I’m now ‘free’ to launch out into more vivid ways of sharing those images and truths with other people; and I’ve come to see that in our world today, in which vivid images play such an important part in advertising and entertainment, I can use colour for a good purpose.


Through making large colourful oil paintings I can harness, fuel or stir emotions.  Through the beauty of colour I can prepare hearts to receive the teaching which is ‘embodied’ in each painting.  It’s true that emotions can’t cause faith to be given, but they can warm cold hearts, perhaps, and make them responsive to paintings.  Even people who don’t read religious books - or who rarely read anything - can be given a glimpse of prayer, and of Glory, as they look at a colourful painting of the Holy Sacrifice of the altar; and now that almost every prayer-image is routinely recorded in watercolour, first, there’s no possibility of confusion about what Christ has shown me.  Anyone who, today, sees one of the vivid oil paintings and who then learns that they are based on ‘given-images’ can now say: “What did the artist actually see.  Show me;”  and the watercolour is available to show how simple was the initial image which has later been put over more powerfully in oils.

While I’m writing about a body of art-work, I should say that it’s because I can’t allow there to be any doubt about what Our Lord has given to me in prayer, nor any doubt that I try to share freely with other people the good things He has revealed to me, that I’ve given up all my commercial art-work.  That era of my life is over.  It’s my privilege now to record all the images and teachings, and to speak about them during whatever time is left to me.  That, as well as looking after my family through my usual domestic duties, is my present task, though my work may change in the future.  Whatever God Wills, I hope I do it.


A huge correspondence.


Christ is so kind that He didn’t show me all-at-once that He’d be asking me to produce several books, and hundreds more pictures, nor that I’d be required to speak to a far greater number of people than I’d expected.  I didn’t know what a huge correspondence I’d be undertaking on the subjects of Faith, books and teachings; nor did I foresee that I’d be invited by Christ to send these books to my bishops and to the Holy Father.  Christ introduced me little by little to what is a huge task; but at every stage He gave me an understanding of what to do, with the courage to do it, and with a reminder to ‘offer up’ whatever suffering was involved; and it was He Who provided heartening and consoling assistance from some wonderful people who appeared on the scene just as their help and kindness were sorely needed. 


It’s not possible to mention them all; but I’d be wrong if I didn’t speak about the generosity of my husband.  Without it, there would have been no books printed; and so I thank God and him for his kindness.


Spiritual topics.


It is probably evident now, after thirteen chapters, that the subjects on which Christ has chosen to teach me  - whether with images nor without  - have  all been to do with life on earth, Life-in-Christ, prayer, Church, Eternal life or death, God’s nature and God’s purposes, and related subjects.  Each topic has been introduced by Christ in prayer, and then re-introduced at some stage, as He has led me to a deeper understanding of spiritual matters - and has given me a few surprises.  I mean that I’ve been surprised, though I shouldn’t have been, to discover how personal and tender is His love for me - as it is for everyone.  I was surprised to find out how extremely important Our Blessed Lady is, not ‘just’ as the Mother of God, or as a role model, but as someone intimately involved, now and  for all time, with Christ’s work of Salvation.


Here’s a list of some of the topics on which Christ has been teaching me since the major series of topics which I’ve already described in chapters nine to fourteen of this book, and in the booklet called: “An Introduction”.  I’m putting this here just to show how comprehensive has been His course of instruction. 


I’ve been taught by Christ in prayer, for example, about the Sacred Priesthood (T:1285 and 1554), the Blessed Sacrament (T:1304), the Holy Mass (many times, including T:1309, 1470 and 1740C), the Church (T:1327B), Ordination (T:1331 and 1336B), Our Lady (T:1349A and 1459), the Atonement (T:1351), the Love of God (T:1354), Transubstantiation (T:1360), Purgatory (T:1366), the Sacred Tradition (T:1386), Christ’s Passion (T:1405), our spiritual training (T:1422), Heaven and Hell (T:1438), duty (T:1445), intimacy with God (T:1508), penance (T:1542), prayer-in-Christ (T:1548), work and gender (T:1554), faith (T:1578B), Christ as a Bishop (T:1618), the New Covenant (T:1613), spiritual friendships (T:1614), full Communion (T:1615), Judgement (T:1623), sacred space (T:1630), Holy Scripture (T:1635), intercession (T:1660), time and Eternity (T:1668 #4), Calvary’s Offering (T:1668 #12), shrines (T:1680), prayer for the Departed (T:1695), sharing God’s nature (T:1706), priestly celibacy (T:1716), our Immaculate Saviour (T:1744A), one Doctrine (T:1734B-1, human-Divine co-operation (T:1794), the heart of the liturgy (T:1804), Marriage (T:1813), Substitution (T:1829 #4), Sundays and holy days (T:1857), the Sacrament of the Sick (T:1893), martyrs (T:1895 #3), children of God (T:1905), irreverence (T:1920), Reconciliation (T:1924), the ‘Our Father’ (T:1926), devotions (T:1930), chastity (T:1940), the Father’s Love (T:1941), Benediction (T:1943), the Saints (T:2011), mediation (T:2017), unborn children (T:2025B), Baptism (T:2028), the tabernacle (T:2035), how to ‘console’ Christ (T:2055), ways of teaching (T:2093), the meaning of the Mass (T:2095), Creation (T:2120), Exposition (T:2138), joy in God (T:2162), Life in God (T:2169), Novena petitions (T:2176), the purpose of Holy Communion (T:2198), Salvation (T:2200A), the Redeeming Sacrifice T:2203), sinful priests (T:2220), no Way but Christ (T:2230A), the heart of the Godhead (T:2244B), the unprepared (T:2249), spiritual friendships (T:2286B), conception and birth (T:2348), priests who resemble Christ (T:2354), and holy love in Marriage (T:2382).


It seems a bit extravagant to have listed so many subjects here; but it will give a good impression, I hope, of the generosity of Christ Who has chosen this way, in a time of special need, to remind His People of the richness and the depth of the Catholic Faith.  Yet these are only a few of the subjects covered.  There are many more.



A thorough training.


But what was the real point of all these teachings and all this work?  Christ had told me very little, until then.  His plan was to give me a thorough training in obedience before allowing me to know His plans.  I’d imagined that the teachings would encourage some people in their faith, even if others reacted as I might well have done if our roles had been reversed.  I’d probably have been uninterested in private revelations, though I would have looked at some of the paintings.


From about 1995, however, Christ began to explain much more about His plans; and at first I was appalled.  When I’d just finished writing Volume Two of His teachings, He showed me that He’s offering through this work not just reminders about prayer and the sacraments and the Church, and all these others things; He’s also providing a picture of the whole progression of the spiritual life: a sort of template of the spiritual life - from conversion to the transforming union.  Of course, He showed me that although it’s necessary that I try to write about the spiritual life, in order to be obedient to Him, the important thing is to ‘live it out’, that is, to live out what I’m writing: to put these things into practice in everyday life, amidst the chores and the apple crumble, as I cook, shop, and go to Mass.


It made me happier, however, to hear further reasons for the whole plan of sharing the ‘Teachings’; and they astonished me, although they fitted in so marvellously with what I could plainly recognise as my weaknesses and my ignorance of Theology that I was even more admiring of Christ, Who provides help for people in every situation.  I mean that He showed me the needs of the Church in our particular era, and also showed me how His work in my life would help to restore confidence in the eternal truths of the Catholic Faith.  He showed me that He’s going to achieve this precisely because I’m so weak, sinful and handicapped.  He wants to show proud people who refuse to accept the plain teachings of His Church that faith is more important than scholarship, although both are important, and that obedience to God’s Will as proclaimed by the Church is more important than the holding of an important position in Church or society.


Christ wants to prove, especially to priests and religious who won’t teach the plain truths of the Catholic Faith, as well as to lay people, that if He can’t rely on His appointed teachers to proclaim the Faith with the unashamed gladness and fervour with which it has been proclaimed in past times, He can teach an ignorant woman, in prayer, what is important in the Christian life and what is not; and He can enable her to share His wisdom with His ‘little ones’ in this era so that they aren’t left unconsoled and unfed.



Christ’s explanation.


My own boldness is astonishing me, as I write in so much detail about this task, and my role; but I’m only writing because Christ has shown me the truth, and because He’s trained me not to think about what people will say when they’ve read my work. But I can provide a better understanding of the whole work if I explain that in recent times, day by day, Christ has been showing me all sorts of details about my past and future work, drawing my family towards the Church, and delivering me from a multitude of fears.  He has warmed my heart by new friendships, consoled me most powerfully for every loss, hurt or danger and has also led me to new heights of prayer.  He has even brought me to meet the Father: the Father of Light and Glory: “A GENTLE FATHER AND THE GOD OF ALL CONSOLATION” (2 Co 1:3); and since the Father is Love, and is the Source of Love, He therefore delights in greeting even a weak and sinful person when she has come to meet Him in the company of Christ, helped and changed by the Holy Spirit; and I claim to have achieved such a glorious, interim goal only because Christ has explained to me in great detail what He’s been doing for my soul in the past two or three years.


There are quite a few things I must write about, therefore, for those who want to know a little about ‘life-in-union,’ as discovered and enjoyed by someone who has been astonished at every new stage by the immensity of God’s love for a creature.  Christ never fails to remind me that good results come about through faith and self-sacrifice; and yet He showers upon me so many wonderful gifts that I’d be ashamed to complain of any hardship.  For example, I was inundated with blessings at the start of 1993. 


On February 22nd that year, I celebrated twenty-five years as a Catholic; and at last I was living in a state of delight at God’s goodness to me rather than of sorrow at how badly I’ve served Him.  My elder son was at Seminary in Rome.  On 14th May, our parish priest blessed the painting I’d just finished: a likeness of Our Lady, from memory.  It’s the picture which is entitled: “Our Lady of Harpenden.” I had managed to do many more oils, all ‘prayer paintings’; and I’d given up all commercial work, for various reasons; but every spare minute was spent on the writings and paintings, after family and church commitments and in between chores and meetings with friends and new visitors; and all the while, in prayer, amidst such joyful and fulfilling activities, the teachings flowed from my soul like a river.


Then Christ urged me, on 18th July:-


                        Give up every remaining private or selfish longing.  The less there is of yourself - of your own plans and ambitions - mixed up in your efforts to do My Will, then the more firmly can My Will and My grace be given full space and first place in the ‘Great Outpouring’ later on, when you act as a channel for My grace to others. (T:1332B)



True lovers, equal.


In August 1993, as I thought about all the work I had to do, I turned with Christ to the Father, and renewed my offering by saying: “Here is the rest of my life, for You - whatever might happen ...” and the Father lifted me into His joy.  Then, on August 8th, as I revealed my whole heart and soul to Christ once more, He overwhelmed me with delight, and taught me that since true lovers are equal He has given me gifts which have made me worthy of union with Him.  He urged me  to be confident in His Love.  Then He explained to me:-


                        Realise what a great grace it is that I have led you to reveal every thought, desire and anxiety to Me in prayer.  To be able to confide in Me is a sign of great trust. Realise, further, that:


                        Love is reciprocal

                        True lovers are bound to be equal, and therefore

                        when you share your thoughts and desires and anxieties

                        with Me

                        in sincere trust and friendship,

                        revealing and giving so much of yourself,

                        I do the same for you:

                        from My Godhead to your humanity!


                        Consider My great Love for you.

                        Such is My tenderness towards My friends, and

                        so great is My desire

                        to draw you all into ever-more intimate friendship,

                        that I lavish my gifts upon you. 

                        Almost like a blood transfusion

                        by which life or the properties needed for life are given,

                        a great gift is given to you in Holy Communion,

                        a gift by which the Divine Life within you is strengthened. 


                        My gift to you in Holy Communion is My very Self, and so

                        I give to the soul just what is needed

                        for the union of the soul with Myself


                        in an equality of love!

                        I give to the soul - as if adorning you with Divine gifts -

                        Love, knowledge, Divine Life, and beatitude,

                        thus making your soul equal to Myself

                        in Love, intimacy, eternal Life, and bliss.

                        (T:1341 #2)


Ready to meet rejection.


What a marvel it is, that God exists, and that God loves, and, furthermore, that we who are so weak, cowardly or fearful are the objects of that astounding Love!  What astonishing gifts have been held out to us because of God’s Self-revelation in Christ; and how deeply my heart was touched whenever Christ described the graces with which He wants to adorn us. Yet these reminders of God’s Love, and these numerous teachings, weren’t just for myself; and as I continued to distribute my booklets about some of the earlier teachings, I was reminded by Christ that I was going to meet with different reactions to my writings.  He warned me, in order to help me:-


                        Be prepared for mixed reactions, as you offer other people the ‘Light’ which is My teaching.  Some will ‘bathe’ in the Light, rejoicing.  Some will declare the Light too bright to endure - or will secretly think so - and so will not accept your friendship or teaching.  Others will claim to be so repelled by your weaknesses - thoroughly revealed in this Light - that they will say that they are unable to accept what you say about Me, and about My Church, and about the spiritual life. (T:1342)


God’s tender and forgiving love.


A few weeks later, when I was repenting of some of these weaknesses, I turned to the Holy Spirit, at the end of the Sunday Mass, and asked Him to give me a more loving heart.  He answered not by suddenly banishing my every remaining prejudice or grudge, nor by suddenly making me immune to cowardly or resentful thoughts, but by overwhelming me with His own Love, and so giving me the supreme example of love.  I mean that as soon as I’d opened my heart to Him through my sincere request, He said  to me, with neither image nor sound, but with Infinite Majesty and purity: “I am the measure.”  At the same time He overwhelmed my heart and soul with His tender and forgiving love, in a demonstration of the sort of consoling and encouraging love that He wants to see me show towards other people.


How pitiful is my love, I saw, when compared with the Divine Love which helps and sustains me at every moment.


Very much more information and encouragement was given to me in that single and simple teaching (T:1354); but what I tried to take to heart, as I reflected on these things later on, was the vivid reminder from the Holy Spirit that true love, in its extraordinary kindness, always wants to see the other person blessed with the gifts of God and almost weeps for sadness at the dangers which people face.  True love does all in its power - whilst respecting everyone’s freedom - to keep souls from sin; and yet does so by encouraging goodness in each person, place and circumstance.  Someone who does this can be sure that he is imitating Christ, of Whom we can say: “HE DOES NOT BREAK THE CRUSHED REED, NOR QUENCH THE WAVERING FLAME” (Is 42:3).


Sharing good  news.


It was because I was yearning to be able  to tell people about God’s patience and kindness that I once again overcame my nervousness about speaking in public.  I’d been invited to give a talk about the “Mass Paintings” to several hundred Eucharistic Ministers; and that’s why I visited York for two or three days in October.  The day conference at which I spoke was held in the University building, and the twenty paintings were simultaneously being displayed at the Bar Convent Museum.


Christ showed me, in prayer, about a fortnight later, how important is the task He’s given me to do, and how glad He is that I thank Him for all the helps He has given me (T:1358). But then He led me - shortly afterwards - to the Father in prayer; and I was given a vigorous but loving reminder that nothing I do or say is worthwhile unless it is done ‘in Christ’.  Only because of Christ does my work have any merit, in the Father’s sight.  But the knowledge helped to steer me not towards despondency but towards humility, or truth: which is the ‘rock’  of the Gospel story in which “THE SENSIBLE MAN … BUILT HIS HOUSE ON ROCK” (Mt 7:24).  This is what I was taught, as Christ lifted me up in prayer, and brought me to the Father in a marvellous way, so that I could be taught  at greater length than ever before.  I was amazed and delighted to be shown by Christ:-


                        Be grateful that you have been led to see how profound is your spiritual poverty, and how great is your need of My Divine graces.  It is through your acceptance of Truth, and through the sincere and contrite prayers which you have offered in My Name that you are close to your Heavenly Father, who has something to teach you:


                                                            HOW TRUE IT IS

                                THAT YOU COME TO ME WITH EMPTY HANDS,

                                        THAT YOU HAVE NOTHING TO OFFER

                                                                     TO ME


                                 “THAT IS WHAT I WANTED YOU TO LEARN,”

                                                    SO THAT, LIKE A CHILD,

                                      YOU CAN LIVE AT LAST IN THE TRUTH!

                        IT IS WHEN YOU KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT YOURSELF     

                                 THAT YOU CAN HOPE FOR TRUE HAPPINESS.

                                                  HOW FOOLISH ARE THOSE

                                      WHO TRY TO RELY ON NATURAL GIFTS

                                                          TO DO MY WORK.

                        (T:1359 #1)


                                      NEVER RELY ON YOUR OWN ABILITIES:


                                                   OR ON ANY OTHER GIFTS.

                                        You can rely, only, on the Merits of Christ:

                                          on the graces which He has won for you

                                             and which He chooses to give to you

                                                          moment by moment.

                                                        ACCEPT THE TRUTH:

                                                    It is only through His graces

                                         that you are enabled to help other people,

                                              though I can use you, out of ‘need’,

                                                                USING YOU

                                       as a good Carpenter uses a rusty implement.

                                                     IN THIS ‘NEED’ OF HELP

                                                              I MEAN ONLY

                          THAT IT IS MY WISH THAT MY WORK IS ADVANCED

                              THROUGH THE CO-OPERATION OF MY FRIENDS.

                                  YET HOW FEW ARE WILLING TO ASSIST ME.

                                 INDEED, HOW FEW ARE ABLE TO ASSIST ME.

                                      HOW CAN ANYONE WHO LACKS FAITH

                                                        ‘HELP’ ME, HIS GOD?

                        (T:1359 #2)


                                                    PERSEVERE IN PRAYER.

                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID,

                                                           BUT REMEMBER:

                                Only because of Christ’s Wounds and Christ’s pleas

                                        do I, your Father, grant your poor prayers.

                               CHRIST, ALONE, IS WORTHY OF BEING HEARD,

                                                                 AND YOU,

                                                    IF YOU BELONG TO HIM.

                        (T:1359 #3)


                                            THINK ABOUT YOUR DAILY LIFE:

                             ABOUT THE GIFTS WHICH I HAVE GIVEN TO YOU,

                                              AND ABOUT YOUR VOCATION.

                                                    PUT YOUR TRUST IN ME,

                                                           BUT REMEMBER:

                                       YOU HAVE NOTHING OF YOUR ‘OWN’.

                                                       Only through the graces

                                           won by Christ’s suffering on the Cross

                                         do I, your Father, ‘grace’ you sufficiently

                                                       to do My Work on earth.

                        (T:1359 #4)


Reassurance, and Hope.


Throughout the autumn of 1993, I was immensely encouraged by these words from the Father about the fact that I was doing His work in distributing books of ‘teachings’.  I had never had any doubts about this; but it was a great comfort for me to hear confirmed verbally in prayer what, until then, I had usually learned in wordless instructions; and so I became less cowardly about approaching people with my ‘good news’ about God’s love for us and about His longing to see us made happy in the way which He knows is worthwhile, and sure.


When winter arrived, I had managed to produce many more oil paintings of the prayer-images.  The teachings continued to flow, in prayer.  I was taught about the work of the Holy Spirit, Who can change our hearts, and Who, daily, changes the bread and wine that we bring to the altar (T:1360); and this so inspired me that I offered my life to God once more; and the Father reassured me, in prayer, that it’s through the abandonment of our own ambitions, and through true union with Him, “in” Christ, that we can find the greatest-possible joy.



Prayer as Purgatory.


Early in November, I was touched to the heart to be given, by an astonishing teaching, a deeper appreciation of God’s goodness and of our need of  purification.


It was when I had renewed my love and repentance before the Father that I was suddenly, and wonderfully,  taught more about purification,  and about how willing and contrite souls can hope to undergo Purgatory even during earthly life; but this news was given as a reason for hope, not for fear.


First, Christ showed me what had been happening within my soul; and then the Father intervened to teach me, as the Holy Spirit shone His Light of Understanding within me.  In this way, I was marvellously taught by Christ:-


                        Be glad that - long ago and many more times since - you have been brought to repentance.  You have seen what joy it has brought you, through My grace working within you, and your humility. (T:1366 #1)


                        Be grateful for the purifications through which I have been leading you for so many years.  Only through your contrition have you been enabled to walk the path of purification. (T:1366 #2)


                        Look upon your purification - a ‘scouring’ which has been worked through remorse, penance, spiritual darkness and the sufferings of earthly life - as a priceless gift.  Through this scouring, I have been preparing you for Heaven; and through the peace and the trust which have arisen within your soul, you have begun to pray to your Heavenly Father - in My Name -  with increasing confidence and gratitude.  Listen, as He reassures you that your trials have been worthwhile:


                                                                 HERE I AM

                                                           TEACHING YOU.

                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID.

                                         REPENTANCE HAS LED YOU TO JOY,

                                              BUT FOR YOUR GREATER JOY,



                                              OF SEEING THEIR SINFULNESS.


                                           TRUE REPENTANCE IS LIKE THIS:

                                            WHEN YOU REPENT SINCERELY,

                                    AND WHEN YOU PERSEVERE IN PRAYER,

                                          BRAVELY BEARING YOUR SHAME,

                                     AND PRAYING IN THE NAME OF MY SON,


                               it is as though - VOLUNTARILY - you approach Me,

                                                        your God, your Father,

                                                           walking towards Me

                                                       - YOUR SOUL ‘naked’ -

                                                  through the Fire of My Glory.


                                              Yet as you approach Me, repenting,

                                                            naked in that Fire,

                                                  yet strong in the Life of Christ,

                                                       all sin bursts into flame.

                                          Yet the ‘Fire’ does not touch your flesh;

                                          and when your sins are at last consumed

                                          you shall be like a child in My presence:

                                 pure, newly-born, unashamed, naked and innocent;

                                       and I will clothe you for the Wedding Feast.


                                                       in this life, and in prayer

                               some are invited  - YOU AMONGST THEM -   to walk 

                                                       through their Purgatory.

                           (WC:1366) (T:1366 #3)


Perfect love, expressed in sacrifice.


Christ’s love is so fervent that He didn’t let me dwell for long on the subjects of sin and purification.  He reassured me that He had especially chosen me for this work, even with all my failings, telling me:-


                        Be grateful for your task, without worrying about not being worthy of this work.  It is true that you are not worthy; nevertheless I have chosen you, with all your faults. (T:1370 #1)


                        Accept My Will, in simplicity.  Share My teachings.  Let nothing deter you from this task.


                        “It is your task.

                        I gave it to you

                        not because of your worthiness

                        but as My choice.

                        Others have other tasks.

                        This is yours!

                        I clothe you and adorn you for the task.

                        I make you fit.

                        I train you, and give you the gifts you need.

                        You are poor,

                        but I give you all you need

                        to bring riches to others.” (T:1370 #2)



A declaration of love.


No-one is as tender as Christ, as He encourages us to believe in Him. Christ startled me at the Consecration one day, by speaking from above the altar to remind me just how profound is His love for me - and for everyone else for whose sake for He died a terrible death; and as I looked up and saw Christ hanging on the Cross, I heard Him call to me:-


                        Look up, at the time of the Consecration.  Gaze upon the Sacred Host, as I Myself am calling out to you,  saying: “This is My Body!” I am here before you.  You are present to the One Holy Sacrifice which I offered on Calvary; and I am Really Present with you - here at the altar -  pleading on your behalf to the Father. (T:1376 #6)


                        Look up, to see Me hanging on the Cross as My Blood was poured out for you. You have touched My Heart by your repentance and devotion; and although I am wounding your heart by speaking of My Love for you, I want you to listen, and to understand the reason:


                        “This is My Body!

                        this is what true Love means:

                        being wholly given up for you.

                        Not content with giving you

                        words of Love, from Heaven,

                        for you, I gave up My Body,

                        giving it

                                    not in ploughing fields like a family man

                                    proving his love by toil,

                        giving it

                                    not in sexual love, but

                        giving it

                        wholly, most perfectly,

                        in Sacrifice,

                        allowing others to take My life.

                        I did this for you, to pay your debt.

                        See how much I love you!

                        May this be a cause for joy

                        and not for sadness.”

                        (WC + OIL: 1376) (T:1376 #6)


At the same time, Christ explained to me:-


                        Consider the work of the prophets who prepared the world for My holy Incarnation.  It was through them that I sent ‘words of love from Heaven’: words of pleading, reminder, promise, warning and anticipation.  Their work was the prelude to the main theme of My action, which was My revelation of My Love for you: shown out through My Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection and Ascension. (T:1376 #7)


                        Remind yourself that I cherish My friends.  From Love, I gave My life in sacrifice and suffering, to save you.  You can be sure - of the Passion which I suffered on your behalf - that “I would have done it a thousand times, Lizzie,” for you and for all of My precious brothers and sisters. (T:1377 #1)


                        Never forget how deeply I long to save you. (T:1377 #2)


My heart ached for joy at this declaration of love.  Indeed, after every teaching as fervent and reassuring as this one, my love for Christ grew stronger - and began to change in another way. I loved Him at last with my heart and feelings, as well as with my mind and soul.  I mean that I had loved Him by faith, for many years: but with my soul and mind as much occupied with a concept - the idea of a Saviour - as with the real God-man Himself.  But now I knew and loved Him primarily as a Person - albeit an Incarnate Divine Person through Whom I hoped to find salvation; and so every word of love I offered Him, and every sacrifice and act of witness, was made  a thousand times easier and more joyful.



Prayer at every moment.


It was after Christmas, that same year, when we had all been thinking gratefully about Christ’s love for us, and about His family life, that Christ showed me something else about faith, and its development - and more about how He Himself is our means of offering unceasing prayers of praise and thanks to the Father. On the feast of St. John the Evangelist, Christ urged me:-


                        Be grateful for the gifts which you have so far taken for granted.  A small shoot of faith was planted in your soul in childhood.  It was rooted in the ‘rich soil’ of a devout family life, and in Christian worship, and in the words of the Holy Scriptures. (T:1384 #1)


                        Continue to unite your prayers and sacrifices with Mine, as you offer My Sacrifice to the Father.  Say: ‘Father, here is Jesus’ perfect prayer.’  But don’t imagine that you can pray well only in church!  Listen to your Father’s teaching:



                                You are not limited to the daily Offering at the altar.

                           You can make the same prayer at each moment of the day,



                                              You are not always before the altar

                                           where the Holy Sacrifice is offered, yet

                                        Christ’s  intention is always the same, and

                                   He Who is now in Heaven - Jesus your Saviour -

                                                 pleads eternally before Me; and

                                       SINCE YOU AND HE ARE ONE IN LOVE,

                                          by your union with Him, from baptism,

                                                           His prayer is yours,

                                                            and can be offered

                                                 in its fullness and Divine power

                                                    at every moment of your life

                                               by a little movement of your heart!

                           (T:1384 #2)


The Three Great Flames.


After that reminder of my utter dependence on Christ and on His Sacrifice, Christ Himself showed me the goal towards which He had been leading me: He explained how I had allowed Him to draw me, even during earthly life, into the heart of the Godhead.


On the first day of the New Year - 1994 - Christ lifted up my soul in prayer, to show me an image of a small figure which was being enfolded by three great flames - and these represented the Three Divine Persons; and Christ taught me that He delighted in my new abandonment to His plans.  He explained very gently:-


                        Rejoice in your security.  You who are willing to do My Will and not your own are walking along a path which leads towards eternal Life with Us - with the Most Holy Trinity - in Heaven.  Yet even during your life on earth you are wrapped in Our Love. (T:1385 #2)


                        Believe that even now you are led by Me, Jesus, you are directed by My Spirit, and you walk towards the Father.  It is as if your footsteps have led you - on your path to Heaven - to step into the centre of a great Light which stretches across the ground in front of you; and that Light has risen up to enfold you; you can see that the single great Light consists of three huge flames, which, intertwined, hold you within their warm and peaceful embrace.  At every instant, you live at the Heart of the Holy Three - One God - Who almost carry you, it seems, as you walk towards Heaven.  We Three Divine Persons are like three great flames of Love; yet We are One Fire, in Whose unchanging Light you already live, even before you reach Heaven’s perfection. (WC:1385A) (T:1385 #3)


                        Consider the wonder of Our union, the unity of the Most Holy Trinity.  Truly, you share Our Life: the life of the Father Who waits before you, the life of Myself, Jesus your Lord and daily Companion, and the life of My Holy Spirit Who leads you onwards; and you have learned that none of Us Three Divine Persons lacks anything, yet None is ever ‘without’ the Others.  Each perfect and Divine Person can be seen as wholly flame and wholly fire.  Yet We Three, together, are One Flame or One Fire in which three ‘flames’ are distinct yet united.  This One Fire of Love - Our Godhead - is simple yet three-fold.  It is - I am - bright, pure, perfect and everlasting: One God, unrivalled.  (WC:1385B) (T:1385 #4)


Continued teachings.


When I received that teaching about the Three Divine Persons, less than a year remained of the time in which, whilst I was being taught, I seemed to be as if ‘below the cloud’ which separates earth from Heaven.  At the end of 1994, I was lifted up to the cloud in prayer, as if on Christ’s outstretched hand, to begin a new way of life as if at the heart of the Holy Trinity.


During that year, Christ had shown me how sad it is (in T:1404) that when human life is given so that can be used for God - and for eternal fulfilment in God - so few persons do much except spend most of that God-given time in pursuing their own ambitions.  He told me (T:1405) how few persons are prepared to make fools of themselves before others, in order to speak Gospel truths; and yet how extraordinary, blissful and fulfilling is friendship with the Father, for those who trust in Him and who are willing to turn to Him with sincere and loving hearts.


It was deeply moving for me to be shown by the Father, in prayer one day, that His Love for us is so great that it’s as though He counts Himself honoured by even a moment’s love and attention (T:1406).  At the same time I was shown an image of a devout person being lifted up in contemplation towards the Father’s outstretched arms - and therefore towards Heaven’s Glory.


In prayer, I learned about the importance of a vigorous spiritual training for all who wish to please God (T:1422).  Christ taught me more about Heaven and Hell (in T:1438), about duty (T:1445), and about the peace and harmony which is experienced in each truly Holy Communion (T:1457); and that peace was being given to me ever more frequently in prayer, as well as at the reception of the sacraments; and that peace was enormously increased one evening in July, 1994, when Our Blessed Lady came to me again and taught me more about her role.


Our Lady’s role.


On 24th July I was alone at home, waiting for my husband and children to return from an outing.  I prayed my evening prayers as usual, but added fervent thanks to Our Lady for her kindness to me throughout the years - especially for her heartening visit of four years earlier. Then, with tears of gratitude and also tears for myself as I thought about my various difficulties and as I hovered on the brink of self-pity once more, I asked her: “Be a mother to me!”  Straightaway she was with me, insisting: “I am your Mother!;” and as she comforted me by these reassuring words, her son Christ instantly explained the meaning.  He taught me:-


                        Listen carefully to Mary, as she explains to you, gently, that her Motherhood of you is not a special privilege to be given on request, but is something wonderful which is already true for you; and as you now learn, she wants you to know that “If Jesus, by His humanity, is a brother to everyone, then the mother of Jesus is Mother of every person: to all!” (T:1459 #2)


                        Ask My Mother’s help in trying to serve Me ever more faithfully.  Your trust in her is not misplaced.  She is delighted that you turn to her, that you reveal your faults to her so frankly, and that you honour her by praying the Rosary. (T:1459 #3)


                        Consider the wonderful results of regular prayer to Me and to My Mother, combined with contrition, and honesty.  It is as though a pit has been prepared within your hollowed-out soul, a pit like those which workmen prepare in order to construct a firm foundation for a new building.  In your soul, our ‘building’ can now begin! (T:1459 #4)


                        Be glad that through your sufferings you have allowed Me to build a firm ‘foundation’ within your soul: so firm that it is like the ‘rock’ of the Gospel story; and the house built upon that rock was not swept away when floods came.  I want you to remain firm amidst storms of temptations, and that is why it is important that you - and others - prepare your souls thoroughly by co-operation with My Will, and by prayer and contrition. (T:1459 #5)


                        Turn to My Mother in times of great need, as well as amidst everyday joys and irritations.  She is always motherly and tender, waiting patiently to help you. Turn to her with each new thought and worry; none of your problems wearies her.  She delights in helping her children, and that is why I asked you, long ago, to trust this beloved Mother, whom you call your ‘Dear Lady’! (T:1459 #6)


                        Notice the resemblance between My Mother and Myself. Although we are physically alike, I am speaking now about our attitudes.  Just as I, your Lord, don’t force anyone to welcome Me or to serve Me, but wait for an invitation to share in your lives and your sorrows, so My holy Mother too respects your freedom. (T:1459 #7)


                        Consider what blessings you have drawn upon yourself today, through inviting My Mother to share more fully in your life and in your momentary sadness. (T:1459 #8)


Through ignorance of Our Lady.


Then Christ consoled me, saying:-


                        Don’t be ashamed that in past years you were tongue-tied before My Mother, feeling unfit to confide in her about various matters.  Some of you who were brought up without knowing of her motherly love have nevertheless begun to know her; you honour her sincerely, praying to her, doing good things for her, defending her, and making sacrifices in her honour, to please Me. But you have done so as if from afar.  You have been keeping My Mother at a distance not just in awe but through an ignorance and a lack of trust such as is sometimes found outside My Church. (T:1459 #9)


Comfort, from her presence.


It was true that my devotion to Our Lady had been dutiful rather than warm and trusting.  How well Christ knows our hearts; but how marvellously He can change them, in an instant.  It was by His mercy that I was suddenly shown an image of Our Lady, an image which explained very clearly that the amount of help we receive in prayer depends upon our willingness to approach the Heavenly friends who can help us.  Christ showed me:-


                        Ponder the image before you, in which you see My Mother acting as a true mother caring for two young children.  You can see that one little boy has buried his head against her side; his face is hidden in her garments; he is tugging at her clothes, angry and rebellious and noisy; yet at the same time he trusts this Mother enough to stay close to her in his misery, and therefore he derives comfort from her presence.  However, the other little boy - you can see - is standing a few feet away from this tender Mother who is reaching out her hand to help him.  But although he longs for help, and turns his face towards her sadly, he is too unbending or proud to run to her, and so he is not much helped. (WC:1459B) (T:1459 #10)


                        Run to Mary as anyone would run to a good mother.  You will be comforted! (T:1459 #11)


                        See how important it is that you know My Mother well, and that you are truly grateful for her love.  It is only now that you have been made ready to speak about her as she deserves.  We want you to share with others the knowledge of her love, but we want you to speak not just with awe that she has come to you, encouraging you, but also with joy.  Speak joyfully about that which now thrills you: that My Mother helps you all so sweetly because she cares for you so deeply!  Don’t be ashamed to speak of the bliss which you experience in her presence. (T:1459 #12)



Faith is needed.


Throughout the whole of 1994  I continued with my work, greatly helped by the kindness of Christ and His Mother.  The prayers and teachings were woven into the usual meals, outings, bouts of illness, and days and weeks of writing.  I was now overjoyed to be doing the work I was doing.  It was difficult in some ways, but I was beginning to conquer my embarrassment at speaking about what Christ had been teaching me; and of course, I felt this initial embarrassment because I didn’t think I was fit to do the work.  Surely He could have chosen someone who’d been less rebellious?


But Christ showed me clearly that other people can be helped by seeing how much He can do in the life and soul of someone weak who finds it hard to be good.  Then, on August 17th , Christ made a little more plain what He had been doing in my life.  He urged me:-


                        Accept and delight in the knowledge which is now streaming towards you from within My Mind, to dispel your mind’s former blindness.  You can see, at last:


                        How great am I, Christ your God.

                        How kind am I

                                    Who stoop to you, My frail creature,

                                    Who stoop to you with such a gift,

                                    the gift of My ‘teachings’.

                        How tremendous is the work which

                                    I am doing through you!

                        How many thousands will be helped!

                        How feeble and silly you have been

                                    during your efforts to speak

                                    about My teachings; yet

                                    how magnificent is My Love.

                        How glorious is My willingness to feed your soul

                                    both with Sacraments and “Teachings.”

                        How few are willing  to make efforts

                                    to be fit to receive My wisdom,

                                    to receive such ‘teachings’, in prayer.

                        How great a privilege is this intimacy!

                        How comfortable and stable is the union

                                    of your soul with Myself, a union

                                    sometimes even taken-for-granted!

                        How little faith there is in the world;

                                    and since faith is needed

                                    for this task,

                                    I use you.

                        How many assaults of evil,

                                    of temptation and illness

                                    - more evil than you are aware of -

                                    have been unleashed against you

                                    to deflect you from this work. (T:1467B #2)


                        Let this revelation encourage you

                                    to persevere

                                    through every trial which awaits you.

                                    I cannot fail to help you to complete this work,

                                    since it is Mine. (T:1467B #3)


Causes for joy.


During the month which followed that encouraging teaching, Christ taught me about the “ROYAL PRIESTHOOD” (1 P 2:9) to which I belong, as do all who live to serve Him (T:1469).  He taught me more about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (in T:1470), and about His Mother Mary’s role in our spiritual formation (in T:1489); and during that same year, I had further special reasons for rejoicing.  The first was seeing the publication of the new “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” which had been requested by the world’s Catholic Bishops.  It proved to be a marvellous reference work, with clear and unambiguous teaching on everything we need to know about our Faith.  It included numerous topics on which some people wrongly claim that there is uncertainty within the Church, whereas the uncertainty lies in the hearts and minds of those who don’t yet understand the teachings or who refuse to believe that they are true - or that the Church has the authority from God to proclaim certain things as true.


The book was greeted with cries of delight from fervent Catholics everywhere, as well as with the not-unexpected criticisms which grace every document sent out by the Holy Father and the other Bishops.

The comparatively minor reason for celebration was that I had a small statue of Our Lady installed outside our home: on the terrace near my back door.  Our parish priest came to bless it; and when I thanked Our Lady for having made all this possible, she told me: “It is I who thank you.”  She is delighted whenever we do anything to honour her, and this is because she knows that it makes Our Lord happy to see her loved and revered (T:1471).



Speaking with the Father.


When almost a year had passed with wonderful spiritual treats mixed in with the usual difficulties, combined with hard work and ever more joyful and fruitful times of prayer, I was led into a lengthy conversation with the Father, Who astonished me by explaining how and why I have been ‘taught’ in prayer - and why I can be confident of spending Eternity with Him, if I live for love until I die.


Since that awesome day in November 1994 the Father has spoken to me at length on many occasions, in the communications of contemplative prayer.  Most of these teachings are recorded in the several volumes of ‘Teachings-in-prayer,’ and so there’s no need for me to reproduce very many here.  I’ve already quoted a few of the Father’s shorter teachings; but I’ve placed at the beginning of the next chapter the whole of this first lengthy teaching (T:1508), because it seemed to set a pattern for the many hours of dialogue with the Father which I’ve been privileged to enjoy in the past few years.  Also, this will show several other reasons why I  want to weep with gratitude that God is so good to us. 


First, the Father responded to my heart’s questions.  Secondly, in His infinite courtesy, He let me ‘guide’ some of the conversation, yet took the lead very gently when He had some important information to give me; and thirdly, and most amazing to me, He shared His wisdom, in this way, to someone who has served Him so badly.  Yet that’s what He is like: utterly ‘overcome’, I can now say boldly, by people who are contrite and who trust Him.  If only I could show people how infinitely sweet and consoling is the love expressed by this powerful, awesome and yet tender Father of ours Who has ‘stooped’ to us from Heaven, and Whom we can know through our union with Christ!








Writing to my friends.


When I was sitting at my kitchen table on 26th November 1994, writing letters and greetings cards, I was grateful to God for the many friends to whom I was sending news and good wishes; and as I turned my heart to Christ, He led me to the Father and showed me:-


                        Follow My inspiration and pray for your friends, as you write letters and greetings cards.  Turn to the Father, in your longing to be united in Heaven one day with these beloved people.  Pray, in My Name, that they will be given the gift of faith in Me. Listen to your Heavenly Father, Who delights in your prayer, and Who now reminds you of My earthly origin:


Here, to my astonishment, the Father vigorously yet soundlessly taught me:-


                            Christ, the “Son of God”, was born of the Jewish People.

                                                     YOUR DIVINE SAVIOUR


                                THROUGH YOUR UNION WITH ME IN PRAYER,


                                              YOUR GLANCE CAN EMBRACE

                                                      THE EARTHLY PEOPLE

                                                 FROM WHOM SHE SPRANG:

                                               FROM WHOM CHRIST MY SON

                                            RECEIVED HIS HUMAN NATURE.


                                      LET ME SHOW YOU A RIVER, FLOWING:

                                                       A ‘RIVER’ OF PEOPLE

                                 FROM ANCIENT AGES TO THE PRESENT DAY.

                                                        SEE THE DARKNESS

                            FROM WHICH EMERGED THIS PEOPLE, LONG AGO,

                                                 OBEDIENT AND TRUSTING.

                                 SEE THE THOUSANDS OF FAITHFUL PEOPLE:


                                            ANCESTORS OF YOUR SAVIOUR.

                        (T:1506 #1)


                           OPEN YOUR EYES TO THE WONDER OF CHRIST’S BIRTH.

                           HEAVEN’S LIGHT SHONE UPON EARTH, THROUGH HIM,

                                              TO BRIGHTEN THE DARKNESS


                                                      YOU SEE BEFORE YOU

                             A SPOTLIGHT, WHICH SHINES UPON THE ‘RIVER’:

                                UPON ONE GREAT SECTION: UPON THE FACES

                                                          CLOSEST TO YOU.


                              THEIR FACES SHINING WITH HEAVENLY LIGHT;

                                                 AND THIS IS THE MEANING:

                                                       You who worship Christ

                                                  are direct spiritual descendants

                                                   OF THIS GREAT PEOPLE,

                            A PRECIOUS PEOPLE, CHOSEN BY ME, THEIR GOD,

                                                             YOUR FATHER,

                                                  AND GUIDED IN MY WAYS.

                                       OPEN YOUR HEART TO MY TEACHING.

                                                      REMEMBER THE WAY

                                     TO THE GREATEST POSSIBLE INTIMACY

                                                   WITH ME, YOUR FATHER:

                                                   they are most truly My People

                                                          who are united to Me


                                             People are most closely united to Me

                                             when united to Me “in” Jesus Christ,

                                                    Whose Light shines on earth

                                        with a clarity and power unseen elsewhere.

                          (WC + OIL:1508A) (T:1508 #2)




At this point, I was still sitting in my chair, too ill to kneel down, but almost overwhelmed by the Father’s invisible yet wholly-enveloping Majesty.  So I begged Him to show me how to please Him.  I asked: ‘Give me everything I need to do Your Will!’  And the answer I received was exactly as I recite, below, except that, as before, I have ‘translated’ the Father’s real but mostly-wordless teaching into my own language.


The Father told me, with awesome majesty yet infinite gentleness:-


                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID,

                                                            MY DAUGHTER.


                                                  I DELIGHT IN YOUR TRUST

                                       AS YOU TURN TO ME, OPEN-HEARTED,

                                          PRAYING IN THE NAME OF CHRIST,

                                                   REVEALING YOUR FEARS

                                   ABOUT PRAYER, ABOUT BEING ‘TAUGHT’,


                             ABOUT YOUR UTTER INABILITY TO DO MY WILL

                                                      UNLESS I ASSIST YOU.


                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID.

                                      IT IS CHRIST MY SON WHO HOLDS YOU

                                                              CLOSE TO ME

                                           WHO ‘HIDE’ MY DIVINE MAJESTY

                                                                - IT SEEMS -

                                           BEHIND A VAST BANK OF CLOUD.


                                            AS YOU REACH UP TO GREET ME,

                                                                IN PRAYER.

                        (T:1508 #3)


Trust and humility.


Here, the Father consoled me, saying:-


                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID,

                                                                 MY CHILD.

                                                  LISTEN TO MY TEACHING.

                                                            YOU PLEASE ME

                                         BY YOUR LOVE FOR YOUR FRIENDS.

                                                            YOU PLEASE ME

                                        WHENEVER YOU TRUST IN MY LOVE,

                              WHENEVER YOU REACH UPWARDS IN PRAYER,

                                  WHENEVER YOU OPEN YOUR HEART TO ME,

                                 WHENEVER YOU REVEAL YOUR WEAKNESS,

                                    WHENEVER YOU YEARN TO DO MY WILL:

                                        WHENEVER YOU FEED UPON TRUTH.


                                                          SUCH CLOSENESS

                                                                     TO ME

                                                  YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER

                                                         IS MADE POSSIBLE

                                            ONLY THROUGH JESUS, MY SON:

                                   THROUGH HIS WORK WITHIN YOUR SOUL.


                           BY HIS POWER AND THROUGH YOUR TRUST IN HIM

                                    HE HAS LIFTED YOU INTO MY PRESENCE.

                                                       IN THIS TRUE UNION,

                                             YOU ARE A PRIVILEGED CHILD.



                                                 CHRIST IS THE WAY TO ME.


                                   HE BROUGHT YOU TO ME, YOUR FATHER.

                                  HE BROUGHT YOU INTO THIS WAY OF LIFE:

                                                       THIS LIFE-IN-UNION.

                        (T:1508 #4)


A lengthy training.


Then the Father told me something which will warn others, through me, about the perils which are faced by those who receive great gifts from Him, and who then grow ungrateful or careless.  He told me:-


                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID.

                                                     THOSE WHO ENVY YOU

                                           OR WHO LONG FOR GREAT TASKS

                                             SHOULD CONSIDER MY WISHES

                                              AND THE LENGTHY TRAINING

                           WHICH HAS PREPARED YOU FOR SUCH INTIMACY.

                                            THEY SHOULD CONSIDER, ALSO,

                               WHAT A GREAT FALL, FROM SUCH A HEIGHT,

                              SHOULD ANYONE TURN AWAY, AND STUMBLE,

                                      CARELESS OF LOSING LIFE AND LIGHT.


                                                              BE AT PEACE.

                                  YOU ARE RESTING SECURELY IN MY LOVE.

                                                      I AM WARNING THOSE

                                                WHO FLEE THE SACRIFICES,



                                                         YOU CAN REJOICE!

                                         REJOICE IN YOUR SAVIOUR’S LOVE

                                                    AND IN HIS FRIENDSHIP,

                                     AND IN THIS BRIGHT BLISS AND GLORY.

                  (T:1508 #5)


God’s unceasing goodwill.


Then the Father explained how He and I can be perpetually united in prayer.  He reminded me:-


                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID.

                                             LISTEN TO MY TEACHING, THEN

                               RESPOND FROM THE DEPTHS OF YOUR HEART.

                                                  THROUGH MY SON, JESUS,

                                            YOU ARE HELD WITHIN MY LIFE.

                                                     TREASURE THIS HOUR,

                                              THESE PRIVILEGED MOMENTS

                               OF UNION, COMMUNION AND CONVERSATION

                                                                   WITH ME

                                                  YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER

                             WHOSE MAJESTY IS INFINITE, UNFATHOMABLE.


                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID.

                                              LET US CONTINUE IN PRAYER.

                               EXPRESS YOUR LONGING TO SERVE ME WELL.

                                                      My goodwill is unceasing.

                                         I am always helping you to serve Me well

                                            in whatever task I have set before you.


                                                      I never stop teaching you,

                                SINCE I NEVER WITHDRAW MY LOVING CARE

                                                                 FROM YOU

                                                    THOUGH YOU ARE FREE

                                TO WITHDRAW YOUR LOVE AND ATTENTION

                                                                  FROM ME.

                  (T:1508 #6)


                                              CONSIDER YOUR WAY OF LIFE:

                                THIS CONSTANT COMMUNICATION WITH ME,

                                                             YOUR FATHER.

                                             IT IS AS IF A ‘CHANNEL’ EXISTS


                                                            AND MY HEART.

                                   THIS ‘CHANNEL TO THE FATHER’S HEART’

                                                     IS OPENED BY PRAYER.

                                THIS IS A CHANNEL THROUGH WHICH COMES

                                     ALL GRACE, LIGHT, TEACHING, WISDOM

                                                                  AND JOY.

                                            I NEVER ‘CLOSE’ THIS CHANNEL.

                                       MY GIFTS POUR OUT LAVISHLY UPON

                                                    ONE WHO TURNS TO ME,

                               ONE WHOSE HEART IS ‘OPEN’ TO RECEIVE ME,

                            ONE WHOSE HEART IS ‘OPEN’ TO MY INFLUENCE,



                                              THIS ‘CHANNEL’ TO MY HEART

                                          - A CHANNEL OPENED BY PRAYER -

                                       RESEMBLES THE BRIGHT ‘CORRIDOR’

                                                WHICH I REVEALED TO YOU:

                                A CORRIDOR THROUGH WHICH YOU TRAVEL

                                                             AFTER DEATH,

                                WHEN YOU CARRY ONLY YOUR OWN HEART:

                                                             A HEART FULL

                                                        - IT IS TO BE HOPED -


                                             OF MY DIVINE LIFE AND LIGHT.

                  (T:1508 #7)


Prayers for the departed.


As the Father taught me about Divine Life, and about death, I was so aware both of the profundity and the length of this ‘teaching’ that I bowed down before Him, and silently and trustingly explained my intention; then I began to write down everything I could remember about the previous half-hour’s conversation.


As I wrote, I suddenly remembered that two of our parishioners had died recently; and so I turned to the Father again, and asked Him to have mercy on them.  In reply, He not only showed me how much He delights in each trusting prayer, but how it is that our prayers are answered.  He taught me:-


                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID.

                                                            YOU PLEASE ME

                                                       AS YOU TRUST IN ME,

                                        AS YOU RECORD MY TEACHING, AND

                                          AS YOU PRAY FOR YOUR FRIENDS,

                                           SO THAT THEY TOO MIGHT KNOW

                                 THE LIGHT AND THE JOY WHICH ARE YOURS

                                              AS YOU REST IN MY EMBRACE.



                                              AS YOU PRAY FOR THE DYING

                                                   IN THE NAME OF MY SON,


                                    MY HOLY SPIRIT PROMPTS YOU TO PRAY.

                                      HIS PRESENCE IS ACTIVE, WITHIN YOU.

                                                    HE PRAYS, WITHIN YOU,

                                 IN A SWIFT AND POWERFUL GUST OF GRACE

                                                          - LIKE THE WIND -

                              WHICH NOW STREAMS THROUGH YOUR HEART

                                                IN FERVENT INTERCESSION.


                           IT IS WHEN A SOUL HAS BEEN EMPTIED: MADE ‘HOLLOW’

                                           - TO CONTAIN MY DIVINE GRACE -

                                     THAT ALL HER PRAYERS ARE GRANTED.

                                   ONE WHO CO-OPERATES WITH MY GRACE


                                   WITH PENANCES, AND ACTS OF CHARITY.


                               Through a ‘hollowed’ soul, the Holy Spirit ‘breathes.’

                                           He breathes His Will to Me, the Father

                                     Who cannot refuse the wish of My Holy Spirit,

                                             a wish made in the Name of My Son.

                           (WC:1508C) (T:1508 #8)


Our free consent.


When I wondered why more people aren’t made joyful by prayer, and by union with the Father, I was astonished to receive an answer.  The Father explained to me:-


                                                    DELIGHT IN OUR UNION.

                           DON’T BE AFRAID THAT OTHERS ARE NEGLECTED.

                                                        I NEGLECT NO-ONE.



                                                               UPON THEM.

                           I DO NOT FORCE THEM TO DO CHRIST-LIKE WORK.

                           THOSE WHO LOVE ME, HOWEVER, CO-OPERATE WITH ME.


                                     ONE WHO LOVES ME WILL TURN TO ME.

                                                         AT MY INVITATION

                                     HE WILL LIFT UP HIS SOUL TOWARDS ME

                                       LIKE A CHICK WHICH OPENS ITS BEAK

                                                            TO ITS MOTHER.

                                   THUS, HE WILL RECEIVE SPIRITUAL FOOD.

                  (T:1508 #9)


God’s concern for our welfare.


Here, I thanked the Father for His teaching. I was still wondering how it was that He was teaching me at such length - and yet He had told me once before (in T:1221) that His teachings would become fewer, but greater.  Then, as I waited and wondered, like a child, still awe-struck by His kindness, and by the fact that I could ask Him things and be confident of an answer, I was suddenly told:-


                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID.

                             IT IS TRUE THAT I NEVER CEASE TO TEACH YOU.

                                     IT IS TRUE THAT, THROUGH OUR UNION,


                           REMEMBER, HOWEVER, MY CONSTANT CARE FOR YOU.

                                                       AM I NOT MERCIFUL,

                                           WHENEVER YOU ARE SUFFERING,

                                                    IN TURMOIL OR IN PAIN,

                                       OR BUSY AT HOME, OR TRAVELLING?

                                         THEN, THE TEACHINGS ARE FEWER,

                           SINCE IT TIRES YOU TO LEARN, WRITE AND PONDER.

                                 SUCH IS MY CONCERN FOR YOUR WELFARE.


                                             DON’T BE AFRAID OF THIS GIFT.

                            TRULY, THESE TEACHINGS ARE A PRECIOUS GIFT

                                       FROM ME, YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER.

                                                   AS YOU HAVE LEARNED,

                                                   it is quite beyond your power

                                               to lift yourselves up to true Union

                                                           and understanding.


                                                       The Holy Spirit lifts you.

                  (T:1508 #10)

                                               TREASURE YOUR PRIVILEGE.

                                                          INTIMATE UNION

                                        WITH ME, YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER,

                                   IS SOMETHING GIVEN ONLY WHEN I WILL,

                                                                  AS I WILL;

                           AND SINCE I AM MERCIFUL AS WELL AS GENEROUS

                                                  I LIFT YOU UP IN THIS WAY

                                    ONLY FOR AS LONG AS YOU CAN BEAR IT,



                                                           AND THEREFORE


                                                      TAX YOUR STRENGTH.

                                                          YOU CAN BE SURE

                                         THAT I  YOUR LORD AND CREATOR

                                                        - SINCE I LOVE YOU -

                           DEAL TENDERLY WITH YOU, MY FRAIL CHILDREN.


                                                           Like a good mother,

                                             I give to each child what is best for it

                           - WHETHER ‘ORDINARY’ GRACES OR EXTRAORDINARY -

                                                       best for its unique needs.

                  (T:1508 #11)


Even beyond death.


Perhaps I haven’t yet said that during the whole of this dialogue, the Father’s presence gave me incomparable joy, as well as inspiring feelings of awe and gratitude; and my praise became so heart-felt and confident that I told Him how good He is; and I said that since I couldn’t seize Him with my hands, to stay close to Him forever, I was now ‘seizing’ Him with my heart; and here I offered my heart and my hopes to Him, wholly - only to be astonished at His response.  God the Father ‘spoke’ to me, soundlessly, and gave me a promise - and an explanation.  He urged me:-


                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID.

                           I, YOUR FATHER, DELIGHT IN YOUR LOVE AND PRAISE,

                                                       HERE IN OUR UNION:

                                            A UNION WHICH SHALL NOT END

                                                      IF YOU ARE FAITHFUL.

                                   YOU CAN HOPE TO BE WITH ME FOREVER.


                                     THOUGH YOU CANNOT GRASP ME NOW,


                                         YOU CAN HOPE TO BE BOUND TO ME

                                     - BOUND BY YOUR HEART’S YEARNING -

                                                     EVEN BEYOND DEATH.


                                                   If your heart and My ‘Heart’

                                                      are of the same ‘material’,

                                                               which is Love,


                           being the same, and BEING AT LAST BROUGHT TOGETHER “ON FIRE,”

                                                              AFTER DEATH

                                                     - AS IF FUSED, IN LOVE -

                                                       we cannot be torn apart.

                                                       Nothing can separate us.

                                                  “You will be with Me forever,”

                                                  and your body will be restored,

                                                                    in Glory.


                                     WHO COULD HOPE FOR A GREATER JOY:

                                     A MORE GLORIOUS AND LOVING UNION

                                                         AND FULFILMENT?

                  (T:1508 #12)


A ‘blank sheet’.


Then I said to the Father that I was giving Him once more, not only my heart, but my evening and my whole life to Him - as a ‘blank sheet’ for His work; and the Father responded by showing me why He teaches some people in prayer, but not others.  He told me:-


                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID.

                                      YOU PLEASE ME BY YOUR GRATITUDE.

                                           YOU HONOUR ME  BY YOUR GIFT:

                                BY THE GIFT OF YOUR HEART, OF YOUR TIME,

                                                 AND OF YOUR WHOLE LIFE,

                           GIVEN FOR MY PLANS, MY ACTION, AND MY GLORY,

                                        AS A ‘BLANK SHEET’ FOR MY WORK,

                                                     AND FOR MY MESSAGE

                                                                TO OTHERS.

                        (T:1508 #13)


                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID.

                                           UNDERSTAND SOMETHING MORE

                                                   ABOUT MY GENEROSITY

                                             AND ABOUT MY LOVE FOR YOU.

                                       All good things come from My Divine Love.

                                    I ‘long’, perpetually, to share My Life and Love

                                                                    with you.

                                        IT IS TRUE THAT BY MY DIVINE WILL


                           AS YOU YOURSELF - AMAZED - HAVE DISCOVERED,

                                                   those who live in a true union

                            WITH ME, IN CHRIST, AND WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

                                                                  are taught,

                                          since knowledge and Love ‘go together’.


                                           AS YOU HAVE COME TO REALISE,

                                           had you given up your own will, sooner

                                                           or more frequently,

                                                   you would have learned more

                                            through my ‘teachings-in-prayer’.

                                               YET DON’T BE DESPONDENT.

                                  I DO NOT REBUKE YOU.  I GIVE YOU A GIFT:

                             A GIFT OF INSTRUCTION IN THE LIFE OF PRAYER.


                                                 TO A CO-OPERATIVE CHILD



                                         A TEACHER MIGHT EXPLAIN, ALSO,


                                  EACH ONE IS CHERISHED BY THE TEACHER;


                                          THAT I, YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER,

                                     EXPLAIN SOMETHING FURTHER TO YOU

                              ABOUT CO-OPERATION WITH HEAVEN’S WAYS.

                        (T:1508 #14)


                                 SEE HOW IMPORTANT ARE FAITH AND LOVE

                                                          AND SURRENDER.

                              IT IS TRUE THAT THESE TEACHINGS ARE FEWER

                                                       THAN WAS POSSIBLE

                                  BECAUSE OF YOUR LACK OF GENEROSITY;

                                    YET YOU ARE CONTRITE AND TRUSTING,

                                                    OBEDIENT TO MY WILL,

                                             AND THEREFORE I TEACH YOU.

                                                     Some others learn nothing

                                        because they do not give up their own will.

                                            They will not open their hearts to Me,

                                                        their Heavenly Father,

                                              so do not let My Light shine within.

                                                          I cannot teach them.

                                                         They will not permit it,

                             EVEN THOUGH I AM OVERFLOWING WITH LOVE,

                                                 OFFERING PEACE TO THEM,

                                                     WITH GAIETY AND JOY.




                        (T:1508 #15)


The Divine touch, in prayer.


When I renewed my offering of my heart to the Father, I was almost overwhelmed by the gift of His Bliss, and by the weight of the Glory of which He had chosen to unveil just a little.   I say ‘a little,’ because a mere human being can’t bear such a gift without Divine help.  Then the Father explained that the gifts I had just received were not going to be snatched away from me.  He reassured me:-


                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID.

                                               YOU CANNOT YET GRASP ME,

                                                 YET: SEIZE THE JOY WHICH

                                       - THROUGH MY SON, YOUR SAVIOUR -

                                                              I OFFER YOU.

                                           BATHE IN THE LIGHT OF THIS JOY,

                               WHICH IS OUR GIFT TO YOUR WILLING HEART.


                               JOY AND RADIANCE AND WISDOM AND PEACE

                            BELONG TO THE STATE OF LIFE WHICH IS YOURS,


                                  TREASURE ALL OF MY GIFTS AND GRACES.




                        (T:1508 #16)


If I could have paid attention, I would have been taught even more; but at this point an hour had passed, and I was unable to continue either to sit upright, or to keep my heart and mind held ‘up’ to the Father in prayer.  So I made the Sign of the Cross, aware that He was still loving and sustaining me; and I asked to be able to live out the whole of the rest of my life as a thank-offering to the Most Holy Trinity.



God’s love for me.


It’s been an unending cause for wonder that God has taught me so much about His loving nature - and about His personal love for me: a love in which I had always believed, as one believes in a dogma, but which, for so many years, I had misunderstood.


In the early years, I had a certain picture of God’s love which I couldn’t seem to escape.  I saw that love as creating, embracing and sustaining the whole of mankind; and yet I seemed to feel that it was too vast or too diffuse a love to be concerned with a feeble and pessimistic soul like myself.  I couldn’t have imagined that God gazes upon me - as He’s told me (in T:1941) with the sort of blissful delight with which I first gazed upon each new-born child.


My first dark dry faith in God’s love for me was unswerving; indeed, it’s precisely because of that faith - however ‘dark’ - that I managed to cling to Him, through prayer, in every new difficulty, and also  to turn back to Him after every moment of weakness or shame.  Yet the thought of that love didn’t warm my heart, for many years.  I couldn’t really imagine what it meant: that His Love for us is infinite, fervent, unflagging and merciful.  These truths of the Faith were wholly acceptable to my mind; and yet my heart and soul were too grey and faintly-lit to be able to delight in such knowledge - until they were warmed by God’s love, and expanded. Then at last they could contain the belief that I’m precious in His sight, and that He takes a personal interest in everything I think, do and say; and it’s that knowledge - that belief - that has made prayer such a delight in recent years, and every day so full of joy.


It’s because of my gratitude for this realisation, and for God’s love, that I feel bound to give a further reminder about the part we must play in developing a close friendship with God.  I mean that most prayerful people realise that our prayerful union with God can be harmed by carelessness or rebellion in things to do with faith or morals - though God’s love for us never diminishes and His forgiveness is lavished unceasingly upon all who, repentant, approach Him.  Yet that prayerful union can also be thwarted or damaged by carelessness or irreverence in prayer - or by any attitude which involves forgetfulness of Who God is and who and what we are.



Approaching fruition.


More and more clearly, in 1994, I was shown by God that His teachings about prayer, as well as about related topics, would serve a great purpose; and so I became less anxious about new aspects of my work, and more confident that whenever I set out to do something for Christ’s sake, He would ensure its success.  Then, on the first Sunday of Advent, we heard, in Holy Scripture: - “SEE, THE DAYS ARE COMING - IT IS YAHWEH WHO SPEAKS - WHEN I AM GOING TO FULFIL THE PROMISE I MADE” (Jr 33:14).


It seemed to me as though those words applied to the way in which the Father was bringing His work in my life towards fruition.  In the very next week, my work of child-care was over, in the strictest sense, when my youngest child graduated from University. I had just received the Sacrament of the Sick and therefore was given a new strength; and we were about to make a mini-pilgrimage to Aylesford Priory, where my intention was to ask the Saints who are honoured there to pray for the success of the work.  I had no idea of the great joys which lay ahead of me: so many wonderful teachings, new friendships, extra tasks and surprising encouragements.  But there was a comparatively minor but very painful sacrifice that was required of me before Our Lord could tell me that I was ready for the main part of the work; and it was wholly unexpected. It’s what I mentioned in the last chapter, about veiling my hair in church: hardly a sacrifice, if compared with bearing physical pain or hunger for the sake of the Gospel.  But it was a question of bearing a little humiliation out of obedience to Christ; and humiliations can be harder to bear than physical sufferings, for those of us who are proud.


A mark of respect.


It was on a January day, in 1995, that Christ made it clear to me - by a wordless request - that He would like to see me show greater reverence towards Him during the Holy Mass.  He invited me to take up the practice which I had adopted when I’d first been received into full Communion, but had since discarded, as had many women in this part of the world who also thought it an insignificant matter.  But, as I mentioned briefly in Chapter fourteen, I was shown by Christ that I would please Him if I were to act in obedience to our custom and to Holy Scripture. I could please Him, He explained, if I would cover my hair in church, during the Liturgy - and in any church or room where He is Present in the Blessed Sacrament.


Never would I have dreamed that He would make such a request of me.  It seemed such a minor thing, but I was appalled at the thought of having to make myself conspicuous in that way.  I longed to obey Christ, yet wondered if this were essential for reverent worship; also, I guessed that I’d be labelled by some other people as a traditionalist or an attention-seeker, when my whole yearning at Mass was to keep my heart and thoughts fixed on God, and on the needs of the Church and the world.


But Christ showed me a number of reasons why I should conquer my pride and do as He wished.  Above all, He explained, He wanted me to be willing to pay as much honour to Him exteriorly as interiorly.  Those were His words.


My heart sank, however, so I turned to the Father, “in Christ,” in prayer.  I longed for reassurance.  I’d started to worry about whether I’d be encouraging factions in the Church.  But I heard in my soul seven words from the Father which startled me and clarified the matter.  The Father said: “If you honour Me, who is divided?” (T:1530A). What He meant was that divisions are caused not by faithful persons who try to be obedient to custom and to Holy Scripture but by the uncharity of their critics.


That is why, from the 3rd of January 1995, I have covered my hair in church.  I felt so conspicuous and humiliated on that first day that I spoke to Christ about it in Holy Communion.  To have to look different from others seemed such a little thing, I knew; but Christ replied to me straight away, by saying: “Such a great thing, is obedience!”



[A simple type of head-covering.


By the way, I’ve chosen to wear a black lace ‘mantilla’ scarf once again, rather than a patterned head-square or a hat, only because it’s more convenient.  It saves me from the need to keep choosing some different form of head-covering.  Mantillas are worn all around the world where women are not ashamed to show reverence before God in the traditional manner; and besides, a mantilla is fairly cool in summer and warm in winter - and doesn’t constrict the wearer’s throat during singing: very mundane reasons for a choice which I know some mistakenly  see as provocative or ostentatious.]



An act of faith.


How I long for many more thousands of people - or hundreds of thousands - to know the joy which can come through faith, and through attempts to be obedient to Our Lord’s wishes. For example, I was enormously encouraged by a ‘teaching’ one April evening in 1995.  I’d been praying ‘the Creed’, in church - trying to do so with a little more gratitude and fervour than usual; and suddenly, Christ showed me how the Father delights in our acts of faith, and how it is through faith that Heaven’s ‘door’ is opened to us.  Christ told me:-

                        Look upon your sincere prayers as a very worthwhile activity.  Don’t be worried because you are sometimes a little bit hurried or absent-minded.  It is your sincerity of heart which is important. (T:1570 #1)


                        Believe that I treasure your prayers; for example, I am pleased whenever you pray ‘the Creed’ sincerely, as when you began ‘the Rosary’ just now, at home. Your Heavenly Father is delighted to respond  to your fervent prayer.  See what He now teaches you about faith and about single-minded persistence:


                                                                 HERE I AM

                                                           FAR ABOVE YOU.

                                             THE DOOR TO HEAVEN IS OPEN.

                                      YOUR FERVENT PRAYER DELIGHTS ME.


                                                        By a sincere act of faith

                                                                      IN ME

                                                  YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER

                            - FAITH IN MY EXISTENCE AND IN MY GOODNESS,

                                AND IN MY SON, JESUS, WHO CAME TO EARTH

                                                             TO SAVE YOU -

                                          you send up to Heaven a triumphant cry

                                    - a cry of hope, love, fervour and determination

                                                          and defiance of evil -

                                                        from a darkened world.

                                                             YOU CALL OUT

                                    AS IF FROM A DARK, PITTED LANDSCAPE,

                                                    A FILTHY BATTLEFIELD

                                 WHERE, HERE AND THERE, A VOICE ARISES.

                                       HERE AND THERE, A LONE ‘WARRIOR’

                                                    - A SOLDIER OF CHRIST -

                                     WHO BELIEVES IN CHRIST HIS SAVIOUR

                                             AND IN THE POWER OF PRAYER

                                                CALLS OUT TO HIS FRIENDS:

                                      “OUR CAUSE IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR,

                                                 AS WE FIGHT AGAINST SIN!

                                           OUR HERO IS WORTH DYING FOR,

                                            IN OUR ‘DYING TO SELF’, DAILY,

                                                  IN ORDER TO SERVE HIM.”

                        (T:1570 #2)


Prayer which opens Heaven’s door.


Then the Father urged me:-



                                                               COMPARE IT


                            AS I OFFER YOU A GLIMPSE OF HEAVEN’S GLORY.


                                      SEE HOW POWERFUL IS YOUR PRAYER

                                                               “IN CHRIST”,



                                                   A FERVENT ACT OF FAITH

                            IS LIKE A LIGHT SHINING IN EARTH’S DARKNESS.

                                                             IT PLEASES ME.

                           IT GIVES JOY TO MY SAINTS AND MY HOLY ANGELS.

                                        IT STRENGTHENS YOUR OWN SPIRIT.

                             IT ENCOURAGES OTHER PEOPLE IN THEIR FAITH.

                                    IT DRAWS UPON YOU A GREAT REWARD.


                                                EVEN SILENT ACTS OF FAITH

                                                            ARE VALUABLE



                           (WC:1570A + 1570B) (T:1570 #3)



Thanksgiving for Priests.


After a few weeks of more reverent worship, with hard work and wonderful rewards - and with a new peace given, when I’d been invested with the scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel - I thanked Our Lord in prayer for all His gifts, especially for the continuing teachings.


Day by day, I persevered with my usual prayers for the Church - and especially for priests, who bring Christ to us, and Christ’s gifts, in such marvellous ways; and on May 13th 1995 I was astonished to be taught by Christ:-


                        Continue to pray for My priests: for those who serve you on earth, and for those who have died.  What a wonderful moment it is, when faithful priests enter Heaven!  You can see that the three priests for whom you have prayed are now walking towards My Heavenly throne.  They are walking along a path which is lined with joyful people. These priests - each of whom is wearing a golden chasuble - are being given a tremendous greeting by their friends, the Saints, since My priests enter Heaven in a special way; they are welcomed as “other Christs.”  They are accorded special honour and glory at the end of their earthly, priestly service. (WC + OIL:1584.) (T:1584)



The transforming union.


Some of the teachings so overwhelmed me by their wisdom or charity that I told Christ, on June 6th, what a marvel it is to me, that I should be taught by the very Lord Who has taught the prophets in past ages.  It seemed so wonderful as to be scarcely believable, and yet I did believe it - and still do.  So I repented again of all that makes me unworthy of this work; and I was brought, in prayer, to a new understanding of my present way of life in which I am enfolded in Love, it seems, in the midst of the Three Divine Persons, with no fear of ‘losing’ Them.


As I prayed “in Christ” to the Father, I was shown by Christ (in T:1592) that I now enjoy - thanks to His goodness - what is known as the state of ‘Transforming Union’.  Christ showed me:-


                        Ponder the marvel which is friendship with Us: with the Most Holy Trinity, your God. See what is happening, even at the end of your spiritual journey, as you persevere in love, and confess your sins, in a new, true beginning, in Our service.  Listen to your Heavenly Father, who tells you:


                                                     REJOICE IN THIS STATE.



                                                   BLISSFULLY EXPLORING

                                                       - THROUGH PRAYER -



                                                   ONLY THROUGH PRAYER

                           - AS IF THROUGH A SMALL BRIGHT PASSAGEWAY -

                               CAN YOU LEAVE BEHIND EARTH’S DARKNESS

                                 TO RISE UPWARD TO HEAVEN’S LIGHT, AND

                                                  - IN THE LIGHT OF GLORY -


                                                   THREE DIVINE PERSONS,

                                                                 ONE LORD.

                        (WC:1592) (T:1592 #4)






                           ENTER WITHIN YOUR OWN SOUL, THROUGH PRAYER,

                                       NOT JUST FOR A MINUTE, OR AN HOUR,

                            BUT FOR THE WHOLE OF EVERY DAY AND NIGHT.

                                                   ACCEPT MY INVITATION;

                                        BY AN EXPRESSION OF LOVE FOR ME,

                                AND BY A CONFESSION OF YOUR WEAKNESS,


                           THE ‘DOOR’ WHICH LEADS YOU WITHIN YOUR OWN SOUL.

                                   HERE, WITHIN, YOU CAN REST IN MY LOVE.

                        (T:1592 #5)


                         TURN TO ME, TRUSTINGLY, OVER AND OVER AGAIN.







                                      A UNION OF LOVE, DESIRE, AND WORK.


                                   YOUR SOUL CAN LIVE IN UNBROKEN JOY;



                        (T:1592 #6)


                                     TRY TO BE WORTHY OF MY FRIENDSHIP. 

                               YOU WHO LIVE INTIMATELY UNITED WITH ME



                           THIS IS TO LIVE AND ACT SOLELY FOR MY GLORY,


                                               OF MY PRESENCE NEAR YOU.

                        (T:1592 #7)








                                                               OR ACTIONS. 

                              AS YOU HAVE DISCOVERED, TO SOME DEGREE,

                                               HUMILITY LEADS TO GLORY;




                        (T:1592 #8)


At the entrance to the Kingdom.


Then the Father gently reminded me:-



                                       LONG AGO, ABOUT HUMBLE PRAYER. 


                          INTO WHICH YOU CAN ENTER - THROUGH PRAYER -


                                                       WHICH IS HUMILITY.

                                             IF YOU ENTER THIS ‘KINGDOM’,


                        (WC:1592B) (T:1592 #9)






                                      AND HIS CLUTCHING-AT-POSSESSIONS


                                                   TO ENTER MY KINGDOM.

                        (T:1592 #10)


                             ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO MAKE THE SACRIFICES



                                                                IN PRAYER.

                                              YET SOME ENTER ONLY ONCE,



                                   HOW FEW PERSEVERE FOR LONG ENOUGH


                                                       - AT MY INVITATION -

                                  AFTER MANY TRIALS AND HUMILIATIONS. 

                                         HOW FEW ARE ABLE TO ENTER INTO


                                             DURING THEIR LIFE ON EARTH. 


                                                   OBSESSIONS OR DESIRES

                                             WITH WHICH THEY ARE LADEN;

                                 AND - THUS LADEN - THEY ARE TOO ‘LARGE’

                             TO ENTER THE SMALL ‘DOORWAY’ OF THE SOUL:


                        (T:1592 #11)


The way of perfection.


Then the father reminded me of what i should keep in mind on the ‘way of perfection’.  He taught me:-



                                      IN A LIFE OF INTIMATE UNION WITH ME

                             ALL OF YOUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND ACTIONS




                        (T:1592 #12)


                                              AVOID, WITH ALL YOUR WILL,


                                                  AS YOU TRY TO SERVE ME.

                        (T:1592 #13)



                              EXCEPT MYSELF, AND MY FRIENDS IN HEAVEN.

                        (T:1592 #14)


                                                         DON’T BE AFRAID.


                                                                IN PRAYER.


                                                     “YOU LIVE IN TRUTH”. 

                                        YOU LIVE IN MY EMBRACING  CARE.


                                            OF YOUR PRESENT WAY OF LIFE,


                        (t:1592 #15)



A new stage.


As can be seen, the Father’s teachings have consisted of several interwoven themes. He  has offered me His observations and instructions interspersed with consolations; so I’ll be eternally grateful, I hope, that I’ve been led in the contemplative way, in union with Christ.  I’d better include as few teachings as possible, however, as I make a list of the significant stages of prayer to which I’ve been led in recent times - although this list is more for the sake of people who will study this book much later on, than for those, today, who want to read the plain ‘story’.  But further ‘teachings’ were given, for example, about Baptism (T:1603), about the New Covenant made by Christ on Calvary (T:1613), about prayer, about spiritual friendship ‘in Christ’ (T:1614), and about the ceaseless work of the Holy Spirit (T:1628). 


It would be pointless for me to list many more, when they nearly all appear in the volumes to which this book is an introduction; but it was from the spring of 1995 - I see in retrospect - that the work progressed very steadily, until the present day.  I also see that it was kindness on the part of Christ that kept Him from showing me, at that stage, where my work would lead me. I didn’t know that I’d be sending out by post, to thousands of enquirers, not just one volume of “Christ’s Instructions,” but several - and that I’d be posting them around the world.


The ‘Second Version’.


From the very beginning of 1995 I’d been busier than ever, having realised that all of the ‘Teachings’ should be re-written, to produce what would be called the ‘Second Version.’

The problem with the ‘First Version’ was that it had been written hurriedly, if accurately, but without my making it clear whose words I was quoting or using in each line of text: whether the words I’d written had been chosen by me to ‘clothe’ God’s knowledge, or whether they were God’s own ‘words-given-in-prayer.’


In a letter to the Jesuit Father, at that time, I explained why I was so busy:


“I have to plough ahead, for the moment, doing what is of major importance: writing a ‘definitive’ version of the ‘Teachings,’ (and, as I write, including a verbal description of every recorded image, since these were aspects of some ‘teachings’.)  It seems important that I explain to you that every bit of “knowledge, implanted suddenly in prayer” (my description) is given:


*    either as a concept/‘showing’ which I must then ‘clothe’ in words.


*    or as a concept/‘showing’ which is truly instant and silent, and is not a ‘thought’, but which is ‘clothed’ with words-for-use (when I come to write it down).


This is very different from conversational words from Our Lord.  So, first, God taught me, within prayer, and urged me to write it all down; I did so hesitantly, and nervously.  And now, He makes me see not only the wonder of it, but (see) also that I must re-write all the teachings urgently, trying to be bolder and more exact; since no-one knows except myself which words were given by God, and which were freely chosen by me from within my mind’s vocabulary.  I’d just assumed it would be obvious, but I see it’s not.  If I don’t make this plain, soon, (and have it all typed, as arranged) much of the point of the ‘teachings’ will be lost.  If God has designed (‘bothered’) to use certain words and sentences - for example, supremely, about the Holy Sacrifice - then I must do all I can to reveal and share those words before I tackle anything else.  (He has instructed me about how to do this, and it’s becoming easier.)  So I’m about half-way through the 1600 ‘teachings’, D.G. - simply using capital letters for God’s own “given-words” and underlining for every bit of teaching.  Of course, I’m also doing all the other usual jobs, and trying to keep up-to-date in ‘teachings’ and occasional (watercolour) images.


Something else you weren’t to know is ... the urgency ... This is no way a complaint: just a word that I have to ‘husband’ every minute in order to do essential domestic tasks (happily) and fit it in writing, friends, etc. - (Holy Mass or prayer underpinning it all) ... when new ideas of my own pop up (i.e. ambitions for various projects connected with the teachings) I have to ‘flatten’  them -  or make a brief note, perhaps for the future, in order to stick to “the one thing ...” at a time: the one “present moment” task; and, for the moment, it’s the re-writing, and, (D.G.) life is full and very happy ...”



A fulfilling pattern.


More and more, in 1995, my eyes were opened to God’s generosity.  By then, He had so thoroughly trained me, that a fulfilling and absorbing ‘pattern’ was discernible to me, every week and every month, as the writings fitted in with the domestic routine, the children flourished, and my understanding of the whole project grew clearer, thanks to new enlightenment from Christ in prayer.  My confidence grew that, with God’s help, I’d be able to remain faithful and to finish the most important parts of the work.


That confidence was dented, briefly, when our parish priest retired.  I’d been confiding in him about the teachings for about five or six years.  He was so wise and good that I’d never had a moment’s doubt about any of his comments - nor about the fact that Our Lord had wanted me to speak to him about these things.  I had grown used to our priest’s way of caring for my soul; I mean that he had distanced himself from my work, for reasons of prudence, by never speaking of it unless I did so first; yet he had maintained a kindly watchfulness, reassured by the approval given to each new chunk of my writing by the Jesuit Father who was still willing to examine my work.


My feelings of embarrassment at speaking about the work had lessened considerably by this time.  I had even been able to thank Our Lord with some sincerity, after particularly difficult encounters with various persons, for having allowed me “THE PRIVILEGE NOT ONLY OF BELIEVING IN CHRIST, BUT OF SUFFERING FOR HIM AS WELL” (Ph 1:29).  I hadn’t shed my blood for the Faith - but it had been humiliating to lose friends; and it made my heart ache whenever someone felt too perplexed by my work to be able to speak to me again; and so I felt a bit daunted that I’d have to start all over again, in one sense, by doing my duty and explaining some of the same things about my work to whoever was our new parish priest.


It was absolutely necessary, since it was Our Lord’s wish; it was for the sake of the parish, because some of its members would be asking questions about my work in the years ahead - whether from curiosity or from a concern to be reassured about the orthodoxy of the books; but it was also for my own good, although I didn’t know it at the time.


A ‘new’ priest.


Our new priest arrived on August 19th 1995; and I plucked up courage, a few days later, to make an appointment with him and to explain something about Christ’s ‘teachings-in-prayer’.  I mentioned the prayer-paintings, and also the booklets which I was distributing in the parish to anyone who was willing  to read them.  He listened patiently, and indeed, whenever I had to return to him - at Our Lord’s request - to explain something new, he’d say: “Don’t be afraid to come back again.”  And so my nervousness diminished, over the next year or two; and that was the part of Our Lord’s plan that I hadn’t known about.  As Christ told me, a few months later, it had been through His wisdom that I had already received a very strict yet thoughtful training, partly through Canon O’Leary’s faithfulness to inspiration and to duty; yet it was part of that same wise plan of Christ that I should now receive a different sort of help. 


This wouldn’t be made plain to me for another year or two; but the various devotions which were re-introduced into our parish by our new priest were going to bring about, indirectly - through my prayers of thanks to God, and God’s response to me - a series of extra ‘teachings’ about prayer and about the liturgy.  Also, the numerous conversations which I was required to initiate because of the teachings, and the patient listening of our new priest, with his repeated instruction that I must “Never be afraid to come back again,” gave me a new confidence.  This was a supernatural gift, in that I developed a greater confidence in my efforts to do Our Lord’s Will from moment to moment, no matter how strange that seemed, as I spent what seemed to be my declining years in printing books that few persons wanted and my own family saw as very strange.  But it was a very human gift, as well.  I mean that I grew less afraid of persons in authority.  I had restored to me, in this way, some of the ordinary, child-like, human confidence that I’d felt slipping away from me twenty years earlier when I’d discovered what a weak human creature I am; and this renewal was made possible through the presence, in our midst, of one more faithful priest who was willing to give all his heart and energy to the service of God in the Catholic Church.


Regularly, I have thanked Our Lord for everyone who has given me encouragement in difficult times, or practical help; it was when I did this again one day, mentioning certain persons by name, that I was assured by Christ, in prayer, that: “I send friends along to help you!” (T:1713)  - and also: “They will share your glory.”  


Joyful news.


It was to our new priest that Christ sent me with a first draft of each new book of mine, before printing, and with reports from the Jesuit Priest about each new work.  It was through him that I was required to send occasional messages to our Bishop - and also to give the signs which Christ intended would show that my work is indeed inspired by God and that I have no plans of my own except to do God’s Will as I see it; and each time I delivered a new message I was greeted with kindness.



Sparks of wisdom.


Throughout the rest of 1995 I continued to share Christ’s teachings, to ‘channel’ into my notebooks the ever-flowing stream of teachings, to cook meals for the family, and to fit in parties, conversations and hospital visits. Near the end of 1995, the Father Himself had begun to draw me regularly towards Himself, in order to instruct me.  He taught me, for example, about my closeness to Him, ‘above the cloud’ at last (T: 1987), and about His Love for me (T:1556), about my union with Christ (T:1659), about how we can meet and greet the Saints of Heaven (T:1680) and about how our prayers help the souls who are being purified after death (T:1775), and as I was absorbing this instruction, I was growing used to being taught, at different times, by each of the Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity.


In July of that year, I was deeply moved when, at Holy Mass one day, God the Father explained something more of the way in which the ‘teachings’ convey His Wisdom to other people, through my efforts.  This was a preface to a long teaching about the Holy Mass and about prayer “in Christ”.  He urged me:-


                                              REJOICE IN THESE TEACHINGS


                               YOU ARE RIGHT TO OFFER THANKS FOR THEM.

                                   TRULY, THEY COME FROM ME, YOUR GOD.


                                       WHICH IS MY DIVINE LIFE AND LIGHT


                               THESE BURSTS OF KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM

                                 ARE LIKE MINUSCULE GLINTS THROWN OUT

                                          - DURING OUR PRAYER-IN-UNION -

                               FROM THE TORRENT OF MY BURNING GLORY.

                                     NONE OF THE ‘TEACHINGS’ DOES MORE



                                          A SPARK OF MY INFINITE WISDOM.

                        (WC:1626) (T:1626)



Writing in the first person.


Just as I was beginning to settle into a very satisfactory routine - forgetting that Christ has unexpected plans for everyone who has offered to do His Will - I received an invitation in prayer which astounded me.


Yet another new version of all the teachings was required.  It was on November 3rd 1995 that Christ invited me to re-write His ‘teachings’ in a different manner.  My new task, I learned, was to list most of His teachings in a way which would indicate very clearly what I must do if I sincerely wish to please Him and to become holy. Christ invited me to write “in the first person”, so that other people can receive His teachings in the sort of direct and simple way which it’s been my privilege to experience.


Day after day, as I worked my way through the backlog of teachings, ‘translating’ what had often been soundless teachings into my own language - though some had been given in words - I plucked up courage to write just as Christ speaks.  He is overwhelmingly tender and understanding, and simple, like a child - yet authoritative;  He is very solemn, on solemn subjects; and He is wholly admiring of His Mother!  When I read what I’d written it was almost as though I was receiving each teaching once again, despite my flawed grammar, and despite the evidently-stilted language of the first few hundred pages, when I was so awed by my task that I was almost overcome with feelings of impertinence at daring to do it, or daring to think myself capable of persevering.


Further books to publish.


As I continued to write ‘in the first person,’ Christ showed me that He would like me to publish a volume of His teachings and to give away free copies.  That’s why I took great care over several matters, and worked out a better system of co-ordinating the number of each teaching with its associated prayer-painting.  I devised a clearer lay-out for each page of first-person teachings, with titles to break up the text; and meanwhile I continued to keep my parish priest informed about each new stage of the work, even though I met with no reaction.  I also told the family something about my task, although it was very strange for them to see more and more evidence that this matter of reproducing ‘teachings’ and of sharing them with other people generated much enthusiasm from numerous correspondents.  Letter-writing began to take up much of my time; and I posted several dozen pages of typescript at a time  to the kind priest, Fr Edwards, who was still willing to check every word I wrote so that I could be reassured about the accuracy of my expressions of Catholic Faith and so that other people, my parish priest above all, at that stage, could be reassured as well.


By the time I went to the printers with the fourth volume of teachings, I had expanded the notes which prefaced the book, and so had explained to the readers why this new way of writing was necessary.  It seems best to quote directly from that Note, to give a better understanding of the new style.  I wrote:-


“Each ‘teaching’ here in “Volume Four” is numbered, just as in previous volumes.  Each ‘T’ (for teaching) in the left-hand margin is followed by a number, and sometimes by a paragraph (#) number; and these correspond with the numbers of the same ‘teachings’ in earlier versions, and with the numbers in my notebooks, and also with the numbers on the associated illustrations in either water-colour or oil, (which can be seen elsewhere.)


Most of Christ’s instructions are recorded chronologically, as clearly and as simply as possible.  Where a teaching has been given to me as a pure, precious and clear but soundless instruction, I have made it ‘concrete’, in my own choice of words; a large part of the text below is composed of such teachings.


This ‘making concrete’ is more like a translation than a composition, since I have ‘translated’ real but inaudible teachings - given on specific occasions - into English, the language I know best; and you might see, therefore, that any grammatical errors or clumsy phrases - though regrettable - are like flaws in the work of a poor translator; and the ‘original text’ is Christ Himself, Who I believe to be my Infinitely-wise Teacher, and indeed to be the source of all Truth ever found in prayer.”


Then I added:-


“Also reproduced in this book are many passages which convey what I can only describe as God’s ‘knowledge-given-in-words.’  God the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - has sometimes communicated teachings in whole phrases or sentences as if from Mind to mind, in prayer, and wholly beyond the realm of imagination.  These words are reproduced below in lower-case italic type; and whenever such words are shown with speech-marks it is because these particular words were spoken to my soul in prayer in a real though interior conversation, rather than being simply ‘given’ in a way which I’ve explained in another work about prayer.”


A mammoth task.


A mammoth task lay ahead, as I’d received nearly two thousand teachings by that time; and now I had to re-write them all, as well as to continue to write each day in my notebook, in the usual simple manner.


I can’t remember how long the first volume took: whether it was weeks or months.  But I was astonished at the result, in that Christ’s teachings now sounded even more vivid and encouraging; much more like the ‘real thing’.  Then it became plain that I’d been asked to write ‘in the first person’ at this late stage because only now did I know Christ well enough to reproduce His manner of speaking and so to convey something of His tender and loving attitude towards me in prayer.


The writing went well, that month; and I called the new work “Instructions from Christ,” because Christ had shown me that every teaching should be split into segments, each of which should begin with a verb, if possible.  In this way, the reader could come to understand that whenever Christ teaches me, He is not dropping  pieces of information into my soul and mind as a man throws ‘dead’ reports into a filing cabinet.  Every teaching carries, as if within itself, a spiritual urgency and strength which help me to make that teaching alive and fruitful in my life.  Indeed, unless I had absorbed and also responded to each teaching to some degree, I would have found that my friendship with Christ had become less strong, and so the Source and the supply of teachings would have become less active and ‘present’ in my life.


Sharing God’s nature.


But Christ didn’t leave me alone and without encouragement as I tackled this new and huge work - and continued with it not knowing exactly how, where or when it would be used.  On the very day that He asked me to write ‘in the first person’ Christ responded lavishly to an especially-fervent prayer.


In the evening at home, on November 3rd, I repented once more of every scrap of pride, yet once again begged the Father for His gifts: especially for purity of heart.  I was overwhelmed by His response.  All at once, in a simple and yet magnificent teaching, Christ lifted my soul in prayer to the Father; and I was shown what wonderful gifts are given by God to someone who has willingly undergone His purifications and who lives in His presence, and who joyfully does His work with the simplicity of a child.  Christ showed me, all in one moment of astonishing spiritual Light:-


                        Open your heart to your Heavenly Father’s teaching; open the eyes of your soul, in prayer.  He is calling to you; He is inviting you to consider some of the fruits of your life-in-union:


                                                                 HERE I AM,

                                                           TEACHING YOU.

                                  PONDER MY NATURE AND MY ATTRIBUTES.

                                              YOU CAN HOPE TO BE LIKE ME

                                                         IN SEVERAL WAYS


                                        YOU ARE LIVING AS MY TRUE CHILD.


                                         BE CLEAR-SIGHTED, NOT BASHFUL.

                                                           CHERISH TRUTH.

                                                HONOUR MY WILL FOR YOU.

                                                  YOU, MY ADOPTED CHILD

                                              CAN EXPECT TO RESEMBLE ME


                                        IN A MARVELLOUS ‘LIFE-IN-UNION’.

                                                           YOU CAN ENJOY

                                             - EVEN DURING EARTHLY LIFE -

                                           TRUE PARTICIPATION IN MY LIFE.

                                 YOU HAVE A SHARE IN MY DIVINE NATURE,

                                     THOUGH ONLY THROUGH MY FREE GIFT

                                                         AND GENEROSITY.

                        (T:1704 #1)


All at once, the Father showed me how I resemble Him to some degree - though only through His goodness and our union.  He explained to me, soundlessly:-


                                            NOTICE HOW EVERY GOOD GIFT

                                           WITH WHICH I GRACE YOUR SOUL

                           - THROUGH YOUR TRANSFORMATION AND OUR UNION -

                                          ARISES FROM MY DIVINE NATURE

                                                          AND ATTRIBUTES.


                                                             FOR EXAMPLE,

                                          MY DIVINE AND PERPETUAL BLISS


                                 WHICH YOU ENTER WHENEVER I CALL YOU.


                                               MY KNOWLEDGE OF MYSELF

                                                           IS EXPERIENCED

                                           - AND SHARED TO SOME EXTENT -

                                           IN THESE TEACHINGS-IN-PRAYER.


                                          MY INFINITE MERCY AND JUSTICE

                                                            ARE UNVEILED

                           WHEN I CALL SOMEONE TO LEAVE EARTHLY LIFE,

                                                       AND WHEN I REVEAL

                           TO YOU WHO PRAY FOR THAT SOUL’S SALVATION

                                        HIS TRUE STATE AND DESTINATION:

                                   DEATH AND DOOM, OR LIFE WITH GLORY.


                                                     MY IMMENSE CHARITY

                                           - CHARITY WHICH IS MY NATURE -


                                                      MY FRAIL CREATURE,



                                                           MY GENEROSITY

                           IS PROVED WHEN, FIRST, I EMBRACE THE BLESSED

                                                                IN HEAVEN,

                                             THEN WHEN I SHARE WITH YOU

                                                A GLIMPSE OF THEIR GLORY.


                                                        MY ‘EYE’ OF TRUTH

                                                          REVEALS TO YOU

                                         - THROUGH OUR UNION IN PRAYER -


                                    MY PURE AND PIERCING GAZE OF TRUTH

                             - UPON SOULS WHICH ARE ‘NAKED’ BEFORE ME -

                                                        IS ‘SHARED’ BY YOU

                                WHEN I UNVEIL, TO YOUR OWN SOUL’S EYES,

                                          EACH HEART’S TRUE INTENTIONS.


Compassionate love.


Then the Father showed me what is possible, by His grace, for someone who remains utterly devoted  to Him and to His Will.  He told me:-


                                                         MY INFINITE LOVE

                                                       IS SHARED AND SEEN

                           AS IT FLOWS THROUGH THE THOUGHTS AND ACTS

                                                 AND WORDS AND PRAYERS

                                             OF ONE WHO TRULY LOVES ME.


                                                      MY CREATIVE POWER

                                  IS AT WORK IN ONE WHOSE LIFE-IN-UNION

                                                                   WITH ME

                                            - PRODUCING ACTS OF CHARITY -

                                                  IS IMMENSELY FRUITFUL.


                                                 MY COMPASSIONATE LOVE

                             IS SHOWN ANEW IN THE LIFE, FREELY OFFERED,

                               OF ONE WHO SUFFERS ON BEHALF OF OTHERS,



                           (T:1704 #2)


To the top of the hill.


No-one can have received greater encouragement than this; and that’s why I didn’t mind that the work I was doing was never-ending.  At every appropriate moment, however, Christ encouraged me to persevere.  He told me, on November 22nd that year:-


                        Enjoy this anniversary: now five years since My Mother’s special visit to you!  Put your trust in Me once more.  I know it has seemed as though you have been plodding uphill, like a child who trudges through the snow pulling a heavy sledge; but your strenuous efforts to do My Will and My work during these past five years have been worthwhile.  Soon, the work will grow easier.  I am preparing  to reveal My work in your life; it is as though your burden of work has been pulled to the top of the hill, and will now hurtle downwards of its own momentum.  That is how swiftly I shall ensure that My ‘teachings’ are carried to other people. (WC:1715) (T:1715)


He also told me:-


                        Share the joy of the Archbishop for whose soul you prayed, when you heard that he had died.  You can see how happy he is, now kneeling before My throne to receive My welcome.  I, your High Priest - now wearing dazzling garments, and a Mitre - lean forward to embrace this beloved friend, just as I greet with great delight and with a most tender welcome every priestly servant who has faithfully guarded and guided My flock upon earth. (WC:1716) (T:1716 #2)


                        Be simple and true in every word and gesture, if you would be worthy of My work.  For the sake of the work, too, resolve to abandon your fears, and to keep your eyes fixed on Me, longing only to please Me. (T:1725 #2)