And So I Began to Listen......................4

The Holy Water Experience

My whole experience of discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit began one morning, some time in March 1997 and went on for a period of two weeks. As you read this, please consider that, this hub is the fourth of a four part series that you have to complete reading in order to get the full benefit of the experiences.

To understand the lesson, I have to give you a snap shot of my life at the time. Within two weeks after the other incidents and experiences, much to my surprise I was tested again. I say ‘my surprise’ because I felt that since I had flunked the last lesson badly, the Holy Spirit would not have time for me. I felt I was a drop out after several sessions in the Holy Spirit’s remedial class and would never be communicated with again. As far as I was concerned, my learning term was over. But no! Within a few days of the other lesson, I was tested again.

The background was this. My nephew, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour at seven months, and admitted in the prestigious Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), was due to have a biopsy done. My sister and her husband, ardent Catholics, requested some Holy Water from the Catholic Church, only yards from my home. This was to bless the child as he underwent the operation. When people are afraid especially parents with sick children, it is only natural to want to rely on something that gives you the courage to carry on.

I heard a soft voice say, ‘Take a bottle with you’. ‘I’m obeying!’ I replied and picked up a little plastic container that would only have contained 25ml of liquid, if that. I thought I was doing very well and that my taking the bottle with me meant there would be no vessels with which to collect the Holy Water in the church. When I got to the church there was no one there, so I filled the bottle. Just as I was congratulating myself for bringing the little bottle and therefore passing the test by obeying at last, in walked the priest. I told him what had happened to my nephew and probably sensing the emotion in my voice, he went in to get another bottle, much the same size as mine. I did not have the heart to say I had already got some, so as soon as he filled his, I took it along with me. I guessed my sister would, maybe, have rather preferred the one from the priest than mine. Again for the same reason as explained earlier, that we clutch at straws, to help us through difficult times.

I arrived at GOSH, around 1pm, just in time. I told my sister that I had brought the Holy Water and explained why I had two bottles. She passed me a 100ml sized bottle that was a mould of the Blessed Virgin, a much larger version of the priests. I proceeded to pour the water from the priest’s bottle in my sister’s bigger bottle and then as I was pouring the contents from my little bottle I was told by the Holy Spirit to pour only half the contents. I did this in obedience but not without questioning.The larger bottle ended up being filled to only an eighth of the bottle-if that- almost inconsequential. My priority was to remain with my sister, to comfort her, (this was her first child) until the baby was out of the operating theatre.

As I waited with her, I wondered what the reason for keeping back some of the Holy Water might be. After all I only lived 5 minutes away from the Catholic Church and if anything I could always go over there to collect more Holy Water. In the first place, what would I need the Holy Water for, between eight that evening and the following day. There was plenty where that had come from and besides the bit left in the bottle was no more that two three teaspoonfuls. Of what use would that be in the scheme of things? It made absolutely no sense to me but what did I have to lose? Trust and obey was my new mantra and that was what I was going to do. No questions from my little limited narrow vision. No Sir! I was going to listen to the small still voice with the boundless vision and abundant wisdom. I was going to listen to the small things so when advised on the big matters, I would be steered well. ‘No arguments! Just sit back and marvel.’ I told myself.

Once the baby was out and the tears were dried, somewhat, I left for the bus stop to head home. As I waited for the one bus by Euston Station I suddenly remembered my Supervisor, Ann, from work, who was also in hospital undergoing an abortion. Now it is not what you think. This was a legal one because Mum’s life was at risk. You see, she was a cardiac patient and at twenty two weeks pregnanat, unfortunately, the water in the amniotic sack had started to drain leaving her and the baby’s life at risk. As it was quite a young foetus, the medical staff elected for an abortion. She had wanted me to be with her while the operation was being done but since I already had my nephew’s situation to deal with, I could not go with her. I did a right about turn and started investigating how to get to see her in the hospital before going home. This way I could concentrate on my sister the followoing day.

Two hours later, at 10pm, and wishing I had not started the journey, I arrived at the hospital. I bought a potted miniature Rose plant on my way in, to leave forAnn at the nurse’s station, evidence of my visit. The nurse at the station told me I could give it to Ann, myself. I was surprised. I thought they had visiting hour restrictions and all that. I went in to her side room and hugged and kissed her. I gave her an up date of my nephew’s situation. As I placed the potted plant on her beside cupboard, I noticed there were no cards etc on it and asked her what visitors she had had. She said no one had visited and her baby father had left straight after the event. I was upset for her. She pressed a bell, calling for the nurse and whispered in her ears. I was none the wiser.

About ten minutes later the nurse walked in. I thought, visiting time was over and she was coming to kick me out. There were babies crying in the next room and I was so sorry for Ann. However, in the nurse’s hands was the tiniest Moses Basket you ever saw, containing the little baby, the head not much bigger than a kiwi fruit. I starred at it, surprised at how perfect it looked. The features were so distinct that I could not imagine it to be dead. It looked as if it was sleeping. Ah death where is thy sting. If only I could give it mouth to mouth to bring it to life. I would have taken it home. It was so perfect and beautiful. My eyes welled up. Ah technology! How did you let this slip past you?

I looked at Ann wondering how she was coping. The next thing Ann said was they were moving her to the Royal Brompton Specialist Heart Hospital and she could not take the child with her. As she could not afford a private burial she had to wait for two others to pass to afford a communal grave. For this reason she would have to leave hinm in the morgue. 'If only I had Holy Water,' she sighed. Well I’ll be damned, as the Americans say. Unbelievable! She said she would have liked to bless her baby before she got moved. After recovering slightly from my shock, I told her I had Holy Water in my bag which she was equally surprised about. I gave it to her and as I had not seen this done before I watched and marvelled, as she blessed her baby with the sign of the cross on the crown of his head, his chest and under his feet. Oh my! I still get goose bumps when I remember that moment. Awesome!

You can’t imagine my trip on God-knows-how-many-buses home. I had my arms folded in awe and wonder and was speechless for the next few hours. What was that about? I did not arrive until 1am. I could not sleep for the excitement. Who could/would believe such a story? I was so happy, At last, I had listened, trusted and obeyed. I don’t know how many more chances I would have been given to learn to listen;

I feel I just had to share this with you. It is just another order I am obeying. If it finds you then you need to learn something from it or are in the process of beginning the lessons or have been in remedial class. I was so happy to have passed this lesson with flying colours, I may add. Needless-to-say, I was not tested for a long time after this- module over. I had truly moved on to the next class.

(An excerpt from Sighted But Blind from Marie Jean-Marie )


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