I try to listen to the loving presence that has never left me since my childhood. Yesterday, I was lead to visit St. Ann's Catholic church in Charlotte, NC where I live, with my husband. But before I share with you my experience from yesterday, I would like to quickly share with you another.
A number of years ago, I was led to visit the Eglise Sainte Genevieve, a small beautiful chapel in the old village of Quebec city, built in 1844. I am not Catholic, in fact I was married in the French Huguenot Church in Charleston, S.C. Where there is still a sore spot over the Protestant Reformation just 500 years ago. While standing at the gothic arched doorway of Eglise Sainte Genevieve, a sideways grin gave away my butterflies as "A Huguenot" entered this Catholic chapel. "Would they know?" I thought. It's silly what goes on in our limited mind. It was the first Catholic Church I had visited, really visited that is...
In brief, it was there that I first felt what seemed like the most perfect feminine warmth and sweet rose smell, that I now know to be the Blessed Virgin Mary. I'm sure Saint Genevieve was part of this experience too, but I only know it was my first time to feel Mary's love. I am not going to share my entire path with her, as it's special to me and I can't tell all. I feel it's something about Her work on me staying "sacred and active." However, I am led to share my experience from yesterday.
I have been visiting St. Ann's on occasion when I feel led. I had shared with my husband my unique experiences there, mostly revealing how much I need this quiet meditation time. I had wanted to be alone there, many times, in the large chapel with the Saints, Jesus, The Virgin Mary statues and stained glass, and Mary's tiny chapel in the back; but instead, I had funny odd interruptions every time!
When my husband and I entered At. Ann's yesterday, I was surprised to see all the statues draped in glorious purple veils. Of course, I thought, it's Easter and this is a serious business. It was majestic and the chapel was full of people facing East waiting for Jesus. Women were veiled and children were praying. I was happy to donate my $.25 and light a candle to the Blessed Mother. When I walked near her to drop in my quarter, I was struck by a completely different feeling coming from her Statue. A penetrating inward focused grief, grabbed my attention. "This is different." I thought. I whispered to my husband I could feel her grief. I wasn't emotional, just letting him know. We prayed for a while and it struck me I would love to show him Mary's tiny back chapel. I asked if he would like to go, and he said "Sure."
His sweet genuine interest pleased me and I felt like a little girl, sharing a deep secret. I was so happy. You can't imagine my surprise and joy at finding the tiny room dedicated to Mary empty and waiting for us! The church was so full of people, and this room was ours for a time. I read some of the captions on the wall and beamed, happy, and peaceful. My husband was in prayer, eyes closed. Then I felt it begin, that familiar joy-bliss weeping."I know this place," I thought, but I didn't, this was different.
I can tell you I almost asked my husband to help me out, (something he has had to do before) because this feeling was overwhelming me. I felt the weeping begin but it was not the same complex union I've shared before. This experience was of a powerful grief, that allowed me to feel some small portion, a small ray of pressure. It felt dense and full. I felt a heat on my forehead as if someone had placed their hand on my head. It grew very warm, I was a little afraid and almost told my husband of the heat. Humbly, I knew, I was allowed this time with her, not in her joy, but her grief. I felt so insignificant and honored to be there with her. But I did have to go after a while, and asked my husband to take me out. The look on his face alerted me to how much my appearance had changed since coming in the chapel. God bless him, he wasn't fazed by this and is always there for me. We left and I have been led now to this web page and to this posting. Help the Blessed Mother and share in her grief at this time.