Chapter 1 - My First Experiences
My First Spiritual Experience
Up to 1986, I was a habitual Catholic and only went to Mass through a sense of duty. I always went to Mass on a Sunday and never got anything spiritual from it, and found it boring if the Mass went on longer than normal. In April 1986 my cousin Liam asked me to go with him to a Healing Mission in St. John's Parish Church, Waterford. Monsignor Michael Buckley (a healing priest based in England) assisted by four other local priests celebrated it. At the consecration when the priest raised up the Eucharist, the priest seemed to me, to levitate about one metre off the floor behind the altar. He seemed to be elevated in the air holding the Eucharist between His fingers. At that moment, superimposed over him, was the outline of the figure of Jesus i.e. the Sacred Heart, which was larger than the priest. The host and the priest appeared to be in the middle of the image. The vision lasted a few seconds and it was in colour. I was instantly hit with a tremendous power in my chest and suddenly got a powerful urge to pray and huge desire to go to church. My whole life was transformed in five seconds.. I
felt like St. Paul having been converted on the road to Damascus, but not as dramatic! He was struck blind and knocked off his horse. I didn't suffer that fate! It was the first time in my life that Mass meant anything to me and the celebration really became alive. Subsequent to this I began to wonder if the priests really understand what happens during the celebration at Mass and that Jesus is really ALIVE and that the Mass is a heavenly celebration where Jesus is truly present ..
Since then, every time I got the opportunity I would go to Mass. I used to experience a flushing feeling in my right arm (as if the blood was being pumped under high pressure through the veins) at the offertory, and after the consecration it would cease. I found that when in the queue for Holy Communion, I would experience a power emanating out of the ciborium (which holds the Blessed Eucharist), and the nearer I'd get to the priest, the more intense it would become
Our All-Seeing Mother Knows What Is Best For Us
A local priest in Medjugorje told this story.
'A young boy was playing in the kitchen, while the mother looked on. Sunlight hit the window and reflected off some sharp-edged knives on the table. The little boy found these very attractive and went to get them. The all-knowing mother noticed this and offered him some sweets instead. The little boy became agitated and wanted the knives. The mother gently insisted, that he would enjoy the sweets much more, as she understood that he would not be aware of the consequences or dangers that lay ahead.'
It is the same for us. If you ask Our Lady's help, trust in the answer as she will be aware of the right and wrong actions we take. She will always give you something better than what you are looking for. People want for a lot of things, but maybe what they want is not what they need.
First Time I Heard A Direction To Do Something
Fr. Grant then asked me if I'd go into his house at the back of the church and he'd make tea for me. I was linked into the house and I sat at the dining room table. While he was gone to make tea, I felt a heavy weight come over me and it got heavier and heavier, to such an extent that I couldn't bear any more.
I heard a voice saying that the other people in the room (7 or 8) should stand behind me and pray
. I can't remember if the voice was male or female, but it was my first time to be directed to pray in this manner. Various prayers were said and eventually some suggested praying the Rosary. In the meantime, Fr Grant came back with the tea and I couldn't drink it, I was under such stress. I suggested that he get Monsignor Buckley to pray with me. He and my cousin Liam went to him in another house in the town, but he wasn't able to come. The group continued praying the Rosary and when they came to the last decade, the load was getting lighter with every Hail Mary they prayed. When the last decade was finished I jumped up and said 'I'm Free'. The load was lifted. The tea was very welcome then! The voice later told me that I was carrying the weight of the mission.
First Experience Of Evil
Monsignor Buckley left Ballyragget on Thursday morning. We saw him off. Later that day at midday, Fr. Grant called to say that Monsignor had left his stole behind and to know if I'd collect it and get it to him somehow. He was to be in Mooncoin in South Kilkenny on Friday evening so we made arrangements to go there. On the way to collect the stole, I was to encounter my first experience of evil. As I was driving, the car was being forced off the road. First, I thought the front wheel had come off the car and was preparing to crash into a fence at a turn.
It seemed to get around the turn OK and then a short time later something seemed to be forcing the car off the road, even though I was driving on a straight. I wasn't aware what was happening the first time, but became very aware what was happening the second time. I was very frightened. On my way back with the stole, the car seemed to float home and I had no problem, but I was a bit scared driving in the car on my own after that. I felt that I needed to have someone with me.
Image of Jesus Appears Before Me
That night (Thursday 24th October at approx 10pm), I had an experience just after getting into bed. My whole body started to heat up, as if I was sizzling and my heart beat so strongly I thought it was going to come out through the wall of my chest. Suddenly, as if like a film, a picture started to roll before me. First I saw clouds in the sky and then I could see the face of the crucified Jesus as if I was within two feet of him. I could see every aspect of His face in detail. That changed and I then saw the wound in the back of His right hand as if he was holding it across His chest. Each scene lasted approx 10 seconds in natural colour. At this stage, my body seemed to be on fire, I felt so hot, but it wasn't sore or burning. My body started to cool down again.
That Friday, in Mooncoin, after the mission, Monsignor called up a girl on crutches to the front of the altar. He asked us all to lay our hands on her as he prayed with her. As I put my hand on her, the right side of my body went numb as if it had no feeling. As soon as he stopped praying, my body returned to normal.
I told Monsignor Buckley what had been happening in my life in the previous few days. Monsignor mentioned that I was to share it with my family and said now you know what I go through!
The following day, Saturday 26th October, at about 3pm in the afternoon, I had a similar experience, after coming into the house, after it had started to rain outside. I sat down in the chair and again my body felt an intense heat as before and this time I saw the wound in His side very clearly. It looked moist. I then saw a drop of blood which kept increasing in size until it resembled a balloon. It started to disintegrate into smaller drops and those seemed to drop down in to what looked like a river. They seemed to float along the current of the river,
which flowed from left to right, and there were hundreds of droplets. The vision then ceased and as before I started to cool down. I still don't know what the significance of this was.
A few days later, Kathleen, my wife, went to bring in the cows one morning for milking. They were only a short distance from the milking parlour, and no way would they come through the gateway out of the field. They wouldn't even move for the dog and were very familiar with coming this route continually. I became aware that an evil force was at work and I started to pray. Immediately the cows came through the gate. On another morning, I went with the dog to feed the calves and as he approached the gate he seemed frightened. Every time he approached the gate to go through the bars, he would back off as if something in the gateway was blocking him. He did this a few times and eventually went off in another direction to get in to the field. Yet again I could sense there was evil at work.
All during this time, I felt I was supercharged with the Holy Spirit, or something I didn't understand and when I'd mention the word 'Jesus' something similar to a tingling / pulsating sensation would start in the top of my head and go down through my whole body to my feet. This lasted for about a week and each day it seemed to decrease in intensity till eventually it went totally. All this time I was continually praying, anytime I got the chance.
I so earnestly looked for guidance and somebody to share this with who would understand what I was going through, but there was no one around I could talk to. I felt alone with no one to turn to. It reminded me so much of the experience Mary had after she was told by the angel that she was to be the mother of the Redeemer. She couldn't wait to meet Elizabeth knowing that she had a similar experience and knowing that she was the only one who would understand.
Monsignor Buckley's Return Visit To Ireland In 1987
The following year, Monsignor Buckley returned to Co. Clare for a two-day mission in Kilkee. At the end of the mission he brought people in wheelchairs to the front of the altar. Monsignor Buckley prayed with each of them. I put my hand on one person to pray. I knelt on one knee in the aisle and when Monsignor finished praying, they all returned to their places and I was left on my knee in the middle of the floor. I couldn't get up. I was rooted to the floor and very embarrassed. When I asked the local parish priest to help me up, he laughed at me. He thought I was joking him! I couldn't move. “A hardy looking bloke like you”, he said grinning. Eventually he did with the help of somebody else. I told him it was nothing to do with my physical strength; it was something spiritual, kept me there.
The Stations Of The Cross
Life continued on without any further experiences, only with a strong urge to pray, go to church and get Mass whenever possible. Being a dairy farmer, the farm required a lot of attention and Mass locally was at milking time. Nothing strange happened until the following Easter in 1987 in our local church. During the Stations of the Cross at 3pm, on Good Friday of that year, I had an unusual experience, which I don't wish to relate at this point in time.
Directions For My Own Life
I seemed to be spiritually filled all the time and had a great need to pray. I heard an inner voice give me directions for my own life of things I was to do and things I was to avoid. I was to use the Rosary Beads when praying the Rosary and not my fingers. I was to use the leaflets in church, to follow the Mass, so I'd be more focused on the ceremony, especially the scripture readings. Up to this point, I didn't have a lot of interest! I was to be honest in dealings of every type and to be more patient and understanding of other people and accept people as they are and their shortcomings. I began to see the animal world as part of God's creation and discovered that they worry and get hurt, just like humans. They need to be treated gently. I would also pick up pain from animals and the pain of loss especially at weaning time in the cattle world, or the fear when the vet would arrive at testing time.
During this time, I was shown things that had greatly affected me in my life. My past life was related to me through an inner voice. I began to understand how things and people had affected me e.g. if I had been treated badly or things people might have said to me that hurt me very much. As a result of these experiences, I didn't seem to have a lot of confidence in myself and things that I did. I could see this was true when it was pointed out to me. I was told about the part that my wife Kathleen played in my life and that she was a blessing in our house and looking back, she was and still is. I was told to tell her this. This lasted on and off over two to three days. I felt really blessed to be told all these things because now I understood and knew that I had been affected in the way that was told.
Gift Of Discernment - My First Gift
I began to get very physically affected by people who seemed to have problems. My whole body would feel stressed and muscles would become tense especially around my neck, but I would mostly feel it in my chest. Sometimes in a crowd I would get a vibe, wave or feeling that someone around me or even some distance away seemed to need help. Sometimes it could be three or four people at the same time, but in different directions. If I met somebody, there could be a burning sensation on the side of my body nearest to that person. I knew that these people had serious concerns or worries but didn't know what they were and this continued for about 18 months. Looking back, this was a lead up to the Gift of Discernment / Knowledge that would later develop fully.
First Trip To Medjugorje
In 1988 my brother-in-law Pat asked me to go to Medjugorje in former Yugoslavia. I was apprehensive about going because of the commitments I had on the farm and the availability of help. After a lot of persuasion I finally decided to go and 13 of us (mostly family connections) went at the end of June from London. We arrived out on the Tuesday evening before the 25th June (the anniversary of Our Lady appearing in Medjugorje). The following morning (Wednesday), while at Mass, a man got into the seat beside me. He was aged about 50, 6 ft tall, slim and wearing a tweed suit and hat to match. In the searing heat, he looked a bit out of place. At the handshake of peace I shook hands with him. As I caught his hand my right arm went dead. I was startled. This was my first experience of having met someone with a problem in Medjugorje. I didn't know what it meant. My arm came back to normal after about 10 minutes. After Mass I was introduced to an American lady who was having refreshments with some members of our group. As it was our first day, we went to Mount Krezevac, Apparition Hill, and the Blue Cross etc where the pilgrims normally go.
That evening the church was packed to capacity for the anniversary of Our Lady's apparitions in Medjugorje. I was standing in the centre aisle along with other members of our group. During the ceremony I felt a huge weight as if a heavy plank was placed across my shoulders and I was under severe distress. It lasted for most of the ceremony. The people around me were aware of this also, including some of the local women. Everybody seemed to be spiritually touched and several people were crying including the locals. Every evening after that, the same experience occurred again, but not to the same intensity and I made sure that I got a seat to sit down at the evening ceremonies.
The following morning (Thursday) at the 7am Mass, while the priests were giving out Holy Communion, my brother-in-law Pat asked me if I could see anything in the back of the tabernacle. What I saw was the face of the crucified Jesus, which filled the back of the tabernacle. Around the edges was a shimmering light. We whispered to one another and he saw the same image or vision that I was seeing. After some time, this vision changed and I could then see what looked like the body of Jesus hanging on the cross, looking at it from the right hand side. It seemed to fit life size in the tabernacle, from the armpits down to a level with the hips. This continued until the priest put the sacred vessels back into the tabernacle and closed the door. During that day we visited the important places again, as we had done the previous day.
The First Soul To Be Helped
That evening we came back early for the evening ceremonies, possibly around 5pm. At that time, there was no seating outside the church and the Blessed Sacrament Church hadn't been built, no confessionals, just grass around the church, no buildings across the road, in front of the church, just temporary, canvas stalls. I was with my sister, Cecilia, and was reintroduced to the American lady whom I had met the previous morning. During the conversation, I asked her who she was with and she introduced me to her husband, who was nearby. I felt a sudden urge to put my arm around this man. I asked him, would he mind if I put my arm around him and he said 'not at all'. I was really embarrassed having to do this. As I did, he started praying out loud. We were in the middle of the road, in front of the church and there were a lot of people around. He continued praying for some time and eventually this urge lifted and I took my arm from around him. He turned to me immediately and said at the moment I had put my arm around him, he saw the image of Jesus on the Cross. I started to tell him about the experience I had at Mass that morning and we went to a café and continued the conversation over some refreshments.
We discussed our families and where we came from. They were from Florida in the US. He was a soldier in the US Army, based in Germany, a burly 42 year old. They had three sons and were concerned about one son, who had an addiction to drugs although they felt he had somewhat, come to terms with it. My sister Cecilia happened to mention that we had a cousin John in New York who had died as a result of drug abuse. He was a good-looking young man of 20, 6ft tall with blond hair. As soon as she mentioned his name, an immense pressure started to build on top of my head forcing me downward and eventually I was lying prostrate on the table where we were sitting. A loud voice shouted in my ear,
Pray for John, Pray for John, Pray for John. There was a picture of fire (almost looked like a bush fire in Australia from the scenes on TV). The others caught hands and started to pray. After some time the weight lifted and the fire scene changed to an orange glow. I took it that John had been helped somewhat by our prayers, and this was the first time I was directed to pray for someone who was not on this earth.
(During the following few days, we kept meeting this couple and it became farcical, as every corner we turned, we kept bumping into each other , even with so many people being around.)
On Friday we went to Apparition Hill with Pat. On the way down the pathway through the fields, we encountered a local woman. She was approx. 60 years of age and was speaking to two boys aged 10 or 11 and some force was blocking me from passing her. When I'd get so far there seemed to be an invisible wall that I couldn't pass. I made three or four attempts to no avail. There was no way through even though there was space around her to pass. I felt that she was involved in an evil situation. We went back some distance to pray and after some short time, we approached her again, this time praying the prayer of protection to St. Michael the Archangel aloud. This time we succeeded without any problem. I made some enquiries and discovered where she lived and every time I passed her house I had to pray the same prayer before I came to it and while passing.
Everyday I could feel a tremendous spiritual power around the area and I was affected by a lot of people's problems, but didn't know what they were.
On the Saturday evening, I developed a severe sore throat and in a short time I couldn't eat. I had an awful night and sometimes I was afraid I would choke. I was taken to the medical centre in Citluk the following morning and again on Monday morning, where I was examined and given treatment. I wasn't able to eat any more solid meals and survived on orange drinks for the rest of the pilgrimage till I got back to London.
One of the group, Rosaleen, bought a bronze statue of Our Lady of Medjugorje. She had difficulty getting it from the shop owner initially as he said it was only a sample, but she eventually persuaded him. This was a present for my sister Kathleen who is married to Pat in London. We arrived back from the trip to Pat's house and we took out the presents. Rosaleen gave Kathleen the bronze statue, which she put in the middle of the table. Everyone was drawn to the statue as it was unusual to see a bronze statue of this size (about 12” high). As they were clearing off the table after the meal, I went to lift the statue out of the way and discovered I couldn't lift or move it as it was stuck rigidly in the same spot. That created a stir as everybody else was able to lift the statue except me. There was an invisible force preventing me. To this day, I still cannot lift the statue . I have a similar one of my own now, but I have to get someone else to carry it, if we bring it anywhere! That night I stayed in their house and Kathleen brought up the statue and put it on the locker beside my bed as she said I might need it! I couldn't understand why this was happening to me. In the morning I prayed the Rosary for direction and the message was that
“Our Lady was carrying the weight of the world bringing souls to Her Son Jesus. Her outstretched left arm
was beckoning souls to come to Her immaculate heart to be presented to Her Son, which She has Her right hand over and that I was going to be carrying some of this weight also”.
This concerned me, as I was unsure as to what lay ahead.
I continued to be affected by people's problems until the 12th August 1988 (ironically the feast of St. Laurence, the martyr). At 2pm on that day, the meaning of all these experiences was revealed to me. It was like a curtain had been pulled back. The problems of each person that I had been affected by during the previous 18 months became clear. There were many situations, and I was really amazed by these revelations, even problems belonging to local people, big and small. These revelations lasted for almost a week. I understood that I needed to pray for these problems. The experiences grew stronger and from then on each time it happened, I would know exactly what the problem was. I began to pick up situations from people who lived miles away and one occasion from someone in America who wasn't well and who I knew.
One morning after milking the cows I returned to our house. Outside the entrance to the house on the roadway was a note neatly folded on the ground. As I passed, I got a message, to pick up the note. I took it with me and opened it later. A Pat Bergin had left a message for the milkman as he was going on holidays with instructions as to when they needed milk again. The ironic thing was that Pat's address was 18 miles away from our house and no milkman from that area passed our way. I was physically affected by this note and the more I looked at it, a story started to unfold. There were different watermarks on the note and they seemed to relate to a series of disputes and marriage problems, which were drink related. I prayed about it and over a few days more of the story was revealed to me. I got a picture of a pretty woman looking through a window, almost in despair as to what to do. It seems that she had asked for prayer help as I saw further images of nuns in black habits kneeling and also nuns in brown habits (Poor Claires) praying for her. I waited until Pat came back from his holidays and found out where he worked. I rang him and arranged to meet him. I read out the note and he explained that it was his brother's handwriting. I asked him if anyone in the family had a marriage problem. He denied it. I continued with a series of questions, all of which he denied. Eventually he admitted that his brother Tim was having marriage problems. Our Lady said “Tim's immediate family have disowned him as a result of his drink problem. He needs their assistance and they need to pray for him.” Pat and his other brother did visit Tim and gave him all the support that he needed and since then he has managed to
come through his addiction to the extent that he now helps others.
The experiences continued in to 1989. My week in Medjugorje the previous year had a tremendous spiritual affect on me and I was anxious to get back there as soon as possible. I organised a pilgrimage of 50 people from the area to go again at the end of September that year.
One evening that May I was going into Mass and I experienced a presence in the avenue of our church about 30 metres from the front door. Our church is in the shape of a cross, in a rural village and the graveyard surrounds it like a horseshoe. The presence was 3 metres wide and seemed to be in a circle, with me standing in the middle of it. I stayed there for a few minutes, but didn't know what it meant. It didn't feel evil. I went into the church, and every time subsequently I encountered the same presence for weeks, even when my wife Kathleen was with me. One evening, when I arrived at the spot, an invisible beam shot from this spot across the graveyard. There was nothing to be seen; yet I
could sense the direction it was going. It was like a beam of light, but I couldn't see it. I followed the direction of the beam and it rested on a name on a headstone. The man's name was Michael and he had died three years previously. I received a message to pray for this man. I said an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be and the experience ceased. This was the second time I had been asked to pray for a soul. The next time I came to church, the presence in the avenue had gone, but the beam was still emanating from the same spot to the headstone, but
to a lesser intensity. If there was no one around, I would go and pray at the grave s before and the experience would stop. This repeated every time I went to church and if there were people coming I would pray as I passed the grave and the beam would cease again.
About 2 weeks before I was due to go to Medjugorje, this experience became very powerful and the nearer it came to going on the pilgrimage the more intense it got. I felt I was to pray in Medjugorje for this man. When we arrived, I discussed this incident with my roommate, and he was startled at this, as he had known Michael very well. I asked him to pray for Michael during the pilgrimage and I would do the same. We had a great week spiritually. During this week I was given direction for something that was to be done in Medjugorje, which I can't mention here. I was also given direction for some members of our group to set up prayer groups when they returned to Ireland.
When I returned to Ireland, I went to the churchyard, which we live quite near and there was a great sense of peace around where Michael was buried.
Around this time, a few people had advised me that I should have a spiritual director. A nun recommended to me a certain priest I knew and I approached this man and he agreed. We used to meet in his house every so often and I would relate the various experiences I was having. Normally before we started, he would read a passage from the bible, and a great spiritual power would fill the room as he read this. I would experience this, but he wouldn't. He would ask me a lot of questions and likewise I would ask him a lot also. As time progressed, I felt that he wasn't on my wavelength, with no disrespect to this man, who is a very holy and great man. For some unknown reason, our meetings seemed to cease. Sometime later, I was about to start seeking another spiritual director and I didn't know where to turn or who to ask. I was becoming concerned about this but then suddenly received a direction.
“I am your spiritual director and I am the one who has been giving you the directions, all this time. I am your Holy Mother, Mary”.
I had often wondered who was giving me these directions. They were all authentic and to the point, but when I received this message from Our Lady I was really elated and absolutely flabbergasted to be told that she was the one directing me! I also have an 'earthly' spiritual director.
Our Lady directs me through the power of the Holy Spirit and this still continues. She speaks in the language that the receiver will understand even using colloquialisms or sayings that they would use. I will always know a few seconds before a message comes that it's on the way. It can happen anywhere e.g. at meal times, driving the car. Sometimes I may be directed to go into our house and that I will get a message at a certain time.
If the message is long, I will get it in parts and this could take about a quarter of an hour for the message to come through completely. I always have to pray to the Holy Spirit and Our Lady for guidance before any of these things happen.
List Of Souls Needing Prayer
About two days after coming back from Medjugorje, I was led to pray for another soul in our local churchyard. This person had been dead for over 40 years, and a few days later another soul from the graveyard was added. A few days later again, yet another soul was looking for help, also dead about 40 years. There were now 3 souls to pray for. We have land in front of the church so I would be down there regularly anyway. This time, there were beams or vibes coming from their graves and every time I passed the graveyard e.g. in the car or tractor, I could sense them. This continued for at least three months and I prayed for them everyday. At the end of that time, eventually one soul was at peace. A short while later the second soul was released to heaven and then the third. These were replaced a few days later by 5 new souls needing help, who were dead for 80-100 years. I started praying for these in the same way, saying the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be and remembering them in the Rosary. The list started to increase from other souls buried in the local graveyard and it then began to extend if I went to a funeral in a neighbouring parish and I'd be led to pray for 4 or 5 in that graveyard. I would always go back and check out the names at a quieter time and at this stage I started to write the names down. That continued and I soon found myself being drawn to pray for more and more including names from the memorial columns of the local papers. Sometimes, even before I'd open the paper, I'd know that someone needed to be prayed for. I was now being led to where people were killed in road accidents and could sense this a few miles before I came to the actual spot where that person died.
Often when driving along the road, I would be drawn to the ruins of a house, where some soul who lived there needed help. I was drawn in so many different ways to pray for people e.g. TV. An actor might appear on screen and I'd be drawn to pray for them personally or someone deceased belonging to them. If someone had terminated their pregnancy, I would be drawn to have the baby baptised and to give that soul a name and to pray for them. I would organise for that to be looked after by an understanding priest or layperson I know. I was continually praying for these souls on my own and it kept increasing instead of decreasing.
At one stage the list grew to about 150. The annual pilgrimage to Knock was going from the parish that July, so I decided to go, even though I hadn't been there many times before. I planned to pray the Stations of the Cross for those souls when I got there and divide the 150 into 14 parts, one set for each Station. I carried this out, and discovered that all 150 souls were cleared. The list started to grow again and when it got to about 30 or 40 souls, I'd make a point of going to Knock to pray the Stations of the Cross for them and they would be released
immediately. I went to Knock Shrine 7 times between July and December 1989. Every time I went, I'd pray the Stations of the Cross and other prayers also. This spiritual exercise seemed to be very rewarding, especially where the Holy Souls were concerned.
In 1879, Archdeacon Kavanagh, was parish priest in Knock. He had a great devotion, praying for the Holy Souls and celebrated a Novena of 100 Masses,
which finished on 21st August 1879. That evening, Our Lady appeared on the gable end of the church along with St. John and St. Joseph. Most people are aware of this. I only became aware of Archdeacon Kavanagh's devotion to the Holy Souls much later. I was still being drawn in so many different ways to pray for souls, even to the graveyard overlooking Knock Shrine.
The minute I would arrive at the shrine in Knock, I would know instantly if I was to go to the graveyard or not. One particular day there were approx 42 souls that I was led to pray for, one after the other. I'd say an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for each one along with a Lord of Mercy for that name. That happened numerous times. I'd normally have someone with me, e.g. my wife Kathleen or sister.
One occasion, it was suggested to pray for all of them together, but I was told that the Lord doesn't work that way. Each soul is an individual. I have prayed for hundreds of souls in this manner at Knock. As of now, I'm drawn to the souls in the newer graveyard, No 3 and now and again, to some in the other graveyards, especially No 2.
Stations Of The Cross Became Alive!
There was continuing strong urgency to go to Knock and pray as much as possible for the Holy Souls, praying The Stations. Eventually Kathleen and myself decided to go for a weekend. On the Sunday morning before the 12 o'clock Mass in the Basilica, 21st July 1991, I prayed the Stations of the Cross in the grounds. When I came to the fourth Station, (Jesus Meets His Mother), the whole scene on Calvary became alive. There was great sorrow at this Station when they met and the sorrow was coming from where their hands touched.
Obviously, Mary hadn't seen Jesus for some time and to see the state Her Son was in after the scourge and brutality, She was traumatised with sorrow and hurt. I could sense how everybody felt, e.g. Veronica, (her compassion), the soldiers (get on with the job, no compassion), the High Priests (making sure that the crucifixion would be carried out), Simon (the help he gave carrying the cross). I felt the areas of His body that had been most hurt by various falls and His shoulders with the cross and being goaded on by the handle of the spear. This continued for the rest of the Stations. I went to 12 o'clock Mass, and shared this with my wife when I came out. I was being drawn like a magnet to go back to
the Station area, which I did and started off to say the Stations again. This time, the same experience started at the first Station.
1. Jesus Is Condemned to Death by Pilate
What I experience here is the inevitability of death and the sorrow, the hurt and the numbness that He feels at being condemned to death. All emotions are coming from the chest area of Jesus. He has been condemned to death innocently and without guilt. The muscular handler/soldier with the rope is determined to carry it out. The servant boy in the background washes the hands of Pilate. All seem to fit into the picture.
2. Jesus Carries His Cross
Jesus accepts the cross with His hands out meekly like the lamb at this Station. Again the same numbed feeling coming from the chest area of Jesus. I feel nothing from the other figures.
3. Jesus Falls the First Time
At this Station when Jesus falls, the unbelievable suffering coming from His two knees, the crown of thorns and the great suffering from the weight of the cross on His right shoulder is also strong. The high priest looks on in the background.
4. Jesus Meets His Mother Mary
Mary meets Her Son for the first time since he was arrested. The sorrow of Mary for Her Son supersedes all other sorrow or pain at this Station. It seems to come across more strongly from the area where their two hands meet and the meekness of Jesus as He catches Her hand seems to come across. Other figures look on.
5. Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry The Cross
What I experience at this Station is that Simon helps take about 80% of the weight of the cross off the shoulder of Jesus. There is no experience of pain here. Simon is behind Jesus, under the cross.
6. Veronica Wipes The Face Of Jesus
At this Station Veronica wipes the face of Jesus, Veronica being a cousin of Jesus in real life. What comes across is the great concern of Veronica for her cousin, seeing His terrible condition. The handler looks on in amazement as if to say, why should this woman wipe the face of a criminal.
7. Jesus Falls The Second Time
There is a great pain and suffering from where His hands hit the ground, from the crown of thorns and from the cross in line with and above His body. Great Suffering.
8. Jesus Speaks to the Women of Jerusalem
There is great sorrow and concern of the women for Jesus, seeing His terrible condition. Great sorrow comes from the woman kneeling who is obviously crying. There is great concern from the woman standing with the child. He said weep not for me but for yourselves and your children.
9. Jesus Falls the Third Time
Jesus was almost prostrate from suffering. At this Station there is great pain from His right arm, shoulder and elbow. The crown of thorns and the weight of the cross. He feels so bad at this stage from suffering he could die. The high priest points down at him with feeling 'get him up'.
10. Jesus is Stripped of His Garments
The great pain at the point where the clothes are torn from His body, because the garments had adhered to His congealed blood. This pain supersedes all pain, even the crown of thorns.
11. Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
All the pain comes from where the soldier drives the nail in to the right hand. It supersedes all other pain, up to this point.
12. Jesus Dies on the Cross
There is a great feeling of stillness and peace coming from the body of Jesus on the cross. All suffering is over, like after a battle. No reaction from any of the other figures. It's accomplished.
13. Jesus Is Taken Down From The Cross
Tremendous suffering from Mary on the death of Her Son as He is taken down by Nicodemus and friends. There is no reaction from any other figure, except the unbelievable sorrow of Mary.
14. Jesus is Laid in The Tomb
Great sorrow of Mary also comes across at this Station as Her Son is being laid in the tomb. No reaction from the other figures.
Eight of the Stations directly relate to Jesus and of the three falls on the way to Calvary, the third fall at the ninth Station, Jesus had the most suffering, as I experienced it. The Tenth Station where Jesus is stripped of His garments also stands out as painful. Because of the great number of flesh wounds from scourging, His clothes had adhered to His body because of the heat and sweat
The area most affected is the actual point where the clothes are torn from His body. Three of the Stations relate to Mary. Her greatest sorrow was at the fourth Station where She met Her Son. One Station is devoted to Simon. What I felt here is that we are the Simons of the world and as we pray we lift the weight of suffering from Jesus. One Station is devoted to Veronica, and her great concern, and one Station is devoted to the women of Jerusalem, as already described.
I was given more direction about the 15th Station. It will be the same as the other Stations except with two figures. Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Jesus is gesturing with His left hand to go and tell the disciples. Mary Magdalene with long hair has her back facing out, partly looking toward Jesus. Tomb and clothes are in the background appearing in between the two figures.
Pray for Peace In Northern Ireland
Sometimes on weekend visits to Knock, Our Lady would request that I pray for her intentions for that day, which sometimes she would mention and sometimes not. On one day she requested that we pray all day long for peace in Northern Ireland. We did so and during the first peace negotiations, I was asked to pray for the negotiators, who were under great strain. There were similar experiences with other situations.
My experiences seemed to diversify, and I was being led to pray for people who were suicidal. I might meet them in a shop, on the street, in a lounge bar / restaurant or on the road in lorries or cars. I would always be told the reason why. It could be due to family pressures, tax situations, depression, pressure at school or in the case of some young people, having no work. I wouldn't approach them, but I would pray and ask Our Lady to protect and help them. In some cases, I'd have to leave and go to pray in the car or elsewhere to be on my own. I remember
my first experience of a suicide as a 3 year old in New York. One day looking out the window, I saw a man in black clothes getting out of a window at the other side of the street 5 stories up and jumping to his death. I remember the police and fire service putting a cover over him. Subsequently I would go to the window everyday out of curiosity expecting a repeat! Little did I know then what would happen in the years to come. I will highlight some of these experiences later in the book.
As time went on I became drawn to situations where other people were having unusual experiences like haunted houses, or unusual noises like knocking at
doors and windows, but nobody there, doors opening and TV's turning on automatically. Some would have seen outlines of people, and others would have had very clear pictures, e.g. a detailed description of their hair style, dress, and in most cases I'd be able to tell the period from when these people lived. When we'd pray, the reason would be revealed. Sometimes, it could be the soul themselves needing help or they could be interceding for someone else.
The Lord, through Our Lady, would be working through all these situations. It could have been where un-baptised babies were buried or a building on a bombed site where many people were killed and some weren't at peace. Sometimes a house could be built on a site where a tragedy happened and that situation wasn't resolved. There have been a few situations that have led back as far as the famine. Some people had food, but didn't share it with others who were less well off and who died as a result. These situations had repercussions on a few occasions.
Most messages are responses to individual requests. There have been a few general messages, i.e. to pray for peace in Iraq, months before the war actually started or as mentioned previously I was asked to pray for peace in Northern Ireland and for certain individuals who were involved in the peace process. When I was in Medjugorje in the early 1990's there were 80,000 people under siege in Sarajevo and I was requested to ask everyone to pray that the siege would cease. I did as she requested and it took another 3 months before this happened.
About this time I started attending a weekly prayer group locally. Charles, who was blessed with a gift of knowledge, would often attend also. Most nights he would give a 'word of knowledge' to a few people there, without knowing who the messages were for. One night he mentioned someone in the room would be filled with the Holy Spirit this night and would have it for the rest of their lives. I was immediately filled with a tremendous peace and knew the message was for me. This feeling lasted the whole nightlong and I felt really blessed.
A few years ago when I went to the local church to Mass or otherwise, the minute I'd enter, I would be drawn to the statue of Our Lady at the left hand side of the altar. I would experience a wave of energy coming to me from the statue. It continued for approx 8-9 months and I didn't know what it meant. One Sunday in November, just after I entered the church, I got a direction coming from her statue, which said, I want my statue painted. I didn't know how this was to be done, how it would be funded or who was to paint it! The statue was made of
white chalk. There is also a statue of the Sacred Heart on the right hand side of the altar matching the other one. I prayed about it over a period of time and the message that I got was that she wanted both statues painted by the following Easter. She told me the colours to be used for her cloak, her garb etc. how the background was to be painted and also told me who I was to hire to paint it. She said the painter would know what to do with the Sacred Heart. I was also told it would cost £500 and that I was to pay for it but that she would look after me. I briefly mentioned this particular incident to a close friend, and they said 'they' would pay for it. Problem solved! I discussed it with the parish priest and all her directions were carried out. It was done by the following Easter and the cost was exactly what she mentioned.
In Medjugorje, June 2002, Our Lady told me that I was getting a new job.
That November Jesus asked me during adoration to say the Divine Mercy every day at 3pm for the gifts that I was given and they would be increased 100 fold. Since then I have been drawn into more situations where evil is at work and prayers of exorcism and Masses are needed. I am also drawn to pray for unbaptised babies that would have died a long time ago. I would even be drawn to tell someone where the baby was buried, even a long way off and would be able to give a description of the area.
Also in November 2002, Our Lady asked me to pray for the Holy Souls in three separate groups. 1 Abandoned Souls, 2 Suicide, 3 Accidents and every day Our Lady asked for one of these groups to be prayed for and other groups as well.
I met Joanne in Medjugorje June 2003. She also has spiritual gifts and has a great gift of discernment and knowledge, which she has had all her life. When she prayed with me, she could see the flames of purgatory and there was water being poured on these flames. She told me that my prayers were the water being poured on the fire. Jesus told her that He has allowed His mother to give direction and to guide me. She could also confirm that I pray to the Blessed Trinity through Mary's intercession, which was true. There were other personal things, that she could tell me which were also true.
On 8th September (Our Lady's Feast Day) 2003 She asked me not to pray for the Holy Souls, but to pray for the sick instead on that day.
As I mentioned, Our Lady intercedes for us through Jesus. I met with someone recently and had prayed for a few situations, for which I had got answers. This
person asked me for further directions and I asked Our Lady through praying the Hail Mary. ' Our Lady replied humorously 'Give me time to intercede'!
Later that year, a group of us from the northern parishes in the diocese of Ossory organised for Monsignor Michael Buckley to come to Ballyragget, my parish church, to give a similar three day healing mission. With the permission of the parish priest Fr. Grant and the Bishop Laurence Forristal, the meeting was organised for Monday 21st October. There were five different sessions in the three days. We promoted it through local press, radio, handouts at churches etc and thousands came from all over Ireland. On the last evening the church was packed beyond seating capacity. There were approx 600 people outside the church who couldn't get in and even people in the sacristy listening through the intercom. Medical people and the Gardai were on standby also.
First Time To Be Affected By People With Problems.
I was one of several stewards in the church, supervising the event. Monsignor Buckley moved through the crowd after Mass blessing the people. He sometimes asked me to place my hand on them as he was praying with them. I noticed that I began to have reactions from people, especially those with physical problems. I would feel an unusual pulsating sensation, but I didn't know what it meant, and it didn't happen with everybody.
Near midnight on the last night of the mission, he had asked certain people in wheelchairs to stay behind, after everyone had left the church. He wanted to pray and talk to them. I assisted in helping them up on the altar with other stewards. Monsignor was speaking to a particular man in one of the wheelchairs and was able to tell him about different aspects of his life and I was amazed. I was kneeling behind this man on one knee with my hand on his shoulder. Then, all of a sudden, I found myself lying outstretched in front of the altar in pain, but conscious. Everyone was initially alarmed as they thought I had got a heart attack. The people around opened my shirt and took off my tie and were considering going for the doctor, but what I was experiencing I knew it wasn't the doctor I needed, but I couldn't tell them that. Something like this never happened to me or the people around me before. What I now know is that I was resting in the Spirit and I felt as if I was on the cross. I was experiencing a lot of pain and trauma. It's hard to explain, but I felt I was being pulled asunder. Someone put a coat under my head but it felt so uncomfortable that I asked that it be taken away. I wondered how I going to endure this all night in the church and they wouldn't be able to lock the doors! Monsignor Buckley had returned to his accommodation and there were only a few helpers and our parish priest Fr. Grant left at this stage. After sometime I began to come around and I was lifted
up and put sitting on a chair. I was given a drink of water and I felt drained of energy after this whole experience.