Although it has been over two years ago, I still remember it vividly as though it were yesterday. A group of us gathered together to say Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Rosary, then then Eucharist at 9:00 a.m. We came together as we could on a consistent basis for several years. During that time, I met several of these men and women on a deeper level when we shared the stirrings of the Holy Spirit with each other after the Eucharist. In particular, George Unglaub, recent convert, his wife, Vanessa, at that time in discernment to join us in the Catholic tradition of those who practice having in them the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5) each day, was absolutely rooted in the one concept of “seeing Jesus” in, with, and through reception of the Eucharist. What is remarkable about George is that he did not suffer fools gladly and was a bit of a ladies man before his conversion. Now, all George could talk about was what Jesus did for him, when he went into the tiny chapel at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Tallahassee, Florida, and just sat there seeking Jesus. What he found changed his life, for sure, but it also changed the lives of his wife, Vanessa, and certainly my own. George was 83 when he died, surrounded by those who surrounded themselves with Christ as their Lord and Savior. When I think of George these days, I am reminded of St. Paul who was nearly struck by lightning and woke up singing the beauty of the resurrection, or St. Augustine, who was a bit of a rake before his conversion (thanks to the prayers of St. Monica) but focused on the love of Christ who was broken on the cross for broken humanity on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Moments with St. Michael is my tribute to George and Vanessa and how, through their journey of Faith and Love meandered down the path of righteousness with all us proclaiming Jesus Christ is Son of God, Messiah, and that believing in his name, we might all have eternal life together in Christ. (John 20:30-31)
Today, at 2:33 a.m., after my bathroom break, I fell back asleep as is my normal routine, asking St. Michael the Archangel, my namesake and in whose name I was dedicated to Christ on September 29, 1940, The Feast of Michael and all Angels, to put a good word in for me with Jesus. I never presume to control or shape the conversation with St. Michael, things just pop into my head (actually my heart) and I just lay their with my mouth open wondering where it the world that popped into my mind. Here is my latest Moments with St. Michael (with George as my Master of Ceremonies).
My question this time was: If humans cannot look upon the face of God and exist to tell about it because God is pure Love, how can we stand in the presence of God, much less be happy in an existence that has no bearing on the life we have just departed, one of matter, space/time, energy, and has a beginning and an end?
St. Michael: Michael, my lad, do not let your heart be troubled at what you are incapable of knowing, loving or serving in God’s Kingdom. Here is God’s problem. If God, whose nature is so beyond belief and the human experience, that to glimps God as He actually exists would fry your neurons, how can you ask someone to want to fulfill their destiny as humans in a condition where none of the physical attributes that make us matter, time, energy as we know it, exist so that we could relate to them? That is why Jesus came, to save humans from an existence of only seventy or eighty years, and to share with them Love to the extent that each one is capable to receive it as a human. The Christ Principle is the One who lifts up all peoples to Himself, to protect them from the dangerous harm of looking into the Sun without special glasses, to keep their souls, minds, and bodies at their peak, to fulfill the next step in their human evolution, from human to adopted son and daughter of the Father.
Michael, Christ is everything as the way, the truth and the life. If you don’t worry about what you will be in heaven, that might cause your human intelligence to say all of this is meaningless, but if you apply the sign of contradiction (the cross) and have Faith that the words of Christ in Scripture are true, then you will survive to be here with all of us. As we speak, I stand guard at the Gates of Heaven with my flaming sword, the fire of purification. I also stand with you and those who seek my aid to resist the temptations of Satan, the great deceiver, who seeks to keep you from your destiny. I ask you to stand with me in unity with all those of the Church Militant who await their particular judgement before Christ.
Michael, some of the Mysteries of Faith you will never grasp, nor are you capable of knowing. What you can know is how to love others on earth as Christ loves you. That is at the heart of what being a child of God means. Don’t worry. The Blessed Mother, the Saints, the Martyrs, all those have called upon the name of the Lord are one with Christ who makes all things new again and again…forever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end of the ages. Amen and Amen. –Cistercian doxology