I just wanted to share with everyone four very special signal graces that Our Lord granted me through the hands of Our Lady, since my journey began to enter the Catholic Church. These have given me innumerable graces and strengthened me in times of doubt, discouragement, and despair. They have been guiding lights, directing my path to my Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist.
The first signal grace occurred when I received my first Holy Rosary in the mail from a charity. I doubt I would have been able to obtain one any other way, and I received it along with a Catechism and a Bible. This Rosary was beautiful, all black beads, with steel interlocking chains and a steel corpus, and a miraculous medal as the Salve Regina place. When I held it in my hands for the first time, I placed my fingers on the miraculous medal piece to hold it, and it felt like fire in my hands. I took my hands away, thinking that I was dreaming, and put them on again, and yet again, the medal felt warm, like it had been in a fire. It was so warm it almost hurt to hold it, but I didn't want to let it go. This continued on for some time, and I thanked Our Lady for giving me reassurance of the holiness of the Rosary and of coming to Our Lord through the Rosary. I've loved the Rosary ever since.
The second signal grace I have already mentioned on this blog before, so I will pass over it quickly. I approached my local Roman Catholic Church, to enter it for the first time. It was late that day, and the front doors had been locked, due to the lateness of the hour. I pulled on it, but to no avail. When I look back on the event, I bet there would have been a way to signal inside for someone to come unlock the door, since they had perpetual adoration, but I was flustered at the time and didn't notice that. I remember leaving my hand on the door and feeling crestfallen, praying to Our Lord, truly present in the Tabernacle and Chapel. I walked away, and went to have a bite to eat for a late dinner at a local fast food restaurant. Upon sitting down, Father Tony walks in and sits down nearby to eat, completely randomly! He stayed there about as long as I was there, just reading the paper and eating. What are the chances that we ate at the same McDonalds, of which there are more than one in town, at the same time, on the same day, directly after I had touched the Church and wanted to go in? It was as if the Lord had heard my prayer, and had responded to my pursuit of Him by pursuing me.
The third signal grace occurred when I had a particularly awful day on my journey. It was a Sunday, and I had attempted to go to Mass that morning, and gotten into familial strife with both of my parents, especially my dad, about my conversion the the Catholic Faith. I was reading a newsletter from a Catholic Church (not my own, but a different one somewhere near me) that evening, feeling dejected, and upon opening it my eyes fell to a portion that talked of a particular Catholic Saint, a sainted woman somewhere in the annals of Church history, who had to leave her father's household at the age of eighteen to live in a convent. Eighteen. I'm eighteen. This was entirely random, I didn't even have to read the whole article, I don't even frequent this Church's website, and yet here this is a message of encouragement for me and to keep striving forward. The message I heard from the Father was to keep striving forward, spiritually leaving your household, physically leaving for Mass, and to continue to be a charitable witness to the Truth in all things, that by any means I might convert some (my parents).
The fourth signal grace occurred last night. I had prayed the Rosary before retiring to bed, and I had invoked Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, and Our Lord of the Divine Mercy. I prayed for some time afterward on my own and freely, in the Holy Spirit, and fell asleep that way. I dreamed heavily all night, and most of it I do not remember clearly, but I remember with perfect clarity waking up, facing my right toward a photo of Jesus of the Divine Mercy that I have sitting on my right endtable by my bed, and for a moment the dream and reality seemed to overlap. I recall before opening my eyes but as I was waking up, seeing Jesus Christ, surrounded by a bank of clouds, in Heavenly glory, with His arms outstretched in welcome and love. Whether it was His second coming, or my death, I could not tell (and really, both have a similar character as far as the individual soul is concerned, the appearance of Christ and of judgment). As I opened my eyes, they were already looking, without my having to move them, at the picture of Jesus of the Divine Mercy, and the two images overlapped for a moment, blurring and blending in beauty. Finally, the image faded away, and I saw Jesus of the Divine Mercy standing there, just loving me as a Divine Spouse. It was a tremendously mystical experience, one that I'm thankful for.
I am thankful for all of the times the Lord Jesus Christ comes to me and speaks to my soul, encouraging my journey onward, until at long last I may finally partake of His Presence in the most literal, spiritual, mystical, and incredible sense possible: In His coming in the Most Holy Eucharist.