63. Miraculous Sign Atop Mount Zion that Perfectly Ends Part I of All My Grace!
For the entire night of the holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost), it is a Jewish custom to stay up and study. Therefore, on this night, which was, in 2018, May 19-20 (Sivan 6, 5778), I, for this one-of-three, yearly pilgrimage festivals, was atop Jerusalem’s Mount Zion at about 4 a.m. There, I got into a conversation with a group of seven, English-speaking, Christian students (Matthew, Alex, Kathy, Maureen, Andrew, Braxton, and one more whose name I have misplaced). They, sidelined among the moving masses of coffee-drinking pilgrims, were conscientiously waiting for their guide and the other two-thirds of their class. As they seemed a bit out of place, I stopped; and, then, we had a meaningful conversation. In fact, we felt enough spiritual contact so that there was a mutual hope that I, who had an errand to run, would soon be able to come back and speak to the Catholic priest leading the group after he arrived.
Following my errand, I returned and discovered the now-full ensemble further up the path from their former location. They were sitting outside the locked, main gates of the Dormition Abbey, venerated by Catholics and others as the place where the Virgin Mary ended her earthly existence. There, despite the throngs at nearby locations, it was quiet. That path did not cross any Jewish sites; and, on Shavuot night, the vast majority of those coming to Mount Zion were Orthodox Jews.
With an offered, improvised pillow, a sitting place was honorably made for me beside the priest, a Fr. Anthony from Boulder, Colorado, who was presently living at a monastery not far from Jerusalem. Due to a report about me having been made already, I was expected to the degree that Fr. Anthony, with kindness, immediately offered me the privilege of imparting a teaching to all those gathered.
His invitation caused a topic to come to mind spontaneously; and, I was about to relate my thoughts. However, suddenly, we heard, from a distance, angry shouts, which must have come from some pilgrims who, for whatever reason, had broken with the holiday spirit. While that agitation lasted only a few moments, since omnipresent God is all things both large and small, I took the interruption as a Holy-Spirit sign to discuss the problems of violence. Specifically, I said that truth is lacking in any physically forceful society because, therein, people are scared to speak up and question. (Moreover, wherever violence is accepted as a problem-solver, egotism can run rampant because the truly best way of doing things is no longer the answer. Instead, in such places, what works is animalistic might-makes-right.)
I, also, spoke about other topics, including God’s imminence. Afterward, one of the students had a question. This college-aged woman, from China, then related a formational incident from her youth: when she was seven, while walking with her mother (also Chinese), her mother broke a bone in her (the mother’s) leg. (From the student’s gesticulations, the bone in question seemed to be the fibula). However, despite her mother’s face expressing enormous distress (later, the now woman said that she had never, in all her prior girlhood, seen her mother so pained), she and her, nonetheless, carried on so that they both walked the considerable distance home! Then, the mother, while suffering and not calling for medical help, made her, the daughter, a meal which she ate!
In her telling, there did not seem to be any specific question directed at me. Although, because of the nature of her peculiar tale, I immediately recognized that the LORD was speaking due to the overlap with the divine message—about the concern over mainland China’s growing power—given to me at the New York monastery! Specifically, the mother’s obsequious, against-her-own-best-interests behavior was exactly the type of frightening social conditioning that I, to the Prior and Brother Luke, had written about in my two-months-earlier letter (of March 16).
Because my intended reply to this young woman would, no doubt, cross into very personal territory, I asked, for that reason, if she wanted to talk privately. No. I should speak to the whole group. So, with everyone listening, I questioned her if she felt guilty. She did not. In fact, the opposite: she said that the event was like a treasured moment in her life (perhaps, because she felt so well cared for despite her mother’s pain?)! That comment greatly surprised me (I had thought that some deep-seated guilt had triggered her discourse). . . . I broke into sobs.
When I recovered, I said more or less the following: historically, China’s cultural association with monotheism is not deep. And, any non-monotheistic society—without a belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent Almighty—would necessarily value the material world more than a culture that believes that a miracle from God could save from any trying circumstance.
True monotheism more removes people from physical dependencies so that they rely upon God alone. In contrast, societies lacking an all-encompassing, greater-than-the-material-world theology depend more on physicality; and, thereby, such cultural milieus can more readily degrade into a dog-eat-dog environment whenever a sought-after resource is low. Moreover, in such material-world civilizations, the value of a person is at risk whenever the supporting of human rights is felt to be outweighed by some corporeal need. In a culture without the monotheistic belief that Almighty God, above the material realm, controls the universe, no one is priceless! When lives, price tagged, become mere commodities, it is easy to trample upon human rights!
With that in mind, and continuing to this young woman, I opined that one such deprecation of life’s value was her mother’s obsequious, internalized self-abuse of her own body for the sake of some misplaced priority.
After I confirmed that the group both understood my concerns and were aware of, considering current geopolitical power shifts, this subject’s pertinence, I revealed my belief that a Holy-Spirit miracle had, just then, occurred. Explaining myself, I first spoke of the heavenly, Holy-Spirit sign that I and Brother Luke had witnessed. I, too, told them that that particular sign confirmed a message from God that, considering China’s overly submissive culture, relayed great concern about that government’s increasing influence. Therefore, if—when I am giving a talk on Pentecost on Mount Zion (both when—and as the Mount is, also, revered as the location of the Upper Room—where the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples)—the first question asked of me clearly overlaps with what was divinely relayed months earlier (which was a revelation confirmed with a miraculous sign), God must be enforcing His earlier message, especially as the young Chinese woman’s comment was so out of the blue.
Then, Fr. Anthony asked everyone to open their Bibles to the already prepared reading, from the Book of Romans. [The following begins with Chapter 8, verse 4. However, as my memory, now, serves, we may have commenced with verse 5 (which, below, starts after the first period).]
That the justification of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. For they that are according to the flesh, mind the things that are of the flesh; but they that are according to the spirit, mind the things that are of the spirit. For the wisdom of the flesh is death; but the wisdom of the spirit is life and peace. Because the wisdom of the flesh is an enemy to God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be. And they who are in the flesh, cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
I was, of course, stunned by the chosen text! After confirming that it was pre-planned (in fact, the group had gone over it earlier), I said that we had been blessed by another miraculous sign of the Holy Spirit! After all, I had no idea what was to be read. Nonetheless, my speech had perfectly overlapped with these Biblical verses!
Then, because everyone there knew both that the reading, of which I was unaware, was pre-ordained and that its message was exemplified by my earlier words, there was an agreement that such an unplanned synchronicity was a miraculous sign! (Later, after the holiday, during my retelling of the events to Fr. Bernhard Maria, the newly installed 7th Abbot of Mount Zion, he repeatedly agreed that the close correspondence, of the Book of Romans passage with my earlier words, indicated a divine confirmation.)
On an extraordinarily personal and meaningful note, mere days before (it was, then, on Pentecost, the early a.m. of Sunday morning) was the very first time that All My Grace was made available as an eBook. (Obviously, that original version, published over a month after the first hardcopy edition, did not contain this segment.) Therefore, if, atop Mount Zion itself, in Jerusalem, directly in front of the main gates of the Blessed Virgin’s final, earthly resting place, the Holy Spirit had come to create, through me, a miraculous sign right after I had published a book about communications from the Holy Mother, such must mean that God was proclaiming the divine authenticity of my messages! After all, God does not send the Holy Ghost to vouch for those who lie. Rather, the Holy Ghost comes to support those who tell the truth!