Have I had any visitations from the past or the future today?
In the beautiful and haunting painting by Jules Bastien-Lepage that hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, St. Joan of Arc is shown as a young woman in the garden of her home, with the transparent figures of St. Michael the Archangel, St. Margaret, and St. Catherine hovering above her. It is believed that this painting depicts the first time that St. Joan of Arc heard the call to arms to save France (when she was about 13 years old).
She experienced these visions throughout her life, and, during her later trial for heresy, she testified that she followed the instructions in the visions to defeat the English, and that her success was evidence that she was acting in response to messages from God.
I have always been intrigued by this story and the visions St. Joan of Arc experienced, especially her deep conviction that she was following instructions sent to her by God. I am also inspired by the “call within a call” that St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta experienced on the train in India that led her to found the Missionaries of Charity. So many saints throughout the centuries have related stories of visitations or callings they have received and how these visitations from God, from the Blessed Virgin, and from the saints and archangels profoundly changed their lives, setting them on new paths to fulfill God’s will for them. As a child, I prayed and wished that I would be blessed by such a visitation so I could truly know if I have a special mission or if I am on the right path for my life.
As I grew older and matured in my faith, I realized that very few people are blessed to receive direct visitations from God and the saints in the manner of St. Joan of Arc and St. Mother Teresa, but that I do receive messages from God if I only open my mind, heart, and soul to them. These messages take so many different forms — a special memory of a loved one who has died at a time when I am really missing that person, a friend sharing the story that she had received a message that she did not need to pray for the repose of my father’s soul any longer since he was already in heaven, a friend calling at the exact right time when I am low and need a comforting ear to listen because she sensed that I need her support at that time, a glimpse in a dream of my father and my baby in heaven, enjoying time together. These are moments when the divine world opens up a tiny window to the world below, moments that give us hope and bolster our faith. I am so blessed to experience these divine moments of grace sent by God.
Am I open to receiving visitations or messages from God?
Thank you, God, for providing us the examples of the saints to inspire us and lead us closer to You. Thank you for allowing me to glimpse the divine life and grant me Your grace and mercy so that I may one day share in that life, if that is Your will for me. Authentically Yours.