This will be more than one post as it is long…
I ask your forgiveness in advance if anything I have written is not in accordance with the Catholic Church. Although this was a greatly moving experience for me, I recognize that it was a personal vision from my mind. Any and all experiences should be held to the standards and tests of the Church, and the teachings of the Church must prevail.
With that being said…
As a Protestant converting to Catholicism, it has been difficult for me to understand the Rosary. Why the repeated prayers to Mary? Of what benefit could it be? I have heard about Catholics’ great love for the Rosary but have never understood it – until now. Although I had tried to pray the Rosary several times previously, last night God allowed me to have a vision that created in me a deep love for it. While I understand that my own mind shaped the vision, it is a mystery to me where the images came from, how from one instant to the next I learned to meditate on the prayers, and why I so suddenly and profoundly understand and love the Rosary. All the Glory goes to God. It is my prayer that by sharing this vision with you, it might help others, perhaps other converts or RCIA members such as myself, to fall in love with the Rosary too.
This was my vision…
I have always tried to rush through the prayers of the Rosary. Already familiar with the Lord’s Prayer, I memorized two more – the Hail Mary and the Glory Be. I would lie in bed, running my fingers over the beads and reciting the words from memory. But this time would be different. I decided to pray the prayers slowly – to try to understand them, to feel them in my spirit. “Our Father, who art in Heaven…” “Hail Mary full of grace…” And suddenly, I was somewhere else.
I stood watching a scene, but not a part of it. I stood in a lush and beautiful garden. The atmosphere was one of beauty, one of reverence, one of peace. The air was still, not hot or cold, and there was no sense of time. In front of me was a circular inlet to the garden flanked by two smooth, glistening white benches. Sitting in the right corner of the left bench was Mother Mary. Although she had no discernable features, she was beautiful. She was clothed in simple flowing robes of white and powder blue, as she is in so many images in Catholic art. Her head was bowed forward, her face pleased and serene. I knew right away she was listening to the prayers of all the people here on Earth who were praying the Rosary.
I continued my steady prayer. “Holy Mary, mother of God…” On the right side of the garden, Jesus walked in. He slowly approached His mother. Love flowed from His very person. Again He had no discernable features, but I recognized Him right away. I have always hoped that would be the case, that my soul would just know His presence, and it did. Oh, it did. Jesus crouched next to His mother. She smiled as He leaned forward, touching his forehead to hers. This seemed to be the display of love in Heaven. Not hugging or kissing, but this intimate gesture in which deep love was shared.
“She’s praying for her daughter,” said Mary with the tenderness and affection only a mother has. Although she had been listening to the prayers of all the people at once, I knew she was referencing my specific prayer. How wonderful and how humbling to know that she was hearing my prayers.
“I know,” replied her Son. “I have sent angels to watch over her.” Oh, Jesus! My Lord and my Savior! Thank You, thank You, thank You. And Mary, oh, Mary! Thank you for your intersession! Mary returned to her meditation, and her Son remained by her side, hearing prayers along with her.
I was drawn away from the scene, along the paths of Heaven. It was such a peaceful place, the pathways bordered with tree-filled parks. One such park was filled with children running, playing, laughing. The girls wore simple white linen dresses and the boys wore white pants and simple white shirts. Across the way, but not as perceptible, were adults enjoying fellowship and preparing small white clothes for more children who would be arriving soon. I wondered if this should be a sad thing, but it wasn’t. There was only joy, only the anticipation of something wonderful, of more little souls being welcomed into the presence of God. Selfishly, I wondered if God might allow me to see my babies who I so dearly long to see, but it was not to be. This was not upsetting, however. I had a peace that made me perfectly content to follow the will of God. I knew that there were things He would reveal to me in time, and I was thankful and absolutely willing to be patient and obedient.
A short path later, I stood in front of a stunning structure. Light shone from a tiered dome constructed entirely of stained glass, just like we have in our earthly Cathedrals. Instantly, I knew that the light came from God. It was God. His light lit all of Heaven, but it was not blinding, nor did it shine like the sun. It simply was. For a few moments, I just stared at the stunning building, basking in the light, in the serenity, in the love. “Glory be to the Father…”