Heavenly Messages

Philippe de Champaigne's The Dream of Saint Jo...

Philippe de Champaigne’s The Dream of Saint Joseph painted around 1636 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Gospel for today’s mass (Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23) was the story of Joseph’s warning by an angel in a dream to flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus.  It reminded me of several Bible stories where people were forewarned or given messages from God through a dream.  Have you ever had a dream like that?

I know people dream every night.  Each morning I wake up and usually have no memory of my dreams.  If I do have a recollection it is usually a very “foggy” memory and forgotten not long after awakening.  But…. sometimes I have a dream that is so vivid in my mind, it is as if it actually happened.  Upon awakening, I have such clarity as to the events and message of the dream that I just know it was more than a dream.  On these rare occasions, I believe with all my heart that the dream was a heavenly message and usually it is meant to be shared.

This is an example of a “heavenly message” dream.

Here in Cajun country, there are certain people who are known as “traiteurs” or treaters.  The practice of treating was more common when I was a child.  This type of “folk medicine” primarily involved the use of holy water and prayers.  I knew a traiteur personally, my mother’s sister; we called her Me-Me.  Me-Me treated people for headaches, high fever and sunstroke.  I can remember being prayed over by Me-Me as a child, and I did bring my daughter to her to be treated for sunstroke once.  Me-Me passed away several years ago.  She loved her Catholic faith and prayed her rosary almost constantly.  Her six children were all grown with kids and grandkids of their own when Me-Me passed away.  Unfortunately, her family was divided.  All her prayers and rosaries could not heal the broken bonds….it was a great sorrow for her to bear.

One night Me-Me came to me in a dream.  In this dream I was a child and playing in the home where Me-Me and her husband raised their children.  All her children were adults and sitting in her living room.  I understood that they were trying to pray a family rosary together; however Me-Me was not in the room and her children sent me to find her and hurry her up. I remember them quarreling and they did not seem happy to be in the room together.  I found her in the bedroom getting dressed.  I walked over to a window and looked outside; it was getting dark out.  I heard Me-Me tell me, “You tell them to not wait for me, they need to say the rosary without me.”  It began to storm outside.  I turned and looked at Me-Me.  Very sternly she spoke to me, “A STORM IS COMING!  YOU PRAY YOUR ROSARY EVERY DAY!”

The dream ended.  I awoke still feeling like the little child in the dream, frightened and filled with wonder.  I felt that the dream had two purposes.  I needed to get a message to Me-Me’s children that she wanted them to pray, and pray together.  I also knew that I was being warned of a “storm”.  I do not believe Me-Me was talking about the weather.  I believe she was warning me that everyone needs to pray every day because of a coming crisis that is going to affect this country; maybe even the entire world.

Since the birth of my youngest child (who is now 21), I have had a few “heavenly messages”.  I always take them very seriously as I see them as a blessing and a gift from above.  God is the Father of all of us.  He communicates with us all.  He uses dreams, signs, people, angels…whatever is available.  We only have to open our hearts and minds to His love and guidance.  We must have faith.  He never stops loving us, never gives up on us, and He is never silent.  Listen to Him.

Sweet Dreams!

C’est Bon,

Love,

Sherry

A man who always did what was right

St Joseph with the Infant Jesus (c. 1635), at ...

St Joseph with the Infant Jesus (c. 1635), at the Hermitage, in St. Petersburg. Oil on canvas, 126 x 101 cm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Matthew 1:19 describes St. Joseph as “Joseph was a man who always did what was right..”

What a beautiful description of the man chosen by God to be the head of the household of His family, the guardian of God’s own Son.

Although St. Joseph speaks no words in the Bible, we are given much information about this holy and blessed man.  We know he came from the tribe of David. We know it was the father’s duty to name the child. Joseph was instructed by an angel to take Mary as his wife and name the child Jesus, (God Saves).   We know that upon awaking from his dream with the angel, Joseph immediately surrendered his life over to God’s will and took Mary into his home.  Joseph was the first man to lay down his life for the mission of bringing Jesus to the whole world.  The marriage of Mary and Joseph was a holy union of hearts.  Their pure love for each other created the marriage sacrament whereby today marriages in Church are sanctified by the Spirit.

I can only imagine the astonishment this man must have felt.  He knew first hand the awesome mystery of Mary’s motherhood.  As he witnessed the child growing in her womb, he must have felt great pride and love, but also fear of the challenges they must face.  His mission was to serve and protect this mother and son.  Even for the holy family, the path was not an easy one.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  The King came into this world in a small stable and was laid in a manger.  St. Joseph kneeling at Mary’s side during the birth was the first man to kneel before Christ the Lord.  Assisting with the delivery, he would have been the first the hold the Child Jesus.  I imagine he looked up to heaven thanking God for the precious Child.  Looking up he would have witnessed the star and wondered at the light that shone down on his family.  Later he also marveled at the shepherds who gathered to pay homage as they explained to Joseph they were led by angels and then the wise men who were led by that guiding star.

The next time an angel appeared to Joseph, the message was one of a warning.  Joseph was warned that Herod wanted to kill the baby Jesus and was told to escape with his family to Egypt.  That must have been a terrifying experience!  The Lord God must have trusted Joseph tremendously to entrust His only Son to Joseph’s care.  Joseph must have trusted the Lord tremendously to have listened and obeyed.

Joseph fulfilled his mission.  He kept the family safe, returning to reside in Nazareth when the angel informed him it was now safe to return.  We know that Jesus was obedient to his parents.  Jesus loved, obeyed and honored Joseph and Mary, his parents.  When Jesus was a man, St. Joseph passed away.  I believe Jesus was there at St. Joseph’s side as he left this world.  One man’s mission was complete; another Man’s mission was just beginning.  Jesus in a way owed His very existence and ability to complete His mission to that wonderful man, Joseph, who “always did what was right.”

St. Joseph is a great model for how we should love our Lord.  St. Joseph’s gift of self allowed the fulfillment of God’s greatest gift to us!

This Christmas Eve, walk out into the night with your family and look for the Christmas star.  Remember the holy family and the sacrifice of St. Joseph; thank him for serving and caring for Our Lord, Jesus.

C’est Bon,

Love,

Sherry