(Mary Theresa shared this story in a group gathering in Albany, New York)
Thank you for coming tonight to listen to one of my faith stories.
I brought with me a few props: dragonflies, a symbol of transformation and resurrection and the song Holy Angels by Sara Thomsen.
My story begins with the song Holy Angels.
I believe there is life after this life.
I believe there are holy angels or spirit guides that walk with us but we are not always awake or aware of their presence or hear their messages.
Over time I have become more and more aware of them and now, I call on them to guide me.
And when an inspiring thought arrives or a message comes to me from someone else, I recognize it as a gift from my angels, my guides.
In 2004, Jay Murnane, the love of my life transitioned from life as we know it to the spirit world. I was profoundly affected by his grace-filled acceptance of declining health and his unwavering belief that life continues.
One evening while we were sitting together on the couch and his earthly journey was ending, he turned to me and asked if we could plan his funeral liturgy.
We did - and I wept through most of it. And Jay, with his amazing sense of humor talked about communicating with me from the spirit world. We laughed. And I responded with, “Oh, God, Please do not appear at the foot of my bed and scare me.”
The moment when Jay’s beautiful spirit left his body, I had an overwhelming feeling that his life continued. I sensed his resurrection and it made me less fearful of my own transitioning. It also connected me with those first followers of Jesus and the experience they might have had of his resurrection.
And Jay did communicate with me. He came to me through others. In the beginning it was through their dreams.
Within the month after he crossed over, my friend Kay called me and said that she had a very vivid dream of Jay. It was the first and last dream Kay ever delivered to me. And I have never heard her talk about her dreams before or after. So, this was a surprise.
In her dream she met Jay under the Congress Street bridge that separates the Taylor Apartment buildings in Troy. Jay and I lived in building 4.
She said that Jay’s face was radiant, healthy – no sign of the cancer that wasted his body. And Kay, said to him, “Jay, what are you doing here, you are supposed to be dead?” Kay is always frank and to the point!
And he responded, “Kay, you know life continues. Tell Mary I love her.” And Kay said to me laughing, “He was wearing an olive-green trench coat - with the collar up.” I told her it was the only piece of his clothing that was still in the hall closet - and he used to love to put the collar up. She did not know this.
Kay’s dream was the first of a number of dream messages I received from Jay through friends.
In the weeks after he transitioned, I started to talk to him out loud when I was cleaning my apartment. I’m talking away to him and then I stop and say, “I sure hope you are listening!” Jay was always a sweet listener!!
The next day, my friend Stacey called me about her dream of Jay and her message from him was,
“He wants you to know that he is listening to everything you have to say.”
Over the years, I regularly call on Jay and my spirit guides to walk with me. And I am not surprised by the messages I receive.
Last Sunday, I returned to the Upper Room liturgy after being away for three months. As I was getting dressed and putting on my jewelry, I decided to put on Jay’s ring with these words, “Come with me today.”
The ring was a visible reminder of his presence.
After liturgy, a woman from our community who knew Jay from years ago began talking to me about him and then said, “I felt his presence with us today.”
Another sweet affirmation that says, “I am with you.”
On Tuesday morning of this week, I thought of a woman who I have never meet, but someone my hairdresser wants me to meet. She has mentioned it a few times. I have no idea why I was thinking of her, but because she came to my mind, I decided it was time to contact her. I put it on my To Do list!
That evening I go to my Spiritual Direction training class at the Pastoral Center and during a conversation with my spiritual director, she mentions this woman and really wants me to meet her.
So, the next day, I send the woman an instant message and tell her I think my spirit guides want us to meet. And her response is so welcoming and affirming and she, too, has had the same message.
We have set a date.
So, my wish for you is that you become aware of the guides or angels who walk with you. Call on them, know that they are holding you, and then listen for their messages.
Dragonfly photo by Julie Marsh