At the altar of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome the Bride prayed with beautiful words. I have been writing in words, but angel-speak is not as a human language. We think and feel as men do, but our language is indescribable. Music and painting come as close to describing angel-speak as I can. The human Bride is masterful in prayer and worship with words. She says them, she sings them, she means them. ...listen:
"Come let us worship and bow down to our king and God.
Come let us worship and bow down to Christ, our king and God.
Come, let us worship and bow down to Christ Himself, our King and our God.
O holy Trinity have mercy on us,
Lord, cleanse us from our sins.
Master, pardon our iniquities.
Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name sake.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, Have mercy.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and forever and unto the ages of the ages, world without end.
Day and night volumes of worshipful words adorn the earth and rise to touch Her Beloved and God.
Tears rose in my angel eyes while listening to Her devotion and humility as I realized that although the people who form Her are flawed, in the presence of those strong words sincerely spoken in unison their faults can dissolve as impurities of spirit. I remembered King David saying, 'Create in me a clean heart o Lord and renew a right Spirit within me.' He knew that God has the power to purify hearts. The Bride knows that too.
As I stood in contemplation the figure of a spirit woman moved across the altar and turned to approach me as slow as cool honey. When she was near enough for me to hear her, she said, "You don't have to go to heaven to meet us. See angel, I have come down to be with you today, on my feast day!"
This was loveliest woman I had ever seen. Long wavy brown hair framed her heart shaped milky-white face accented by full rosy lips and large round glistening green eyes. Her face was calm and peaceful with a charm that drew me into her aura as if for rest and refreshment.
"Who are you mistress?" I said clumsily.
She replied, "My name, is Mary of Magdalene. I am a friend of Jesus. Today marks the day when I was invited through the death of my body to follow Him into heaven where I may love and serve Him forever."
"So, why did you come back here? I would never leave heaven unless I had to." I asked with sincere curiosity.
"I understand. Love makes people do things that seem illogical. God loves you, Jesus loves you and they sent me to comfort you in your exile, and to help you feel more positive about the Bride, and time, and matter. God doesn't want you to leave earth even more bitter than when you arrived. He would consider that a great failure.
Mary made me feel ashamed of my cynicism. How often I had tried to change, vowed to change, did change. Then I gradually regained my former self-centered shape.
Mary continued, "Did you know that there was a time when demons resided in my soul?"
"Really?" I asked. "What was that like?"
She replied, "It was horrible. I felt compelled to be hostile no matter what the situation. Even in the midst of blessings I was critical of everything around me, and especially of those I loved the most. When Jesus expelled them, it turned out that there was not just one demon, but seven!"
"How did they enter you?"
"They entered one by one and exploded as a parasitic virus that can maim the body of a person who eats with dirty hands, or drinks foul water. A few demons entered via wine and spirits. They took advantage of my weakness when I was tipsy. They made me criticize others to the point that no one wanted to be near me. Then I felt lonely and forlorn. They placed violent thoughts in my mind so that I felt driven to be violent and it took all the energy I could muster not to hurt myself physically. I even wanted to kill myself!
When Jesus met me, He saw that I was not that horrible person, but a victim of demons and drove them out! It was a miracle. It was the cure. I had to stay close to Him to keep the demons from returning.
Dear angel, you of all beings should know about the spirit world much better than I did when I was on earth. Don't you see how you entertain the demons with your cynicism? What is that, but a lack of love, and of mercy.
Is it possible that you have tendency to be a demon?"
What did she say? I was outraged! "How dare you say that! Never would I be a demon! I love and serve God and Him alone. I would never do anything to defy Him. God is my Lord and Master!"
After I calmed down in the presence of her beauty I said, "Tell me fair lady, what was it like after Jesus rid you of the seven demons?"
She replied, "At first I felt very weak as if large chucks of my soul had been removed. I was tired and I wanted to sleep. Jesus admonished me not to sleep, lest they return. I had to become stronger in spirit and vigilant. I was afraid of the demons, afraid that they would return and I didn't at first know how to prevent that. But Jesus told me that that the fear could paralyze me. I had to pray without ceasing in spite of the fear and even the paralysis the fear brought on and only then would I form a hard shell that the demons could not penetrate.
Dear angel, pray for the strength to allow only mercy and love to fill your heart. I think that the Lord sent you to earth to face death, because there is so much of it down here, so that you might become repulsed by it and choose Life. But you often go the other way and choose death."
While she was speaking it occurred to me that I had seen this woman before, and asked, "Where have I seen you before?"
Beaming Mary replied, "Yes. I was one of the three women at the tomb and You were the angel who told me that Jesus was not there, that He was resurrected. What an honor you were given! What an amazing day that was. See how thrilling it can be when God employs you? Raise yourself to the level of your blessings.
You may not return to heaven until you are wholly God's. Instead of wishing for the time to end. If I were you I would wish that it lasts long enough for you to put an end to your demonic tendencies. I must return now. My birthday is over, and my job is done. I hope to see you in September. Peace."
With that Mary Magdalene disappeared, leaving me feeling even more like a frightened blob than I did when Poppy taught me about death at Saint Sophia's.