41. Holy Thursday - The Last Supper, The First Communion

'Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go, select lambs for your families, and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go outside the door of your house until morning. For The Lord will pass through to strike down the Egyptians; when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, The Lord will Passover that door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you down. You shall observe this rite of perpetual ordinance for you and for your children. When you come to the land The Lord will give you, as He has promised, you shall keep this observance. And when your children ask you, 'What do you mean by this observance?' You shall say, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to The Lord, for He passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck down the Egyptians but spared our houses.' And the people bowed and worshiped.

The Israelites went and did just as The Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.

At midnight The Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on the throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock.'

Jesus shut the book, and looked around at His disciples, and at me, and said, "The Lord our God delivered us from the bondage of slavery on this night. But there is a bondage to sin that is greater than that of slavery. Sins of mistrust, of faithlessness, of hatred and falsehood, any thought, word or deed that separates mankind from the image and likeness of God is sin. Sin creates a chasm between heaven and earth, between life and death, that cannot be traversed because the bondage to sin has bolted mankind to the earth and to death.

Who is the pharaoh that keeps God's people tied to sin? The enemy of mankind is this spiritual Pharaoh, Satan. His armies of demons work within men's hearts to disobey and distrust the Father. Satan will not easily let mankind go free.

What lamb will be slaughtered and eaten so that humankind may paint its blood on the lintels and doorposts of their hearts so that death will pass them by?"

Silence spread throughout the room, not even a mouse could be heard scurrying into its hole.

Andrew broke the silence by asking, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?"

By sunset the disciples were sitting around a long table in a large upper room of a big house in Jerusalem. As usual, I hovered around watching. Jesus had just mustered up the hutzpah to announce that He knew that Judas had betrayed Him.Yikes! I heard Jesus say to him, "The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born."

I have not been on earth very long. I certainly am not a native of this planet, thank God! But over the last eight months I have observed and experienced much. I was sent here to learn about the year of the Bride of Christ, about how She plays with time and matter in miraculous ways. This knowledge was to help me become less skeptical of the Creation of this planet. Perhaps that was all a guise to keep me from chanting in the choir, I don't know. I know for certain that from the heights of my origin, I could not have imagined the intricacies of the battles between good and evil that are being played out here. It would seem that God created this theater as a magnet for evil and to cleanse the heavens. He left just enough good, enough of Himself to make the battle seem worthwhile to Satan.

Jesus coming here as God in the flesh is as an opposing magnet to draw the children of God out of this realm and to transport them to the pristine kingdom He is creating for His fleshly immortals.

"Enough cogitating we've got to go!" Shouted Poppy, nearly shocking me out of my wits.

"Poppy! What are you doing here? How can I leave now? I promised Jesus that I would stay near Him. He needs me. Where are you taking me?"

Poppy replied, " It's okay, you will be back when He needs you the most. Don't worry, this is God's idea. I can explain on the way; quickly, we have only moments."

I followed Poppy through the skies and the millennia forward to Washington, DC in the twenty first century, and back to Saint Sophia's. It was good to be home. Nothing changed. All the mosaics and icons were in their places. The seraphim in the dome winked at me when they saw me enter. I winked back and smiled. It was very early in the morning and the church was half full of yawning people.

Poppy barked, "Pay attention!"

I looked down at the altar at Father Steve in his most beautiful vestments as he was saying, "Take ye eat; this is My Body, which for you is broken unto the remission of sins. Amen." And then he said, "Drink of it ye all, this is My Blood of the new covenant which for you and for many is shed unto the remission of sins."

"I looked at Poppy as if I had heard this for the first time, which of course I hadn't, but I never understood what it meant before."

Poppy smiled with tremendous satisfaction, in fact she was glowing. Then she said, The Bride is feeding Her children with the blood of Christ, that He was about to give them before I dragged you away. But the Father wanted you to see not just the Bridegroom, but the Bride in unison feeding this potion that is the antidote for sin, that enters the body and paints Christ's blood, the blood of the Lamb of God, on the doorposts and lintels of hearts so that death may pass over them and so they may live forever, free from sin. Isn't that exciting?!"

"That's great Poppy,". I agreed, "but can I go back now? I am getting really nervous about what is going on over there, please I have gotta get back to Jesus."

"Okay, okay go" she said sounding more than a little disappointed. "I just thought you might want to see the bigger picture. Good bye and fly safe."

By the time I returned, the Passover supper was over and Jesus was praying, and obviously did not want to be disturbed. As on so many occasions during the wilderness journey, I hovered by standing guard over the Creator of the world incarnate...admittedly feeling a little useless. I have never met a demon yet that was as afraid of me as it was of Jesus Christ.

[Passover, Last Supper, Eucharist - the trifecta of Life Giving Blood.]

42. Holy Friday, The Crucifixion

As the sun set, I saw more demons appear than I had ever seen in one place. Never had I witnessed such a concentration of evil celebration.

The Bride managed to fit two or three days of suffering and torture into this one but it started at sunset on Thursday and went through Friday evening. I suppose She wanted to get this bitterest of pills chewed and swallowed as quickly as She could. I will do my best to recount what happened, but I cannot report the events as well as did Mathew, Mark, Luke and John, so I won't try; you should read them. I will tell you the story from my perspective.

After supper His students (disciples) and I went for a walk with the Christ Who stopped at a beautiful garden not far from the temple. Olive trees and rosemary bushes filled the air with a holy calming fragrance. Everyone was tired after the big meal and the long walk. Jesus was clearly agitated. No longer was He the cool joker of Wednesday who thought Judas deserved more than 30 pieces of silver to betray Him.

He knew what was coming as a scholar and as God. In fact, Jesus had told Peter and the others that He was to be crucified in a surprisingly frank and fearless manner. Yet gradually a paralyzing fear dripped its poison onto His holy soul until It was suffused by a very human inner terror.

I think I know how He felt. Like me, Jesus had had authority over nature, time and matter have not phased Him. This world was a place He helped to create. Sure He could be hungry or cold from time to time, and His feet got dirty like everyone else's, and He slept. But, climbing that wilderness mountain with neither food nor water was the first time that nature showed itself to be a formidable adversary.

Both illness and death were easily manipulated by Him. He multiplied fishes and loaves when hunger struck. He walked on water to get to where He needed to go. He raised people from the dead. This Friday would sublimate the Christ to nature and evil in a violent way. For the first time in His human life He would be weak and powerless. I can imagine how frightening that could be to a Spirit like His.

When I heard Him rant at Peter and the others for falling asleep during His darkest hour, I read in it His deep anxiety. When I heard Him beg the Father to remove the cup (of death) from Him, it occurred to me that the fear of death was overwhelming Him because it meant a unique separation from His Father, however temporary. That was a thought He could not bear, no less experience.

It is the same horrible feeling I have about not being able to travel on the hairline path back home to God and the other luminous angels. In relating to Christ, I saw with my heart, the value of adhering to God's Will as compared to my own. If Jesus's Will could have been done on that day, no one would be able to reach the Tree of LIfe. Death, separation from God, would win forever, instead of for a time.

Jesus and I went back and forth from His place of private prayer to the place of the sleeping students, each return found Him increasingly more disappointed and more irritable.

Finally the dreaded moment arrived when Judas showed up and mortified Him with his kiss. Then the God who came to set men free was handcuffed, and all of His friends ran away. The Roman soldiers didn't want the students, they had their Prize.

I must tell you that the most poignant moment of all the trials that ensued was when the high priest looked Jesus straight in the eye and asked, 'Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?' Jesus replied with the same two words that God, the Father used to identify Himself to Moses.

Exodus 3:13-15

But Moses said to God, "If I come to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I am who I am." He said further, "Thus you shall say to the Israelites, 'I am has sent me to you."

Likewise Jesus replied to the priest-interrogator, "I am" when asked if He was the Messiah.

I didn't know who to be more furious with, those dastardly chief priests who I am sure thought they were defending their faith, and their God, or the Romans who carried out the trial and the crucifixion.

I could feel sorry for the chief priests, as I felt bad for Judas too, for being pawns, perhaps innocently thinking they were on the side of justice. After all in their righteous opinions Jesus flagrantly broke the rule of working on the Sabbath.

When I think about how self-serving they were, about how they cared more for themselves and their status than they cared about God and what was most important to Him, I am convicted of my own self-centeredness. I see their guilt so much more clearly than I can see my own. But thanks to others who have shown me my faults, I know what I can do to be more like Christ, who though innocent was willing to suffer for sinners, and less like the self-righteous chief priests and Judas.

As for the Romans, I saw how they so shrewdly appended themselves to the problem of the Jewish hierarchy and used it to their own advantage. When Pilate saw that the Jews were hell-bent to crucify the Christ, he figured out how Rome could benefit from this. By assigning this poor man the title of King, which wasn't much of a stretch, Rome could belittle the concept of a Jewish king. In this way, Rome affirmed itself as the only ruler of the Jews. The priests and the Romans were in royal cahoots.

It was all so horrible. For my part I stood by Jesus Christ every step of the way. I fanned Him with my wings, I made happy faces to try to help him remember our better times. I stayed closer and closer with each step up Golgotha. I even refused to visit the Bride, even though at one point I saw Poppy in the periphery of my sight calling me to come. No, this time I refused to go.

And then it happen. I heard Jesus cry out, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" After that His Holy Head dropped. This was the moment of death and abandonment that Jesus feared the most. Never before had He been separated from the Father. He lived in the Father and the Father in Him, but for this moment, this black second in time, Jesus was fully human and fully dead, physically and spiritually.

Just when I was about to vaporize with grief, I heard Christ say, "Come on angel, let's go! Quick, no time to waste."

I looked up and there He was, good as new! Our spirits soared together for the first time since before creation. I wondered how I could have gone from such depths of grief to such elation so quickly. It was dizzying.

We headed straight for Hades and surprised the hell out of the Devil who did not expect us. Jesus entered Hades and grabbed the keys from the guard and tossed them to me. I opened the door, and the first ones out were our old friends Adam and Eve, then came Moses and Abraham, and all the rest, saints and sinners flew out of Hades and headed straight for earth to get one last look.

I looked over at Jesus who was more radiant than I had ever seen Him on earth; He was laughing and joking as He tied up the Hades guards.

"Uh, Jesus," I said. "Haven't you forgotten something?"

"What is it angel, I don't think so." replied Jesus apprehensively.

"The Tree of Life Lord," I replied, You need to find it so we can distribute its leaves for the healing of the nations and for human immortality."

"Oh that!" sighed The Christ, "Silly Angel, the wooden cross was the Tree of Life. the crucifixion was the flaming swords. It's done! Come with me, let's find a nice cloud to rest on together."

The saddest angel in the universe spun around three times to become the happiest angel in the universe. I said, "Watch this!" and showed off my figure eights and my spirals. Angel bliss! "Follow me Lord, I know just the place to get our rest."

And He did.

Meanwhile, I was told that the Bride held a beautiful entombment, and chanted Lamentations at His funeral into the night. I wish they could have seen how free and alive Jesus was while they cried.

43. Easter Sunday - Pascha

The Archangel Gabriel came to fetch Jesus and me as we were snoozing on Cloud 9 and called out, "Come Lord, the day of rest is soon over and you must go back into your body!"

"Oh, no no no" I said speaking for the Christ. "That body stuff is over. Jesus did His job, and He did it well. He went to earth, lived a human life, died, reached the Tree of Life, unlocked the gate of Hades, preached the good news, and let everyone out. Now humans can be as immortal as me. Done! Finito! Capput! We are going home, cha cha cha!"

Jesus smiled to Gabriel and nodded at me as if to apologize for my stupidity, which I deeply resented. Then He looked at me from deep within His bottomless well of kindness and said, "There are still four more months in my Bride's mystical year angel, you wouldn't want to cheat My Bride would you?"

With that, I took a deep breath of fresh clean air, and said, "Okay, let me try that again. Why do we have...why does Jesus have to go back to earth. Weren't those people mean enough to Him?"

Gabriel replied patiently, "He must return for the students, the disciples, and all those who believe that He is the Son of God. Jesus needs to prove to them that He conquered death, not just by freeing prisoners of Hades, but also by becoming resurrected."

After a pause to make sure I understood, Gabriel continued, "Jesus had to bite His tongue when on the cross He heard them say, 'He saved others, now let us see Him save Himself.' The fact of the matter is, angel, that His resurrection will be His response! Jesus didn't just jump off the cross and run away, He returned from death, by the power of God."

Gabriel continued long after he convinced me, "Many people have returned from being dead, but they returned with mortal bodies. Jesus will return with an immortal body. He will show humankind the value and power of trust and obedience to God the Father. If only Adam and Eve had trusted Him, but it had to happen this way. If not Eve, someone would have succumb to the wiles of satan."

When given a chance to get a word in, I responded, "Personally I don't believe that one must have a body to be alive, but I see your many points. The humans want Him back, they need Him back. I don't blame them. Let's go."

Jesus, Gabriel and I arrived at the tomb in the deepest darkness before the dawn. A sleeping guard lay on the ground in a fetal position to the right of the entrance of the tomb. Gabriel looked over at me and then at Jesus as if sizing us up and asked, "Who will roll this rock away?"

Jesus looked at Gabriel and then at me and replied, "I see that this is a man's job." so He walked right through the rock and reentered His fragrant body. Pushing the rock out was not as hard as pulling it from the outside would have been. The snoring guard slept through the whole event.

Huffing and puffing, Jesus seemed to be a bit out of shape, which, considering what He just went through was perfectly understandable. Then He looked up at Gabriel and said, "Could I have a different body? This one is in bad shape."

Gabriel replied, "Okay, come here; let's see of we can refashion this one." Jesus drew near and Gabriel wafted his huge right wing over Jesus's frail body and lickety split He looked different, and yet it was the same body and certainly the same Spirit. "How's that?" asked Gabriel?

"I feel great, but I am hungry! Let's go over to Galilee and get some fish!" exclaimed Jesus, and then looking over at me, He said. "Angel, you wait here for the ladies who will come to annoint Me. Tell them to tell my students to meet me in Galilee. By the way angel, make yourself visible, okay?" With that Jesus and Gabriel rushed off and abandoned me. I sat on the marble tombstone and thought and thought about how to materialize. I knew I didn't have much time because the ladies would come soon to anoint Jesus again. After fretting about my predicament, I suddenly realized that this was God's problem more than mine, so I prayed. "Heavenly Father, please let me materialize so I can announce to the women that Jesus is alive."

Before the last word came out of my heart, there I was all shiny with a long white robe! Just at that moment I heard the ladies approaching the tomb, so I sat up straight and looked like I was expecting them. I heard one woman say, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?"

Then I heard three loud gasps. When the ladies entered my tomb, I could tell that they were terrified so I tried to calm them down by saying, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified." Three wide-eyed heads bobbed up and down with shoulders up to their ears. I continued calmly, "He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples - and Peter- that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."

The three ladies left me quickly and fled the tomb, trembling with fear and amazement. I was sorry to see them go. My part was so short. I waited for others to show up so I could give a repeat performance, but felt myself fading fast, and no one else came looking for Jesus anyway.

Sitting there alone again, I perceived in my soul thousands and millions of white candles lit beneath beaming faces and chanting in unison, 'Christ is risen from the dead, and by His death He has trampled down death and to those in the tombs He has granted life." They chanted it in every language imaginable and they chanted the same words over and over and over again, throughout millennia in a symphonic roar.

Back to my normal angelic self, I flew over to catch up with Jesus and Gabriel who were easy to find for their magnetism. Jesus decided that it was time to appear to his friends so He chose Mary Magdalene to be first. Mary cried with joy and wanted to hug Him, but Jesus wouldn't let her and gave her the honor of announcing His resurrection to His disciples. Off she went to find them still mourning and weeping His crucifixion, but they didn't believe her.

After that Jesus appeared in another form to two of His disciples as they were walking in the country. And they went and told the others but no one believed them either."

To bring an end to all of this disbelief, Jesus showed up at their dinner table where He found them all together. He yelled at them for their unbelief and hardness of heart. After all, He had even told them that He would rise again. It was an emotionally chaotic reunion with shouts and tears of joy, but no hugs. We were in the same room as His last supper. I wasn't sure if it was really happening or if I was experiencing echoes of the last time I was in the room, but as I was sitting there watching the chaotic reunion, I perceived long lines of people receiving His body and blood from golden chalices while holding the white candles. Each person who pro ached the golden chalice held his or her mouth open to be fed, looking exhausted but radiant. Millions of others waited patiently in line.

The Bride and Her Bridegroom were both alive and well on earth in a mystical dance with time, rejoicing and victorious. Satan's three days of victory between the arrest and the crucifixion were trumped by Christ's masterful forging through the flaming swords to The Tree of Everlasting Pure and Sacred Life with God.

Even I felt myself happy and beaming. It was as if all of heaven had come to visit us on earth for the first time since Adam and Eve had been evicted for not trusting that God knew what was best for them. On this day I learned that love is most certainly more powerful than evil with its million ugly faces. The consequences had been devastating for humankind and indeed for all of creation. Today Jesus cleared a narrow, but open path to the Tree of Life, to immortality, to life with God for His Bride who contains in Her bosom every man woman and child of every race and nation who hears Her call and answers. "Here I am Lord, take me."

With immortality in its midst, this planet is not as corrupted by time and matter as I had thought. Not that I want to stay here forever, but it is not a bad vacation spot, after all.

44. Sunday of Doubting Thomas

The week following the astonishing resurrection phenomenon, in real time, seven suns and moons, was bright. Even I, prisoner of earth that I am, was given all the freedom I wanted. So I flew all around Judaea, and when that bored me I travelled forward in time around the world. No matter where I was in time or space, the entire world was bright and cheerful. I spotted families feasting as if they hadn't eaten in a month. Children with ice cream cones sat on steps licking drips while moms in kitchen whipped up waffles. I saw young men chasing chickens that had grown big and plump during the Lenten days of reprieve. Happy days.

I supposed the concept of immortality was catching on, and the people were pleased to know that they could live forever. I imagined that I too would be happy if I had just heard for the first time that I didn't have to die.

"You must believe it, or it isn't true." Whispered a mysterious childlike voice in my ear.

"Who said that?" I looked all around for the being who caste a shadow on all this reverie.

I rotated my head left and right till I spotted a tiny little fairy, with a miniature body and wings who flittered up to my face and hovered there, looking all adorable and cheerful. She said, "it was me; I said it."

"Who are you?" I asked in a tone of amazement because I had never met a fairy before. She certainly was not an angel, and she wasn't human either; she seemed to be a magical combination of both. "Look around at all the celebration, lots of people obviously believe it. I believe it because I saw everything. I saw the people escaping Hades, lots of other people in Jerusalem saw them too. We know it is true!" I argued.

She countered, "Some people just like to celebrate, they don't care why, or if it is true. They just want a reason to have a party. Did you stick around Jerusalem long enough to hear Thomas doubt? Watch this:"

Suddenly in front of my eyes appeared a hologram, a kind of movie projection of a scene onto the air. In it I saw the disciples all gathered together in the upper room talking about the resurrection.

One of the disciples, a good man named Thomas walked in the room. John ran up to Thomas and said, "Guess what? We have seen The Lord! He is alive again, He returned!"

Thomas responded, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in His side, I will not believe.” The others all looked at each other and at Thomas and shrugged. They couldn't convince him of what they had seen with their own eyes. So they stopped trying.

The vision disappeared, and I looked up at Tinker-belle and said, "This is a problem. What is the sense of Jesus paving the way to the land of immortality, if no one can see the path, or believes where it leads them? He can't appear to every man woman and child throughout time!"

Tinker-belle replied, "Maybe He won't have to. Look at this scene:

In a similar hologram I saw the disciples gathered again. Thomas was with them this time. Jesus entered right through the shut door, stood there and said, “Peace be with you.” Then addressing Thomas He said, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas did what Jesus asked and then looked up at His face and exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

Again the vision dissolved and I found myself hovering with this little fairy, wondering what to say. After all, I didn't have a problem. Just to break the silence I said, "What do you think Jesus should do? He just went through all of this anguish to be crucified so He could reach the Tree of Life, and release the prisoners of Hades, and create a way for humankind to be immortal and only the few who saw with their eyes believe it ever happened."

"I know what can be done!" I exclaimed with one of my rare but brilliant thoughts, "This is where the Bride comes in! She will carry the message throughout history, but more than that She will work with Jesus, with the Father, and with the guardian angels, to guide the chosen people of God on that path to the Tree of Life!"

"Many will not believe the Bride either." replied Tinker-belle somberly.

Neither of us being human, could figure out why seeing and touching was a requirement for believing. "Have you ever been to the twenty-first century?" I asked Tinker-belle. Before she could answer I blurted out, "In those days there are plenty of things going on that the humans accept on faith because they can neither see nor touch them. They only see the effects of them."

Just then, Jesus appeared before us and said, "What are you two discussing?"

"Jesus! Where did you come from? We were wondering how You were going to managed to convince humanity of the option for eternal life when so few will have ever seen you."

"Oh that! Don't fret! I have done My job. Stick around, you will see even greater things than you ever saw before. Be patient. Come back to Israel with Me now. Watch Me amaze and shock folks for another few weeks. You too Tinker-belle, come with us."

And off Tinker-belle and I went with Jesus back to Israel relieved that we didn't have to convince anyone that we were real, or that Jesus paved the way to eternal life with God.

45. James, Jeremiah, and John

As a kind of respite from all the activity of the Lenten and Paschal season, I decided to find myself a quiet little church on a Greek island, and to stay peacefully there to visit the Bride this week.

She went back to serene celebrations of the birthdays of Her children. As with any good mother, she never forgets a birthday, even though she has so very many children to remember. To be efficient and economical, she asks the bio moms and dads to name their infants at baptism with the name of a saint, or a biblical figure. In this way she groups them all on the same birthday, the day that saint is born into the immortal, eternal kingdom of God at the end of the narrow path that Jesus Christ forged for them.

During this quiet week after the somewhat embarrassing episode with Thomas, She celebrated birthday liturgies for James, the brother of Jesus (April 30), Jeremiah the prophet (May 1), and John the Evangelist (May 8).

I could have looked for three different churches, each named for the saint, but frankly I was too lazy. So I stayed all week in this little chapel on a hill that overlooked a big beautiful sea. Olive groves surrounded the church and little goats frolicked in the front yard. Roosters crowed in the mornings to wake up priest and parishioners for liturgy on those three mornings.

Old women in black were the first to walk in. They swept and tended the candle stands, crossed themselves and kissed icons to wish every saint a good morning.

Other angels, the guardians, and spirits who were given permission to visit filed in too.

Fragrant air filled the flowery incense, and harmonious perfect pitched chanting delighted and comforted me. I could live in this little space forever.

46. The New Human Jesus and Me

Jesus found me lounging in my little chapel on the island where I spent blissful days in the aromatic sacred space and happy nights flying figure eights over the Aegean.

"There you are angel!" He exclaimed with relief the moment He entered the chapel. "I have been looking everywhere for you! Your vacation is over! Come, let's get back to Jerusalem!"

"Why do You want to go back there?" I retorted. "Stay here with me; this place is so beautiful and serene. I've grown rather fond of this century too."

Without further comment Jesus walked out of the chapel expecting me to follow, which, of course I did. He seemed to be in a hurry. I wondered why Jesus would even want to return to that dusty busy town, particularly in the days and weeks after His crucifixion, the scene of hostile priests, militant Romans and His scourging.

Return we did to 33 AD and to the region of the sea of Tiberias.

"What are we doing here?" This isn't Jerusalem?"

"I know" replied Jesus, "I want to check in with a few of my students. Do me a favor, find someone to build a fire on the beach for me please, okay?"

"I'll try." I replied and went off in search of a Boy Scout. I soon spotted a young adolescent milling around aimlessly, and sent him a powerful chill and then transferred the thought to build a fire. Being so young, he was particularly easy to influence. Within moments, he had a fire blazing. Jesus walked up to the young man with a few fish in hand.

"Greetings son, may I use your fire to cook these fish?" He asked.

"Sure. How many have you got, sir?" Just then the young man's uncle called for him. "I've got to go." he said, "Enjoy the fire, it's all yours." And off the boy went.

I looked at Jesus with a very big grin, feeling particularly proud of myself for orchestrating that so well.

"Enough of that," He said not wanting me to indulge myself in pride, "Here come my students; watch this." Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel and two others were rowing to shore in their fishing boat.

When they arrived Jesus hollered out to them saying, "Where are your fish?"

Peter replied, "We have been out all night and didn't catch a thing."

He called out, "Go back and cast your net on the right side of the boat."

Desperate and with nothing to lose, the five men went back out. Sure enough this time they caught so many fish that they could barely haul them in. Surprised by the sudden and unexpected success, they looked at each other and in unison hollered, "Jesus!"

Jesus smiled and called to them, "Bring some of those fish you just caught. Let's cook them up on this fire. I have bread."

While they were all feasting on the fish and bread Jesus asked Peter over and over again if he loved Him, which seemed to irritate Peter slightly, until by the third time Peter understood that Jesus was allowing him to reverse the three cowardly lies that he told when he denied that he even knew Jesus, whom he now said he loved. Now that there was no risk. To help Peter make amends even more, Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep, meaning that Peter should help create the Church, The Bride of Christ. What a big job; what an honor, for such a louse.

After breakfast the disciples had to get back to their haul. Jesus bid them farewell promising to see them again, and then we departed for Jerusalem. While we walked, I decided it might be a good time to talk, so I asked Him point blank, "What are we doing here? Why don't we go back to heaven? What more can you do on earth? Will you stay here forever and watch over your friends until one by one they grow old and die!"

Jesus answered, "I want to get one last look, I want to experience being human a little more. There were a few things I couldn't do before that I want to do now. Most importantly l want to make sure my friends know that I am not dead."

I didn't want to contradict Him, but I didn't think Jesus seemed as human as He did before. I could tell that He still embodied the Spirit of God, but with a different kind of luminescent immortal body. I wondered why Jesus made himself look different since His resurrection, but I didn't dare ask.

When we arrived at the Jaffa gate. Jesus stopped and looked back, and then turned around and peered through the gate into the city. Then he looked over at me and said, "I am going to miss this place."

I replied trying to curb my enthusiasm, "Does that mean we are going to leave? When do we go home?"

Again, not replying, which really started to irk me, Jesus walked quietly through the streets of the City. Of course no one recognized Him. That's when it occurred to me that it would have brought too much attention to Him if He looked the same. We visited His mother, and others, but He did not reveal Himself very often. I think Jesus was truly enjoying the anonymity after the last three years of fame with all the crowds and lack of privacy.

What I didn't realize then, was that during these weeks after Pascha Jesus lived on earth as a new kind of human, an immortal one, enjoying nature, and humanity up close as He had for thirty three years, but with a new perspective. I believe that these are the freest and most peaceful days of Jesus Christ's earthly life. I had never seen Him so calm and nostalgic. His work was done, and now He could just enjoy life as a human on earth.

Post script. One day, when I was in the twenty-first century a young man told me how glad he was during these weeks after the resurrection to know that Jesus was still on earth in the Bride's year. It was like knowing that a movie star or a president lived in the neighborhood, even though he had never seen the movie star or president. Just knowing that that he or she was near was kind of thrilling. Likewise knowing that Jesus is still here, walking the planet in these days in the Bride's year always brings to his heart a feeling of exhilaration.

Humans are strange creatures. That's for sure.

47. Ascension - The Homecoming

To accompany Jesus during His last days as a human being on earth was an honor that I never expected. We talked about our memories, our hike up the Mount of Temptation, I told him the story of my journey with the wise men from Persia to Bethlehem before He was born. He laughed imagining me holding the star the whole way, and then hovering it over His infant head.

Mother Nature did her very best to adorn the earth for those crystalline days. The weather was unusually sublime. Cool nights and sunny warm afternoons. A smattering of rain caused wild flowers to burst forth in a rich palette of colors, shapes, textures and fragrances. As much as I love the heavens, I have to admit that earth can be spectacular, and never more than now. Not at least according to my experience. The songs and sounds of hundreds of living breathing wildlife contributed a symphonic element to the scene that put all the choirs of angels to shame.

From time to time we encountered His disciples and friends so Jesus could prove that He was alive in one way or another; at first shocking them, then just amusing them when they got used to it. None of His students knew when He would show up, what He would look like or where He was going when He left to be alone.

On the walk from Tiberias to Bethany Jesus was either in silent contemplation, prayer, or He was in high-alert perceiving mode, soaking it all in, thinking about how to improve upon the design for the new heaven and new earth to come.

I wondered why He asked me to join Him when He rarely spoke to me. Just then Jesus said, "Angel, I want you to know that I am grateful for your companionship."

I replied, "Lord, if You could mention that to my boss, it may help with the promotion I have been seeking."

Jesus smiled and said, "Of course I will. I suppose some day we will be remembering this old earth together."

"Maybe so, Lord," I responded "but I can't even imagine what it is like to be a human. Your experience on this planet is very different from mine."

Jesus replied, "True. Becoming human was very important for Us, important to Our desire to bring Adam and Eve back from exile, to give humanity the right to become Our children" He paused to reflect and added, "I think the Father also sent me here to get a Bride!" With that mini revelation, Jesus blushed and smiled, and then He went on. "Becoming human has helped Us also to be able to judge fairly and compassionately. Creating humanity in Our image and likeness seemed easy enough, but as people strayed farther and farther from this image We wanted to know why and to understand the influences they are under that keep them from the Father. By the way, you should know that I will soon be returning to heaven."

Without hesitating to respond to the surprised and anxious look on my face, He said, "and I look forward to that, but I am sad to be leaving." Then Jesus gave me a stern look, and added, "You must stay here until My Bride's year ends! I promise to be the first to welcome you home at the end of August."

Without offering me a nanosecond to complain, Jesus returned to the topic of becoming human. He said, "It has not been enough to create them, there is a law of nature [thermodynamics], that forces deterioration and skewing of Our design. Life simply requires a counter force to dissipation." With that Jesus grew anxious to talk to His students before He left earth...without me.

"I must go soon, please gather my disciples on Mt. Olivet and I will meet you there, okay? Now go, hurry!"

"Certainly Lord, I am at Your service." I said. Bucking for that promotion, I promptly flew away, leaving Jesus to head up Mount Olivet alone with His thoughts and prayers.

Gathering the disciples was not an easy task. I didn't know where to find them. Fortunately another angel, whom I had never met flew up to me and said, "You look north as far as Galilee and I will gather everyone from Jerusalem up, and meet you on the mount."

One by one, or when I was lucky enough to find them together, we lead the disciples telepathically to the mountaintop. John and James were the first to arrive. They recognized Jesus immediately and greeted Him warmly asking the reason for the assembly. Soon, Peter, Bartholomew, and Matthew showed up. Thomas was the last, as usual, but we were all grateful that He made it so no one would have to try to convince him that Jesus had ascended.

Jesus found the perfect spot to address them. Some men chose to stand, while others sat on large rocks.

"I am about to go to my Father." He announced "I want you men to go together to Jerusalem. Go to the house with the upper room; remember where we had supper that evening before My arrest. Stay there and wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon you. John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

Peter asked, "Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?"

He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witness in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.

Go into the world to proclaim the good news to the whole creation that I can save men's souls from sin and death. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe, by using my name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues, they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them, they will lay their hands on the sick and they will recover."

Standing on top of that mountain in the warm sunshine Jesus looked as bright and beautiful as ever. Then the remarkable happened. Jesus gradually ascended as if he was filled with helium. We all, men and angels, gazed intently on the sight. When He was high enough a big puffy cloud moved in front of Him until He could no longer be seen. I wondered why He didn't say 'goodbye!'

Just then, I could feel myself becoming visible, and saw one other angel becoming visible too! We were wearing long white robes that reminded me of the morning I waited for the ladies to arrive at the tomb.

While the disciples were still gazing at the cloud looking for glimpses of Jesus the other angel said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heavens, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven." I nodded in agreement, and wondered why Jesus hadn't mentioned this return trip to me.

When they were sure Jesus was gone for good, the students all chattered with each other about their astonishment while descending the mountain and walked to Jerusalem together. Instead of being sad at His departure, as I was, His students were full of joy and amazement, blessing and praising God along the way.

Their merriment bored me so I sneaked away and flew up to follow Jesus into heaven. There I saw the most spectacular sight of all. Jesus Christ was clothed in luminous glory, and God the Father was beside Him. Their Spirits were intertwined in a hug to beat all hugs. Tears of joy flowed from Christ's human eyes. All of Jesus's nostalgia dissipated in this glorious moment of reunion. He was overjoyed to be back home after 33 years in exile on earth. His Father was thrilled to have Him back.

As the climax of the godly reunion died down, Jesus looked around to see who else was there and spotted me. I cringed at His surprised and angry look.

Without a further word or grimace, I turned around to head back down to earth. But when I thought He stopped watching me, I turned back for one last look. Lo and behold! Jesus was being ushered by the Father Himself to His golden throne right beside the Father God! Cherubim and seraphim encircled them chanting in perfect harmony. Jesus looked so regal and so comfortable there. Under my breath, I whispered, 'See you later Victor; thank you for everything.' Then I turned back to head to the upper room to wait for the Holy Spirit with the guys.

48. Pentecost(s) Power and Prototypes

When I arrived at the upper room, I found the students or disciples or apostles or whatever they want to be called milling about talking to each other and to God. Still feeling disappointed that I couldn't stay in heaven with Jesus to participate in the festivities of His return I decided to lay low and just wait and watch with them. Fortunately no one could see me pouting.

“Peter, what are we waiting for?” asked John, the youngest of the group.

“We are waiting for the Holy Spirit, but I have no idea of what to expect. Let's be patient.”

“We have been sitting here for over a week!” whined John.

(Now that was a man after my own heart!) thought I.

Peter responded, “Tomorrow is Pentecost, Shavuot. I have a feeling something will happen then. Come, help me get ready.”

As Peter and John were preparing for Pentecost, it occurred to me that God would cleverly pour out His Spirit on the anniversary of the day that He poured out His law. The Law and the Spirit both are needed for mankind to become holy. But, I wondered why Jesus had to leave in order for the Holy Spirit to be distributed. If I was still in heaven I could have asked, but I am not.

The deep darkness of night stilled the men and each found a place to sleep. I appreciated the dark quiet that reminded me of the night sky and began to feel more peaceful in my angel heart.

While it was still dark an hundred luminous angels poured into the room. They positioned themselves like an army beside each man. None of them even acknowledged me. I didn't mind as I could tell that they were focused on their mission, and I was here simply to witness.

At daybreak, suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where we were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among the students, and a tongue rested on each of them. It looked quite strange, but oddly enough no one seemed afraid, which I attributed to the angels.

All of the men were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. I could hardly believe my eyes! I was at the same time amazed and envious to see God's Spirit enter men. I wondered how the Spirit would affect the humans.

The disciples delighted in their newfound ability to speak many other languages. The cacophony of the room reminded me of the Tower of Babel scene. I was there. This tower was erected upon the pride of men. In those days God did not want the men to be like Him. They were not ready, He was not ready. So He confounded their speech making it so that each man spoke a different language and they could not understand each other. I laughed and laughed. I think that was the funniest moment I have ever experienced. Eventually the people became so frustrated that they separated, scattering around the face of the earth, and taking their new languages with them and their families.

Back to this day, the men full of joy and power walked out of the upper room into the streets of Jerusalem to proclaim the glory of The Lord God. Men, women, and children left their homes to hear what the disciples were saying.

Reversing the days of Babel, no matter what language was spoken there was someone who understood. Arabs, Asians, Libyans, Egyptians and many others all heard God glorified by the Galileans in their own languages. The barrier of language between men melted away as did the barrier between man and God when Christ died on the cross.

This was truly a sight to behold.

I could see in this verbal unity of mankind the birth of a Bride, one holy and universal mate for the Word of God, Christ, comprised of people from every country around the world in unity with each other.

I exaggerated. There were some skeptics in the crowd who thought everyone was drunk. Being 9 am, that was unlikely, but some people stuck to their skepticism. I could clearly see the difference between a human fill with the Holy Spirit, and one who was not.

Peter, standing with the eleven, boldly raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, we are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, what you see and hear is what was spoken through the prophet Joel.

‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.

Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

And I will show ominous signs in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist.

The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.

Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Peter continued, “You that are Israelites listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.” Peter stopped speaking and peered into the eyes of those in the crowd surrounding him.

I was shocked that Peter, the louse who wouldn't even admit that he knew Christ on the night of His arrest, suddenly had the hutzpah to accuse these Jews of killing their Messiah. Surely this was a difference that the Holy Spirit made.

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

So those who welcomed His message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons entered into the unity of the Bride, Christ's beloved Church. Each person who made up the one Bride devoted him or herself to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.

By the end of that day, I was mush. It had been so intense and amazing that I think every ounce of my spirit was overwhelmed and exhausted. Here I was more than two-thirds of the way through the Bride's year and She had just been born! I had to chuckle. I think I am growing to love Her more and more every day.

49. Feast-day of the Holy Spirit

When I pointed to the Bride with love and admiration, in Her spirit She quickly turned my attention away from Herself and directed it to the Holy Spirit of God. The day after Pentecost was the feast day of the Holy Spirit. With Her keen sense of order, the Bride honors saints following their major events. For example, she celebrates John the Baptist the day after Epiphany, the baptism of Christ.

'Major event' would be an understatement for Pentecost! In fact, for Christ's supernatural Bride it's Her birthday. When God poured Himself as the Person of the Holy Spirit into humankind, He attempted to recreate man in His image and likeness. Supernatural God-filled people, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but of His Will would form His one holy catholic and apostolic Wife, His help-meet.

Even though Her year officially starts in September, when the world was created, the Bride of Christ, the Church, measures time by weeks after Pentecost, when She was born.

I have known the Holy Spirit forever, in fact for me, He is the Person of God that I relate to the most. Getting to know Jesus better down here has been fascinating. Jesus is like the Holy Spirit in a body. Maybe that is why Jesus said He had to leave so that He could send the Holy Spirit to His people.

"Hey there! Who are you talking to? Wanna celebrate with me?"

"Poppy!" I exclaimed with more glee than I thought I was capable of. "It's so good to see you again! What are you doing here in Jerusalem?"

She replied, "I came to fetch you and take you back to the 21st century Washington, D.C. I heard you have been wandering around, and we decided it was time to return to America. Come on, I'll race you!" With that, Poppy shot off like a bullet. There wasn't a challenge yet that I would turn down. Besides, Poppy didn't give me time to, so off I went into the wild blue yonder, wondering if I would pass the Holy Spirit on the way.

We landed simultaneously on Garfield Street; it was a dead heat. Poppy said, "Let's go inside. Tell me if you see whether the Holy Spirit still lives in the people after all these years."

Poppy and I flew into the big familiar stone building to find a sparse congregation. The chanter and his sidekicks were crooning away, sometimes in tune and sometimes not. The people stood and sat, stood and sat in a rhythm, and the priests went in and out, in and out of the altar. They were following the script closely. Sometimes I saw their hearts trying to mean what they were saying and sometimes their minds carried them very very far away from the words. It was so easy for the chanters and priests to hide behind the script, and for the people in the pews to drift as well.

Of all the times I had been in here I never before noticed such a cacophony of spirits and wandering of minds and hearts. I supposed that the experience of Pascha and Pentecost had changed me. I think it made me more sensitive to the Spirit of Truth. This church was named after the Holy Wisdom of God, which is also the Holy Spirit, but I didn't recognize as much Wisdom as I had seen in Jerusalem.

I turned to Poppy and asked, "Poppy, is the Holy Spirit here? I can't tell?"

Poppy replied, "He tries to be. The people want everything that He offers. They want it very much and for some, that is why they come here, they hope to find Him here.

When He dwells within them and they acknowledge His presence and care for Him in their souls, they can access His Fatherly attributes."

"Is the Holy Spirit then the Father of the Bride that cares for them?" I asked.

"Yes, but as with earthly father's some are heeded and respected and some are just given lip service." Poppy replied somberly, then added, "As an indwelling father, the Holy Spirit is the very best companion a human can have. Children of God need Him like they need water and food and air. The Bride needs the indwelling Holy Spirit to survive this world of dark forces and of deteriorating matter. To the people of the Bride He is:

The Spirit of truth

Giver of Life








Healer, and


"That's amazing! Who wouldn't want that!"

"Some people do and some don't want it enough to let go of their pride and egos." replied Poppy. "But it is easy to tell the difference between those people who treasure the Holy Spirit and those who only pretend to."

"How?" I asked.

"Well, by their fruit, silly! The people who are the best hosts of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of them produce His fruit! They manifest His qualities and characteristics."







Long suffering






"Do the people of the Bride know this?" I wondered.

"Yes," replied Poppy, "but what helps them the most is when the Holy Spirit gives them gifts that help them to be real through and through and not double minded or double hearted. It is much harder to live on this planet without the gifts of the Holy Spirit."

"A gift giving Holy Spirit Father who dwells within! What are the gifts He gives?"

Poppy answered, "They are:






Piety, and the

Fear of God.

The Holy Spirit gave birth to the Bride and He nurtures His Child every day of Her life if she will only open her heart to receive.

The people, even many of the people you see in this building would rather cling to their arrogance, their pride and false power. They can be rude to each other, complaining and combative. It is so sad." I could tell that Poppy was deeply grieved.

"What can they do?" I asked.

Poppy replied, "They should search their souls in humility and confess, and The Lord will forgive them and give them His gifts. But in this church they don't offer confession so much. So they have to try it on their own. There is no spiritual guidance, only services, where they all read the script together and hope for the best. I am afraid without the Eucharist they offer, they would be sunk."

Feeling pretty glum, I asked Poppy, "Do I have to stay here now.? Poppy, you have made me very sad and confused. I want to go back to Jerusalem where they really cared."

Poppy gave me an angel hug and said, "Welcome to earth, where flowers grow from mud. It will be okay. Just look around for the love and the light. Sift through the rest. Look there's a person who is trying to be a good host to the Holy Spirit. Go over to him. He will make you feel better. Now you know why the humans need fortitude, kindness, and the ability to be long-suffering!"


50. June 29 - Feast of Peter and Paul - the Childhood of the Bride

After the liturgy for the Feast of the Holy Spirit, I wanted to fly away from the church building that I had loved so much. I must confess that I had gradually become discouraged to see the Bride as a matronly queen bedecked in Her jewels. She had great form but less authenticity than I expected after having experienced the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Pentecost which gave Her purpose.

In spite of the efforts of the Holy Spirit and the Body and Blood of Christ distributed with great frequency, I perceived a plethora of clashes between the personalities of the people inside the church, especially as compared to the personality of Jesus, their Lord and Saviour. Though Jesus did everything He could by His example and commands to unite the people of the Bride into one image and likeness, I saw few evidences of such unity.

The men, women, and children I perceived to be most like Jesus shined so brightly that they illuminated the space around them. It was these people who showed me that it was possible for a human to be filled by the Holy Spirit. Yet, knowing it was possible made me more critical of the others.

The clashes of personalities were evidenced by complaints, rudeness, disrespect, ingratitude and on and on. There seemed to be little difference between the people inside the Church and the unbelievers and heretics, whom I had witnessed in the streets of every century and locale.

I wondered if Satan himself, that dividing diabolical scoundrel, had painted a thick fog throughout this church to depress me and force me out. I sat sulking in the balcony wanting to be left alone to listen for wisdom from the Holy Spirit and to look for light through this thick gray fog.

After the church was purged of all of its human contents, it became easier to see the battle between the angels and the demons who were brought into the building by the impure and hypocritical. The edifice was packed with spiritual weapons of every kind flying through the air.

"I haven't always been this way, you know."

I looked around to see who or what spoke to me and could see nothing, neither angel nor demon, neither matter nor spirit. I was stunned. I was dumbfounded. I was paralyzed.

"You can't see me because I am many, and I am one. You can only hear me because I am human and divine. I am the Bride whose year you follow. I try to hide from the demons but they will not give me relief because of those children of mine who will not take me seriously enough to obey Me and the commands of My Beloved. Their disobedience emboldens the demons to torment me. What can I do?

Even as you long for the end of this year when you can return to your heaven, I hunger for the end of time, to the wedding feast of The Lamb of God which will usher in a new heaven and new earth. I long for Judgment Day, when the merciful will receive mercy, and the rest will receive justice, after which we will all live in peace and harmony."

While She spoke I scoured the air from mosaic wall to iconostasis from seraphim dome to terrazzo floor with my X-ray vision but could not see the source of those austere words that echoed my own feelings. She continued...

"I was born both human and divine. I was lovely and wise when all of my children loved and obeyed me. Now some of them come without faith to pay their respects, as an obligation. Help me angel, but first, for relief, let me take you to my youth to see with what strength and courage I progressed from infancy to childhood."

I wasn't sure whether or not I was actually hearing the voice of the Bride who had been silent from Creation Day until now, nine months of silence.

'Aha!' I thought, 'That's why I had never heard her before; She had been in gestation for nine months, indicative of her flawed humanity, waiting patiently for Her Pentecostal birthday. She is miserable and perplexed because she is newborn and she is old. My heart was sad for the Bride, and I didn't know how I could help Her.

Reading my heart She said, "Only God can help me, but He won't. He allows the tares to grow with the wheat. All I can do is protect the corner of my heart where the flame still burns bright. Come, let's go back to my youth, when I was pure and lovely, when the Holy Spirit birthed Me as He did my Beloved Spouse Jesus."

"I am happy to leave here Your Majesty," I said, "but how could You ever leave yourself?"

She replied, in tones of grief and frustration, "It is my building we will leave for now angel. You are right to observe that I can't leave myself. I am a prisoner of the opposing forces within Me. I will survive. Follow me."

How could I follow neither matter nor spirit? I fluttered my wings and wondered which way to point them when I felt a tug. I sensed that if I went limp I would be taken back to Jerusalem where the Bride was born and raised. I was right.

We arrived in Jerusalem in the presence of Peter who was boldly proclaiming Christ to a small crowd that surrounded him. Peter had clearly evolved from student-disciple to Apostle as he fed and nurtured the beautiful baby Bride to help Her become the militant young girl who with spunk and confidence would boldly enrich humanity around the earth with eternal life and healing powers. That girl, that young Bride was indeed fishing for men, and She never grew weary. She cast her nets to the left and right and pulled in thousands of souls with Peter as her mouthpiece.

While I was looking at Peter from a new perspective, that of a young father more than as a student, I felt another tug. This time I was dragged to the Damascus Road where a Jewish zealot marched hard with rancor and malice in his heart. To my astonishment I saw Jesus appear to him as out of thin air. Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him and he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?" He asked in fear, "Who are you?"

The voice replied, "I am Jesus who you are persecuting."

The Bride and I watched as that hostile man groped in blind darkness for three days. He neither ate nor drank. He sometimes cried and sometimes shouted, then He would sit in silent surrender, listening for Holy Wisdom to open his (Saul/Paul's) clenched mind and pour in the truth.

With a new and youthful voice full of love and hope the Bride said to me, "Today I honor my two beloved fathers. Peter, strong and wise was given the healing powers of My Jesus. How beautifully Peter emulated what he saw Jesus say and do. He went into the world, even as far as Rome risking life and limb carrying high the torch of Christ to illuminate the darkness of ignorance and death.

And here you see blessed Paul who like so many of My best children passed through long periods of doubt and even animosity. He neither spoke with Jesus, nor walked with Him as did the disciples, nor witnessed the Crucifixion and Resurrection, but nevertheless, as hundreds after him, Paul formed and shaped Me.

I will be eternally grateful to both Peter and Paul for my Life."

Suddenly I heard birds singing, not the cacophonous sounds they usually emit but they were miraculously tweeting in three part harmony. I sensed that the Bride felt much better, and hopefully would find a way to purify herself when she goes back to the future.

51. July 13- Gabriel and the Bride

"Come with me angel, I have a special treat for you!" I recognized the Bride's voice, but still could not see Her.

"I can't see you, so how could I know where to go?" I replied a little too sarcastically.

The familiar tug then dragged me away. I had thought that the Bride was fixed to the earth, as a church building or a gathering of believers, but I found myself being pulled higher and higher through the air by the Voice.

If only the Bride had told me exactly where She wanted to go in heaven I'm sure that I could have taken Her there. We were traveling painfully slow. I even saw an airplane passing us. "Where are you taking me?" I asked telepathically, wondering if I could communicate with the Bride as I do my fellow angels.


Apparently I had no choice but to be patient and open minded and try to enjoy the slow ride through the sky that reminded me of walking from Persia to Bethlehem with the wise men.

Eventually, we landed. I was glad to be in heaven and looked around for my friends. Then it occurred to me that God might be angry with me for showing up again before the year was over, so I tried to find a place to hide and prepare my defense for when He found me. 'I was kidnapped, dragged by His Bride, not given a chance to object.' Then I wondered if God loved the Bride enough not to be angry that She brought me here.

Those petty thoughts vanished when I peaked out from my hiding place to see people all about joking and laughing, performing and watching. The familiar tug took me over to where Seraphim and Cherubim were dancing a ballet accompanied by an orchestra of saints. I had never before seen heaven so festive. It was literally glistening with a holy hierarchy of happy angels. Even the Thrones had emerged from God's throne room which almost never happens!

In the audience of the ballet I spotted the Virgin Mary as young and beautiful as can be in her best blue gown, smiling and chatting away with a saint on her left and an angel on her right.

My curious scanning eyes soon spotted Jesus. I tried to hide behind big Moses so He wouldn't see me, but that didn't work. Jesus meandered through the audience and came straight over to me. "Don't worry," He shouted above the din of merriment. "I know you are here. It's okay. My Bride told me that She invited you, just don't stay too long."

I smiled sheepishly and said, "Thanks Jesus. What is going on?"

Jesus replied, "My Bride is celebrating the feast-day of Her close friend, the Archangel Gabriel now in mid-summer instead of on the day after the Annunciation because then everyone is usually fasting for Lent. This is some celebration, isn't it? Relax angel, enjoy, and then go back."

At that moment I heard a loud clash of symbols and a dozen trumpets hearkening the arrival of Gabriel. What a grand entrance he was making. Actually I thought it was over the top. I had never seen Gabriel so full of himself before. I had to admit though that he looked stunning, and more joyful than I had ever seen him. Gabriel spotted me in the crowd of admirers and came right over after the applause died down.

"Welcome to my party Angel. How nice of Them to let you out." he said in a jolly tone.

"Yeah," I agreed' "but it is only temporary." Then to change the subject from my exile I added, "Looks like you have bonded with the Bride, how nice for you. Doesn't it bother you that you can't see Her?"

"No," replied Gabriel. "I see her clearly in all Her children who make her up; can't you see that?"

I countered, "How can you see a being that is simultaneously one and millions, who is both human and divine, that flows through people and time like a river, but rests in buildings of every shape and size, both simple and ornate. I see nothing but Her buildings, but I hear Her speak to me. I admit that I have enjoyed the way She plays with time, but I think I liked Her better before She started speaking to me. Now I am perplexed by Her."

Gabriel tried to help me by responding, "Look, remember when you heard them say in the service that She is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic?"

"Yes." I replied.

"She isn't just in buildings, She is in the apostles, and they are in her, somewhat as Jesus is in the Father and the Father in Him. In fact, to the extent that Her child, any common person, reflects Christ She resides in that person, and all those Christ-like people who form Her. She organizes humanity to be Christ resurrected and alive on earth." Then he added, "Angel, this conversation is getting too serious for me. I've got to go mingle with my less cynical guests. Enjoy my party."

With that Gabriel whisked himself far away from me.

Abandoned for my inquisitiveness I felt awkward and decided that I should stop thinking and take advantage of this happiest of moments in heaven.

In the midst of an awesome light show by the stars, I floated into a dimly lit space where large monitors were streaming live videos of masses and liturgies in honor of The Archangel's feast day that were being celebrated all around the earth from Saint Peter's Cathedral in Rome to the Holy Trinity Cathedral of San Francisco. Crowds sat in front of each monitor that included people looking for their relatives still on earth who might be sitting in the pews, or in the choirs, or celebrating on the altar. Apparently, my old friend Gabriel was a lot more popular than I ever imagined. Good for him.

"Get ready to go." I heard Her say. "Hasn't this been a wonderful day!"

"Sure." I responded unconvincingly, "but why must we leave so soon?"

"I'm afraid that if I get too comfortable in my triumphant mode, I will lose strength for my militant mode, and I can't afford that, especially in these days."

"Okay, I understand. I'm ready." I said glumly.

As we were inching our way back down to earth, even slower than our ascent had been I wondered if the Bride just needed the relief of this celebration and she used Gabriel as a reason to rise above the complexities of Her somewhat sour situation on earth. Our slow speed was Her way of delaying our return. It's just a guess.

52. June 20 - Elijah (aka Elias)

The flying Bride and I landed in glorious Saint Peter's Square in Rome. In retrospect, I think She was trying to show off, or She brought me here to make Herself feel better after all of our talk about the conflicts within Her. I still could not see Her, but I was becoming more comfortable with Her invisible presence.

Once on the ground I felt Her nudge me into the Basilica, into which I willingly entered. What a magnificent place!

"Aren't I beautiful!" She chimed with glee.

"Of course you are. You are the grandest of all ladies on earth." I replied in an attempt to gain favor.

"And the oldest and wisest too." She added with a smile in her voice.

I want to introduce you to one of my forefathers, the prophet Elijah.

Since I had only the building to look at while addressing the Bride, I gazed at a huge statue of Saint Helen holding the cross she found.

The Bride said proudly, "Our God prepared for My Birth before the world was created. From His first words to Adam and later to Abraham He contemplated My universality. The prophets foreshadowed My Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. My existence actually goes back to the beginning of time."

It sounded to me that She placed a special emphasis on the word 'time' to remind me of my angst. I suppose I will forever be known as The Angel who Hates Time and was exiled to learn to appreciate it. The concept that the Bride of Christ was in the mind of God from the moment He created time was certainly a fascinating thought to me. He never mentioned that to us angels. But of course He didn't inform us of much.

After that brief foray into my own mind, I snapped back to the conversation and said, "Tell me more about Elijah; what is a prophet?"

She replied, "Without the benefit of knowing Jesus Christ, while death still ruled the world and Hades was the destination of all humankind, Elijah and other prophets heard the voice of God, yielded to His Holy Spirit and could overcome nature even as they overcame hundreds of fiery darts of the evil one. From Abraham-Isaac-and Jacob, and from David to Joseph-Mary-and Jesus, the unity of the people of the one true God, forms Me.

My blemishes and imperfections are minor when compared to the glory I bring to My Lord and King, Yahweh. Sins will all dissolve in the Last Judgment when princes and paupers will be sent to their ultimate destinations in either heaven or hell. Just as the memory of an illness, no matter how grave, fades away, so too will these conflicts dissolve on the day when My Oneness, my Holiness and my Universality shine like the sun. It is in and for that Judgment Day that I live. Well, and for My a Wedding Day too of course!

Now sweet angel, stop it with the criticism and let me take you to meet My forefather, Elijah."

"Let's go." I replied.

Suddenly I was whisked away from Saint Helen's statue to an equally grand statue of the Prophet Elijah.

The voice of the Bride said, "Today I celebrate the amazing life of Elijah. His faith and discipline were so strong that he stood up to evil king Ahab and his hateful wife Jezebel. His accomplishments are many. Just like My Bridegroom multiplied bread and fish, Elijah multiplied olive oil, and raised a young child from the dead. Elijah foreshadowed for God's chosen people the power of My Christ. In fact, his body never succumbed to death at all. He was simply whisked away in a chariot up to heaven!

"Impressive. So where is the party?" I asked. "Why are you showing me a statue? Why don't you take me to meet Elijah, so we can celebrate him as we celebrated Gabriel. Let's go!"

"Good try angel; but you know that you can't go to heaven yet. Today, I am holding a quiet celebration of remembrance for those you have eyes to see and hearts to care.

I want you to meet my forefathers in this the grandest of my homes on earth. In this Basilica of Saint Peter, (who you once called a louse) I want you to see how small individuals are alone, with all of their sins and complaints and criticisms, with their weakness and frailty but when they unite in Christlikeness to form me we become grand and beautiful and majestic, exactly like this building of Me."

In a much more serious, kindly but firm tone, She added, "You have recently been overly sarcastic and perhaps a little depressed. I imagine that this has been a long difficult year for you, so I wanted to show you the majestic aspect of my nature. Perhaps now you will show me a little more respect!"

"You will meet Elijah soon, but for now, let's take a moment to honor him in prayer."

With that I felt the tug drag me to the altar; as I looked back at the Statue of Elijah, I could swear that he winked at me!"

53. July 22 - Mary Magdalene

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.

54. August 1-15 Dormition of The Ever Virgin Mary

Close-up of a Dormition icon, showing Christ receiving the eternal spirit of his Mother as a new-born infant

Dearest reader,

Let's leave our angel-friend to sit and sulk, and to contemplate the condition of his soul for a moment in order to become aware of the Bride's preparation for the grandest of all feasts of the year commemorating the life of the ever Virgin Mary, the mother of God incarnate.

We will dismiss the angel temporarily because the Bride and her children will be fasting for two weeks and angel can't even imagine what that means, so we won't trouble him as he is troubled enough right now.

On August 15th Mary will gently pass over from this earthly life to continue to live happily ever after with her God and Son.

On the first Passover, the angel of death passed over the homes of the Jews whose doorways were marked with the blood of the sacrificial lamb. On the second Passover, Pascha, also known as Easter, Jesus Christ passed over from death on the cross to resurrection and immortal life for Himself and all of humanity through His victorious annihilation of death. First death is avoided, then it is annihilated.

On this third Passover the Mother of God passes over from life on earth to life in heaven without ever going through death at all. She simply falls asleep and is assumed into heaven. The prophet Elijah foreshadowed such a miraculous passing when he was taken up to heaven in a chariot. We will see him soon.

Those who want to fully participate in the life of the Bride prepare for this third holy Passover by fasting just as in Great Lent before the Crucifixion/Resurrection Passover. then it is seven long weeks, but here only two. Let's focus on the soul because we form the Bride on earth which is preparing for our Marriage Feast in heaven at the culmination of this age. Let's honor the Mother of our Bridegroom.

For this brief period of time, let our bodies take the back seat. Eat no meat, dairy or bonefish. Enjoy the foods of the Garden of Eden where we lived in peace with God in our midst, the life to which we aspire to return. Let's just eat vegetables, fruit and nuts. No alcohol. In this way, let God know that our immortal life in Him, as His Bride, means more to us than the hunger of our mortal flesh.

The Orthodox Bride offers many beautiful church services during these two weeks, where the Virgin Mary is venerated and asked for Her Powerful intercession for health of our bodies and souls.

This is an electric two weeks, participate and enjoy!

Your sister in Christ,


55. August 6th - The Transfiguration

Shortly after Mary Magdalene disappeared, while I was contemplating the difference between pride and demonic possession, or at least demonic influence and while hovering in the most elegant of all church buildings in the world, the Basilica of Saint Peter in Vatican City, I once again heard the voice of the Bride say to me,

"Angel, don't fret, as long as you love our Lord and guard your heart, you will be okay. I'll help you go home. But now, my time traveler, I have a big treat for you."

She sounded so motherly and compassionate, knowing what I needed and ready to provide it. "What is it my lady?" I replied.

"You are to return to Jerusalem to be with Jesus Christ before the crucifixion. See what I have done with time...for you?" Her cheerful voice sounded not as from one person, but rather I heard all four parts of harmony.

Shifting my focus from how She sounded to what She said I asked, "Go back to Jerusalem? Where? Why now?" Again I had to deal with the awkwardness of speaking to the invisible so I stared at the marble coffin of Pope John Paul II.

"Go to Mount Tabor, find Jesus hiking up it with a few of His students and be quick!"

Instead of flying off as commanded, I questioned Her again, "How is that possible my lady, to find Jesus on earth when He has ascended to heaven, I saw Him there recently."

She replied sounding more than a little annoyed with me. "Aren't you the one who doesn't like time. I believe that it was time's long seemingly endless serpentine shape that you detested most, wasn't it? Well, as with the feast of Gabriel that I rescheduled, I celebrate the event you are going to see exactly seven months to the day after Jesus' baptism. Did God ever tell you that for Him the number seven mean completion because He created the world and rested in seven days.

This way I show My children the perfect completion of His baptism (and by reference their own). First, on January 6th, Jesus is lowered into the sea to be purified in a watery symbolic death and now, on August 6th, you will witness Him raised high on a mountaintop, like a babe being lowered Into the font and raised up high out of it. To link the events, both times God proclaims Jesus to be His Son. Isn't that wonderful?!

What you will see actually occurred 40 days before the crucifixion, but I am not in the mood to celebrate during Lent, and August 6th is the 40th day before the elevation of the Cross. Get it? Now hurry up or you may be too late. GO!"

I wanted to hug Her goodbye, not knowing if we would meet again before Her year ends, so I flew up to the dome and circled it seven times before swooping down and flying out the door against a wave of incoming pilgrims. One child noticed me, looked up and as I was leaving I heard him shout, "Hey angel, where are you going so fast?" Smart kid.

I flew directly to Mt. Tabor and right away spotted the group of hikers about two kilometers from the top. Jesus noticed me, smiled and winked. That wink was gold to me. I stayed close while they made their way through the lush mountainside, fragrant with quince bushes.

Jesus was the first to reach the top. When He arrived, He looked all around, down at the ground and up at the sky. His eyes moved from tree to tree, looking for something. Finding it He called out to His companions,

"Friends, come here. I want to show you something!"

"We're coming!" shouted James huffing and puffing, "How did you get there so fast!" John being the youngest, most energetic of the lot ran ahead of the others to meet Him.

While waiting for Peter and James to arrive Jesus sat on a large rock and appeared to be in deep thought. John did not dare to speak to him, but instead wandered around breathing in the cool morning air and taking in the spectacular view.

When Peter and James reached them Jesus stood up from His rock. Suddenly, Jesus started to glow brighter and brighter! I had never seen anything like it, well not since I heard God say, "Let there be light!" It was like the first day of creation all over again! But this time God's two most magnificent works, light and humanity were united!

It was spectacular, marvelous, phenomenal! I was flabbergasted. His clothes became dazzling white and His face shined like the sun. Then, suddenly two men appeared out of thin air and the three fellows started talking, as if all of this was very normal.

I looked over at John, Peter, and James who were equally dumbfounded. As amazing at the sight was I had to chuckle at how silly the men looked standing there with mouths agape staring at luminous Jesus chatting with the apparitions.

I moved closer to Jesus to get a better look at His ghostly companions. Moses I recognized right away as the man I recently hid behind at Gabriel's party, and Elijah I recognized from the statue at Saint Peter's. Elijah turned to look at me and said, "Greetings angel, I haven't seen you in a while. Has it been a week?" And then he winked at me again!

I smiled bashfully and responded, "Pleased to meet you sir." and then moved even closer to Jesus to hear what He was telling them. I strained to hear Jesus saying something about a decisive move against the evil one, when to my surprised Peter yelled out awkwardly “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Now that made me laugh out loud! Imagine making a house for a ghost! What would he do in there?

While Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud moved in to overshadow all of us. From the cloud I heard God bellow, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with Whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!”

I supposed that if John and Peter and James had been at the baptism of Jesus as I was, this announcement would not have seemed so alarming, but they were not. I have never EVER seen three grown men fall on their faces so fast. They were terrified.

While I was laughing and looking around I saw Moses and Elijah float up disappearing into the heavens. I wished that I could follow them because I wanted to talk with Elijah more.

Instead, I watched the illumination of Jesus grow dim. He walked over to Peter, tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Get up and do not be afraid.” John heard that, peeked out of his clenched arms, stood up, and saw no one except Jesus Himself alone, and then James and Peter stood up too.

Jesus said, "Let's go back down, it is getting late, and some people are waiting for us in the village."

"Jesus!" exclaimed John, "What just happened?! Did we really see Moses and Elijah? And how did you get to be so bright...and why?"

In unison Peter and James chimed in, "Yeah? Tell us."

Jesus said, "Moses and Elijah came to visit Me to help me prepare to battle Satan in the coming weeks. I let you come with Me to witness the meeting because You must become more aware than you have been until now of the reality of heaven, and of heaven on earth. You will need this knowledge to strengthen you for your own battles with the enemy.

Light is an element of God's creation that brings forth knowledge because in the light nothing is hidden, as it is in the darkness. When In Creation God said, 'Let there be light' He took the first step towards replacing the blindness of darkness where lies hide to destroy and where emotions are much too prevalent with the Wisdom and reality that vision renders to humankind. I've said enough. We must head back down now, Peter go first and lead the way for Me."

The students said no more but in silence contemplated the vision and words of their extraordinary Friend and Teacher.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after I have been raised from the dead.”

I wondered as I accompanied the men down the mountain whether they could keep such a spectacular vision a secret. I know that I couldn't.

56. August 15 - Dormition and Assumption of the Ever Virgin Mary

I saw no purpose in following the hikers all the way to the foot of Tabor so I left them to have some summer fun. Without purpose or deadline, I simply flew around and around the skies of Jerusalem. I had no sense of the eras I was flying through nor did I care. The air was thin, fresh and dust free! I felt so clean and energized. Flocks of birds below me looked up and chirped sweet hellos. I didn't even let myself think. I didn't wonder where I should have been because I didn't care. Joy.

Then, out of the corner of my eye I perceived another angel flying alongside me. It was large and very fast. I slowed down to get a better look and watched it fly figure eights and spirals. It made me dizzy to look at it. I thought to resume my own pleasures while trying to ignore the faster angel when it slowed down enough for me to recognize Poppy!

She exclaimed, "That was terrific! I haven't had so much fun in ages."

"Poppy! What are you doing here?" I spit out in my astonishment.

She replied cheerfully, "The Bride told me to fetch you for your next assignment. Your flights inspired me to take a little play-break! Now, I don't even want to go back!"

Poppy was the happy kind of angel I wished I was.

Then with innocent enthusiasm she said, "Don't you adore the Bride? I just love how Her children form Her as She forms them.

Mothers are wonderful, aren't they? I think the best human mothers manifest God's love. In fact, I imagine that to be reunited with a holy mom makes heaven worth aspiring to, for a human that is."

I replied, "Poppy, wouldn't it have been nice to have a mother?"

"Yeah" said Poppy dreamily. "I suppose we can pretend the Bride and Jesus's mother, are our mothers. Mary reminds me of Eve or rather the kind of person Eve should have been instead of being so skeptical." With that, Poppy struck a cord in my soul and she knew it.

Quickly glossing over her insinuation of my negativity, I responded, "Mary is the most trusting person I have ever met. Eve never even suffered and she didn't trust God, but Mary suffered shame and embarrassment, physical hardships, abandonment, grief and separation and all the while she calmly and patiently trusted Him. Pretty amazing." As I heard myself speak those words I felt a cleansing and calming spirit surge through my heart.

Remembering why she came to meet me Poppy popped out of her nostalgia, "Your assignment! We must hurry. We need to gather the disciples and rush them over to Mary's house in Ephesus. She wants to speak to Her Son's best friends before She leaves them. Can you do that?"

"How will I find them?" I asked.

"Look here, I have programmed them into this ap called Find My Friends. I will take the ones north of this line and you grab the others. Ephesus, in Turkey, is also marked on this map. Now, let's hurry, Mary is ready to rejoin Her beloved Son. I have instructed Her angel to wait for us."

"Okay Poppy, but how do you expect me to gather people who can't even fly?"

Poppy's cheerful expression turned to sadness. I soon realized that it was the sadness of disappointment in me.

"My angel friend," she said condescendingly "simply tell their guardian angels that Mary wants to speak with them before She dies. They will figure it out. Once in a while God overcomes nature for His will to be done. This is one of those rare but important occasions.

Come on, let's go! I'll bet I can beat you to Ephesus!" With that Poppy took off like a rocket.

Up for the challenge I internalized my map and took off too.

When I arrived at the bedside of Mary (before Poppy) Gabriel was already there, and a few other angels and friends who I didn't recognize. Mary looked as radiant and lovely as She did when I first met Her giving birth last December. Her serene face greeted the disciples who one by one joined Her bedside audience.

When she was sure everyone had arrived, She began to speak. Her parting words brought tears to every human and angelic eye in the room.

“My children, I heard that My Son said to Mary and Martha, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die?' I will die today, but I will live and never die.

I want you also to be filled with life, which is also the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit, so you too may never taste the corroding effects of sin and death."

Then She paused. I couldn't tell whether she was listening to receive the words, or if She merely needed to regain strength.

"I abjure you My children to endure life in peace and trust. Heal everyone who asks. Answer prayers for our Lord whenever and however you can. Feed the poor, heal the sick, give sight to the blind and knit lonely hearts to each other so that their sadness may turn to joy.

Remind the children of my Son's Bride, the Church, that although they are in this world, they are not of it. My peace I leave you."

Mary struggled to speak these final words: "Farewell my brothers and sisters, love each other, until we meet again...." then She paused and took one final breath of earth's air and whispered... "in glory."

Her eyes shut gently as in a deep sleep. The serene smile on Her face remained fixed to expose to us the pure joy of Her trusting heart.

I cannot tell you whether Her holy body was first placed in a tomb or whether it rose immediately. All of us witnesses of Her assumption straddled heaven and earth, so that we didn't know whether Her body was with Her soul or not when Poppy and Gabriel and all of the angels, even I, ascended with Mary's spirit.

We surrounded Her as a white luminous cloud up to the royal doors of the Throne Room of God where Jesus stood waiting to receive His holy Mother and Queen.

When we arrived She pulled away from us and went over to kneel before Him in the same manner that She knelt in prayer under His Cross. He reached down and tapped Her shoulder and extended His hand to lift Her up. She looked at His glowing face and received the hand of Her Lord and Son and then gracefully stood in front of Him. They hugged each other tightly both with tears of joy streaming down Their holy cheeks. Finally, They released Their grip on each other, and Jesus took Her hand again and said, "Come, Mother, I want to introduce you to Our Father." Michael then opened the royal doors. Mary walked in with Jesus close behind Her.

But before entering Jesus turned, grabbed my eyes with His, and said to me, "Go back now. I'll see you again in two weeks and then we can talk. Poppy, take him back to earth quickly for the final event of the year."

With that, Jesus entered the Throne Room and the huge royal doors closed behind Them.

Poppy look at me with a huge grin and said, "Wanna race?"

57. August 29 - Beheading of John the Baptist

Poppy and I flew straight back to earth, no acrobatics, no fun. Along the way I wondered how the Bride will end Her year. If it began with creation, would it end with annihilation? What could possibly top the departure of Mother Mary? That was spectacular, even by my standards. I wondered what She and God were saying to each other at their meeting. Thinking and flying go well together.

As we approached earth I could see right away that we were headed straight for Jerusalem.

When we landed within the city walls, I asked, "Now what?"

Poppy replied, "It may make you happy to know that the last event of the year falls out of chronological time. Jesus is still around teaching and performing miracles, but we will go to be with John the Baptist who was taken to prison yesterday for shaming Herod the ruler."

Acknowledging the surprised look on my face with a nod, Poppy continued, "The man married his brother's wife, and did not want John telling him that it was not lawful. Ironic how rulers and lawmakers don't mind at all breaking God's laws."

Together we entered a dark and dirty jail cell where John was praying peacefully.

Poppy approached John who looked up at us and said, "Greetings angels."

She replied, "John, we have come to tell you that your remaining days on earth are few. Herodias told her daughter to have you beheaded. Prepare yourself."

John looked at Poppy and then straight at me with tears welling up in his sky blue eyes.

"Of course," he said, then solemnly bowed his head. "Even King David from time to time killed the messenger. I will not be the first prophet who was put to death. How could I expect anything less. Angel...

"My name is Poppy." she interjected.

"Poppy, go and tell my disciples to find Jesus and follow Him."

She nodded and added to comfort him, "Oh, John! You will be brave! Keep your heart at peace. You have been a good and sober servant of The Lord; you will be rewarded."

Suddenly two muscular and hairy men approached the cell gate. The short one unlocked it. "Come with us prophet." barked the larger most fearsome one and tied John's hands together. Then both strong men flanked John to take him to the chief centurion who told him what he already knew, that he was to be beheaded immediately. John peacefully approached and without ceremony rested his head on the tree stump as if it were a pillow and he was going to sleep after a very long hard day of labor.

Seconds before the ax fell John's spirit popped out of his body. I grabbed it and said, "Don't look, come with us."

Obediently John's spirit flew between me and Poppy. I had never encountered a man like this before. I could sense a peace and depth in him that was at once profound and innocent. He was ready for whatever would happen next.

We flew in silence. Saturated by the power of the moment my racing mind stopped in silence.

Instead of going to heaven as I assumed, I noticed that Poppy was headed into southern darkness. Then it occurred to me that we were aiming for Hades. Of course! I had forgotten that for John, there was no choice. 'Oh, the Bride is certainly having her fun with time now', I thought, and wondered why.

Poppy and I safely delivered John to Hades. Before we left, Poppy told him that it wouldn't be long before Jesus will come to set everyone free. John smiled and nodded as if he already knew why he was there, and bid us both a smooth journey back.

After John the Baptist had been safely installed in Hades, Poppy and I slowly flew back through increasingly luminous blue skies. I asked Poppy why the year ended that way.

She was keen to show off the knowledge she gained from years of earthly life and said, "At the very end of the year the Bride slides back to remember the age that preceded the Resurrection when no one was allowed to enter God's presence in heaven."

I chimed in to show that I was not altogether ignorant, "...because of their cursed exile from Paradise." Then I smiled proudly.

Poppy smiled back at me, happy that I had learned something of the history of earth, and then she added, "God, in His infinite wisdom allowed the evil Herodias, her daughter, and the pathetically weak Herod to perpetrate their crime in order to send John to Hades to proclaim there also the coming of the Messiah who would soon set them free. What the devil means for evil, God uses for good."

"Oh, I get it!" I responded,"John was the front-man both on earth and in Hades! But I still don't understand why the Bride ends her synchronic year with that horrible event. "

Poppy explained patiently, "This last note echoes through the centuries, John the Baptist warning humankind to repent and prepare themselves, each and every person, for the coming of The Lord.

Jesus said that John the Baptist was the greatest 'among all those born of women' and yet he was least in the kingdom of heaven... Why?

It was because he did not witness the crucifixion and resurrection that reunited fallen man to immortal God, so he was not given the opportunity to act on that knowledge." Poppy paused and looked deep into my mind to see if I had fully understood her, then she shrugged and continued in her typical cheerful manner.

"Let me try to explain it this way: The year closes with the man who came to pave the way of The Lord by admonishing people to repent, to change their self-centered way of thinking and behaving. John wanted the people to think like God, not like animals.

To think like God is to think like Jesus. Jesus tried to make it as easy as possible to be like Him, to regain the original design of humankind in the image and likeness of God, by following His clear and straightforward commands.

Angel friend, this is not just the end of one year that starts all over again; it is the end of time. Don't you see! When time ends..." And then Poppy shot me the biggest brightest smile I have ever seen.

"the blessed humans will go to the new heaven and new earth where they will live happily ever after! The Second creation happens!" Poppy was so excited by the concept of a brand new timeless world that she could barely contain herself.

"Did you read the last chapter of the Book, angel? John the Evangelist 'saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And he saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And John heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be His people, and God himself will be with them, He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things will have passed away.' " Poppy stopped quoting and was still and silent.

I sat there dumbfounded and in awe. My God created time and matter as a medium for the creation of a world with a whole new kind of time without end. This I could accept! This was brilliant; it was magnificent; it was amazing.

From the depths of beheading and crucifixion had arisen the pinnacle of life, the nearness of the ever-loving God, the Father. The Father of the Bride! The revelation was nothing less than awesome.

"Poppy, I've got to go." I said hurriedly, "It's been great knowing you, but I think They will let me back in heaven now. Thanks for everything."

I flew to heaven as fast as my soul could go to apologize to God from the bottom of my angel heart for not being able (or willing) to recognize the grandeur of His creation.

The angel's last words:

Thousands of revolutions of light and darkness have gone by since I wrote those words, but not once have I complained again. Now I know how dense and meaningful each day is, and I know the end of them too, and that has made all the difference.

Like the Bride, I can hardly wait for Her wedding day.

Epiblog, The Bride's Year

The Bride of Christ, also known as the Church, like Her Bridegroom is simultaneously human and divine. She is comprised of millions of souls from each of about 100 generations. She lives in time, but as we have experienced through this story, basically She celebrates life as only one mystical synchronic year.

She confounds time and She confounds matter when She turns bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, and as Christ confounded matter when He multiplied the loaves and fishes and walked on water.

Many accuse Her of dying, or being dead. They are wrong. She is immortal. Her institutional persona is a front, merely the thin shell of a rich, complex and deeply spiritual core. It is only the surface that interfaces with the world in chronological time; never to be taken too seriously when it disappoints. Judgment of the institutional skin is God's business. The Church is not an institution or an organization as much as She is a Mother and a Bride-to be. She gives birth, She nurtures and teaches, and She shepherds Her flock through this earthly life in preparation for eternity. She exists, not in any one generation or figurehead (except Jesus), not in any one priest, pastor or pope, but in the totality of Her Self, the universal Church.

Those who think they can reach God without the Church gamble with their souls. They underestimate the value of Her Sacraments, Her mass communal worship, and Her guidance which are all essential in steering us onto tried and true tracks. If at the end, it is determined that She misled in any way, the people will still be rewarded for their love, and obedience, and then re-instructed. Remember the trees whose leaves are for the healing of the nations.

Now that the Bride's Year has come to an end we can look back on it as a whole. We began with Creation and travelled through the year to preparation for the end of time, the Last Judgment, and the beginning of life in the Kingdom of God.

We saw the mystical year as divided into thirds. The first third of the year that runs from September until Christmas, is the era before Christ. It the era of God's choosing a people for Himself, guiding us to the Promise Land and watching over us there. Meanwhile, the Virgin is pregnant with Christ, as in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. From creation Christ existed waiting for the right moment to be born into the world.

The second third of the year, from Christmas Day to Ascension Thursday, is the brief thirty three years of the earthly life of Jesus Christ. It is astounding how a mere 33 years, albeit only three of them really, represent a full third of the Trinity of Time. Selah.

The final third of the year I call the era of the Bride Unwedded. This is the final era where we struggle in the world to individually and corporately fulfill God's hope that we willingly seek and regain His image and likeness, through our love for Him and for each other, with the aid of His Bride, the Church. God became man so that we might become gods. In this era humanity has been given the power to become children of God who are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The era of the Bride Unwedded is the time of re-creation, re-birth and preparation for the Great Judgment and immortality. In this final era, time and matter are merely tools that we use to help God design and construct The Kingdom of God where we live forever and ever with God visibly in our midst.

We the people of the Bride experience in our souls through this mystical year all three thirds of time. Our heritage as Children of the Most High God includes all of human history. Just as our individual uniqueness is comprised of genetic information from our forefathers and mothers, our uniqueness as Children of God is comprised of our Jewishness, our brotherhood with the humanity of Christ, and finally our participation in the Bride whether we be patriarch, saint, parishioner or anonymous hermit. Only the treasures we store in heaven, neither our status nor rank will convey into the new world where first will be last and last first.

We who live in time and matter are given opportunities day after day and year after year to become increasingly conscious of the ultimate purpose of life, which is to learn how to love well. Supernatural acts may accompany the ones who think and behave like God, but these acts, as miraculous as they may appear are only the off-gas of divine love, they are not love itself.

The most astonishing miracle is that as the sun rises every day, God consistently and reliably draws us unto Himself, no matter how often we disappoint Him, ourselves, and each other.

As we breath-in air, may we also inhale the awareness of His patience and the value of His Bride Unwedded, our Mother, the Church.