I was praying in a New York apartment on an afternoon during the spring of 2008. I’d been baptized at a non-denominational church less than a year before that, and had been in a financial strain for most of that time since. It was a grace to learn, early on, that much of what Prosperity Gospel books and hokey Christian films taught about the “abundant” Christian journey wasn’t all that accurate. But learning it didn’t feel much like grace at the time. My situation was becoming rather desperate, driving me to pray a lot. It was during a silent prayer that I saw something, much like a dream, though I hadn’t fallen asleep:
Three fierce dogs, leashed back by chains, were barking and snarling, standing on their hind legs in their eagerness to pounce upon the globe that was before them. The chains snapped. The dogs trampled across the world. A dark overcast followed their trails and nearly enveloped our entire world.
There was a harmless-looking woman, stunningly beautiful, who was standing on the eastern edge of the globe, facing the dogs. She was wearing a white robe and holding a candle before her breast. A glow surrounded her entire being. She calmly began walking westward on the globe. The hounds, still barking and snarling, charged right at her. She didn’t even flinch. The dogs ran into her and whimpered the very moment their snouts touched her body. They evaporated into clouds of dust.
A procession of men and women, all dressed in white robes, all holding candles of their own, began to appear behind the woman. They followed her on the westward march, while chanting. The dark overcast rolled back wherever the procession marched. The world was becoming bright again.
I snapped out of it. For the record, I am not some holy person to whom this kind of thing often happens.
“Who was that woman?” I had wondered to myself. It took several years for the answer to become very obvious to me, because I wasn’t yet a Catholic.
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