Illumination Stories

I was given a choice...

By: Joe   S.

    Heavenly Experience

45 years young
United States

I had decided to do the Octave of Purification and Consecration to God Our Father.  I did not expect anything to happen when I had decided on a whim to do this prayer, and I made it a point to go to general confession before beginning the octave.  The weekend after I completed the octave I was suddenly granted an Illumination of Conscience.

I was sitting quietly by myself reading, when without warning The Eternal Father, with Jesus Our Lord to his right, appeared before me and a few feet above me.  In a flash, the Holy Spirit suddenly shown me with immutable clarity all the sins I had committed since my childhood and had never confessed with sincerity.  The anguish of seeing all my sins before me and fully understanding the subsequent schema of my life and the ramifications to both myself and others around me was acute and profound.  I found myself doubled over in emotional pain.  I had lived with pride and envy in my soul since about seven and a half years of age, but this was nothing compared to the anguish I experienced by both The Eternal Father’s and Our Lord’s silence due to the mortal nature of these sins.  

Neither of them condemned me.  In fact, I condemned myself as they both stood watching me with such indescribable sorrow at what I had done and how I had lived my life.  The Divine Truth is an inescapable light, and if they had not help me with such immense and merciful tenderness and love I’m sure I would have died on the spot.

Then, as quickly as it started, it was over.  I was then given a choice: either I accept Our Lord’s mercy and return with a genuine love for the Lord, or I could remain adamant in my sinfulness.  At no point in this process did they pressure me to make a choice, but to simply choose.  Their silence and graces however did more for me than any pressure would have ever made.  I could not bear the thought of seeing them for the first time in my life, knowing without a shadow of a doubt that they truly existed, feeling their infinite love and sorrow for me, and also being aware that I would not spend eternity with them if I decided to remain in my sin.

I fell on my knees and begged them to forgive me with all my heart.  And at that moment Our Lord raised His right hand as High Priest to give me His absolution.  He came down very close to me, his presence showered me with such sweetness that I thought I was going to die, albeit this time from joy instead of sorrow.  I felt him kissing my soul and enveloping me in His bosom with very tender and gentle love.  Moments later, they were gone.  Vanished as silently as they came.  

After that Illumination of Conscience, I decided to return to church and make a genuine confession so that Our Lord’s absolution would be ratified by one of His validly ordained priests in accordance with the power of the keys He had granted to His church.