A certain spiritual experience I had several years ago really renewed my faith, love, and joy in the Lord. Though I have been blessed to be Catholic from birth, experiences like these are what help me to make that daily conversion and grow in my relationship with Him. And you could say that this is one of the reasons I chose to call my blog “Beloved Dreamer.” It’s not just because I have “big dreams” for the future (though that’s also true), it’s to remind me of this experience and thus who I am–who we all are–to Christ.
One night while I was falling asleep, I realized I had forgotten to say my bedtime prayers. I quickly said a prayer to my guardian angel, and then I realized how long it had been since I’d spent any real time in prayer. I felt a little ashamed. I began to question my resolve. I began to question how I could be a good Christian, and what I was striving for. What makes Heaven so wonderful? What makes God worth giving your life to? I know God is all-good, and all-loving, and all-powerful. I know Heaven is where our ultimate happiness lies. But what did that really mean? I was too tired. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I couldn’t feel His presence.
I wondered: What is my real motivation? Do I really love God? I want to. What’s holding me back from Him? Worldly pleasure? A want for success in school, jobs, my current or future family? Fear of embarrassment or pain? Maybe… but I didn’t know. I knew I needed to renew my Faith, so I pulled out my Bible, hoping to find answers there, looking for some amazing insight that would reignite my faith. I read some verses from the Old Testament that I can’t even seem to remember now. I didn’t see how they related to me. It was getting late, so I decided to go to sleep.
And then I had a dream. I was traveling through time to many different places—but that wasn’t the important part. The important part was when I walked around a bend and saw Jesus. He was being brought to be whipped.
I fell to my knees. My hands went over my mouth. Jesus was shoved to the ground—into a bed of flowers. He looked down at the flowers and touched them ever so gently. In the world’s eyes Jesus would look pathetic. “They’re so cruel,” I thought. “Satan is so cruel.”
Later that morning I pondered over this and realized how beautiful it was—even though He had been beaten and pushed to the ground, He still saw the beauty of the flowers He was laying on. It’s a reminder to us that if we keep our eyes focused on life’s struggles and pain, we’ll miss the little things along the way, the beautiful flowers all around us. We’ll miss the little opportunities to love as Christ loved, as St. Therese “The Little Flower” loved (I chose this name for the Sacrament of Confirmation because of her “Little Way”). But that wasn’t the part that made me cry, because after He looked at the flowers…
Jesus turned and looked at me. I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know what to say to Him. I felt like I couldn’t look Him straight in the eye—and yet I couldn’t look away. For a long time He looked at me, and I looked at Him. And then He said what I now realize are the most powerful words in the world:
“I love you.”
I dropped my hands and placed one on His. As the dream faded, He put one of the flowers in my hand. I wondered, “Can I keep this flower? Will it live forever?”
He answered: “No. But you will.”
When I woke up, everything became clear. He loves me—He loves all of us—just the way we are. Little else matters because His love is all we need. It’s easy to get lost in endless questions, but the truth is: we don’t need all the answers. I had been looking for some complex, awe-inspiring message, but all I needed to hear were those three words. That was all He ever wanted me to know, and all He ever wanted me to say: I love You.
I never thought I could be so happy on a Monday morning.
May God bless you and keep you,