Friday, December 26, 2014

Once Upon a Mystical Time...

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*

I have had more than a few mysterious encounters in the natural world leading up to and since my reversion in 1998.  They have each shared three distinguishing marks:  very unique circumstances, perfect timing and a suspended question mark.

Let me try to relate one such event.

The time: May 8, 2009
The place: Verona, New Jersey

The circumstances:

While visiting with my dear Aunt Rose and Uncle John, a year and three months after the passing of Fr. Silvester Livolsi, (Uncle Sivvy) my phone suddenly died due to battery failure.

I was about to drive to Branchville, NJ to spend some discernment time at the Sanctuary of Mary and so, I needed another phone before I left.

I needed to find the nearest Verizon...

Question...Where is this Verizon store?

East Hanover…Route 10

I drove there and after much difficulty, I purchased a new cell phone.

Question...Is God calling our family to move to the Sanctuary of Mary Our Lady of the Holy Spirit?

It was then around three o’clock, and Jen called from Texas to tell me that a Indian priest had just then been stabbed in the city of Sinton in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. 

I was on Pleasant Valley Way heading west and so I decided to get to the nearest church, which happens to be Our Lady of the Lake in Verona, a church that to the best of my knowledge, I might have visited one time in my life.

I parked and climbed the steps only to find out that both the front and side doors were locked. 

A 'what now' moment, a third question…

Inspiration...walk across the street to Verona Park and pray a rosary for the two intentions.

The park was simply beautiful. At the far end of the lake I had a brief encounter with a woman at the snack shop. I asked if she was Muslim and she responded that she was Egyptian (a Copt). I bought an ice cream from her and ate it as I continued walking and praying. I crossed the creek at the park's far end bridge.  Then on the return to my Dad’s car I sat down to finish my prayers by a weeping willow.  When I started back on the trail I was greatly surprised to spy a young deer eating leaves from a sapling.  It was maybe 50-80 feet from where I stood and it didn't seem startled. It and very close to the road.

I gave thanks to St. Francis and walked another 10 seconds and then I spotted a bright light in the green grass.

I moved closer to investigate and there I saw, for the first time in my 50 years of life, a white dove in nature.

I can honestly say that I never remember seeing such a peaceful animal.  I moved closer step-by-step and I crouched down, slowly pulling out the brand new Verizon flip top cell phone.  I approached and was no more than three feet away. There was no flash or added light.  There was no retouching.  There was however a luminous, timeless and otherworldly quality to the moment and the subsequent images.

Do I dare say that the dove I encountered was a manifestation of the Holy Spirit?

Dare I do, for I have no other choice.

It was just too peaceful, and too white and the grass that day seemed too green. I stayed in its presence for nine minutes…a mini novena.

It stayed and I finally left, profoundly thanking God

FAST FORWARD FIVE YEARS... Thank God, Fr. Varghese survived the attack and is still serving God. My family is still seeking to do God's will...

Sincerely yours in Jesus through Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

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