“You Satisfy the Hungry Heart”*
I recently shared with you a dream (which was set in America) and which I believe was shown to me from the Holy Spirit warning the faithful about increasing tribulation and persecution which the holy Catholic Church could face in the time to come. In my vision, there was a pseudo-church where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was not celebrated and Holy Communion was denied to those few faithful whose hearts were burning with love and desire to receive their Lord and Savior in the Most Holy Eucharist. While visiting with my spiritual director, a holy priest in Jerusalem, I shared with him my dream and he quoted me from Daniel 12:11…
“From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished…”
This verse is from the vision that the Prophet Daniel was given for the “end time.”
“As for you, Daniel, keep secret the message and seal the book until the end time; many shall fall away and evil shall increase.”
Many shall be refined, purified, and tested, but the wicked shall prove wicked; none of them shall have understanding, but the wise shall have it. From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the horrible abomination is set up… Blessed is the man who has patience and perseveres…. (Daniel 12)
My spiritual director and I spoke about the many “signs of the times” that any one of the Lord’s children walking in the light of Christ can readily observe concerning the increasing evil and deepening sinfulness in this present world and the growing apostasy and degradation within the Church. He encouraged me to continue loving and trusting and desiring Jesus and to “remain in Him.”
Remain in Me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without Me you can do nothing…
If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you… Remain in My love.
If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love…
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
It was not you who chose Me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain…
This I command you: love one another.
If the world hates you, realize that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you….
And they will do all these things to you on account of My Name
because they do not know the One who sent Me.
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin…(John 15)
I pondered this possibility that like in prior periods of intense persecution of the Church there could come a time, even in America, where Our Lord’s chosen and faithful children might have to meet clandestinely in hidden places for Holy Mass in order to receive the “Kiss of Jesus” in Holy Communion, or even be unable to receive Him in the Blessed Sacrament if too few holy priests remained to celebrate the Eucharist. It was then that I remembered a time when Our Lord Jesus in His sweet and merciful love came to satisfy my hungry heart when I longed to receive Him in Holy Communion but could not go to Mass.
Before Christmas in late December 2007 after enduring months of treatment for breast cancer, I had to go to St Luke’s hospital for a PET scan to see if there was any cancer evident anywhere in my body after all the rounds of chemotherapy and radiation had been completed. It was my custom and joy to go to holy Mass on a daily basis and I was full of sorrow that on that day because of the time of the scheduled scan I would have to miss Mass and therefore I would not be able to receive my sweet Jesus in Holy Communion. The scan was done in a closed MRI machine. Inside the MRI chamber I felt like I was enclosed in a warm and cosy “cocoon”. The concerned technician called out to me inside the machine and asked me if I was doing alright inside the enclosed space. I told her that I was more than fine, and that she need not worry about me or call to me again as I was enjoying the peace of the “cocoon” and that I was praying. It had become a “sacred space” for my conversation with Jesus.
Inside my “cocoon” I poured my heart out to the Lover of my soul. I told Him how disappointed I was not to be able to receive His “Kiss” today in Holy Communion but that I knew He was with me spiritually and dwelling in my heart. For as long as the PET scan lasted I was in spiritual communion with my dearest Friend. When the scan was completed I joined my family who had been waiting for me outside and we set out for my parents’ home in New Jersey as we were going to spend Christmas together. While my husband drove, I began to recite the rosary quietly and at one moment slipped into sleep with the rhythm of the prayer and the motion of the car. When I awoke I saw before my eyes a large Host too big to consume. Yet, I opened my mouth and was able to receive it and chewed it and swallowed it. The Lord had come to me and satisfied the desire of my heart, giving Himself to me in Mystical Communion.
I have heard that others have had such an experience. Saint Michael had brought to the little Spanish girls of Garabandal the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord in Mystical Communion.
Another occasion took place during my time living here in the Holy Land. My husband and I had planned to make an excursion together up to Jerusalem on a Friday. I call it an excursion and not a pilgrimage because I had offered in prayer on the Thursday night before our trip to Jesus a sacrifice: I would not exert my will on my husband the next day while in Jerusalem and press him into visiting the holy shrines. You see, my husband does not yet have faith and thus, he is not interested in going to the holy places to pray or attend Mass. Each time previously when we went up to Jerusalem I had always asked my husband to wait for me while I did these things. This time I vowed to offer as a sacrifice to Jesus that I would spend the entire day with my husband going about the holy city doing the things that he wanted to do instead of what I wanted to do. He wanted to casually walk through the streets of the old city and do some shopping in the souk. My Lord knew how much this cost me, as I would have rather delighted to be at holy Mass and receive Jesus in Holy Communion and to pray to Him inside the holiest shrines of Christianity. There we would be in Jerusalem – in the City of the Great King – and simply be passing by the places which Jesus sanctified with His Blood. For me, it was indeed a great sacrifice, but for love of my husband out of love for Jesus I offered this mortification and denial of my own desires up to Him.
On that Friday morning as I was waking up I had an extraordinary dream! I saw a huge Host suspended in the air. It was enormous and too large to consume. Yet, somehow I was able to receive it and consume it. Immediately, I called out to my husband who was still with me in our bedroom and shared my amazing experience with him. He didn’t know how to reply to me, because I was telling him something spiritual.
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.
Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually.
The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone… we have the mind of Christ. (1st Corinthians 2:13-16)
My Lord had come to me again and given Himself to me in Mystical Communion. I remembered my offer of sacrifice to Jesus from the night before and considered that He was blessing me with this gift of Himself in this extraordinary way perhaps because I would not be able to receive Him in Holy Communion at Mass that day because of my vow!
With joy in my heart from the morning experience with my sweet Jesus, we left for Jerusalem to spend the day together as husband and wife. We ate hummus in my husband’s favorite little spot in the old city, we walked throughout the old cobblestone streets looking at all the wares of the shop owners. We sauntered about the walled city casually with no specific goals or plans. Going along the Via Dolorosa with my husband I was fully aware of the sacred events that took place on that street, but I said nothing to my husband as we walked along. I pondered in my heart Our Lord’s Passion as He carried His Cross for the salvation of the world more than two thousand years ago on that ancient avenue. And suddenly my husband spoke out and asked, “Ann, do you want to get a holy statue for Claudio to send to him?” Claudio was our dear Catholic friend from Rome who was suffering from a recurrence of thyroid cancer. I was delighted with my husband’s thoughtful suggestion and I believe it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. We walked into a shop and looked around and I asked my husband to pick out a statue that he liked for Claudio. My husband selected a wooden statue of the Lord Jesus depicting His Resurrection – an image of hope and life.
We purchased the statue and continued the rest of the way on the Via Dolorosa ending up in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This church is built over the sites where the final events of Our Lord’s Passion occurred and where Jesus’ body was laid after the crucifixion in the borrowed tomb and where Christ rose from the dead on the third day in His Glorious Resurrection. At this point, I asked my husband if I could take the statue inside and place it on one of the holy sites and pray for Claudio’s healing before we would send him the statue. My husband encouraged me to go inside and do it. I placed the wooden icon on the place where Jesus’ body was laid after it was taken down from the Cross and I prayed for our merciful Jesus to heal Claudio.
Then I desired to go and speak with Jesus again about Claudio where He waits for us – hidden in love for us in the Blessed Sacrament – inside the Tabernacle. I knew there was a chapel inside the church where the Tabernacle was located. I went towards the chapel and on my way I noticed a small group of pilgrims receiving Holy Communion from a priest at a private Mass which was being celebrated at the altar of Mary Magdalena, to the left of the tomb of Christ. I stopped and gazed from a distance with a heart full of love and desire longing to receive my Jesus in Holy Communion. I knew that I could not join them to receive Holy Communion as I had missed the entire Mass. But just at that moment, an unknown priest slipped up to me from behind and asked me, “Do you want to receive Holy Communion?” I was very surprised with much excitement I immediately answered him, “Yes, I do!” to which he responded, “You cannot.” I was speechless because I didn’t understand why he would ask me if I wanted to receive Jesus only to tell me that I could not. My heart fell, but immediately he added these words, “Jesus loves you very much, and gives Himself to you spiritually.”
Then I understood, the Holy Spirit was speaking through the priest about the Mystical Communion I had received that morning in my dream. I said to the priest that the Holy Spirit must be confirming the that my experience was real to which the good priest rebuked me gently by saying, “Why do you doubt?” As Jesus knew my soul’s desire to receive Him in His tender love he had come to satisfy my hungry heart.
Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You. (Psalm 38:9)
For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you…
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” (John 6)
*Hymn: You satisfy the Hungry Heart
You satisfy the hungry heart with gift of finest wheat,
Come give to us, O saving Lord, the bread of life to eat.
1. As when the shepherd calls his sheep,
They know and heed his voice;
So when You call Your family, Lord,
We follow and rejoice.
2. With joyful lips we sing to You,
Our praise and gratitude,
That You should count us worthy Lord,
To share this heavenly food.
3. The mystery of Your presence Lord,
No mortal tongue can tell;
Whom all the world cannot contain
Comes in our hearts to dwell.
4. You give yourself to us, O Lord,
Then selfless let us be,
To serve each other in Your name
In truth and charity.