When I met Mother Mary, the most amazing thing was that at the time, I neither had a Catholic background nor was I a practicing Christian (though I did believe in Jesus).
And the occasion wasn't what most Christians would expect either: She appeared to me during a Tarot reading I was giving to a client, of all things.
(Another memorable experience of God’s presence is described in this blog post.)
The client was a sweet, middle-aged woman named Rosemary who was the epitome of childlike innocence. The session was really more psychotherapy than Tarot reading, but that was okay; I was used to it.
She told me the story of her miserable childhood, how she’d been emotionally and physically abused by her schizophrenic mother and had grown up functionally illiterate, which she still was.
One day, Rosemary said, she had a vision (she called it “a dream, only that I was awake”) of a glowing book floating in mid-air in front of her, and she saw that it had her name on it.
Something told her that she was supposed to write a book. She despaired over this (for her) overwhelming task, but she did it anyway, painstakingly looking words up in a dictionary and putting them together over many months.
She said she cried the entire time because it was so hard for her… but finally, she self-published a booklet of poems… poems of peace and love and war (this was during the first Gulf War).
She got a chance to read the poems to audiences. Once word got around in her hometown, local churches and libraries started inviting her to do readings of her poems. At one church, she had a captive audience of over 500 on Christmas Eve 1990.
“There were so many people starting to cry when I read that poem,” Rosemary said, tears welling up in her eyes. “I felt so bad that I made them cry. That’s just not right.”
Her naiveté stunned me.
“But you weren’t making them cry in a bad way,” I said. “They were crying because your poems touched their hearts. That’s a good thing.”
She looked at me quizzingly as if she wasn’t sure whether I was being serious. She said people were suggesting she sell the book, but she didn’t feel that taking money for it was right. So whenever someone insisted on giving her money, she’d donate it to the local animal shelter.
She began to mail the booklet all across the world, receiving thank-you notes from the Vatican, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the United Nations, former British Prime Minister John Major, and Congressman Jesse Jackson.
One time, Rosemary had one of her poems translated into Croatian language and sent it to a man at a Balkan refugee camp whose name she had picked out of a newspaper article.
She never heard from him, but three years later, she received a letter from a girl in Croatia. The girl’s grandfather had died, stated the letter, and his family who browsed through his belongings found Rosemary’s poem that he had kept neatly folded in his wallet, the paper yellowed and worn from frequent handling.
“My grandfather used to read that poem to us kids in the camp over and over,” wrote the girl. “I just want you to know that he genuinely loved you. He said you were his best friend in the world.”
By now, I was curious about those poems and their powerful impact on people. I asked Rosemary if she had one with her, and she agreed to read it to me.
The words were simple and childlike, the rhymes didn’t always match perfectly—but there was something so magical about them that I had to hold back the tears.
During our reading, Rosemary did her share of crying too. Even though her schizophrenic mother had treated her with great cruelty, she cried for her poor soul “who must have been so confused and desperate to do things like that.”
She cried for the abandoned and abused animals in the world… and she cried for all mankind.
Suddenly, something shifted, and she started glowing from within. (I mean that literally.) I could only see a vague feminine shape through the golden glow, that of a woman in a hooded cape like Mother Mary is shown in.
I had no doubt that I was in the presence of the Divine. The figure radiated a powerful energy of compassion, love, and kindness—to a degree that I have never seen in any human being, and so can only describe it as “otherworldly” in its intensity.
The only other time in my life I’d experienced something remotely similar was during a mediumistic session with a friend who channeled Mother Mary.
When the session ended, I refused to take Rosemary’s money (later, I said to my coworkers, “Would you charge God for a reading?”).
I’m sure Rosemary wouldn’t object, probably even be thrilled, if I shared one of her poems here. Here it is:
JUST LIKE YOU
Daddy, why ya gotta gun?
Are you gonna shoot someone?
Does the enemy have an army too?
Do they have guns, just like you?
Are you gonna shoot those men,
Who are just like you?
Daddy, do they have little boys too?
And, and do they live in a house?
And have a wife just like you?
Daddy, will she cry if he dies,
Like Mommy would for you
And what about his little boy,
What’s he gonna do?
Oh Lord, how can I answer
All this, to my son
When I’ve always taught him
To be kind to everyone
Just Like You.