A few of us had a great time at Morpheus’ house last night. One topic of conversation was a follow up on what the ‘Loin Girders’ were talking about–unusual experiences of God the Holy Spirit. I know there have been times when I have experienced the mysterium tremendum, some of which were in a “Pentecostal” setting and others in more ‘Sacramental’ settings. My call to the priesthood would fall into the latter category. No need to repeat yourself, but I want to hear the variety of Christian experience out there, be they mystical or charismatic. In addition, bounce those off of experiences you may have had or have heard about in other religious contexts (Morpheus shared with us some tripped out Hindu stuff). Let’s put on hold the evaluating of such experiences for another post.
10 thoughts on “Mysterium Tremendum”
You mean apart from the normal paranormal experiences that are typical of the pentecostal/charismatic experience, such as speaking in tongues & faith healings? The first of which I do and the second of which I have experienced quite frequently… I’ll be honest…the supernatural is so much a part of my life…it has become normal for me… but I would like to hear about your call to the priesthood Fr. Neo…
The joy in the eyes of the homeless fella as he’s served coffee by one of the sweet children of our church at our monthly coffee house.
An honest song sung with a broken voice.
A deep purple sunset.
Okay…I finally thought of something that is out of the ordinary even for me. I have two incredible sons. Abe, 18 and Jonathan 16. When Jonathan was a wee baby just home from the hospital we lived in an apartment with a huge bed. He was a newborn so I lay him on the bed next to me and then lay a pillow next to him between him and the edge of the bed, thinking he would be fine because he was a newborn and they are not very mobile. I lay down next to him and fell asleep. the next part is going to sound unbeleivable, but I would swear it is true under oath. I was awakened by what I can only describe as a flurry of wings in my face and I knew the moment I awoke without looking that I needed to reach over and grab my baby. I threw my arm over just in time to catch my little one as he began to fall head first to the floor. Beleive it or not it is true and Jonathan now towers over me. It was not a vision of wings that awakened me. I felt them. For real.
Quite intense indeed. Praise God for your wee one’s safety.
My experiences have mostly been pretty low key but real for sure. I mentioned my call to the priesthood which was really a ruminating thing that lasted a few years. I was raised in a Pentecostal church and felt at an early age (13 or so) that God wanted me to ‘do something.’ That inner sense never left, though I eventually left Pentecostalism and began a journey to find the ‘something’ that my heart desired.
As a senior in high school, I visited a Jesuit retreat center about 20 minutes from town. It had a wonderful, small chapel that housed the reserve Sacrament (Of course I didn’t know that is what it was. I would have described it then as a cool place with a red candle, an altar and a crucifix).
The presence of Christ was palpable in that place. I knew that what ever I was called to, I had to make this sacramental ‘something’ a part of my Christian experience. Not long after that I began to explore liturgical Christianity more intentionally. (Constantine will ask me why I didn’t go Roman. The short answer is because I felt I had a vocation but not the charism of celebacy.)
I also resonated (sorry) with St. Francis’ call from Jesus to ‘rebuild my Church, can’t you see it is in ruins?’ and spent much time with his Damiano Crucifix. This is the short version of course and not real dramatic, but powerful for me for sure.
Thank you Fr. Neo. Coming from a Protestant and pentecostal background and now to Catholicism…however charismatic… of course I “resonate” with your experience. My family still thinks I’m backslidden…Having received my copy of Portofino, the book, I can tell you that my family’s mentality towards Roman Catholicism is very much that of Calvin Becker’s family…and I have never laughed so hard in my life…
All this Post-Papal Resonating has got to stop. I’m sure it is a venial sin and so assign you both a small penance: three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys. There. Feel better?
My most mystical experiences and my recent “resting in the spirit” experience at the healing service at Epiphany are dissimilar in important ways. In my TM days, with hours upon hours of meditation for weeks at a time, I had some experiences of oceanic consciousness, infinite, unbounded, and deeply peaceful. My experience of “resting in the spirit, reported on my blog in more detail, was less oceanic, but no less peaceful and renewing. The state I entered was seemingly that of connection, not disconnection. I was aware, and connected, to the Holy Spirit to whom I had been ardently praying. I was suspended in the middle of a prayer that went something like, “Come Holy Spirit, enter my heart and fill me with your love, give me your peace…”,and so He apparently did. I have prayed that prayer thousands of times with no discernable effect, so I was surprised when I felt myself falling back and then on the floor of the sanctuary. But I wasn’t thinking about it or worrying about it. I was just “in” it.
“Come Holy Spirit” has taken on a new meaning. I’ve prayed it since. Nothing.
We’re probably not a part of the predestined elect anyway…so what the hell…
I see you have been infected by the “Becker Bug.” My deepest apologies (yeah, right) for having introduced to you this corrupting influence. What a hoot young Calvin is, no? I’ve told Padre before that C.B. is of my ilk all the way. He’s just the sort of bloke I’d hang with. I guess you could say we are kindred spirits. If “Portofino” bit you this hard, God forbid you read the remaining two novels in the trilogy—“Saving Grandma” and “Zermatt.” You might not recover. The two follow up books become increasingly darker, even irreverent at times, but the unique humor remains. “Saving Grandma” might be my fav, although “Portofino” carries a special place in my heart (it’s one of my top 5 all time fav fiction books). It’s the most innocent and romantic of the three. I don’t know how Frankie gets away with it in his EO (Eastern Orthodox) jurisdiction, but I’m glad he did. Maybe they don’t mind the fact that these novels are but a thinly veiled scourging at times of his late father’s theology and status.
“God forbid you read the remaining two novels in the trilogy—“Saving Grandma” and “Zermatt.” You might not recover.”
You mean I might just actually laugh myself to death…
You mean, Portofino is not a cheese? Huh.