Many years ago, at a railway station in Mumbai, my eyes fell on a leper walking slowly, some distance away. From nowhere a dog came rushing towards him barking ferociously. The man stood frozen. Seeing his plight, I said frantically ‘Jesus please help him”. In that very instant the dog quietened and just walked away. Then that man continued on his way. This Power in the Name of Jesus is etched in my mind since then.
More recently in Cansaulim, one morning I was walking to Church for Mass. The road was deserted except for 4 dogs playing together ahead of me. I crossed the road to avoid them but they spotted me and came rushing to me. I am used to dogs, so I stood still. They surrounded me playfully one on my left, another on my right and the third in front, blocking me. The fourth and oldest one stood some distance away looking angrily at me and kept barking sharply. I wondered if he wanted me for breakfast. With no one around I shouted twice (as if Jesus is deaf) “Jesus – please – help me”. The next second a biker came from the front and on nearing me revved up and went right past. The 4 dogs gave full chase forgetting me altogether. With continuous “thank you Jesus” I made my way to Church.
This article is not about dogs, but about the Power in the Name of Jesus. However, below I wish to share my encounter with Jesus.
For many years I have had a personal prayer life. In the morning dwelling on the Word of God, Mass, Rosary. At night, a time of thanksgiving, some night prayers and a journal entry of a message received during Mass, followed by a list of the events and blessings of the day. I do this till today. It has created a strong sense of Gratitude and a daily awareness of the love of Jesus for me. I must admit that these prayer times have consisted of distractions – mind-wandering, fantasy, craving, longings (waste thoughts); sometimes anger about past hurts or recent disturbances. Jesus bore with me for many years.
In 2014 I attended a ‘Healing and Deliverance Service’ in Mumbai in our Church. At first I was bored. ‘Something’ kept prompting me to go home. But ‘Something else’ kept me glued to my seat. There was Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Adoration, Praise and Worship, Gospel Reading and Homily. The last section is called Prophecy when healings, convictions, answered prayers are announced as led by the Spirit. Quite a number were announced. Almost at the end, I heard my name called firmly “Josephine, Josephine, DEEPEN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ME”. I was taken aback. I knew it was Jesus. My prayer life had no depth, no substance. Jesus had called me out on a matter that was purely between Him and me. I began to take my prayer time seriously, but the distractions continued.
I moved to Goa in 2018 living alone. My prayer pattern continued – of dwelling on God’s Word, Mass, Rosary, thanksgiving and journal entry. I would recite the Rosary as is normally done – mechanically – mind wandering an integral part of it and a struggle. In His mercy Jesus slowly led me into contemplation of each Mystery. With this I began chatting with Jesus, asking questions, getting answers then or later; giving my opinion to Jesus on what could have been or should have been of the mystery. Gradually this became and now has become a heartwarming experience that I look forward to.
One day, on the 4th Sorrowful Mystery I asked Jesus what caused the first fall during His Passion. A soft reply came to me “The cross was so heavy (weight of my sins) I was bent, my robe touched the ground, I stepped on it and fell to the ground under the Cross.” The answer shook me.
Tuesdays and Fridays are special days of intimacy for me as I dwell on the Passion of Jesus. I see in every one of these Mysteries the Agony and Pain Jesus suffered as being “because of me and for me” My sins and sinfulness have become evident and my relationship with Jesus is growing, maturing.
From time to time there are light moments when I share pleasant memories of the past or some of my foolishness. Jesus is the only one who listens to me attentively. It is my mind that wanders, especially when praying the Beads – “Saying Prayers”. I have found that as it wanders it sometimes reaches past wounds and hurts of broken relationships, incidents burned deep within on which I have placed a lid. It has not been easy to expose these wounds even to Jesus. But Jesus is the Only One who can touch the corners and depths of my being and bring healing. So then I stop “saying prayers” and start an “open-heart surgery” with Jesus of that particular memory or incident and my role in it. I have received forgiveness from Jesus and Grace to forgive and be healed.
I love this daily (fixed) time with Jesus when I discover details about Jesus – who He is, who I am and what I mean to Him. I regret how late I’ve come to know and love Jesus.
So, LET’S TALK TO JESUS, that we can talk ABOUT JESUS. Let’s make it a “personal” talk-time with Jesus. I pray that you will be graced to give “quality” time to Jesus, to experience His unconditional Love and love Him in return.
GOD BLESS YOU!
– J. Rodrigues