dictated a book to a housewife. Christopher Howse reports on the experiences of a woman who is convinced she has a special mission to the world.
Vision of God in a suburban sitting-room
A MARRIED woman in the London suburbs has told me that she has received stigmata-like marks. seen and heard God and Our Lady, experienced small miracles, shared by her husband and had a 200 chapter book dictated to her by God the Father and the Son.
Her husband supports her claims and she is anxious to publish the book from God, as it
has urgent information concerning preparations for the Second Coming. She has no wish for personal publicity. I shall call her !vIrs Jones. which is not her name.
She said "It was when couldn't find a job and was living in a bedsitter. I had gone to bed one night after praying and in the mroning glanced down at my hands and wrists. There were two
small marks on each wrist. They were red and not sore — red like blisters. They stayed all day and -vanished in the evening, leaving white marks.
"I began to pray about it. Soemthing drew me to the window and I looked up at the sky. Much to my amazement I saw amidst the formation of the clouds a face which became clearer, of a very old gentleman.
turned away and looked again. It was still there. I just stared. Then, not an audible voice. as from within, not my own voice said: 'These are my sheep, do not tempt them. neither lead them astray, but lead them on into life eternal'.
"I don't like to use the word vision, because that suggests imagining: this was real. I sat down and closed my eyes. I became aware I was seeing an enormous book bound in blue with gold lettering. In a flash of inspiration I learnt of the ordination of this book — that I was to write it. It was to be God's intervention."
Nearly a year later Mrs Jones. then a single woman was in bed when she heard: "My child. prepare thee the way for my Son's coming." So she began to write her 'holy book' which came by direct dictation from God — 'holy communications' as she
At the time she felt that celibacy and absolute purity were essential to her work. She went on for some time, sometimes out of work, and poor with "frequent physical breakdowns, through my celibacy." By now her book filled a large trunk. Then she met her husband to be.
She thought that when she married, her communications would end. "My husband is the man chosen to help me finish the book and my mission in the world. The answer is my cornmunication has only improved," she says. "Purity of thought is more important than celibacy. When I asked Father (God) about it he said his will in the new world is that priests should marry priestesses and provided they are soulmates, holy communication would be preserved and not broken. My book has continued with God's words, mine. and Jesus and the Virgin Mary."
"Apart fromt he vision last year of the Virgin Mary, we have witnessed various miracles in this home," Mrs Jones said, and her husband supported her. Only two weeks before. with her book practically finished, Mrs Jones had noticed nailmarks once more on one wrist. The morning of our interview. she had seen marks on her wrist and arm.
Last year in November she saw, when praying, a pool of light in the room which gradually surrounded the figure of "a very young and beautiful woman." She heard an inaudible voice: "Sit quite still my child. I have not come to frighten you. But I wish to speak about my fairy stories which I have written for the world in a desperate plea to reeducate the younger generation into a new way of living of high standards and true values. These 1 wish to give you as it is my special privilege both to help serve the children of the world and to help you launch your book."
Mrs Jones has drawn a pastel picture trying to represent the apparition she saw.
The book is more than 250,000 words. It deals with the atom bomb, a new world cleansed. new laws from God, the amalgamation of churches, a cure for cancer and preparation for the Second Coming.
Mrs Jones is not the first person to experience private revelations. St Margaret Mary Alocoque, St Bernadette, the children at Fatima and Garabandal have all suffered the opposition of disbelief. The Church rarely makes a judgment and private revelations never bind believers to assent to their message.
What are the possibilities for Mrs Jones's? They must be genuine, delusions or deceptions of the Devil. or a mixture. It is not my job to judge. She insists she is not deluded and that her life has improved since the experiences.
I have not read the book. but one of the fairy stories from Our Lady was, if odd, not lunatic. Mrs Jones is not a Catholic. Objections against the genuinness of her claims would include the errors in grammar of the dictation in biblical language which she says comes word perfect from God. Another would be any contradiction between her book and Revelation, which she denies.
Against this, there is the belief of her husband. a not unintelligent man. He says he has seen the unexplained flashes of light that she sometimes has around her. He backs her aim of
having the book published, an enterprise beyond their financial resources.
The question whether this is all genuine hardly helps the matter. Many other people think they have seen Our 1..cly or Jesus or heard God speak to them. Some are mad. Even madmen have to come to terms with their condition and relation to God.
How can Catholics. many of whom accept the appearance of Our Lady at Lourdes, react best to people whose visions remain the most important thing in their lives?