The Loss of a Parent, a New Beginning
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series of testimonies from our readers who share their stories on the power of the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. To share your own testimony, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Kathy Wabick
My mother's death had a profound influence on me, and her visions of heaven at the time of her death changed my life forever. For years I asked God why He chose my mother. Why was she blessed to share with us a glimpse of heaven? I began to seek God for answers.
What I discovered is that my mother was simply called upon to be an instrument for God's greater glory. She was a mere vessel, a humble person who God utilized at the time of her death, to draw aside the veil of heaven. This unveiling would be the beginning of a long journey for me. It opened my eyes to see God in His mercy and love.
How is it possible that the loss of a parent could bring about new beginnings in one's own faith and a new life centered in Christ? How could God use a simple, ordinary woman at the time of her passing to manifest His great mercy? Why, before she spoke of her visions, had she told us to get paper and a pen and write it all down? These are some of the questions I have pondered in my heart in the years following my mother's death.
God can and will use us in ways we never thought possible because He is so merciful. We have to be open to hear Him speak. Our hearts should be ready, waiting for Him to enter, and in our readiness, we should be prepared to answer Him with, "Yes, Lord, Thy will be done!"
Finally, an Appreciation of My Faith
My mother's astounding visions of heaven at the time of her death had a major impact on my life. They were a seed God had planted that would take many years of searching, deep within my soul, before they were cultivated. Once enriched, it gave me a greater appreciation for my Catholic faith. I grew more and more in love with Jesus truly present in the Eucharist, really yearning to receive Him often into my heart. I discovered that I, like many, was a sinner who needed to be healed by the One True Healer. Yes, I went to Sunday Mass, but I would soon realize I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; the One who died on the cross for me, the One who was patiently waiting to reveal His divine love.
I can still vividly remember that cold October day in 1998 as if it were yesterday, the day I made a distraught phone call to my friend, telling her of my unwillingness to accept my mother's grave illness. I was not ready to let go of the woman who gave me life, who nurtured me and cared for me. I was simply not ready, and I knew it. Can we ever be ready to witness the death of a parent or loved one? Even if we prayed and asked God for the grace to get through this most difficult time in our life, could we ever really be ready?
My friend knew of a treasure that would bring many graces to my dying mother, and she was about to share with me a remarkable devotion, one that would explode into a great mystery. This incomprehensible mystery, called the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy, became for me a devotion that I came to know and love with all the fervor deep within my heart and with the utmost passion in my soul.
Moreover, for me, it became a way of life.
As I sat at my mother's bedside, I held in my hands a new rosary I had just purchased the week before. She told me how much she admired it and relished the fact that I was showing an interest in praying the Rosary, this powerful devotion she had long treasured. Needless to say, I never thought one week later I would be praying on that same rosary, imploring God's mercy for my mother through the powerful prayer of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
My mother's death was drawing near, and I knew the time was approaching when I would have to say my final goodbye.All the years of tending to her needs would soon come to a complete halt. How would I accept this drastic change in my life? What would arise from this simple yet extremely powerful prayer would bring about many changes in my life, give me a new, restored faith in God, and bring me closer to Jesus and His Blessed Mother.
I sat silently, looking at my mother lying there so peacefully. I decided to open the devotional booklet to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, given to me by a friend. Knowing very little about this prayer, I reached for my rosary and began to follow the prayers that Jesus gave to St. Faustina Kowalska so many years ago. For me, this is where it all began — the beginning of my journey towards Jesus.
'Write Down Everything'
It was the day after I prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at my mother's bedside that she began to lapse into a semi-comatose state. She remained in this state for almost 12 hours. Then, to our amazement, the next day at midnight, she opened her eyes and asked us to sit her up in bed. We honored her wishes. She requested that we get a paper and a pen.
"Mom, you can hardly sit up in bed. I don't think you will be able to write," I replied.
"I am not going to write; one of you will. Write down everything that I say," she said.
We looked at each other in astonishment. Write everything down ... is she actually going to begin to speak to us? How is this possible?
From this point on, my mother slowly revealed her visions of heaven. She told us that Jesus and Mary were in the room with us. She saw a beautiful gateway that she would be passing through, and above this gate was the word "Laude," meaning glory and praise. She spelled it and pronounced it correctly even though she only acquired an eighth-grade education.
Through this gateway, my mother told us that many souls were praising God, although they were praising Him in a language she could not understand. She heard heavenly chanting along with beautiful angelic music. She also told us she would be wearing a long white robe as soon as she passed through this heavenly gate.
For three long hours, my mother shared her visions of heaven with us and then peacefully died to be with our merciful Jesus.
Christ's Gift to Us
After her death, I discovered that my journey in faith provides me with an opportunity to one day be united with God forever in eternity. Sometimes I will fall, but with God as my strength, I will pick myself up and continue to walk with Him.
Consequently, the road can become rough and difficult to travel. The crosses we carry can become heavy. It is in times like these that God has shown me I am nothing without Him.
Everything my mother was able to tell us points to a gracious God who, out of complete love for us, gives us only what is beneficial to our soul. He gives us the gift of His Divine Mercy. Our omnipotent God will remove the darkness and provide us with the light of life.
I do believe that God used my mother, graced by these beautiful visions of heaven, to bless us with messages of His Divine Mercy. My whole family witnessed firsthand God's great mercy through her beautiful death. Even though she had amazing visions of heaven, we still offer Masses and pray for her soul.
Through my mother's death I have learned that God is full of compassion, love, and mercy. Heaven is real, and God wants all of us with Him in eternity. However scarlet our sins may be, He stands before us with open arms, waiting to grant us forgiveness.
I am presently part of a ministry that prays at the bedside of the sick and dying. Our Divine Mercy prayer group continues to seek God's guidance in spreading the message of Divine Mercy.
God's mercy is endless. God's mercy is unfathomable. God's mercy is His gift to us because He loves us with an unconditional love.
May we all delight ourselves in the healing rays of God's omnipotent mercy!
You may contact Kathy Wabick at TreasuresofGraceLLC.com to either purchase Open My Eyes or to have prayer requests prayed for and placed under a relic of St. Faustina.