Before the “new Pentecost”ushered into the Roman Catholic Church by holy Pope John at the second Vatican Council, 1962-1965, most well brought up Roman Catholics, like me, didn’t know much about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially Prophecy. Thank God this one had a wise and holy Pentecostal friend and mentor, Sr. Ruth Heflin,living in Jerusalem, who set in motion the following prophetic word – unexpectedly received in prayer by me in September 1981.
As the shadows lengthen and as the cherry blossom fades,
so in the silver of the evening will I come to those who bless my name in the silence of their heart.
I would have you bring my message of encouragement in the land of the rising sun.
For the Son of God would truly rise upon my children of the wooden sandals.
I have work for you in Tokyo.
You shall drink green tea with those I send to you.
Pray much. Prepare your heart.
I will send you when the moon is new. Keep your eyes on the Son of man.
‘Ring the Japanese Embassy, find out when the moon is new and the cherry blossom is falling, and trust God to provide’…discerned my Pentecostal mentor, Sr Ruth Heflin, which I did and which He did!
First Stop – First Miracle
Seoul – South Korea
Welcomed warmly and surprised that our visit coincided with first ever conference for Japanese pastors in Korea!
Even more surprised that all the contacts on the sheet of paper given to me in Jerusalem by Sr. Ruth Heflin, were there!!!
Many invitations resulted.
Prayer Mountain between South and North Korea initiated by Madame Choy (in white) where thousands fast and pray for peace.
Japanese pastors to spend night on mountain.
Welcome and Prayer with Madame Cho, who was given the vision for the Prayer Mountain.
For Contemplative Prayer, too!
As well as several churches on prayer mountain, large and enormous, small “Poustinias” are provided for individual meditation and contemplative prayer.
It was a great blessing to spend time in one of them (shoes left tidily outside!) to pray for our father’s blessings on our next stage… into Japan!
Into Japan… Osaka, Nara Welcome!
Welcomed at Osaka airport by Sr. Christina, tube to Nara, then driven to a beautiful, Japanese villa, which is the Benedictine convent, given in gratitude to the Australian nuns, who ministered
their medical skills and loving
care in Nagasaki after the
bombing in 1945.
Australian Sr. Jacinter, interpreter and jolly guide
Welcomed with beautiful, Japanese meal and served green tea, taken to visit the Zen temple of Ryoangi, then to Kyoto, cherry blossom everywhere!
below chapel in convent
Green tea with ladies and teaching children in kindergarten
To National Park with Yamato to enjoy picnic breakfast, dazzled by thousands of darting carp flashing in the sun.
Drove through mountains and rice fields, bamboo groves and clusters of Pagoda roofed villages.
People picnicking under cherry blossom trees.
Surprisingly, following the cherry blossom round Japan was unexpectedly easy, it is indicated on Map of japan onthe daily weather forecast!!
Full of gratitude to be sent to Japan at the joyful season of cherry blossom, people here dance and make music and picnic under the graceful and fragrant trees.
Our days are full of delight and ministry, celebrating mass with our Benedictine Sisters, tasting exquisite new dishes, accompanying Sr. Jacinta to her various groups of children and adults, praying with many people who are delighted that The Lord loves them so much that he sends an ordinary , old grandmother from across the world to remind them of His love.
It is a great advantage not to know the language or the backgrounds of people who ask for prayer. It gives the Holy Spirit freedom to prompt.
Soon time to follow the blossom further North to the other islands, but before that, Sr. Jacinta has plans to take us to visit her old friend and one of Japans National Treasures – Mr. Fukinishi, in Yoshino Village, who is one of the few hand paper makers in Japan.
After climbing hundreds of stone steps up the pine covered mountain, passing through a house where people make chop sticks, Mr. Fukinishi came out to greet us with smiles and deep, deep bows. Such a good, holy and peaceful face and gentle manners, he kindly showed us the whole process of his ancient craft.
He showed us the entire process from the stripping of the bark from the Kozo Trees, which is then carefully dried in the sun, boiled in a cauldron for two and a half hours, washed in the icy river, beaten into pulp (we were allowed to beat in the special rhythm), placed into vat with special glue, placed on screens, and pressed dry.
“Washi” is the name of the beautiful handmade paper, which is used for brush writing, paintings and various kinds of wall decorations.
Mr. Fukunishi kindly gave me sheets of his different coloured paper; the colours vary according to the trees used; cherry produces a soft pink paper with a very delicate finish, the paper from the cedar is brown and strong.
When Mr. Fukunishi invited us to “taste and see how sweet” the pulp was, reminded of Psalm 34, “Taste and See how good is The Lord” – we have certainly experienced His Goodness on this amazing journey, especially visiting this gentle paper-maker.
The quality of whose “washi” depends not so much on the choice of tree or even craftsmanship, but on the harmony and peace within the hearts of those making it. Mr Fukinishi said that if he and his wife had a tiff it ruined the paper !
Continuing our journey following the Cherry Blossom for 1500 miles across the four islands of Japan; by bullet train to Hokkaido, staying with Benedictines in Sapporo and ministering in pastor Rudy’s New Church, given gracious hospitality by Carmelites, Sacred Heart Sisters, in Tokyo, Sasabo and Nagasaki.
Everywhere we went we were welcome, invited to teach and minister and always drinking green tea.
Martyrs Hill, Nagasaki, Church of St. Phillip, inspired by Spanish architect Gaudi, theme of martyrdom pervades, not only from the atomic bomb in 1945, but from 1597 massacres of Christians.
After a 2 hour train journey, we reached Nagasaki, after visiting the rebuilt Cathedral, we walked up the hill to see the terrible evidence of the bomb in the museum; scarred bodies and twisted metal, melted glass containing human remains. Felt pain and guilt.
Foutain of Peace in shape of dove’s wings, Nagasaki Peace Park:
Nagasaki radiates Peace in spite of, or perhaps because of, their horrific experience of war, every home and garden gate has an engraved message of Peace displayed on it.
It was inspiring and deeply humbling.
In memory of Christians who were murdered for their faith 1597 in Nagasaki
February 5, 1597, a new history of the Japanese Church was written in blood by the 26 martyrs, who were executed in Nagasaki.
St. Paul Mikki, S.J. and 25 other Christians were forced to carry their crosses from Kyoto, thousands heard their powerful, joyful preaching as they were being crucified, and converted to Christ.
Dr. Tagashi Nagai, survivor of Atomic Bombing, convert to Christ, radiology specialist, Holy Man.
Born of a noble and scientific family, Nagai converted to Catholicism in 1934 and took the name of Paul, after Paul Mikki, friends with Br. Maximilan Kolbe, in monastary in Nagasaki. He was working in the hospital when the 2nd bomb was dropped, urged victims to forgive.
It was Dr Nagai who appealed to his Bishop friend in Australia for medical help after the bomb, and was sent the Benedictine nurses and doctors, with whom we stayed in Nara, in the beautiful house they were given in gratitude. the doctor eventually died of radiation sickness, but his books and poems are well worth reading.
Pastor Rudy, whom we met in Korea – outside his coffee shop, warmly welcoming us
The miracle of meeting Japanese Pastors in Korea was continued when the blossom reached the northern island of Hokkaido and we met up with pastor Rudy and his wife in Sapporo, Rudy is an artist with a wonderful ‘coffee shop’ ministry from which he has recruited all the elders in his church. He invited me to speak at the opening of his new church on Sunday. Two years earlier he had been promised that God would send someone from across the World to open his church!
Warm hospitality from Trappist Monks… Fr. Martin warn us about wild bears
and importance of always carrying a tin whistle on mountain, which scares the grizzlies away! In spite of (or maybe because of) singing “The Teddy Bears Picnic” no bears appeared!
New Moon – New Surprises
Brother Martin took us to a graveyard to pray at his fathers grave and then, with a twinkle in his eye, announced that we could pay our respects to a member of my own, Le Morvan, family. To my surprise, we visited the grave of a most beloved Abbot Le Morvan…
Dom Benedict Le Morvan, Abbot of his monastery from 1936-1949
He had arrived in Japan from Normandy in 1924, and apart from the war years, spent the rest of his vocation here!!
As you can imagine, I was treated as a beloved , long lost le morvan, relative !
What news to take home to our family! My dear Father in law was delighted !
This had been an amazing journey of surprises as we followed the falling Cherry Blossom round Japan from Nara and Kyoto, to Hokkaido and Sapporo in the North, through Nagasaki and Sasabo, always drinking green tea and sharing the Healing Love of God every day of our travels.
Everywhere, we have met kindness and welcome
Happy convent school in Sapporo
When receiving the thoughts of the prophecy and writing them down, I hastily wrote “Lord, I am such a baby in this kind of thing”, and immediately had the thought:”Read Jeremiah 1:6″ and read: “Do not say I am a child, but go to those I send you”…so I did. The good Lord was true to His word. Doors were opened and everything needed was provided, abundant blessings followed wherever we went. Little did I realise that this was only the beginning of this amazing ministry…!
Over the next ten years, amid much prayer and discernment from wiser people, I traveled to Gibraltar, Chicago and Dakota, India, Alaska, Russia, Albania, Turkey and 60 times to Israel.
The thoughts that come into my mind, after a time of contemplative, silent prayer have nothing to do with ‘automatic writing’ or ‘hearing voices’ but are gentle thoughts which I then write down. I keep my mind and heart in the love and warmth of Jesus.