As many of you know, I have received between 350 and 375 messages from the “other side” over the last 18 or so years and as they’ve been dictated to me, I’ve written them down, verbatim. When these messages come, they’re always surprising. I undertake a number of steps to identify the sender but it took longer than usual to figure out who this one was. I soon concluded he was someone spiritual and that I had actually known him from my early years in Arizona. Then, his face flashed before me; it was the Catholic priest who performed my first marriage when I was just 18-years old, Fr. Thomas O’Dea. Fr. O’Dea had a charming brogue and brought a little bit of Ireland with him while serving a parish in Mesa, Arizona. He died in 2016, in his homeland.
Now 57-years later, he was returning to me with a message. Since it came in the evening and by that time, I knew it was a priest - I thought maybe I should delay the dictation until morning. I was concerned that I might be scolded for being a little critical of organized religion and how the man-made organizations often complicate the process of simply communicating with God directly. A wrap on the knuckles wasn’t that foreign in the old days when a stern nun would give a student ‘what for’. Perhaps I was a little intimidated, so I waited until morning.
Fr. O’Dea wasn’t that kind of a priest, in fact, he was the antithesis of that. He was kind, understanding and full of love. I was honored that he came to visit me and his message was quite lovely so I’m sharing it all.
“My child, my child. So long ago I married you and Richard. You were so innocent and I gave you all the blessings I knew to give but you were so young. Mature in some ways but immature in others. I guess this was a premature union – but both of you went on to be wonderfully loving people and I am proud I played a part in your life.
“Now here you are, on a grand journey that dazzles me, frankly. With insight that floors me and speaking truth that exists we may never fully have understood, even as priests. We, too, were clothed in the cloth of innocence and were led by our shepherds down familiar paths. We didn’t question and I don’t believe even our teachers knew.
“Over the centuries the path grew narrower and narrower until we were only preaching from one perspective and not responding to the needs of our parish while being open to inspiration. Inspiration and insight were replaced with Vatican directives, recommendations and guidelines and perhaps bureaucracy even closer to home.
“You have brought back the gift of total freedom, Sandy – to question, to forgive, to try to understand what’s presented without dissecting it to study, which fractures the purity of the original concept.
“You are a blessing, my child. Love is it! Simple and true. I hope all clergy embrace the work you do as possible and open their hearts once again to the pure word of God. I’m so proud to have been – and still be – in your life.
“In Christ and Love, Fr. O’Dea”
I hope you’ll find Fr. O’Dea’s message comforting in that, at least this clergyman finds good in the work I do and reinforces much of what I try to convey in the book, “Hi Momma, It’s Me”. That message is simple: the purpose of this life is all about love and that the same love connects us with our family and friends forever. Moreover, we needn’t become distracted by man’s tendency to complicate everything – even religion. Participate but don’t become focused on the wrong things.
I believe the shortest way from here to there is always a direct line and it should be no surprise that the direct line points straight up.
SIDEBAR TO THIS BLOG: That evening I wondered if Fr. O’Dea would have a problem with me sharing what he wrote. No souls ever object since when they come they do so to share with others – but for some reason I had reservations about him. I mentioned it out loud, since I often talk to myself – ha.
About 10-minutes after I crawled into bed with my television off, armoire doors tightly shut and the room pitch black, the bright Visio logo from my TV flashed on and it glowed through the fabric lined panels of my armoire doors. Oh, my, I thought – another message.
As I got up to turn off the television, once again, the logo disappeared before I could reach the set. I asked who was trying to reach me and it was Fr. O’Dea saying that I had his permission to quote him in entirety and that it was “perfectly fine”. He thought my work was “pure and good”.
With a smile, I crawled back into bed and fell asleep.