Ann Cillis pictured above. 3rd Anniversary of Her death August 6th, 2015
Your lightning illumined the world... Ps. 76, 19
The Bible verse above is taken from the Introit of the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ- August 6th speaking of course about God. However, I am hoping Our Lord will not be offended if I use it to describe a few of His "disciples" in this world that bore that lightning...the lightning of God
The Transfiguration is the event that occurred shortly before Our Lord's Passion and Death in which Jesus took Peter, James and John up to Mt. Tabor and allowed them to see Himself "transfigured" as God. As it is written: "His face shone as the sun... and behold a cloud overshadowed them and behold a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear Him." And the apostles fell on the ground covering their faces and were afraid... Jesus came near to them and told them not to be afraid and when they looked up- They only saw Jesus...
What a wonderful experience those apostles had - to see Our Lord in His Glory! This event was given them to experience so they would be able to be strong in the future after His Passion and Death in order to witness to the ends of the Earth...
Most of us never experience anything like this at all... We think of our lives as dull and mundane without anything spiritually exceptional... But wait!... perhaps we are in the habit of overlooking hints of the Divine in our seemingly boring world or maybe we just don't pray hard enough to see because we are too indifferent about God and the Afterlife?
If we look hard enough I believe there are people we meet on our walkway of life who help us to see Heaven's interventions or aid us with their human presence that has been infused with special gifts from God, thus, giving us a tiny foretaste of Heaven. We may not be blessed like those 3 apostles to see the Transfiguration, but if we take the time, we surely can find "lightening that has illumined the world..." in others that have walked amongst us in the vale of tears.
Some of those people who displayed such lightning were Padre Pio, Fr Luigi Villa, Gabriel Garcia Moreno and Anne McGinn Cillis. I find it extremely appropriate to list all of these names in just one sentence as their lives were intertwined...
We have spoken much on the lives of Padre Pio in relation to Fr. Luigi Villa. Certainly, we have read and heard their "lightning"!
However, not much as been spoken on Gabriel Garcia Moreno nor Anne Cillis. Although they never met on this earth, they did have many attributes in common. Though they lived very different lives with a span of over 100 between them in 2 different hemispheres, they were both Catholic and were very brilliant in academic studies. They were skilled in debate and thus spent their adult lives defending the Catholic Faith in their respective countries! They had high morals standards and were Franciscan Tertiaries! They both were gifted with the ability to convey their thoughts in such a way as to convert people to their way of thinking - that is the Catholic way! I could go on, but for lack of space I will mention one more and that is the day of their death. Their deaths occurred on the exact same day- August 6th- The Transfiguration! Gabriel Garcia Moreno died with his last words: "You can kill me, but God does not die!" He died a martyr's death, mortally wounded by six bullets and fourteen blows with a machete! ( for more on Gabriel Garcia Moreno, we have a book you can order!)
To me, dear Anne died a white martyr in a nursing home as she so desired to fight for the Catholic Faith, the souls of her children and grandchildren until the end of her life but circumstances were out of her control! That was the Anne I was blessed to have known in the twilight years of her life!
Anne was an extremely prolific writer! There was one short story that touched me and was an inspiration to me decades before I knew Anne. This story is that which we have attached to the image below. Take the time to read it as it is a gem!
Perhaps reading this story will remind all of us that if we make the effort to put God in our life, He will show us that He is our "lightning" illuminating our world! We just need to look for it! Little Brian did and found it!
Click on the image above to read the story by Anne McGinn Cillis: "Brian: The marvellous story of Padre Pio and a little Anglican boy"
And God-willing, I would love to share more with you on the lives on these 4 wonderful Catholics on another day!