Its dark and cold outside, I am 18 years old, at home, waiting for my father to give my girlfriend a lift home. He will, but insists, not until he has watched a BBC documentary which is about to start. It concerns an obscure village in Spain, one called Garabandal. My mum is also there, sat by the fire quietly knitting yet another jumper. My girlfriend is keen to go, in fact very keen, never really at ease in the home of a catholic family; she is most irritated not least at having to sit through a programme with an overtly Roman Catholic theme! So it was, that I, in this prickly atmosphere, at this one most significant moment in my life, unsuspectingly approached and stepped on to, what would become a ‘Road to Emmaus.’
I listened with increasing attentiveness to the revelation of a living, ever present God through the words of a humble and beautiful woman; Conchita Keena (formally Gonzalez). The impact of her story forever changed my perception of God. Up to this point, God for me solely existed in the imprint of ancient history. I knew only a two dimensional personality, one that was as absent of life as the Saints depicted in the stained glass windows of numerous churches. One who only spoke to mankind in repetitious words read from dated scripts and forced me to endure the mundanity of Latin chants and endless ceremonies.
In this room, on this late winters night, I started to become oblivious to all except Conchita who was telling me, almost in a whisper to my innermost heart, “God was and is alive,” and not only this but alarmingly close to unleashing a furious intervention in the lives of every one of us on Earth. I sensed in the light of this moment the gravity of my sins and in consequence a sudden and terrible urgency to change for the better. I was both chastened and exhilarated. Whilst I now began to recognise I was on a path to perdition, I was encouraged by the remedy unfolding before me. A way of living and believing, counselled by the visitation of The Holy Mother of God and the words spoken by Her to the four children of Garabandal.
That was 38 years ago. Between then and now I have tried to live accordingly and never once stopped believing. I have over all these years, when possible, shared the messages and events of Garabandal with all who would listen. I have encouraged conversation both within and without the Church and have on too many occasions sadly suffered the malice of the incredulous.
As you might imagine, my now being privileged to contribute to the spreading of the messages of Garabandal via Aviso’s blog is without doubt a most unexpected gift.
I am looking forward to sharing with you my concerns for these our times. In particular the context of Fatima, Garabandal and Akita as well as private revelation given to the Saints in respect of the diabolical attacks we are witness to on the family, marriage, the Holy Eucharist and the Church. I will also counter the false ideologies and lifestyles of these times by referring to Divine Revelation, the Magisterium of the Holy and Apostolic Church, Canon Law and true orthodoxy.
As we move through the liturgical year and toward the fulfillment of prophesy, I will, with your permission, continue to share more of my story, ‘A Road to Emmaus.’
As a final footnote to this article, please be aware that all donations continue to go to Aviso’s PayPal account which keeps these pages on-line. None are received by me, and neither will I ever take or need any.
Enjoy the embedded BBC Everyman Documentary, the very same that began my journey all those years ago
God bless you
A Road to Emmaus: Part 2
My father and I returned home, without a word being spoken, yet my mind was full of noise, racing with numerous questions. ‘What had I just watched this night?’ ‘What did it mean?’ ‘Why am I so perturbed?’ Looking back, it is as a parent myself, that I can guess what my father may have been thinking or praying in the silence of that car all those years ago.
‘Dear God, please, please let the messages of Garabandal touch our Peter’s heart and bring him back home, to You.’
The next day and each day after, I went to work as usual, I had an engineering apprenticeship to finish, I was now in my 4th and final year. Every evening, on my way home, I consistently ignored the impulse to stop and enter that which sat empty and couched behind the shadows of cold winter nights, the little parish church of St. Paulinus. Since the night of the program I had already started a routine of praying the Rosary, but there was more needed, the Rosary was only a first beginning. ‘We must visit the Blessed Sacrament Frequently,’ were the words lying behind the impulse I was ignoring until at last I did stop. Even though it was late, the church was unlocked, and as if steeling my way in, I crept beyond the doors in to the empty void and near total darkness. I knelt down at a pew, staying at the back, close to the doors, readying my escape should I be discovered. Once my eyes adjusted to the gloom, I could just about make out the distant covered dome of the tabernacle as it flickered deep red under the partial illumination of the dancing sanctuary candle. I recited five decades of the Rosary as quickly as possible and for good reason, not only did I believe I had no right to be there, but the air was very cold, it hung with the stale smell of old incense and who knows, there may even be a specter lurking, ready to terrify and halt my good intentions; such was my foolishness and vanity. Yet despite my poor attitude, night after night I returned to the cold church and night after night I moved ever closer to the tabernacle, staying yet longer on each occasion. Except that is, it wasn’t any more the tabernacle I moved closer to, it was a sense of the Divine, tangible, ever real, gentle, kind, accepting, peaceful, loving. This I discovered was a very good place to be and leaving was becoming harder and harder to do!
My heart began to experience an extraordinary sweetness, a calmness I had never known and a joy that at times would almost overwhelm me. All I desired in these early days was to be alone with my Lord, but opportunities were rare. In consequence my evenings of solitude in the company of the Divine presence were eagerly awaited. In time I discovered His loving closeness was always with me and this I could sense by simply thinking of Him. The use of my vivid imagination allowed me to become recollected in prayer at any time, any place, whether at work, driving, spending time with family, sat in front of the TV, or out with friends.
One cannot be in such company and not be changed. The person I was becoming was not the one my friends, work colleagues and family recognised. Despite my best efforts to the contrary my topic of conversation tended to revolve around the wonder I was discovering, the pearl of great price, the treasure in the field. Unfortunately in my desire to share the urgency of Garabandal and my subsequent realisation of Redemptive Love, I encountered mostly derision and mockery. I was now the daily topic of jokers at work, my friends were dismayed and distant and eventually my girlfriend called it a day. I was alone. Sometimes the things said to me at work would be so bad, I found it impossible on my journey home to hold back the tears. All I could do was offer it all to God in thanksgiving for saving me and as reparation for my many sins. Now I was learning about penance, to be more precise living the meaning of penance, and the sweetness increased, or should I say a happy sadness replaced the sweetness, and yes it is a contradiction. My hours of prayer increased, my penance and sacrifices increased (for example, I now slept on the floor and avoided TV). My brother with whom I shared a bedroom thought I was completely nuts of course. I joined the SVP and went to prayer groups, I would attend retreats and read as much as possible from the lives of the Saints. I was no longer the person I was.
The change in me was so complete that in the end and over time it began to draw curiosity from those who really knew me. Conversations were invited by others for me to explain why and how I had changed. All my reading of scripture, spiritual writings and wider explorations concerning Garabandal and Fatima etc became the stories that intrigued and captivated the listeners, and this was at work. Then, one day, out of the blue, someone who had been the most inventive in making a fool of me in front of a workshop full of mechanics, took me to one side and said. “Peter, you should become a Priest!”