Anna Katharina Emmerich September 8,1774 - February 9, 1824
The following is a passage by Anna Katharina Emmerich, a Roman Catholic Augustinian nun born in Germany in 1774. When my grandfather was passing away, he allowed me to take several of his books. He was a Catholic scholar and mystic. The following passage was taken from a very special one of his books, A Soul Afire: Revelations of the Mystics, published in 1944. This passage, written by Anna Katharina, explained my experience of God with such precise detail, that I knew that Anna Katharina's experiences, and courage to write and speak about these experiences are words that need to be shared with today's mystics. I hope you can feel God in her words as I did, and her experiences help to validate your own, may God shine more and more brightly each day within each of our hearts,
"I knew nothing of myself. I only thought of Jesus and of my holy vows. The sisters did not understand me. I could not explain my state to them. I was too much within it. Had not God veiled many of the mercies He bestowed on me, they would have begun to doubt me. In the midst of all my pain and suffering I had such inner wealth as never before. I felt more than blessed. I had a chair without a seat and a chair without a back in my cell, and yet it was so well provided and splendid that I often seemed to see all of heaven in it. At times, by night, in my cell, I was elated by the mercy and love of the Lord and burst into a flood of loving words, and spoke to him as I had done as a child, when people sometimes spied on me and accused me of great impudence and audacity towards God. And through all this I lived at blessed peace with God and with all of His creatures. When I was working in the garden, birds came to me and perched on my head and shoulders, and together we sang our praise of God. I always saw my guardian angel at my side, and no matter how much the Evil One loosed the powers of Hell against me, yes, even abused me with tortures and blows, he could do me no real harm. I was always forewarned and had help and protection. My yearning for the Holy Sacrament was so irresistible that, drawn toward it, I often left my cell by night, asleep, and knelt or lay in the church, if it was open, or at the closed church door or the church wall, even in severe winter weather, rigid, with arms outstretched. And thus I was found by the priest of the convent who came mercifully earlier, to give me communion. But when he approached and opened the church, I awoke and hastened to receive communion and found my Lord and God. When I performed the duties of a sacristan, it seemed as though my soul were suddenly snatched from me, and I climbed and stood in high places in the church, on the window sills, projections and carvings that were impossible for a human being to reach by human powers alone. There I cleaned and polished everything and it always seemed to me that good spirits were about me and sustained me in those high places and helped me. I did not give it much thought, since I was accustomed to this from childhood on. I never felt alone for any length of time. We did everything together in such loving harmony. It was only among certain people that I felt lonely so that I wept like a child that wants to go home.
I saw very much that cannot be told. Who can tell with the tongue what he sees with more than his eyes? ...I do not see these things with my eyes, but it seems as thought I saw them with my heart, in the very middle of my breast. And I break out in a sweat. But at the same moment I see all the persons and objects around me. But they do not know me, and neither do I know who and what they are. Even now that I speak, I have this inner sight. ... For several days I have been between this sight of the senses and beyond the senses. I must practice great restraint, for while I am speaking to others, I suddenly see quite different objects and images before me, and then I hear my own words as if they were those of another speaking out of an empty barrel in a hollow and crude voice. It also seems to me as though I was inebriate and about to fall. My words to those with whom I am speaking flow on and are often more vivid than usual. But afterwards, I do not know what I have said, although my speech was connected. It is difficult for me to maintain this double state. With my eyes I see what surrounds me, dimly, as one who is falling asleep and who sees the beginnings of a dream. But my inner eyes want to drag me away by force and what I see is clearer than with my natural sight, and it does not come through my eyes."