This free e-booklet is very useful an inspirational to read to your children as bedtime stories in these days after Easter and before the celebration of His Ascension.
This free e-booklet is very useful an inspirational to read to your children as bedtime stories in these days after Easter and before the celebration of His Ascension.
By Mary Kretzmann
Simon Peter (St. Peter) and John, Thomas, Nathaniel, and some of the other disciples then made their way to Galilee, for the Angel had said they would see him again there.
It was evening and Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing,” and the others said, “We’ll go with you.”
They went out immediately, but that night they caught nothing. The next morning they discovered another man on the shore. And the man said to them, “Children, have you not any meat, or food to eat?” and they answered him, “No.”
And he said, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you will find some.”
There was something special in this man and how he said these words, so they rowed back out, and did as he said. They quickly caught a great quantity of fish; their nets were full to overflowing, and they were not able to draw up the nets because of the multitude of fishes. John said to Simon Peter, “It is the Lord!”
Just as soon as John spoke these words, Simon Peter’s heart rejoiced, and he put on his fisherman’s’ cloak, and leapt from the boat into the sea, and went quickly to Jesus (for they were not far from shore.) The others came back in the little ship, dragging the nets with all of the fishes.
As soon as they came to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish had been laid on the coals, and there was bread. And Jesus said to them, “Bring the fish which you have now caught.”
Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of great fishes. There were one hundred and fifty-three large fish, and yet the net was not broken. And Jesus said to them, “Come and dine,” and none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” for they knew in their hearts that it was the Lord.
Jesus came over to each one and gave bread, and then gave each one some fish that had been cooking on the coals. And after they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me more than these?”
And Simon Peter replied, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus then said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
And Jesus said a second time, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me?” and Peter replied, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.”
And Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
And then Jesus said to him a third time, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me?”
And Simon Peter grieved because this was the third time Jesus had asked him, “Do you love me?” and he replied, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
And Jesus said again, “Feed my sheep.”
Thus Jesus allowed Peter to profess his love for Christ three times, to set right when he had denied Christ three times early on Good Friday. And then he said, “Truly, when you were young, you girded yourself, and walked freely wherever you wished, but when you are old, you will stretch forth your hands, and another shall gird you, and carry you where you would wish not to go.”
By this Jesus was prophesying the way that Simon Peter would die. And then Jesus again said to him, “Follow me.”
Peter understood his meaning, and so he turned around and looked at John, and said, “Lord, and what shall this man do?”
And Jesus said to him, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to you? Follow me.”
“And there are many other things that Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen” (John 21:25)
A little later, the disciples were on a mountain at Galilee, as the angel had told them Jesus would see them there. Suddenly, Jesus was there with them. The Apostles fell to their knees, radiant with joy, stretching out their hands in worship, as a spontaneous outpouring of their love and devotion. A few of them, however, watched on rather doubtfully, until Jesus came near them and uttered his greeting of Peace. He then held his hands over them, blessing them with spiritual power to spread his message to all nations.
Then, he spoke in a mighty voice, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. “
By Mary Kretzmann
It was very early in the morning, around 4 AM, and still dark outside; the lamps were burning in the upper room of the big house in which the last supper was held. The Apostles, and Jesus’ Mother, were there, having breakfast. (There were other disciples in this big house, but they were in other rooms.) Suddenly Jesus was there with them; he simply appeared, just like the other times, even though the doors were closed. At first they were quite startled and frightened; then he said, “Hail and Peace. It is I.”
They calmed down and offered him a cushioned chair, and something to eat, and he took a little of it. He spoke to them strongly and earnestly for a long time of things pertaining to the kingdom of God, at times pointing his finger upward toward heaven. And then he told them that today would be the last time they would see him on earth in human form.
It was now time to tell the other disciples. The apostles called together the others who were in the house, and explained what was happening. These included some new disciples who had come to know Jesus in the very last day of his life, such as the wife of Pontius Pilate, and Longinus, a Roman soldier who was deeply changed at the foot of the cross. Many others were also changed that day.
Soon they all walked out of the house, following Jesus, who was wearing a radiant white robe. They walked on a path that took them out of Jerusalem, crossing a brook called Cedron, and then headed out toward Bethany, but not all the way to the house of Lazarus. Soon they turned left, climbing up a small mountain. They were all barefoot, and He was walking along, always slightly in the lead, but his feet never really hit the ground. Peter and John were on either side, and He was talking with everyone…
A large gathering of people awaited him on top of the mountain. Jesus first spoke to everyone there, then to his Apostles, and finally to his mother. (She was standing near the rear of the group.) He stressed that they should not leave Jerusalem but stay together and, “Wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard of me. For John (the Baptist) truly baptized with water; you shall be baptized of the Holy Spirit not many days hence.”
When he spoke privately with his Apostles, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel?”
And he said, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But you shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost past of the earth…And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues…they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
Most beautiful of all was the way Jesus took leave of his mother. She was the last one he spoke to. As he finished speaking with her, he looked at her with an expression of particular love; she cried tears of deep love for her son, and for God.
And then he held his hands half raised, palms upward, and he began to rise up toward the east. Behind his back the sun had just risen. His white robe glistened like snow, and the wounds from the cross were now made of brilliant light. The wound near his heart could be seen clearly shining through his clothing. And the sun behind him was red and fiery, and very beautiful. They all gazed steadfastly toward the east, watching him. He rose very slowly, giving a last, loving look, and then he began to hold his hands downward. Then a beautiful white cloud came and no one could see him anymore.
Suddenly two luminous men in white clothing were standing there. “You men of Galilee, why stand you here gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go up into heaven.”
And then they were gone, too. In the quiet awe following this incredible blessing, John looked at the place on the ground on which Jesus last stood. Something on the stone caught his attention, and he pointed it out to everyone else. Jesus’ footprints had been left behind on the stone! First, Jesus’ mother came up, then Mary Magdalene, and then all the rest of them, and with deep love and reverence they kissed the footprints.
These stories are taken from the gospels, and details are added from the visions of Therese Neumann. In Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda gives a first hand account of the stigmata and attests to the genuineness of Therese’s visions.
Yogananda later revealed that Therese had been Mary Magdalene in a past life, and for this reason, was blessed with Christ’s wounds and the weekly visions. He explained that Therese’s life was intended to reassure Christians everywhere of the authenticity of Jesus’ life and crucifixion as recorded in the New Testament, and to show the ever-living bond between Christ and his disciples.
Yogananda also said that Therese was a free soul, who enjoyed the highest state of samadhi. Throughout her life, she served as a willing “victim” for the salvation of souls by taking onto her own body the karma of others.
For more see:
Chapter 39: Therese Neumann, the Catholic Stigmatist
The Jesus Prayer Meditation, By Mary Kretzmann
Appearances of Jesus, By Mary Kretzmann on scribd.com
By Mary KretzmannJesus appeared to his disciples many times in the days following His Resurrection
On Easter day: On the road to Emmaus (Luke 24)
Two disciples of Jesus, one older, and one a much younger man, were walking out of the city of Jerusalem toward a town called Emmaus, about 7 miles away. Cleophas, the elder, was a cousin of Jesus. They were talking sadly with each other about how Jesus had died. As they walked along, all at once from the side a stranger approached, wearing a brown robe. He asked them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk, and are so sad?”
Cleophas asked, astonished, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have you not known the things which happened there in these days?”
And he replied, “What things?”
All three were now walking along together, with the stranger in the middle, for they sensed that he was somehow special, and he was so very curious about it all. So they retold everything, with all the wonders and terror.
They said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.”
Engrossed in their conversation with him, they walked along quickly together, and they continued, “Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came running and saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
They were surprised at the wise answers the stranger gave them. Starting with Moses and the prophets, he spoke deeply about many things in the scriptures that foretold the Messiah, and what would happen to him. They had heard most of these things before, but never in this way – all together at once, and touching their understanding so deeply. As he spoke, they felt a warm presence burning in their hearts, opening the deeper meaning of the scriptures to them.
And after speaking on all of theses things, He gently chided them that they must take heart, and not be so slow to believe in what the prophets had spoken. He asked them then, from all of these scriptures, didn’t it follow that the Christ needed to suffer these things to enter in His glory?
All of this deep talk had taken some time, and they had walked far. Near evening they came to a little village, and stopped in front of a tall house set apart from the rest. It was an inn, a place to buy a meal and sleep for the night. The disciples, now tired and hungry, went toward the door, but the stranger wanted to continue on his way. He was ready to say goodbye, but the disciples could not bear to be parted so soon from this new, wise friend. They begged him repeatedly to stay, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.”
And so, he finally consented to join them for dinner. They were served some flat bread and fish, and near the end of the meal, the innkeeper gave them some honeycomb. The stranger did not eat very much; truly he was not hungry like the others. But he did have a little bit, to share in the meal with them.
Near the end of the meal, he stood up and held his hands over the bread, looking up to heaven. He then held the bread and said a blessing, and finally broke it and gave a piece to each of them. Suddenly, as they placed the blessed bread into their mouths, they recognized him. It was their beloved Lord!
Just as soon as they recognized Him, a beautiful Light shone through him and around him. His clothes were now as though made of brilliant white Light, much more brilliant than snow sparkling in the sunshine. Then He rose off the floor and disappeared…
They were overcome with joy at having seen the Christ! They decided they must drop their plans, and return immediately to Jerusalem and tell the others. Their weariness was forgotten! Excited and happy, they called loudly for the innkeeper to come quickly. Cleophas paid him coins from a purse tied to his belt. Then, putting on their cloaks, they started walking quickly back to Jerusalem. It was night and they had a long way to go.
Back in Jerusalem
Finally, they made it back to Jerusalem. They went to the front door of the house where the Apostles (those who were always with Jesus) and other disciples were staying. It was a big house (like a hostel for travelers) owned by Nicodemus, a friend to Jesus. Just three days ago, in the big upper room of this house, Jesus and the Apostles had eaten their last supper with Jesus, right before he was arrested, and then crucified.
These two disciples knocked on the door of this big house, but no one opened the door. They knew the Apostles should be there, so they knocked louder. Still, there was no answer. So they began pounding and pounding on the door, and calling out loudly, and saying their names, so those inside would open the door!
The Apostles were hiding in the upper room, keeping themselves locked up. They were afraid that the soldiers might come and throw them into prison, because they were followers of Jesus. So, when these two disciples knocked at the door they just sat there, quiet and afraid. They were worried it might be a trick to get them to come outside. The two disciples kept banging on the door, shouting out who they were. Finally, Peter and John decided they must take a risk. They went down, opened up the door, quickly looked around, and let them in. Then they locked up again.
All of the Apostles were upstairs, except for Thomas. The atmosphere of the room was serious and troubled. Earlier that day, some of them had come back from visiting the tomb of Jesus, exclaiming that Jesus’ body was gone, and that the Angel said He had risen from the dead! But some of the others were overwhelmed by this incredible story. It was too much for them to believe. They wondered if these, their deepest spiritual friends, were imagining things. All of them were in deep grief over losing Jesus, so they had been praying and reading from the holy scrolls, to keep their minds on God.
Then in came these two disciples, overflowing with joy and enthusiasm, and telling their wonderful tale. They had walked with him, and even shared a meal with Him! He had blessed the bread, and when they had taken the bread into their mouths, they recognized the Christ! They saw him transformed in Light and rise up, and disappear. They were overjoyed to share this blessed news with their fellow disciples. But this was just too much of a shock for the others. Some of them laughed and even sneered at them, and said it was their imagination. Others simply doubted, and said so. Even Peter looked confused, though he did not laugh, for this was a blessed and powerful day.
Suddenly, into this scene of disciples arguing with one another, Christ appeared. He was simply there, floating a little bit above the floor, saying, “Peace be with you. It is I.”
When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.And He took it and ate in their presence.
Such astonishment! And yet they were frightened. They thought they might be seeing a ghost. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
He showed them his hands and side, and his feet. They hardly dared speak to him. Still they wondered if he was a ghost. Then they brought him a special lounge chair, and invited him to sit down, between Peter and John. He sat right there with them, but still they were not quite ready to believe. No wonder they had such a hard time believing their fellow disciples, when they were having such trouble believing their own eyes!
To help reassure them, He asked, “Have you any food here?”
So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence. Then he spoke very seriously and earnestly with them all for quite a long while. He wanted them to behave more kindly toward each other, and to have greater faith in God. Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”
Then He opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, saying, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.
And, behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until you are endued with power from on high.”
Then he stood up powerfully, but his feet were not touching the ground. He breathed a big, strong breath of air onto them, spiritually baptizing them with Cosmic Vibratory Power. He raised his hands and head toward heaven, saying, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whosoever sins ye forgive are forgiven, and whosesoever sins ye retain, are retained.”
He then held his hands over them, blessing them powerfully, saying, “Peace be unto you. As my Father has sent me, even so I now send you.”
Then, after some gentle words of friendship to them, he was gone. He just disappeared.
Later, these 10 disciples told Thomas about this visit from Jesus, saying, “We have seen the Lord,” but he did not believe, and said, “Except that I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
It was difficult for him to believe this incredible story without witnessing it for himself. Thomas was a deeply spiritual man, and his doubts were part of his mental safeguard against being too easily gullible or superstitious. But this quality was too strong in this moment, for it prevented him from knowing the truth.
Mary, Mother of Jesus, and St. John
A few days later, Jesus’ Mother, Mary was walking quietly with St. John, following the path Jesus had walked on the way to the crucifixion. As they followed the way of the cross, sometimes they spoke sadly, remembering the things that happened at each point along the way. In deepest compassion they kissed the ground, especially at the spot where Jesus fell for the third time. Then suddenly Jesus appeared to them, in the full glory of his resurrected Light. He looked at them lovingly and spoke to them. Their hearts were filled with great joy.
On the eighth day
The disciples were still in hiding, with the doors locked. The Apostles were all gathered in the upper room; this time Thomas was present with them. Suddenly, Jesus was present there amongst them, saying, “Peace be unto you.”
Jesus turned immediately to Thomas, and, pointing first to one hand, and then the other, and then to the wound over his heart, said, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands, and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.”
Thomas, deeply moved, and seeking divine forgiveness for his arrogance, fell to his knees, saying, “My Lord, and my God!”
Jesus then spoke seriously to Thomas, “Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
St. John told this story, and said, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples. That ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, and the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
Another evening, about 20 days after the resurrection, 10 of the Apostles, and about 40 disciples were in the upper room, sitting at table, eating. They were having fish and honeycomb. (John was not there. On the cross, Jesus asked him to take care of his mother, so he was often helping her.) And then, around 9 pm, Jesus suddenly appeared in the room, and joined them at the table. It was such blessed joy to share with him again!
At the same time, Mary, (His mother) John, Mary Magdalene, the other Mary (Martha’s sister) and Salome were at the city gate, where Jesus had spoken to the mourning women of Jerusalem. They were once again prayerfully and lovingly walking the route of Jesus’ way of the cross. Jesus then appeared to this little group, bringing a blessed feeling of comfort and joy.
When this divine visitation was over, they rushed to the upper room to tell the others their great joy of what they had just experienced. Once there, they heard that Jesus had just shared part of the meal with them! It was such a blessed evening; they all shared in their astonished joy in having received another visit from the Christ.
Jesus appeared other times to groups of disciples, and one time it was to a large group of about 500 disciples. These special blessings helped many people to feel his love, and to know he had truly risen.
Jesus Appears after Easter, By Mary Kretzmann on scribd.com