THE HOLY HOUSE
When our hymn was ended, our angel put his arms about us, holding us to his sides and then rose sharply into the air. At this Janet and I knew that we were leaving the Sphere of Dreams, and travelling by angel’s power.
“I wanted to make another visit,” Janet said wistfully. “I intended to ask you to show us the Heaven-fulfilment of one who has dreamed of being with the Holy Family in the little house in Nazareth.”
“I know,” our teacher explained, “but this dream cannot he fulfilled in the way you expected. You thought that the fulfilment would be a house with the Lord ever present in the body – cloak of a Child, watched over by the Mother Mary and the foster-father Joseph, did you not?”
“These great ones have gone far beyond the Sphere of Dreams. (I speak of the Mother and Father.) Think of the divine influences that were brought to bear on them during their years of caring for the Holy Child on earth! A brief contact with the Lord is sufficient to lift up a man’s soul to unimaginable heights, to heal all his infirmities and forgive all his sins. Consider the effect on these two who remained in close communion with the Holy One, enclosed in the privacy of their own home, listening to His words, tending Him, watching over every hour of His growth! Men do not sufficiently consider this, nor clearly appreciate the holiness of these two who, even before these wonderful years, were chosen for their purity of heart. Is it any wonder that they have passed on to heights beyond your understanding, as yet?”
Janet leaned forward to meet my glance. We were both smiling, for it seemed so foolish, now, that we could have imagined these two Great Ones, who had cared for the Holy Child on earth, living out – their Heaven-fulfilment in the Sphere of Dreams! Of course, they would have passed on, long since, beyond all personal desires, into a sphere of higher service to God and man.
“Could they not fulfil the desires of the devout ones by coming to them in body-cloaks?” I asked, remembering the lesson I had so recently learned.
“The Mother could,” our teacher said solemnly. “She who was the very tabernacle of Divinity; but then the holy Joseph would be absent and so the Family would be incomplete.”
“How then is the dream fulfilled? “Janet asked. She spoke so confidently, knowing that in the Father’s Love – Plan there would be fulfilment that the angel smiled as though well-pleased.
“Can you not guess? Those who have cherished dreams on earth of the Holy House of Nazareth are brought together in pairs for their Heaven-fulfilment. They themselves complete the Holy Family, for each strives to imitate the Mother or the Father, keeping the little home beautiful and peaceful for the Lord who comes in His body-cloak of Little Child. Unconsciously, they grow more and more advanced in wisdom and holiness until the time when they are called to greater heights. This fulfilment, however, is only possible for those who have begun their Heaven-life on earth.”
“Do you mean by experiencing the bliss of Heaven in the three ways – charity of thought, freedom from care and dwelling in the Divine Presence in the heart?” I asked. “You taught us about that.”
“No, I mean more, in this case. Those who would find their Heaven in the Holy House, must bring the Holy House into their lives on earth.”
“How?” Janet asked in surprise.
“Each must make of his heart a Holy House,” our teacher explained. “By this I mean that he must live as purely, as serenely and as faithfully as though he did indeed have the care of the Holy Child. Think how differently most people on earth would act, and speak and think if they could see the Divine Child ever present, as did Mary and Joseph! Those devout ones who desire this Heavenfulfilment, must begin to build it on earth. They must live in constant recollection of the Holy One (for is He not present with all?) and in constant imitation of the goodness, purity and simplicity of the two who made His home on earth. Thus do they begin their Heavenlife in the midst of their earth-life.”
We were silent for a long time after this, thinking over our teacher’s words and looking around us. As we ascended, the light had grown dim and now it was quite dark. By this I knew that we were cleaving upward through the Higher Void.
As the coolness of the atmosphere increased, I took a deep breath, thrilling again with the sense of adventure the Void always gave me. Again I thought of my little life on the shadowed globe of earth. So often I had stood with my feet on the firm soil and my longing heart amid the stars! Now they began to flash all around us so that the darkness was shot with white, ivory and amber hues. Eagerly I watched for a chariot of angels and presently had the happiness of seeing one speed past.
It was quite a little one, much smaller than I had seen before. When I asked the reason for this, I was told that it was a chariot of cherubs – baby angels – who were bearing into the Presence of their King a child from earth who had led a life of such dazzling purity that he had won these glories straight away.
“What a privilege it must have been to live with him,” Janet mused in delight.
“Yes, and how he delighted the heart of the Holy Child! The Divine One is even now with him, but as yet the child is sleeping. When he opens his eyes amid the dazzling Heights, the first one he will see, will be his little King.”
“He rode upon a cherub, and did fly; yea, He did fly upon the wings of the wind,” Janet quoted softly, adding: “Where are we going, angel?”
“As yet, you have not seen the Heaven-fulfilment of those who have lived in constant recollection of the angels. Some there are, who, from their earliest days, have walked in spirit with angelic ones. Some have lived in thought-communion with their Angel Guardian, often speaking with him, yet never seeing him, taking on faith the consoling words, ‘He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all Thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.’ Others have dreamed of the great Angels of Protection who fly over the world with their symbolic weapons in their hands. Some have thought of these angels who are present at every birth, others of the angels of death, or of the messengers who hasten from the very Throne of God to assist even His humblest ones. Yes, many are the dreams that have to be fulfilled. Some of them you will see when we reach our destination. It is the Sphere of Angels.”