Author’s Note: This Chapter IV is part of an on-going story that began with (“Are You Ready”) Chapter I; continued to chapter II (Sequel to Are You Ready) to chapter III (Continuation of the Sequel). I suggest that you read all chapters to get the full impact of Jonathan and Angela in their exciting journey in the future of the Catholic Church and it’s need for God’s intervention in an ever-changing world.
On his way to work Jonathan continually thought about the dream he most recently lived; Fr. Mike and how real the events of the Church suddenly erupted into a scene of emptiness and loss of faith by so many people. Then there was the constant moving from this large city where he and Angela got married, had two wonderful children, Marlene and James, and the hopes of seeing their lives flourish, while watching the children reach for their dreams and perhaps welcoming grandchildren into their happy home as well.
His work day went as usual, but still the past days remained a mystery. How could so much activity become compressed into one night of dreaming and the realism of each event leaving an imprint so vivid on his mind. Jonathan tried to shake the memories from his mind and concentrate on the business at hand with the large contract he was about to formulate for the local church and the construction of a new sanctuary. It appeared the Bishop was depending on the company Jonathan worked with and he especially enjoyed consulting with Jonathan on many matters, i.e. the Church’s problems with government interference in social matters. Could some of this be an impetus to what he’d dreamt?
“One of the many discussions the Bishop and I dealt with regarded a time so many years ago, when Nazi Germany began a take-over of a number of European nations and Jews became the target of harassment and eventual imprisonment and death for millions of innocent people. Could those events ever repeat themselves by the now avowed anarchists creeping into the United States? My thoughts suddenly flashed back to my dream and the possibility of a premonition becoming reality.”
New Year's Eve came and everyone welcomed the year 2150 with the usual parties, resolutions, and hope for a better year than the one that just retired. New Year's Day came around in the way most mornings did; a brightly lit sky, birds chirping, and children yelling and playing games and enjoying a day off from school for the New Year holiday.
Jonathan sat down to a light breakfast and looked up in surprise when Angie brought in the newspaper with a look of shock in her eyes. She handed Jonathan the paper and as he read the headlines his face became as white as snow. “This is 2150 isn’t it”? He asked his wife. Why is this headline the same as it was in my dream?
Two stories took center stage on the front page and both competed for attention that would not leave anyone feeling at peace. The top news item dealt with a sudden eruption of military action on the eastern shores of our nation; something that had been diminished for a number of years, after the onslaught of invasions twenty years earlier, and the United States military had quelled the confrontation. The second item was closer to my heart; it was the announcement that the Church had been ordered to begin curtailing some of its religious activities that involved ordaining priests and promoting Religious Orders. You would think that a nation founded on religious freedom, where most people depended on a relationship with God, would want to expand the ability to worship and promote moral and sound principles for all. This was always a fear that hit at the center of the Church and now it appeared that the worst was reaching our sense of feeling safe.
“As I put the paper down and took a sip of my now cold coffee, I began to relive my dream all over again. I could hardly believe that what I lived in my dream was now taking center stage in the life of my family and me. The year of my dream was 2155, but that could have been a metaphor since many visions we dream about aren’t exactly as they actually appear in our waking moments.”
“Since our plans for the future might have been obscured because of commitments to my job, the position in the Church as a deacon, and my obligation to completing the proposal for the Churches additional work, it would be difficult to plan an escape from the city at this time. But, the thoughts of our exodus, as in my dream, didn’t seem too far removed from reality. We were not too close to the war zone, but with the restrictions coming upon our Church all the signs of anarchy, church attacks, and who knows, maybe watchers being promulgated by the local authorities could resurface, at least as my dream entailed.”
“Angie, Marlene, James, and I got together to discuss what might be coming to our community. For the first time, I recounted each moment of my dream and my current concerns of what our next move might be. Our children were grown and at an age where they could decide for themselves what might be best for each of them. We decided to sleep on this and would come together in the morning, putting forth the concerns, decisions, and direction each wanted to make.”
“Strange as it may seem, and somewhat like my dream, we loaded our car, which was fueled the day before, and stealthily drove out of the city, early the next morning. As we drove away my thoughts quickly reminisced to the dream which was oh so real and very disturbing. I tried to relive some of the activities of the dream in my thoughts and felt as though it was a providential occurrence preparing my family and me for an adventure we weren’t quite ready to live, but had to trust in God’s guidance.”
“The trip to nowhere, but definitely to somewhere, was peaceful and refreshing due to the calm and warm weather, and listening to spiritual CD’s. After a couple hours we needed to stop to refresh ourselves and refuel the car. We found a mini-mart and gas station and were surprised at the large number of vehicles already there which included several large mini-buses and a lot of SUV’s loaded with luggage. It wasn’t summer so to see many people traveling with school aged children struck a nerve. I casually began a conversation with one family and discovered they also were leaving their home for places unknown, due the news that had recently been reported and a certain fear was looming towards the future; what type of future none of us could even imagine.”
After relaxing and refueling the car our destination to somewhere, far away from our home, continued and now we also had phone numbers of at least two families that appeared trustworthy and BTW were also Catholic. At this point we felt being close to people whose beliefs were similar with ours perhaps our direction would find more sustenance when we finally could settle down from this arduous escape to whenever and wherever the Lord would lead us.
One family, the Murphys, related almost the exact situation we experienced and they came from the same diocese as us, which brought a close-knit feeling in our gut. The second family, the Johnstons, came a little further away and they had been driving two days when their common needs required a pit-stop as well. My feelings were; “we may need to ban together and share much of the deep-rooted spirituality that Roman Catholics should share, even though I discovered that isn’t always the case. However, as a deacon I felt the calling to organize our common prayers and the continued trust in Almighty God’s Holy Spirit on this journey. Without this faith and God’s Grace our trip could become a fruitless and wandering nomadic trek to nowhere.
Again, our destination was unknown and here we are starting out into the wilderness, so to speak, wondering what this day would present to us and would our direction become something to enjoy rather than allow fear to envelop the unseen and cause trepidation to overtake the day. “I was sort of daydreaming while driving with no other traffic when suddenly the noise of loud whirling and thunderous movements filled the sky around us. Without slowing down we could see above us a helicopter following our path and you may be sure it caused some anxiety in each of our hearts, wondering where this helicopter came from and was it the State Police, Army, or worse an enemy reaching way out here, far away from the big cities, and were we going to become the victims of a new war or even worse; examples to everyone else that fleeing the inevitable was not worth the effort.”
The helicopter followed for only a couple of miles then as quickly as it appeared, it also went off in another direction. “I pulled over and dialed Mr. Murphy, recounting this incident and inquiring if they had seen anything similar.” He answered yes, and we then decided to meet up in about an hour at a mile marker 75 on the road we were both coincidently on.
We arrived at the pre-determined location almost simultaneously and were both upset with the way events appeared to be developing. Just ahead was a small area with a lot of trees and what looked like a comfortable secluded clearing that would certainly hide us from the road and hopefully the air. Once we had a chance to stretch our legs, after another hour of driving, and relax a little, I decided to reveal my dream that recently appeared like deja vu and relate how so much of the recent activities made me feel like the dream was so real or more like a premonition of things to come.
As the sun began to set and darkness was approaching our thoughts collectively wanted to find a safe place to set-up camp and ensure our safety and seclusion. Roger, Murphy’s first name, and I made the rounds of our new temporary encampment and discovered an old abandoned mine, much like the one in my dream, and found that it would be warm, quiet, and far enough away from prying eyes if that would even occur. Finally, after each one was comfortable with their new surroundings, Roger and I sat down for a long discussion regarding the future of our new journey, the concerns we shared for the Church and the beginning of something that would be looming ahead for our children and the faith of many Catholics without the slightest idea of where to begin. All we had was our Faith in God and hope; lots of hope.
To be continued!