Acts of Eternity
Jesus performed his miracles by raising the natural suffering and pain into the eternal order by acts of eternity. He lived in eternity while dwelling on earth. As there is no suffering in eternity, nor time, his cures were instantaneous. Now in heaven at the right hand of his Father, he uses different ways of performing his miracles. For example: using a crucifix or using a sacrament.
Using a Crucifix
Julian of Norwich prayed that she might share Christ’s suffering but this was more than she anticipated. Her mother is about to close her eyes in death. The priest is holding a crucifix over her and saying, ‘Daughter, look on your Saviour and be comforted.’
In the Revelations she tells us, ‘As I gazed on the crucifix, it came to life – living, vivid, hideous, fearful – sweet and lovely, for he died for me. It was the red blood trickling down from the crown of thorns that gave me back my life … shortly afterwards, the Lord formed in my soul without words … with this the fiend is overcome.’
Julian of Norwich 1342–1416
She was thought to be a nun from the local convent. JP Chaplin, one of the restorers of the bombed Saint Julian’s church, concluded from his researches that the famous Sir Thomas Erpingham, builder of the close Gateway, had a sister, Lady Julian, who was widowed shortly after her marriage and of whom all records have disappeared. He suggests that Lady Julian and the famous anchoress were the same person. This accounts for her dying in her father’s house and her mother’s presence. Also, a legacy was discovered to Sarah, who lived in the anchorage with her, and Alice, who came daily, could have come from her father’s household.
A Miracle by the Sacrament of Holy Communion
This happened in 1912 in Tulse Hill, South London. War was imminent in Europe. Dorothy Kerin describes the miracle in her own words. She was dying, with sixteen relatives and friends around her. ‘As the priest approached by my bedside with the chalice, I saw a wonderful golden light, which enveloped the chalice and the priest … the Divine Presence was a reality, who spoke to me, “Dorothy, will you go back and do something for me: heal the sick, comfort the sorrowful, give faith to the faithless?” … “Yes,” I answered, and I knew it was Jesus Christ … then the miracle took place. My emaciated body became covered with normal flesh, and I was even plump again. Then I was commanded to get up and walk … “Mother,” I said, throwing back the bedclothes, “I am well again, I must get up and walk.”’
This miracle caused caused such a sensation that Dorothy had to be hidden from the press in Harley Street, London. Being hidden, and the coming of the war, tended to eclipse this miracle from the general public.
The vision of the Garden of Weeds
Later Dorothy Kerin wrote:
After some years, I was unhappy in my heart, that I had done so badly, with difficulties and how badly I had used the grace given me.
I was in prayer, when I found myself in the Garden. I had not been there for some time and there was a difference. It was fuller of flowers, and the scent more exquisite. Our Lady was there. She took my hand for she knew how bewildered I was about things. She led me to different plants. Her tears were still wet on them. Then I was alone. I saw a heap of weeds Our Lady must have pulled up. Then the Holy Spirit showed me everything I had done to produce these weeds, since the King made the garden. The stem of the Hope plant has a tendril clutching it, the weed was fear, the Charity weed was judging, the Faith plant was despair. Then I knelt down on the grass and confessed my faults to the King of the garden. It is impossible to tell you the joy that forgiveness brought me.
Dorothy Kerin’s response
She responded by founding Burrswood Nursing Home, Sussex. Here with its healing services the Church and medicine worked together to heal the sick, give comfort to the sorrowful and faith to the faithless. She also founded the worldwide Acorn Healing Trust and the growing sense inspired by her vision. Her greatest gift to the Church was the church of Christ the Healer in the grounds of Burrswood.
The dignified and prayerful services of healing speak of the Catholic faith, which was her inspiration and vehicle of devotion, the natural milieu of an Anglican mystic. With the sacramental emphasis, the reserved sacrament for the sick, the fullness of Catholic worship, Dorothy Kerin expressed her Christian faith and saw it as the most likely avenue for the healing of the Church and the individual.
This movement, now wishing to be called the Traditionalist Anglicans, has provided some of the most caring and devoted priests in the Church today.
Sister Katherine Maryel SSB is a member of the Society of the Sisters of Bethany.