Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
November 16, 2009
Disaster dreams spur prophetic writings
Wainwright author says God gave her the charismatic gift of prophecy
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
WAINWRIGHT - In 1998, Janet Klasson already knew all about the economic crisis currently hitting the world. The Lord passed this information on to Klasson in one of a series of "disaster dreams" she had at the time.
"There is a time of economic crisis coming which will dwarf the Great Depression of the 1930s," Klasson said she heard the Lord say in the dream. "Be ready to pick up the pieces of people's lives."
For more than 11 years Klasson has been practising lectio divina, using Scripture as meditation and prayer, and believes the Lord is using her to send messages to the world.
Now Klasson is sharing her experiences in a book called Cling to Hope with Joy: Messages from Scripture, a recount of her personal encounter with the living God of Scripture.
"I believe I've received from God the charismatic gift of prophecy, which are words of love and encouragement from God to his people," Klasson said in a recent phone interview.
"That's what I feel that this book is - it's words of love and encouragement, but also words of correction, words of consolation and there are some words that speak about sort of a time of trial to come. So it does have a prophetic element to it."
The readings you will find in Klasson's book are neither literature nor theology. "They are excerpts from the journal of a Roman Catholic Christian, loyal to the teachings of the Church, struggling to discern and follow the will of God in her life," she explains.
Klasson, a self-described cradle-Catholic and "a middle-aged married woman with grown children," works as an executive administrator assistant for the military family resource centre at the military base in Wainwright. She is also chair of the parish council at the town's Blessed Sacrament Parish.
Her life was transformed 12 years ago after having a profound experience of the Lord in the Eucharist.
"Since then I have felt the Lord speaking to my heart and especially opening Scripture to me as he did to the disciples on the road to Emmaus," she explains. "From the beginning I always felt that the messages in my journal were not for me alone. My heart burned to share these words with others, but I had no real outlet."
In 2003 Klasson started an online mailout, which eventually led to a blog.
"Being able to share my journal was a great relief. I believe it is God's will that I post these messages and I leave it to the Lord to lead his beloved little souls to them according to his perfect timing."
BE NOT AFRAID
The blog led to the 136-page book, whose overall message may be summed up in the words "Be not afraid. I am with you and I love you."
In 1997 Klasson asked the Lord for a deeper relationship with Jesus. That same year her sister gave her a book called He & I by Gabriel Bossis and, after reading it, Klasson started to be more aware of the voice of the Lord speaking to her heart.
"That summer marked the beginning of a new phase in my life as I entered into a personal relationship with the risen Jesus."
By Advent of that year, Klasson started to go to Blessed Sacrament Church by herself in the evenings.
"I had a church key and would spend time in adoration and I felt his love being poured into my heart," she recalls. "It was very emotional and I became even more aware of the words he was speaking to me. I felt him tell me to immerse myself in Scripture and as I did that I felt him opening my heart to Scripture."
Klasson still prays using a lectio divina format three times a week, but now she does it at home sitting in front of the computer. The website savior.org offers an online exhibition of the Holy Eucharist. "So I feel like I've got my own little chapel here."
Klasson lets the Spirit lead her during lectio divina. "I start with a prayer and then I ask the Lord if he has a Scripture passage that he would like to speak to me through."
A passage will suddenly jump out at her. She writes down the passage "and then I would write down what I feel the Lord wants to say to me through that passage. I always end with a prayer."
"What I really feel that the Lord wants to communicate through this book is that we are people of hope, that we have the joy of the resurrection, we are children of God and that he is near," says Klasson. "He is as near to us as our own breath."
Klasson arranged the book in chapters that lead the reader "on the same journey that I felt the Lord leading me on."
"He calls me and he affirms me and then he sends me," she said of her journey. "And he sends me with a message. And the message I believe is pertinent to our day because of all the turmoil in the world.
"The world needs hope now as no other time in history and so I believe this is a book for our time and that's why I need to share it."
Do you truly believe the Lord is speaking to us through you? "I believe the Lord has a message and yes, I believe he is using me (to get that message out)," Klasson said in the interview.
But she thinks one has to be careful to distinguish between the Old Testament prophets and people like herself. "This is a charismatic gift of prophecy, which is not necessarily predicting future events but the Lord preparing us for what may happen," she explains.
MUCH TO ENDURE
"The only thing that I felt the Lord telling me is there is much to come and there'll be much to endure and we have certainly seen that. I don't think you need a gift of prophecy to see that there is much to come and there is much to endure because I don't think we've seen the end of what is going on in the world."
Published by Goldleaf Word, a small publishing company that promotes the work of Catholic authors, Cling to Hope with Joy was released in June and sells for $12. All proceeds from its sale are being donated to Ephphatha House Prayer and Retreat Centre near Stony Plain.
Klasson will speak about her book at the Catholic Renewal Services prayer breakfast in Edmonton Dec. 12. The book is available through Ephphatha House at 780-845-0080.
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