My beliefs originated through my upbringing as a Catholic Christian. During my life a number of extraordinary events have taken place that have helped strengthen and maintain these beliefs. To help others believe I would like to share the most moving five of these events.
The first occurred in March 1974. After attending mass as usual - the day in question was a Sunday - I received a premonition that disaster would strike. Apart from the word disaster, I cannot recollect the precise wording. I do recall that the disaster would not affect me personally. It would happen to others. Never having had this experience before and not thinking I could do about it, I forget about it for a few hours. That afternoon I was watching a film at home. At 3.00 pm (well I think it was at 3.00 pm) the BBC interrupted the film with a news flash. Turkish Airlines flight 981 had come down in a forest near Paris killing all 346 people on board. A shiver went down my spine as I heard the news.
The second occurred in November 1992. Prompted by my parish priest and friends in the prayer group I attended, I went along to a healing service one evening during a week long mission led by the Sion Community at the parish of St Michael's in Tadley. I came forward and received a blessing with the message 'you should be sharing your life.' Soon afterwards I developed the strong feelings of attraction towards women that most young men have but had hitherto been lacking in me. As I write I have been married for 18 years and have 4 children. But for the healing miracle described, I believe this might never have happened.
The third occurred in September 1994. I was in South Africa on a photographic expedition. I received a premonition that something bad was going to happen. Unlike on the previous occasion, this time I knew the bad thing was going to involve me. As it was a Saturday I sought out a church to go to confession. I then continued my plan to visit the observation deck of the Carlton Centre, a skyscraper in Johannesburg. As I came out, 4 young men surrounded me. They took the camera I had on me as well the money and credit cards I had on me. They were so polite about it and did not hurt me at all. Fortunately they did not ask for my hire car key. This meant that my other camera and my other credit cards as well as my other possessions remained safe. I reported the incident to the local police station and was subsequently able to claim back most of what I had lost via my travel insurance. I am sure that the advance warning spared me from any physical or lasting damage.
The fourth occurred in September 1995. While on pilgrimage in Medugorje, word went round one day (it was not the 25th of a month) that Our Lady would appear on the Cross Mountain that evening. It was an overcast evening as one of the visionaries and many pilgrims including myself duly ascended the mountain. Just before Our Lady appeared to the visionary, the sky cleared and I could see all the stars. After she had gone the sky clouded over again as suddenly as it had cleared.
The fifth occurred in July 2006. As I lay awake in bed on the night that my father had died I heard a voice saying 'Don't worry - he's with me'. This news of my father's death bed conversion - for that is surely what it was - was wonderful. Having been brought up as a Catholic like myself, he had stopped attending mass when his mother did when he was about 10 years old. Since that age he had only ventured into a church for weddings, baptisms and funerals. Every year during the Good Friday intercessions I had thought of him when we prayed for those who do not believe in God. Although I had always hoped that God would answer my prayer, I had never anticipated that the answer would come in such a dramatic fashion.