This is an audio interview with Fr Wayne Wilson, whom I know personally. Fr Wayne was one of the Campus Crusade for Christ group that entered the Church in the 80s. Now he is the priest of a wonderful parish in Orange County (St Barnabas in Costa Mesa). I had met with him many times before I ever heard about this interview or story. He is a wonderful man.
In this interview, he recounts how St John Maximovitch appeared to him during a time of serious health issues. This is the kind of story that my naturally skeptic mind would have questioned – except, again, I know the man. Not to mention that this kind of experience with Vladyka John is far from being unheard of among devout Orthodox believers.
As I listened to that interview when it first came out, it did have a great impact on me; and of course I had no idea that soon afterwards I would end up in San Francisco, Vladyka John would become my patron saint, I would be renamed after him, and I would be privileged to be able to drive a few minutes to see his relics and pray, any day of the week.
The Communion of Saints is not a mere abstract idea. Saints who have fallen asleep in the Lord are more alive than we are, and they are present with us – praying for us, encouraging us. A universe without their presence with us is very poor and empty indeed, but thankfully it is not a true universe. The universe in which the Church exists is one where Christ has destroyed death and the ultimate separation between his people. Whatever grace he has poured into each individual will continue to bear fruit throughout eternity.