April 10, 2013

Under the Live Oak

Kitty Cleveland was struggling. She had given up a career as a lawyer, was beginning a transition into a career as a teacher and was wondering whether she should, instead of either, pursue a career as a singer. Her father, a lawyer and a Catholic deacon, had just been wrongly convicted on charges of tax fraud and political corruption, charges that were later to be thrown out by U.S. Supreme Court. Her life was in turmoil.

In advance of a retreat being hosted by Sister Briege McKenna (who has been the source for several stories reported earlier on this site), Ms. Cleveland went to a local Eucharistic Adoration chapel. While in the midst of her prayers, she was “interrupted” by a vision. She was sitting on a hill of green grass, under a live oak. Christ was there beside her. He was carving his initials and hers, “JC + KC,” on the tree. He said that he had always loved her, that he had called her personally by name, that she had given part of her life to Him, that He wanted her to give Him all of it, so He could live more fully in Him and He in her.

A few nights later, at the retreat, she found herself saying “ave nomine cantora,” which means “you name me a singer.” One of her other gifts, that manifested itself as early as high school, was an ability at times to speak in tongues. At a retreat in high school, she similarly found herself saying “Christe aria,” which although she did not know if then, means “song of Christ.”

Ms. Cleveland did become a “music missionary” as she calls it. She goes to Eucharistic Adoration to write songs. Two of her greatest songs, “Surrender” and “Now You Come to Me” were written before the Real Presence.


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