A Friend in Heaven: Gratitude for Cora Evans on her Birthday

Rachel Forton

A Friend in Heaven: Gratitude for Cora Evans on her Birthday

On July 9, we celebrate the birthday of Servant of God Cora Evans, a lay woman, wife, mother, and mystic who converted to the Catholic faith from Mormonism as an adult and to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for her prayer and witness. My first encounter with the writing of Cora Evans occurred at a time of crisis in my life. I was 20 weeks pregnant with my son and was put on bedrest after a bleeding episode from a partial placental abruption. My main job was to do nothing, which was the safest way to allow him to continue to grow and hopefully reach full-term. Doing nothing was a great challenge as I also had a two-year-old daughter to look after. I felt helpless and out of control. All I could do was put my son’s life in God’s hands and trust that he would be protected. 

It seems the Lord knew what I needed at that time, and an opportunity to edit a collection of Cora Evans’ shorter writings was presented to me. I met and “befriended” Cora Evans while proofreading her mystical writings, and I began to pray for my son rather than simply worry. By the grace of God, he was born at full-term with no health issues whatsoever. My devotion to Cora Evans has since deepened as I learn more about this amazing woman who balanced the daily tasks of a mother and wife with the unique demands of a mystic instructed to “write, write, write” the visions given to her by God, despite lacking a formal education. Below are two of my favorite passages from the yet-unpublished Listen to Jesus.


“Make the Chain Longer”

“In another gift of clearer understanding, You didst show me a beautiful vision of Thyself upon the holy cross. And from that cross Thou didst lift Thy holy hand from the piercing nail, and Thy arm embraced me to Thy bleeding heart. Then I kissed Thy Sacred Wound of love and felt a friend clasp my hand in his. As I gazed upon that friend, I saw his other hand clasped by that of another friend, and his by another, until a living chain of friends was formed which seemed to encircle the earth; Thou, beloved Jesus, did thereupon say unto my soul, “Make the chain longer.” – the Prologue of Listen to Jesus

As I read the words of our Lord as spoken to Cora, and her reflections on His love, my anxiety around the situation with my unborn son began to ease and my faith and trust in God greatly increased. This passage was particularly meaningful to me as it captured my imagination in prayer. I could picture myself in the “living chain of friends.” My loneliness and worry began to lift. Even though I was not in a place spiritually where I could reach out to touch the wounds of Jesus’ love, I could grab hold of the hand of Cora and trust her to lead me there. Cora’s beautiful account of this mystical experience makes tangible the reality of the communion of saints. When I could not pray for myself and my son, I asked Cora to pray for us. In turn, her words and faith inspired me not to let go, even though very little in me felt like holding on to faith. 

Now as I reflect upon this passage, I see myself in a place where I can reach out and “make the chain longer,” inviting others to trust in Jesus through my own witness. In the healthy birth of my son, I saw the generosity of God’s love and was reminded of one of Cora’s favorite sayings, “God will not be outdone in generosity.” Such an outpouring of generous love must be shared. Where are you in the “chain of friends” now? Inviting others into Jesus’ love, or being held fast to Him by His friends, on Earth and in heaven? Wherever you are, take a moment to thank Jesus for His love, which never leaves us alone, and for the many holy men and women who keep us near to Him by their prayer and example, especially Cora.


“Become My Other Humanity”

Book Two of Listen to Jesus contains Cora’s writing, “The Tree of Everlasting Life,” which for me was the most profound. So much of what Cora recorded from this vision was based in Scripture and called me time and again into my Bible. I believe this is the sign of a great saint: drawing the faithful to greater love of and devotion to those gifts already present in our tradition. For Cora Evans, this can be said about both the Bible and her deep love for the Eucharist, the foundation of the devotion Jesus gave her to promote: the Mystical Humanity of Christ. The following quote is from Chapter Two of “The Tree of Everlasting Life” in Listen to Jesus:

“When you receive Me out of My tomb (the tabernacle) into your body, you become My other humanity, My borrowed humanity. Please give yourself to Me without reserve. I wish to continue My life of the Resurrection through you, in you, and by you. You will then become graced with the light of transfiguration according to the degree of perfection you have attained. Through you, because you have lifted Me up, I will bless your friends and the world.” 

Here we find Jesus asking Cora—and indeed, all of us—to “become My other humanity,” to act and live as His presence on Earth, and to do so without reserve. He promises that all those who do so will be transfigured into His likeness and thereby bless the world. This quote draws me out of myself and my own problems into a greater, wider vision of Christ’s mission. My actions, choices, words, and witness can bear fruit and bless the world to the degree that I let Jesus live in me. Frequent reception of the Eucharist reminds me of His desire to dwell in me and live through me, a desire which He has for all His children.

Befriending Cora through her writings and learning more about her has benefited my faith life. She has drawn me into deeper and more frequent prayer, a stronger reverence for the Eucharist, an awareness of Christ’s presence within me, and so much more. Her prayers and words pulled me out of my lowest spiritual point thus far. If you need another friend in heaven, look no further than Cora Evans, who I believe shares in the mission of Saint Therese of Lisieux to spend her heaven doing good on Earth.


Prayer for the Intercession of Cora Evans 

Dear Jesus, You blessed Cora Evans with many supernatural mystical gifts as a means of drawing us to a deeper and more intimate union with your Sacred Heart through Your Divine Indwelling, Your Mystical Humanity. I ask You through her intercession to help me in my special request (name the favor) and my efforts to do Your will here on earth and be with You, Your Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph and the whole Court of Heaven forever.

Say three times: the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.