It’s not hard to understand Byrne’s growing international celebrity. For her, the great mysteries of life are already answered, it seems. The curtain has been raised and she can see (she claims) what the rest of us just guess at.
“I wouldn’t mind if God took me right now. I would go. Because I know the place we call heaven exists,” she asserts.
“I know God exists, I know the angels exist. I know that every single human being here has a Guardian Angel. The other thing I know is that they all have a soul. So no one actually dies.”
Last year Byrne was a widow living on a widow’s pension. Now she’s making real money, so how has life changed?
“It hasn’t changed. I don’t have to worry about the electricity bill and things like that,” she says.
“I don’t go to parties. I’m not used to socializing because I never did it. Money doesn’t mean the same to me.”
If Byrne sees angels everywhere, isn’t it inevitable, considering the state of the world, that she would also see evil spirits too?
“This is the part that I don’t like talking about. Yes, God did test my faith once,” she confides.
“That was the time he introduced me to Satan, the Devil. (Across the wide coffee table, an elegant lady seated opposite us with a Louis Vuitton shoulder bag overhears this detail and spits into her coffee).
“I’m afraid he does exist. It is so easy for us all to fall into it. If someone hurts you or someone gives you a hard time at work, you can be hard back to them. That’s a person listening to the other side. And not doing the right thing.
“I’m grateful to God because he has never shown me Him sending a soul to Hell. I have always asked not to see that. But I know Hell exists because Satan exists. That evil and badness terrifies me.
“I couldn’t describe it in the book. If I speak of Satan he loves it. So I do my best to avoid it. But he exists. A lot of people are in denial about him and yet they have all the evidence around them.”
Byrne’s expression changes, darkens. “I have to talk about it more and more. I’m being told to talk about it to you. But I do find it hard,” she says.
“I’m experiencing the hurt and the pain that Satan has caused and it’s hurting me. I can’t even hear you now.”
For a moment she disappears into herself. It’s unnerving.
“Even though I felt a certain amount of the hurt and pain that’s in the world, a cloak of God’s angels encircles and shielded me from feeling torn apart. I know humanly I wouldn’t be able to survive it,” Byrne says.
I feel the lashes on my back. “You’re actually the first person I have spoken to this about and that’s because I was just told to. I’m surprised. I have never spoken about it to this extent in front of people.”
But Byrne’s message is to give back hope, to find your faith again. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, she says.
“You have a soul and I won’t give up on any human being in the world. I’ll fight for you. I won’t give up.”
Wondering if Byrne would have a traditional take on controversial issues, I was surprised by her responses. Her take on the crisis in the church is that they forgot their mission.
“They wanted to have the power. I was asked what they should do and I was told they should become like Saint Francis again,” she says.
The controversy over same sex marriage isn’t one that bothers her either.
“I have to smile when people ask this. God already knows before you were even conceived that you were going to be gay or not. I won’t judge,” she offers.
“I have met so many gay men and lesbians and they are such lovely people. We shouldn’t be judging. The world is changing and we have to accept the changes. I haven’t seen God condemn or strike down any gay couple.
“My heart cries when I hear of someone letting in Satan and killing or hurting a gay man or lesbian woman. They’re just listening to the devil.”
Byrne’s message is that’s there’s always hope. Never, ever, give up on others. Fight for them.
“In one way I am an example of faith. When I think of all they taught me. I can’t prove what I’m saying, maybe I am the proof myself.”
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