of God's Love: Touching
the Lives of Loved Ones After Death, by Mitch Finley, a remarkable, can't
put it down, quality book that looks at real cases of interaction with deceased
loved ones in the Catholic tradition: dreams, visions, apparitions, messages
from those who have passed -- including help at crucial times and the "scent of
flowers not there." A wonderful, uplifting collection complete with reflections
that heal hurts left by death! Highly, highly recommended.
FROM THE MAIL: VIEWER IN UK RECOUNTS EXPERIENCES WITH THOSE WHO DIED AND LEFT 'SIGNS'
After an article on deceased loved ones manifesting after death, we received this note from Raven Wenner, a former Texan living in Cheshire, United Kingdom.
"I am not particularly 'holy,'" Raven wrote us, "but for
some reason God has allowed that I see people/things 'beyond the veil' since I
was a child.
"When I was in my 50's I was an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist and used to take Our Lord to a housebound, devout Catholic lady in her 90's. Despite being incredibly bent and wizened, she was 'all there' -- though she slept most of the time. I used to sit with her one evening a week for over two years, while her sole caretaker, her daughter, went out to dinner with her friends -- caretakers badly need a break to keep from becoming depressed and ill themselves. I used to love being in the same room as this woman: her personal holiness was such that it felt the same as being in front of the Blessed Sacrament, full of peace and goodness.
"One night, just before dawn, I had a dream of a radiant young woman, tall, slim, and elegant in a dress of shimmering starlight coming toward me, smiling.
"She came and embraced me, and even in the dream I felt a surge of joy and physical warmth radiate from her. She turned and walked away into a beautiful landscape, and I awoke filled with wonderful happiness; the clock said five a.m. At eight o'clock the elderly lady's daughter called to say her mother had died peacefully at five a.m.; and I realized she was that the radiant beauty, come to say 'thanks' for my bringing Our Lord in the Eucharist to her, and sitting with her all those evenings. Until that time, I had looked at feeble, sick old age as a miserable fate; but now I realize that old age is but a temporary phase, in which many of us will come to interior perfection, as this woman did.
"I now am content with the idea of being old and ugly and
poor and in pain -- because if I live my Catholic Faith, old age is only
temporary; I too will one day be like this lady, young and beautiful and full
of joy in Christ forever. I see now that the trials and sicknesses and
sorrows of old age are actually a merciful purgatory: it's much better to
have it in this life, than in the next like my other poor friend who drifted
about haunting his brother's house as a ghost --until he had a Mass offered
for him !
"When I was in my early 30's I met a 70-year old woman who believed in fairies and 'crystal power,' and fooled with Ouija boards. I warned her sternly against that stuff, saying it was a lie endangering her soul. But she said she was lonely and the only people who were nice to her were New Age types, and she didn't listen when I told her to go to church and meet a better set of friends.
"I was at that time a maid-companion 23 hours a day to an elderly woman who was semi-invalid, and didn't get out except to go to daily Mass (the only way I could stay sane!).
"One day as my lady was napping and I was vacuuming the living room carpet and suddenly I was transported to a terrible place, where a dead grey sluggish whirlpool was sucking the life out of me. It was 'THE PIT' not only of death, but of spiritual death as one reads of in the Psalms.
"I was filled with terror and despair. The reason I was
there was that there was somebody dying -- they were invisible, but being
sucked down into the pit, and that person was 'latched onto' me with a grip
like a drowning person, and I could feel the person's terror as my own
as they dragged me slowly down into the turgid, deadly whirlpool of utter
deadness. I knew I needed to pray, but all my mind could manage was to say
over and over was, 'O GOD! HELP!' --for three solid hours. Then suddenly it
was over. I thought I had been losing my mind, but I picked myself up out of
the armchair where I had collapsed, and finished vacuuming the carpet thinking
I had temporarily gone off my rocker.
"A few weeks later, a couple of old friends came to visit my employer. They said the lady who was into New-Age, fairies, etcetera had died on the day I had that terrible experience -- and her last three hours were an uneasy coma.
"Then I knew what had happened --somehow she
'found' me, who had warned her about the danger to her soul; and she was
desperate for prayer in her death agony, so I did the best I could, which
wasn't much. It was horrific. I don't know what happened to her -- however if
God allowed me to get dragged into her death agony (completely unawares and
thinking I was going insane at the time) I think in His mercy He somehow
heard my desperate and almost inarticulate prayer for the situation.
"Lastly, I enjoyed the novels of Douglas Adams, a professed but --unlike Richard Dawkins -- a 'non-hateful' atheist, because he said that human beings seemed to be programmed to believe in a god, and it seemed to make good survival sense. He wasn't 'anti-Theist,' and didn't think people who had Faith were stupid. He simply didn't have the gift of Faith. He also said that if he believed in God, he would have to be a Catholic; he was humble and laughed at himself, was generous, a good husband and father. I loved the inspired playfulness of his novels, which always make me smile.
When he died, I prayed much for mercy for his whimsical soul, and had a Mass offered for him. Shortly after this, I was browsing in a second hand book-store, --I only buy books second hand --and found one which I had looked for a long time (Last Chance to See, his only non-fiction work).
"I bought it for 25 cents and it wasn't until I got it home that I was astonished to find that Douglas Adams had autographed it. . . .
"I think the autographed book falling into my path was
Doug saying thanks for the Mass. I hope to see him in heaven. I pray for him
(along with many others) each All Souls' Day and during the month of
[resources: Whispers of God's Love and The Other Side]
[Also: Michael Brown retreats: afterlife, prophecy: San Francisco: February 27, St. Augustine, Fl. retreat, March 6, and St. Louis March 27
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