The Spirits Around Us, by Michael H. Brown, a brand new book on the supernatural realities around us -- around every person. Read of current encounters on deathbeds, in hospitals, in everyday life, in 'haunted' settings that finally get a Catholic explanation (as even St. Augustine spoke of their effect, and saints like Padre Pio saw them). Demons, angels, spirits of the deceased, purgatorial souls, often affecting us in unseen, unsuspected ways and dispelled through deep prayer in the Name of Jesus when we know how to do so and approach them with Catholic faith, prayer, and love!  ( here Kindle or Nook )  for paperback: click here 



In the coming days, much will be said about a major movie, Heaven is For Real.

We wrote about this account when it was in book form (see here).

It's a wonderful story of the son of an evangelical minister who dies or nearly dies and returns after a burst appendix.

Though you won't read much about it, the boy, Colton Burpo, of Nebraska, told his Protestant dad, Todd -- his minister-dad -- that besides various biblical figures, and many angels, and the Lord, he had seen the Blessed Mother standing next to Jesus in Heaven.

That's powerful -- coming from a boy whose dad's religion would be loathe to consider Mary a major figure (as Catholics do).

A reviewer noted:

"The Burpos' middle child (his younger brother was not born until 2005), Colton reveals that he has traveled extensively throughout Heaven, meeting dearly departed family members, and luminaries of the faithful, including God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

"Todd is even able to report to Catholic friends that Colton 'saw Mary kneeling before the throne of God and at other times standing beside Jesus [our italics].'"

Considering the tremendous accuracies of this boy's descriptions of deceased relatives, his documented medical condition, and his understanding of Scripture -- even though he had not read it (he was not quite four years old when he succumbed) -- it's a beautiful confirmation and insight into the Virgin Mary's standing and role in the afterlife.

"Kneeling before the throne of God and at other times standing beside Jesus.'"

Now, in Heaven: before the Throne: as she knelt before the Cross at Calvary!

Standing beside Jesus, as she did to the bitter, excruciating end.

Who could better define her role? What could more clearly portray her intercession?

Out of the mouths of babes.

And from an evangelical (many of whom not only downplay the role of Mary, but often declare her miracles as diabolical)!

As one blogger reported, after attending one of Colton's book signings, "I then asked him if he happened to meet Jesus' mother. He kind of hesitated, looked at his dad and then said 'umm....I don't really remember if I did or not.' His dad then politely asked for the next person in line. I carry a small finger rosary with me that is about the size of a quarter and can go around your finger. While I was talking to Colton I had it on my left index finger and was spinning it with my thumb. He didn't take any notice of it but his dad did. When I asked about Jesus' mother his dad nervously swallowed and then hurried me on after Colton said he couldn't remember."

We don't want to quibble over that.

What's the use?

Let's rejoice in this boy's incredible descriptions of Heaven -- which are so akin to other near-death experiences.

No doubt, the special effects -- roads of gold, chrysolite, crystal waters, a city of light -- will be intriguing; perhaps unforgettable; if we see it we'll let you know, if you don't see it yourself.

We're usually not moviegoers, but if the movie is like the book (which our own young daughter read, and which topped The New York Times bestseller list for weeks), it may be worth going to.

Pray for us, oh Blessed Mother: now and at the hour of death, Amen.

[resources: (book) Heaven is for Real]

[Note also: Michael Brown retreats: Philadelphia-New Jersey]

[Michael Brown's books]

[Print article]

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[Footnote: The novena to Our Lady of Prompt Succor says in part, "O Most Holy Virgin, whose merits have raised you high above angel choirs to the very Throne of the Eternal...]

[Feedback: "Thanks for your article on Mary in Coltonís story in todayís (April 16) issue. I have been in touch with the family. I believe the Burpo family -- including several members of their extended family -- are doing their very best to reach out to our nation and our world with Coltonís  wonderful testimony. About a year ago,  I wrote a personal letter to Colton and his family asking for their prayers to Jesus so that my unbaptized grandchildren could receive a Sacramental official Catholic Baptism (included a pitifully small donation for their work). They wrote me back very kindly; said they would pray for my grandkids; and sent me an absolutely gorgeous portrait of Jesus by Akiane which I have put in the grandchildrenís playroom. So I have to say that I believe they are not prejudiced against Catholics Ė even if they may be pressured to be reserved about Our Beloved Mother Mary in order to get the Word out about the Most Holy Trinity , which is so well glorified in reading Coltonís experience -- Kathleen Bamberger Austin Texas.]

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