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IN VISIONS BETWEEN WAKE AND SLEEP AND SOMETIMES AS APPARITIONS MAY BE CONSOLATION OF DEAD LOVED ONES
A new book by a theologian recounts numerous cases in which the living allegedly have "heard" from loved ones who have gone before them.
We present it at this time of year when the veil seems so thin, for your discernment and (hopefully) edification.
Written by Mitch Finley (for a respected Catholic publisher, Liguori), the book, Whispers of Love: Touching the Lives of Loved Ones After Death, recounts case after case in which deceased relatives have manifested to the living -- not as during a seance, but in brief unforgettable transmissions that time after time left a transcendental joy and peace with those who reported them.
It seems that God, in His mercy, allows certain souls to "show" themselves on occasion -- sometimes in full apparition and especially if those left behind are grief-stricken.
There was the nun Sister Redempta, a Sister of Mercy for sixty-one years who died suddenly and left behind a good friend named Rosemary who was not able to make the funeral but woke early that morning and "saw" Sister Redempta "looking through a wide panel of crystal-clear glass.
"The glass was invisible and yet I knew it was present. Instinctively, I realized Sister Redempta was seeing with the clarity and wisdom of Heaven. The color tones were soft hues of gray. Then, I saw in the distance a wide vista of mountain ranges. A miraculous hand colored the mountains in the new green of eternal spring. I saw the lines of a rainbow form and fill in with color."
Visions. Dreams. Anniversary dates. Particular times of night (such as three a.m.). The accounts bear striking similarities to near-death experiences.
There was the mother whose son Scott in Evanston, Wyoming, had regularly called her at four a.m. on the way to work when he was alive (she always went back to sleep after he called, which she insisted on him doing) and when Scott died, she heard her phone ring each morning around that very time. When it did, she would sit up waiting for the second ring -- which never came.
One day, the "rings" stopped. "God was telling me that He had taken Scott to Heaven," said the woman. "I have not 'heard' the phone ring early in the morning since that day."
There was the overly-grieving woman named Fay who was "visited" by a deceased brother who looked at her and said, "Fay, what are you doing to yourself? Stop. I can't rest" -- then disappeared.
There was a woman named Elana, who was driving one day with her son and teenage daughter when their vehicle was struck by a drunk driver.
Suddenly, Elana -- whose heart had stopped (she later learned) -- found herself traveling through a dark tunnel (as in near-death experiences).
"I saw my daughter running ahead of me looking as if she had not a care in the world, unlike the troubles she had experienced on earth," said Elana in this book by Finley, who has a master's degree in theology.
There was so much bright light! But it was not Elana's time. Her daughter turned to explain that "I was not to follow her as my time was not up yet but hers was." As Elana began to cry, her daughter said she hoped her mother would forgive her for all the trouble she caused and "promised to work hard where she was going."
Six months later, Elana heard noises in her living room at three a.m. and claims to have seen an angel -- an ethereal form -- with her daughter's face.
It most cases, the manifestations, it seems, are to say, "I'm doing well. Don't worry. There is Heaven!"
If by their fruits we know them, that's good fruit. Often, we grieve too long and needlessly.
There are the dreams and visions in that between-sleep-and-awake state -- like the one in which another nun who died appeared to a sister-in-law kneeling in prayer and leaving a great peace as the woman grieved over her sick husband.
After he died, she saw him one night at three a.m.
In one case, the fragrance of hyacinth materialized while a woman named Elaine prayed a Rosary for a dying friend.
In other cases, an object suddenly shows up or a particular song plays on the radio or there is some other "coincidence."
On "the other side," there are no coincidences!
There is the mother who on September 11 prayed to the Archangel Raphael for her son, who worked at the World Trade Center. When his body was found (one of the few intact), she "saw" him and a great angel at the side of a stream with white chrysanthemums on its banks and his yellow Labrador Retriever (which had died months before) beside him! The angel, she believes, was Raphael.
Who's to doubt her?
Can all these cases be products of the imagination?
A pink halo. A shimmering light. The face of a grandmother.
The accounts go on.
There is the woman who claimed to not only see her deceased mother but to actually embrace her. "She was beautiful beyond words!" said this daughter, whose name is Rebecca. "Standing in this light -- or rather, she was this light -- she looked thirty-five to forty years of age, instead of sixty-seven, which she was when she passed on. I was so overjoyed I instinctively screamed, 'MAMA!' practically leaping into her arms."
They "hugged and kissed and laughed and hugged again and again" and then Rebecca noted how "solid" she was -- before she was suddenly gone.
In a twinkling. In (allegedly) a flash.
(A similar account was reported by the seer Ivanka Ivankovic of Bosnia-Hercegovina, who said she also embraced her deceased mother after the Blessed Mother asked if she had a special request.)
Do you have one to report?
There was the woman Marie whose husband died unexpectedly before his forty-first birthday. "Shortly after his death, recalled Marie, "I was sleeping and saw him and spoke with him. He said that he was in purgatory and would be there for two years... He told me to repent for my sins."
Mostly, it is glory.
After a woman named Catherine's father died (following excruciating trials of heart disease and even a leg amputation), she dreamt that she was washing dishes in her mother's kitchen when she heard the back door open and her father appeared.
Just a dream?
"I remember being shocked and that my face reflected that," she recalls in the book.
All she could say was "Dad."
He father spoke, saying he could not stay.
He had come only to tell her how happy he was.
He told Catherine it was so beautiful where he was now that she couldn't begin to imagine. How often we hear this!
"He looked so healthy," said Catherine, "sort of glowing and at peace with no pain showing on his face for the first time I could remember. And he had both legs!"
[resources: Whispers of Love: Touching the Lives of Loved Ones After Death]
[Please note that due to time of year delivery before Christmas can not be guaranteed, although orders shipped 'priority mail' by Monday will reach most destinations]
[Michael Brown retreat, Mass in San Antonio: coming times, the afterlife, spiritual protection]
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