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 



We've had many articles on how wonderful -- how pleasant, in what seems like the majority of cases -- the passage into eternity is.

Whether the first destiny is Heaven or purgatory, the initial, beatific vision seems to bring joy. The dying are surrounded by angels, Jesus, and often deceased loved ones.

Doctors, paramedics, nurses, hospice workers, priests, and others relate accounts of how a sense of peace so often falls upon the person dying.

But make no mistake: there are times when the transition to the other side is much rougher, or perhaps we should say darker.

It's why we ask the Blessed Mother to be with us "now and at the hour of our death." (Amen.)

Make no mistake: there are chthonic realms.

Alabama physician and hospice specialist Dr. Reggie Anderson relates the case of a man named Eddie who was dying of cancer and known as abusive to his family, with a horrible temper, and even a history of drunken knife fights (a man who, says Dr. Anderson, "treated his children horribly and didn't care whether they lived or died," and wanted to hear nothing about Jesus).

"I listened to him as he struggled to take each breath," testifies the physician (in a book called Appointments with Heaven). "Unlike many of the believers I'd witnessed who had crossed silently and peacefully, Eddie seemed to be struggling. He made grunting noises and clung to each breath as if it were his last.

"Eventually his breathing slowed, and the grunts became less frequent.

"When his last breath finally came, it wasn't the same peaceful exhale that I'd become so familiar with in my other dying patients. Eddie fought to take a final breath, and then his pulse and heart stopped.

"His last breath was a grunt.

"Suddenly, I felt some type of dark cloud present in the room. The lights grew dimmer, and the temperature plummeted. The room was freezing cold as though the temperature had instantly dropped a hundred degrees. The warmth I'd come to expect when Heaven's door opened seemed to have been replaced by the opening of a liquid nitrogen canister. The room appeared dark and shadowy, as if it were being swallowed by a black abyss.

"That's when I smelled sulfur and diesel. The air felt heavy, and it got harder to breathe. I remembered the same smell from a [place] after a [case of murders]. Memories of those dark days flooded my mind. I was terrified.

"Though I had not rational reason to feel this way, I was afraid I would get trapped and be unable to leave. I wanted to get out as fast as I could. Evil had entered the room. I quickly made the death pronouncement and left."

And so it was. And so it can be. If you know folks who are violent to others or dismiss God -- who are very distant from Him -- you may want to print this little excerpt for them. Dr. Anderson hurried down the hall and turned on the hot water in a sink, almost desperate to cleanse himself. "I wanted to wash the darkness off me," he said. "Lord, please keep me from this evil in the future. Thank You for rescuing me from that. Because if You hadn't come after me, that's where I'd be too."

[Michael Brown's books]

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

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