The Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist  by Father Robert DeGrandis, the wonderful book brings forth the deep, heavenly insight into God's greatest gift of love for the human race - the Holy Eucharist.   click here 


For our discernment:


A touch of Heaven. There's a book by that title about "a little boy's story of surgery, Heaven, and healing," as the subtitle puts it. It's a remembrance of the battle for his life, even within his mother's womb. The forward to it is by Dr. Benjamin S. Carson (of conservative political fame). As the cover puts it: "Neal Pylant, along with his son Christopher, shares the incredible true story of how he and his wife, both from different religious backgrounds, embraced Christianity while pursuing a miracle for their terminally ill son.

"The couple quickly realized that they were dealing with more than physical sickness. They were thrust into a battle where a spiritual enemy launched an all-out assault on their child. Though the boy 'died,' Heaven prevailed, life returned to his body, and he received a mandate to fulfill God's Will on earth."

How's that for an alleged near-death episode?

And so it goes.

Do we believe this stuff?

There's too much of it -- far, far too much of it -- to ignore. And often it's more informative than many things out there, though, like everything else, it requires a process of discernment (that word we use over and again, but that must be used over and again).

Christopher not only ended up coming back from the "dead," but eventually graduated from Southeastern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Practical Theology. His brush with death came during surgery (by Dr. Carson) for one of the greatest medical challenges: a brain tumor.

The word "practical," when it comes to theology ("Practical Theology"), is a good one. For these experiences often bequeath us insights we can use in everyday life. They tell us how to live -- and often bring Scripture alive, in a way that is sometimes astonishing.

We're interested in Christopher's story because according to his dad, at one point during the ordeal -- a number of years ago now, of course, during the battle with a grave childhood health threat, and out of the blue -- Christopher had said something very peculiar and at the time inexplicable to his parents:

"Satan was a bear named 'Adra,' Satan and God were fighting when I was in the womb."

Imagine hearing that from your child.

That started a little theological investigation.

"A friend of mine had studied many types of religions, including Satanism," writes Neal. "I shared Christopher's visions with him and his response was astonishing. He explained, 'During satanic rituals, witches and warlocks call forth spirits from the darkness. These demonic spirits many times take on physical animal forms. The only one that comes as a bear is Satan himself."

Did this boy really witness battles between Jesus and Satan? And if so, what does it inform us about?

This for sure: once the darkness was named, it was successfully defeated -- on the physical plane by a surgeon, but on the more important spiritual plane by  prayers of intercession to cast out "Adra."

How many of us -- and our families -- are likewise afflicted?

During these battles, related the young child -- apparently enlightened as he went in and out of "another place" -- the Spirit of God was all around him, as a shell of protection from the enemy; the boy was shielded by the Cross. Do we likewise do spiritual "casting out" during illness?

At one point in this family's saga, a friend who was a close student of the Bible called Neal and said, "I have something to tell you.

"Two weeks ago I was reading in the Book of Acts. This name Adra your son alluded to as a bear literally jumped off the page at me. It's in Acts 27:2. Although it was used as a prefix to the name of a ship, I later ran reference in my main concordance and found the name of a demon (pagan god) with the same prefix. I've wondered if this could be the demon your son spoke of when he said 'the germ in my body that is making me sick is named Adra.' The reference says, 'The Avvites worshipped their god Nibhaz and Tartak. And the people from Sepharvaim even burned their own children as sacrifices to their gods Adrammelech and Anammelech' (2 Kings 17:31)."

There, it seemed, was the "root"; the entity by name. And, by name, it was cast out.

We all have such battles with root afflictions. Generational sin goes back to Adam. It has collected down through the ages. Our question of the week: When will we go back to the old way of dealing with it (in the way of casting out the spirit, for example, as a Mass reading just this week, 3/27/14, relates, of muteness) like this family did? Is not Lent a great time to "break strongholds"? And during a fast? During Confession? And after reading Scripture? Christopher also allegedly had experiences with Jesus. Far be for us to be bogged down with skepticism (which so often kills faith). "He was standing in a mist,"  the young man recalled. "When Jesus saw me, He stepped out of the mist, took my hand, and said, 'Come with Me, Christopher, I want to introduce you to My Father.'" When the strongman is cast out, the route upward, and our vision, are cleared.

[resources: A Touch of Heaven]

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