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A riveting account of front line action in the battle between good and evil -- with personal accounts! Parapsychology, a brush with the Mafia, and fascinating encounters with the supernatural make Michael's story something you will not want to miss and inspires all. Follow his journey into the Light of Christ's awareness! (photos) CLICK HERE
DISCERNING NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES: MOST HAVE A MIX LIKE ALLEGED APPARITIONS
You may notice that we often use the phrase "for your discernment" in our articles. We do that because we're trying to report useful spiritual material, including prophecy (which is especially important right now) -- at the same time that we know there's always imperfection and even deception in the mystical realm (1 Corinthians 13:9).
Right now we encounter a flood of "near-death" experiences, and they must be discerned like alleged apparitions. With near-death cases it's difficult because this is a whole new realm and what such people see is often way beyond our conceptions -- and in some details, perhaps even beyond our theologians. We know from Scripture ("eyes have not seen") that the afterlife is totally different from our reality. There, spirits exist in a way we have never known.
There's no time or space, no real "before" and "after," which makes it difficult for folks to verbalize when they "return."
Yet we also know that near-death experiences occur from reading 2 Corinthians 12:2. That passage says there is a third heaven -- something many find strange! Those who have had near-death brushes often describe incredible crystalline colors or structures that seem weird, even suspicious, possibly New Age, until we read similar things in Ezekiel or the Book of Revelation 4:2-3 (where God Himself has "a gemlike sparkle as of jasper" and around His throne is a rainbow "as brilliant as emerald").
If this stuff goes beyond what you want to consider, you should stay away from it. The safest reading is what has been firmly rooted in tradition. That's why, beginning this week, we're making available the newest version of the Catechism.
But there is often fascinating and useful information in near-death encounters, and it needs to be separated from the chaff. We consider such material, test it, and take only what is good, leaving the rest. Humans report near-death encounters and humans are subject to their own misperceptions and error. Often they have experiences or ideas after their brush with death that seem subject to question.
But then again, it's up to your discernment. Due to many requests and because we believe he's a sincere, practicing Catholic, we also have made available a book by a former businessman named Ned Dougherty who had an alleged near-death experience in 1984 [see previous story] and who saw some things relevant to current events. As with virtually all near-death experiences, we have our own questions. You may too, and any such questions should not be directed to us but directly to Ned (who has graciously provided his e-mail). It's an exciting time, a time for discernment, a time to consider all that God is showing us, and at the same time a time to weigh things carefully and with charity.
In the end that is the key message of Jesus as well (as near-death encounters): love. Above all, love.
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