Secrets of the Eucharist  by Michael Brown. Heart-felt reflections on the Holy Eucharist, fresh new insights, and miracles.  What did Padre Pio say? How did saints adore? What's the "real presence"? Full of insights into the Mass, the most powerful prayer possible. One of our most popular books. CLICK HERE



Few things inform us more than brushes with death, which so often grant crucial lessons as well as a great sense of uplift: it does not end with earthly death. In fact, that's just the beginning. We are often given indications of this.

"My first child, Gerard, was born prematurely at twenty-four weeks on a gray, snowy day in January in 1970 and was baptized at birth," notes one viewer. "He only lived two-and-a-half hours. Before the nurse came in to tell me he had died, a beam of light shown through on my hospital window and a dove or pigeon landed on the windowsill. It was so unusual because it was an overcast, snowy Ohio winter day. Shortly after that, the nurse came in to say he passed away. I have always thought that God sent us a sign that our son was in Heaven."

"I have felt my loved ones, who have passed into eternity, many many times," said another name Teresa. "On one occasion it was on my birthday that my husband had to go into the hospital for a serious operation. Early on that morning, while still at home, I was in prayer and I felt both of my parents at my side. They barely touched my face but I felt kissed on each cheek and reassured that my husband would be all right. During painful moments I have experienced my mother close to me. This has been tremendously comforting."

During her near-death experience, viewer Debbie Becker encountered a Light that reviewed her life and allegedly even recommended two classic books. Noted Debbie of the experience (which we recommend printing, if you don't have the time now to read it through):

"I have mentioned to a few of my friends that Our Lady recommended The Imitation of Christ to one of the visionaries in Africa and they remembered that I had told them over twenty years ago that the figure of Light I presumed was God had recommended both Abandonment to Divine Providence and The Imitation of Christ.  

"At that time in my life in 1985, I was only 26 years old, I did not even know they were books; at first I thought he meant an attitude or way of acting.  

"I found out at the book store at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. that they were books considered by some to be religious classics, number one or two after the Bible. Having purchased the books, I was given the interior locution to read Abandonment immediately.  

"I did. I devoured it and as I read, it comforted me because I knew as I read that God was telling me that even though because of my corpus luteum hemorrhage I lost my baby, I should realize that God was in charge, and someday everything will be made clearer to me.

"Ever since my near-death He occasionally speaks directly to my soul.

"Once, recently, after having learned of a calumny someone once dear to me had spread, I suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to read Imitation. The urge was so strong that I knew if I could not find the one I had stored somewhere in my house, I would have to run out that very evening and buy a new copy.

"I searched and found my book, opened it up and knowing God was directing my actions I glanced down and the page was entitled "The Forty-Sixth Chapter - Trust in God Against Slander."

"As I read the loving words Jesus once dictated to Thomas A. Kempis, I realized the intimate relationship each and everyone of us share with our Creator.  

"He doesn't just form us in our mother's womb and forget us. He not only rightfully judges us at the moment of our death, but He also is there for us in the moments of our deepest despair, comforting us with words written sometime back in the fourth century.

"God was telling me not to despair at the slander spoken of me, and here are his words of comfort from Thomas A. Kempis:

 "'He who does not keep his heart within him, and who does not have God before his eyes is easily moved by a word of disparagement. He who trusts in Me, on the other hand, and who has no desire to stand by his own judgment, will be free from the fear of men. For I am the judge and discerner of all secrets. I know how all things happen. I know who causes injury and who suffers it. From Me that word proceeded, and with My permission it happened, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed. I shall judge the guilty and the innocent, but I have wished beforehand to try them both by secret judgment.

"'The testimony of man is often deceiving, but My judgment is true -- it will stand and not be overthrown. It is hidden from many and made known to but a few.  

"'Yet it is never mistaken and cannot be mistaken even though it does not seem right in the eyes of the unwise."

"I felt immediately comforted," continues Debbie
. "I knew what was said about me was untrue, and I knew by the uncontrollable urge to find and read The Imitation of Christ that God had something he wanted to say to me.

"Reading that chapter I learned that God had allowed those words against me to be spoken so that I would learn eventually about the designs in the heart of the person who spoke these words.  

"That person probably never thought what they said would eventually get back to me, but God in his mercy let me know and I feel eternally grateful. Sometimes it is good to learn about the lies told about you. I learned so much from that singular experience, that we should choose our friends wisely.  

"God knows who is lying, and sometimes God even takes time out of running the entire Universe to tell someone who is being slandered that they are being slandered, not only by sending the hearer to the victim, but he offers consolation to the victim of slander telling him or her not to worry about what is being said because He is the final Judge.  

In a matter of minutes I went from feeling like the helpless victim of a vicious lie, to remembering my own near-death experience, and feeling an enormous amount of pity for the person I had just learned had slandered me. One day that individual will stand before God and have to explain herself.  She will see how I felt as I learned of the lies she spoke. She will she how God filled me with the urge to read Imitation of Christ almost twenty three years after recommending the book to my soul during my own life review while whispering to my soul every other time I went to read it with a soft 'Not Now.'  

"Just as it says in Scripture, He doesn't always speak in thunderous tones but sometimes in a soft whisper.

"I learned from my near death to pray to God to guide me in this life.  After my near death experience, I have vowed to be
more thoughtful in my words and actions and even in my thoughts, knowing that things I had not considered 'sinful' are sometimes hurtful, and we will not be judged just on the commandments we break, but more importantly on the hearts we break.

"During my near-death experience it was painful to watch the times I sinned, lies I may have told to get out of doing things, my sins of omission -- when I simply did not do something asked of me and should have, but reviewing them I thought 'yes Lord, I was wrong' and the pain I felt seeing them was inevitable.

"What surprised me was seeing things I had been shown in my life review that would certainly not be considered a sin in this world, I wanted to tell my friends that certain 'unkindnesses' or an apparent lack of charity seems to be treated like sin in the life review. I would warn them 'the bar is much higher than we thought.'

"Besides resting in the peace that God is the only Judge whose opinion of us really matters, the most important line in that chapter of The Imitation of Christ was this: 'To Me, therefore, you ought to come in every decision, not depending on your own judgment.'"   

[resources: The Imitation of Christ, Abandonment to Divine Providence, and The God of Miracles-Other Side special]

[Michael H. Brown, retreat, Minnesota and Retreat in New Jersey]

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