An Hour with Jesus
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@Spirit Daily

It was on February 24, 1958, as Sister Mildred Neuzil, a nun in New Riegel, Ohio, who experienced the "Our Lady of America" apparitions, was composing herself to sleep when she underwent what she described as "a strange and horrifying" experience. It was similar to visions given to other seers at places like Fatima and Medjugorje. This is how she recounted it:

"As I was not yet asleep I do not think it could have been a dream. It came suddenly without sign or warning and as such, left an indelible impression on my mind and heart.

"I found myself on a lonely road, one of course I had never seen or been on at any time. Before me was a large structure, something similar to a gigantic cathedral or castle. It was huge, somber, and forbidden. I was obliged to walk toward it though something inside me held me back in a kind of dread. Then at my side on the right I felt the strong presence of St. Michael.

"He did not speak, but just having him there made me feel safe. We continued our journey and at last came to what appeared to be the front entrance to the strange building. As we drew nearer, the two great doors which had qualities, so it seemed, of some sort of glasswork, opened of themselves.

"I saw no one. The interior revealed an odd, indescribable darkness, pervaded by a weird sort of light which was not really light. We entered, and without looking back I knew that the doors had closed inexorably behind us and that we would never leave the same way we had entered.

"When I said that the light was not really light I meant it was more like the distant glow of a raging fire. What appeared to be openings in this vast and horrible place looked more like huge windows, painted a vivid red solid and impenetrable, like an unbreakable wall of fire. Yet they did not have the usual accompaniments of fire, like flames or smoke, just, as I said before, a solid red like stained-glass windows of some sort. I felt the frightening certainty of where we were.

"Just the same I could not help asking my companion, `What is this place?' Gravely, solemnly, he replied, 'This is hell.' He said this in a way that I will never forget. I wondered that, except for the red openings, there was no appearance of fire anywhere. Answering these unvoiced thoughts, my companion explained, 'The fire is in the souls of the lost, not an outward but an inward fire that never dies.'

I did not see these lost souls but I knew that they were all about us and I thought of the horror that was theirs and that it would never end.

The silence was appalling. It was the silence of death without hope. As we continued our journey there was not a breath of a sound. The intense and penetrating silence or rather stillness was terrifying beyond description. Yet that very silence screamed with the undying voice of despair -- nothing, nothing, nothing -- lost, lost, lost -- forever, forever, forever. I was filled with the most terrible fear that I would never get out of this dreadful place. And oh how I missed the light. When explaining then to my companion, 'But there is no light,' he had answered, 'How can there be light where God is not.' I kept begging St. Michael not to leave me. Never have I experienced such fear, such horror.

"As we walked on we came to what appeared to be a large body of water. It looked like an enormous circular pool. It all but overflowed with some sort of dark substance. What that was I do not know but it was not water. I did not touch it to make certain but knew in my mind that it was not water. I was too terror-stricken to investigate further. Lying about this pool, in a rather scattered manner were, what appeared to be dead objects of some sort. we did not go close enough for me to see just what they were.

"I cannot imagine anything worse or more horrible than what I felt and saw in this place. I was told, at least so I understood it, that this was the least part of eternal punishment. What then must the rest be like? I understood that no one could experience the full sight of hell and live. When we left this we came upon another aspect of eternal punishment which made a deep impression on me. On what appeared to be a rather wide ledge on the side of a mountain I saw many, many people going back and forth, back and forth, searching, searching. They were surrounded, engulfed in flames of fire. They seemed themselves to be a part of the fire as though it came from within them. My companion then explained to me that these were they who had no time for God while they lived upon earth. Now they were condemned to spend an eternity seeking Him Whom they would never find. An endless search without hope. What a torture this must be! Oh the justice of God!

"On the morning of February 20, 1958, during Holy Mass, the thought of the lost ones, especially the chosen, grieved me. Then Our Lord appearing to me at that moment spoke these words to me: `Beloved, spouse, I condemn no one. If a soul is condemned it has condemned itself.' And I knew in my heart that this was so, though my eyes filled with tears..."

[see previous stories]

[Large conference Monday will feature American apparition, congressman, and stigmatic priest]

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