The Amazing Secrets of the Souls in Purgatory 
Sister Emmanuel, a nun from Medjugorje, interviews Maria Simma, an alleged mystic who has the charism of being able to see and talk to the souls in Purgatory. Answers questions like: Who decides if a soul goes to Purgatory? How do we get a soul released from Purgatory? How can we avoid Purgatory? What are the sins that most lead to purgatory? and much moreCLICK HERE


By Michael H. Brown

This is a time to protect ourselves, and that's because when purification comes -- as events in the world unfold -- there are also events in our own homes and families.

While we look to war or earthquakes or storms or acts of terror as signs of the times, often we neglect to notice what is occurring in our own lives.

And that often includes strange illness or accidents.

Now, we know these things happen. There are always accidents, and everyone, at one time or another, gets sick. It's the process of life and often is the result of redemptive suffering. Sometimes God send us holy tests, and they come in the way of illness. 

There are other times, however, that illness and accidents can be part of spiritual warfare. We know from Scripture that demons can cause illness and we know this because in a number of cases Jesus cast out an evil spirit before a person was healed (see, for example, Matthew 8:16). The lesson: demons were preventing the healing or had caused the illnesses to begin with.

We are in a time when evil spirits are numerous and so are their negative effects -- unless we protect against them. Strange things are occurring. "Christians in a small Indiana community are in mourning over the bizarre death of a local Southern Baptist pastor and most of his family," reported the Agape Press this week. "Authorities cannot explain how it happened. On Monday evening, police say 46-year-old Stanley Paul Jones, pastor of Buck Creek Baptist Church in Cumberland, was driving along a Hancock County road with his wife and three children. For reasons unknown, a large oak tree suddenly fell across the road, crushing the car. Pastor Jones, his 39-year-old wife, and two of their children were killed. A four-year-old daughter is in an Indianapolis hospital listed in fair condition. Authorities say there was no wind or storm at the time that would have caused the tree to fall."

Just a bit over a week before, on December 19, a similarly freak accident killed a prominent Catholic priest. This time it was San Francisco and the victim was Father Paul Belcher of St. Agnes Church -- who died when one of the church's heavy wrought-iron gates slipped off its track as he was closing it. Word of the accident shocked the Jesuit community. 

Such things, of course, can always happen. Accidents are a part of life. But personal suffering -- and unusual accidents -- seem to be increasing. When we look for "signs of the times," we don't always have to look for storms, quakes, or acts of terror. Often we need look no further than our homes -- and make sure that we're protected. 

How do we do that? By dispelling our pride, which is the rootstock of demons; fasting in whatever way is possible; and purifying ourselves through Confession. The daily use of Holy Water every day (on our person, in our homes, in our workplace, on our cars) is important. St. Theresa of Avila pointed this out. "From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like Holy Water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again," wrote the saint. 

When we have faith, purify ourselves, and pray, there is no reason to fear; the demons hide from us. When we have pride, we are sending them a formal invitation. No doubt, you have stories yourselves of unusual suffering in friends or members of the family. No doubt, you have also noticed the peculiarities. Around the world, there is a great proliferation of crows.

Is this just a twist of nature, or is it a metaphor?

That's up to your discernment. Let us just say this: it's time to pull our heads out of the sand, acknowledge a serious circumstance around us, and defeat evil with faith. Indeed, when you see someone who fears, you know they are not praying enough, and if that someone is you, be assured that God is not only ready to protect you and your family but also -- even in such strange times -- to remove all fear.

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