The Spirits Around Us, by Michael H. Brown, a brand new book on the supernatural realities around us -- around every person. Read of current encounters on deathbeds, in hospitals, in everyday life, in 'haunted' settings that finally get a Catholic explanation (as even St. Augustine spoke of their effect, and saints like Padre Pio saw them). Demons, angels, spirits of the deceased, purgatorial souls, often affecting us in unseen, unsuspected ways and dispelled through deep prayer in the Name of Jesus when we know how to do so and approach them with Catholic faith, prayer, and love! CLICK HERE
For your (prayerful) diuscernment:
THE TIME OF YEAR FOR GHOST STORIES IS ALSO TIME TO PRAY FOR SOULS IN PURGATORY
Do spirits of the deceased exist? We know they do -- that there is an afterlife, and that on occasion we interact with those "on the other side."
Jesus was seen in communication with two deceased holy men: Elijah and Moses. He even mentioned the term "ghosts" (during that storm on the Sea of Galilee).
We also know from the intercession of saints -- who like Mary are sometimes seen in apparition.
From the saints themselves (particularly Padre Pio) came accounts of encountering the departed.
So we know it from them.
Through a grace from God, it is said, the deceased sometimes are allowed to communicate to us, as if to remind us to pray for them or to in some way help or console us. Some believe that souls are allowed to remain on earth until burial for just that purpose (and that others, for other reasons, remain earthbound). We also know it from mystical writings that certain souls are allowed to do their purgatory here on earth (although they are no longer in the physical) and according to at least two major mystical revelations, the day the greatest number of souls is released from purgatory is Christmas Day.
Let us keep this in mind this Christmas season (especially as we head toward a new year).
Ironically, ghost stories and accounts of the supernatural have long been a custom at this time of the year -- and perhaps that too is connected. Last week (December 21) a London newspaper called The Sun (a tabloid, so caution here) had the photo of a Christening at St. Martin's Church in Canterbury, with what seemed like the silhouette of a ghostly face looking on in the backdrop (she took it to be her deceased husband).
Obviously, it is a field in which one must be especially concerned about hoaxes or simple mirages.
Yet, it is a field that is often dismissed by skeptical types who have never conducted fair or adequate inquiry.
"Attached is a photo taken by a game camera in my trailer," wrote one viewer of the photo to the right (which if not something explicable is a bit spooky). "I set it up facing the back door of my trailer to test out the camera to see what kind of pictures I would get. In the photo you can see something next to me. At the time I was talking to my mother and was getting ready to go to work. In the conversation with my mother we were talking about purgatory and my mother was saying that she hopes that she has truly forgiven everyone in her life that has hurt her, and then she said I don’t hold anything against Sister Terasita, a nun that taught her in grade school, the nun was overly strict and verbally abusive. So then I started to pray silently while my mother talked, that since two of are in agreement and Jesus said that where two or more are gathered in His Name He would be there. I prayed for Jesus mercy to be upon her and that all of Sister Terasita sins would be complete forgiven her, in Jesus' Name. Then I was thanking Jesus for all the trials the abuse brought about and the good Jesus brought out of it, (the abuse was not a good thing, but he can bring good out of any situation).
"Just then I felt like my hand was being kissed. I discovered the picture about ten days later when I checked out the trail camera; this is the only image with something unusual in it, in over a hundred pictures."
Is everything a hoax? Is everyone making things up? On the other hand: how does one discern a feeling of "creepy''?
We must always be on our guard.
Others claim photos of strange orbs of light, including [left, taken on July 23, 2011, in Cleveland of a pilgrim Guadalupe replica] what seem like holy ones, in settings both dark and bright, as sent to us by Fred Zokol.
The orb appears independent of lighting.
From Maine we heard from a woman who lost a spouse and says of what she believes are images on the wall of her garage [right]: "It started out in the summer of 2010 with a face that looked like Padre Pio. I noticed in December of that year the face changed. It reminded me of St. Joseph and then other images came out gradually. Looking at the face, to the left is an image of the Madonna in a sitting position with her hands held up holding Jesus. I believe the face is Jesus and God the Father's image is on His Face," she noted.
And so -- for the souls (as well as the intercession of saints) -- do we pray.
Years back the account circulated of a Irishman named Pat Murnahan who chanced to be seated next to Mother Teresa of Calcutta on a plane from New York to London (then on, for him, to Dublin). A full account is here. He had watched as Mother Teresa and another nun prayed with an unusual set of beads -- ones that were colored. "They both closed their eyes as they immersed themselves in prayer and Pat stole a closer look at the unusual Rosary beads," says the account. "He noticed that the decades at the beginning were totally black but as the beads went on they got lighter until, at the end of the rosary, they were completely white. As she took out the rosary he ventured to ask about the differing colors of the beads. She explained they were called Holy Souls Beads and the changing colors signify coming from darkness into light. We know as we pray a Rosary for the holy souls, Jesus brings many of them out of darkness into the light."
When Mother Teresa asked him if there was anyone he wanted them to pray for, he thought of his elderly grandmother, who at the moment was barely clinging to life. The nuns prayed, mentioning deceased names in between decades. But there was no petition for his grandmother. When, afterwards, he asked why, Mother Teresa said, “When you pray for the souls in purgatory God will be so pleased with your unselfish prayers for those you don’t even know, that he will grant you your dearest wish, without even asking and sometimes maybe without you even knowing what your dearest wish is.”
[resources: The Spirits Around Us, Proof of Heaven, and Struck By Lightning]
[Also: Michael Brown pilgrimage, Medjugorje and Michael Brown retreats: Florida, January 27, -Announcing a retreat in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and -Retreat in Houston]
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