Resting in the Spirit by Father Robert DeGrandis In this valuable book Father DeGrandis explores the very biblical foundation of being "slain" in the Spirit and its precedents with bishops and saints. It's a book that explains and clarifies! CLICK HERE



It's always been puzzling why so few who have so-called near-death experiences come back relating a brush with hell (only eight to eleven percent, some say fewer).

Is it because such a memory is too awful -- or embarrassing -- to recall? Does the subconscious block it out? Might it even be that everyone is given the beatific vision before they enter their eternal destination, even the hell-bound?

The vast majority of those who "die" and return have extremely intense visions of Heaven's beauty and love; for those headed to purgatory, knowing it will be a while before they can reach there might be part of the suffering. Thus, they too are shown paradise -- even if it may not be where they were ready to go. They return to earth before passing the final barrier. They hear, "You must go back." Thus, they may not see all that comprises the afterlife.

It's also true that few are the criminals and others with histories of extreme transgression who report any near-death experiences; they are simply not the type to contact researchers. Of course, one could speculate that a number of these experiences are themselves deceptions to make it seem that no matter what one does on earth, one will enter Heaven. The Blessed Mother once said that most souls go to purgatory and that many do go to hell.

True it is that in general the experience is an overwhelmingly pleasant one that removes fear of death (at the same time that it transforms an individual into a more spiritual person). That's the good news!

But there certainly are near-death experiences that involve the netherworld.

"When my spirit began to leave my body I began to go down into a very deep pit," said one woman named Christine Eastell as recounted in a recent book. "It is difficult to describe. It was very black and misty. There was no beginning or end, and no sides. I just knew I was in a pit. I kept closing my eyes, and hoping that when I opened them it would all be a bad dream, but nothing changed. It is impossible to find words to describe the fear I felt. I was desperate to get out. When I saw what I thought was a small opening I began to claw desperately. But the more I tried to get to this opening, the more distant it became. It was an impossible situation."

"All around there were people, just ordinary people," added Christine. "They were in deep pain and despair, and they seemed to be tormented by an enormous sense of guilt, which was reflected in their faces. It is so difficult to describe the depth of despair that was present in that place. If you could put all the pain, hurt, and despair in the world together, then that was what I sensed in that place. I was far more aware of the depth of this despair than I was of the people."

There was also Mickey Robinson:

"In an instant, the physical world vanished and my inner man came out of my physical body. I was no longer in the hospital room -- I had entered into the realm of the spirit. A great darkness began to surround me, and I saw this was actually a point of separation. Coming through the closing space was a beam of the purest whitest light I had ever seen. The doorway began closing faster and faster. The meaning of this separation became illuminated to me. I knew that if this door would close completely, I would be cut off for all eternity from this light.

"I experienced a deep hopelessness and horror. Separation is hopelessness! Eternal separation is hopelessness! Eternal separation is a torment beyond belief. I want you to know there is a place established somewhere that is eternal separation. I was permitted to  not only see, but to experience the feeling of what it would be like to be in this eternal separation."

A major danger cited? Lack of love. Hatred. Our afterlives will reflect what we are inside. Thank God we have Confession and the time to reform them!

Finally a fellow named Ronald Reagan (not the president). This from a book called Heaven Visions.

"What could I do!" he said. "There I was in hell, with Satan, and in total despair. I had thought I was a Christian, but I had  not committed my life to Jesus. At that point I thought, 'Lord, please rescue me.' I prayed for forgiveness, and i remember falling on my knees pleading with Him to forgive me. Then I stayed there, because I could not do anything else. But, praise God, Satan is a defeated enemy."

[resources: near-death books]

[Brown retreats: Portland, Seattle; Retreats in Buffalo, Syracuse]

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