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!  ( here Kindle or Nook )  for paperback: click here 



The moment of death is a holy, rarefied, and (if there is prayer) joyful moment. Hospice nurses I talk to say in most cases it is a peaceful occurrence.

There are the Last Rites: besides anointing a person for the eternal sojourn, at times it revives folks, even heals them.

You can read one such account here.

"A woman who was given the last rites stunned her family when she started to talk hours later," reported the Barnsley Chronicle in UK. "Mary Young had received end of life care following a heart attack and was visited by Barnsley Hospital chaplain Father Peter Needham. Mary, 87, of Taylor Crescent, Grimethorpe, was taken to hospital on January 11. Daughter Marie Gledhill, of Bank End Road, Worsbrough Dale, was contacted the next day by staff to say her mother was deteriorating and that she and her brother Tommy should come. 'My mum was out of it, the nurse said she could have hours or days. She didn't even know Father Peter was there but he came and gave her the Last Rites. I stayed with her after and was talking to her and all of a sudden she started answering me. It's a miracle, there's no other explanation. The doctors couldn't believe it."

Never underestimate the power of sacraments, nor the prayers of relatives!

There are so many and variegated signs -- evidence' really, proof -- that we go far beyond this physical world.

"When I was growing up in District Heights, Maryland, there was a young teen, Tommy, who lived with his devout Baptist family next door," wrote Mercine Marshall to us. "He was a single-minded youth, always studying and achieving great grades and scholarly honors at the local high school. His life was straight as an arrow. He was quiet and respectful and hard-working. The family went to church regularly.

"When Tommy was seventeen, the family let him go to a barber for the first official barber haircut of his life. Before that, they had cut his hair at home. 

"Tommy was walking on the sidewalk on a Saturday morning, almost to the barber, when a car drove up on the sidewalk, struck him, and threw him in the air.

"Tommy lingered in the hospital for a few days, and when his family came next door to let us know that he had passed away, my parents saw a cross in the sky, formed by clouds.  It was remarkable -- so much so that my parents were convinced, and talked about it."

"I've had many experiences with the dead or dying," wrote Joan Beauregard. "This is the only one I have had in which I believe the person attended their own funeral. It was my friend, Carol. Her memorial was held on Padre Island, Texas, at a hotel that was on the beach. We were on a back stone patio with a stone surround encompassing the patio. It was high enough and wide enough to sit on comfortably. I was listening to the booming surf and the person who was eulogizing her, and looking out to sea when I 'saw' a light-person sitting on the surround. No features, just light, but I could make out the way the person was dressed -- just like Carol. She seemed to be listening. In a few moments, three other luminous beings appeared with her, one right next to her. When her friend's eulogy would become sad, she would disappear and reappear when he offered something upbeat about her life. Carol always dwelt on the positive! I thought I was really seeing things, but it lasted almost the entire eulogy. I could close my eyes, open them, and the images were still there. I think she was attending her own memorial service."

"Itís not a story of the moment of death, but rather a moment of Grace after my son received his first Holy Communion (heís now 26)," wrote another, Susan Rezsonya of Jacksonville, Florida. "After the beautiful Mass we went across the street to take pictures in front of a shrine of Our Lady of Fatima with the little children kneeling in front of her. We waited in line to take the picture and each previous dad would take the picture of the next family in line. My husband and I stood to the side of Mary and our son, John, stood directly in front of Maryís statue. The dad taking our picture said, 'I donít know, but thereís a golden circle over Maryís face. We all looked up and my son and I saw it, my husband didnít. It never turned up in the photos, but we knew Mary was blessing us with her presence on Johnís very special day."

"My mother passed away on January 15 of this year," says Ellen Perry of Galveston, Texas. "On the Sunday before her death, my husband and I were with her. She suddenly sat up in bed and looked upwards. She then laid back down and had the most peaceful look I have ever seen. I hugged her and she hugged me back and took our hands and placed them on her heart. Three times that afternoon, she sat up and reached for someone, then laid back down. We knew something was happening that we could not see. She then went to sleep for three days and took her last breath with us present. A white cross appeared in our daughter's window early the morning of mom's death. She texted it to me knowing it meant mom was going to Heaven that day. Mom said three Rosaries every day until she got Alzheimer's disease. The priest came to the nursing home at nine at night prior to mom's death to anoint her and give her absolution, thus Our Lady kept her promise that apostles of the Rosary will not die without the sacraments. She also died clothed in the Brown Scapular. We are Third Order Carmelites."

"I donít remember a light at the moment my father died, but it was a peaceful passing," wrote a woman named Rosemarie Tenney of Sherburne, New York. "He had been ill with pancreatic cancer for about eight months, and we knew the end was near. On his last day, we searched for a priest to come to the farm where he built a house for my mom forty-five years before. Finally, a good priest agreed to come that afternoon. He was delayed, but my father, who was unresponsive for most of the day, seemed to understand that father would be there later on. When Father arrived, he set up for the final prayers. My mom was there, along with one of my brothers and me. We prayed with Father for my dad. At the start of the prayers, my dad moved his hand as if to try to make the Sign of the Cross. At the end, we were reciting the Lordís Prayer and once we had said, 'Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven' my dad took his last breath and released it very peacefully. I always think that dad no longer needed his Ďdaily breadí but the rest of us here on earth do, so thatís why he left at that moment. I was afraid of death up until that day, and now that there is less mystery to me, death is no longer quite as scary."

And finally:

"My dad told me that he became a Catholic convert while he was serving in the Army," writes another. "He said he was impressed by his bunkmate that there was something very different about him and that started my dad on his long journey of wanting to go to Heaven.

"I also remember as a little kid that my dad told me about Jesus and that He lived in Heaven and that one day we were going to live with Jesus in Heaven.

"My dad's name was Art and he taught me the Our Father. I always thought the first part ('Our Father Art in Heaven') referred to my dad.

"The whole family knew that dad wanted to go to Heaven one day; it was a major topic with him.

"One day we got word that dad had cancer. He struggled with his cancer for a year and a half. Towards the end he did not want to be left by himself.

"The family respected his wishes and someone was with him constantly, even through the night, and this continued for about two weeks.

"In his last hours the family kept a bedside vigil. Finally dad passed and I knew that he was gone as I watched the color drain from his face.

"For about an hour-and-a-half the house was in a small flurry waiting for the coroner to come for the body and as it was late and we were waiting to turn in. Finally the house was dark and quiet. I had just settled on the couch and was looking up at the top of the stairs leading to my dad's room.

"All of a sudden a large glowing ball of light about the size of a basketball and six feet off the ground appeared at the top of the stairs. The ball of light started to descend down the stairs, staying at the same height off the ground while moving down the stairs.

"I watched with my mouth open. On reaching the landing the ball of light paused and I could see that the light was not really glowing but more like sparkling rays, as when sunlight reflects off of bright shiny hair. The light ball paused a moment longer then proceeded as through it was going to go through the closed front door, but then, disappeared."

-- Michael H. Brown

[Note also: Michael Brown retreats: Philadelphia-New Jersey and Connecticut!]

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