Secrets of the Eucharist, by Michael Brown, Heart-felt reflections on the Holy Eucharist, fresh new insights, and miracles.  What did Padre Pio say? How did saints adore? What's the "real presence"? Full of insights into the Mass, the most powerful prayer possible. One of our most popular books. From ancient mysticism to modern, evidence of the potent force of God in this sacrament.  CLICK HERE



The idea that we will encounter fantastic light in the company of an angel or deceased loved one or Jesus Himself at death -- as expressed in so many near-death experiences -- parallels an account taken from no less than Venerable Bede, the famous English monk who was born in the seventh century and recorded the account of "a man already dead" who "returned to bodily life and related many notable things that he had seen, some of which I have thought valuable to mention in brief."

The holy monk then went on to quote this man, who lived in the country of the Northumbrians, as saying: "A handsome man in a shining robe was my guide, and we walked in silence in what appeared to be a northeasterly direction. As we traveled onward, we came to a very broad and deep valley of infinite length. He soon brought me out of darkness into an atmosphere of clear light, and as he led me forward in bright light, I saw before us a tremendous wall which seemed to be of infinite length and height in all directions.

"As I could see no gate, window, or entrance in it, I began to wonder why we went up to the wall. But when we reached it, all at once – I know not by what means – we were on top of it. Within lay a very broad and pleasant meadow. Such was the light flooding all this place that it seemed greater than the brightness of daylight or of the sun’s rays at noon." The "guide" then told this man: "You must now return to your body and live among men once more; but, if you will weigh your actions with greater care and study to keep your words and ways virtuous and simple, then you will win a home among these happy spirits you see."

In 1583, a young prince named Paolo Massimo was dying. He had been visited daily by Father Philip, founder of the Oratorians and one of the greatest religious figures of Rome (later Philip Neri). On March 16, we see in an account, the priest was delayed and by the time he arrived, Paolo was dead. According to the testimony of the child's father, Father Philip began to pray at the side of the bed with his hand on the boy's forehead. After seven or eight minutes of intense prayer he sprinkled the youth with Holy Water and called his name. Paolo opened his eyes. The boy spent several minutes talking with the holy priest, but then explained that he would rather go to Heaven to join his mother and sister. Hugging Father Philip one last time, Paolo fell back on the cushions and died.

We think of such things in this aftermath of revisiting the Resurrection.

Meanwhile, one day young St. Catherine of Siena had been sent with her brother Stephen to the house of their married sister Bonaventura, states a biographical note on her. As they passed the fountain of Fontebranda, Catherine, who was looking up at the Church of St. Dominic, which stands on the opposite hill, "saw in the heavens the figure of Our Lord robed and crowned: he stretched out His right Hand and blessed her solemnly with a smile of sweetness. Catherine stood rooted to the ground, oblivious to the things around her, with her eyes fixed to the beautiful vision. Stephen turned to look for her. 'Catherine,' he cried, but she did not come. 'Catherine, Catherine!' he repeated, running to his little sister and pulling her by the hand, saying, 'what are you doing? Why do you look up like that?' In response Catherine burst into tears because the vision was gone. 'Ah,' she said, 'if you had seen what I saw you would never have pulled me away,' but she did not tell her brother what had happened. It was not for several years when it had become a habitual thing for her to see and converse with Our Lord, that she told her confessor of this early vision."

After this foretaste of Paradise, we are told, St. Catherine became more reserved and thoughtful. She had witnessed the Lord in His beauty, and He had drawn her pure heart to him forever. Shortly after, she made a vow to the Holy Mother consecrating herself to God. "Here I give my faith and promise to Him and to thee that I will never take another spouse but Him, and so far as in me lies, will keep myself pure and unspotted for Him alone to the end of my days."

St. Faustina also was given visions of Heaven and hell.

Of paradise she wrote:

"Today I was in Heaven in spirit, and I saw its inconceivable beauties and the happiness that awaits us after death. I saw how all creatures give ceaseless praise and glory to God. I saw how great is happiness in God, which spreads to all creatures making them happy; and then all the glory and praise which springs from this happiness returns to its source; and they enter into the depths of God, contemplating the inner life of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whom they will never comprehend or fathom. This source of happiness is unchanging in its essence, but is always new, gushing forth happiness for all creatures."

[adapted from The Other Side; see also Michael Brown retreat, New Jersey and The Diary of Saint Faustina]

[Michael Brown pilgrimage: Holy Land and Spirit Daily pilgrimage to Medjugorje]

[see also: With Eucharist comes promise of Heaven ]

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