Spirit Daily


Death Of Close Relatives Often Leads To Special Missions As Well As Family Grace

By Michael H. Brown

Perhaps you've noticed it. I have, especially of late: when a person close to you dies, he or she seems to have more an influence than while he or she was on earth. St. Padre Pio said that he would be able to help more people when he was dead than while he was "alive," and there has been a tremendous outpouring of accounts about the intercession of John Paul II since his death.

Such is especially true of parents. Let us know your accounts. In speaking the other day with Estela Ruiz, a woman from Phoenix who has had tremendous spiritual experiences, including alleged visions of Mary, it was clear that the death of her beloved husband, Reyes, has been followed by a similar upsurge. Estela's mission in the realm of education and her family's Catholic missionary work all have skyrocketed since the death of Reyes. They are now ministering from South America to Europe!

Our loved ones help us from the other side.

Those who are spiritual avoid depression -- and even find joy in the passing of loved ones (unless, of course, there is concern about a person's eternal disposition).

Estela is vibrant, despite her incredible closeness to Reyes. The same is true with the family of famed mystic Maria Esperanza of Venezuela, especially her husband, whose joy has not diminished. In speaking to her son-in-law, Carlos  Marrero Bornn, last week, I found him and his family as happy, invigorated, and busy as ever -- perhaps even busier than when Maria, who traveled extensively with her family, was alive!

Work at the apparition site of Betania near Caracas [below, left], which is associated to the late seer, has only expanded. They are building a "Loreto House of Prayer," and already there has been established a "Square of the Miraculous Medal." Testimonies pour in. Maria's book, Bridge To Heaven, is being reprinted.

"It has been amazing from every point of views," notes the son-in-law, who had been Maria's translator, in recounting the events which have occurred of late.

And then there are the accounts of us regular folks -- such as Michael Voris, a former television newsman and now president of a powerful new Catholic video organization called St. Michael's Media. Talk about the "prayers of a mother"!

"Two years before she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, my mother prayed to Jesus,  'Jesus, I don't care what you have to do to me, but spare the eternal lives of my two sons.' My brother and I had both wandered far from the Church -- he out of Pride and me out of Lust.  

"My mother and I had always been close, so when the doctor said she only had two or three months to live, she and my father moved to metro Detroit to be near me. I had carved out a pretty successful career as TV producer and reporter. And all the while, I was drowning in a life of sexual promiscuity. I was spiritually dead and didn't even know it.  

"My mother lived almost two more years. She lived to see my older brother die suddenly of a heart attack at 48.  When I told her that her first born was dead, she cried out, 'Oh God, how many more crosses can you give me?!'   

"This was the beginning of my re-conversion, but I didn't know it at the time. I began to feel a deep troubled stirring inside of me.

"Based on information that came to light after my brother's death, it was clear to me that God had indeed taken him in answer to my mother's prayer. That left me. After his death, my mother and I shared some soul stirring moments as she prepared to meet God.

"She told me things I didn't want to hear at the time, but as she lay dying in the hospice, I knew deep inside my life would never be the same.   

"As she lay in the coffin, with no one else present, I placed my hand on her womb and promised, 'Mom, what you went through for me, you will not have gone through in vain.' My re-conversion had begun in earnest. 

"I have since abandoned a life of sexual promiscuity and chosen a life of celibacy. To be sure, it is God's grace that enables me to keep my promise, but it is always our choice to cooperate with that grace. 

"I have rediscovered the joy of the faith from my childhood. My re-conversion has led me to a place I would have never guessed three years ago when I was trapped in a life of sin. Along with some other very committed Catholics, we have built a TV studio in the Detroit suburbs and are producing a straight-talking Catholic TV series called, The One True Faith. We are hopeful that it will be nationally distributed in the fall. 

"When I look back on the past, I shudder at my sins. But not even my evil choices could overcome the love of my mother and her willingness to suffer for me, so I might be saved. I can only hope and pray that God blesses our efforts despite my own unworthiness to preach the Faith. Thanks Mom and thank you Jesus."


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