Our Memories of Sister Lucia, by Sister Maria Celina de Jesus Crucificado, the recollections of the cloistered nuns at Coimbra of their famous colleague, Fatima seer Lucia dos Santos, with fresh insights and details about her life and an in-depth description of her final years, especially the last days she spent on earth -- how she handled her impending end, what occurred medically, and how in the end this sure-for-sainthood nun passed on. CLICK HERE



We all recall the horror when a hospice near St. Petersburg, Florida, "pulled the plug" on Terri Schiavo, upon the insistence of her husband. It is coming up on nine years, since it all boiled over. Terri had been semi-comatose for twelve years due to a mysterious accident in her home and her own family -- father, mother, siblings -- had fought valiantly and publicly to save her. Terri was not in a "vegetative state" (as parroted by her husband's lawyer, judges, officials and the media). She responded to words. She visibly reacted to her parents. She reportedly showed fear when certain people were around. We need not revisit this entirely. The lawyer for her husband, who fought tooth and nail to have her feeding and hydration tubes disconnected, was an unusual attorney who after her death reportedly conducted a New Agey, Eastern-style "funeral" prayer with her husband and others who were present, at her passing. He is a yoga instructor. Perhaps this all went along with the spirit of the grounds. Above are photographs taken by a correspondent who had a relative in the same facility. The pictures just came into our hands. One is a "labyrinth" (sort of a mystical maze folks walk around, meditating). We're told it's just behind the building. There are also Tibetan ritual flags where prayer requests are written and attached to a perpendicular clothesline (to visit them up to the gods). The Tibetan flags we respect as part of another religion (Buddhists, by and large, of course, are good people), but as the Vatican, in an encyclical on the New Age, said, "Some of the traditions which flow into New Age are: ancient Egyptian occult practices, Cabbalism, early Christian gnosticism, Sufism, the lore of the Druids, Celtic Christianity, mediaeval alchemy, Renaissance hermeticism, Zen Buddhism, Yoga and so on." The labyrinth, though used for centuries even by some Catholics (we saw it at the ancient cathedral in France of Chartres), and thus not always misdirected, has in recent decades been associated with the New Age stylistics, including at convents and modernistic Catholic retreat houses (along with the equally disputed "enneagram"). With the labyrinth, perhaps it's all in how it's used. It's confusing why we need a maze, if it doesn't include Jesus, to get to God: the best route seems simpler, in the way of two straight lines that form the Cross. Whatever the Eastern and potentially New Agey stuff does or does not imply, and whatever the intents of those involved (we don't judge here), we know this: the evening of Terri's death was one of the darkest in U.S. history, and when we visited the scene the very night of her untimely death, and met her father (since deceased, probably from heartbreak), there was the hospice in the background, shrouded in an aura of darkness we had never encountered before and have not seen since and would prefer never seeing again.

In 1990, at the age of 26, Terri suffered a mysterious cardio-respiratory arrest for which no cause has ever been determined. She was diagnosed with hypoxic encephalopathy - neurological injury caused by lack of oxygen to the brain. Terri was placed on a ventilator, but was soon able to breathe on her own and maintain vital function. She remained in a severely compromised neurological state and was provided a PEG tube to ensure the safe delivery of nourishment and hydration.

On March 31, 2005, Terri Schindler Schiavo died of marked dehydration following more than 13 days without nutrition or hydration under the order of Circuit Court Judge, George W. Greer of the Pinellas-Pasco's Sixth Judicial Court. Terri was 41.

[see also: What is yoga? and Vatican document on New Age]


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