The Seven, a prophetic novel by Michael H Brown  A coming sign? Events by a sinister personage? Disaster? In his first work of fiction, Brown pens the driving, suspenseful, and deeply spiritual story of a mysterious government property that harbors secrets relevant not only to a young cop who tries to investigate strange goings-on, but also to an equally mysterious and incredibly powerful old priest who joins forces with him to solve the mystery -- and try to prevent an end-times-like disaster!   CLICK HERE



By Susan Tassone


One day when St. Gertrude was offering her prayers and good works to God for the faithful departed she saw the angels collecting them and presenting them at the foot of His throne, under the form of splendid gifts. 


The Saints in Heaven rejoiced greatly and Our Lord also was pleased to receive the gifts with special benevolence, as if He was glad to have someone help the suffering souls. 


Our Lord even added something to each of the good works, and then, having applied them according to the intention of the saint, He sent them back to her, multiplied a hundredfold, that she might carefully keep them and receive her reward of them in the other life.


St. Gertrude knew from this that, far from losing her time in doing good to her neighbor and the holy souls, she was laying up a great store of merit for herself before God. We see from these revelations how useful are the prayers and good works offered for the departed, both to them and to ourselves. We see how merciful Our Lord is and how grateful for everything offered to Him on behalf of those holy souls that He loves so much and whose separation from Him is so painful to all parties.


We are the friends -- the mediators who have the power of obtaining pardon for those souls tried by the justice of God. God desires nothing better than to grant our petitions. He is pleased by our prayers. He invites us to go on praying until we win the pardon through our persistence. If then we love God, let us not neglect such easy means of procuring His glory. He is a just and jealous God. We can say that mercy is the greatest of His perfections and the one  which He most delights to show. "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice" (Matthew 9:13).  What a hope and consolation to us all!


If we seriously consider our own best interests, we should not let a day go by without offering something to God for the holy souls in purgatory: our sufferings, our labors, and our everyday actions to help our dearly departed family and friends bring down upon ourselves a copious shower of graces and blessings. These souls whom we have procured admission to the courts of Heaven are unceasingly praying for us -- and protecting us against the dangers which threaten us every day.


It has been an historic tornado season. Thus far, 2011 is the deadliest season since 1953. Scores  have been killed. Fathers found with children in their arms, husbands sacrificing their lives to protect their wifeís. Aunts, uncles, friends, and neighbors  all taken so sadly, so suddenly. All these tragedies remind us of the quickness of the passage of life. God will give consolation to those who have born with patience the tribulations of this life. 


Let us not neglect the means placed at our disposal to help the souls. A single Hail Mary said for them may give them the greatest consolation.


One day, as St. Gertrude -- confined to her bed with a violent fever -- was repeating the Hail Mary when our Blessed Mother appeared to her (surrounded with glory and clothed in a mantle studded with flowers). Said the Blessed Mother to this saint:  "You see there are as many flowers on my mantle as there are words in the prayer you have just addressed to me, and I shed their brightness on the souls that have prayed to me, in order to render them pleasing to my Divine Son." 


A nun named Sister Emmanuel relays this story of reputed Medjugorje visionary, Jakov Colo, who loved to play soccer with his friends. When he was still a child Our Lady told him to never stop praying and to offer to God short words from the heart while walking to school or playing with his friends. 


The next day, Jakov was organizing a game among friends. Before he started playing, he remembered what Our Lady had told him the evening before but was so eager to start the game he didnít feel like praying! As a little compromise, Jakov recited a very quick Hail Mary in order not to sadden Our Lady. 


That day, when she appeared to him, she showed him a man in China who was dying. He was a very wicked, hard-hearted man, and he was heading right to hell. 


But Our Lady informed Jakov she was grateful for the prayer he offered before the game, even though it was a quick one, because with it she was able to obtain a grace for this man, whose his heart had changed just before dying (and was thus saved, thanks to little Jakov). Our Lady calls us to pray with the heart because God sees the hearts!


Time is of the essence. Now is the opportunity to put our lives in order. Remember the victims of these tragic times. Become a prayer warrior. Remember those who are left behind. Offer Masses for them and in a special way Gregorian Masses for your fathers, grandfathers, godfathers, uncles, brothers living and deceased. 


Fatherís Day is later this month. No one is more a Father than God. And we can send to Him faithful messengers who'll bear the homage of our hearts, standing before His Throne with our Masses, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings. God the Father desires nothing more than the deliverance of the souls in purgatory. The loving Heart of Jesus Who shed his blood for them calls these souls to the Almighty. 


Pray then for your departed family and friends. How sweet it is to pray for those we have lost and to know that we can help them, even when they have passed beyond the grave. How consoling is the thought that we can do something for the happiness of those we love.   


[resources: afterlife books]


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