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More about heaven - and the other side (10/16/2011)
From: Mary Zimmerman


There’s a time to be born, a time to die, and a time in-between that we’re all working through right now, day after day, that turns into weeks, months, years. Let me tell you it all passes very quickly. Life is so short in this world but eternally long in the next, so of the greatest importance is to give very serious thought to our final test. Some people so diligently prepare for so many events or occasions in this world, sports of every kind, the Olympics, school finals, physical tests, bu sometimes fail to even think much about our final life’s judgment when we die - the all important one. I know when you’re younger you don’t even think much about it. Your daily jobs and interests can keep you quite occupied, besides mortality is far away, isn’t it? Yet when we read the obituaries we know that isn’t true. It wasn’t true for several of my children. Our death is always something to be mindful of. Live each day as if it is your last.

As you rise each morning, dress yourself in the armor of God - love, faith, hope, prayer, patience, humility, forgiveness. Now take God’s hand and you’re good to go.

Reading the book “The Other Side” has certainly enlightened me to the importance of forgiveness. It would be much better to deal with an ongoing, unforgiving situation in this world versus the next.

We should greet each new day with a smile or at least a good attitude. It appears God has given us another day, so sunshine or rain, sickness or health, rejoice and be glad for surely this is the day the Lord has made.

Humility is most important as well. God says unless we become as little children we can’t enter heaven.

Which bring us to the other side, experiences people have had and then came back to share them with us - “The Other Side” by Michael Brown.

It seems quite prominent for many to pass through something they can best explain as some sort of a tunnel. Most talk about a bright light as well. This was Sondra Abraham’s experience (she was in Winona at one time), as well as a great love she felt, as seems to be a great source of energy to help us get to heaven. Hate has no place in heaven. God is love. Oh yes, I want to mention someone usually comes to escort us to the other side, either Jesus, angels or a loved one. In fact this book says our loved ones can see us.

I randomly opened up a book on the lives of saints to the chapter on humility. I quote, “The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility, it is the mother of many virtues, from it springs obedience, holy fear, reverence, patience, modesty, mildness and a great peace, fears to offend anyone and maintains peace with all.” It seems to me, studying and putting into practice this lesson on humility would be a good way to prepare for our final test. It seems this review all takes place in a sort of waiting space following the tunnel-light experience. I think it is also around this point that some people are sent back to earth, the reason given, not your time, your work isn’t done (I think that’s why God didn’t take me at a time when it seemed He might). For some, I think God in His great mercy and perhaps our prayers give some another chance knowing this time they’d get it right. I also think it’s for all of us to peek into the windows of heaven, hell, and purgatory, so as to better prepare ourselves for our eternal home.

My though when our son left us July 6, 1976, so very suddenly to cross over to the other side was the closest I could get to Duane was to get closer to God. It is then I began to realize the value, the comfort, and the strength of prayer. I say to parents who are concerned and worried about your children in today’s world, relax in prayer. God has taught me many things through suffering and my faith, one of which is trust. Now I firmly trust through my love, prayers and perhaps suffering, God will surely answer my request for the salvation of my family. Trust is such a key word. God told St. Faustina, “I never reject a contrite heart. Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothing than would my mercy not embrace a trusting soul.”

For those who have experienced the death of a loved one I just say I grieve with you and rejoice death isn’t the end. Will the circle be unbroken? I questioned that upon Duane’s death, so the answer came to me - no the circle remains intact, your loved one eagerly awaits you in the joys of heaven.  


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