From: Mary Zimmerman
As I am completing my further study on man’s destiny of eternal life, rereading “The Other Side” by author Michael Brown, reading a pamphlet “Heaven, Hell and Purgatory” reference coming from the diary of St. Faustina, a Polish nun who had many mystical experiences in the 1930s, including visiting heaven, hell and purgatory, and reviewing Sondra Abrahams DVD of her talk in Winona in 2006, brings me to a feeling of almost desperation wondering how I can compile all this information into a small article. I just don’t think I can, so I highly encourage everyone to read “The Other Side.”
Because of mankind’s fallen nature due to original sin it seems life is an uphill climb. As St. Paul says, we seem to do what we shouldn’t and too often don’t do what we should, so we have all fallen short when it comes to deserving heaven. But don’t lose heart. That’s exactly why Jesus did all that suffering for us. He poured out His mercy and died on a cross while beseeching forgiveness for mankind with the words, “Father, forgive them, they really don’t know what they are doing.” Doesn’t this same reenactment take place each time we receive the sacrament of penance (confession), we are again made free along with some extra help.
Before God brings down final judgment on a soul, He asks the question, “Do you love me?” So much does He desire that all be saved, yet I guess some souls just can’t humbly bring themselves to admit any love for God who has loved them so much. In fact, “The Other Side” says, “the key is to love, spend the rest of your life making others feel good and you shall not fear the review but rather look forward to it.”
The book says (I quote), “ Above everything work at how you treat people. The whole world is not worth a single harsh word. Act as if all heaven is watching. It is. Your every good deed is cheered. You are totally understood. If you love Jesus you are not condemned.”
It is to our great advantage to avoid negativity, criticism, resentment, being judgmental and unforgiving, just so much easier will be our passage from the present world to a heavenly realm. That is quite unimaginable. It sounds like it has characteristics of this world yet the grass, trees, flowers, music, etc. is so magnificent in beauty, sound and color, there is no comparison.
What I perhaps found the most comforting is the reunion we experience with family and loved ones. I’d guess I’ll meet up with all the little ones I never really got to know very well. I’m sure they will come running up to me with open arms and say, “Mommie, you’re finally here, you made it!”
Again I’d like to quote from the book, “In the afterlife, the basic unit is still the family. Family is very important. There is reunification, reconciliation, as everyone now understands what the others went through, etc. We will love without condition.”
I’d just ask you to consider the possibility of purgatory. The Catholic Bible states in 2 Maccabees, Chapter 12, Verse 46: “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sin.”
November 2, we call All Soul’s Day. We especially pray for our deceased relatives and friends. The whole month of November is dedicated to this act of charity.
St. Faustina said during her visit to purgatory she heard an interior voice say, I quote, “My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it.”
We as Catholics (I am a cradle Catholic) believe a soul must reach total perfection to enter heaven and only a few attain that, so thank goodness for the laundry room (purgatory) which cleanses us from sin and its effects not yet atoned for on earth.
Please do not wait for a last minute connection or decision to love God. Why would you want to chance your eternity? Each remaining moment we have left let us vow to do the right thing, prayerfully love God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Then relax in God’s love and trust your reward will surely be heaven.