Purgatory-Show Me Where It Is

Purgatory-Show Me Where It Is

Pope bows to Mary

With due respect, Do you believe in Purgatory?
If so, will you show me where it is?


Nadine says: I don’t understand why people believe in Purgatory, and where the idea comes from.

Do you have any insight in this area? Please and thanks. Sebastian says: With due respect Mr. Leonard, may I ask you one thing? Do you believe in Purgatory? If so, will you show me where it is written?

Thank you, Nadine and Sebastian for your very excellent questions. It is not unusual for non-Catholics too not know where Purgatory is in the Bible. This is because they are taught in their tradition that there is no Purgatory. They are aware of only the Bible verses that

They are aware of only the Bible verses that have to do with the fires of Hell. And they seem to be unaware of those verses that refer to fire and salvation. The problem with this scenario is that there are verses having to do with fire that do not relate to Hell and this is where the concept of Purgatory comes from.

Easy Christianity says we do nothing and there is no accounting, because Jesus did it all. In fact if we do anything, the claim is being made that we are taking away from Christ’s redeeming us on the cross. However, Jesus said; “I tell you on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Mt. 12:36-37). Please note that this accounting doesn’t just take place today, in this moment, but also “on the day of judgment.” Jesus asks us also to be “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:47-48). God doesn’t just declare us righteous; He demands an accounting.

There are non-Catholics, who really do get it totally, such as the great scholar CS Lewis, who was widely accepted among Protestants and Catholics. He believed in Purgatory and wrote about it. And other Protestants, although they don’t call it Purgatory, understand the concept at least in part. Many years ago, I was in a conversation with a pastor of a Four Square Church on the subject of Purgatory. He didn’t disagree with me, but said “isn’t that what happens on this side.” I thought his answer was very good because there are some people, who in their last suffering, have accounted totally for their sin and thus never experience Purgatory on the other side. Their Purgatory was totally on this side. He was missing only one thing. Jesus says there is an accounting, and that accounting takes place not just today, but “on the day of judgment.” And so, if they are not fully perfected prior to this point, they will account for every careless word on this day.

“On the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak” (Mt. 12:36).

Do we really need to suffer loss and be saved as through fire? Didn’t Jesus do it all for us and we do nothing for salvation? This same God who “is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:28), in his mercy, He cleanses our imperfection “and the fire will test what sort of work each has done” (1 Cor. 3:13). Although our works may or may not be consumed, we survive. “If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire [Purgatory] (1 Cor. 3:15). Notice there is fire, testing and loss, and yet the person is saved. We usually associate fire with Hell; however, the person is saved and so it cannot be Hell. This salvation as through fire is what the Church has historically referred to as Purgatory.

God “is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:28).

Easy Christianity says we go to Heaven with our sins covered over. In other words, the sins are still there and God chooses not to see them. They then cite Romans to prove that our sins or imperfections are still there. After all, if the sins are “covered ” (Rm. 4:7), how can God possibly see them? However, they fail to include other verses that show that our sins are completely eliminated; “our sins our like scarlet they shall be like snow” (Is. 1:18) and are “blotted out” (Is. 6:7). God has never allowed us to go to Heaven with any blemish. What happens when we die and we are not absolutely clean in every way? Without Purgatory, for the final cleansing, we cannot go to Heaven because “nothing unclean will enter it [Heaven]” (Rev. 21:27). Purgatory is a place of mercy where this final cleansing takes place. People who reject Purgatory are followers of Fr. Martin Luther, who did not see Purgatory as a place of mercy and therefor he rejected it.

“Nothing unclean will enter it [Heaven]” (Rev. 21:27).

It is possible for a person’s sin to be forgiven in this age or in the age to come because Jesus says so. “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Mt. 12:32). The implication here is that it is possible for sin (except for the sin against the Holy Spirit) to be forgiven in the age to come. Notice that the verse doesn’t end with just, “this age;” the verse includes “the age to come.”

Easy Christianity rejects Purgatory because their claim is that Jesus did it once and for all, therefor there is nothing for us to do. Purgatory is even seen as another Gospel that takes away from the Cross of Jesus. To them, suffering and Purgatory takes away from Jesus’ Cross. However, Biblical Christianity in 1 Corinthians says that suffering and loss through fire is necessary and it is tied into being saved.

Easy Christianity says Jesus did it all and we do nothing and there is no accounting. However, Jesus says; “I tell you on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Mt. 12:36-37).

  • Why people reject Purgatory
  • Although the word purgatory is not in the Bible
  • People in the Bible praying for the dead (2 Macc. 12:44-45)?
  • Are dead Saints truly dead or was Jesus right when He said…?
  • Accountability is in the New Testament
  • Peter & Jesus speak about purgatory in the New Testament
  • Saved but only as through fire
  • Why is this purging or testing by fire necessary?
  • When did people stop believing in Purgatory?
  • The Jews believed in Purgatory!
  • Early Church Fathers believed in Purgatory
  • C.S Lewis believed in Purgatory and wrote about it
  • What happens to non-Catholics who end up in Purgatory?
  • Non-Catholics in Purgatory are prayed for at every Mass

Why people reject Purgatory: Some reject Purgatory because they see it as a place of misery and despair, not mercy. However, without this purging we would all end up in Hell because Revelations says, nothing unclean will enter it. Purgatory is not the final place of despair; it is the final place of mercy prior to Heaven.

Others reject Purgatory because the language Purgatory is not in the Bible. Of course they are being inconsistent because they believe in other language not specifically in the Bible. For example they believe in the Holy Trinity (three persons on one God), and the two natures of Christ fully God and fully man. This language is not in the Bible and yet they believe it. They will come back and say that even though the language is not in the Bible, you can get these concepts from the Bible. And they are right, you can get these concepts like Trinity, two natures of Christ and Purgatory from the Bible, and from the Church that Jesus founded.

In fairness to my non-Catholic friends, there are many Protestants as well as Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox and Jews who do believe in Purgatory.

Although the word purgatory is not in the Bible, the concept is both in the Old and the New Testament. The Jews have always believed in Purgatory. The Jews have always believed in purification in the next world and the tradition of praying for the dead has always been passed on from generation to generation. A child is required to pray for his deceased parents for one year, a prayer that is called “Kadis” [Pronounced Kadesch] So important was this considered that if there are no surviving children, a person is hired to pray for the deceased for one year. (Page 53 Visions of Heaven Hell and Purgatory; Bob and Penny Lord).

People in the Bible praying for the dead (2 Macc. 12:44-45): In 2 Maccabees people are praying for the dead.

“(It was a Holy, and good thought) whereupon he made a reconciliation for the dead, that they might be deliuered from sinne” (2 Macc. 12:45 KJV).

Evidently we can be of help to people on the other side who still have the ill effects of sin. This is not Hell because people there cannot be helped. And it cannot be Heaven because people there have no need of prayer. This means there is another place and the Church has historically called this place Purgatory.

It says in 2 Maccabees that the dead can be delivered from sin. However, there will always be those who will claim that 2 Maccabees is invalid because it is not in the Protestant Bible. And they further claim that it was added to the Catholic Bible at the council of Trent. There is one little problem with this understanding;

This particular quote from 2 Maccabees comes from the original 1611 King James edition (2 Macc. 12:45).

And so non-Catholics who claim that 2 Maccabees is not in the bible, do not know either their Bible or the history of their Bible. 2 Maccabees and other books were located in between the Old and New Testament in the KJV. In Fr Luther’s Bible these were located at the end of his Bible. In 2 Maccabees there is also an admission that the Israelites interceded on behalf of their loved ones who had passed on. In the original 1611 edition of the King James Bible, the language is archaic and so let’s see how a modern edition of the Bible quotes it.

For if he was not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, so that they might be delivered from their sin (2 Macc. 12:44-45).

The Church didn’t add books to the Bible and Protestants didn’t remove books at that time. In fact these same books were in all Bibles up until 1823 when Protestant Biblical societies began to remove them. And even after that time, those same books were in the Protestant pulpit Bibles. I had someone say to me, I have a 1611 KJB and those books are not in there. I explained to him that he may very well have a 1611 KJB, but he doesn’t have the earliest edition but a later edition that came later. And so I would suggest that everyone go down to their local Protestant bookstore and order your copy of the earliest 1611 King James edition with all the books. The Publisher is Thomas Nelson publishers from Nashville, Tennessee.

Are dead Saints truly dead or was Jesus right when He said they are alive? There is this belief among many Evangelicals and others that when people are on the other side, it is all over. There is no more deliverance from sin and there evil effects. They believe there is no way that we can be of help to them because they are just “dead saints,” who can do nothing. They do not realize they are drawing from their human tradition rather than the Bible. You will not find the words “dead saints” anywhere in the Bible. According to Jesus, the Saints who have physically died are not actually dead. In fact He claims that they are very much alive.

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this” (Jn. 11:23-26)?

Accountability is in the New Testament: There are those who will say that there is no Purgatory because Christ’s Grace is a free gift; “his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6). They believe that you do absolutely nothing. Jesus did it all and if we do anything, we are taking away from Jesus redemptive work on the cross. For them there is no accounting on the Day of Judgment. They are correct in that Christs Grace is a free gift. He freely gave His life for us without charging admission. However, they are violating Scripture when they say there is no accounting.

In fact it was Jesus who said there is an accounting on judgment day. “I tell you on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Mt. 12:36-37).

Should I believe those who say because of Jesus free gift, there is no accounting? Or should I believe Jesus who says, “people will render an account?”

People quote the words of Jesus at the cross “It is finished,” and will conclude we do nothing Jesus did it all. And if we do anything, we will be at odds with Jesus finished work on the cross. For them there is no accounting on the Day of Judgment. And yet, both Jesus and Paul says each of us have an accounting. Man-made tradition says there is no accounting. The Bible says there is.

“So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).

Some will only say these verses have to do only with those who are condemned. However; this accounting doesn’t say for the condemned only. It says “EACH OF US” will give an account.

Peter and Jesus speak about prison in the New Testament: Peter also talks about a third place. The righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that He might lead you to God, put to death in the flesh, He was brought to life in the spirit. In it He also went to preach to the spirits in prison, who had at once been disobedient while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water (1 Pt. 3:18-20). Prison is not Heaven and Jesus would not be preaching to people in Hell.

We have a debt of love and Jesus in this parable shows us some of things that we might have done to be indebted to our brother of sister. These have great significance so much so that we need to reconcile before offering our gift at the altar. Note that when we end up in prison this is not Hell because we have the potential to be released after we have paid the last penny. “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister,[e] you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny” (Mt. 5:21-26).

Saved, but only as through fire: The reason that some traditions do not believe in purgatory is because they are ignoring the Biblical references having to do with purgatory. Their human traditions simply negate those parts of the Bible that they don’t agree with. For example, I was listening to an Evangelical minister on television who was reading 1 Corinthians and explaining each verse as he went along. When he got to 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verses 11 through 15, he went on without making reference to any of these verses. Why did he explain all of the other verses and not 11 through 15. Could it have been because these references make reference to a third place and it didn’t fit with his tradition?

“For no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire [itself] will test the quality of each one’s work. If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage.”

But if someone’s work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire (1 Cor. 3:11-15).

Please note what happens when the fire tests the work. If the work stands the person will receive a wage. Even though the person experiences loss through the fire and the works are burned up, the person is not in Hell. “The person will be saved”.

For indeed our God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29).

Why is this purging or testing by fire necessary? The answer is found in the book of Revelations. “But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who does abominable things or tells lies” (Rev 21:27-28). Once we realize that nothing unclean can enter Heaven, this final purging is necessary and merciful.

When did people stop believing in Purgatory?” Nadine asked, “Why do people believe in Purgatory?” Actually you are asking the wrong question. The question should be “When did people stop believing in the Biblical concept of purgatory?” This happened in the 16th century with an Augustinian Catholic priest by the name of Fr. Martin Luther. At the time of Fr. Luther’s composition of 95 theses 1517, he believed in Purgatory and defended it. Many years later he vehemently rejected the concept of Purgatory.

The Jews believed in Purgatory! Purgatory as defined by the Jewish Encyclopedia. An intermediate state through which souls are to pass in order to be purified from sin before they are admitted into the heavenly paradise. The belief in purgatory, fundamental with the Roman Catholic Church, is based by the Church authorities chiefly upon II Macc. xii. 44-45: “If he [Judas] had not hoped that they that were slain should have risen again it had been superfluous and vain to pray for the (dead. . . . Whereupon he made an atonement that they might be delivered from sin”; for this indicates that souls after death pass through an intermediate state in which they may by some intercession be saved from doom… (http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12446-purgatory).

Early Church Fathers believed in Purgatory: Purgatory was always believed in the Church and spoken of by the early Church Fathers. For Example Augustine in the in the 4th century said in part:

“Nor can it be denied that the souls of the dead find relief through the piety of their friends and relatives who are still alive, when the Sacrifice of the Mediator [Mass] is offered for them, or when alms are given in the Church.”

If you wish a comprehensive listing of quotes on Purgatory from the early Church Fathers, go to this address. http://www.churchfathers.org/category/salvation/purgatory/

With so much evidence of Purgatory in both the Old and New Testament, and the Early Church Fathers, this begs the question. Why do people today choose not to believe in Purgatory? They basically are unaware of, or ignore the verses in the Bible that have to do with Purgatory and they are unaware of what has been taught by the Early Fathers of the Church. People who reject Purgatory today are following Fr. Luther’s rejection of it. His rejection of it was in effect a new man-made tradition.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, The final Purification or Purgatory 1030: All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

C.S. Lewis believed in Purgatory and wrote about it: Some non-Catholics, such as C.S. Lewis, also believed in purgatory. Walter Hooper was C.S Lewis secretary. Before that he was a member of Inter-varsity Christian fellowship. In 1963 Lewis asked Walter Hooper to stay in Oxford, move into his house and become his personal secretary. In 1974 he accepted it.

Hooper had this to say; “Lewis believed in purgatory. Many of his Protestant admirers preferred to keep this quiet, but Lewis couldn’t keep it quiet. And in his last book Letters to Malcolm, he brings it up.” “I believe in Purgatory. . . . Our souls demand Purgatory, don’t they? Would it not beak the heart if God said to us, ‘It is true, my son, that your breath smells and your rags drip with mud and slime, but we are charitable here and no one will upbraid you with these things, nor draw away from you. Enter into the joy’? Should we not reply, “with submission, sir, and if there is no objection, I’d rather be cleansed first.’ “It may hurt, you know.'” Lewis seemed to understand that ultimately we must “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect (Mt. 5:47-48) and “nothing unclean will enter it [Heaven]” (Rev. 21:27).

Child tip toeing to Mary
The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church, is it Satan’s main weapon, or the Church that Jesus founded?

A man by the name of Danilo says; “Mr. Leonard Alt. A sharp, articulate man like you who chooses to remain lost is such a waste of life for not recognizing the cult of Roman Catholicism that has enslaved so many gullible people… It is a cult and RCC is Satan’s main weapon to lure worshipers away from God.”

Danilo, the false allegation against the Catholic Church, that it is somehow involved in Satanism is not new; this accusation actually goes back to the time of Jesus and the Apostles. In fact Jesus himself was accused of operating by Satan. When Jesus drove out a demon, the Pharisees accused Jesus of driving out demons by Satan, “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons, that this fellow casts out the demons.’

Jesus said to them, “‘If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own exorcists cast them out?’ Therefore they will be your judges” (Mt 12:26-27).

Anyone can make an accusation against the Church founded by Jesus. The Christians, in the Bible, were not making the allegation of Satanism about one another. By making the accusation of Satanism, you are not echoing the words of Jesus in the Bible. You are echoing the words of the Pharisees, who accused Jesus of Satanism.

“It is only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons, that this fellow casts out the demons.” Jesus said to them, “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?” If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own exorcists cast them out?

In every diocese of the Catholic Church there is an exorcist appointed and they discern and where it is necessary they do exorcise demons, but not in the name of Satan, but in the name of Jesus, in imitation of Jesus.

  • What do you do in remembrance of Jesus?
  • Satanic Mass done in mockery of the real Mass
  • Demon possessed man shows up at Mass:
  • Have you unwittingly aligned yourself with Satan?
  • Protestant confusion over the words “this is my body:”
  • How did the early Church solve issues where there is disagreement?
  • The Bible way or the Bible alone apart from the Church!
  • They knew their ABC’s and would not accept a different gospel
  • “Show it to me in the Bible!” Is the Bible Catholic?
  • Show it to me in the 1611 King James Bible!
  • Has the gates of Hades prevailed against your Church?

What do you do in remembrance of Jesus? The Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox and some Protestant Churches celebrate the Mass. Every Mass is a reenactment of Jesus’ Last Supper before Calvary. And we do this reenactment because Jesus tells us to in remembrance of Him, “Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me” (Lk 22:19). Jesus could have asked the Apostles to do something else, but He didn’t. He wanted them to break bread claiming this is His Body; this is what he wanted the Apostles to do in remembrance of him.

And how of course the next question is how often did they do this in remembrance of Jesus, in the early church? They broke bread in remembrance of Jesus daily. And on the first day of the week (Sunday) they also broke break bread. There was a daily (Acts 2:4-6) and weekly (Acts 20:7) breaking of the bread and this was how often they did this in remembrance of Jesus. Does your tradition allow for a weekly breaking of the bread which was the Biblical norm?

For those of you who are reading this, does your church do what Jesus commanded us to do in remembrance of Him? Or do you follow some other tradition that does not follow these words of Jesus?

And do you devote yourselves “to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers” (Acts 2:42). Does your tradition allow for these Biblical traditions as expressed in the Bible.

Satanic Mass done in mockery of the real Mass: Not every mass is a Mass that honors Jesus. Instead of doing this “in remembrance” of Jesus, some people (Satanists) perform what is called a black mass that is done in mockery of the words of Jesus and the Holy Mass which He instituted. In fact Satanists will steal consecrated hosts and desecrate them in their satanic masses.

In Oklahoma City there was a satanic group who stole a consecrated host from a Catholic parish and planned to desecrate it at one of their Satanic Masses. Archbishop Paul Coakley filed a lawsuit, asking a judge to stop the desecration by requiring the group to return the stolen property. He indicated in the suit that the Host was to be desecrated in the vilest ways imaginable as an offering in sacrifice to Satan. In light of the threatened lawsuit, the group returned the consecrated host to the Church. Thanks be to God.

“A spokesman from the satanic group, Adam Daniels, said, “The whole basis of the [satanic] ‘mass‘ is that we take the consecrated host and give it a ‘blessing‘ or offering to Satan. We’re censoring it, [I think he means using incense], doing all things that’s [sic] normally done to bless a sacrifice, which is obviously the host body of Christ. Then we’re taking that and we’re reconsecrating it, or the Devil does …

Msgr. Charles Pope says: “Grave and sad though this incident was (and it wasn’t the first), these Satanists obviously consider the Catholic Eucharist to be the Body of Christ. Unless I missed it, there have been no attempts by Satanists to steal and use a Methodist host, or an Episcopal one, or a Baptist one, or a Lutheran one, etc. It is a Catholic host they seek. Here then is an affirmation of the Scripture which says, Even the demons believe—and shudder” (James 2:19). http://catholicmilwaukee.com/demons-believe-and-tremble.html

Demon possessed man shows up at Mass: Msgr. Pope tells of an experience with a demon possessed man who was present at one of his masses. “It was almost 15 years ago. I was At Old St. Mary’s here in D.C. celebrating Mass in the Latin (Extraordinary Form). It was a solemn high Mass. I don’t suppose I thought it any different than most Sundays, but something quite amazing was about to happen.

As you may know, the ancient Latin Mass is celebrated “ad orientem” (toward the Liturgical East). Priest and people all face in one direction. What this means practically for the celebrant is that the people are behind him. It was time for the consecration. At this time, the priest is directed to bow low with his forearms on the altar table and the host between his fingers.

As directed, the venerable words of Consecration were said in a low but distinct voice, Hoc est enim Corpus meum (For this is my Body). The bells rang as I genuflected.

But behind me there was a disturbance of some sort; a shaking or rustling sound came from the front pews behind me to my right. And then a moaning or grumbling. “What was that?” I wondered. It did not really sound human, more like the grumbling of a large animal such as a boar or a bear, along with a plaintive moan that also did not seem human. I elevated the host and again wondered, “What was that?” Then silence. As the celebrant in the ancient Latin Mass I could not easily turn to look. But still I thought, “What was that?”

It was time for the consecration of the chalice. Again I bowed low, pronouncing clearly and distinctly but in a low voice, Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei, novi et æterni testamenti; mysterium fidei; qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem pecatorum. Haec quotiescumque feceritis in mei memoriam facietis (for this is the cup of my Blood, of the new and eternal covenant; the mystery of faith; which will for the many be shed unto the remission of sins. Whensoever you do this, you do it in my memory.

Then, I heard another sound, this time an undeniable moan and then a shriek as someone cried out, ‘Leave me alone, Jesus! Why do you torture me?’Suddenly there was a scuffling noise and someone ran out with the groaning sound of having been injured. The back doors swung open and then closed. Then silence.

Realization – I could not turn to look for I was raising the Chalice high over my head. But I knew in an instant that some poor demon-tormented soul had encountered Christ in the Eucharist and could not endure His real presence displayed for all to see. And the words of Scripture occurred to me: “Even Demons believe and tremble’ (James 2:19). http://catholicmilwaukee.com/demons-believe-and-tremble.html

Have you unwittingly aligned yourself with Satan? Danilo, you accuse the Catholic Church of Satanism and mock the Church calling it a cult. What you don’t realize is that you have something in common with the satanists. You also are mocking the Church by calling it a cult and by falsely associating it of Satanism. I am not calling you a satanist because you are not; however, because you mock Jesus’ Church, you have unwittingly aligned yourself with the Satanists.

It would be helpful to you if you actually sat down over a period of time and read a history of the Church and the early Church Fathers, some of whom even knew the Apostles. What you will find is that the Catholic Church is the Church of history going back to Jesus and the Apostles. This is the single major reason why so many extremely intelligent God believing Evangelicals are becoming Catholic. Danilo, I know this is a surprise to you; after all your tradition, (not the Bible) has taught you that the Catholic Church is false.

When the Protestant reformers broke with the Church and tried to find their own way using the Bible Alone concept, they ran into theological anarchy. They all believed the Catholic Church was wrong in some way; however they could not agree with what is right.

An Evangelical friend of mine said that she didn’t like studying the Protestant reformers because it left her confused. The confusion had to do with the lack of common understanding of what the Bible was saying.

There is this common myth among non-Catholics that the Protestant reformers were a united group of wonderful Christians coming against an evil corrupt Catholic Church. These people were anything but united.

Protestant confusion over the words “this is my body:” One of the first things they were divided on was the Mass and what does Jesus words “this is My Body” (Mk 14:22) mean? Luther rejected transubstantiation; however; he “still retained the traditional interpretation, which said that Jesus was really present in the bread and wine by a bodily and objective presence – not dependent upon subjective feelings and considerations” (A Concise History of the Catholic Church – T. Bohenkottler. p. 199). Ulrich Zwingli’s understanding was that we partake of bread of wine and remember Jesus; however, there was no unique presence in relationship to the elements of bread of wine during the service. John Calvin believed that Christ was present on top of the bread and wine. Calvin, in his understanding of “this is My Body” was actually trying to get Zwingli and Luther to come together. He did not succeed; he just came up with another version of what communion is all about. From the start they were a Kingdom divided.

In reference too Holy Communion, Zwingli believed one thing, Luther believed another and Calvin still another. This is why any attempt by non-Catholics to give the Protestant view on Communion or most other items of Protestant belief will meet with failure. The big question is this, why could they not come to common agreement among themselves? One of the things I hear over and over from Evangelicals and other non-Catholics is that we should do things “the Bible way.” I believe they are right in this and so let’s see how they solved issues in the early Church using the Bible.

How did the early Church solve issues where there is disagreement? The first major issue in the Church was the issue of circumcision. In Acts 15 there were certain individuals from Judea saying you must be circumcised in order to be saved. The Apostle Paul could have just consulted the Bible and made his own determination as many do today. However, he didn’t do that, for one thing the Bible (New Testament) had not been written as yet. He consulted with the Apostles and the elders. “Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to discuss this question with the apostles and the elders” (Acts 15:2). After much debate Peter spoke up: “Now therefore why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will” (Acts 15:10-11).

James affirmed Peters statement; “Simeon has related how God first looked favorably on the Gentiles, to take from among them a people for his name. This agrees with the words of the prophets, as it is written… (Acts 15:14-15). The disagreement in the Church was solved in the first conference of the Church in Jerusalem. Peter’s pronouncement still stands, and this is why the Church today does not require circumcision.

The Bible way or the Bible alone apart from the Church! The issue was ultimately solved. “The Bible way” is not consulting the “Bible Alone” apart from the Church and everybody making up their own minds. The Bible very clearly says they went up and consulted with the Apostles, Peter and the elders, the authority of the Church. This is the Bible way. A Baptist minister speaking against authority once said to me “I don’t think I should have to follow what some man has to say.” Well, if the minister was right then the Apostle Paul was wrong when he consulted men (the Apostles and elders in Jerusalem). Paul should have consulted “the Bible alone,” but instead chose to consult men.

Peter made the determination. The early Protestants had a major problem, which understanding of Jesus’ words “this is my Body” (Mk 14:22) is the correct one? They could have gone up to the authorities of the Church, using the line of Peter, and solved their problem. But they didn’t do this for the obvious reason, that they had already separated from the line of Peter in their protest. Did they try any other line? No they did not! They opted for “Bible Alone(Sola Scriptura), apart from the Church. They ignored “the Bible way” by going their way and not submitting this issue to the legitimate authority of the Church, as was done in Acts 15.

are not partaking of the one body, the one same loaf because they could not solve the problem of what it was. “Because the loaf of bread is ONE, we though many are ONE body for we all partake of the SAME loaf” (I Cor 10:17).

The Protestant reformers rejected the “the Bible way” for their own way. They would not submit to the authority of the Church and as a result could not partake of the “same loaf.” This was the beginning of theological anarchy in the Protestant experiment. They were a house divided and they exchanged “one body” for over 40,000 contradictory churches, denominations, non-denominations, sects, and fellowships all teaching a different Gospel.

They knew their ABC’s and would not accept a different gospel: Danilo, there are wonderful Evangelicals and others who knew their ABC’s (Anything But Catholic) of their faith just as you do. They were people of faith and like Catholics, they very much wanted to know the truth. They knew about the Apostle Paul’s warning and they wanted a church that presented the real Gospel as presented by the Apostles and Jesus; and they didn’t want to be turning to a different Gospel by mistake. “Or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough (2 Cor 11:4; Gal 1:6). They were very sincere and they knew that all of these thousands of non-Catholic groups collectively couldn’t be that one church because they were not all teaching the same Gospel.

If there is such a thing as “one body” as spoken of in 1 Corinthians, which one of the many thousands of non-Catholic churches is it? This is the question they were asking themselves. These people wanted to be apart of that one Church founded by Jesus and the Apostles. And they knew it must be ONE because the Apostle Paul in the Bible said so. But if it is one of the more than 40,000, then which one is it?

There is ONE body and ONE Spirit, just as you were called to the ONE hope of your calling, ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all (Eph 4:4-6).

How did the early Christians express their faith? They would pray and ask God for help in figuring this out. Then they discovered the history of the early Christians. In order to find out which one is the correct church with a line that goes back to Jesus and the Apostles they wanted to know how the early Christians acted out their faith. And to their dismay, they discovered that it was not one of the more than 40,000. When they began to study the early Church Fathers, some of whom even knew the Apostles or the disciples of the apostles they discovered a church that appeared to be look like it was Catholic. This was more than a little frightening and so their prayer changed. Now, they were not just asking God which Church is His one Church established by Jesus Christ; they also added, “please Lord don’t let it be Catholic!” But of course it was Catholic and they began to fall in love with the very Church that they were taught to hate.

“Show it to me in the Bible!” Is the Bible Catholic? Being Evangelical, they had a very high regard for the Bible. They began to study the history of the formation Bible. They discovered that the Bible (New Testament) was fully determined by the Catholic Church in the latter part of the 4th century. There are a lot of brilliant Evangelicals out there and when they see this, they stop their war against the Catholic Church. Even Fr. Martin Luther credited the Bible to the Catholic Church. In 1228, Cardinal Stephen Langdon, archbishop of Canterbury broke the Bible into chapter divisions. In 1536 the Italian Dominican priest Santes Pagnini made a new Latin translation of the Bible, he subdivided Langdon’s chapters into verses. In 1559, the French printer Robert Estienne, working in Geneva, adopted many of Pagnini’s verse divisions and modified others when he printed his editions. Non-Catholics will often times make reference to the Guttenberg press and Bible printing. What they won’t tell you is that the very first book ever printed on this press was in fact a Catholic Bible, Latin Vulgate. There were 180 original copies of this Bible printed; 49 still exist today.

Marcus Grodi, former Presbyterian minister and present commentator on Eternal Word Television Network commented about the Bible. There was a time when Marcus Grodi had led Catholics out of the Catholic Church to his church using his Bible. HIs expression was,

“SHOW IT TO ME IN THE BIBLE!” He then tells about when he first realized that the Bible owes its existence to the Catholic Church. “I remember the strange empty feeling when I realized that the only reason that I have the Bible was the Catholic Church.”

Show it to me in the 1611 King James Bible! I have a copy of the original 1611 King James edition of the Bible and yes it is in print; you can order it from your local Protestant bookstore. The interesting thing about this Bible is that it has all the books. The deuterocanonical books were not removed from the later editions of the Protestant Bibles until the 19th century. When I made this point, I had one individual mention that he had a 1611 King James Bible and those books are not in it. I didn’t disagree with him; I simply made the point that he did not have the earliest edition, but a later edition. When I wrote a defense of Purgatory, I was quoting word for word in 2nd Maccabees from this 1611 King James Bible. Non-Catholics will insist those books are not in there; however my 1611 King James Bible says otherwise.

Has the gates of Hades prevailed against your Church? Danilo, I believe that you are a person of good intention and some day perhaps you will realize that it is futile to oppose the very Church that Jesus founded. After all, it was Jesus who said “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18). You are not the first one to oppose the Church that Jesus founded, actually the Apostle Paul (Saul), in his spiritual blindness, was one of the first.

Mathew 16:18 is one of those Catholic verses that Catholics explain and non-Catholics attempt to explain away. Here is a rock and Jesus is going to build his CHURCH on it and He also gives us a guarantee that the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. Every Catholic sees this Church as the Catholic Church. Some Protestants might disagree.

However, I have never heard a non-Catholic argue that this Church, which cannot be destroyed by “the gates of Hades,” is in fact their church. Why not? I believe it is because the moment that they say that they are, then they are not only at odds with the Catholic Church, but also with the many thousands of other Protestant churches. If it is not the Catholic Church, then which church is it? They are not saying.

If you believe that your church is the one true church which is built on a rock with the promise by Jesus that “the gates of Hades will not prevail against it,” then please say so. At the same time would you also explain how your church alone is that one church and the other more than 40,000 non-Catholic churches are not. And while your at it could you please show a history of your specific church going back to to Jesus and the Apostles. The Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches can show a history going back to Christ and the Apostles.

Joseph Smith and the Mormons

Joseph Smith and the Mormons

I was hungry and I wasn’t in a Mormon talking mood! Do Mormons have the truth?

I was doing a little shopping that day. Since I was in the neighborhood of a friend, I thought, I will stop by for a little visit. When I rang the doorbell, she came to the door and appeared unusually welcoming. I walked in and off to my left I saw a couple of people wearing suits sitting in the living room and I’m thinking, oh boy, the Mormons are hear. I was hungry and I wasn’t in a Mormon talking mood! And so I mentioned that I couldn’t stay long I was just… stopping by and I was on my way to get something to eat. I didn’t know anything about Mormons; I was just trying to get out of there.

It is kind of like the Jonah and the whale thing, God was calling me one way and I was trying to go another. No, I was not swallowed by a whale! How could I, she wouldn’t let me out of the house. She said; “I have some nice warm rolls for you!” and I was hungry.

So, now I am sitting in her living room. One Mormon was sitting on the couch and the other was sitting on the floor. I asked them who was they’re founder? They said, Joseph Smith. I asked them, when was their church founded and they told me 1830. I then asked them what happened to the church between the death of last Apostle and 1830 when your church was founded. They said that the church had apostatized and there was no true Church in all of those centuries.

This came as a surprise to me because I had never heard anyone say there was no true church lasting for centuries, up to the point of the foundation of their particular Church. I mentioned to them that it was Jesus who said, the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church and THE GATES OF THE NETHER WORLD WILL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven” (Mt. 16:18-19).

I further explained, if the Church had apostatized and there was no one true Church for all those centuries then the Bible was wrong. This would mean that the gates of the nether world did prevail against the Church and Jesus is either a liar or sadly mistaken and that I could not accept either of these scenarios. So then I asked them, what they had to say about this. The Mormon sitting on the floor looked up at the other on the couch and said; “You can answer this one!” Of course they didn’t have an answer. Afterwards my friend admitted she had said a prayer that I would show up.

The point is this; there has to be ONE true Church established by Jesus Christ in every century or the gates of Hell did prevail against it, in those centuries and the Bible and Jesus are wrong. In the Apostles Creed it says; “I believe in ONE holy catholic and Apostolic Church.” This is the same creed that is said in Catholic, Lutheran and some other Protestant Churches. But, was the Church really ONE as we say in the Apostles Creed? Or was the Church an abstract invisible reality that embraces a multitude of contradictory theologies? What does the Bible say?

Jesus said; “May they all be ONE, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me. I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be ONE as we are ONE. With me in them and you in me, may they be so perfected in UNITY that the world will recognize that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you have loved me” (Jn 17:21:23).

The Apostle Paul said; “Take every care to preserve the UNITY of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is ONE Body, ONE Spirit, just as ONE hope is the goal of your calling by God. There is ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, and ONE God and Father of all, over all, through all and within all” (Eph 4:3-6).

I can believe Jesus and Paul who say the Church must be ONE or I can believe those who say the Church is a multitude of contradictory theologies. The Church was and is ONE; and it has been ONE in every generation up to the present. And those who believe there was no true Church for many centuries are at odds with the words of Jesus. “I will build my Church and THE GATES OF THE NETHER WORLD WILL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT.

Catholic Nuns murdered by the Gestapo

Catholic Nuns murdered by the Gestapo

The Martyrs of Nowogrodek – on 01. August 1943, 11 Catholic nuns were murdered by the Gestapo.

By Sr. Maria Teresa Gorska, CSFN From Catholic Sunday Weekly

On 5 March 2000, the Holy Father John Paul II beatified 11 Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Martyrs from Nowogrodek: Sr. Maria Stella and her 10 Companions, in Rome.

When the first nuns of the Holy Family of Nazareth arrived in Nowogrodek on 4 September 1929 Nowogrodek was a small town in the eastern lands of the Republic of Poland (now Belarus), with a nationally diversified population.

The first apostolic work of the nuns in Nowogrodek, as a condition of educational activity – the nuns ran a school – was ministry connected with the Church of the Transfiguration, called ‘Biala Fara’ [White Church]. The nuns, who formed the community of the House of Christ the King, gave examples of deep faith, hope and love to the local people. From the beginning of their activities the nuns tried to discern the needs of the society.

Under two occupations The outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939 and the occupation of those lands, first by the Soviets and then by the Germans, disturbed the order and harmony of the community in Nowogrodek. During the Soviet occupation, when the nuns could not run the school officially, they became much closer to the local people. Expelled from the house, forbidden to wear their habits, they experienced hardships of daily life and saw the sufferings of the inhabitants of Nowogrodek and the neighbourhood; they saw the arrested and transported to the steppes of Kazakhstan and to Siberia. During the German occupation the nuns could wear their habits and they returned to the cloister to be signs of hope for the tormented people. The parish church, filled with believers, was also such a sign during both occupations.

German terror When the special Gestapo units arrived in Baranowicze terror against the civilians in the town and the whole district increased. The first mass execution took place on 31 July 1942 in the forest near Nowogrodek. Then 60 people, including two priests: Fr Michal Dalecki, the Nowogrodek dean and Fr Jozef Kuczynski, were shot. In the spring of 1943 the nuns intensified their religious and charity activities. The citizens of Nowogrodek, tormented by the regime, sought comfort and peace in the church where Fr Aleksander Zienkiewicz, the only survived priest in the vicinity, celebrated Mass in the morning and in the evening, when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed the faithful together with the priest and the nuns, recited the rosary. The next wave of terror happened on the night of 17-18 July when ca. 120 people – fathers and other Polish family members – were arrested to be executed. On the afternoon Sr. Maria Stella said during a meeting with Fr Zienkiewicz, ‘My God, if sacrifice of life is needed let them kill us and not those who have families. We are even praying for that.’ It was a common decision of the nuns and Sr. M. Stella as the superior of the house told the chaplain about it. Those who were sentenced to death were transported to work in Germany. Some people were released. The transport set out westwards on 24 July 1943. All those who were transported survived the war.

Martyr’s death of the nuns Facing the danger of death of the only priest in the vicinity Fr Zienkiewicz, who was on the list of those sought by the Gestapo, Sr. M. Stella expressed the sisters’ readiness to sacrifice their lives, ‘My God, if sacrifice of life is needed, accept it from us and spare those who have families.’ We are even praying for this intention.’ On 31 July 1943 Sr. Maria Stella was asked to come to Gebiets-Office located in the building of the former voivodship office at 7.30 p.m. The oral command was given by a German who came to the nuns dressed as a civilian. After the rosary 11 nuns of the Family of Nazareth together with their superior went to the building. The sisters’ names were: M. Stella, M. Imelda, M. Rajmunda, M. Daniela, M. Kanuta, M. Sergia, M. Gwidona, M. Felicyta, M. Heliodora, M. Kanizja and M. Boromea. The nuns thought that the worst thing that could happen to them was transportation to work in Germany. The twelfth sister Malgorzata Banas, who was to care for the church and the chaplain, remained at home. Then things happened very quickly. The verdict had already been taken . The extermination of priests and nuns in Nowogrodek was the task of the security police in Baranowicze. The police was subordinated to the Reich Central Security Office, its aim being the complete destruction of Christianity. That’s why the nuns did not hear any accusations and there was no investigation. After two hour visit to the office the nuns were escorted and ordered to get in a lorry and they were transported towards the military barracks along the Nowojelenski tract. Because of the heavy traffic the Gestapo officers decided to go back. The nuns spent one night in the cell of the police station, praying and lying prostrate, preparing to offer the sacrifice of their lives. On Sunday, 1 August 1943, at dawn the nuns were transported and killed in a small birch-pine tree woods, five km away from the town. The task was fulfilled by the officers of the flying squad from Baranowicze. The nuns died martyr’s deaths, killed by the Nazi torturers. Fr Zienkiewicz and all those for whom the nuns had sacrificed their lives survived. ‘No one has greater love…’, said the Holy Father on the day of their beatification.

Restored community Since 13 September 2009 there has been the Province of the Blessed Martyrs from Nowogrodek in Belarus and there are the relics of the nuns and the beatification picture in the parish church there. The convent of the Blessed Martyrs has a museum and a communion host bakery. The religious community and novitiate are located in the former school. From among the people connected with the Blessed Martyrs two are candidates for the altars. These are the Servants of God: Sr. Malgorzata Banas, who survived the war and the sisters’ chaplain Fr Aleksander Zienkiewicz.

“Niedziela” 31/2010

Priest meet souls in Purgatory

Priest meet souls in Purgatory

189 PRIEST WHO CONVERTED FROM EPISCOPAL CHURCH RELATES NUMEROUS EXPERIENCES WITH SOULS FROM PURGATORY

A priest in Scottsdale, Arizona, has established a chapel for the souls in purgatory in part as a consequence of his own experiences with the departed on the “other side.”

Father Doug Lorig, a convert from the Episcopalian faith, now pastor of one of the most prominent parishes in the Phoenix area, says the Lord has used a number of extraordinary mystical experiences to instruct him on the deeper devotions of Catholicism.

Those devotions include prayer for purgatorial souls — something that is not followed in most Protestant and evangelical denominations (where the afterlife has just two destinations: Heaven and hell). The chapel is called the Holy Souls Oratory and has the Blessed Sacrament.

For Father Lorig, going strong at 77 and full of the Spirit, it’s a matter of seeing some of it with his own eyes.

On about a dozen occasions, says the priest, he has personally encountered spirits of the dead, including at bedside during the night, and has been led to pray their souls toward Jesus.

Father Lorig, who was ordained a Catholic priest in 1984, and who is married with four children (and fifteen grandchildren), had some special experiences while at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Nogales (near the Mexican border).

“It was built over an Indian graveyard — paleo-Indians who were peaceful,” says Father Lorig, pastor of Saint Maria Goretti parish (he is not associated with previous claims at this church of the supernatural).

“While we were digging a sacrarium — a dry well [for proper disposal of Communion wine] — the workmen came upon hand-made pots. We called the University of Arizona, which had paleontologists, and they came down.

“It was very interesting,” says the priest. “They asked — these archeologists from the university — if there had been any paranormal events associated with finding the pots. There had been two. Every time I crossed the church and sat at a pew it squeaked, but there was also a similar squeak in a pew across the way — as if someone was sitting down there as well. I discerned that an elderly man was following me and called the man who had been pastor before me and asked if he had experienced anything. He hadn’t. But his wife did: she felt an old Indian followed her around — ‘harmless,’ but a soul who didn’t belong there.

“The night before the archeologists came, I had a dream. In it I saw a desert hill and an old man, bent over and carrying a young girl — eight or nine, maybe younger; her hair was falling down and he was grieving.

“I woke up and wondered, ‘what was that?’ It turned out that they found a pot with the remains of a cremated old man and smaller one with the remains of a young girl — bone fragments in the pots that were a thousand years old. They were Las Trincheras Indians. I got the feeling the girl had died tragically and the old man was her grandfather.”

Once he prayed for them, the disturbances and feelings stopped.

It was as if a soul that apparently had wandered for ten centuries or at least manifested for that long simply needed prayer and acknowledgement — and now was at peace. Father Lorig was told by a friend who has Indian ancestry that they believe an Indian has two souls, one that guards the grave and the other that goes on to the Great Spirit.

The priest, who is also author of a book, A Father’s Heart: Rosary Meditations for Dads, recounts a time when out of the blue he was sent 1,300 holy cards that someone in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, had collected from funerals — and set about celebrating Mass for each one. “From then on there were many instances,” he says of the experiences. “It started out scaring me.” says Father Lorig. Before becoming Catholic Father Lorig says he went to Phoenix for a convention and in the middle of the night woke up and opened his eyes only to a woman with a little dog at the foot of the bed.

“I yelled out loud,” says Father Lorig. “The next morning I went down to the desk and asked how long the man who was there had worked there and asked if a woman and a dog killed here and he said yes, there was a woman and her dog who had been killed in an accident on the street outside the hotel.”

“In Dallas there were experiences with the dead that scared me,” says the cleric. “I told God, ‘stop this. If this is something you’re doing, I don’t want it.’ I’d wake up in the middle of the night and see the spirit of a dead person.”

But the sightings were in association, he soon realized, with intercession the Lord desired.

In one case he buried a 17-year-old boy named Tony, who had been involved with drugs and committed suicide. “I prayed for him at every Mass for a year and about a year later went to Queen of Heaven Cemetery for another funeral, of newborn, and parked car at far end of cemetery,” says Father Doug. “I then went to the canopy and said prayers and consoled the family and was walking back past all these graves and just stopped because someone was calling my name.

“‘Father Doug, Father Doug.’

“And there was nobody there.

“I looked down — and there was Tony’s grave! I happened to be right there. And I had a locution.

“I heard him clearly say to me, ‘Father Doug:

thank you.'”

Some souls do their purgatory on earth, says the priest; some are earthbound — tied to a place of sin or grief, something they can not let go. The priest cites one case in which a young girl saw the spirit of another priest who had no mouth; as it turned out, the poor priest had committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth.

The priest has found an effective formula is to have a Mass said for any soul that seems to be disturbing a place and gently telling the soul, “Call to Jesus. Keep saying ‘Jesus’ over and over, until He comes.”

Priest Who Saw Heaven Hell and Purgatory

Priest Who Saw Heaven Hell and Purgatory

THE PRIEST WHO SAW HEAVEN HELL AND PURGATORY

Fr. Jose Maniyangat is currently the pastor of St. Mary’s Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Macclenny, Florida. Here is his personal testimony: I was born on July 16, 1949 in Kerala, India to my parents, Joseph and Theresa Maniyangat. I am the eldest of seven children: Jose, Mary, Theresa, Lissama, Zachariah, Valsa and Tom.
At the age of fourteen, I entered St. Mary’s Minor Seminary in Thiruvalla to begin my studies for the priesthood. Four years later, I went to St. Joseph’s Pontifical Major Seminary in Alwaye, Kerala to continue my priestly formation. After completing the seven years of philosophy and theology, I was ordained a priest on January 1, 1975 to serve as a missionary in the Diocese of Thiruvalla.

On Sunday April 14, 1985, the Feast of the Divine Mercy, I was going to celebrate Mass at a mission church in the north part of Kerala, and I had a fatal accident. I was riding a motorcycle when I was hit head-on by a jeep driven by a man who was intoxicated after a Hindu festival. I was rushed to a hospital about 35 miles away. On the way, my soul came out from my body and I experienced death. Immediately, I met my Guardian Angel. I saw my body and the people who were carrying me to the hospital. I heard them crying and praying for me. At this time my angel told me: “I am going to take you to Heaven, the Lord wants to meet you and talk with you.” He also said that, on the way, he wanted to show me hell and purgatory.

HELL: First, the angel escorted me to hell. It was an awful sight! I saw Satan and the devils, an unquenchable fire of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, worms crawling, people screaming and fighting, others being tortured by demons. The angel told me that all these sufferings were due to unrepented mortal sins. Then, I understood that there are seven degrees of suffering or levels according to the number and kinds of mortal sins committed in their earthly lives. The souls looked very ugly, cruel and horrific. It was a fearful experience. I saw people whom I knew, but I am not allowed to reveal their identities. The sins that convicted them were mainly abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, hatefulness, unforgiveness and sacrilege. The angel told me that if they had repented, they would have avoided hell and gone instead to purgatory. I also understood that some people who repent from these sins might be purified on earth through their sufferings. This way they can avoid purgatory and go straight to heaven.

I was surprised when I saw in hell even priests and Bishops, some of whom I never expected to see. Many of them were there because they had misled the people with false teaching and bad example.

PURGATORY: After the visit to hell, my Guardian Angel escorted me to purgatory. Here too, there are seven degrees of suffering and unquenchable fire. But it is far less intense than hell and there was neither quarreling nor fighting. The main suffering of these souls is their separation from God. Some of those who are in purgatory committed numerous mortal sins, but they were reconciled with God before their death. Even though these souls are suffering, they enjoy peace and the knowledge that one day they will see God face to face.

I had a chance to communicate with the souls in purgatory. They asked me to pray for them and to tell the people to pray for them as well, so they can go to heaven quickly. When we pray for these souls, we will receive their gratitude through their prayers, and once they enter heaven, their prayers become even more meritorious.

It is difficult for me to describe how beautiful my Guardian Angel is. He is radiant and bright. He is my constant companion and helps me in all my ministries, especially my healing ministry. I experience his presence everywhere I go and I am grateful for his protection in my daily life.

HEAVEN: Next, my angel escorted me to heaven passing through a big dazzling white tunnel. I never experienced this much peace and joy in my life. Then immediately heaven opened up and I heard the most delightful music, which I never heard before. The angels were singing and praising God. I saw all the saints, especially the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, and many dedicated holy Bishops and priests who were shining like stars. And when I appeared before the Lord, Jesus told me: “I want you to go back to the world. In your second life, you will be an instrument of peace and healing to My people. You will walk in a foreign land and you will speak in a foreign tongue. Everything is possible for you with my grace.” After these words, the Blessed Mother told me: “Do whatever He tells you. I will help you in your ministries.”

Words cannot express the beauty of heaven. There we find so much peace and happiness, which exceed a million times our imagination. Our Lord is far more beautiful than any image can convey. His face is radiant and luminous and more beautiful than a thousand rising suns. The pictures we see in the world are only a shadow of His magnificence. The Blessed Mother was next to Jesus; she was so beautiful and radiant. None of the images we see in this world can compare with her real beauty. Heaven is our real home; we are all created to reach heaven and enjoy God forever. Then, I came back to the world with my angel.

While my body was at the hospital, the doctor completed all examinations and I was pronounced dead. The cause of death was bleeding. My family was notified, and since they were far away, the hospital staff decided to move my dead body to the morgue. Because the hospital did not have air conditioners, they were concerned that the body would decompose quickly. As they were moving my dead body to the morgue, my soul came back to the body. I felt an excruciating pain because of so many wounds and broken bones. I began to scream, and then the people became frightened and ran away screaming. One of them approached the doctor and said: “The dead body is screaming.” The doctor came to examine the body and found that I was alive. So he said: “Father is alive, it is a miracle! Take him back to the hospital.”

Now, back at the hospital, they gave me blood transfusions and I was taken to surgery to repair the broken bones. They worked on my lower jaw, ribs, pelvic bone, wrists, and right leg. After two months, I was released from the hospital, but my orthopedic doctor said that I would never walk again. I then said to him: “The Lord who gave me my life back and sent me back to the world will heal me.” Once at home, we were all praying for a miracle. Still after a month, and with the casts removed, I was not able to move. But one day while praying I felt an extraordinary pain in my pelvic area. After a short while the pain disappeared completely and I heard a voice saying: “You are healed. Get up and walk.” I felt the peace and healing power on my body. I immediately got up and walked. I praised and thanked God for the miracle.

I reached my doctor with the news of my healing, and he was amazed. He said: “Your God is the true God. I must follow your God.” The doctor was Hindu, and he asked me to teach him about our Church. After studying the Faith, I baptized him and he became Catholic.

Following the message from my Guardian Angel, I came to the United States on November 10, 1986 as a missionary priest… Since June 1999, I have been pastor of St. Mary’s Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Macclenny, Florida

Proof of Heaven

Proof of Heaven

Proof of Heaven by Dr Gary Scott Smith!

“Heaven is Real,” a Newsweek cover proclaimed. Renowned neurosurgeon Eben Alexander’s scientific world view had previously led him to view near-death experiences as having plausible scientific explanations. However, spending seven days in a coma convinced him that the afterlife truly exists.

Accounts of out-of-body encounters with the spiritual world have a long history. Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) wrote 25 books about his trips to heaven and hell. However, public fascination with the subject exploded after the 1975 publication of physician Raymond Moody’s “Life After Life”and cardiologist Maurice Rawlings’s “Beyond Death’s Door,” both of which featured dozens of accounts of near-death experiences (NDEs). These NDEs commonly involved feelings of being out of one’s body and of peace and quiet, meeting one or more “Beings of Light,” a life review, and a new perspective on life and death.

Numerous investigators stress the positive benefits of NDEs. Moody claimed that every subject he interviewed “had a very deep and positive transformation.” People lost the fear of dying and going to hell and love dominated their lives. They gained an intense appreciation for life, developed a deeper spirituality, and took more personal responsibility.

Mally Cox-Chapman maintains that NDEs produce an enhanced self-image, improved relationships, greater purpose in work, and a richer spiritual life. Moreover, many visions of heaven include joyful reunions with deceased loved ones, which help console those who long to see family and friends again. NDEs, she adds, send “the message we most need to hear” today: “forgiveness and unconditional love.”

In a runaway best seller — “Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back” — a 4-year-old gives an account of his trip to the other side. Nevertheless, the age and background of the boy who recounted his journey to his pastor father and the circumstances under which his near-death experience occurred led many to offer alternative explanations for his story.

Numerous scientists contend that NDEs are “caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, or drugs, or psychological stresses evoked by the fear of dying.” Skeptics insist that “drugs, oxygen deprivation … disassociation, temporal lobe stimulation, endorphin surge, anesthesia” or “even memories of birth” cause these experiences.

Eben Alexander argues that his account is more credible because his trip to the other side occurred while he was in a deep coma during which the human part of his brain, the neocortex, was inactivated. His higher-order brain functions were “totally offline.” Science cannot explain, Alexander asserts, how his “brain-free consciousness journeyed to another, larger dimension of the universe.” Previously, he would have explained what he experienced as impossible.

He encountered the same dimension “described by countless subjects of near-death experiences and other mystical states.” No one else, however, had traveled to this celestial realm while his cortex was completely inoperative and his body was under meticulous medical observation, as Alexander’s was during his coma.

Alternative explanations of NDEs posit that they “are the results of minimal, transient, or partial malfunctioning of the cortex.” However, Alexander’s near-death experience occurred while his cortex shut down as documented by his CT scans and neurological examinations.

During most of his journey, a woman accompanied Alexander. She communicated three major points to him: “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever;” “you have nothing to fear;” and “there is nothing you can do wrong.” This message filled the neurosurgeon with great relief. He concluded that he had been given “rules to a game I’d been playing all my life without ever fully understanding it.”

rt Einstein, was dominated by God’s unconditional love. The one place where people embraced his story, Alexander reports, is the church. Christians celebrated his conclusion that “we are loved and accepted unconditionally” by a “grand and unfathomably glorious” God.

Alexander emphasizes that he is still a neurosurgeon and a man of science, but he has been fundamentally changed. His life goal is now to help explain a new picture of reality which will show that the universe is “evolving, multi-dimensional, and completely known by a God who cares for us … deeply and fiercely.” Alexander has written “Proof of Heaven,” which Simon & Schuster will publish next month, to advance this quest.

Although Alexander’s account has been warmly received in his church, Christians have been among the most vocal critics of NDEs. They complain that many NDEs (like Alexander’s) portray a “magnanimous, understanding, all-loving,” “compassionate being,” who finds no fault with anyone, which clashes with biblical teachings about the nature of God and heaven. Christians also observe that people’s interpretation of their NDEs depended heavily on the concepts of the afterlife that are popular in different eras and cultures. Nevertheless, given the pervasive belief in the afterlife and most people’s desire to go to heaven, many will find Alexander’s account and argument both reassuring and inspiring.

Dr. Gary Scott Smith chairs the history department at Grove City College in Pennsylvania and is a fellow for faith and the presidency with The Center for Vision & Values. He is the author of “Heaven in the American Imagination” (Oxford University Press).

Straight to Jesus-Mary Set The Example

Straight to Jesus-Mary Set The Example

The Protestants were right all along; We go straight to Jesus, AND MARY SET THE EXAMPLE!

There are people with the best of intention who believe that Mary’s intercession is idolatry and a type of paganism under the guise of Christianity. Their reasoning is that if we ask Mary’s intercession, we are at odds with Jesus because He said in John 14:6, “no one comes to the Father except through Me [Jesus].” To them it means that we should… only ask Jesus to intercede to Father, and Mary is considered to be an adversary to the process rather than a help.
This understanding is in conflict with Jesus teaching on prayer. Jesus said; “This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. (Mt 6:9-14). Notice that Jesus is telling his followers to pray directly to the Father. Jesus is not saying you can only intercede to the father through Me.

Jesus didn’t say, no one INTERCEDES to the father except through Me. Jesus said, “no one COMES to the Father except through Me” [Jesus] (Jn 14:6). Please note that intercessory prayer by Mary or anyone is not in the context. Jesus, in John 14 tells us that He is going to prepare a place for us and he will come back and take us with Him, verse 3. No one comes to the father except by Me, verse 6. Jesus is coming back and He will not leave us orphans, verse18. .

How does Jesus leave and prepare a place for us? Jesus dies on the cross He raises from the dead and ascends into Heaven! By His cross we are redeemed. No one can COME to the Father except through Jesus because He redeemed us on the cross. Without this redemption there is no salvation and so when Jesus is referring to “coming to the Father,” He is not saying who can or cannot intercede. He is talking about salvation; “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name [Jesus] under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (Acts 4:12).”

Some people are using John 14:6 as a prohibition against Mary and the saints interceding in prayer; however, they are using it out of context, probably not realizing John 14:6 has to do with redemption and not intercession.

We ask Mary and the Saints to pray with us on our behalf. Yes, we go straight to Jesus and when Mary intercedes on our behalf, she goes straight to Jesus along with us. In the Bible when the wedding party was out of wine, Mary interceded to Jesus on their behalf. Jesus initially resisted “my hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:3-5); however, Jesus out of His great love honored His mother Mary, by doing it anyway. I want Mary on my side when I pray to Jesus, and that is why in every Hail Mary prayer we say to her “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” We ask Mary to intercede with us and she goes straight to Jesus, just as she did at Cana.

Should Mary Be Honored-Pope Bows

Should Mary Be Honored-Pope Bows

Pope bows to Mary

Should Mary be exalted and if so in what way?

On social media, a member of the Baptist Religion claimed that Mary should not be honored; all honors should go to Jesus alone. Whatever love that I have for Mary, I am sure it is far less than Jesus love for His Mother. Some Protestants ignore her, malign her and in the most extreme cases try to associate her with demons or Satan. Again, I say some Protestants, because there are others who hold her in the highest regard.

The angel Gabriel honored Mary; she had found favor with god: “The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. (Lk. 1:26-31). Mary is to be the Mother of Jesus and has found favor with God. I think we should favor her as well.

All generations honor Mary, she is called Blessed: Mary spoke of the honors given her by God. “And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name” (Lk. 1:46). Wow! Look at the honors, and for all ages. Some are afraid that Mary might take away from Jesus. God did not share this fear; He honored her.

Elizabeth honored Mary: “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at that moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Lk. 1:41-45). Elizabeth called her “most blessed” and was honored to have Mary in her presence.

Simeon honored Mary: “Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you [Mary] yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Lk. 2:34-35). A sword pierces Mary’s heart so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. That doesn’t sound like Jesus alone. Mary had a role as well.

Martin Luther honored Mary: Although many non-Catholics speak against Mary as though she is at odds with Jesus. On the other hand, not all Protestants do this, but hold her in high regard. Therefore, I must defend many of my non-Catholic brothers for also having a very high regard for Mary. The Protestant Reformers in general spoke highly of Mary. Fr. Martin Luther, spoke of his extremely high regard for Mary.

Martin Luther: “If our Lady were to enter Jerusalem today, in a golden coach drawn by 4,000 horses it would not be and honor great enough for she who bore in her womb our Savior” (Protestantism and our Lady, Fr George Rutler).

Jesus honored Mary, in fact, He obeyed her: Jesus honored His mother and Joseph by obeying them; “He [Jesus] went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them and his mother kept all these things in her heart” (Lk. 2:51). He did this in keeping with the fourth commandment of God, “Honor your father and mother” (Ex. 20:12). We should honor Mary, Joseph and all the Saints.

Jesus honored his Mother at the wedding feast of Cana. He did so by performing His first public miracle at her request. “When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine’” (Jn. 2:3). Initially Jesus resisted, “my time has not yet come;” however, in the end, He did it anyway.

The angel Gabriel honored Mary. Do you honor her?

All generations call Mary Blessed. How do you call her blessed?

Elizabeth honored Mary. Do you honor her?

Simeon honored Mary. Do you honor her?

Martin Luther honored Mary. Do you honor her?

Jesus honored and obeyed Mary. Do you honor her?

Jesus honored her with his first public miracle. Do you honor her?

A quotation from Rev Charles Dickson a Lutheran minister: “Having been raised in a traditional Protestant atmosphere, I was led to believe that Catholics placed far too great an emphasis on the Virgin Mary in their faith and practice and that such an emphasis deflected from the centrality of Christ. But in some 30 years of ministry in a Protestant tradition I have learned that just the opposite is true. By upholding the importance of the Blessed Virgin, Catholics do not minimize the importance of Christ, but actually emphasize and underline His mission…” (Article, Why all the fuss about Mary).

The moment someone tries to explain to me, everything that Mary isn’t, I know they are coming from their tradition. The Bible explains what Mary is in relationship to Jesus, not what she isn’t. Sometimes my Evangelical friends will tell me that Mary is only a humble handmaid of the Lord. She should not be exalted, only Jesus. They are correct in that Mary is that humble handmaid of the Lord. They are incorrect when they say she should not be exalted. “For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness” (Lk. 1:46). “Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you” (Jm. 4:10). The fact that she is that humble handmaid of the Lord, this is precisely why we exalt her.

If God exalts Mary in her humility, then who are we not to do likewise? Do you exalt her or explain her away as unimportant?

Does the Mother not love her Son? Does the Son not love His Mother? He does love her and when we love her, we imitate Jesus and honor Him as well. The notion of Mary taking away from the centrality of Jesus is found in some man-made traditions; however, it is not found in the Bible. Mary’s message for us yesterday, today and forever,

“Do whatever He [Jesus] tells you” (Jn. 2:5).

Child tip toeing to Mary