What’s the most impactful meeting with a stranger you’ve ever had?
It was during the last year of my stay at the boarding school, actually during the last month. I’d been really into all these things like lucid dreaming, out of body experiences, new age-y stuff, anything that could provide me with some escape from the real world and from my own brain as it was. I desperately tried to convince myself that I don’t believe in God. At some point, my eyes started to open again and I started to see how something’s really wrong with all this and it doesn’t have the best influence on me or the way I feel, or people around me, or anything really. It was supposed to make me feel better and it often did for a while, but then things spiralled down even worse after some time. Some things in my life also prompted me to think more about God and also to go back to something that’s quite a big thing in my family, thinking about purgatory souls. But that wasn’t really anything serious yet, I was just thinking.
On the day when this meeting that I’m going to talk about happened, it was a weekend day so there were only a few other girls in the group plus me, and the staff who was on shift in the afternoon encouraged us to go see some sort of spectacle that was going on near where we were, which was all about the afterlife and what it looks like, and apparently its message was quite strong. We were all quite reluctant from what I remember, but we did go in the end, and it made a very strong impression on me indeed, the way people’s last moments in their lives were portrayed. It was like someone suddenly jolted me awake with a bucket of freezing cold water and a slap in the face, which wasn’t pleasant at all, but was definitely what I needed at the time. I think this was one of the major factors which contributed to my re-conversion, which was quite a longer process, but maybe if I didn’t see that, it wouldn’t happen, I don’t know.
If I remember correctly, there was also a big about purgatory, or maybe it was just my mind which kept going in that direction, anyway after we saw that, on our way back to the school, we were talking about our impressions and also about the purgatory souls. We were waiting for the bus, and we did so, chatting at the bus stop, an elderly lady came over to us, as she overheard what we were talking about, and told us about how she grew up in a children’s home, and at some point she got very sick, that everyone was thinking she was going to die. She was very religious already as it seemed so they asked a priest to come to her and give her the last rites. After that, she had some sort of a vision or I don’t know how it should be classified, of a man who came close to her and looked like he was suffering a lot, and like he was on fire. She got really scared but then was told by him that this is what happens to people in purgatory, that their souls suffer so much because of the longing for God, whom they cannot see yet, that it feels as if they were burning. And he asked her to pray for him. ANd then she somehow recovered and since then has had a deep devotion for the purgatory souls.
That was really interesting for me to hear, especially that it was such a weird coincidence that I’ve been thinking about it so much and now all those things to do with the purgatory were happening. At the same time though, I still felt rather skeptical of whether her story was actually true, maybe she just wanted to make some sort of impression or whatever.
But then I talked to my Mum about all that stuff, and she was of course very happy that I suddenly have been brought possibly a little bit closer to God, and she said that it doesn’t really matter whether this woman’s story was true or not, and that it’s not really my business. There wasn’t anything wrong with it like theologically, and whether it did happen to her or not, my Mum felt that perhaps this happened to me because God wants me to also pray for the purgatory souls – which I used to do years before, as does my Mum, my grandma and as did my great grandmother, and my great grandmother had actually quite a strong bond with them. –
So I did decide that I’ll indeed see it this way, and so even though I didn’t really know what I’m going to do with my spiritual/religious life yet, I started praying for them, and that’s how it all started.
Now I have quite a large group of souls of people who passed away that I pray for, or offer up anything I can for them to be released from the purgatory as soon as possible, if they’re still there. If they aren’t, that’s not a problem, because there still are a lot of other people who need it and God knows who needs it most instead. We also believe that such purgatory souls are extremely grateful when we here on Earth help themm with our prayers and other things that we can help them with, so they want to help us too. In our daily lives, and afterwards, and they pray for us all the time. I like how it makes a sort of connection between us, and how it makes me feel that I’m actually helping people somewhat.
How about you? 🙂