Question of the day.

What’s the most impactful meeting with a stranger you’ve ever had?

My answer:

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? 🙂

Question of the day.

If you died today, what regrets would you have about your life?

My answer:

If I died, I don’t think I’d have any regrets afterwards, because I think our perspective on things must change quite a lot when that happens. As a Christian and Catholic, the only thing I can think of that I could really regret after death would be any sins that I didn’t do anything about in my lifetime, didn’t confess or regret them earlier or expiate for them or didn’t apologise to people who might have been affected or didn’t try to compensate them in any way, maybe even didn’t accept that I was sinning, as well as good things I didn’t do that could have helped my soul grow and be somehow beneficial for others around me. Which would mean I wouldn’t be able to enjoy being in God’s presence until my soul would be cleansed of all that yucky stuff in the purgatory, and purgatory souls do suffer a lot, not because they are somehow tortured in exquisite ways as some people imagine purgatory, but because they are separated from God, and they have a deep longing to be near Him but at the same time don’t want that to happen any sooner than when they are completely pure. Must be a strange state of being to find oneself in, when the whole perspective in which you look at yourself, the world and everything is no longer the same which you had when you were alive, but you see everything the way God does. I find it difficult on a cognitive level and as it seems it’s not just me. Anyway, since I’m still alive, I do try my best to do what I can not to have such regrets afterwards, although of course we are all flawed, make mistakes and all that, so we all will have some regrets of this nature when our time comes, I believe. Helping and devotion to purgatory souls is quite a thing, you could perhaps say a tradition, in my maternal family, as my great grandma had very close contact with and apparitions of them from what we know and she passed her passion for helping them onto her children, and it’s still alive. I have a fair few souls that are dear to me and whom I try to help by praying for them and offering up what I can, so that in case they are in purgatory, they can be released possibly soon, and I trust that when it’ll be my time to die, they will be there to help me too, I already do feel their help in some ways in life.

As for what I’d regret at the time I was dying or knowing that I’m going to die soon… I don’t really know what I would regret. Probably also those thoughts of spiritual nature would pass through my mind so I’d try to prepare my soul for death, but other than that… I’m thinking hard now and I have no idea at this point, so it’s possible that there wouldn’t be anything more. Oh wait, there is one thing! This is a thing that I already regret and have been regretting ever since it happened, and so I may be regretting it forever in this life, because it was really awful. It wasn’t even really my fault or my decision but I was involved in it anyway, I witnessed it and sometimes I wonder if I could stop it in time and it was so sad I haven’t fully gotten over it yet. I regret that it had to happen, the whole thing. I’m talking about Sasha – a Russian blue kitten we bought I guess two years ago, and had to rehome after two months. Some of you who have been around on here then may remember him, there even are some pics/videos of him on this blog I believe.

My Mum – who is famous for impulsive decisions on the spur of a moment – was thinking about getting another Russian blue cat, in addition to Misha whom we already had. We were all thinking that Misha was feeling lonely when we weren’t home, or even when we were. That perhaps he needed a playmate. It really blows my mind how we could be so daft, but now I’ve read lots of things about feline behaviours and brains so it’s easy to say to me that it was daft, but it really was. I liked a comparison I’ve read at one cat behaviourist’s blog – imagine you have a very loving partner, whom you love to, and who really admires you and thinks you’re beautiful. And one day he/she comes home and says: “Oh look, I was thinking you were so beautiful, that I decided to get myself another one, just like you. Now I’ll have two real beauties/handsome guys to sleep with. And you guys will be having real fun times with each other too, won’t you? You won’t mind sharing the same rooms?” 😀 Rude and selfish, right?

The more we all talked about it, the more Mum looked at Russian blues breeders’ websites and pics of Russian blue kittens, the more we felt like having a mini copy of Misha in our house.

And finally Mum learned that the breeder from whom we got Misha is going to have little kittens super soon, in the matter of days, I mean of course his cats were going to have them, not he. So Mum called him right away and he said that one is still free so she can take it when it’s born.

I did think it was really rushed and had mixed feelings, although mostly also for selfish reasons – because I thought Misha will spend more time with this other cat than with me/us and will no longer sleep with me – yet the perspective of having two Mishas was so pleasing that I couldn’t oppose for too long, and Mum’s arguments were very convincing as she was very sure of her decision and thought it an inspiration from God. I wonder what God was thinking of this accusation.

Whenever the topic of Sasha comes up now, I wonder, if I tried more to stop her from doing it so hurriedly, would it make the situation any better? Maybe if I tried, I would manage to change her mind, or at least cool her head off enough that the whole procedure of introducing a new cat would be better planned, not just: “Misha, this is Sasha and he’s going to be your new best friend from now on, deal with it if it doesn’t suit you”. Because when Sasha came it was nothing what it should be like and even the breeder, when he learned about the failure of the experiment, was shocked and kept saying that he did tell us how we should introduce them to each other, that it should be a gradual thing and all that. Maybe then at least they could live together in relative peace.

But it was as it was, and a few days later, Mum and Sofi went to the breeder and took Sasha home, and Sofi almost immediately brought him to Misha. Misha got super mad so that me and Sofi were scared, and Mum even accused him of being mentally ill because he can’t just react in a normal way to any change, even a positive one. 😀 He hid under the sofa and hissed and made such low noises all night. Good thing that at least Sasha had a bit different temperament, or very different in fact.

He was super cuddly, bold, happy-go-lucky and very extroverted. We were laughing with Sofi that just like Misha has his birthday two days before me and we are both incredibly similar to each other, Sasha was born just a few days after Sofi’s birthday and, like her, was a typical Gemini and very much like her. His outgoing personality and cuddliness made him even more likeable.

In the coming days, we saw very little of Misha, he was usually either hiding, or chasing and scaring Sasha, letting him know that it’s his – Misha’s – house, and Sasha has nothing to do in here. At some point, from what we’d managed to figure out, he must have scared him in the loo, HIS very private loo, because Sasha had a deep fear of doing his thing in the litterbox, but until we figured out what was the problem with the help of a behaviourist we were thinking he was just doing it on purpose for some reason, because there was no way to persuade him to do it in the right place and we had poo surprises everywhere from bathtub to wardrobes to pillowcases, which didn’t make the atmosphere any better as you can imagine.

Sometimes we stupid humans were treated to a special performance by Misha and Sasha implying that they are very good friends, so that’s what we liked to believe in.

Finally the loo situation was getting really out of control, unhealthy emotions were rising, everyone was stressed out and tired, Mum was near depressed, blaming herself, or being angry at Misha for being “antisocial” or Sasha for pooping, I was blaming Sasha for everything because if not him, Misha wouldn’t be going crazy and the whole situation wouldn’t have taken place, so I wasn’t treating him as nicely as Misha even though he was clinging to me as much as everyone else, and then after five minutes I would be very nice to him because he was so cute, after all, that you couldn’t resist for too long. He must have been super confused I guess. The culmination was that they both got sick. The vet said that there isn’t anything wrong with either of them physically, but they had high fever and other awful symptoms, Misha was throwing up with some gross, foamy stuff, Sasha was barely in touch with the world, so he said it must be stress and, after being told the story with minute details, he said it can’t go on like this and said they could even die if it would be dragging for too long. So we finally saw this too and started doing something about it.

We had to rehome Sasha, which was a great pain for our selfish brains. But at least he had real luck with his new family, or so I like to think. They’re very interesting, artistically inclined people, and months later I learned that Sasha’s new mummy is actually a children’s writer whose books I used to read, what a cool coincidence!

So the situation generally had a happy ending, although I can only hope that Sasha doesn’t have any bad memories or anything like that and that he has a better life now, but still… this situation would be so easy to prevent, or make it take a slightly different route. That’s why I regret it. I regret that Sasha couldn’t have a happy childhood right away, and that it had to be us with whom he had such a difficult start. I regret what we did to Misha, that we betrayed him in a way, as Mum says. Even though Misha seems like the biggest monster in this situation because if not his “antisocial” behaviour, we could have two cats, in fact, after Sasha left, we all only fully realised how virtuous Misha has actually been all that time. He forgave us what we did. He recovered and keeps being the sweet, good-natured Misha for us. Even while Sasha was with us, we did see much less of him but when we saw him, he was never aggressive to us and was very tolerant of all our whims at that time. Mum says he has a very noble spirit, and I think that describes him very well.

Okay, so how about you? 🙂

Question of the day (15th November).

Hi people. 🙂

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted for a week but this week has been rather nasty for me.

Do you believe in ghosts, spirits or paranormal occurences? If so, have you had an experience yourself?

My answer:

In a way I do, in a way I don’t. I don’t believe in ghosts that haunt the attics or show up to innocent people at nights just to make them jump out of their skin. What I do believe in, as a Christian and Catholic, is that there is purgatory and that the souls of dead people can visit us on Earth if need be – that is if they need us to pray for them, or perhaps to help, especially if a person has helped them in the past to get out of purgatory or something or if they’re family. – I guess technically you could call them ghosts but this term sounds firstly rather superficial to me, and secondly, kind of offensive. I would never call someone I liked or loved who had died a ghost. If they visited me I’d rather refer to them by their name or said they visited me in spirit or that their soul came to me or something, not a ghost! Also, purgatory souls do not want to do us any harm, not even creep us out, so, even if someone does experience such a grace and extreme privilege that they can talk to or see a person who has died, it’s usually in dreams or such unless you’re a mystic or something. They don’t want to scare people or haunt their houses or blackmail them or possess them or whatever else stupid things people can come up with. I don’t believe that what people do at spiritual seances is calling the real souls of their loved ones and the people who died. Or rather, okay, they may want to evoke those people but it’s not them who they see, rather those are demons and evil spirits pretending to be who the person wanted it to be. Souls of people in purgatory or heaven don’t come to you at your whim, not even at their own, but when God wants it, He is smarter than we and them together and, seriously, He knows what to do and when, without us telling Him. And the consequences of such evoking spirits can be nasty. As for other paranormal stuff, it’s hard to say, I have an impression different people classify different things as paranormal and also have different terms for what’s considered paranormal. Since there can be so many such phenomena I guess I won’t be writing about those things in detail but I’ll just say a lot of paranormal phenomena feel like absolute bullshit to me, while there are some that I definitely do believe in and that they exist and can happen, and what I think of them can really vary haha.

As for my own experiences, don’t know if that fully counts as paranormal, I guess more esoteric, but back in the day I used to have a lot of OOBEs (out of body experiences) and LDs (lucid dreams). And lucid dreams still happen to me but these days they’re unintended and not even half as frequent as they used to be. I have witnessed and experienced some things that perhaps may feel on the edge of paranormal for some but overall I don’t think I am the kind of person who is susceptible for such things to occur to me. I know from my Mum and grandma that my great grandmother – my maternal grandma’s mother – was very devoted to praying for purgatory souls. She was a Franciscan tertiary and was said to be able to see purgatory souls on quite several occasions (or experience their presence in any other way and communicate with them, I’m not sure about the details). I think it’s so fascinating and I’m so happy and proud to have had someone like this in my family, I regret that she died before I was born and I’d really like to know what she’s like more than just what I’ve heard. But she was very humble about it so didn’t even talk much about it to people from what I know. I think this is largely why my grandma, my Mum and me and Zofijka feel a close connection to purgatory souls and praying for them is a huge part of each of us’ individual spirituality. I have several people that have died and that I feel a close connection to that I pray for every day and ask them for intercession so that we can help each other, I think it’s so fun that it works like this that we can actually take care of each other, be thankful to each other, count on each other’s help and try our best to return the favours, haha. I have not had such spectacular experiences like my great grandmother did, but while I often find it hard to pray, to feel God’s presence in my life, I guess everyone who has some spiritual life has such difficulties at times, my purgatory souls help me with that, and there have been many occasions in my life, especially in recent six or so years, that I have felt their presence very deeply, not in any metaphysical level or anything like that, but I knew they were there praying for me and helping me. Especially at the beginning of my journey with praying for them, straight after I sort of re-converted, there have been SO many absolutely strange, wonderful and unbelievable, seemingly purely coincidental but on the other hand very unlikely to happen otherwise situations in my life, it was mind-blowing! And not only was it simply mind-blowing to observe but I also believe that their intercession has helped me, more or less directly, hard to say, to get to the point where I’m in my life right now. One of the souls I’m putting a lot of effort in helping is one of my music crushes Cornelis Vreeswijk who died 32 years ago and I’m sure needs a whole lot of help, and, of course it’s just my belief or an assumption and maybe it wasn’t anything to do with him, just how I want to see it, but always when I think about how I got out of my boarding school (which was just a couple months after I got my crush on Cornelis and quite soon after I started praying for him) and how absolutely weirdly, miraculously and fabulously all my problems with further schooling were solved, and the following school year was my best and strangest school year ever, when I think of that I always think of him, and am grateful for his intercession (as strange as it sounds that Vreeswijk would pray for anyone but I believe his spiritual views may be different now) because I was praying a lot for his soul and I often just talked to him casually and was asking him that if I’d helped his situation at all, I would very much appreciate him helping me as well, as I was struggling a whole lot mentally and with life in general. Since then, there have also been many small, often humourous coincidences in my daily life that I strongly suspect may have something to do with my relationship with the purgatory souls. Also, another way of helping the souls out of purgatory is to offer your sufferings for them or make any sort of sacrifices for them. That sounds so pathetic when you think of it especially if you’re not religious and have no experience yourself, but since I’ve been praying for those purgatory souls I feel close with, I am really happy that I can offer up all my daily life struggles whether big or small to help them, and I started to enjoy fasting and like seriously fasting, not just not eating meat on Fridays but having one day once in a while when I wouldn’t eat anything whatsoever. I used to think it’s a huge deal but really, when you have a reasonable motive and are supported by Holy Spirit and the soul you’re praying for it doesn’t have to be like this, although I did have to switch to intermittent fasting when I want to fast because otherwise my blood pressure drops like crazy. That’s by no means paranormal, but it definitely is a wee bit otherworldly.

When I was 10 and recovering from the Achilles tendons surgery, with my legs in plasters from thighs to toes and unable to move them for six weeks, I was super neurotic and feeling very lonely and anxious and just all things awful, and this was a time in my life when my relationship with my faith and with God and all that was incredibly neurotic too. One of the many nights when I couldn’t sleep and felt very lonely and desperate, I had a feeling that someone came into my room, or rather sort of floated in, and I could sense someone standing by my bed. I reached my hand out and felt some silky fabric, as if I was touching someone’s dress or something. Knowing me, I would normally be creeped out in such a situation, at least a bit, even these days, let alone in the state of mind I was then. Yet I wasn’t creeped out, I immediately had a feeling that I was experiencing something quite unusual. I suddenly felt soothed by this presence at my bedside even though everything was back to normal in a second and I didn’t feel anyone there with me anymore. And for whatever reason, whether rightly or not, I was strongly convinced it was Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn who visited me. It was her holiday that day and I knew about it. I was convinced about it for many years, though considering how generally messed up I was at that time and how surreal and vague the incident was and feels I’m no longer so sure of it, I’m actually very skeptical. I wasn’t psychotic or anything like that at all, and it’s not completely unlikely of course that it did happen, but I just think my sensory deprivation and mental state could make me think and perceive things in really strange ways, especially that my imagination is overactive even when my brain is doing much better, and it’s more likely that it was the effect of my brain feeling completely disoriented and more that I just really needed to feel soothed and less lonely. But it was interesting.

Also that’s not my own experience but I’ve bee on several pilgrimages to a sanctuary where a lot of people experience a very fascinating thing that is called sleeping in the Spirit, or something similar. It is when the priest prays over a person and they fall asleep in the Spirit. It’s just like people lose control and fall to the floor and just fall asleep for a couple minutes. When there is prayer over people, some men have to stand behind a person just in case to hold them if they fall so that they won’t hurt themselves or fall hard unexpectedly and there can be quite a few people falling asleep during such services. I used to be sceptical about that and so was my Mum because, well, there are mostly older women going for those pilgrimages, you could very easily think it’s hysteria or something. But it’s really all kinds of people who fall asleep, often such that you really wouldn’t suspect of being histrionic or attention-seeking or overzealous or anything like that. It once happened to my gran who said she didn’t feel nothing while asleep but when she woke up she was feeling calm and rested as if she was sleeping for a long time. Still, I am a control freak and I can’t help but feel a bit creeped out when that happens, even though I rationally know there’s no need to feel this way. But I think you need to feel open for such a thing to happen, and really trust in God and let Him control things. It’s never happened to me, but that priest was praying over me for the first time last year and I felt a strange sensation like I was very firmly pushed backwards. I was absolutely convinced that, for whatever reason, it was that priest doing so and at the beginning I was like huh, anyone can make people fall asleep in the Spirit if it’s like this, 😀 and my Mum and Zofijka who also experienced this type of prayer for the first time were convinced about it too, but my gran, who’s going there every year and has loads of experience in that sanctuary told us that she could see those people falling asleep many times and that they are not pushed, they’re just sort of bending backwards. Weird. Apart from that I didn’t feel anything, certainly not that I was going to fall asleep. I was only a little bit nervous about what if I will, and a tiny bit frustrated because I came to the sanctuary to ask God to help me with my sleep paralysis, and I expected I’d be able to tell the priest about that during that prayer, yet the priest knew from my gran that her granddaughter is blind and readily assumed I must have come there to pray to be able to see, but in the end I guess it didn’t matter what he was thinking right? Again, would I call that falling asleep in Spirit paranormal? Not really. Supernatural and extraordinary? Yes. I think there is a difference. But people perceive different things differently so I’m mentioning it.

How about your views and experiences with all sorts of paranormal/supernatural/spiritual phenomena? 🙂

,My thoughts]