This is a ghost post inspired by a video by Fr Mike Schmitz. (Video below, notes and links at the end of the post.)
“The mere thought of ghosts can give us goose bumps sometimes, but there are still moments when we think ghost stories are just made up to scare us. Maybe it’s time for some real talk about things that go bump in the night, and other stirrings we suspect may be specters. Can souls continue to communicate with the living after they die? In this video, Fr. Mike gives a powerful reason for why he believes they can.” —From “I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost!” a video by Fr. Mike Schmitz.
When I watched Fr. Mike’s video (see below) I was reminded of what Dom Wiesinger, OSCO, said in his book from earlier in our series. A ghost might not even be a ghost, might not necessarily be a person who has died, but might be a soul coming into contact with another soul, consciously or unconsciously (on either person’s part). We are taught so little about the soul that we do not know how to recognize ghosts, persons alive here and now, and the difference between these and demons.
Video: I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts! A video by Fr Mike Schmitz
Fr. Schmitz talks about the difference between the ghosts of souls in Purgatory and demons, but we can also come into contact with the souls of those who are in this world, living here and now, not dead at all. According to Dom Wiesinger, it’s not just souls in Purgatory or demons, not ghosts or demons, but ghosts of the Holy Souls or people alive on earth now or demons. And if we throw the possibility of extraterrestrial life into the mix—well, that’s a possibility, too, I would think. But that could be an example of people (beings) living in the world now, if by world we simply mean the created physical world around us, not just the Planet Earth.
I’ve had some experiences that I rarely talk about. All of these experiences happened many years ago. Things like faces appearing to me, in darkened rooms, or when I opened doors to let a pet into the house. There was a period of time when I faced closed doors with something I can only describe as dread, because I knew it was going to happen and it happened so often. I knew I would see a bodiless face and I knew I would be terrified of it. And it always did terrify me. Even typing this now I can remember the cold fear I felt then.
I spent a long night at my grandmother’s house once, when I saw one of those faces when I got up to go to the bathroom late at night. I stepped into the hallway between my bedroom and the bathroom and a face “appeared” near my right shoulder. I froze, riveted to the spot. I don’t think I even breathed, I was so frightened. I stood there for what seemed hours, though I’m sure it was only a few minutes. I’m also sure that the only reason I did move was because I couldn’t hold it anymore. Otherwise I would’ve stood there until the sun came up, still frozen, like a troll caught unawares by the morning light. I can laugh a little about it now but at the time it shook me up.
Most of this happened long before I discovered the Church, when I was becoming involved with the “new age” and for that reason alone I hesitate to say that these were Holy Souls appearing to me. They could have been denizens of another realm altogether, or they could have been Holy Souls trying to get a message through to my thick skull that I should turn away from the path I was wandering down, so like the fool of the cards I was playing with. Or it could’ve been something else entirely.
The few times it’s happened since then I’ve tried to remind myself to calm down and to call on the Lord and remember to pray for the persons I’ve seen. (I have never seen a face that I’ve recognized or even one that has many features. It’s always been vague and though I have seen faces, I’ve never seen a body and it’s always been a stronger feeling than a seeing, and a much stronger one that that. And due to my cowardice, that feeling always brought out fear in me. Perhaps that feeling of fear and dread arose from whatever appeared to me, or perhaps it was simply my own lack of spiritual knowledge and maturity, and certainly my lack of sanctifying grace had much to do with it. I was living the life of a pagan even though I had been baptized, at my own request, many years before. Later I began to disbelieve in ghosts, though I retained my belief in the existence of souls, angels, and demons.
After I began to explore the Church and had read in Divine Mercy in My Soul (the Diary) about St. Faustina being visited by so many souls in need of prayer, I tried to be more open-minded about it all. I became curious: what had I seeen? Ghosts? Holy Souls? Demons? I’m no saint and I don’t know why souls would be “appearing” to me. But here I recall what Dom Wiesinger wrote of the powers of the soul, that one soul can reach out when partly free and contact another soul, both of these can be living, not ghosts or demons or Holy Souls in Purgatory, but living on the earth, in the physical body.
It hasn’t happened in a long time now. If it does happen again, I’ll try to apply what I’ve learned over recent years: to call on the Lord immediately, not give into fear or gullibility, not jump to the conclusion that an actual ghost or soul from Purgatory or demon has really appeared to me; to pray earnestly for any soul who appears; and if a demon it be, then I’ll pray that the Lord will protect me. He has certainly protected me from all kinds of things, especially from myself, until now.
I think I need to pray the Rosary more often and the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, too, for all those who are suffering now in this life, all who are suffering in Purgatory, and all who have no one to pray for them, in this life and beyond.
Thanks for visiting and reading. Join me Thursday night for the weekly series on the soul. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, may the Lord bless you and keep you, and may the peace of Christ be always with you. +JMJ+
Notes and Links
- Fr. Mike Schmitz, video, I Aint Afraid of No Ghost!
- Dom Alois Wiesinger, Occult Phenomena in the Light of Theology, free PDF at archive.org. He mentions throughout the book that not all alleged cases of occult phenomena are so, and most often they can be attributed to natural causes. According to him, true contact with human souls from beyond or from demons happens not nearly so often as many think.
- St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul: Compact Paperback, Kindle, Leather (Amazon affiliate links).
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