While we usually don’t have an absolute certainty about the eternal fate of our loves ones (with the exception of those beatified and canonized by the Church), we should still hold out great hope for their salvation. For some, this is more difficult than others, often depending on the way their deceased loved one lived here on earth. Our God is a Father of mercy, of compassion, of doing all that He can to woo us toward Himself. How are you with this notion? Do you have a certain confidence that your loved ones are with the Lord (even if a little time in Purgatory occurs along the way)? Or, do you find yourself constantly worrying about their soul? It can be difficult losing someone we love dearly. But “letting go” and trusting that they are in the merciful arms of God can help to bring us peace of mind and heart. Share your take on this with Jerry and Debbie on Monday.
February 26, 2018 at 12:10 pm
This topic is airing on 2/26/2018, not 2/23/2018.
February 26, 2018 at 3:34 pm
Very astute observation, Rick. Thanks for pointing it out. If you read closely, it refers to Monday’s show. The date the post was put on the website was 2/23, in anticipation of Monday’s show. We’re so grateful that you listen to the show and pay close attention to our posts. God bless you! Jerry and Debbie
February 26, 2018 at 1:18 pm
Thank you so much for having this topic on your show. My beloved brother died unexpectedly 4 years ago at 65. He was very estranged from our Catholic faith due to multiple difficult life experiences. (None that I know of were the fault of the Church.) He also lived in Alaska and I live in the Midwest, so seeing him regularly was not an option. We did talk at length on the phone. He knew I practiced my faith. A year or two before he died he sent me several books by modern atheists that he had read and wanted me to read. I was appalled and scared to even look at these books. I read a few pages in one book to try to learn where he was coming from and I could not continue. I felt sick just having books like that in my house and that they would endanger me. I myself, was in the process of renewing my connection to my Catholic faith and felt frightened that these kinds of books were out there and that my brother was subscribing to these dangerous beliefs. I mailed the books back to him with no comment. I never said anything to him about them. I did not feel capable of having a conversation with him about them. Some of this was probably the weakness of my depth of knowledge then of my faith. He was quite an able and vigorous debater, as am I, and I was not going to take him on without feeling ready. Then he died suddenly, as I said, and I felt awful, wondering about the state of his soul. I have prayed for him and had many masses said for him, though I am still working through my sadness that I could not/did not speak up and tell him he was wrong and ho0w much God loved him. My spiritual director told me that my brother’s fate is a mystery now in the hands of God. I will continue to pray for his soul. Sometimes I tell God that I feel my brother’s life experiences were so difficult I hope that can be taken into account. I sincerely believe he had a lot of distorted thinking. Anyway, thanks again for your topic today. I love your program. You cover so many subjects there aren’t other readily available places to hold rich, thoughtful discussions. My brother’s name is Jack if he can be added to your prayer list.
February 26, 2018 at 3:38 pm
Margaret, yes, by all means we’ll add Jack to our prayer book. You are such an amazing sister! Don’t let the fact that you didn’t use “words” in trying to bring him back to the faith keep you upset. Praying for him was absolutely huge. You did your very best, and with God’s grace at work in his life, you can trustfully surrender his soul to the incredible mercy of Jesus, who desires that all be saved. We’re glad you listen to the show and get something positive out of it! Jerry and Debbie
February 28, 2018 at 8:24 pm
I was only able to catch the very beginning of this program on my way to pick up my sister in-law. Wish I could have called in, but will share my experiences here. My younger sister passed away nine years ago on Dec. 12, 2008. She had been sick for many years and never let anyone know just how bad it was. It was a treatable condition, but she let things go until she was too sick. After being in surgery all night long to try and clear blood clots, she had a brain bleed and died at 2:40 in the afternoon. She had been unresponsive all day and, right before taking her last breath, she smiled twice and right after this there was a flash of sunlight in the window, on a day that had been cloudy and overcast. Many family members were there to witness this.
In January of 2017, my mother became ill, as her 93 year old body began to wear out. She told me on Saturday that she just felt like she was going to die. We went to the hospital where she spent the next six days, getting weaker each day. I spent most nights with her and she would often call out her sister’s Gennie’s name, asking her for help. This went on off and on throughout the night. One evening she was calling out to Gennie and the mentioned her brother, George. Then she called her sister Elisabeth. I asked if she saw Aunt Elisabeth and she answered, “Yes.” I asked her what Aunt Elisabeth was doing. She answered, “Elisabeth is making a robe for me.” On Friday, it was obvious she was not going to get better and she was placed on hospice. We were able to move her back to the assisted living facility where she had been living and she was able to see my father. They were married for 68 years and after not seeing him for almost a week, that was all she wanted to do. The next day my brother came to spend time with her and I was going to go home and clean up. I told her I was going to leave for a little while and she told me to go. When I stopped to talk to my brother, she again said, “Go, go.” I left and she was gone within about 40 minutes. I wasn’t there, but feel that her comments during the week, let me know she going someplace special and was going to be with her sisters.
Then in July, 2017 my father fell and broke his neck. The results of a C1 fracture, a neck brace, and pain medication all added to his previous diagnosis of dementia and his age (93) caused a swift decline in his health. There were several times during the month of July and early August, when I didn’t know how long he was going to last. On August 15, I went to visit after going to mass in the morning. There had been a significant decline over the previous week or so. Dad was not wanting to eat and was at times not good at taking in fluids either. When I arrived that day, I just had a feeling that it was going to be the last day we would have him with us. About 2PM that afternoon, I had been doing something in his room and turned around to see him awake and smiling, as he stretched out his hand and arm to something/somebody that he was seeing. This lasted for several seconds and then he dropped his hand and went back to sleep. I was not able to find out from him who or what he was seeing. He had told me on the previous Sunday that his brothers and sisters were coming. At the time, I thought is was just the usual dementia symptoms, but after this I was not sure. It could have Mom or Martha that he was seeing. We will never know for sure, but I had a peaceful feeling that they all three are with the Lord in Heaven. There was no way to keep any of them from dying, but I was able to make sure that they were all three anointed before their passing. This was important to me and my brothers and I know helped all three of them to have an easy passing to their heavenly reward.
March 1, 2018 at 11:44 am
Mary Beth, thanks for sharing these touching stories. We’re so glad that all three of them received the final sacraments from the Church, and that you have such peace knowing they are with the Lord. Bless you! Jerry and Debbie