There was a newspaper article, around the turn of the century, addressed to a little girl who was asking if there was a Santa Claus. It began with "Yes, Dorothy, there is a Santa Claus." We'd like to begin this book with a statement, truer and more encouraging than the one to Dorothy. "Yes, my brothers and sisters, there is a Heaven, Hell and Purgatory."
A great deal of interest came about in the last decade of the Twentieth Century about Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. The controversy ran hot and heavy, with a certain theologian ridiculing one of Mother Church's most prestigious Cardinal Archbishops, John Cardinal O'Connor, in a national newsmagazine. But to the best of our knowledge, that dissident theologian is no longer teaching in his university, and Cardinal O'Connor's words continue to touch the children of God. Suffice to say, Mother Church has always taught that there is a Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, that there is sin and the need to repent, while still on earth to avoid the punishment due after death.
It is important that we heed what Our Lord is trying to tell us. Listen with your heart and head, as you read Don Bosco's vision:
"He saw a large ship, with the Pope at the helm. Also, in his words,
"`In the midst of this endless sea, two solid columns, a short distance apart, soar high into the sky. On the one side, a statue of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin, stands high above the sea. At her feet is a large inscription, which reads `Auxilium Christianorumae' (Help of Christians). On the other side, and much higher, is a Giant Host, at the base of which is written `Salus Credentiumae (Salvation of Believers). The two columns stand tall and strong, warding off the thrashing of raging winds.
"St. John Bosco describes smaller ships surrounding the large ship and the columns. Many of them attack the flagship, while others defend it. No sooner is the Pope killed than he is replaced by another Pope. The battle continues. The new Pope tries to steer his ship between the two columns, but is having an extremely difficult time of it because of the constant pummeling by the furious hurricane. Finally, he succeeds in bringing his ship between the columns. He ties it up at each column. The wind cries out a bloodcurdling shriek, heard round the world, and dies. The enemy ships scatter in great fear, their battle lost, while the defending ships sing out praises to Our Lord Jesus, as they, too, tie up at the posts. A peaceful calm blankets the sea."
St. Louis Marie de Montfort prophesied about the apostles of the last days:
"....towards the end of the world, ....Almighty God and His holy Mother are to raise up saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs."
"These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her spirit, supported by her arms, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other. With one hand they will give battle, overthrowing and crushing heretics and their heresies, schismatics and their schisms, idolaters and their idolatries, sinners and their wickedness. With the other hand they will build the temple of the true Solomon and the mystical city of God, namely, the Blessed Virgin... "
"They will be like thunder-clouds flying through the air at the slightest breath of the Holy Spirit. Attached to nothing, surprised at nothing, they will shower down the rain of God's word and of eternal life. They will thunder against sin; they will storm against the world; they will strike down the devil and his followers and for life and for death, they will pierce through and through with the two-edged sword of God's word all those against whom they are sent by Almighty God."
"They will be true apostles of the latter times to whom the Lord of Hosts will give eloquence and strength to work wonders and carry off glorious spoils from His enemies. They will sleep without gold or silver and, more important still, without concern in the midst of other priests, ecclesiastics and clerics. Yet they will have the silver wings of the dove enabling them to go wherever the Holy Spirit calls them, filled as they are, with the resolve to seek the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Wherever they preach, they will leave behind them nothing but the gold of love, which is the fulfillment of the whole law."
"They will have the two-edged sword of the Word of God in their mouths and the blood-stained standard of the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the crucifix in their right hand and the rosary in their left, and the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart.
"Mary scarcely appeared in the first coming of Christ... But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through her."
The days sound like now; the apostles sound like Mary's Army. The battle lines are clearly drawn. The Lord is gathering up an army of believers to defend the Church in this, the last great battle of the end of the Second Millennium. When the Saints come marching in, will you be among their number?
If we were to use the prophecies attributed to St. Malachy, the Irish saint of the Twelfth Century, his controversial predictions regarding the descendants of Peter-the Popes and the Papacy, we would have to believe we are truly in the last days. He prophesied:
"In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock among many tribulations; after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people."
[When we attended Holy Mass with his Holiness, at the beginning of his Papacy, he called himself a Roman! He had just returned from his first trip to his beloved Poland!]
Fr. Stephen Gobbi, founder of the Marian Movement of Priests, had an inner locution at Lourdes in 1989, in which he said Our Lady talked about the next eleven years, as times of difficulty, trial and tribulation. According to these figures, that brought us to the year 2,000. While Our Lord Jesus tells us that no one knows the day or the time of the end of the world, many of the prophecies in the Book of Revelations regarding the last days, in particular the prophesies of the seven plagues in Chapter 16, as well as Our Lord's description of the end of the world, would give us reason to pause and reflect on the possibility that we're coming closer and closer to that time.
Because so many people believe that these are truly the last days, that all the occurrences we've mentioned above, plus much more that we haven't mentioned, are just around the corner, that we're approaching the angry Jesus that we see in the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel-the God of Judgment and not the Jesus of Divine Mercy, we should begin taking very seriously the way we're living our lives, and what we can expect for our final judgment - reward or punishment. In the final analysis, we have only three options: Heaven, Hell or Purgatory.
Not very many people have seen Heaven, Hell or Purgatory. We believe, it's extremely important that you know, as much as the Church can possibly tell you, about the place where you might spend eternity, so that you can protect yourself from any incorrect information you may receive from false locutionists, visionaries or prophets.
We have researched and want to share with you visions of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, as dictated by the most reliable sources we have, the Saints and accepted Visionaries who have passed the test of time. We also want you to get the Catholic perspective on these most important subjects, which will have such an important effect on your eternity. For this, we've gone through Council documents as written in the Catholic Catechism and the Catholic Encyclopedia. We want to be sure that the information we give you is the authentic teaching-the Magisterium of the Church.
We really try not to write controversial books. What we write about are the truths of the Church. And sadly, for the last two thousand years, many have found the Truth controversial, as passed down by Jesus Christ, and have left the Catholic Church, founded their own Church with their own concepts, only to have others find their Church controversial and form another Church, and on and on. And so, the Lord Who died for all of us, still weeps, as He did over Jerusalem.
Why a book on Heaven, Hell and Purgatory? Again, it's because all three are either being doubted, disputed, denied or grossly distorted, with us the innocent lambs being led to the slaughter, as the controversy continues. Every time we felt that one of our Heavenly Family was being attacked, we wrote a book, thinking no one would buy it, but feeling the obligation, nevertheless, to defend one of our Heavenly Family. Did you prove us wrong!
You love the Eucharist and not only bought and keep on buying Book I of "This is My body, This is My Blood, Miracles of the Eucharist", but Book II as well.
Many told us that another book on Mary would not sell. Well, there again you showed us what a hunger you had to know more about Mother Mary and our personal relationship with her, as well as those to whom she appeared, as you ordered and reordered and continue to reorder "The Many Faces of Mary, a love story."
The existence of Angels was being denied altogether. They, who are mentioned in Scripture 320 times, were being passed off as myths. We wrote "Heavenly Army of Angels." We found that there were more Angel lovers than we would ever have thought possible. It was the same with the Saints, the Martyrs and the Visionaries. We are told that these books and television programs have filled the void that was left when the Supernatural was not taught in our churches, anymore. Always the same response, you had such a thirst, to know more.
We were amazed when you responded so overwhelmingly to our book on the Heresies that have attacked the Church up to and including today, "Scandal of the Cross and It's Triumph".
Well, here we go again. The battle rages. There are those who are faithfully teaching the Magisterium of the Church, and others preaching a magisterium of their own, with every tenet of our Faith under attack. For some unknown reason, it is all-out war against the existence of Angels, Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. Are the dark lurking powers of evil trying to destroy all semblance of the Supernatural in our Church? We believe the Lord is calling us again to defend all that we believe in!
We pray that you will read this book and recommend that others read it, too. We must all have someone in Purgatory. When was the last time you asked for a Mass to be said for the Poor Souls in Purgatory? When was the last time you asked for prayers or Masses for members of your family, who are deceased? When was the last time you offered up a Plenary Indulgence for the deceased?
We do not want anyone to go to Hell. We all seek eternal life in Heaven with our Heavenly Family. We have a responsibility to reveal, to everyone, these important teachings that the Church has always taught and upheld. Confused over who and what to believe? Read ahead about the Saints who had Visions of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.
Is there a place called Heaven? Is there really a place called Hell? And how about Purgatory, do we still teach that? These questions trouble us. But why would our families and friends not have doubts on the existence of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory? Some of our Twentieth Century heretics have made it their life's work disputing the existence of the Angels, the devil, God as a Father, Adam and Eve and the Fall, whether Jesus rose from the dead in Body and Spirit, is Jesus really Present in the Eucharist, and on and on, until they've picked us clean; there is nothing left for us to believe; we are truly dried up bones. And if they would dare strike at the heart of the Church and her teachings, then, why wouldn't they attack Heaven, Hell and Purgatory!
If there is no Hell, then is there a Heaven? Is this, our time on earth, all there is? Can you imagine the despair of a family who has lost a child, a husband, a wife, or a parent, if this were so? Can you feel the utter hopelessness of someone suffering intense pain from a terminal illness, if he or she could not look forward to a Heaven without pain and suffering? Can you comprehend the endless helplessness and loneliness of a poor destitute soul with no home, no family, no one to love or be loved by, no one who cares, all alone, with very little on earth, if this is all there is? Can you envision the sheer terror of a poor dying soul who has lost his or her belief in life after death?
There are those who pridefully teach that there is no Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, no personal devil; and then we wonder why there is so much sin on earth, murder and violence in our streets. If there is no reward or punishment, why obey laws? We look to Science to heal plagues spreading throughout our world, when the real remedy is the healing of the soul. We spend millions trying to keep people alive, and ignore our life after death, our eternal life. Is it because we are being taught, there is nothing after this life; or is it because it is put in terms sounding like double-talk that only the theologian speaking or writing can understand?
As we researched these Saints, who have had visions of Heaven, Hell or the Souls in Purgatory, we read how they had visions of the devil attacking them as they lay dying; we see how their unending faith in the Lord and His Promise sustained them at their last moments. We discovered how many times the Poor Souls, of even people known for their piety on earth, would appear to those on earth, pleading for their prayers and for Masses to be said for them to alleviate their pain in Purgatory.
Is there a Purgatory? To those who dispute the existence of Purgatory, then what? Are they saying that everyone is going to Heaven, that everyone is ready to be in the presence of the Spotless Lamb? Suppose someone dies in an accident? Is everyone in a state of Grace? Your parents and grandparents, relatives and friends who have gone on before you, were they ready to enter the Kingdom? Would it be God's Will they be thrown into the pits of Hell, or receive that gift of Compassion from the God of Mercy, Purgatory? In this book, we will endeavor to include Mother Church's teachings, from the very beginning.
We believe that Purgatory is a gift of God's Love, a place where we can pay our debts, a place where we can be made presentable to greet our Bridegroom in Heaven. You will read how the Poor Souls desire to go to Purgatory, because they do not want to appear before the Lord in debt. In centuries past, a pilgrim had to get his house in order and pay all outstanding debts before he could leave for a pilgrimage, to be debt-free. Does it not stand to reason that we would do the same for our great pilgrimage to Heaven?
The Poor Souls do not want Jesus to see them with soil on their souls. Do you remember the day that you were married, how carefully you prepared for that moment when your spouse would see you at the altar? You were spotlessly clean, looking beautiful, innocent, pure, and virtuous in your long white gown. Do you remember your spouse's eyes when you reached his side? As the poor soul prepares to face her eternal Spouse Jesus, she too, desires to appear before the Lord in a white robe, cleansed of all her imperfections, no stain of venial sins or faults remaining.
Do you remember going to confession before the Nuptial Mass, so that there would be no sin left on your soul that could wound the other? You knew that sin does not content itself with only one soul but like a glutton devours the other and then another. You wanted to wipe the slate clean so that the two of you could begin your new life. You wanted nothing to stand between you and your spouse that could jeopardize a holy life together. How much more so, with our Heavenly Spouse, Jesus and our eternal life together!
Is there a Heaven? Jesus made a promise, and we believe Him! He rose from the dead that we might also look forward to our Resurrection. Think of what Saint Paul said:
"But if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no Resurrection? If there is no Resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, is your faith. Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, Whom He did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised...and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is in vain; you are still in your sins."
Is there a Hell? It is referred to as the nether world in the Old Testament sixty-nine times!
In The Song of Moses, we hear God saying: "For by My wrath a fire is enkindled that shall rage to the depths of the nether world, consuming the earth with its yield, and licking with flames the roots of the mountains."
Do we choose to ignore this warning? God was angry with His children. He gave them His Love, always the faithful God to an unfaithful people. He delivered them from slavery. How did they respond? They worshiped false idols! How many times has God forgiven us? How many times has He allowed His Mother to hold back His wrath?
If we say there is no Hell, we make Jesus a liar. In the New Testament we read seven times, Hell being referred to as the netherworld and twelve times as Gehenna. In Revelation, we see Hell referred to as Hades, three times. Why are some disputing the Word of God? Jesus said:
"And as for you, Caphernaum:
"Will you go to Heaven?
"You will go down to the netherworld (Hell).
"For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Sodom,
it would have remained till this day."
Why do some insist there is no Hell? Are they fearful of Jesus' words to Caphernaum? Do His words convict them? Do they convict us? Is He speaking to us, as the sinful Sodom of today? Will we have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah? Are we the new Caphernaum that walked out on Him when He spoke what they judged, too hard to bear? The mighty deeds that Jesus speaks of were the miracles, He performed there. Do we not have the greatest Miracle in our midst during the Holy Mass? Are we not condemned? Is the whole world not condemned? For on some altar, somewhere in the four corners of the world, every minute of the day, the Sacrifice of the Mass is bringing Jesus to us, truly present in the Eucharist. Are we accepting Jesus as He comes to us vulnerably under the appearances of a piece of bread and a cup of wine? Are we taking seriously the words of Jesus at Caphernaum? "Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you." Read again His words to Caphernaum and allow Jesus to place this as a stamp on your heart.
Is Our Lord bringing us fair warning and true hope? Is He using this book and the visions that the Saints had of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory to reach out to you, to your family, to the Church, to the world? Does He want you to live with His Justice as well as His Mercy in the forefront of your mind? Is He calling you and me to change? Please read on. We love you.
From the chapter: "Mary's Back, and She's Stronger Than Ever"-the book: "The Many Faces of Mary, a love story."
an excerpt from Bob and Penny Lord's book:"Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists"
Matt 5:22,29,30 Matt 10:28 Matt 18:9 Matt 23:15,33
Matt 9:43,45,47 Luke 12:5, James 3:6
Rev 6:8, Rev 20:13,14