Sunday, March 13, 2005

Heaven Always Has at Least One 

The Curt Jester blog had this interview about Sister Lucia of Fatima. I particularly liked this quote from Leo Madigan:
Many Catholics were aware of her existence – though most were surprised to learn that that existence was still continuing in this world. Heaven always has at least one “phenomenon” witnessing to its value somewhere in this world and, in its own way, heaven also handles their publicity. (my emphasis)
Well, not long after Sister Lucia passed away, Howard Storm's book, "My Descent into Death" hit the bookshelves. I just finished reading it. Apparently, Mr. Storm's been around telling this story over the last 20 years (on Oprah, on 48 hours, on the Discovery Channel, etc.), but I'd not heard of him or his story before I read his book.

Storm was an artist, a university art teacher, and a devout atheist (if 'devout' can be used with 'atheist') who had a near-death experience while on a trip to Paris, France in 1985. While he lay dying (or perhaps dead) in a Paris hospital, he experienced hell (or purgatory), called on Jesus to save him, and was taken up by Jesus near to Heaven and was able to ask lots of questions while there. After returning to health after months, he sought out a Church to attend and continually heard the voices of, and had visions of, angels. After time, he didn't feel he fit in as a University Professor anymore and finally ended up a Reverend in the United Church of Christ.

Actually, I couldn't put the book down and read it in just a couple of hours. From his nightmare descriptions of what it was like in a Paris hospital in 1985 and what he experienced in Purgatory, to his falling prostrate on the floor of his newfound church with angels spinning overhead, Rev. Storm's book never took a break.

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