Monday, June 15, 2009

Some Words of Wisdom ...

Some Words of Wisdom to Our Paranormal Heroes
By Father Bob Bailey, PWSM

Investigators respond to a variety of paranormal phenomena – from ghosts to residual haunting to poltergeist activity. Given our experience as well as the shared experiences of many paranormal groups around the nation, cases of negative or demonic entities are on the rise.

As a Catholic priest well-acquainted with and committed to combating demonic forces, I would like to caution my brother and sister investigators – heroes who go where so many won’t go to help people – when encountering the demonic. As many of you know well, dealing with these spirits is an entirely different reality with its own set of rules and careful approaches.

By virtue of the fact that you have been working in the field for any amount of time and have experienced what you have already experienced – you should be persons who not only believe in the spirit world but also the truth that there is good and evil out there. It is important for investigators to have a belief system and have some sort of faith in God. The reason for this is simple. When you go on an investigation, you really do not know for sure what you are dealing with in truth.

Those investigative groups that rely only on the sciences and technology and try to leave faith out of the picture could be in danger if the spirits actually end up being demonic. Remember, what might seem to be only “ghostly type” phenomena could end up being a dark force. This has been the experience of the Paranormal Warriors. We are invited to help in an investigation and it ends up being not some spirit who once lived in the home or on the property but something more diabolical. Only those groups that willingly embrace the challenge of combating evil and have the religious faith and experience to do so should pursue these cases. If you are not – and that’s okay because we all have different gifts – you need to call in those who have the knowledge and experience to do so.

In any event, it is important that groups spiritually prepare themselves before each investigation because, as I said, reports of negative spirit activity have been on the rise.

Pray before the investigation. You can never be fully certain of what you might encounter, so it is wise to call upon Divine protection. You can ask for the light of God to surround you and call in the guardianship of the holy angels. The traditional Prayer to St. Michael is effective as is anointing your forehead with blessed oil or using holy water.

Wear some sort of spiritual protection. Another wise practice is to wear or carry with you a symbol of your faith. Whether it is a Cross or pentacle, a gemstone or a Rosary, let this symbol be a source of divine protection. Catholic religious medals such as St. Benedict, St. Michael the Archangel or the Miraculous Medal are powerful sacramentals.
The wearing of black or dark clothing is believed to protect from evil.

Be sure to spiritually cleanse yourselves after the investigation. As important as it is to place yourself in a protective state before the investigation is the preventing of any paranormal residue or spirit entities from following you home or attaching to your person. This has been known to happen and is anything but a pleasant experience.

**We have included more detailed information for each of these three steps within the “Spiritual Warfare” section of this website.**

The Difference ...

The Difference Between Human Spirits Who Have Crossed Over and Those Who Have Not: Don’t Leave Them Caught Between Worlds!
By Father Bob Bailey, PWSM

In is an excitement-filled experience to have found proof of true spirit activity in a particular place. It’s the brass ring you grab - the holy grail of paranormal investigation. But do you realize that there are really two categories of human spirits that you may encounter?

The first are spirits (or ghosts) that have already crossed-over to God and are in His care. They are able to be in two places at the same time (the Heavenly Realm and on the earth) because they no longer are bound to space and time. For whatever reason they are allowed by God’s permissive Will to enter our realm from time to time. Perhaps it is to visit a familiar place that the soul was attached to once upon a time. Perhaps it is that they have a purpose or a job to do such as watch over a loved one or give a message that needs to be conveyed. In either case, these are benign spirits that we can leave be as they will hurt no one.

There also may be spirits that are angry about whatever transpired in a particular place once upon a time. These need to stop harassing people or else made to leave by spiritual means and Divine help.

However, the second category of spirits is those who have not yet crossed over. Perhaps it was an untimely death such as a murder, suicide or sudden death. It could also be that their free will is so strong that they use their free will not to cross-over using that God-given gift. Some also would argue that the survivor’s unhealed and intense grief may actually be preventing that soul from going to their reward. It must be stated here that this is not the usual way for a soul to end up after death. The usual way is the immediate judgment and assignment to the proper reward. These are anomalies that are somehow allowed in God’s permissive Will for reasons only known to Him.

In this category, the soul needs our help to cross-over to God…to be persuaded that there is a better place for them to be with God. It is one thing to allow a crossed-over soul to stay in a certain place because they have already gone to their proper place and are simply visiting a familiar earthly space. It is an offense against charity to leave a soul such as this helpless and not help him or her. Once they cross-over to God then they can return if they wish, but that is theirs and God’s desire. I can tell you from personal experience of crossing-over a number of trapped souls to God, they are so grateful for me doing this because they finally find peace where they should be. It is a fulfilling experience for me as a priest that words cannot express.

How can one determine whether a spirit has crossed-over or not? A sensitive with good psychic abilities are an important and welcomed part of the investigation for instances such as these as they can determine this by communicating with them. Once determined that they have not crossed, you really need to find clergy open to this phenomenon or experienced holy people to do the crossing-over.

My strong advice to all paranormal investigators is that you please find out whether the human spirits you encounter are crossed-over or not. If they are not, find someone to help them cross. Please, for the sake of charity, do not allow them to stay in that condition!

Are Ghosts Compatible With Christian Faith?

Are Ghosts Compatible With Christian Faith?

This is a question that I have wrestled with over the years of my life. There were some within the Church would said it was against Christian faith, yet there were so many first hand experiences by such a wide variety of people that transcended age, sex, religion and ethnicity that the possibility could not be easily dismissed.

There is a belief among some more fundamentalist and Pentecostal-oriented Christians that theses were all evil spirits – if they –existed- merely masquerading as “ghosts”, yet people’s experiences seemed to prove otherwise. This I would come to understand more clearly as I entered into this Work. The more I would with those in the paranormal fiend, the more the Lord was teaching me that a belief in ghosts is NOT compatible with Christian Faith. Here of the reasons to support this view.
1. Were there ghosts in Biblical days? The classic passage in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that we can refer to is: Samuel 28:15:
Then Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" And Saul answered, "I am greatly distressed; for the Philistines are waging war against me, and God has departed from me and no longer answers me, either through prophets or by dreams; therefore I have called you, that you may make known to me what I should do." (New American Bible)
Clearly here, the passage does show that ghosts which are spirits of the deceased are able to and have come into our earthly realm.

The Scriptures clearly show that there was a belief in ghosts even in Jesus’ days.

In one of the appearances of Jesus to his disciples after his Resurrection, we read this: Luke 24:36-39
While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be to you."
But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a ghost. And He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." (New American Bible)
This is a clear indication that a belief in ghosts were around in the days of Jesus and Jesus was aware of this. Notice in what he says, he DOES NOT condemn nor correct the belief in ghosts. Rather, Jesus shows the difference between a spirit and Himself in His glorified body.
This common belief in ghosts is also seen in the account of Jesus walking on the sea: Matthew 14:22-26 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was)contrary.
And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is (a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. (New American Bible)

2. Spirits or ghosts are an anomaly, which means that they are not the norm. When the soul or spirit leaves the physical, the norm is that they go to immediate judgment and crossover to the next world. As Catholic Christians, we hold to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory as the destiny of the eternal spirit of the deceased, depending upon his/her choices and actions in the physical world.
For some reason, there are those souls who are referred as “caught between worlds” and who have not fully passed on from the physical world. Some conclude that an untimely or un-provided for death or suicide may be the case for some.
As I began to reflect upon the belief in Free Will, I took into account that this Free Will gift from God is what determines our choices, actions and final destiny at the end of our earthly lives. The Angels possessed this, which is the reason Lucifer and his followers could rebel against God and lose their heavenly inheritance. Free Will is a gift that stays with us always. It stands to reason that this free will remains through death for our existence changes not ends. Might there be some whose free will is so strong and adamant that, for whatever reason, that they do not want to leave the physical world? As stated, this is not the norm but rather, an anomaly and God, in His permissive will respect this decision and allows it. As we cannot fully comprehend why some things are allowed to happen in this world, this too is mystery…but not impossible for God.
Once a soul has passed and is with God or is awaiting the fullness of God (in Catholic belief it is the purifying process that we call Purgatory), they are sometimes allowed, in God’s Providence, to come back to this earth to ask for prayers or to impart some message. This has been documented within the history of the Church in the lives of such holy ones as St. Nicholas of Tolentino, St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Catherine of Genoa, St. Gertrude the Great and Maria Simma. These may the reason for the presence of some human spirits who come to the human realm.
3. Once a soul has passed on and is already with God, there is the belief that they may, from time to time, be allowed to come back to the human realm for a specific reason or task. This does not contradict Christian teaching because the soul is already with God and they are no longer limited to our space and time. As angels can be before the face of God while also helping us here below, the possibility can be raised that souls, as spirits, can do the same (we call this bi-location which some of the saints on earth possessed while still alive).
There have been scores of reports from people throughout time and from all ages and walks of life who have reported experiencing the presence of loved ones who have passed. These family members were allowed by God to be a comforting and protective presence in the lives of their survivors. We must be careful not to put limitations on God who can do anything He wills for the good of us, His beloved children!
So, in the last analysis, one can believe what they will about the existence of human spirits or “ghosts”, but what needs to be stressed here is that it is not compatible with Christian Faith. I hope this brief analysis has been of help to those who are wresting with this issue in their Christian lives.