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Ann Kostanich wrote:

Hi, guys —

Do those who have passed away send us messages? I am Catholic, but have a friend who is a Seventh Day Adventist. She says once we die, Christ will put the 'breath of life' back into us only at the end. She also said, anything that seems like messages is from Satan.

I was driving on a country road and pulled over to take a phone call that my father had passed away. Driving back past this exact spot a few weeks later, I noticed that all the wooden road posts on the side of the road were all exactly straight, except the one where I stopped to take the phone call that day. It was swaying wobbly like it was made out of jelly. I also saw a Magpie, which is a game I played with my father when I was young. He always said, 1 for sorrow, 2 for joy, etc. and I got a strong smell of my father.

It this him or Satan?

Ann

  { Do those who have passed away send us messages? }

John replied:

Hi, Ann —

The Book of Hebrews chapter 12 verse 1 says: We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. In context, it is talking about those who have gone before us in faith. Later, in the same chapter, it goes on to say, when we worship, we join "the spirits of just men made perfect".

Those are just two scriptures that clearly indicate that those who have preceded us (assuming they are not damned to hell) can see us and we are united to them in Christ.

As Catholics, we believe that we can ask for their prayers, just as we ask can ask each other for prayer. Since we know that most of us aren't perfected by grace in this life, but in the next (purgatory), we can and should also pray for those who have passed before us.

Can the dead can send us messages?

I'd be cautious, but yes it is possible. if the Lord so permits it for a particular reason.

This doesn't mean we should try to summon the dead, seek mediums, consult spiritualists, or participate in séances. This is all forbidden and is considered witchcraft / sorcery. In other words, it's serious sin. To do so, opens us up to the demonic realm.

As far as your particular experience, I can't judge whether it is your father or not, but it doesn't make sense that it would be Satan. It could have been some other kind of phenomena. It is also possible that whatever you smelled, reminded you so much of your father, that your other senses (specifically vision) played a trick on you.

That doesn't mean the whole experience wasn't meant for you to remember your father. Perhaps this the Lords way of letting you know your father needs prayer and/or that your father is praying for you.

The most important thing you can take from this, is that you should continue to pursue a closer relationship with the Lord. In so doing, include your passed loved ones in your prayers and ask them to pray for you.

Finally, regarding your friend who is a Seventh Day Adventist. I'm sure she is well-intentioned and sincere, but she is sincerely wrong regarding the condition of the soul prior to the resurrection of dead.

If you do a search of our data base for questions concerning the Communion of Saints. You'll find lots of answers with Scriptures to back them up.

I hope this helps.

John D.

Mary Ann replied:

Ann —

Your friend is wrong. People who have died don't send us messages.

An accurate statement would be that sometimes God allows a soul to send us a message, or God sends a message through His angels. I would say that what you saw and smelt is, at the very least:

  • a reminder of your father
  • a reminder of your own sorrow, and
  • a reminder to pray for him.

It could be the memory of getting the news at that spot, or it could be a message from God. In either case, whenever you think of someone who has died, it is a good and holy practice to pray for that person's soul.

Mary Ann

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