… something inside him was worth saving, and that, in reality, he belonged where he was in Hell, but he believes firmly that Jesus did rescue him.
In his Life Review, he suffered greatly seeing and expriencing the pain of everyone he ever wronged.
So what do we Catholids do with an NDE?
I can totally get behind the Life Review aspect because it resonates with the feeling of Justice that is God. The idea is that God not only shows us what we did right and wrong in our lives, but that we end up taking all of the pain of others onto ourselves when we do wrong. It’s like the ultimate wake-up call.
Now, I disagree with some theories about the Life Review. I do think that it’s a judgement, and one part of either purgatory or hell (depending on the state of the soul). Some NDE researchers (Pim von Lommel comes to mind) are of the impression that there’s no judgement, but I think that’ misreading the evidence.
I also disagree that eveyone knows exaclty what happened during their NDE or that they come back and define it perfectly. I think that being back in the body can mess up your perception, and you get weird ideas from it. So I think that it’s perfectly possible a young man has an NDE, and was really with God for a moment, but I don’t think I have to believe everything when he says, “And then I realized God and I are One!”
On the other hand, does believing in the NDE give too much creedence to ideas that are blasphemous?
One NDE website said that we can judge the NDE by its fruits, just as Jesus taugh us - “If something gives good fruits, then the tree must be good, but if the fruit is bad, the tree is evil.” To paraphrase.
NDExperiencers have a greatly decreased fear of death, moreso than anyone else.
If a person who attempts suicide has an NDE, he or she is considerably less likely to attempt it again, feeling that there’s either no need or understanding why life is so important after the experience.
Attitude tests show that NDExperiencers have more positive outlook on life and are more enthusiastic about living than they were before the NDE.
Some people claim increased spirituality, a move away from materialism, and a move toward God. Howard Storm, as I said, became a preacher after an NDE, when prior to it he was an atheist.
One NDExperiencer became an avowed enemy of abortion after he was visited by numerous children in his experience, who said they were his but were killed before birth by his girlfriends’ abortions.
So these are all good points.
Spirituality - A lot of times you get some really weird spirituality. One guy who was Catholic said he had a vision of being visited by Mary, only he “percieved” that she wasn’t “really” the Blessed Virgin, and the he experienced her changing into a God Consciousness, that the Blessed Mother was simply an image to ease his mind, not the reality. Not sure what to do with that.
Negative impact - as I said, a lot of NDEs are negative or hellish. They can sometimes have a negative impact on people, who can become despondent.
Statanic presence - there’s a chance that some NDEs are altered by Satan or demons, and they can cause someone to totally misinterpret what happened.
I’m sure there are other negatives out there. Blah.
I also believe that I read a story where one of the 20th Century Popes had a… Cardnial? I believe it was… who had an NDE. The NDExperiencer gave an accurate assessment of what the Pope was wearing at the time (I think this was during Lent, so his holiness was dressed up for an event, but again, I could be wrong), even though they were on opposit sides of the building.
And let’s face it, I don’t doubt at all the validity of the soul, so I don’t see why NDEs shouldn’t be real. But I haven’t got a clue what the proper way to deal with it is. How do we define NDEs and can we use them in a positive way in our teachings?