The past week has been pretty interesting, and I think God is calling me to share what has happened with you. A few weeks ago, my husband went out of town and I was alone at the house. The night before he was supposed to come home, we spoke on the phone and he told me that he would be home by 10:30 the following morning. I went to bed later that evening and slept fine all night. I woke up early to my bedroom door opening, and then I heard footsteps walking toward the bed. I knew that my husband couldn’t be home, so I didn’t move at all. The room was dark and my eyes were closed. In my mind, I saw the outline of a man. He knelt on the floor next to my bed, touched my hand gently, and faced me without saying a word. I didn’t feel threatened, but I was rightly anxious. I thought, who is it, who is in here? What do I do? So, I called out my husband’s name, and in that instant, the figure got up and ran across the room and into the bathroom, which is connected to my bedroom. His steps were so loud, and then they just suddenly stopped. I remained totally still listening for a few minutes, but there was only silence. I got up and checked to make sure no one was there, and no one was. Everything was fine, so I made some coffee and went on with my morning. I wasn’t afraid, but I wanted to know what it was.
A few hours later, I went to Mass and then adoration. I prayed before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and asked Him who it was. But He was silent, so I went home and forgot about it. The next morning I woke up repeating the name, Zach. He was a friend who had passed away years earlier. I opened my eyes and thought to myself, it was Zach, he came to visit me. He must need my help. Again, I brought this to Jesus in adoration and asked Him if I was right or if I was just making it all up in my head. And still, He was silent. I went on with my day, remembering to include Zach in my prayers and sacrifices. A few days later, it occurred to me that February was the month that Zach died. I wondered what the date of his death was, so I started searching for his memorial card. When I found it, I realized that the day I woke up with his name on my lips was the seventh anniversary of his death. Then it hit me that the number seven is holy. I investigated that and this is a portion of what I found. “Without a doubt, seven is the most important number in the Bible. Seven symbolizes perfection and completeness.” Perfection and completeness! Wow, that’s amazing. In purgatory, all of our imperfections are burned away, and when that process is complete, we are made perfect and become saints. It is only then that we get to be with God in heaven. I believe that this series of events is a message from God that Zach will soon be with Him in heaven. I wasn’t just making it up. Jesus allowed Zach to come to me that night, and then Jesus slowly showed me what I needed to do.
“More souls of the dead from Purgatory than of the living climb this mountain to attend my Masses and seek my prayers.”Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
I have always prayed for Zach, especially by offering the Masses I attend for the repose of his soul. But seven years had passed and he wasn’t as much in the forefront of my mind. So, I didn’t pray for him as consistently as I had when he first passed away. I think that is just what happens as time goes by. We get busy with life. It is just a part of being human. But this experience has made me realize how much I need to pray more fervently for him and all the souls in purgatory. So I am praying and making sacrifices for Zach. I am also offering my fasts for him. Once I committed to this, the Lord brought to my mind that I should offer my lent for him. I agreed, and I believe that at some point during the Easter Season, Zach, who suffered greatly in life, and death, will be released from his purgatorial prison and ushered before the face of His Father to live out eternity in his heavenly home.
“The souls of purgatory pray for us, and their prayers are even more effective than ours because they are accompanied by their suffering. So, let’s pray for them, and let’s pray for them to pray for us.”Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
This is a very private experience to share with people. But I think it sheds light on how the Lord desires our yes. Jesus doesn’t need me to do anything, but He desired that I participate in this way or He wouldn’t have asked me to do it. I don’t understand it all, and I don’t have to. What I do understand is that Zach, and all those in purgatory, can’t pray for themselves they can only pray for us. This experience shows that they need our help, and sometimes God allows them to ask for it. Our prayers and sacrifices are not limited only to the living, they also help the souls in purgatory reach heaven. So if you feel the Lord knocking on the door of your heart, asking for your yes for whatever it may be, place all of your trust in Him, and He will do great and mighty things not only for the souls of others but for your soul too.