GLORIA POLO’s WITNESS
Taken from one of the interviews done to Dr. Gloria Polo by Radio Maria (Colombia)
Brothers and sisters! It’s beautiful for me to be with you sharing this precious gift my Lord gave me more than ten years ago. (This was at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá). I was attending graduate school, along with my nephew, who was also a dentist. My husband was with us that day. We had to pick up some books at the School of Dentistry on a Friday afternoon. It was raining very hard and my nephew and I were sharing a small umbrella. My husband was wearing his raincoat and he approached the outside wall of the General Library. Meanwhile, my nephew and I approached the trees without noticing, while skipping puddles. As we were about to skip to avoid a huge puddle, we were struck by lightning. We were charred. My nephew died there. He was a young man who, despite his young age, had given himself over to the Lord and was very devout to the Infant Jesus. He always carried the Infant Jesus’ image inside a quartz crystal next to his chest. According to the coroner, lightning entered him through the image, ran through his heart, burned him on the inside and exited through his foot. But on the outside, he was not charred or burnt. In my case, instead, lightning came in this way and burned my body in a horrifying way, on the inside and outside. This body you see here, this reconstructed body, is through the mercy of our Lord. Lightning charred me, left me without breasts, practically made my whole flesh and ribs vanish. My stomach, my legs; lightning went out my right foot, my liver was charred, my kidneys were burned, just like my lungs.
I did family planning using the copper-T intrauterine device. Therefore copper, an excellent electrical conductor, charred me, it pulverized my ovaries. I was left in cardiac arrest, lifeless, my body jumping from the electricity that remained in it. But look: that’s the physical part. The most beautiful part is that while my flesh was there charred, at that instant I found myself inside a beautiful white tunnel full of joy and peace, a happiness for which there are no human words that can describe the grandeur of the moment. The climax of the moment was immense. I was happy and joyful, nothing weighed me down inside that tunnel. At the bottom of that tunnel I saw like a sun, a most beautiful light. I call it white to name a color because no color on earth is comparable with that most beautiful light. I felt the source of all that love, all that peace.
As I was going up I realized I had died. At that instant I thought about my kids and I said “Oh, my God, my kids! What will they say? This very busy mom never had time for them!” That’s when I saw my life truthfully and I became sad. I left home to transform the world, and I couldn’t handle my kids and my home.
And in that instant of emptiness for my children, I looked and saw something beautiful: my flesh was not in this time or space. I saw everybody in a single instant, at the same time, both the living and the dead. I embraced my great-grandparents and my parents, who had passed away. I hugged everyone; it was a full and beautiful moment. That’s when I realized I had been cheated into believing in reincarnation, which I even defended. I used to “see” my grandfather and my great-grandfather everywhere. But they hugged me here, I met with them in an instant, we embraced and I embraced all the people I had anything to do with in my life, everywhere, at the same instant. When I hugged my daughter, she got scared. She was nine years old. She felt my embrace. No time had gone by during that moment, so beautiful, out of my flesh. I didn’t see in the same way I did before, where I only noticed who was fat, thin, dark-skinned, or ugly, always with prejudice. Now, out of my flesh, I would see people on the inside. How beautiful it is to see people on the inside. I would see their thoughts, their feelings. I embraced them in an instant and, still, I kept rising and rising, full of joy. At that point I felt that I was going to enjoy a beautiful sight, an extraordinarily beautiful lake. At that moment, I heard my husband’s voice. My husband was crying and with a deep cry, with deep feeling, he called out to me and said “Gloria, please don’t go! Gloria, come back! The kids, Gloria, don’t give up!” In that instant I took a big glance and I saw not only him, but I saw him crying in deep pain. And the Lord allowed me to come back, although I didn’t want to. What a joy, how much peace, how much happiness! Then, I started descending slowly to find my body, where I found myself lifeless. My body was on a gurney at the medical center on campus. I saw how the doctors gave me electric shocks to pull me out of cardiac arrest. We lied there for two and a half hours. They couldn’t pick us up because our bodies were still conducting electricity. When that finally stopped they were able to assist us and they started resuscitation. I set my feet here, on this part of my head, and I felt a spark that pulled me in violently. I went back into my body. It was very painful to go back because sparks came out everywhere. And I saw me fit into such a “small thing”. My flesh hurt, it was bured. It hurt a lot. Smoke and vapor came out of it. And the most horrible pain was that of my vanity. I was a woman of the world, an executive woman; an intellectual, a student, enslaved by my body, beauty, and fashion. I would work out four hours each day. I would slave to have a beautiful body: massage therapies, diets, well, everything you can imagine, that was my life; an enslaving routine for the sake of a beautiful body. And I would say “if I have beautiful breasts, I might as well show them off. No point in hiding them! The same was true for my legs, because I thought I had great legs and breasts. But in an instant, I saw with horror how I had spent my life taking care of my body. That was the center of my life: my love toward my body. But now, there was no body and no breasts; just some horrible holes. In particular my left breast had practically vanished. My legs were the worst: empty gaps with no flesh, completely charred and blackened. From there, we were transported to a hospital, where they quickly moved me to the operating room and began scraping all my burned tissue.
When I was under anesthesia, I came out of my body again. I saw what the surgeons were doing to my body. I was worried for my legs. All of a sudden I went through a moment of horror. I had been a “dieting Catholic” all my life. My relationship with the Lord was down to Sunday Eucharist, no longer than 25 minutes, wherever the priest’s homily was shortest, because I couldn’t stand anything longer. That was my relationship with the Lord. All the trends of the world tossed me like a windsock. In fact, when I was already in graduate school, I once heard a priest say that hell didn’t exist and neither did demons. That was the only thing that had kept me in the Church. When I was told the devil didn’t exist, I just thought we were all going to heaven regardless of who we were. That distanced me completely from the Lord. My conversations became bad, because sin was not contained inside of me. I started telling everyone that demons didn’t exist, that they had been invented by the priests, that they were manipulations. Hanging out with college friends I started to say that God didn’t exist and that we were the sole product of evolution. But back to that instant in the operating room, I was really terrified! I saw demons coming for me and I was their pay. At that moment I saw many people coming out of the walls of the operating room. At first sight they looked normal, but with a look of hatred on their faces, a horrible look. At that point through some special insight given to me, I realized I owed each one of them. I realized sin was not for free and that the main infamy and lie of the devil was to state that he didn’t exist. I saw how they were coming for me. You can imagine how scared I was. This scientific and intellectual mind was of no avail to me. I bounced off the floor, into my body, trying to come into it again, but my body wouldn’t let me in. I ran away and I’m not sure when I went through the wall in the operating room. I was hoping to hide in some hallway in the hospital but I ended up jumping into thin air.
I went into some tunnels heading downward. At first, they had light and looked like bee hives. There were lots of people. But I started descending and light became scarce and I started roaming some tunnels in pitch darkness. That darkness has no comparison. The darkest darkness on earth is like noontime sunlight compared to it. That darkness causes pain, horror, and shame. And it smells very bad. I finished descending down those tunnels and landed desperately on a flat spot. I used to claim I had an iron will, that nothing was too much for me. But that was useless now, because I wanted to climb up and I couldn’t. At that point I saw a huge mouth opening up on the floor and I felt immense emptiness in my body, a bottomless abyss. The most horrifying thing about that hole was that not even a bit of God’s love was felt in it, not a drop of hope. The hole sucked me in and I felt terrified.
I knew that if I went in there, my soul would die. In the midst of that horror, as I was being pulled in, I was grabbed by my feet. My body was inside that hole, but my feet were being pulled from the top. It was a very painful and horrifying moment. My atheism fell to the wayside. I started clamoring for the souls in purgatory to help me out of there. As I was shouting I felt intense pain because I realized that thousands and thousands of people are there, mostly young people. Very painfully, I heard the gnashing of teeth, horrible screams and moans that shook me to the core. It took me several years to assimilate this because I would cry every time that I remembered their suffering. I realized that’s where people who commit suicide in an instant of desperation end, finding themselves surrounded by those horrors. But the most terrible torment there is the absence of God. God couldn’t be felt there.
In the midst of all that pain, I started screaming “who made this mistake? I’m practically a saint! I’ve never stolen, I’ve never killed, I gave food to the poor, I gave free dental treatments to those who couldn’t afford them. What am I doing here? I went to Mass on Sundays, I always went even though I considered myself an atheist. I didn’t miss more than five Sundays my entire life. I always went to Mass, what am I doing here? I’m a Catholic, please, I’m a Catholic, take me out of here!” While I was screaming about being a Catholic I saw a tiny light. I need to tell you that any light in that darkness is the best gift anyone can get. I saw some stairs over that hole and I saw my Dad, who had died five years before, next to the hole, lit by a faint light, and four steps higher I saw my Mom, with plenty more light and in a prayerful posture.
When I saw them I was very happy. I started yelling “daddy, mommy, please take me out of here, I beg you, take me out of here!” When they lowered their eyes, and my dad saw me there, you should have seen the immense pain they felt. In that place, you feel people’s feelings, you can see pain. My dad started crying, holding his head with his two hands and shaking “my daughter, my daughter!” My mom was praying and I noticed they could not take me out and that my pain was compounded noticing they were sharing that pain with me there.
So I started screaming again, “please, take me out of here, I’m a Catholic! Who made this mistake? Please, take me out of here!” As I was shouting this second time, a voice was heard, a sweet voice, a voice that makes my soul shake when I hear it. Everything was inundated with love and peace and all those creatures ran away in horror because they don’t stand love or peace. And there was peace for me when that precious voice called out to me “all right, if you are a Catholic, tell me the commandments of God’s law.”
What a failed attempt! I knew there were ten, but nothing beyond that. What was I going to do? My mom always talked to me about the first commandment of love. Finally it paid out. Finally my mom’s “chatter” became useful. I had to repeat mom’s “chatter” here. I thought I could wing this one so the others wouldn’t show too much. I thought I could handle things here the way I used to on earth, always with a perfect excuse, always justifying and defending myself so no one would notice what I didn’t know. But this was the real thing, so I started to say “Love God above all and your neighbor as yourself.” “Very well, “I heard, “have you loved them?” And I said “I have, I have, I have!” When I heard “No!” for an answer, that’s when I really felt the shock of lightning run through me even though I hadn’t noticed where the bolt had hit me. “No, you haven’t loved your Lord above all things, and much less your neighbor as yourself! You made a god that you adjusted to your life only when in moments of desperate need! You would prostrate yourself before him when you were poor, when your family was humble, when you wanted to go to college! Back then you prayed on a daily basis and you would prostrate long periods of time, whole hours, begging of your Lord, praying and asking him to pull you out of poverty and allow you to get a degree and become someone. Whenever you were in need and wanted money, you would say a rosary. Lord, please send me some money! That was your relationship with your Lord!” I had an “ATM” relationship with the Lord, I have to admit. I grabbed the rosary, and expected money in return, that was my relationship with him. I was shown how, as soon as I got my degree and made a name for myself, the Lord became too small for me and I started thinking myself better. Not even the smallest expression of love with my Lord. Being thankful? Never! Not even while opening my eyes in the morning, never a “thank you, Lord, for this new day you’ve given me, thanks for my health, for the life of my children, because I have a roof over my head, I pity those with no roof over their heads or food to eat!” Nothing! Very ungrateful! “And besides, you placed your Lord so low that even Mercury and Venus you entrusted more with your luck. You were blindsided by astrology, claiming the stars ran your life! You started walking in all the doctrines of the world. You started to believe that you would die and would start again! And you forgot grace! You forgot that you had been ransomed by your Lord’s blood!” They gave me a test on the Ten Commandments. They showed me that I claimed I adored and loved God with my words, but in reality, I adored Satan. A woman would come to my dentist’s office to offer her services as a sorcerer and I would say “I don’t believe in that, but put those charms right there, just in case, for good luck”. I had set in a corner, where patients did not know, a horseshoe and a cactus plant, supposedly to scare away bad energies.
How shameful all of this was! They made an analysis of all my life based on the Ten Commandments. They showed me who I had been with my fellowman. They showed me how I would tell God I loved him when I wasn’t far from him yet, when I wasn’t involved yet in atheism, but with the same tongue with which I blessed the Lord, I would lash out against all of mankind. I used to criticize everyone. I used to point a finger at everyone, the ever-saintly Gloria. And they showed me how I was full of envy and always ungrateful. I never recognized all my parents’ love and selfless effort, to see me through college, to raise me. As soon as I got a college degree, even they became too little for me. I even felt ashamed of my mom, because of her simplicity, humility, and poverty.
And they showed me as wife. Who was I? I would complain day in and day out, from the break of day. My husband would say “good morning” and I would respond “what do you mean ‘good’? Look, it’s raining outside!” I would complain about my children too. They showed me that I never had love or compassion for my fellowmen, for my brothers and sisters out there. And the Lord told me “you never had any consideration for the sick, never kept them company in their loneliness. Never once compassionate for children without a mother, for all those suffering children”. I had a heart of stone. In a nutshell, I didn’t get half an answer right on my Ten Commandments test.
It was terrible, devastating. I was in total chaos. Surely they couldn’t blame me for having killed anyone?
For example, I bought groceries for many people in need, but I didn’t do it out of love but rather to look good, because it was cool for everyone to see how good I was and it was great to manipulate people in need.
I would tell them “take these groceries, but please take my place at the parent-teacher conference because I don’t have time to attend.” And that’s how I would give people things but I would manipulate them. Besides, I liked being followed by a lot of people singing my praises. I made an image for myself. I was told “you had a god, and that god was money! You have been condemned because of money! Because of it you have sunk into the abyss and you distanced yourself from your Lord.” We had been wealthy, but we were broke at that point, full of debt, having run out of money. Therefore, when they told me money was my god I cried out: “What money? Back on earth I left many debts!” And that’s all I said…
When they talked to me about the second commandment, I saw full of sadness that, as a little girl, I learned that lies were excellent ways of avoiding my mom’s severe punishments. I started walking with the father of lies (Satan) and I became a liar. As my sins grew, my lies also grew. I noticed my mom’s respect for the Lord and how his name was Holy to her, so I took that as a weapon and I started swearing in vain. I would say “Mom, I swear to God….”, and that’s how I would avoid punishments. Imagine my lies, placing the Most Holy name of the Lord in my rottenness, because at that point I was full of dirt and sin.
And look, brothers and sisters, I learned that words do not go away empty. When my mom was giving me a hard time I would say, “Mom, if I’m lying to you, let a lightning bolt strike me!” And although the words faded in time, it is through the mercy of God that I’m here, because in reality lightning hit me, practically cutting me in half and burning me.
They would show me how I, who called myself a Catholic, never kept my word and would always use the Lord’s Holy Name in vain.
It shocked me how the Lord passed by and all those horrible creatures would throw themselves on the ground in adoration. I saw the Blessed Virgin Mary prostrated at the Lord’s feet, praying for me in supplication, while I, a sinner deep in filth, kept my exchange with the Lord going. I thought myself so righteous! Complaining and cursing against the Lord.
On keeping holy the Lord’s day, it was horrible and I felt intense pain; the voice would tell me how I would dedicate four or five hours to my body every day, but not even ten minutes of deep love to my Lord in thanksgiving or a simple prayer. I would start the rosary very quickly and I would say to myself “I can finish the rosary while the commercials are on for my soap opera.” They showed me how I was never grateful toward the Lord. They also showed me what I used to say when I didn’t feel like going to Mass. “But mom, God is everywhere, why do I need to go there?” Of course it was very convenient for me to say that. The voice would remind me how the Lord was watching over me 24 hours a day but I never prayed a little, or on Sunday to thank him, to show him any gratefulness or love; that going to church was the feeding of my soul. But I took care of my body instead. I was enslaved to my body and I forgot a tiny detail: I had a soul and I never took care of it. I never fed it with the word of God because I would rationalize that whoever read the word of God would go crazy.
On the sacraments, I had nothing. I used to say that I would never go to confession with those old men who were far worse than me. I did it because it was very comfortable for me to do so in the midst of my filth. The evil one drove me away from confession and that is how he took away cleanliness and healing from my soul, because every time I sinned, there was a price to pay: within the white purity of my soul, Satan would place his blemish, a blemish of darkness. Never, with the exception of my first communion, did I make a good confession. From that point on, I received my Lord unworthily. The lack of coherence of my life reached such a stage that I would blaspheme and challenge “Why ‘blessed’ sacrament? Can you imagine God being alive in a piece of bread? Priests should put some caramel spread on that wafer to make it tasty!” That’s how low my relationship with God fell.
I never fed my soul, but to make matters worse, I would criticize priests constantly. You should have seen what a hard time I had on that one! Ever since we were little, I remember criticism against priests being present in my family. My dad used to say that those guys were womanizers and much better off than we were. And we would repeat that. And my Lord told me: “Who did you think you were making yourself God and judging my anointed? They are human, and the holiness of a priest is built by his community, that prays, loves, and supports him. When a priest sins his community is questioned, not him. The Lord showed me that each time I criticized priests, the demons would get attached to me. Besides that, at some point I accused a priest of homosexuality and the whole community found out. You can’t imagine how much harm I did.
On the fourth commandment, honor thy Father and thy Mother, as I already told you the Lord showed me how ungrateful I was to them. I would curse against and complain about them because they could not give me everything my friends had. I never appreciated anything they did for me, to the point of saying I didn’t know my Mom because I thought she was not up to my standards. It was horrible to see the summary of a woman with no God and how that Godless woman can destroy anything coming close to her. But the worse part was that I thought of myself as good and saintly. The Lord also showed me how I thought I could do well on this commandment simply because I paid for my parents’ doctors’ bills and medicines when they became ill, but that since I analyzed everything from the vantage point of money I would manipulate them when I had money. I took advantage even of them, money made me feel god and I stepped all over them. Do you know what really hurt? Seeing my dad crying sadly, because even though he was a good father who had taught me to be hardworking, entrepreneurial, and honest, he forgot a small but important detail: that I had a soul and that he was an evangelizer with his witness, and that therefore, my whole life started to sink as a result of this. I would look upon my dad with hurt when he was a womanizer. He enjoyed telling my mom and everyone, for that matter, that he was a real man because he had several women and he could keep up with all of them. Besides, he was a smoker and a drinker. Those vices made him feel proud because he thought them virtues, not vices. I started to see how my mom would cover her face in tears when my dad started talking about other women. I became full of anger and resentment. That resentment led me to my spiritual death. I saw with terrible anger how my dad humiliated my mom in front of everyone. I rebelled and I told my mom I would never be like her. “That’s why us women are worthless, because of women like you, with no dignity and no pride who let men trample all over them!” And when I grew up, I told my dad “Mind you, I’ll never, ever, let a man humiliate me in the same way you humiliate my mom. If a man is ever unfaithful to me, I’ll repay him!” He hit me and challenged me “Don’t even think about it!” My dad was very chauvinistic. I told him “even if you hit me or kill me, if I ever get married and my husband is unfaithful to me, I will pay him back so men will understand how women suffer when men trample over them.” So, full of that resentment and anger, once I had made enough money I started telling my mom she should separate from my dad despite the fact that I really loved my dad. “You shouldn’t put up with a man like that! Be dignified, make him see your worth!” Can you imagine? I was trying to make my own parents divorce! And mom would tell me “no, honey, of course I hurt, but I’ve sacrificed myself because I have seven children and because, at the end of the day, your dad is a good father and I couldn’t possibly leave and take your father away from you. Besides, if I leave him, who is going to pray for his salvation? I’m the only one who can pray so he will be saved because the hurt and suffering he causes me I raise to unite to the pain of Christ on the Cross. Every day I tell the Lord, “This pain is nothing compared to your Cross, so please save my husband and children!” I didn’t understand that. My anger swelled and changed my life. I became a rebel and started promulgating my desire to defend women. I began defending abortion, cohabitation, and divorce, speaking out in favor of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. I was never unfaithful but I harmed many people with my advice.
When we came to the fifth commandment, the Lord showed me I was a horrible assassin and that I had committed the worst and most abominable in front of his eyes: an abortion. Money empowered me to pay for several abortions because I claimed women had a right to choose when they wanted to become pregnant or not. I saw in the book of life and it hurt me deeply when I saw a fourteen-year old girl aborting because I had taught her. When one is poisoned nothing good remains. Everything that comes close to you is also spoiled.
There were these girls, three of them my nieces and the other one, my nephew’s girlfriend. Their parents would let them come to my house because I had money and talked to them about fashion, glamour, how to show their bodies, and so on. My sister would send them to me. I corrupted them. I corrupted minors, that was a horrible sin, compounding abortion. I would tell them not to be innocent. “Your mothers talk to you about virginity and chastity because they’re outdated. They talk about a 2000 year old Bible but priests have refused to come to terms with the modern world. Your mothers talk about what the Pope says, but the Pope is outdated.”
Imagine how poisonous! I taught these girls they had to enjoy their bodies but that they had to contracept. I taught them the “perfect woman” method. That 14 year old, my nephew’s girlfriend, came to my office one day (I saw this in the book of life) and in tears told me “Gloria, I’m just a baby and I’m pregnant!” I scolded her and told her “didn’t I teach you about contraception?” She replied “yes, but it didn’t work!” Then I saw how the Lord had put that girl there so she wouldn’t sink in the abyss, so she wouldn’t abort. Abortion is a heavy chain that drags and tramples, it is a hurt that never ends. It’s the emptiness of being a murderer. It’s the worst thing one can do to a child. As to that girl, instead of talking to her about the Lord, I gave her money to have an abortion at a ‘good’ place so she wouldn’t have any complications later on in life. Just like that one, I sponsored several abortions. Each time the blood of a baby is spilled, it’s like a holocaust to Satan. It is a holocaust which hurts and shakes the Lord. In the book of life I saw how our soul is formed the moment the sperm and the egg touch. A beautiful spark is formed, a light beaming from the sun of God the Father. As soon as the womb of a mother is impregnated, it lights up with the brightness of that soul. When there is an abortion, that soul screams and moans in pain even if it has no eyes or flesh. When it is being murdered, that cry is heard and heaven shakes and an equally strong cry is heard in hell, but this time of joy. Immediately after that happens, some seals break loose in hell and larvae come out to continue prowling around humankind, keeping it enslaved to the flesh and to all those bad things we see and the worse that will come.
Because, how many babies are killed on a daily basis? And it is a victory for him. The price of innocent blood releases one more demon each time. I got washed in that blood and my clean soul became absolutely dark. After those abortions, I had no more sense of sinfulness. For me, everything was okay. It was sad to see how all those debts I owed the devil included as well all those babies I had killed myself because I had a copper-T intrauterine device. I painfully saw how many little babies had been created and those suns had burst, with the cry of that baby being torn away from the hands of his Father God. No wonder I was always sour and ill-tempered, with a grim face, frustrated with everyone and very depressed. I had become a baby-killing machine!
And that sank me deeper into the abyss. How could I say I hadn’t killed? How about every person I disliked, hated, or simply couldn’t put up with? I was being a murderer there too. Because people don’t only die from a gunshot. It’s enough to hate them, to do bad things to them, to be envious of them. You kill with that.
As far as the sixth commandment is concerned I thought “they can’t find any dirt here; I didn’t have any affairs and I’ve only had one man, my husband, my entire life”. Then they showed me that each time my chest was showing and I was wearing leotards I was inciting other men to look at me and have impure thoughts and I would make them sin. That’s how I fell into adultery.
I would advise women to be unfaithful to their husbands. I would advise against forgiveness and would encourage divorce. That was enough to commit a horrible adultery.
And I realized the sins of the flesh are horrendous and condemning even if the world says they’re cool and that we should keep on behaving like animals. Sadly, I let go of the hand of the Lord, because we sin in thought, soul, and actions.
It was painful to see how all that sin, for example the sin of my father’s adultery, damaged and tore apart his children. It made me resentful against men and it made my brothers into three identical copies of my dad, happy to be womanizers and drunkards… they didn’t realize how much they were harming their children. That’s why my dad would cry with so much hurt seeing how his sin had been inherited in them and in his daughter, damaging God’s work.
On the seventh commandment, regarding not stealing, I considered myself very honest. The Lord showed me that while food was being wasted in my house, the rest of the world was going hungry. He told me “I was hungry and look what you did with what I gave you and how you would squander it. I was cold and see how you became enslaved to fashion and appearance, wasting lots of money in treatments to look thinner. In other words, you made a god out of your body.” He showed me I was guilty of the misery of my country and that I did have to do with it. He showed me how every time I gossiped about someone I stole his honor. It would have been easier to steal money from someone, because at least I could have returned it, but not so a person’s reputation. I stole from my children the grace of having a mother at home, tender and loving, and not the mother out in the world leaving them with the TV, the computer, or the video games for baby sitters. To clean my conscience, I would buy them brand-name clothes. It horrified me even worse when I saw my mom questioning herself, even though she was a saintly woman who loved and corrected us. So I thought: “What about me? I haven’t given my children anything! How frightening, what immense pain!”
I felt ashamed because in the book of life you get to see everything like in a movie. And my children would say “let’s hope mom doesn’t come home soon, hopefully there will be a traffic jam, because she’s really annoying and is always complaining.” How sad it is for a three year old boy and a slightly older girl to say that. I stole their mother from them; I stole the peace I was supposed to give in my home. I didn’t teach them God through me; I didn’t teach them to love their fellowman. It’s very simple: if I don’t love my fellowman, I have nothing to do with the Lord. If I have no mercy, I have nothing to do with the Lord.
Because God is love and… well, I’ll tell you a little bit about not bearing false witness. Or lie, because I was an expert at it. Satan became my father, because you may have either God or Satan as father.
If God is love, but I hate, who is my father? Not hard to answer. And if God speaks to me about forgiveness and about loving those who hurt me but I would say that I would repay any offense, then who is my father? And if He is the truth and Satan is the lies, who is my father? There are no white lies or anything like that. They are all lies and Satan is their father. My sins of the word were so terrible! I saw how much I had hurt with my tongue. Whenever I gossiped, whenever I made fun, whenever I gave anyone a nickname, how much did that person hurt. How much did that nickname hurt. I could give someone with a weight problem an inferiority complex by just calling her fat. How much evil I did, because words always end up as actions. When they gave me the test on the ten commandments, all my evils came from covetousness, that mad desire. I always thought I would be happy if only I had lots of money. And it became an obsession. How sad! The worst moment for my soul was when I had the most money. I even thought of killing myself. With so much money and alone, empty! Sour. Frustrated. That greed for money was the path that led me astray and away from my Lord’s hand. After my test on the ten commandments they showed me the Book of Life. I wish I had words to describe it. My book of life started at conception, when my parents’ cells united. Almost immediately there was a spark, a beautiful explosion and a soul was formed, my soul, grabbed by the hand by God my Father, such a beautiful God. So marvelous! Looking for me 24 hours a day. What I saw as punishment was nothing but His love because He didn’t look at my flesh but rather at my soul and He would see how I was straying away from salvation.
Before I finish I have to give you an example of how beautiful the Book of Life is. I was very hypocritical. I would tell someone “you look beautiful in that dress, it looks great on you” but inside of me I would think “what a disgusting outfit and she thinks herself the queen!” On the Book of Life, it would show up exactly as I had thought about it, even though my words also appeared, as well as the inside of my soul. All my lies were uncovered for everyone to see. I would often play hooky on my mom because she wouldn’t let me go anywhere. I would lie to her about going to the library with some friends to work on a school project and my mom would believe me. And I would head off to watch a pornographic movie or to a bar to drink beer with my friends. But my mom saw my life, nothing escaped her. The Book of Life is very beautiful. My mom would pack bananas, guava paste, and milk for my lunch because my parents were very poor when I was little. I would eat the banana and would throw the peel anywhere. I was never aware that someone could get hurt if I did that. And the Lord showed me who it was who fell because of that banana peel and how I could have killed that person due to my lack of mercy. The only time I did a good confession, with sorrow and repentance, was when a woman gave me back too much change. She gave me back 4,500 pesos more than she was supposed to at a grocery store in Bogota. My dad had taught us to be honest and never to take anyone’s money. I noticed her mistake in the car, heading to my office. “That stupid woman gave me back 4,500 pesos more than she was supposed to and now I have to go back! There was a huge traffic jam so I decided not to turn back. After all, why was she so stupid! But the hurt remained because my dad had planted well the seed of honesty. I went to confession on Sunday and I accused myself of stealing 4,500 pesos because I didn’t give them back. I didn’t even pay attention to the priest’s words. The devil couldn’t accuse me of having stolen. But do you want to know what the Lord told me? “You didn’t repay that lack of charity. That money was pocket change for you, but to her, making the minimum wage, it was three day’s worth of food.” The saddest part was that he showed me how she suffered and went hungry for a couple days. Because of me, her two little ones hungered. That’s how the Lord shows these things. It shows how someone suffered with something I did. The Lord asked me: “What spiritual treasures do you bring?” Spiritual treasures! And my hands were empty! That’s when he told me: “What was the point in your owning two condos, houses, and office buildings? You thought yourself a successful professional. You couldn’t even bring the dust off of one of those bricks here. What did you do with the talents I gave you?” “Talents?” I thought. “You had a mission. The mission to defend the kingdom of love, the Kingdom of God.” I had forgotten I had a soul so I could hardly remember I had talents, that I was the merciful hands of God. Much less that all the good I didn’t make hurt the Lord. Do you want to know what the Lord kept on asking me? About lack of love and charity. That’s when He told me about my spiritual death. I was alive, but dead. If you could have seen what “spiritual death” is. It’s like a soul that hates. Like a terribly sour and fastidious soul that injures everyone, full of sin. I could see my soul on the outside, smelling well, with good clothes on, but my stench on the inside, living deep in the abyss. No wonder I was so depressed and sour! And he told me: “Your spiritual death began when you stopped hurting for your brothers!” I was warning you by showing you their plight everywhere. When you saw media coverage on murders, abductions, refugee situations, and with your tongue you said, on the outside, ‘poor people, how sad’, but you didn’t really hurt for them. You felt nothing in your heart. Sin made your heart into a heart of stone.”
You can imagine my deep sorrow when my book closed. I had deep sorrow with God my Father for having behaved like that because, despite all my sins, despite all my filth and all my indifference and all my horrible feelings, the Lord always, up until the last instant, searched for me. He would always send me instruments, people, He would talk to me, He would yell at me, He would take things away from me to seek me. He looked for me up until the very end. God is always “begging” at each one of us to convert.
I couldn’t accuse Him of
condemning me! Of course not. Out of my free will, I chose my
father, and my father was not God. I chose Satan, he was my father.
When that book closed I noticed I was heading down into a pit with a
door at its bottom. And as I’m heading there, I started calling out
to all the saints so they would save me. You have no idea how many
saints I remembered, being such a bad Catholic. I thought I could
ask for help from Saint Isidore or Saint Francis of
I thought everyone back on earth was probably thinking I had died a Saint, perhaps even waiting eagerly to ask for my intercession. And look! Where was I headed? I lifted my eyes and they met the eyes of my mom. With intense pain I cried out to her “mommy, how ashamed I am! I was condemned, mommy! Where I’m going I’ll never get to see you again! At that moment, they granted her a beautiful grace. She was still but her fingers moved and pointed upward. A couple of very painful scales fell from my eyes, that spiritual blindness. I saw a beautiful moment, when one of my patients told me: “Doctor, you are very materialistic and some day you’ll need this. When you find yourself in imminent danger, ask Jesus Christ to cover you with His Blood, because He will never abandon you. He paid the price of blood for you.” With that immense shame and pain I started to cry: “Jesus Christ, Lord, have compassion on me! Forgive me, Lord, give me a second chance! And that was the most beautiful moment. I have no words to describe that moment. He came and pulled me out of that pit. When He picked me up, all those creatures threw themselves on the ground. He picked me up and he pulled me onto that flat part and told me with all His love: “You will go back, you will have a second chance (…)”, but He told me it wasn’t because of my family’s prayer. “It’s normal for them to pray and cry out for you. It’s because of the intercession of all those foreign to your body and blood who have cried, have prayed, and have raised their heart with immense love for you.” I began to see many little lights lighting up, as little flames of love. I saw the people who were praying for me. But there was a big flame, it was the one that gave out the most light. It was the one that gave out the most love. I tried to see who that person was. The Lord told me: “That person you see right there loves you so much that he doesn’t even know you.” He showed me how this man had seen an old newspaper clipping from the previous day. He was a poor peasant who lived in the foothills of the “Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta” (translator’s note: in northeastern Colombia). That poor man went into town and bought some processed sugar cane. They wrapped it for him in an old newspaper from the previous day. My picture was there, all burned. When that man saw the news, without even reading it in full, he fell to the ground and started crying with the deepest love. And he said, “Father, Lord, have compassion on my little sister. Lord, save her. Look, Lord, if you save my little sister, I promise you I will go on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lord in Buga (translator’s note: in southwestern Colombia), but please save her.” Imagine a very poor man, he wasn’t complaining or cursing because he was hungry, but instead he had this capacity to love that he could offer to cross an entire country for someone he didn’t even know. And the Lord told me: “That is love for your fellowman” (…) And then He told me: “You will go back, but you won’t repeat this 1000 times. You will repeat it 1000 times 1000. And woe of those who don’t change their ways despite having heard you, because they will be judged much more severely, just like you will when you come back here again, even their anointed or their priests, or any of them, because the worst deafness is that of a man who refuses to hear.”
And this, my brothers and sisters, is not a threat. The Lord doesn’t need to threaten us. This is the second chance you have and that, thanks be to God, I lived through what I did. When each one of you gets his Book of Life opened in front of you, when each one of you dies, you will see that moment just as I saw it. And we will see each other just as we are… the only difference being we will see our thoughts in the presence of God, and the most beautiful part, with the Lord in front of each one of us, once again, “begging” us to convert and to become a new creation with Him, since we cannot do it without Him.
May the Lord bless each one of you abundantly. All glory be to our God! All glory be to our Lord Jesus Christ!
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The Work of God Apostolate