When it’s needed, the Light comes. Whether or not we receive: that’s up to us. It comes at conception. It comes during birth. It comes throughout life (if we bother to take note of it). It comes for sure at death (when we enter it or darkness). That is, the Light from God.
Satan can also swath himself with light. But his is erratic, blinding, the harshness of fluorescence. God’s is soft and powerful, brighter than a thousand suns but gentle on the eyes. You can look right at and into it.
It is purity of heart — as is found in children — that seems to distinguish. This comes with unconditional love, selflessness, and living one’s life for God. That’s what gets us at the end of life into Heaven. It’s what draws His Light. Today’s Mass reading: “The disciples approached Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?’ He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, ‘Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in My Name receives Me” (Matthew 18; read and reread it).
Keys to Heaven. Unconditional love. Selflessness.
Children are open; they’re innocent; they don’t judge others. Meditate this day on how children see life, others, and the world.
In a rather amazing book (not without a controversial statement or two), a born-Catholic doctor named Dr. John Lerma at the Texas Medical Center’s hospice recounts the experiences of two children, Bobby Joe, who was three, and Joanie, who was four, playing in the room of their dying grandmother.
As the grandmother approached death, the kids started to see what the adults, programmed by the world, could not.
“I sat down across the room so I wouldn’t disturb their play and just observed what was happening,” writes Dr, Lerma in his book, Into the Light. “Within ten minutes, the children got up and walked to the corner of the room, near the windows that face the garden.
“The little girl, Joanie, seemed to be holding hands with someone.
“All I noticed was the bright sunlight from the outside that was shining directly on Joanie.
“This was odd, because, by this time of day, the sun was already on the other side of the building. Joanie turned to her mom and said, ‘Mommy, isn’t that the most beautiful golden angel?’ She looked from the floor up to the ceiling, and said, ‘It’s enormous, but gentle, and I love it when it closes its wings around me!'”
When the grandmother died, the two children said they saw their grandmother with a man they identified as “PaPa” — as it turns out, a grandfather they had never met.
When Dr. Lerma sat them down to tell them their grandmother had died, they said, “We know. We saw her walk into that big light with PaPa and the angels.”
That was his nickname — “Papa” — though they had no way of knowing it (he had died before they were born).
This is why on occasion we carry photos of resplendent light, however much it can be attributed by skeptics to a “natural” explanation (like the boy above flying a kite, as a ray is directed towards him, as if to conjoin with the string – sent to us in the mail).
And His Light is the shadow of angels.
[resources: Into the Light]