Maria Simma, ‘lagayan’

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    You probably have heard other people admit they are “lagayan” (that’s a Kapampangan word that, unless Robby Tantingco or Mike Pangilinan objects, means ‘prone to seeing ghosts’ or ‘having a third eye’). I don’t know if I count as one of them, but I used to tell some friends I had had my share of brushes with ghosts when I was a kid.

    My research, however, indicates no one can be more “lagayan” that Maria Simma, the Austrian ghost seer this space had already introduced some issues ago, she who was born in Austria in 1915 and died in 2004, same place. She lived a good deal of her simple, farming, and holy life interacting with ghosts.

    Luck is with us through Sister Emmanuele who did an interview of Simma before death could snatch her in her advanced years and  deprive mankind forever of her personal accounts revolving around her unusual mysticism. The interview had Maria, verbatim, talking about her dealings with the ghosts from Purgatory and her views on the afterlife culled directly from her other-worldly visitors.

    Since most of us living in this weather-aberrant, politically tumultuous, corruption riddled, crime laden world would probably have varying lengths of stay in Purgatory after our personal versions of dying, we might as well take seriously some tips from Maria. (I remember one of the visionaries of Medjugorje saying that most people who die land in Purgatory, although the visionaries of Fatima had terrifying vision of people,  like leaves in autumn, plunging into hell. )

    Again, find hereunder  a question-and-answer encounter between Sister Emmanuele (Q) and Maria Simma (A):

    Q:Maria, do the souls in Purgatory rebel when faced with their suffering?

    A: No! They want to purify themselves; they understand that it is necessary.

    Q. What is the role of contrition or repentance at the moment of death?

    A:Contrition is very important. The sins are forgiven, in any case, but there remains the consequences of sins. If one wishes to receive a full indulgence at the moment of death — that means going straight to Heaven — the soul has to be free from all attachment.

    Q: Maria, I would like to ask you: at the moment of death, is there a time in which the soul still has the chance to turn towards God, even after a sinful life, before entering into eternity — a time, if you like, between apparent death and real death?

    A: Yes, yes! The Lord gives several minutes to each one in order to regret his sins and to decide: I accept, or I do not accept to go and see God. Then we see a film of our lives. I knew a man who believed in the Church’s teachings, but not in eternal life. One day, he fell gravely ill and slid into a coma. He saw himself in a room with a board on which all his deeds were written, the good and the bad. Then the board disappeared as well as the walls of the room, and it was infinitely beautiful. Then he woke up from his coma, and decided to change his life.

    Q: Maria, does the devil have permission to attack us at the moment of death?

    A: Yes, but man also has the grace to resist him, to push him away. So, if man does not want anything to do with him, the devil can do nothing.

    Q: Maria, what advice would you give to anyone who wants to become a saint here on earth?

    A: Be very humble. We must not be occupied with ourselves. Pride is evil’s greatest trap.

    Q: Maria, please tell us: can one ask the Lord to do one’s Purgatory on earth, in order not to have to do it after death?

    A: Yes. I knew a priest and a young woman who were both ill with tuberculosis in the hospital. The young woman said to the priest: "Let’s ask the Lord to be able to suffer on earth as much as necessary in order to go straight to Heaven." The priest replied that he himself didn’t dare to ask for this. Nearby was a religious sister who had overheard the whole conversation. The young woman died first, the priest died later, and he appeared to the sister, saying: "If only I had had the same trust as the young woman, I too would have gone straight to Heaven."

    Q: Maria, are there different degrees in Purgatory?

    A: Yes, there is a great difference of degree of moral suffering. Each soul has a unique suffering, particular to it; there are many degrees.

    Q: Maria, are the sufferings in Purgatory more painful than the most painful sufferings on earth?

    A: Yes, but in a symbolic way. It hurts more in the soul.

    Q: Maria, you know, many people today believe in reincarnation. What do the souls tell you concerning this subject?

    A: The souls say that God gives only one life.

    Q: But some would say that just one life is not enough to know God and to have the time to be really converted, that it isn’t fair. What would you reply to them?

    A: All people have an interior Faith (conscience); even if they do not practice, they recognize God implicitly. Someone who does not believe — that doesn’t exist! Each soul has a conscience to recognize good and evil, a conscience given by God, an inner knowledge — in different degrees, of course, but each one knows how to discern good from evil. With this conscience, each soul can become blessed.


    Ding’s note: We continue in the next column with Maria’s answer to the query, what happens to people who died from suicide. By the way, Maria’s statement that one is given a few minutes in his death to decide between good and evil should not be reason for a sinner to wait for that moment to grab heaven  while enjoying in the meantime the temporary joys of evil deeds. People who think that way, I think, usually so get attached to their sinful ways  that in their death bed, they tend to cling to their worldly pleasures.  It’s much like one who is almost trapped in a burning house with a small chance to escape, but prefers to go back to retrieve jewelry and gets trapped altogether.

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