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“Ask a Priest: Could a Ghost Really Endorse the Catholic Faith?”
Q: I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness but left that religion more than 30 years ago and never filled that void. I have been searching for the “true religion.” The question might have been answered many years later in an unusual way. My uncle (who was not religious himself) had died under unusual circumstances, maybe a suicide. I wasn’t raised to believe in ghosts, but I do believe his ghost came to me multiple times afterward. He was always sad and crying and kept repeating to me, “I don’t want to see you die” (I wasn’t suicidal but depressed after my divorce). On one occasion I asked him about the afterlife and inquired, “What is the true religion?” Believe it or not, and this shocked me the most, he said, “The Catholics were right.” Now that scared me very much, and over time I lost contact with my uncle’s ghost. So what do I do now? Do Catholics even believe in ghosts? Was this a trickster spirit or demon, and if so, why would an evil spirit guide me to your religion? – B.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: What you describe is certainly unusual.
It is possible for God to allow someone who is deceased to communicate or even appear to someone living.
One possible way to tell if an incident is authentic is whether it communicates something in line with a truth or truths previously revealed by God. In other words, a vision allowed by God won’t contradict what God has already revealed through the Church.
If this ghost said that “The Catholics were right” — that is, that Catholicism is the true faith — then I couldn’t agree more. It has the ring of truth to it.
The devil wouldn’t try to guide you toward the Catholic faith. On the contrary, the devil spends his time trying to confuse people and pull them away from what God has revealed.
Perhaps you might want to look at the Catholic faith more closely. It has a lot to offer. It is deep and broad and all the pieces fit together.
A few helpful resources you might want to look at are:
— Youth Catechism (or YouCat). It could appeal to all ages.
— The Surprised by Truth series, by Patrick Madrid.
— Catholicism for Dummies (don’t be put off by the name; it’s an acclaimed work).
— Compendium of the Catechism online.
You might also consider joining an RCIA. This program teaches people the basic beliefs and practices of the faith, with an eye toward their entering the Church. You could contact the nearest Catholic parish and ask about its RCIA.
In the meantime, you might want to dedicate time daily to prayer, including for the soul of your uncle.
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Thank you Father Edward for your answer. It helped me.
Although it may be true that this apparition was truly “authorized” by God, it is also possible that it was not. We are all children when it comes to such events and situations, we really don’t know and understand the pros and cons of any related course of action. And, for that reason, the Church recommends that we consult experts, eg, our spiritual fathers, etc., along the lines of Fr Edward’s suggestions above. Again, maybe what you saw and was told is true, but it is very dangerous to start listening to such apparitions that may or may not be from God, certainly until we are much more advanced spiritually. For a crude example, a shady character offers a kid some candy and invites them to come into his van for more. There may be nothing wrong with that first piece of candy, or the second, but who knows what will happen in that van. Therefore, all parents and teachers cry out “do not listen to and go with people you don’t know!!!!” My suggestion is to be very careful, do not believe in such unreliable information flows, stay close to the Church – her teachings are safe, clear and sufficient for us to get to Paradise, God willing. Be well, in Christ,
I hope that you are well and safe during these times.
As someone who is thinking of converting to the Catholic Faith you would be very welcome to do so.
I want to share with you this video which is about Our Lady I think that it might help to introduce her to you. God made a miracle to help people convert, he allowed Mary mother of Jesus to appear and then God painted her image! the painting still exists. And it is a miracle that it does, science says it could never have been painted by human hands! This video explains it all it is called “The Amazing and Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe”.
I agree to some extent with John, be very careful of anything like that, find out if any one close to you has been into fortune telling as sometimes that type of thing could happen if they have been into anything like that. The Catholic faith warns us and tells us not to go to fortune telling or to any occult happenings. If it happens to you again kneel down and pray not to the apparition but to God pray Our Father and ask God to help you and he will. He will help reveal what is truthful.
Apparitions do happen Our Lady appeared and that has been verified but some claim to have seen her and those have not been verified. We all have to be careful. I am not sure if I am right here and I hope the priest corrects me if I am wrong but I hear (have not read so not sure if correct) that if someone does appear and that they have bare feet showing then it could be okay, but if their feet are like that of a beast or animal or that they maybe are hiding their feet in shoes etc that it could be a sign of not being from God. So I would ask you to pray pray pray pray. Ask for God’s protection. You have to be careful but again it could well be that God allowed it. Just be cautious.
Here is that lovely video. and put your trust in God fully ask him for protection and to look after you.