By Mary Sayad


    November 2006

    For unknown reasons, a middle aged man died. He found himself standing before the Pearly Gates of heaven. St. Peter greeted him, asked his name and checked his roster of new members. Not to be impolite, St. Peter came out from behind the Pearly Gates. As he opened the gates, soft lyrical music could be heard in the background. Usually joyful and jubilant, St. Peter was somewhat pensive and although guardedly reticent he remained hopeful.

    "Well, we have a somewhat unusual situation regarding your destiny. You see, according to my records, for not one thing goes unnoticed, you were not a ruthlessly sinful person yet, your life has not been stellar. You failed to be charitable during key situations in your life and you didn't follow the Commandments with thundering applause, however, because you were not intentionally malicious, you have a chance towards your salvation."

    "We've decided to allow you to choose your eternity. You will be allowed to enter and observe heaven; then you may enter the "other place" giving you the option of making your choice. The word "hell" is painful to St. Peter for obvious reasons.

    So, the man visited heaven, checked it out and then proceeded back to the Pearly Gates. St. Peter hesitatingly led him to the ingeniously built elevator that took the man down to the "other place" or let's be frank and call it what it is, "hell".

    Thereupon, the man was amiably greeted by Satan himself. Satan was well dressed and quite handsome. He cordially invited him in, offered him a drink (on the house) and was very congenial. Many people were dancing and socializing. The music was captivating and laughter could be heard. Clearly, everyone was having a good time. As he walked around, he met some of his old buddies. They had beautiful women on both arms. He felt as if he was at a night club or social club. All was well and even delightful. It was very comfortable and not at all hot. “Wow” he thought to himself, “one could easily get used to this. This place is really cool!"

    His time was up and he was called back to the Pearly Gates where St. Peter anxiously awaited him. St. Peter asked, "Have you decided where you wish to remain?" St. Peter cautiously reminded him that he wouldn't get a second chance, so he should make a wise decision.

    "Yes", said the man. Heaven is nice with its angels and their harps and it's very peaceful, but I met many of my friends down below and it was nicer than I expected. I've decided to spend my eternity down there." He was of course referring to hell.

    "As you wish" said St. Peter and he sent him to the elevator.

    When the man exited the elevator, he was taken aback by a ghastly stench. Except for the sudden rising flames, it was dark and loud moans and cries of pain echoed throughout. It was insufferably hot and uncomfortable. His friends and their lady friends had become mere figures of humans. They were transformed into ghastly charred figures and they wreaked with putrid and nauseating odors.

    He was then led to Satan who was uglier than sin, nastier than a hungry lion and spat vicious unheard of vulgarities in every possible language. His gray ashen face was scattered with lumps and his beard was grizzly and unkempt. His teeth were broken and black and because he was bent over, the hump on his back broke through his tattered filthy jacket. His pitch fork, molten red, was closely perched beside him.

    "You deceived me" said the man. "When I was here yesterday, you were gracious and handsome. Everything looked wonderful. Why did you mislead me?" (Such a question! This man must have been retarded. On the other hand, if he was genuinely retarded, he would have automatically been sent to heaven.)

    "Well" said Satan, "Before you were a prospect. My deceit succeeded in making you a customer. Because you allowed yourself to be deceived, you will spend eternity in the fires and vastness of hell with the rest of these wretched souls. There's no way out!!! Ha, ha, ha, you fool -


    My Good Friends,

    If you will note, I temporarily deviated from my usual salutation of "My Beloved Friends" to "My Good Friends". I have confidence is all of you especially if you've sincerely applied some of my inspirational thoughts to your life.

    1 Peter 5:8, 9 - Stay sober and alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, solid in your faith, realizing that the brotherhood of believers is undergoing the same sufferings throughout the world.

    In that you recite your rosaries daily, read your Bibles, attend mass at least weekly, follow the Commandments to the best of your ability and are charitable to all who cross your paths, I know that you will be wise and not allow yourselves to be deceived by the devil and his counterparts. You will make right decisions according to God's Will and your salvation will be insured by Jesus' promise.

    Titus 2:11-13 - The grace of God appeared, offering salvation to all men. It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires, and live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age as we await our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Christ Jesus.

    May you live your life with trust in God, with transparency and truth. And may we who are built on the foundations of the Church, become and remain the living presence of Jesus Christ in the world.

    Smile folks, you're listed in St. Peter's book and club of eternal salvation!

    Please continue to pray for peace in the world, the safety of military personnel, the banning of abortion, especially partial birth abortion and for Our Blessed Mother's intentions. Thank you.

    Your companion in prayer,