Bishop Martin - The Progress of a Soul in the Beyond

- Chapter 76 -

(Bishop Martin): "Now I see these disgusting tatters of Ladies of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (what a pity about that wonderful name!) hurriedly withdrawing into their convent. What could they be suspecting now? Ah, there I see camped outside the garden a number of very sad and miserable old men and women. I wonder what they want and who they are?"
(Borem): "They are the parents of some of these ladies, and they are seeking help from them, for after much seeking and entreating, they have been told that their blessed daughters are in this celestial convent, constantly praying for their salvation."
(Bishop Martin): "Oh what a situation! I am already sorry for those poor, good-natured - but ignorant - parents.
Right, there an old man is already ringing at the gate, but no one answers. He rings again and a third time, but in vain.
Now the old people start to beg and pray and lament. They even begin to worship those ninnies with loud prayers. This is really going too far! But still not one of the female salamanders is showing herself.
Now I can hear loud weeping and sobbing from the old people, and they cry: 'Oh you, our beloved, holy daughters, look mercifully upon your poor parents from your celestial thrones! Let us be your lowest servants! Oh, do grant our request, you holy virgins and brides of God!'
Friend, brother, I never expected people - I mean Roman Catholic people - to be that stupid! Although I was a bishop myself and thought the world of some pious looking follies, I would not have put up with anything like this in my diocese. I pity these poor people - or rather, spirits - with all my heart!
I am really curious to see what will happen now. None of the objects of worship is visible. Probably they know by now what they look like and are terribly ashamed of letting their parents see them like that. Therefore, all the pleas and prayers will be in vain. Listen to how the poor things are crying and lamenting!
Ah, look, a new phenomenon! In the many windows of the convent flashes of lightning are appearing, and it is beginning to thunder, though not very loud. It must be a monastic, theatrical house-thunder, but the lightning looks very much like the real thing.
Listen, it sounds as if the thunder were articulating actual words. Indeed, the thunder is now speaking clearly! It says: 'Back with you, cursed spirits, withdraw from this sanctuary of God or the ground will open up and you will be swallowed by hell for having dared set your wicked feet on it! Flee forever from before our holy presence!
Ah, how vile they are! Being almost of the devil themselves and ashamed to face their much better parents, they scare them away with this masquerade. And the poor things are now leaving this place, weeping and sobbing.
What a hellish beginning for this drama! I am now anxious to see its further development.
Not far beyond the garden, towards the south, the poor parents have reached a heavily laden fruit tree. They are resting under it, facing the convent - which still seems to be holding false hope and consolation for them, although that shabby, deceptive demonstration should have convinced them that they have nothing to hope for from their presumedly blessed daughters, except maybe a worse demonstration.
I wonder what our ladies are going to do now? Flashes of lightning are still coming from the windows of the convent, and a weak thunder is still audible. The old people under the tree have now discovered the fruit and some of them are beginning to eat and really enjoy it. They are eagerly picking more fruit and passing some to those who do not seem to have the courage to pick their own.
But now I can see something like a megaphone being pushed out one of the convent windows. It is directed towards the tree under which our old people are resting to enjoy the 'celestial' sight of the convent, or maybe for some other reason. I wonder what will develop from this megaphone, which might be a sort of Pandora's box?
Oh dear, look at that! A great number of owls are emerging from the megaphone, flying straight to the tree, under which our poor, cheated, old people are resting. Those owls are whirring around the tree and shooting down at the people beneath, and those poor old people are getting rather frightened.
Now flames, intermingled with words, are coming from the megaphone, in the direction of the tree. The words appear like glowing serpents; they seem to be carried along by the flames and are full of the most terrifying threats.
This is something quite different - for a change! It is a well-known fact that words can be written down with certain signs called letters. But I did not know that words can also be expressed through such abominable shapes.
Now the old people are rising to their feet and fleeing as fast as they can, followed by the owls. They are heading for a stream, which I have only just noticed.
There I can see two white-robed men, the same whom the heartless ladies intended to stab to death. These men beckon to the fleeing old people to come to them, whilst the owls, on seeing the men, turn around and hurriedly fly back to the convent, where they shoot like lightning into the megaphone. Also, the serpent-words and flames are quickly withdrawing.
The old people are gathering around the two men and they, too, appear to move in the direction of the convent. This is really getting most exciting, and I am curious to know what will happen next."
(Borem): "Dearest brother, you must guard your heart against excessive curiosity, which is always associated with some malicious pleasure. Just be a wise observer for the benefit of your own spirit, free from curiosity. As these scenes will contain a hellish element, it is most important that we are very moderate. Now go on watching without curiosity and tell me all you see."