blinkstar.gif (494 bytes) Barbara Marie

A woman Who Had an NDE Recalls the Surprising Way She Was "Judged"

By Michael H. Brown of Spirit Daily

A couple of weeks back we met a woman from Syosset, New York, who had a near-death experience. We try to be cautious with all such reports. We're well aware that there can be deception in any realm, and also that near-death experiences, because they involve a reality far outside our own, can seem strange to some people.

But hers sounded legitimate -- one of the most powerful we've heard -- and the Church has been recording such experiences since the fourth century (when Pope Gregory the Great detailed them). Scientists recently issued a study saying that millions have had these experiences, and we believe this woman, who resides on Long Island, is one of them. We believe she has some lessons to teach us. As you'll see in the coming several days, her experience was a complex one that shows us something about God's judgment, the way we are to conduct our lives, and how the Lord watches over us. After her "death," she claims to have had visits from the Virgin and the Lord. That aspect of her experience we submit for your discernment.

Her name is Barbara Marie (we'll preserve aspects of her privacy). She is married, has two teenage children, and her "death" allegedly occurred in June of 1991 -- when surgeons conducting exploratory laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis perforated the membrane to her small bowel at the outset of the procedure, causing what she and her husband describe as massive bleeding. Before she was brought back, doctors had to frantically take her intestines outside her body to search for the source of hemorrhage, which was finally found.


"They tore it right as they were putting the instruments through," says Barbara, whom we met at Our Lady of the Island Shrine in Eastport. "They had lost me twice. They told my husband they had lost me and didn't know if they could get me back. The first thing that happened was that I realized I was in a void. It was a total black place in space, is the only way I could describe it. For a fraction of a second, I was very scared -- but as quickly as that came, I was directed to the left side of me, and as soon as I turned, there appeared a light in the distance to the left side which immediately comforted me.

"At that point I just started heading toward that light with my being -- I don't know how -- and I was surrounded by what I would describe as a tunnel. There were like rings of wind, like the funnel of a tornado, and it was moving forward. Besides the light, which was very bright, there was a prism within it and music unlike any that there is on Earth. I don't know how to explain it. The music was so welcoming and it becomes a part of you. It was comforting, angelic. And I was moving up this tunnel and getting closer and closer to this light.

"I know there was some kind of companion with me because every time that I had a thought, to ask a question, everything was answered immediately, as I 'asked' it. I remember stopping briefly because within the walls of this tunnel were beings.

"I never had a great religious upbringing and never thought of purgatory, but when I came back it seemed like part of that, probably the last level of purgatory. [The souls] were existing like on the outside of the tunnel and resting, as if they were sitting or standing or lying down. I had a surge of emotions. I felt sorrow for them and despair because they were stuck where they were but it was also made very clear to me that as much as there was despair, there was full knowledge and peace within [these souls] because they understood and accepted that they couldn't yet move forward."

It was a glimpse of purgatory. But the light was still there and was still to Barbara's left. "Brilliant, brilliant," she says. "You can't describe the brilliance. It was just filled with love and peace and the knowledge of God. As you move through that tunnel, you're more and more consumed by it. And then at that point I was in the presence of the Lord. I was prostrate. I was not able to withstand the awesomeness and the majesty of what was before me! I was nothingness compared to that. And then there was a period of being embraced by this love and peace and serenity and knowing I had reached my final destination, that this was truly a home."

It gave new meaning to the word "home." This, she realized, was where she actually belonged. This is where she wanted to permanently be. But first there was a "life review." Call it her "judgment." It was astonishing to see her life as God did. In many ways, things looked very differently, she told Spirit Daily. "I was not only shown the things I did good and bad, but like a three-way view," she said. "I was seeing it first through my eyes and how offensive it was. Then I was seeing it through the eyes of the person I had offended. Then I saw through the eyes of Jesus. When you see it in the presence of Jesus, there's sorrow you can't even imagine, because there's true knowledge of the offense -- recognition and accountability. There's that inner cleansing and accountability. Then you take further accountability because you see it in how you affected somebody else. When you see it through somebody else's eyes, you see how it intertwined with their lives. You see it from a whole different point of view and you see how it affected their journey. And then when you see it through the eyes of the Lord, you see it as a whole. It makes the whole thing complete. You see how in the course of all creation it made a difference and how it then affected the Creator -- how it stops at the Creator when you offended one of his own.

It wasn't all bad, says Barbara. There were also the victories. There were the "magnificent" accomplishments that caused joy to the Lord.

These events of her life amazed Barbara because they seemed so minor.

"The Lord showed me the things that really mattered, the 'extraordinarily,' 'magnificent' things that I had done," said Barbara. "There were two profound examples. One was when my girlfriend lost her fianc and it was devastating; he had been decapitated in a car accident. The Lord showed me how I was on the phone with her one day for two or two-and-a-half hours and just sat there and listened to everything that she said. I remember saying to the Lord, 'I don't understand. I didn't say anything. What great magnificent deed did I do?' I could never comprehend how this was something extraordinary or magnificent. I did nothing. I just sat there. I didn't say much more than five or six words. I couldn't comprehend how that could be so pleasing to the heart and mind of our Lord. Then I was shown another time that I had walked into church and this woman had lost her husband. I didn't know this woman, but I was so moved that she had lost her spouse that sitting in the pew I felt I had to do or say something and so after Mass I had just gone up to the altar -- she had been sitting in the front -- and just put my hand on her shoulder. Again, I didn't say anything to her. It wasn't what I said. The Lord made it very clear that it was the gesture, the placing of my left hand on her shoulder."

It was the personal touch. It was kindness. He was not great feats the Lord was looking for -- not great feats as men describe great feats. It was how we made others feel -- and how much we helped. "Nobody has the same journey," continues Barbara. "My whole experience had so much to do with where I was in my personal life. It had a lot to do with my children and my husband. The way I was offending the Lord the most at this point in my life was my nearly verbal abuse. It was my attitude and the way I spoke to my husband and children. It was my tone and the things that I said that were very offending to another's soul and heart. You can be firm with your kids, but the Lord doesn't want you to use an insulting tone. We don't see things the way the Lord does, and for me it was a tremendous eye-opener. I was shown my vocabulary and the tone with which I said things, because it was a condescending tone. Firmness is allowed -- but with love."

Barbara was also shown how particular events had a tremendous rippling effect -- far more than she imagined. When she woke up grumpy and was negative to her husband and kids, the Lord showed her how this spread to them and from them to others through the day: at the workplace, at the deli, at stores, and then through the families of those who were touched by the negativity until many had been affected.

"There was a circle of light around the world, and as I awoke and did this, the circle of darkness went over this circle of light and erased it," Barbara recounted. "Then I was shown the opposite, how when I got up in the morning and smiled and presented breakfast, hugging the children, how it went from my house and I was shown a drop of light that started in this one spot on the globe and went in this band of light around the globe. That was the way it was supposed to be."

The goodness might spread to her husband who spread it people at work or to a guy at the deli who then spread it to others who took it home with them or spread it elsewhere in a chain reaction that didn't seem to stop -- that seemed, at least in the spirit, to have global effects. "I was shown this ocean, this sea, and a drop of light that falls into this ocean and has this rippling effect," Barbara said. The trauma came when the Lord indicated to her that it was not her time, that she had more work to do, that she had to return to Earth. She had great love for her husband and kids, but pleaded with the Lord to let her stay in his incredible presence. She never wanted to leave him. The thought of that overwhelmed her with "this despair so severe that I could never put into words." She still weeps in talking about it. But return she did. The doctors brought her back. After more than a week in the hospital, she returned "home" -- knowing this was not her real home, that her real home was elsewhere, that it was with Jesus.

It was a terrible ordeal to return to Earth, but there was a consolation. As we will see next, Jesus allegedly began to appear to her.

"I was at the end of this tunnel, and there was this white light, whiter than any color that you can ever describe on Earth, and everywhere I looked, other than behind me, there was this white light," Barbara told Spirit Daily.

In the light, she said, was Jesus. She was in the presence of the Lord. Soon, she allegedly saw him. "He was standing right before me," she recounted. "I remember his robes being very, very red. To this day I've never found a picture exactly like it. It's not really like the Sacred Heart. I remember seeing and feeling myself prostrate before him."

It was such an overwhelming feeling of peace and love that she didn't want to be apart from it. She wanted to remain there forever. But that was not to be. Her life had been reviewed by the Lord -- she had been shown all the good and bad things in her relatively young life (she had two children aged two and four) -- and now, she said, "there was this understanding that I was to leave, that I was not going to stay here, and I was begging and begging and begging and begging not to go back to Earth.

"But I was shown that I had to come back and that I have a job to do. I was shown different things I have to do. There was this understanding. I kept saying, 'I don't want to be sent back, I don't want to be sent back.' There was the same kind of knowledge of those people in the tunnel in the sense that I didn't want to go back but I knew I had to go back. There was a complete knowledge and acceptance of why I had to go back," she said, sobbing.

"I remember, after accepting that, I said to him, 'What do I have to do to get back here?' That was my only concern -- getting back and getting back as quickly as I possibly could.

"And the answer was: 'I will show you the keys to the Kingdom.' Those were the exact words. And then he said, 'All you have to do is pass on the faith to those who have been given to you, those who have been entrusted to you.' Then he showed me my husband and two children.

This stunned Barbara. She thought the Lord would be requesting some monumental accomplishment, something stupendous. But all he wanted was for her to spread faith and above all love.

"I said, 'That's too simple, that's too easy, and how come only these three?'" said Barbara. "It didn't seem like it could be what would gain me re-entrance into heaven. And he said other things were meaningful and important [in life], but not the key to gain the entrance back into the Kingdom. Now my biggest joke is that I have teenagers, and I have actually been on my knees fasting for days at a time in front of the tabernacle, so terrified that I won't make it back. What seemed like such a simple task doesn't seem so simple now.

"I'm not totally accountable. I can pass my faith on to my kids, and they can throw it away. But we will be accountable. The point about my own experience is accountability. We are accountable. If you think for one minute that you're not going to be accountable for every single thing you ever said or did, you're wrong. That is the biggest mistake of our generation and it's Satan's biggest ploy, because there is no longer accountability for anything we do."

Barbara Marie didn't see angels during her experience but has experienced them since. Once she came back and saw the state of the world through her new eyes, she felt that Christ would be intervening soon. "I figured judgment day was going to come, because it couldn't get any worse," she said. "You don't think it can get any worse, and then you hear about euthanasia and cloning. I think cloning is the ultimate. Once we have really taken on the job of the Creator through cloning, that's it. I don't think we can get any worse.

"But I have also witnessed the power of prayer and the increase in prayer and conversions -- and in the way of prayer, a wave that is already sweeping over the Earth."

Upon return to everyday life, the Long Island woman was consoled by visions of Jesus. "When I came back, I literally could not stand being without the Lord, so for nine straight months every single morning the Lord appeared to me," claims Barbara. "It was usually in the morning, after I got my children settled. I saw him in my mind's eye, but his presence was there and I was consumed again. Every single time that he came, I was completely consumed by the same white light, by the same love and peace."

Barbara would speak to the Lord in unknown languages -- many call this "tongues" -- and about four months into these visions her husband John witnessed it. He knew something "tremendous" was happening. It was a major adjustment for the whole family. Upon her return from the hospital, when her husband had said, "Welcome home," Barbara had responded, "You'll never understand. This is not my home. It does not belong to me. It's just where I'll dwell for the next couple of years. I've already been home."

When she came back, says Barbara, she had trouble being in any societal or religious structure. "The idea of a church being in a building seemed ridiculous," says Barbara. "That was made known to me: that church doesn't exist in a building. It exists in your heart. The main reason God created us was love. It's all about love. There's no other word. We are the Church. But among the places I found the Lord the most was the Blessed Sacrament. Before my near-death experience, I never believed in true trans-substantiation of the Blessed Sacrament."

That had changed immediately after her near-death encounter. It changed right after the operation. In the hospital, with tubes coming out of her and unable even to swallow her own saliva, she kept writing on a pad, "Eucharist, Eucharist, Eucharist." She just wanted to receive Communion.

The Lord stayed with her for nine months -- appearing, allegedly, in her Syosset home -- but then said he had a "gift" for her.

He was leaving her in the hands of his mother.

When it was time for the Lord to go, he told the woman, he would be sending his mother.

At first, Barbara wanted nothing to do with that. She couldn't imagine being without the Lord.

"For three months the Lord tried to get me to go his Mother," she told Spirit Daily. "I never had had any devotion to the Blessed Mother -- not any whatsoever. I did not have a rosary. I did not know anything about the Blessed Mother, other than she was supposed to be the Mother of God. That's how low I was in my spirituality.

"I spent from May until August literally fighting, sobbing, and at the Lord's feet begging him in the same way I had begged him at the entrance of that tunnel," she continued, referring to her first vision of Christ in a passageway or "tunnel" when she had her brush with death and didn't want to come back to Earth (see second story). "It was my sorrow because every day that Jesus came, he kept saying, 'I want to send you to My mother.' I didn't understand why he was leaving me. I was shown a pair of rosary beads, and they were a pair of black rosary beads, and I understood -- I don't know how -- that they were my deceased grandmother's rosary beads -- and I then went crazy for days tearing my house apart [looking for them]. I was very close to my grandmother. She had lived with us for 13 years. She had died when I was pregnant with my daughter.

In the absence of the Lord, the search for the rosary beads turned into an obsession.

"I tore my house apart for days, days, days searching," said Barbara. "It was the only thing I could think about day and night -- that I had to find these rosary beads. The Lord was no longer with me and I was just trying to find these rosary beads and I couldn't find them anywhere!

"Finally my husband [John] called me from work one day and he said, 'What is it? What is it that's been driving you crazy for the last couple days?'

"And I finally said to him, 'The Lord showed me these rosary beads and they're Grandma's and I don't know where they are.'

"And he said clear as anything, 'I know exactly where they are -- your grandmother gave them to me before she died!'"

John, said the rosaries were in his bedroom dresser, which led to a frantic search of the drawers -- actually, Barbara had already searched the drawers a couple times but looked again. They weren't there. "I began to take the drawers apart, which I had already taken apart numerous times before in the last five days. For the next three days, the two of us now continued to search for the rosary beads."

On the third day, the rosary beads just appeared on the dresser. And that wasn't all: "When my husband went to hand me the rosary beads, it was like fire had pierced through my right hand," said Barbara. "I didn't understand why I would experience such excruciating pain. For the next couple of days this happened to me every time I tried to pick up the rosary beads. I was really in turmoil about this. It was about two or three weeks later that I tried to pick them up again, and it still happened. Then it was the beginning of September and I was sleeping and I was awakened at exactly 3 a.m. in the morning to the Lord standing at the foot of my bed and I got up and went prostrate before him and he said to me, 'I have a gift for you.' I said I didn't deserve a gift, and he said, 'The gift is in your hands.'

Again, we submit this for your discernment. There are great intricacies in mysticism, and often a mixture. An authentic experience can later be mixed with subconscious or other elements. Was this a mix? Or was it straightforward, the pain the same sort of "fire" mystics have felt in the past? And what is it about 3 a.m.? There was supposedly a "gift," and the Lord, allegedly, also had a favor to ask: he wanted Barbara to lay hands on a niece, Paige, who was three months old -- and so lethargic that she'd been hospitalized. She had gone through a series of testing and doctors suspected viral meningitis. Barbara said she told the Lord she wasn't capable of healing, but after much conversation, he allegedly said it was "the desire of his heart" that she do so.

"I saw him with my eyes open," claimed Barbara, "and I spent the rest of the night on my knees, sobbing."

The next day, claimed Barbara, she was on Montauk Highway doing errands when suddenly she found her car headed in the opposite direction. It was now pointed towards her home -- and towards Stony Brook Hospital, where her niece was. She went to the hospital, got to the girl's bedside (despite restrictions because meningitis is contagious), and as instructed put her hands on the girl's head.

"I don't know how to explain this, because part of it is like a blur, but the best way is to say that the minute I lay my hands on Paige's forehead, the whole room became enveloped in this bright, bright white light -- the same light that was in the near-death experience, the same white light that Jesus always came in," Barbara says. "It was difficult for me to see the doctors and technicians. All I could focus on was the white light and the love and the peace and the healing that was coming out of this white light. All I could do was pray for a healing and God's intercession because it was made known to me that I was in the presence of God, the presence of angels, and that this baby was going to be healed.

"I was in there for a good twenty minutes, half an hour, forty minutes, I don't know -- they did several series of x-rays. Her large intestine was backing up into her small intestine. There was some medical term for it. We had left after the x-rays and gone over to my sister's house to pray the Rosary and I was beside myself hysterically crying.

"All we could do was pray, pray, pray. My sister said, 'let's do the Rosary,' and I said okay, but I didn't know how to say the Rosary and I explained that I couldn't touch rosary beads. I took my sister in the bedroom and privately told her what was going on: the whole story with my grandmother's rosary beads and how I couldn't touch them because my hands went on fire.

"My sister said she understood it and that I could just stand there with them. She asked why I didn't just take a pair of rosaries I had bought [another girl] for Communion. I said 'okay' and the fire was there but not to the extent that I couldn't hold onto them."

Meanwhile, back at the hospital, her baby niece was rushed in for emergency surgery.

"They were going to take out part of her intestines and her appendix, because it was bursting her appendix, but that didn't happen," explained Barbara. "They didn't take out any of her intestine. They didn't take out her appendix. Miraculously, when they did the surgery -- when they opened her up -- right before their eyes, the intestines went right back into place."

A healing had occurred. A baby was saved.

And that wasn't the end of it.

By June 5, 1993, a series of six apparitions of the Virgin Mary began for Barbara -- allegedly. These were not "visions"; they were "corporeal'; they were seen with eyes wide open.

As always, we submit this for your discernment. We must always be careful. Even though a person has a near-death episode, that doesn't mean other forces can't come in. We discern constantly.

But especially in our times, it is a noteworthy account.

"It was about the future state of the world and other things," Barbara told Spirit Daily about the Virgin's alleged message. "She spoke about souls, she spoke about the souls that are going to hell, she spoke about purgatory. The one time that she spoke about the state of the world, she showed me two scales. She said there was a balance to everything and explained how there was a period of time, like at the beginning of time, when one scale represented God and one mankind and how the scale was higher on the side of God and then how things went the opposite way. The point we're at now is that God is at the lowest point the scales are allowed to go -- that's how cast aside God is -- and as high as the side with humanity could go, that's where it was, that was us.

"We had elevated ourselves," said Barbara. "But the Virgin told me there was hope. She showed me the scales starting to move and how the power of prayer would rebalance these scales -- that there was this wave of prayer that was beginning to balance the scales, that there would be a turnaround.

"I can tell you: there's a great chastisement coming, a purification. That was very, very, very much made known to me. It was also made known to me that no matter what we did to change the balance, that at this point we were so far past a point that we could never omit the chastisement -- that the only thing we could do was lessen it. But that there would be a lessening of it greatly because of the power of prayer."


"Death is nothing else but going home to God, the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity." - Mother Teresa

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