Posted 14 September 2006 - 11:46 PM
In CS Lewis' The Great Divorce, he describes hauntings a bit; his explains it as a particular experience of hell for some people - they are unable to break passionate holds on certain events, places, people, etc., and stick around for a long time. Their passionate estrangement from God brings them torment as they obsessively cling to their life on Earth.
I don't know if this is what ghosts actually are, and I probably will never know.
Posted 12 November 2011 - 01:20 AM
This is a big topic on which many books have been written. I'll try to answer briefly.
In the 5th century A.D., the term "communion of saints" was added as an article of Faith in the Apostles' Creed, though it first appears in the explanation of the Roman baptismal symbol by Niceta of Remsiana (after 380 A.D.) Christ willed that those who believe in Him (whether living in this world or in the next) should form an inner moral unity with one another, whose model is His Own Unity with the Father (John 17:21). Charity, a gift of the Holy Spirit, is the unifying bond which binds the members to one another, and to Christ, the Head of His Mystical Body, the Church.
This charity does not cease after death ("love never dies"), but can still be practiced by souls undergoing purification. We, living on earth, pray for them; they pray for us, and may, at times chosen by God, appear on a visible mission willed by God to do good on earth. The prophet Samuel, certainly a holy man, appeared as a ghost to the witch of Endor in the Old Testament, via the power and permission of God. True ghosts can only appear by God's power and permission, and they do not cause fear. They usually deliver a message or render some aid.
For instance, there is this incidence told in the book Purgatory Explained by a Jesuit priest, Fr. F. X. Shouppe, in which a young girl who worked as a maid lost her job. She had only a bit of money left, and used it as an offering for a Mass for the souls in purgatory, for whom she had a prayerful devotion. As she exited the Church, an aristocratic young man, whom she had never before seen, told her to go to a certain home, for they needed a maid there. When she knocked on the door, the owner of the home was surprised by her application for the job, for the former maid had just quit. Inside the house, the new maid told the owner she was sent there by the young man whose portrait hung on the wall. The owner said that young man was her son, who had died some years before. His being sent to help her is certainly a result of the young girl's many prayers for the souls in Purgatory.
Father has documented many such incidents, which he judged of sufficient credibility to publish in his book.
To reemphasize, "ghosts" of souls in Purgatory are not fearsome, harmful or even mischevious. If a sight is "haunted" by fearful apparitions, then it is time to call a priest for a blessing or exorcism.
Posted 05 September 2012 - 09:24 AM
Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:21 PM
If an Orthodox Christian has had an experience as of a ghost in his house, then he should tell an Orthodox priest about it, and have him come to do a house blessing. Other than that, he should ignore it. The enemy uses such things to distract us.
Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:36 PM
Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:40 PM
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