HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY
Story about Toll booths (Partial Judgment)
From Experiences during the Divine Liturgy
Fr. Stephan Anagnostopoulos:
The Middle state takes place after the soul’s “First” or “partial judgments”,
which takes place right after the soul is separated from the body. This ‘First”or “Partial Judgment” of man is also our Church Dogma.
We will conclude with an incidence which was mentioned to me by a grandchild of a certain priest many years ago during Confession.
A young man told me this about his grandfather, who was a priest. When he was a boy of about 5 or 6, the grandfather died and they burried him the next day. On the third day the family went to read the memorial prayers at the cemetery.
They all left the house and walked to the cemetery. It was a sun-drenched afternoon. Two aunts stayed home to get coffee and sweets ready for all the other relatives when they’d return. The little boy stayed home too. All of a sudden, the doorbell rang. One of his aunts told him: “Sweetie, go and open the door to see who’s there.” The little boy went and when he opened the door who did he see!? His grandfather, the priest, alive!
“My grandfather, how did you get here? Didn’t you die?” the youngster asked him. “How did you get all wet?” The priest was drenched in water as if he’d just come out of a swimming pool with his clothes on. Water dripped down to the wood floor of their house.
“How did this happen to you? It’s not raining outside!” “Listen here my boy! This is not rain water that you see! For three days now I’ve been passing through the aerial toll houses. Tell this to your grandmother, to your aunts and uncles, to your mother and father and to everyone else. Tell them that for three days I had been passing through the toll houses. I’ve been sweating in agony for three days. I’ve been saved, I made it through, I’m free now, little one! When they come back from the cemetery tell them to lick the water off the floor and they’ll see that it’s not water but perspiration. Then they’ll believe that you saw me…”
He said this and disappeared from his eyes. The little one opened the door to look outside, to see where his grandfather went, but grandfather wasn’t there!
The others returned from the cemetery. Truly, there was a puddle of water in the hallway, from the priests garments and from his beard. The little boy told them about what happened, but they didn’t believe him. They licked the liquid and believed, however, because it was salty!
We should also do commemoration of names during the Divine Liturgy, charity, trisagions, memorials, fasting, vigils, full prostrations-whenever we are healthy and are able to-prayer ropes, prayers… while there is still time. Tomorrow it may be late. Today is “the day of salvation”, it is an opportunity to pray for ourselves and for the others and for the dead… and a little bit for our Spiritual Father.
From Experiences during the Divine Liturgy, by Fr. Stephan Anagnostopoulos