Continuing with Dushan Jovanovich’s “Vision of Heaven and Hell’ part 6
I was particularly surprised to see members of the religious in this group. Bishops, priests, deacons, monks, and nuns looked much like criminals, the greedy, the promiscuous, the cheaters, purjurers, and other sinners. As he read my thoughts the angel said, “Do not be surprised, Dushan, that they are in the group of gravest sinners. They voluntarily took an oath before the Cross and the Bible to faithfully serve our Lord and to follow Christ’s path. They pledged to preach and, by their good example, to lead people on the Lord’s path and into churches for their salvation. However, they did just the opposite; they preached one thing and did another. They shortened sermons, liturgies, baptisms, wedding ceremonies, funeral services, requiems, blessings of water, cutting of the Slava cake, and other religious services. They became greedy. They took more money from the poor and from believers than from the rich and the influential people in society. They liked adultery, cursing, drinking, eating, gambling, summer homes and cars. They were hypocrites and envious. They disparaged one another to elevate themselves. Their actions turned away many good people, who came to pray and who wanted to come to pray, but who, disgusted by what they saw, left their religion and with it their Krsna Slava and other religious customs.
Remember, Dushan, to divert someone from religion is equal to murder. If these clergymen had served as good examples, the people would have come to God and they would have been saved. Consequently, these clergymen are charged with the many sins of these people who left the faith in addition to their own sins. They must atone for both. Those, however, who show the right way to a sinner so that he repents and becomes a true Christian, will be pardoned and many of their old sins will be forgiven. These sinful clergymen ruined many souls, so God puts them together with the greatest criminals, blasphemers, adulterers, the greedy, and other blood suckers. You saw, Dushan, how the righteous and the sinners look, and exactly as you have seen them, they will appear before our Lord Jesus Christ at the Last Judgement, where they will be judged according to their deeds.”
The righteous people were also labeled according to their professions. Bakers, butchers, and merchants held their scales, but their measurements were to the advantange of buyers. They gave to charity, they pitied the unlucky, miserable, and hungry; they provided them with food and drink. They housed travellers for overnight stays, were religious, and obeyed all of God’s commandments. Their sins were forgiven by remorse, by fasting, by prayers, by taking communion, by giving alms, and by doing other good deeds. They forgave others, and God forgave them.
Among both the sinners and the righteous I recognized my relatives and friends, but my angel warned me, “Dushan, you are forbidden to tell by name how your relatives and friends look. You may describe only in general terms how the righteous and the sinners look.”
After these words of my angel, the archangels sounded their trumpets and the spectacle disappeared. My angel then explained that on the day of Last Judgment, all living will join the resurrected and will be transformed to look like the resurrected with their deeds written on their foreheads. Then the archangels with their trumpets disappeared, and only my angel and I remained in the cloud. Alone, the angel continued, “Dushan, you are an honest man, you have a compassionate and kind heart, which keeps you from doing evil things to others. You hate liars, thieves, and hypocrites. You do not make fun of anyone. You could not be bought with all the money in the world. You believed in God only superficially and you did that only as you remembered from your childhood. You do not follow theory that man descended from monkey, but you have avoided persuasions, because you did not know anything about God. You have many bad habits and many sins. You like adultery. You would like to have every woman who is not your relative. You were pretty successful in that through your singing and by reading coffee cups. You lied only when you cheated on women, particularly—your wife, to whom you even swore to convince her of your fidelity. You saw what happens to the promiscuous, how they decompose alive and are subjected to torture. You saw what happened to fortune-tellers. Therefore, do not read coffee cups anymore. Respect every young woman as your sister and every older woman as your mother; every young man as your brother, and every older man as your father. You must stop all cursing. Pray and ask God to forgive your sins. Love people, hate only their bad deeds. Forgive others if you want your sins to be forgiven. Your righteousness and kindness outweighed all of your sins. You must take confession and communion in one of the Orthodox churches of Christ. After you confess and take communion—the body and the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ—God will forgive your sins. Starting today, sin no more, and cross yourself in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
At that moment, the angel crossed himself as an example to me. “In your prayers, call upon all saints and your Krsna Slava, the apostles, prophets, angels, archangels, cherubs, and seraphs,” he said, “and above all, and in the first place, the Most Holy, the Most Innocent, and the Most Blessed Mother of Jesus Maria, since her glory, honor and sublimeness are greater than that of all the angels in heaven. She is the quick helper to all who call upon her with veneration for help.
Also remember this, Dushan: every sinner who is sincerely remorseful, who prays to God for forgiveness and calls upon all of us in heaven, will be joined by all of us in that moment. We will pray together with him to God our Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit that his sins be forgiven. In heaven then will reign great joy. From now on you must celebrate saint Paraskeva—your Krsna Slava, whom your father also celebrates. She prays for all who celebrate and respect her. Dushan, I repeat what the great apostle Peter told you earlier—use the rest of your life for your salvation. You can save yourself only if you fast, pray, take communion, and if you do good deeds. You must obey God’s commandments as laws by which you must live until your death. For three months you are not to tell anyone what has happened to you today; after that you may tell your family and some of your friends.
Remember this also: when you pray to God, be calm and talk humbly; when you fast, do not be sad and depressed, but be cheerful and smile. No one needs to know your obligations. Continue to be sociable. Be joyful, be moderate, and control yourself by your will power. With those who cry, cry, and try to comfort them. Obey laws and fulfill your duties to your coun¬try. Pray to God and put Him above everything else. If you need spiritual advice or spiritual help, ask the Church of Christ. After we part, you must immediately go to the monastery Zica. In the church you will see the place where icons, candles, books, and other things are sold. There, on the shelf by the door, are the books. Buy the first, second, third, and fourth book, in that order, and when you return from the health spas, take the one in your collected works of Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic. That book is the Bible’s New Testament which you tried to read but gave up too quickly, because you did not understand the importance of the opening geneology. In the future you must read that book regularly.” After these words, saint Archangel blessed me with the sign of the cross and disappeared. (to be continued…)