another book on the same theme -
"A Wanderer in the
Spirit Lands"

By Franchezzo
from 1896

“Nosso Lar”


The story of a doctor’s odyssey in the Spirit World.



By the Spirit  of André Luiz

Through medium Francisco Cândido Xavier - almost 70years ago

Ist Electronic Edition by GEAE

Translated from the 25th Portuguese edition entitled “Nosso Lar” . First Portuguese edition published in 1944 by FEDERAÇÃO ESPÍRITA BRASILEIRA. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.



Revision and editing by Lauren Speeth Luczynski

1st Electronic Edition by Antônio Leite (New York, NY, USA) and GEAE (Advanced Study Group of Spiritism)  


Chapter 27            WORK AT LAST

Never could I have pictured the scene now before my eyes. It was neither hospital nor a conventional nursing home, but a series of vast inter­communicating wards crowded with carcass-like human forms. A strange clamoring filled the air -groans, sobs and plaintive phrases uttered at random. Ghastly faces, bony hands and monstrous bore witness to their terrible spiritual misery. So upsetting were my first impressions that I had to resort to prayer to keep my strength. Tobias called an old nurse:

"There are so few assistants today." He asked, surprised, "What has happened?'

"Minister Flacus sent word that most of them were to accompany the Samaritans7 on their rounds in the regions of the Lower Zone." 

7 Organization of spirit benefactors in the Astral City (A note by the spirit author.)

"Well, the," Tobias decided calmly, "We must fill the gaps. There is no time to waste."

"Brother Tobias, Brother Tobias! Have mercy." Cried out an old man, clutching the bed and gesticulating like a madman, "I am suffocating! This is a thousand times worse than death on Earth. Help! I want to leave this place, to get out.... I must have air, more air!"

Tobias approached and examined him carefully, and inquired:

"Why is Ribeiro so much worse?"

"He was had one of his worst crises." Informed the nurse, "Assistant Gonçalves attributes it chiefly to the heavy charge of dense thoughts emitted by his incarnate relations. As he is still very weak and lacks the mental strength to break away from his Earthly ties, the poor creature has not been able to resist their influence."

While Tobias gently stroked the patient's forehead, the nurse continued:

"Early this morning, he rushed out of the ward, crying loudly that he was needed at home; that he couldn't forget his wife and children; that it was cruel to keep him here away from them. Lawrence and Hermes tried in vain to bring him back to bed. Therefore, I thought that it would be in his best interests to take away his energy and mobility, which I did by applying some prostrating magnetic passes to him."

"You did well," agreed Tobias thought fully, "I will see that measures are taken against the influence of his family's attitude. They must be given a greater share of worries so that they may leave Ribeiro in peace."

I looked intensely at the patient, trying to determine his emotional state. He wore the typical expression of the mentally deranged and seemed utterly unconscious of what was being said about him. He called Tobias automatically, as do children who know their benefactor. My new instructor, noting my amazement, explained:

“The poor thing is still in a nightmarish phase, during which the soul is wrapped up in its own afflictions, with little perception of anything else. Man, my friend, reaps exactly what he has sown. Our poor Ribeiro has been a prey to numerous illusions.”

I wanted to ask about his history and the source of his sufferings, but remembering Laura’s advice on curiosity, I kept my peace. Tobias addressed the patient with kind words of encouragement and hope, and promised he would see to the means of improving his condition, that for his own good he should calm down and take his confinement in bed patiently. Ribeiro, trembling pitiably and ghastly pale, smiled sadly and thanked him with tears in his eyes.

We walked slowly along, between numerous rows of well-kept beds. Unwholesome exhalations filled the place, caused, I later learned, by the mental emanations of those who were still under the painful impression of physical death, or dominated by the low vibrations of inferior thoughts. “These wards are used exclusively for male entities.”

“Tobias, Tobias, I am parched and starving!” shouted a patient.

“Help me, brother!” yelled another.

“For the love of God, I can’t stand this any longer!” cried out a third.

My heart was heavy before so much suffering, and I could not help asking:

“My friend, how sad it is to see all these sufferings and tormented spirits. Why must there exist such a dismal place?”

Tobias replied with perfect composure:

“In observing this scene, you must try to see beyond the pain and isolation. Remember, brother, that these patients have already left the Lower Zones, where so many pitfalls lie in wait for those who have heedlessly neglected their spirit selves. In these chambers patients are not only cared for, they are also prepared for their future redemption. We must bear in mind that their suffering is of their own doing. Man’s life is always centered wherever his heart is.”

And, after a pause during which he seemed deaf to the clamoring around us, he added:

“They are smugglers of eternal life.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“They expected mere earthly acquisitions to have the same value in the Spirit spheres. They believed that criminal pleasures, the power of money, infringement of the law and the imposition of self would cross the frontiers of the sepulcher and still be in force here, offering them new opportunities for further follies. They were thoughtless businessmen who forgot to exchange their material acquisitions for spiritual currency. When in the flesh, they travel to a foreign city, they always took care to provide themselves with the currency of the country which they visit. Yet, while certain of the inevitability of the final trip to the spiritual regions, they neglected to acquire spiritual values. Thus the millionaire of the physical sphere becomes the spiritual pauper.”

How true! Tobias’ words could not have been more logical. After distributing comfort and hope, he leaded me to the next ward. Narcisa, the nurse, followed us and deferentially opened the door.

As I entered, I nearly staggered with heart-sickening surprise. It was a chamber of vast proportions where thirty-two men, with sinister countenances, lay quite still on very low beds. Their almost unnoticeable breath was the only sign of life they presented.

“These unhappy entities are in a sleep much heavier than that of most of our ignorant brothers. We call them the negative believers, for instead of accepting the Lord, they were unconditional slaves of self; instead of believing in life, action and work, they admitted only the victory of crime, immobility and eternal nothing. They transformed their earthly experience into the constant preparation for a long slumber; and as they had no notion of good, of brotherly cooperation, there is nothing left for them now but to sleep on for years and years as helpless victims of ghastly nightmares.”

I was horrified at these explanations and stared at Tobias, who began to carefully apply strengthening passes on the patients. When the treatment on the first two was over, they both began vomiting a black substance, a dark and viscous matter with cadaverous emanations.

“They are expelling poisonous fluids.” Explained Tobias calmly.

Narcisa was doing her best to keep up with the cleaning, but in vain; for by this time a great number of them had begun expelling the same dark and fetid matter. It was then that I instinctively got hold of the cleaning implements and set myself to work. The nurse seemed thankful for my help, and Tobias threw me a glance that well expressed his satisfaction and gratitude.

The work continued throughout the day, bringing with it a blessed fatigue. No friend in the physical world could possibly appreciate the sublime joy of the physician recommencing his self-education from the humblest of nursing tasks. 


Chapter 28           ON DUTY

After the collective prayer in the evening, Tobias turned on the receiver to listen to the Samaritans at work in the Lower Zones. I learned that the patrols of workers on such missions communicated with their headquarters at set hours. I felt somewhat tired from my strenuous efforts, but my heart was singing with joy. At last I had work to do and was experiencing the mysteriously invigorating tonic of service. A few minutes after the set had been tuned in, I heard a strange voice:

“Samaritans to the Ministry of Regenerations… Samaritans to the Ministry of Regeneration…Heavy labor in the abysses of darkness. We have succeeded in dislodging a great number of unfortunate entities and have rescued twenty-nine brothers from spirit shadows. Twenty-two are mentally deranged and seven in utter psychic exhaustion. Our patrols are preparing transportation. Will arrive soon after midnight. Please see to the necessary arrangements.”

I noticed that Narcisa and Tobias exchanged significant glances, and when the broadcast ended I asked:

“What do they mean? Why this collective transportation? Aren’t they all spirits?”

Tobias smiled and replied”

“You forget, brother, that you yourself arrived at the Ministry of Assistance in such a manner. I know all about your coming. We must bear in mind that in the Lower Zone, just as on Earth, we are clothed in heavy fluids. The ostrich and the swallow are both birds and have wings, yet the former can’t rise into the air unless transported, whereas the latter will rise to the sky in swift flight.”

As if to make it known that there was no time for digressions, he turned to Narcisa and said:

“Tonight’s group is a large one. We must take immediate measures.”

“We will need more beds!” She exclaimed somewhat anxiously.

“Don’t worry,” answered Tobias resolutely, “the mentally deranged patients will be lodged in Pavilion Seven and the weak ones in Ward Thirty-three.”

Raising his right hand to his forehead as if trying to make an important decision, he remarked:

“The problem of lodging will be easily settled; but the ones concerning assistance won’t be so quickly solved. Because of the dark clouds obscuring the world of the incarnate, our strongest workers have been detailed to reinforce the services of the Ministry of Communication. We need helpers for night duty, because those working with the Samaritans will return extremely tired.”

“I would be happy to lend a hand to the best of my ability,” I exclaimed spontaneously.

Tobias gave me a look of appreciative gratitude which filled my heart with gladness.

“But have you really made up your mind to stay in the Chambers during the night?” he asked, surprised.

“Aren’t others doing the same?” I inquired in turn, “I am feeling strong and fit, and must make up for lost time.”

My new friend patted me on the back, saying:

“Well then, I accept your cooperation. Narcisa and the others will also stay on duty. Moreover, I’ll send you Venantius and Salustius, two of our most dependable brothers. I myself can’t remain here tonight, because of a previous engagement, but I will leave a careful plan of the work to be done. If anything unexpected should turn up, you or any of the assistants can get in touch with me.”

We all set about making the most urgent arrangements. While Narcisa, aided by five attendants, prepared the linen and nursing equipment, Tobias and I moved heavy pieces of furniture into Pavilion Seven and Wart Thirty-three. I would be at loss to explain what was happening to me. Although physically tired, I felt exultantly happy.

In the office or workshop, where most are anxious to undertake their tasks to the best of their ability, to serve is the highest privilege, In truth, the hour-bonus and any other immediate reward I might gain for my efforts was far from my mind. Yet I was deeply satisfied at the thought that in my new position as a humble but worthy worker, I would no longer be ashamed to face my mother or my benefactors in the Ministry of Assistance. On leaving, Tobias again embraced me, saying:

“May the peace of Jesus abide with you all. I wish you a good night of profitable work. Tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. you may rest. In ordinary times, twelve hours of work is the most we may put in, but these are unusual circumstances.”

I replied that I was extremely content with his decision. Later, along with a great number of nurses and attendants, I began to take a more kindly interest in the patients. Among my co-workers, Narcisa, with her spontaneous kindness and maternal solicitude, greatly impressed me. I was attracted by her generosity and tried to come into closer contact with her. It was easy, and I soon found myself enjoying the pleasure of her simple but edifying conversation. The dear old woman was like a living book whose every page breathed devotion and wisdom.

“But sister, have you been working here for long?” I inquired after a few minutes of friendly conversation.

“Yes, I have been in active service in the Chambers of Rectification for six years and a few months, and must continue here for over three more years being able to fulfill my purpose.”

At my questioning look, she continued:

“I need a serious endorsement.”

“Endorsement? What do you mean?” I asked, interested.

“You see, I must meet some beloved spirits who are reincarnated on the Earth, so that together we may work out our advancement. Because of my past errors, I begged for a long time in vain for the opportunity to carry out my plans. I was living in an anxious and perturbed condition. One day I was advised to speak with Minister Veneranda. She agreed to endorse my plans, on the condition that I work here for ten years to correct certain unbalanced emotional attitudes. I considered the imposition too hard at first, and felt like refusing, but I gradually realized that she was right. After all, that corrective measure was meant to benefit me, not her. I can’t tell you how much I ha profited by having accepted Veneranda’s advice. I feel more balanced and understanding now and I believe I shall live my next experience on the physical sphere with spiritual dignity.”

I was about to express my astonishment, when a patient near us called out:

“Narcisa, Narcisa!”

I had no right to keep that devoted sister from her duties just to satisfy my curiosity. 


Chapter 29          FRANCIS’ VISION

While Narcisa, was busy comforting the afflicted patient, I was called to a city communications device, similar to a telephone. It was Laura, asking for news. I realized that I had forgotten to tell her about my decision to remain in the Chambers for night duty. I apologized and informed her of the situation. Even over the wire I could sense her joy at the news. At the end of our short conversation she said:

“That’s wonderful, my child! Love your work and fill your heart with the joy of useful. Only in this way can we bring about our everlasting edification. Now, just one more word. Remember, too, that this house is also yours.”

These words encouraged me and brought me joy. Returning to the chambers, I found Narcisa struggling heroically to calm a young man who seemed to be suffering from a serious mental disorder. I tried to help her. The poor boy, staring out into space, cried out in agony:

“Help me, for God’s sake! I’m frightened, frightened…”

With a panic-stricken look on his face, he went on:

“Sister Narcisa, ‘he’ is coming… the monster! I can feel the worms again! Here ‘he’ is, right there! Save me from ‘him’. Send ‘him’ away!”

Calm down, Francis,” answered the devoted nurse, “you will be free of him and will be left in peace, but it depends on your own efforts. Just pretend that your mind is a sponge, soaked in vinegar. You must wring out the sour substance. I will help you to do this, but the hardest part you must do yourself.”

At Narcisa’s tender, encouraging words, the patient became calm and showed himself willing to cooperate. But in a few minutes he turned ghastly pale again, and began to cry out:

“But sister, listen to me! ‘He” won’t go away. ‘He’ is back again to torment me! Look! Look!”

“Yes, Francis, I can see him,” she agreed patiently, “but it is essential for you to help me drive him away.”

“Oh, what a diabolical ghost!” He exclaimed, weeping like a child and inspiring my compassion.

“Put your trust in Jesus and forget the monster.” She advised in a soothing voice, “And now, let me apply a magnetic pass, and the ghost will go away.”


She gave him a magnetic treatment, filling him with invigorating, comforting fluids. He thanked her, looking greatly relieved. After the treatment was over he spoke again:

“Now I feel much better.”

After kneading his pillows and making him comfortable, Narcisa asked an attendant to bring him a glass of magnetized water. Her example was edifying – her goodwill was contagious. Perceiving my earnest wish to learn, she seemed willing to initiate me in the sublime secrets of service.

“To whom was he referring?” I asked, greatly impressed, “Is he, perhaps, pursued by some shadow, invisible to my eyes?”

“Oh, no.” She replied, “He meant his own corpse.”

“You don’t say so.” I replied, take aback.

“The poor boy entered the spirit sphere after an accident due only to his own carelessness. He was excessively attached to his physical body, and for days he wouldn’t leave his grave, refusing to conform to his new state. So deep were his delusions that he spent a long time desperately trying to raise his stiff body. He was terrified at the idea of facing the unknown, and utterly unable to muster even the slightest detachment from his physical sensations. Aid from higher spheres was of no avail he had closed his mental zone against all thoughts of eternal life. At last, the worms made him experience such atrocious pain that the unfortunate creature ran away from his tomb horrified, only to begin a dismal wandering in the darker regions of the Lower Zone. However, those who had been his parents on Earth enjoy considerable credit over here, and through their intercession he was rescued by the Samaritans who brought him, almost by force, to our Colony. His condition is so serious that he won’t be able to leave the Chambers of Rectification for a long while. The friend who had been  his physical father is now engaged in a difficult mission far from the Astral City.”

“Does he come to see the patient?”

“Yes, he has already come twice, and each time I was deeply moved by his silent grief. The boy’s mental disorder is so great that he didn’t even recognized his generous and devoted father. He kept crying pitifully, under painful delusions. His father, who had come to visit him accompanied by Minister Padua of Communication, showed emotional fortitude while in the presence of the Minister to whom he owed his unfortunate son’s hospitalization. They spent some time commenting on the spiritual condition of the newcomer. But when Minister Padua was called away unexpectedly, apologizing to me for his human gesture, he knelt by his son’s bed, taking the boy’s hands into his own, holding them tightly as if to transmit some invigorating vital fluids, kissed the boy’s forehead, and wept. I couldn’t keep back my tears, so I felt the room. I don’t know what happened, but I noticed that from that day, Francis has been steadily improving. His condition of total insanity has been reduced to occasional crises, which are gradually diminishing.”

“How touching this is.” I exclaimed, deeply impressed, “But how can his corpse pursue him?”

“Francis’ visions,” she explained, “are nothing but hallucinations. Many spirits suffer from them after physical death. Those who are excessively attached to their material body, who make it the center of their existence, living only through it and for it, cannot abandon their corpses when called to the real life. They do not accept the idea of spirituality, and struggle desperately to retain their physical bodies. In time, however, voracious worms drive them away. Then, horrified, they fall to the opposite extreme. The sight of their own corpse, a strong creation of their own minds, torments them to the innermost recesses of their souls. They live in crisis for more or less lengthy periods of time and many suffer acutely until the ghost-corpse they have created totally disintegrates.”

Noting how deeply affected I was, Narcisa continued:

“Thanks to our Heavenly Father, I have learned a great deal in these years of service. How profound the spiritual slumber of most of our incarnate brothers is! Still, we mustn’t worry to the point of letting it hurt us. The chrysalis adheres to inert matter, but the butterfly will rise from it in easy flight. The seed is almost imperceptible, although it is to become the giant oak. The withered flower returns to the earth, but its perfume abides in the air. All embryonic life appears to sleep. We must never forget these lessons.”

Narcisa fell into a silence which I dared not interrupt. 




I had not yet recovered from my astonishment when Salustius came up to Narcisa and said:

“Our sister Pauline wishes to see her father in Pavilion Five. Before complying I thought I had better consult with you, as the patient is still experiencing a deep crisis.”

In her usual gentle manner, she replied:

“Show her in at once. Pauline is devoting all her leisure time to the delicate task of reconciling the different members of her family, so she has Veneranda’s permission to see her father whenever necessary.”

The messenger left hastily, and Narcisa informed me:

“You’ll see what a devoted daughter she is.”

Less than one minute later we saw Pauline coming towards us. She was slim and lovely, reflecting angelical beauty, dressed in a light tunic of luminous silk. Her eyes reflected deep concern. The nurse introduced us politely. Probably feeling I could be trusted, she inquired anxiously:

“How is father, my friend?”

“A little better,” Narcisa answered, “but still considerably unbalanced.”

“It’s a pity.” Pauline continued. “Neither he nor the others will give up the mental attitude in which they obstinately persist. Always the same hate, the same lack of understanding.”

Narcisa invited us to follow her, and in a few moments we were standing by the bedside of what looked like a disagreeable old man. With his bitter, scowling look, disheveled hair, deep wrinkles and retracted lips, he inspired more pity than sympathy. However, I endeavored to control my inferior vibrations and to see in this unfortunate sufferer only a spirit brother. My feelings of repulsion disappeared and my mind felt clearer. I applied the lesson to myself how had I arrived at the Ministry of Assistance?

How repelling my own appearance must have been, with utter desperation written all over my face. When we consider other people’s misfortune in the light of our own imperfections, there is always room for brotherly love in our heart. The old patient had no words of affection for his daughter, who greeted him tenderly. He looked like a caged beast as he frowned at her, eyes glowering with harshness and rebellion.

“Are you feeling better, father?” asked Pauline with loving respect.

“Oh! No!” The patient bellowed, “I can’t forget the villain. I have no peace of mind. I can still see him by my bedside administering deadly poison!”

“Please, father, do try to forget all that.” She earnestly entreated, “Remember that Edelbert entered our home as a son, sent by God.”

“My son? Never!” shouted the unfortunate old man, “He is a loathsome criminal, unworthy of pardon. He is the devil’s own son, that’s what he is.”

Pauline, eyes brimming with tears, spoke persuasively:

“Father, let us learn from Jesus to love one another. On Earth our family experiences are the means of teaching us real spiritual love. We must bear in mind that there is only one Father who is truly eternal, God. But the Lord of Life grants us the blessed opportunity of fatherhood and motherhood on Earth so that we may learn perfect brotherly love. They are the temples of sublime union, a preparation for universal solidarity. We have to struggle and suffer a great deal before acquiring the title of brother in the real sense of the word. The whole Creation is but one family under the loving care of only one Father.”

Hearing his daughter’s sweet voice, the patient broke into convulsive weeping.

“Father, forgive Edelbert! Try to see in him not only the reckless son but the brother badly in need of enlightenment. I have just come from our earthly home, where I observed serious disturbances. From your sick bed here you are constantly projecting poisonous fluids of bitterness and incomprehension to them. They, in turn, are doing the same to you. Thought, as subtle waves, never misses its target, however distant it may be. The exchange of hate and suspicion causes ruin and suffering to the soul. Broken down by continual sorrow, mother was unable to resist the atmosphere at home, and was taken to a mental hospital a few days ago. Amalia and Cacilda have brought a lawsuit against Edelbert and Agenor because of serious disagreements about the large fortune you amassed on the physical plane. A sad situation indeed, but one which might gradually improve, were it not for your vigorous mind steeped in plans of revenge. Here, in the spirit sphere, I find you distressed. On Earth, mother is insane and your children greatly disturbed, hating one another bitterly. Amidst all those unbalanced minds, a fortune in banknotes. What is the use of all that money, if it doesn’t buy one moment’s happiness?”

“But I left my family ample means.” Retorted the unhappy old man, “I was anxious for their welfare.”

Pauline continued, interrupting him:

“In the question of transitory riches, we don’t always know what is the best thing to do. If you had assured your family’s future by maintaining and atmosphere of moral tranquility in your home, and prepared your children to earn an honest living, your efforts might have been a great help. Sometimes, father, we accumulate money through pride and ambition. We are anxious to live above others, and while centering our attention on the external aspects of life we forget the more important, lasting side. Few are those who see to acquire worthwhile knowledge, and the precious qualities of tolerance, humility and understanding. Instead, we insist on bending others to our will, neglecting the tasks assigned to us by our Father and altogether forgetting to cultivate our spirits. No one is born on the planet merely to hoard money in safes and banks. Of course, during our sojourn we may, as faithful stewards who know how to manage wisely what is entrusted to them, claim our legitimate share. But it is impossible to be our Father’s faithful stewards if we are greedy and overbearing.”

“It was that false understanding of divine stewardship that ruined our home. I tried in vain to render spiritual help to the family, while you and mother sacrificed yourselves to increase your worldly goods. Amalia and Cacilda, disdaining any useful work, trifled away precious time, finally marrying idlers like themselves, who only married them for their money. Agenor, influenced by his worthless companions, wasted all opportunities of serious study. Edelbert graduated as physician, but was indifferent to the profession. He approached its noble activities only rarely, and even then only out of sheer curiosity. Spoiled by easily obtained money, and with minds fixed on the coming inheritance, they all ruined their fine spiritual possibilities.”

The patient, terror-stricken, cried out:

“Cursed Edelbert! Criminal and ungrateful son! He murdered me pitilessly when I still needed to review the terms of my will. Malicious felon!”

“Please father, don’t say that. Have mercy on your son. Forgive and forget.”

But he went on cursing and swearing. Pauline was about to resume when Narcisa gave her a warning glance and called Salustius to help the patient, by this time aroused to a dangerous condition of emotional excitement. Pauline became silent, trying hard to keep back her tears. She continued by the bedside, stroking her father’s forehead with a gentle hand.

Painfully impressed by the scene I had just witnessed, I followed Narcisa and Pauline out of the ward. The two friends talked for some time, and then Pauline took her leave with kind words of thanks. Her eyes showed sadness and worry. When we were again alone, Narcisa remarked:

“As a rule, inheritance cases are extremely delicate. With few exceptions, they cause great trouble for both testators and legatees. This case, however, is far more serious because of the euthanasia. Ambition for wealth created all kinds of complexes and misunderstandings in Pauline’s family. Avaricious parents generally have extravagant children. I had accompanied her to her earthly home when her brother Edelbert, a gentlemanly doctor, used so called “easy death” on his dying father. We did our best to prevent him from carrying out this plan, but it was all in vain. For financial reasons, the distressed son was anxious to accelerate his fathers passing, and now you see the result – hatred and infirmity. God created beings and celestial regions, but we insist on transforming ourselves into diabolical spirits, creating our own individual hell. 


Chapter 31          THE VAMPIRE

It was nine o’clock in the evening, and we had not yet had a moment’s rest except for the short consultations necessary for the solution of spiritual problems. Here I saw a patient begging for help, over there another in need of magnetic passes. On our way to assist two patients in Pavilion Eleven, I heard screams in a nearby ward. I would have run in that direction, if Narcisa had not held me back.

“Please don’t go,” she warned, “the sexually unbalanced patients are lodged there. The picture would be too painful to your eyes. Wait until you are better prepared.”

I did not insist, but thousands of questions rushed to my mind. A new world was unfolding itself and my curiosity was great. I had to concentrate on Lysias’ mother’s advice so as not to become distracted from my legitimate duties. Soon after nine, a quaint little man, to all appearances a humble worker emerged from amidst the trees of the enormous park. I later learned that he belonged to the sentinel corps of the Chambers of Rectification. Narcisa greeted him and asked:

“What is the matter, Justin? What is your message?”

“I’ve come to inform you that an unfortunate woman is begging for help at the large gate that leads to the tilling fields. I believe she must have escaped the attention of the front line sentinels.” He answered, anxiously.

“And why don’t you help her?” Asked the nurse.

The guard gestured and hastened to explain:

“According to our regulations, we are forbidden to. The poor creature is surrounded by black spots.”

“Really!” She exclaimed, taken aback.

“Yes, nurse. It’s just as I tell you.”

“Then it’s a very serious cause.”

I was filled with curiosity, and followed her for a considerable distance across the moonlit fields. We were surrounded by the silent park its shady trees rustling gently in the soft breeze. After walking for well over a mile, we came to the gate. There stood the pitiful figure of a woman begging for mercy from the other side. I saw nothing but a squalid creature dressed in rags with a hideous face, and legs covered with raw sores, but, judging from her startled expression, I realized that Narcisa saw many more details, still imperceptible to me.

“Children of God,” she cried on seeing us, “please give shelter to my wary soul! Where is the paradise of the elect, that I may enjoy the peace I long for?”

I was filled with compassion at her tearful voice. Narcisa, though also sorry for the unfortunate beggar, whispered to me:

“Can’t you see the black spots?”

“No, I can’t.”

“Your spirit vision isn’t sufficiently trained. If it depended on me, I would let her in at once, but on dealing with creatures in this condition, I can’t decide for myself. I must apply to the Chief Warden on duty.”

She approached the poor woman, and said kindly:

“Please, just wait a few minutes.”

We hurried back to the house, where for the first time I came into contact with the Chief of Sentinels of the Chambers of Rectification. Narcisa introduced us and then rapidly reported the occurrence.

“You were right to have come to me.” He replied, “Let’s go see her.”

We were soon back at the gate. The Chief Warden carefully examined the newcomer from the Lower Zone and declared:

“For the time being, this woman can’t receive our assistance. She is one of the strongest vampires8. I have ever come across. She must be left to herself.” 

8 By “vampire” the spirit author refers to one who extinguishes life for personal advantage. (Translator’s)

I could not help but shocked at those words. Wouldn’t it be neglecting our Christian duty to abandon this unhappy sister to her fate? Narcisa seemed to think likewise, and tried to plead with the Chief Warden:

“But, Brother Paul, wouldn’t it be possible to shelter this poor creature in the Chambers?” Pointing to the beggar who was impatient at the delay and complaining loudly, he addressed the nurse.

“To allow her to enter would be to neglect my responsibility as a warden. Narcisa, have you noticed anything else besides the black spots:” Narcisa had not, and he continued.

“Well, I have. Count the black spots.”

Narcisa looked intently at the woman, and, after a few moments, replied that there were fifty-eight. Brother Paul continued, patiently:

“Those fifty-eight dark spots represent so many children killed at birth. On each of these spots I can perceive the mental image of one of the little children whose life she extinguished, some by crushing blows, others by suffocation. This unhappy creature was a gynecologist who exploited inexperienced young women, committing heinous crimes under the pretext of easing the conscience of others. She is in a worse position than cases of suicide or murders who may, at times, show mitigating circumstances.”

I recalled the numerous cases in my practice when, to save the mother’s life, the unborn child had to be sacrificed. But, reading my thoughts, Brother Paul added:

“Of course, I’m not referring to legitimate measures which are forms of redeeming trials, but to the crime of killing those who have obtained the sublime right to live and are about to begin their sojourn on the physical plane.”

Yielding to the feelings of compassion inherent in noble souls, Narcisa again attempted to intercede on her behalf:

“Brother Paul, I was also a great sinner in the past. Please, let’s take in this unhappy woman. I promise to make her my special concern.”

“My friend,” he answered, I know we are all greatly indebted spirits. However, we have improved enough to acknowledge our own weaknesses and work to redeem our errors. All this woman wants, for the time being, is to create disturbance and confusion among our workers of good will. Those who haven’t yet freed themselves from the bonds of hypocrisy emit destructive forces. Now, what would be the use of our vigilance if it were not to keep out dangerous influences?”

“Let’s prove what I have said.” He added, with a meaningful smile. He then approached the beggar and asked her:

“Sister, what do you ask of our brotherly cooperation?”

“Help, help….” She replied, dolefully.

“But, my friend,” he reasoned, “we must learn to accept expiatory suffering. Why did you so often cut the life thread of helpless little infants, who, with God’s permission, were about to begin their redeeming struggle on Earth?”

At these words she looked around apprehensively, assumed a hateful expression and shouted:

“Who is accusing me of this infamy? My conscience is at peace! I spent my whole life on Earth working on behalf of motherhood. I was charitable and pious, good and pure!”

“I am sorry, but the record of your thoughts and actions tell a different story. I believe, sister, that you haven’t yet received the benefit of remorse. When you open your soul to the blessings of God, acknowledging your own needs, then you may come to us.

“Devil, Wizard!” She yelled furiously at him, “Satan’s own follower! I’ll never come here again! I am waiting for the promised heaven, which I hope to find.”

“Then please go your own way. Your heaven isn’t here. This is a place of work, where patients are aware of their infirmity and are assisted by brothers and sisters of good will to struggle back to health.”

“I haven’t asked for any remedy of assistance.” She retorted angrily. “All I want is the Paradise my good works entitle me to enter.”

Shooting us a parting look of hatred, she discarded the assumed appearance of a wandering beggar and walked away defiantly, with firm steps and a haughty gait. Brother Paul gazed at the retreating figure for quite a while, then turned to us and added:

“Did you observe the vampire? She has crime written all over her and pleads innocence. She is obviously wicked and yet declares herself good and pure. She suffers desperately and feigns tranquility. She has created a hell for herself, yet pretends to be looking for heaven.”

We listened respectfully to the Chief Warden, who closed his valuable lesson by saying:

“We must always be aware of appearances, either good of bad. Divine Providence never forsakes anybody. Therefore, that unfortunate creature will find aid elsewhere. But for the sake of legitimate charity, in the position I hold here, I couldn’t possibly open our doors to her.”