Benoît Billot: “Death, this great mutation”

For the past few weeks, autumn, with its fragile splendours, has entered our lives. The cemeteries will become flower gardens. In forests and parks, the maples will be covered with gold, this great symbol of accomplishment.

Many wonder and express their fears. Someone says to me: “I’m scared, I’m so scared of death! » Another one : “Why has my husband, since his death, never revealed himself to me? » The feast of All Saints, and the Day of the Dead which follows it, make it possible to put words and rites on this great event which is the passage into the beyond and on the questions it raises.

I feel that my dead are alive. The strong ties of the past are not broken. Frequently, I call them to tell them a few words about what occupies me, about what continues to unite us, and I ask them what they are going through. It happens, rarely, that they answer me. Never in words, but in signs. I know very well that these have value only for the person who benefits from them: the essential thing is the credit that he attributes to them.

Intermediate worlds

I had the opportunity, in 2015, to do a column in Life on one of them, that of the two butterflies that came to me; it was after the big transfer of two of my sisters. And I’m far from the only one: many people have relationships with their deceased loved ones; and sometimes very intense. With this strong impression of being accompanied, deeply united with the deceased, and reassured on their way to the afterlife. More rarely, there are some who even have real life sharing with them.

All this leads me to think that between the beyond and the here below, there are intermediate worlds, such as those heavens which Saint Paul experienced. He writes, speaking of himself: “That man was caught up to the third heaven…and heard inexpressible words…” (2 Corinthians 12, 2-4). What are these skies? Many think today that it is about different levels of consciousness (are there three, or seven, or an infinity?) which open more and more to the prodigious mysteries of the Universe, of the human crowd, and to the divine presence. But spaces also traversed, probably, by filthy forces of death.

However, the vast majority of humans die without having “accomplished” their life. I remember this man, in the hospital, whom I had been asked to visit, and who was panting on his bed: “Oh! It’s ugly, it’s ugly…” manifesting the symptoms of a serious disease of the soul. Having experienced his great change in the night following my visit, perhaps he was then able to allow himself to be treated by others than the nurses, doctors, and myself…

messengers of divine love

But who are these “others”? Angels ? I don’t know… But what I feel is that it is necessary to rethink what used to be called purgatory, a word difficult to pronounce today, which evokes purges or a well-deserved punishment. However, how can we imagine that there are punishments when life continues in the aftermath and when we open up to life? On the contrary, it seems to me, reinforced in this by a multitude of testimonies, that everyone is given the possibility of a true journey of inner healing and fulfillment, helped by messengers of this divine love, which constantly regenerates .

Some of the greatest of spiritual life cross these skies without stopping there and resurrect without delay: they have become totally humano-divine from this earth. Like the condemned Jesus of whom Pilate spoke when he presented him to the rioters: ” Here is the man ! » (John 19, 5).

Benoit Billot is Benedictine, monk in the city at the priory of Saint-Benoît d’Étiolles, in Essonne. Adept of zazen, he founded the House of Tobias. He notably published Lights in the ordinary days
and the fruitful energy of the sacraments (Mediaspaul).

Benoît Billot: “Death, this great mutation”