June 27, 2020 at 9:02 pm #2299Jace LeeParticipant
My brothers and sisters: the Peace and love our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you!
As I write this message to you, I am but a man. A man who had fallen to temptation. Fallen to vice. fallen into spiritual disrepair. Frankly, I had allowed myself to be broken!
I had in my youth and in the subsequent years allowed myself to become separated from the Holy. I was very young and stubborn in my late teenage years. I lived in Seattle in my late teens, and boy what fun I was having! Sexually promiscuous. I had many girlfriends, and boy did I love the ladies!
I was also very rebellious! My mother often to listen to her good advice, and to be obedient to her wishes. To stay away from promiscuity. To avoid drugs and alcohol. To watch my language. To not smoke cigarettes. She did these things for me, and rightly so because these things are good things to do and she only gave me these directions to keep my health both the physical and mental on the good path. But, a mother is also a cultivator of the spiritual. Natural law tells us that as the mother that she is the drive of the spiritual. She cares for our spirituality.
Naturally, as a rebellious youth I ignored all of her wisdom. I couldn’t be bothered to hear most of it as I thought that I knew everything. After all, I had seen and done more in my short life than she had in all her days and how could she presume to tell me how to live my life. I was in control of my own life, of course. Boy, was I wrong!
I did the exact opposite of everything she tried to instruct me to do. It was my self-possessed free will that led me down the very long pathway towards utter self annihilation, and even to the point of wanting to be free of my addiction SO MUCH that I was going to commit the unforgivable and commit suicide. I had hit the floor! Rock bottom.
That day, the day I had decided to put myself out of my misery I was re-acquainted with one of three power weapons in the arsenal of the Spiritual life: The Holy Rosary. Sitting there that morning, smoking my morning fag and contemplating my own destruction that day I heard the gentle voice of our Blessed Mother. The Mother that leads our own mothers to be motherly.
Our Blessed Virgin told me, “My son, pick up my Rosary and pray for your life.” Could the answer to suicidal ideation be so simple? Could my life be saved by so simple of means? Its not like I hadn’t prayed the Rosary before, after all. I had said the Rosary a thousand times before and never saw ‘the Light’, never felt its miracles and promises. That being said, I was also at the end of my rope and had NOTHING to lose but my immortal soul.
I didn’t just say the Rosary. That day I actually PRAYED the Rosary. Said every Hail Mary with the all the desperation of a Lost Son. Before I knew what was happening I could feel some of my burdens begin to lift. Every decade I prayed drew tears from my eyes, despair and sadness from my soul. And after I was done I knew what my NEXT steps were to be, and that was admitting to myself and God that I was inferior, not in control, an addict, but also deserving of Help and Mercy. “The Lord is my strength and shield. My heart trusteth in Him and He helpeth me. My heart leaps for joy and with my song shall I praise Him” -Psalms 28:7
Then came my step two: Obtaining the State of Grace by means of the Sacrament of Penance. “If we saith that we have no sin the truth is not with us. But if we confess our sins, God who is Faithful and Just will free us from our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” -1 St. John 1:8-9
My life was an unending parade of sin and uncleanliness! Sexual immorality. Bodily immorality. Spiritual immorality. You name it, I was sinning by means of it. The moment I picked up my Rosary that day I was facing utter annihilation I was on the beginning of my course to Reconciliation. I knew what the next step was. It was a very hard step for me to make: to admit my sins before a Priest, ‘In Persone Christe”. To confess, make an act of Contrition, find absolution, and do penance.
I did all the above things the week after I had been released from hospital. And to be honest, my sins were so numerous and I hadn’t been in a confessional for over twenty years at the time. I literally told the Priest that I had to generalise them because I couldn’t say how often, ow many times I committed those sins. He gently chuckled, and said to me; “My son, Our Saviour knows all of your sins and their frequency. Unburden yourself and find some peace.”
As the priest made his absolution, I felt the ‘Outward sign of Inward Grace’ (description of what the word ‘sacrament’ means, from The Catechism of the Catholic Church). I FELT PEACE AND GRACE come upon me, and knew that I had been redeemed by that POWERFUL SACRAMENT. The second weapon in the arsenal of the Spiritual.
Within an hour of finding the State of Grace once more, I was washed clean by uniting myself with Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ TRULY PRESENT in the Blessed Sacrament of The Eucharist. The most intimate moment we as Catholics EVER HAVE in our daily communion with the Lord. Joining with Him physically, and in union with Him Spiritually. Completely giving over our minds, souls, and bodies to the healing nature of Christ’s suffering and Passion. The Eucharist, the perfect remedy to unholiness and vice. The pathway to virtue and the door opener for the Holy Ghost.
My friends, take up the “Whole armour of God” -Ephesians 6:10-18. “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober: having girded ourselves with the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the Hope of Salvation.”- 1 Thessalonians 5:8.
Each of the weapons in my arsenal of the Spiritual tie in directly with the aforementioned Scriptures. The Holy Rosary as the SHIELD AGAINST VICE. The Sacrament of Holy Penance as the BELT OF TRUTH. The Holy Eucharist as the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
So, my Brothers and Sisters arm yourselves each day with these three powerful WEAPONS against VICE and the means of VIRTUE AND GRACE. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so close unto us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” -Hebrews 12:1
May Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost bless and keep us all, and May the Divine Assistance be always with us!
Through Christ and With Mary,
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