Good News and Thanks to Youse Guys!

Hey Prayer Warriors! My reader who wrote asking for urgent prayers writes back:

This is the chief of sinners again.

Perhaps if I hadn’t been so hasty to send my previous message, I would have thought twice about closing the account, which would mean I would not have to open yet another account. As it is, I really don’t want this traced back to me, again, for obvious reasons. Nevertheless, considering how kind you all have been, I feel it is right to give an update. Let this, then, be the end of my contact.

On Monday, I committed the same sin again. I felt even more wretched than before.

On Tuesday (today), though, I was able to go to confession, with the priest I mentioned earlier. I have been absolved. I am at peace, now, Thank you for all your prayers.

Again, this will be the last of my contact. I will say no more, until Judgment Day, except for this: Addiction can be a killer. Don’t let it get the better of you. Ever.

Thank you guys for your prayers and your kind words of support for him in the comboxes. You made a difference. And thanks be to God for hearing our prayers, forgiving his sin, and giving him grace through our Lord Jesus Christ. Lovely to the Body of Christ at work in the world.

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  • orual’s kindred

    Dear Reader, I’ve been sad that you’ve closed your last account, and that updates were unlikely to say the least. This post is welcome news! I’m very glad to read here you that you have been able to go to confession. Please know that there are people who are glad that you hadn’t surrendered to despair (even after committing the same sin again), that you’re here with us and keeping up the good fight. More prayers are being offered for you!

  • anna lisa

    Um–Mark, I think your reader needs a little more than prayer. The poor guy is clearly the victim of some questionable spiritual direction. At first glance, I thought he had done something truly heinous, but addictions cause the sinner to lose the *freedom* to choose mortal sin. I hardly think he murdered someone again on Monday.
    I was just reading some startling statistics on porn addiction. It’s like crack, and it’s the elephant in the living room.

    Dear “Chief of sinners”,

    I get the feeling that you’re not the chief of sinners, unless you’d like to hold that title with most of the planet. Confession is so great, but addictions are often a long drawn out road to recovery.
    Remember this, and remember it well: Jesus isn’t waiting to love PERFECT you.
    Nor is he waiting to roast you on a spit in hell.
    Be patient with yourself and resist that kind of rigid legalism that comes with scrupulosity. You can kick this thing, but you will kick it by falling in love with God, not cowering in abject terror over a pit of hell. Love is made up of a lot of little things, most of the time. Don’t settle for any counterfeits, which is what every misused drug IS.

    Praying for you.

    Mark, this is why even some good Catholic writers leave me dumbfounded when they decide to have a “almost everybody is going to hell” party. It’s the antievangelization.

    • sez

      Thank you anna lisa! I had the same feeling – even from “chief of sinners”‘ first plea for help. But I wouldn’t speculate about the actual sin. Anything can become an addiction – even wholesome things, if they pull us away from our duties and family responsibilities.

      “kick it by falling in love with God, not cowering in abject terror over a pit of hell” – so true!!
      Chief: we’re still praying for you!

      • anna lisa

        Thanks orual and sez “Chief’s” pain really struck a chord with me because I just dealt with another beautiful young person who was torturing himself, though I never asked why. The only thing that seemed to calm him down was to tell him that God loves him RIGHT NOW (before the confession!) It really broke my heart to see so much depression and anguish. This is why the devil is called “the accuser”.
        I have another friend right now who is turning from his wife and three little kids and has a mistress. What frightens me in his case, is that despite a struggle he is visibly turning away from grace, contrition and doing right by his family. He is literally choosing to harden his heart. It’s chilling. Please pray for him.

    • orual’s kindred

      It’s most likely that the sin of ‘Chief of Sinners’ may not actually be the worst to have ever been committed. Without much else to go on other than his email, however, I just allow for the possibility that he committed something indeed truly heinous. As for his spiritual direction, I hope he just wasn’t able to mention that he has been receiving good guidance. And yes, ‘almost everybody is going to hell’ is antievangelization, and does immeasurable harm to people who bear crosses similar to his.

      Whatever is the case, ‘Chief’ needs lots of help, and I’m very glad that may are praying for both him and his spiritual director :-)

  • orual’s kindred

    It’s difficult telling people in anguish that there is still hope. Sometimes the pain becomes their world. And even in more lucid moments, years of habits and experiences seem all but insurmountable. Prayers are necessary for them and for those who are trying to help.

    And of course prayers are necessary for those who are those who visibly turn from grace. I’m praying for your friend and his family!


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