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Posted on: Monday, January 16, 2017
It all probably started in high school when I became bulimic. I thought I was the only one in the world with this terrible compulsion. Now I know that 4 of the 6 daughters of my family engaged in bulimia during their teens. I also now know that my father was engaged in porn and put enormous pressure on us to look slim and perfect.
Later at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1971, I had a nervous breakdown at the end of my sophomore year and sought psychiatric care. The psychiatrist told me "the problem is that you are still a virgin." Until then, I had resisted the sexual revolution because of my morals and belief in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Suddenly I rationalized that since I was suicidal for so long, I was obligated to try anything to try to save my life.
Three months later I had slept with 4 different guys. I was headed to a life of promiscuity. I convinced a guy from my old high school that we should live together and then that we should sleep together. In 1973, this man became my husband, two months before our first son was born, and fathered 5 children with me. We divorced after 29 years.
He was unfaithful most of the marriage, perhaps because I had been promiscuous before marriage. I was faithful to him though. I was too busy and too blind to see. I still blame myself for seducing him in the first place.
I came to see that I had been wrong, because I was using men to lift me out of a suicidal depression. Sure sex can distract you from the pain, but not cure the underlying dysfunction. It has taken me 45 years of growing self awareness to appreciate that I survived and have been active in the prolife group ever since Roe vs. Wade, January 22, 1973.
In 1973, before my ex and I got married, I went for a pregnancy test at the Blue Bus free health clinic in Madison, WI. They gave me the positive results with a list of 5 doctors that would do my abortion. They knew I was single and poor. I quickly ran out of the bus and hid from the pro abortion atmosphere in Madison my entire 9 months. I felt like a spy for the prolife movement.
Every year though, I was able to become more vocal and active until I stopped hiding. I have been to two March for Life events both in D.C. with 3 kids and in Chicago with a grandchild. Now I am happy and God has just blessed me with Grandchildren #12 and 13. My family is prolife and good Catholics. My 3 sons have wonderful Catholic wives and are leaders in their churches. I am grateful that I didn't abort. I am grateful that I forgave myself and my ex and can love my whole family now.
Submitted by J. B.
Posted on: Thursday, January 05, 2017
When I think of Robin, my heart is broken, both for her and the wrong I did to her.
I met Robin at a party when I was eighteen. When she walked in the door, I was immediately taken by her. She was one of the prettiest girls I had ever seen. I made a comment about the dress she was wearing and she sat down next to me and began talking with me. By the end of the night we were deeply attracted to each other and began spending time together.
Before I go on, I think it would be helpful to give some back story regarding myself. In my very early years, I became sexualized. Having read publications on this matter, I think I was molested. From the age of eight, I experimented with my body and with the bodies of other children who were willing to let me undress them and play around with them. When the so-called “Sexual Revolution” of the 1960's hit in full force, I found many outlets for what had now become a raging sexuality demanding daily gratification of some sort.
Yet despite having the availability of pornography, the “free-love” of the Hippie Movement, and my own self-gratification, I was deeply lonely inside. I think that sexual gratification gave me that false sense of worth and fleeting happiness which books on addiction speak about, for I was truly addicted. Sexuality made me feel good, and the society which developed in the 1960's told me that it was okay to be this way. It took 40 years to realize that God knows much better than we what is good for us.
It was this sad and searching man who met Robin at the party. We spent a summer in love and only expressing that love by kissing. For the first time, I had someone in my life who made a fuss over me, who couldn’t wait to be with me, and who easily talked with me. I’m sure I ruined all that the day I had sex with her. Not long after, another man decided he wanted Robin and told her that I was sleeping with her best friend. From that point on, the relationship went downhill. I guess it was easy for Robin to believe that if I would have sex with her instead of waiting for marriage, I would be open to any woman who came by.
Somehow Robin and I got back together again later. She looked awful. There was no longer any joy in her face and she had lost weight, a mere shadow of herself. I am ashamed to say that she let me have sex with her that day. I asked her to marry me, but she said no. I look back on that day and see a young man so selfish that he didn’t even ask her in concern what had happened and why she looked so bad. Did she get pregnant and have an abortion? Did this other guy use her for sex and leave her feeling used and disrespected?
Dear Robin, wherever you are, please forgive me. This is what the Sexual Revolution did to me, but the story does not end there.
A while later I got another woman pregnant. I told her to have an abortion, but she refused. I would see the baby and long to be part of his life, but somehow I couldn’t actually propose to this woman. Playboy magazine had sold me a pack of airbrushed lies. The idea that Playboy promoted was that there is somewhere this perfect woman with a perfect body with whom you want to spend your days. Somehow, having a perfect body in bed with me would be what I needed and wanted to have ultimate happiness. I bought the lie, as did so many millions of men. Our search was for that perfect sexual experience because we were sure this was what would fulfill our lives. How many divorces have there been because men like me were expecting sex to deliver much more than it was ever intended to deliver?
Karen was not that perfect body. She went back home with her son and I kept looking for the next woman who might be that Promised One who would complete my life. But something I wasn’t expecting happened. I wound up at a Bible study. I honestly believe that I had a demon expelled from me that night, for after that night and my fervent prayer for God’s mercy, everything slowly started to change for me. I wish I could say I went from being a sex-crazed deviant to being the loving person God intended me to be, but that is not how life is.
The powerful issues that had driven me for much of my life continued to plague me, even though I was now, with the preaching of the Bible study leader to encourage me, abstaining from sex outside marriage. A year after I started attending those Bible studies regularly, I called Karen and asked her to see me. I felt a need to be a father to the son to whom she and I had given life. She accepted my proposal and we were married. We spent the next 34 years together until she passed away. I wish I could say that they were wonderful years, but they were tough. The same lack of intimacy which caused me to seek out solace in pornography continued to dog me. Neither Karen nor I knew how to be really intimate with each other. To this day I realize that I could have done so much more in little ways to express love to her.
In 2001 I converted to the Catholic faith and a few years later I discovered Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. This was the teaching that the world needed in the 1960's. We needed to hear that true love is an act not of taking for one’s self, as in sexual conquest, but of sacrificial giving. How I wish I had known that when I met Robin. How I wish I had heard that in time to live it out with Karen. The ramifications of my sexually-fueled selfishness are still with me. There are people I have hurt, relationships I have either lost or not been able to fully enjoy, such as with my children, because I have trouble with intimacy.
Promiscuity increases the problem of selfishness, loneliness, and inability to connect on a deeper level with people. Promiscuity and pornography turn a person in on themselves. True love turns a person outward to serve others first. If I love others, I use my body not to gratify the demands of my passions, but to do good in loving service to others. This is the message we need to share. I have since found in the Church many opportunities to serve others, but I’ll die in regret of the numerous times I hurt people when I didn’t know what true love is.
Submitted by E. H.
Posted on: Thursday, November 03, 2016
The expression, "I've been to hell and back," is a perfect description of my life, and the hell was mostly self-inflicted through my abuse of alcohol.
Even though I came from a loving, supportive, Christian family, I always felt like an outsider and “less than.” That all changed when I discovered alcohol. As a well-known A.A. Speaker once said, “I was a duck until I took a drink and then turned into an eagle.”
Alcohol took away my moral compass, and everything I learned growing up disappeared into the deep recesses of my mind. It also gave me a sense of indestructibility, which turned into carelessness and made me extremely vulnerable. I ended up being gang raped after one night of partying. (Feeling I deserved it, I didn't call the police).
My promiscuity resulted in three pregnancies. One pregnancy ended in miscarriage but the two others I terminated by abortion. After the rape and abortions, my drinking and promiscuity escalated. I acquired a nickname, “Pass Around Patti." I tried settling down thinking that would help but ended up with two failed marriages. It was at the end of my second marriage that I hit bottom. At around six o'clock in the morning, I called in sick to work because there was still beer in the fridge. After downing a few, I was hit with an indescribable feeling of self-loathing and despair. I went to the bathroom and got a bottle of prescription medication, grabbed another beer and sat at the dining room table. I had pills in one hand and a beer to wash them down in the other when “something” compelled me to call for help. As I was being admitted to a psychiatric hospital, the psychiatrist asked me why I wanted to die. I told him I was already dead inside and just wanted to finish the job.
After I was determined no longer a danger to myself, I was transferred to alcohol rehab. It was through A.A. meetings at rehab that I was reintroduced to God. It took some time but I eventually realized He did the intervention at the kitchen table. He wanted me to heal and to clean up the mess I had made of my life. It wasn't easy. In fact, coming to terms and making amends for the damage I had caused myself, family and friends was excruciating. My family and some of my friends forgave me but it took time to rebuild the trust. Forgiving myself was another story.
Although I had reestablished a relationship with God, it wasn't that strong, and I still carried feelings of unworthiness and self-loathing. A few years ago, He once again intervened and guided me to a healing retreat for post-abortive women. He knew I had finally reached the point of emotional and spiritual readiness to face my past and fully accept not only His love, mercy and forgiveness, but my own as well. I also learned that even though I turned away from Him, He never turned away from me. He was there all along, but I was too blinded by self-will to see.
Some have said, “It's a shame you wasted so much of your life,” and before that retreat I would have agreed, but now I consider those dark days a blessing.
If it weren't for the darkness, I would have never seen the light of His love and mercy. If it weren't for the darkness, I would not be able to share
the light of hope with others.
Submitted by P.S.
Posted on: Friday, October 28, 2016
In the film, Demolition Man, the year is 2032. The characters of John Spartan (played by Silvester Stallone) and Lenina Huxley (played by Sandra Bullock) are about to have sex having known each other less than a few days. John Spartan in fact is only a day or two living in this “brave new world” having been cryogenically frozen as punishment for manslaughter, back in 1996.
To the confusion of Spartan, Huxley asks him to put on a Virtual Reality headset. Spartan is unaware he is about to have “sex”. As both begin to reach orgasm, Spartan pulls off the headset and begins a rant that what they were doing was not real sex. In this version of the future, to keep STDs at bay, sex is done exclusively by V-R except for the rejects of society who live in the city sewers.
Rewind to 2002 and the real world, a male Catholic called Richard, played by me, is trying his best to act out the role of a secular atheist male with no Catholic or family history. He sees himself as liberated from the truth and love offered him by his family and Church.
Richard is in a worse state than the “Prodigal Son” when in his rebellion, since the latter we are told used his own inheritance. Whereas Richard finances this life through the State, using the student loan the UK government has given him to study 100 miles from home. This is where he meets “Anne.”
Within a few days Anne tells Richard she loves him and a year-long relationship ensues that is eventually ended by Anne. Pre-marital sex begins almost immediately but the inner life of Richard is beginning to already experience difficulties regarding this.
It is clear he has what has been looking for: Anne is a talented student, funny, caring, chatty and down to earth. She “ticks most boxes” and yet an inner struggle is present straight away, with Richard’s body, mind and soul altered forever.
Condoms are used each time. The most sensitive area on the male body is being wrapped in a man-made rubber fibre. For the duration of being sexually active and afterwards, the genital and lower-abdomen area feel tight and uncomfortable. The lack of scientific research means this is more a “hunch” but Richard feels a chemical imbalance has entered his body.
Richard notices too, that in the act of having sex, he can smell the rubber. Every time he smells it his lower abdomen pulls tight. Wearing rubber gloves brings him out in rashes too. Would it not be reasonable to think, that were he rubbing man-made fibres vigorously on sensitive parts such as the mouth or nose or eyes, that toxins would enter and create imbalances?
There is a change in mental health too. Although mental health issues were present already since eating marijuana as a 16 years old, a gulf exists between Richard’s inner longing for romantic love and lots of children, and this secular model he is playing out. This despite being in a loving relationship.
This realisation properly surfaces when playing a love song by Nick Drake called “Thoughts of Mary-Jane.” A deeply idealistic and romantic soul though Richard has, he cannot stop the tears as he listens, since his innocence and idealism has been exchanged for a lie. But it is the accompanying confusion that perpetuates this, since this is everything that had been proposed by Hollywood and the romantic poetry Richard had consumed since a pre-pubescent as the way of achieving inner-happiness.
Later reading of St John Paul II’s theology of the body, albeit a superficial reading, gives some confirmation to these feelings. As with the characters in the novel “Brave New World,” Richard has been prioritising sex over love. The model of love proposed in the media is a version that is rooted first and foremost in sexual pleasure and has no roots in Truth.
As the relationship comes to an end in, Richard is desperate to re-enter the Catholic Church. He goes to a priest for Confession who has a reputation as a very strict Confessor. The priest listens as Richard recounts his relationship and the lack of love he feels in his heart. The priest is gentle.
The priest asks Richard if he received the Eucharist at all whilst in this relationship. Not knowing Church teaching, the answer is yes. The priest bends over as though in pain, like he has just been stabbed in the stomach and asks that if Richard decides to have sexual relationships outside marriage, that he refrain from having the Eucharist. I get absolution and begin a new life in Christ.
It remains the mission of the Church to posit a positive view of marriage and family and the pro-life movement, that will attract others. For example in the March for Life rally in Birmingham, England, in 2015, a young woman seeing the joy and happiness of the people on the march, decided to cancel her forthcoming abortion. She brought her baby to the rally the year after, thanks be to God in Christ Jesus.
Submitted by R. F., England
Posted on: Tuesday, October 25, 2016
First person testimony from a survivor of the late term abortion experience. Please note: this author did NOT actually have an abortion. Her baby had already died, and needed to be removed from her uterus. In the Mother of All Insensitivities (in my opinion) her doctor sent her to an abortion clinic where they specialize in evacuating the uterus. As a pro-life mother of 4, who was grieving the involuntary loss of her baby, without having a guilty conscience over being the cause of her child's demist, this author's perspective is invaluable.
Highly recommended for those struggling with the aftermath of abortion.
Posted on: Saturday, September 24, 2016
I am a survivor of the sexual revolution. I wasted my entire child bearing years on sex. It started in the early 70’s when I was 16 and lost my virginity to a 22-year-old. I got high and gave away my heart and wept. It started a whirlwind of relationships. Sex was powerful! I was exposed to porn. I was literally looking for love in all the wrong places and lost count of the bodies. I got pregnant at 18. We lived together to my angst. I wanted to be married, but he said it was just a piece of paper. I felt that he was rejecting me and our son and had a shameful whirlwind affair with a married man who divorced his wife to be with me.
I ran away within weeks of the whole mess. My son's father came back, but still no marriage commitment, no trust, but why should there be? I had another sexual relationship. My son's father’s last word to me was “Whore!” as he threw all of my son’s belongings on the front porch of my mother’s house and his stroller through the front door.
Sometime during then, my early 20’s, I realized that my body was beautifully and wonderfully made. I heard the Lord call me. I was a beautiful creation, but to my great sorrow, knew in my heart that I had aborted my future children with birth control. My mother backed me up when I was pregnant. She wouldn’t let me be shamed like she was when she had me out of wedlock. I cherished the life within me more than myself. My mother had a very unfulfilled marriage, but was open to having a grandchild, but we had fights. When I tried to voice my feelings, she said “you just need to get laid!”
I wanted to give him up for adoption to a man/woman who could get him what he needed to get to heaven. She thought I was trying to keep him away from her. I just wanted him to get to heaven. Someone showed me a picture of Jesus of Divine Mercy. I called on the Lord to forgive me and He did. I could see the Father and his love for me, the prodigal child, but it was just starting. The war raged on. I ended up in a psych ward and suicidal. It was hell on everyone around me. I was back living with my parents and son. I had terrible shouting matches with my mother. I had no control over anything and was in a corner alone. I just kept crying “I have no control over him!”
I was back to zero self-worth and had other affairs. I was worthless now. What difference could it make? My life was shattered all around me. I had been sexually “off the rails” since I was a teen and it spiraled to the destruction of me. My son was cutting himself and using drugs/drinking, and I lost my 1st grandchild to abortion when he was 16. He was so confused and angry and had no compass, no male figure to guide him, except for my dad, who became his surrogate. I will always blame myself for his eternal welfare. He was never baptized, but I gave him to God in my heart. I ask for mercy all the time and pray for him/us. I don’t know what else to do. I have two beautiful grandchildren now. Maybe God works with crooked lines and it will be okay.
Women’s lib is a lie. You can’t have it all. We are sold lies, and I devoured them. I was so angry once I knew the truth, but learning/hoping/asking/wanting mercy. It’s all any of us have. Thank you.
Submitted by C.L.
Posted on: Saturday, September 24, 2016
I was 35 years old, happily married and pregnant with my 5th child in 11 years. It was not a smooth pregnancy. I was sick with nausea, dehydration, weight loss and exhaustion for months. My doctor urged me repeatedly, due to my medical history, to consider having a permanent solution to any more pregnancies. The idea of birth control was assumed and for years we relied on the pill and condoms. Thinking about a “permanent solution” for me was: get a tubal. I could get it done while I was already at the hospital. It doesn’t inconvenience my husband in any way. It ‘solves’ our problems. However a tubal ligation did not.
My periods returned fairly quickly post-partum. But they were unlike any previous periods. The twice a month headaches were exponentially more painful. My doctor prescribed migraine medication. That didn't work. The uterine discomfort I felt every ovulation cycle caused me to double over in pain like labor. I was stunned. All this for ovulation? The doctor told me to take Advil. That didn't work. My periods were longer and more painful. I tried Alleve. That didn't work. What was going on physically was also mirrored in my emotional/sexual world. Those 14 or so days every month between ovulation times and menstruation meant almost ½ the month I was irritable, short on patience, and not in the least interested in romance, nor being touched by my loving husband, let alone sexual relations. I told my husband, “Ever since this tubal I feel like I was born on earth, but woke up on Mars. I am most definitely NOT the same person. I don’t understand this. I know it is connected to the tubal since it is involved with my cycles. But how can a little snipping of tubes inside my abdomen produce such a dramatic difference in me as a woman?”
Then I began to notice that at every period, as the months passed, I began to grieve. Grieve that I would never have another child, that I had permanently changed my body, that I no longer was a fertile woman in control of my body. The regret I felt I pushed deep inside – afraid to face it – but the sorrow remained. Then my brother confided in me. They had their 3rd child just a year after our last – and his wife opted for a tubal. He shared that he doesn’t understand what happened but for the past two years his wife is completely different. “It’s like she’s from another universe” he said (mirroring my exact experiences). My mouth opened wide in shock. I had my tubal one year before my sister in law – but our reactions were identical. I told my brother he wasn’t crazy. We drew comfort from the fact that at least there was a possible ‘cause’ for this radically changed behavior from both of us.
Fast forward 25 years. My husband and I became Catholic. I made an appointment with a priest for Confession. I began to cry as I recalled as many sins as I could, and then my mind and heart turned to the tubal. The decades of sadness I had pushed as deeply as I could, poured out in a wailing keen as I told the priest about the tubal. "I am so sorry I did this. I wanted more children. But the doctor told me it was for my health. I wanted more children…I wanted more children…I am so sorry.” Even as I spoke those words I had no idea I would verbalize the cry from my heart that so desperately needed to be spoken where heaven and earth meet in God’s grace. And the speaking of them opened my heart to hear the next words from this precious man of God: “You are forgiven. You are a mother. God made you a mother. You will always be a mother to others.”
I share this story knowing my sister-in-law and I simply can NOT be the only women who experienced this kind of reaction from a tubal ligation – one that clearly isn’t ‘medical’ but emotional/spiritual/psychological.
Submitted by D. P.
Posted on: Tuesday, September 20, 2016
I get angry at the lies I was told by my culture. The 'sexual revolution' is about selfishness. It promotes selfishness. It denies the truth of what love is. Love is more than a feeling. Real love, for a lifetime, is a choice, a commitment, and not one to be frivolously played with.
When my parents' marriage dissolved, it was then that subliminal messages were received. Those little deceits, the subtle nuance that sex outside of marriage was permissible given certain circumstances. It was the yeast that worked through the dough in my case, the little lies that came from the culture of the times (it was the 60's and 70's). The first lie that I believed was that we could be alone together but would not 'do anything wrong'. And when we did cross that boundary (losing my virginity at 19), the little lies we tell ourselves, that God will forgive because we love one another and we plan to be married one day.
Somehow I missed the part that the act of intimacy we engaged in was the marital union, the commitment to one another before God. I bought the world's lie that I had other choices, and that I should explore my other options before committing. I entirely missed the fact that I had already committed with my body to this person. Anything outside of that in God's eyes (and, as I would not understand until later, also in my own heart) was adultery. So of course when one day did not happen, and there was a new relationship, and then another, I ended up with less and less of my heart to give. The little lies that lead us one small step at a time down a wrong path.
I found the turning in my path when I did marry, and this was due to God in my heart and remembrance of Him and the things I had been taught. I found my strength in God from that point onward.
I'd known that with each successive partner I'd felt less of a connection and the bond was not as strong, but it wasn't until I began reading my Bible in earnest that I came to really understand the meaning of the one woman/one man union and bond of God. I came to understand the adulterer that I had been. I came to understand what I had lost. The only true marriage was that first intimate commitment I had made. 'No man may put asunder what God has joined'. That first bond is a lasting bond for life.
The beginning of the lies, the subtle deceptions that the devil uses--I came to believe that it was safe to be alone in intimate situations without committing acts that are meant for the sanctity of marriage. When it finally did happen I told myself that God would understand because we loved each other and I knew that marriage was what was in the back of both our minds.
But when the subject of engagement finally did come up, I realized I wasn't sure I felt secure in the thought of being married to this person for the rest of my life, and the thinking of the world, the 'culture', supported this notion of free dating with no consequences. This is the devil's lie, because you don't become aware of the consequences to your life, until too late.
When I began to read the Bible I became amazingly aware of how all the answers were written right there, if only anyone had ever bothered to read to me,
and teach me, the scriptures. The stumbling blocks in my life became very clear--The people who tripped me up by allowing my mind to believe that what
they did was acceptable and doable. I also came to see the people to whom I had unintentionally, but never the less, also been a stumbling block. I
understood God's words to 'avoid even the appearance of evil'.
Yes, I get angry at the lies my culture fed us, mostly through media, that removed God's standards and made the world's lies look desirable, and I get angry at what those lies cost me.
Submitted by C. L.
Posted on: Monday, May 30, 2016
Leave it to pro-choice political operatives to make a blackmail threat against a pro-life politician and his family. And leave it to the King of Kings to bring light out of darkness and to write straight with crooked lines.
It seems that "an unnamed source" told Michigan State Rep. Lee Chatfield, a pro-life Republican, that they planned to make public information about his wife's abortion years ago. I suppose this was supposed to embarrass Rep Chatfield and his wife Stephanie that they would, do what, exactly? That he would stop calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood? That he would withdraw his sponsorship of a bill to ban abortions that dismember the child?
In any case, Mrs. Chatfield made her own decision to not allow herself and her husband to be manipulated by her past. She beat them to the punch and told her own story of her high school abortion. She told the story on her own terms: a story of rape, abortion, regret, forgiveness and healing.
When I read her story, I could not help but think how clueless the person who threatened must really be. Or maybe she/he/ze did not know the full story. The young Stephanie, a high school student, was obviously a victim of rape, the very sort of person the Sexual Revolutionary feminist claims to be trying to help. Stephanie did just what the feminist/sexual revolutionary playbook called for: she had an abortion. But the abortion did not solve her problem, as advertised.
I made a decision that I’ve thought about and regretted nearly every day since. It’s haunted me. It’s made me weep. It’s made it difficult to look in the mirror at times. I knew that what I did was wrong at the time, but I never imagined the weight and guilt that I would carry as a consequence.
I give Stephanie Chatfield a lot of credit for how she is handling herself. This is exactly what the Ruth Institute hopes more people will do: tell the truth about what happened to you. Reveal the lies of the Sexual Revolution. You will take the sting out of them. You will heal yourself, and heal others. As Mrs. Chatfield said:
No matter the intentions of anybody wishing to see this story go public, this I am certain of: God meant it for good and will glorify Himself through this....And to everybody reading this, remember what I had forgotten – that God is greater than our sin. I am confident that God can continue to use an imperfect person like me to bring Himself glory. And while the life vs. choice debate will continue to wage on, this I know for certain: I made the wrong choice. Yet, I plan to use my story to help girls, love others and serve as a living testimony of God’s grace and forgiveness.
This is the real, Christ-like solution to the problems of the Sexual Revolution. As I have said many times in my talks, if it is not Christ-like, I'm not the slightest bit interested in it. And if it is not Christ-like, it won't last anyway.
Share your story with us. We may include it on the Tell Ruth the Truth blog. You have no idea who may benefit from your experience.
Posted on: Wednesday, April 06, 2016
“…the one that you have now is not your husband...” John 4:18
I’m ashamed to contribute to this blog. Other contributors are genuine innocent victims of the Sexual Revolution. I was one of the destroyers of the family.
I was a good Catholic girl. The Church and the truth mattered, and I was fortunate to have teachers who taught what the Church taught. In eighth grade I learned that Truth is immutable, and that if the Church ever changes her fundamental teaching, she was never a teacher of the Truth. Then came the hipsters of the post Vatican II era, of whom one priest told us that theologians now say that Catholics don’t have to believe in Papal Infallibility, even on matters of faith and morals. I drew the conclusion that the Church was a fraud, and that life was ultimately meaningless. Many theologians were liars in backward collars, but I didn’t know that.
When undergraduate school was nearly ended, and I was very serious about a man who was married, had a child, and wanted me, I chose the path of unbelief, of despair, and of unLove. I married him, bore his child, and battled depression for over twenty years. Then, as if by accident, while satellite surfing with my family we lit momentarily on the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. I started going back to EWTN at every opportunity. This was 1993, and Mother Angelica was already handing it to the Liars in Backward Collars.
O My God. Now what?
I had a family to raise, but a husband who wasn’t mine. I chose to marry him when I believed that morality was an illusion and there was no Truth. There is Truth.How would I face Him as my judge? How could I say that I did what I thought was true? Victim or perpetrator, I had the responsibility to get right.
My solution came in Confession. I learned that to return to the Sacraments, I had two choices: I could leave my husband, or I could live with him like brother and sister. I ultimately chose the second, and I made that choice alone. I made it clear that I could not do what I knew was a sin, but I understood if he wanted to leave. He stayed with me on God’s terms, even though he didn’t believe in God and had no intention of seeking a nullity proclamation. Sixteen years it took that man to go to Confession and receive Communion. It was worth the world to me because, even though our marriage was invalid, our love for each other is real.
This has not been a holy walk in the park. My stepchild died after years of drug and alcohol abuse. My child has fought depression and health problems. I blame myself for a lot of that.
Twenty-two years I had been away from God, and I’ve had twenty-two to be back. Every day I feel like the stray cat God let in. I really don’t belong here, but I don’t want to be anywhere else.
Now we have a Year of Mercy, and bless Pope Francis for wanting to bring everyone home. Now, more Liars in Backward Collars want to paper over the damage
of divorce and remarriage and admit us to Communion. No one wants to say this, but I have nothing to lose:
THERE IS A WAY BACK. IT’S HARD, IT’S NOT WHAT YOU HAD IN MIND, BUT IT IS POSSIBLE. MANY PEOPLE WHO TOOK THIS ROAD OF OBEDIENCE AND TRUST HAVE BEEN GREATLY REWARDED, EVEN IN MANY CASES, BY A CONVALIDATED UNION.
Jesus didn’t guarantee that last part. I’m not asking for it. Sometimes He surprises me. My child married, and after five years of trying to conceive, they nearly gave up. The Bible says that the child of an unfaithful bed shall die without issue, so that seemed one more thing to endure. But Good St. Anne has a way with her Grandson. We have a beautiful grandchild who is an unmerited mercy to us.
Who is St. Photina, and why is she in the title? Remember the Woman at the Well who was married five times, and the one she had then was not hers? That is St. Photina. She was a missionary in the Eastern Mediterranean, and she and her five sons were martyred under Nero. The “St.” in front of her name says that she has a place in the Church, and no one can take it from her.
Submitted by R. W. April 2016