Victim of Love

The thoughts and prayers of a soul who deeply desires to Love God as He Himself desires to be Loved.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Mercy of God

A few years ago, after my conversion, after Our Lord had revealed Himself to me and had worked miracles in my life and had given me signal graces; after He had infused me with wonderful knowledge of the Catholic faith and shown me the beauty of prayer and holiness - after all this - I had the misfortune (through my own fault) of falling into and staying for a long time in mortal sin. It began with a slackening off of little sacrifices I had made and then, after being deeply hurt by someone, I fell.

I want to relate this because I believe it shows the great mercy of God. I had deserved Hell because of the sins of my youth, and now after knowing Him and falling, I deserve the deepest, darkest hole in that horrible place. But even though, like a dog that returns to its vomit to lick it up, I went back to a life of living in sin, He still did not abandon me but gently called me back.

I remember during that horrible time that I suffered immensely. It seems to me that I tasted a little of the suffering of the damned. I suffered a darkness and bitterness that cannot be explained. And yet, I went to confession very often. For months I went daily. This time of sorrow lasted almost two years. I was trying to get up out of the mudhole I had fallen into, but the weight of the mud kept pulling me back in.

Even though I was so wicked during this time, Our Lord answered my prayers for others with miracles. I didn't understand it, and I still don't. It seems that He answered them quicker and more amazingly then than He does now.

I had a job as a substitute Postal Carrier, so I spent most days riding in my car and I would listen to the local Christian radio station. The new songs that came out during that time felt like they were written just for me, and they played when I needed them most. One of my favorites was a song by Bob Carlisle called "We Fall Down". The chorus is sung by a choir of children and goes like this:
We fall down, we get up
We fall down, we get up
We fall down, we get up
And the saints are just the sinners
who fall down and get up.
There was some other song about a little child being picked last for the "team" at school for recess and how God was there looking down even then, and the song proceded through tough times in life, always saying God was there and watching each event with Love, but I have no idea what that song is or who sang it... It really, really touched a chord.

Anyway, time went by and I gradually picked myself up (with the extraordinary grace of God, of course) and began to strive for holiness again. But I was always a little discouraged and felt like I had failed and lost something that could never be regained.

At my parish mission one day, there was this really holy priest, and he told us to close our eyes-right then and there- and just wait. He said that Jesus would give each one of us a gift. I obeyed and closed my eyes and waited, and this is what I saw... I was standing several yards away from Our Lord and taking all of my past sins I put them into a tan colored bag and with all my might I threw them towards Him and they landed at His precious feet. I didn't want to look at them anymore, so I just stared into that beautiful Face, all the while saying to myself, "I'm not gonna look down, I'm not gonna look down, I don't want 'em anymore, I'm not gonna look down..." And then (in a most beautiful way) He smiled at me and said, "Look down". I looked and to my amazement there was no longer a bag of sin, but a huge and brilliant diamond that reached right up to His knees!

I am writing this because this "vision" was not my own imagination working. It was like something that was really happening. It was a precious gift from God and I believe it reveals a great truth.

I believe that when we fall into sin and get back up, without presumption, that we can become greater saints than before. I compare it to the fall of our first parents, and say with the Church, "O happy fault!" Just as the fall of Adam and Eve brought us the grace of redemption, our past sins can obtain for us a deep humility and, in a way, force us into the arms of Jesus. When we are humbled to the dirt and there is nothing left in us but sorrow, we need to have complete confidence in the great mercy of God and live the rest of our lives in Love for Him who is so GREAT and LOVING and MERCIFUL!!!
I praise you, Lord, for you have raised me up
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O Lord, my God,
I cried out to you and you healed me.
Lord, you brought me up from hell;
you kept me from going down into the pit.
Sing praise to the Lord, you faithful;
give thanks to God's holy name.
For divine anger lasts but a moment;
divine favor lasts a lifetime.
At dusk weeping comes for the night;
but at dawn there is rejoicing.
Complacent, I once said, "I shall never be shaken."
Lord when You showed me favor
I stood like the mighty mountains.
But when you hid your face
I was struck with terror.
To you Lord, I cried out;
with the Lord I pleaded for mercy:
"What gain is there for my life blood,
from my going down to the grave?
Does dust give you thanks
or declare Your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, have mercy on me;
Lord, be my helper."
You changed my mourning into dancing;
You took off my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness.
With my whole being I sing
endless praise to you.
O Lord, my God,
forever will I give you thanks. - Psalm 30


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