The sermons were part of a larger program called a Mission, which I had never heard of before. This Mission was given within the last 5 years. The priest delivered a simple yet powerful message that was easy to understand and covered basic topics of our faith such as heaven, hell and the judgment to come. The following paragraphs are my attempt to summarize the impact these sermons had on my life, causing me to recount some the feelings I experienced as I cried and listened, suddenly coming to realize what a terrible Catholic I had become.
I had considered myself a decent Catholic, which I now believe that I am not. I was raised Catholic by my mother, since my father is a Protestant (please pray for his conversion). I didn’t have any Traditionalist friends and there were no traditionalist schools to attend. A few Novus Ordo schools were available, but I care not to imagine the extent of my fall if I had attended school there.
I was diagnosed at an early age with cancer, and, through the prayers of my mother, the small congregation to which my mother belonged, family, friends of the family and relative’s, I was spared from death by the grace of God. Looking back, I wish that I had been taken then into the bosom of heaven as a baby, as opposed to leading the life of sin and sacrilege that I have lived since the time when my cancer went into remission. But, God obviously has a plan for me.
I cannot begin to tell you the number of times that I have been in sin, mortal sin, and went to confession thinking that I would be saved. I told partial truths (which are lies and compounded my mortal sins) in the confessional to conceal from the priest and God the true nature of my sins. How foolish! How many times I have committed a sacrilege I cannot recall.
Oh, the blackness of my soul and to attend Mass every week. What a detraction I must be from the holy Mass. Did I bring demons with me into church, and did they leap from my shoulders onto others? I even served at the altar in a state of mortal sin. Did that cause the people that I represented to not fully gain the graces for attending Mass that they otherwise would have received? What a wretch.
I believe I am responsible for the loss of graces of others and have desecrated the altar of God and put other souls in jeopardy. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER THAT I TURNED ATHIEST AND MY FAITH BECOME COLD THAN TO DEFILE THE ALTAR OF GOD WITH MY PRESENCE! IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER THAT A MILSTONE BE HUNG ABOUT MY NECK AND I DROWNED IN THE DEPTHS OF THE OCEAN!
Oh My God how low am I. Have there been souls condemned to hell because I blocked the necessary graces for them to attain salvation? What beast can I be comparable to? A SNAKE BECAUSE THOSE ARE THE ACTIONS OF ONE SERVING THE DEVIL.
How offensive I have been and for how many years? What example have I provided for those outside the church? That we, as Catholics, are no different from the world and that I can go to confession whenever I wish and do as I please and God will forgive me. AND I DID SO KNOWING THAT THIS IS FALSE AND MY ACTIONS WERE IN DIRECT CONTRADICTION TO THE FIRST AND GREATEST COMMANDMENT.
I know that my life is not as bad as some, but God will judge us more harshly because of my knowledge of the Truth. God is truly merciful in that I have been able to live this long and continue, willingly, my offenses against Him and His teaching, but His justice has limits. I can feel it. I KNOW IT! I don’t sleep well at night. I wake up sweating as if my soul had been descending to hell. I have had accidents in motor vehicles where I should have sustained severe injuries. My personal life is a wreck and I still do not know my vocation in life. These are but a few indicators that I need to make amends for my sins, offenses, omissions and negligence lest I die and go to hell for all eternity.
You may be asking why I decided to write this. This is not a condemnation of others, but rather a testimony to the mercy of God, that perhaps I an open my eyes before it was too late. I write this because I know that there are more like me. Sinners at the altar of God who have received, knowingly, the sacraments while in a state of mortal sin, moved by pride or embarrassment to refuse to give a full recount of their sins, even as I have done for so many years.
Our sins will be made apparent for all to see when we are judged. That is certain. There will be no embarrassment before God, but there must be fear of what is to come if we die in a state of mortal sin.
Death is the only certainty in this life, and judgment is guaranteed in the next. When will it happen? Today? Tomorrow? On my way home from work or on my way to the confessional? I don’t know, but soon and for certain.
I consider myself lower than the lowest. I hope that those who are like me will, especially during this season of lent, find a good book on confession, as I have been graced to find. Read it and go immediately to your priest for confession. Let us get our souls clean so we can pray for the souls that may go to hell because there is no one to pray for them…or for us, if we do not amend our lives.
And let us pray for each other that we may obtain the graces to keep ourselves pure for a death and judgment that is certain to come, any day, at any moment, and when we least expect it.
- A SINNER