Always rejoice in the Lord!

I was brought up by the parents of my mom. After a stormy legal case, my mother and father busied themselves with their new families, while I was left on my own.

My beloved grandparents, who took care of me, instilled in me simple principles in life, based on faith. As a growing child, I took part in early morning Advent Masses, devotions to Our Lady in the month of May, and the holy rosary prayer. Later on, my mom took me into her home, perhaps to make up for the times lost and to raise me herself. But for a fifteen-year-old, it was a stage of rebellion. Even though we love each other, we had lots of misunderstandings. At that time, I learned from my dermatologist that I was suffering from psoriasis, an incurable disease, which can only be partly healed. Therefore my rebellion went on, and the question why me? Why was this happening to me…? I thought to myself: “How do I look! My skin bleeds; the bed sheet is full of blood stains every morning.” Ointments, oils, the torment of a young girl, while my thoughts were filled with bitterness, grudges and despair… I seized on different ways of healing, but had completely forgotten about God. After some years, I realized that no medicine helps for long. Every steroid cream is only effective during its use, but when it is discontinued the condition worsens. So I turned to unconventional medicine. I sought rescue for myself, for my skin. But from there, I was just one step away from a wider form of esotericism.

The more I descended into occultism, the further away I was from Christ and His Church

The more I descended into occultism, the further away I was from Christ and His Church. I was angry with all priests, seeing only the senselessness of religion and faith. I turned to Silva UltraMind ESP System, or Mind Control, auric sight, Reiki, bioenergy therapy, feng-shui, yoga, numerology, fortune-tellers, chanting mantras, reincarnation, crystal skulls and I don’t know what else… I also did fire-walking. I took pride in all of them at the time: “I walked on hot embers four times!” Today I laugh at myself, thinking: “So what?! Did it give me anything?” Absolutely nothing! So what’s the point of doing something senseless and dangerous? I also failed to find any medicine for my skin disease. Yet I was still fascinated with the occult and the esoteric.

I met my husband, who to some extent was also interested in these things, so we both got stuck into it together. We had a civil wedding, because I didn’t even want to hear about the sacrament of marriage. After two years, I gave birth to our son. At that time, I couldn’t take part in courses or sessions connected with occultism, but I read a lot about it. We lived quite well and didn’t experience any great difficulty. The turning point for us came when we moved to the central part of Poland, where my husband comes from. I felt good in our new environment, a smaller city with nice people and caring in-laws, far away from my family, with which I was in constant conflict. Years passed, our son grew, and we only had him baptized when he was almost two years old. We lived our lives as if God did not exist. When the time came for my son to have his First Communion, I felt the worthlessness of my situation. “Since there is no hindrance to receiving the sacrament of marriage, why not go for it?” – I thought to myself.

Receive the sacrament of marriage

Then suddenly, thanks to my son, I began to approach the Church anew. It was the time when he had decided by himself (I would not have persuaded him) to become an acolyte. Then I started to go to church more often, talking to the priest in charge of the altar boys, to the parish priest. I noticed that these men in clerical collars were accommodating. They didn’t yell at us during the pastoral visit, but in a delicate way made us recognize: “Have a church wedding! What are you waiting for?” What was I waiting for? Something was persistently keeping me away from those thoughts, but after some time, we matured to that decision. Our church wedding took place on 26 May 2012. That day, only the witnesses and our son were present. When I asked him some days before the wedding what he thought about it, he said: “I am proud of both of you!” My heart rejoiced! I did not have fear any more. I really wanted to return to God, to Jesus. God’s actions are amazing. He used our son to make us break away from sin, to receive the sacrament of marriage and to reconcile ourselves with the Lord. Praise the Lord!

For the next two months, I experienced great spiritual joy. I could now receive the Holy Communion. My delight in receiving Jesus was immense, and it was like that every time. Then one day something fell on me like a thunderbolt – something that is even hard to describe. I experienced some kind of an illumination. I began to hear and understand the Word of God. It was amazing. Earlier, despite the many times I had heard the readings from the Holy Scriptures, they were incomprehensible; they went in one ear and out the other. Once I heard a passage from the Bible on television, it surprised me that not only did I understand the sense of those words, but they pertained to me personally and answered the problems of my everyday life. It was an incredible discovery, which made me start to listen to different kinds of homily available on the Internet for three days. It was holiday time, and my husband and son were away for a few days. I only ate and slept, and when I woke up, I listened again. I looked for passages in my own Bible, which I found in the library covered in dust. I copied some passages of the Word of God and learned them by heart. I could not stop, because suddenly a treasure of great knowledge, wisdom and truth had opened before my eyes. The feeling was so strong that I wanted to read all the time. I had the impression that I had lost so much and now the moment had come for me to compensate, to catch up…

I had kept to myself a certain problem which I could not solve by myself. Seeing now and understanding the strength flowing from the Holy Scriptures, I resolved to give this problem to God, trusting that He would help me find a solution. I did not even suspect that my full entrustment would bring about a terrible torment. When I decided to place all these things in the hands of our Father, these thoughts immediately came: “It won’t give you anything! It will be a disaster! You can’t do anything about it anymore. You’re stupid! Whom do you believe in? These thoughts come to mind very often, and I tried to brush them aside each time, while praising the Lord and entrusting Him with everything. This lasted for a day or two. I looked for rescue. I thought about confession and found on the Internet a list of questions about how to conduct a good examination of conscience. I wrote them down on a piece of paper, pondering each of them. That took me three to four hours, after which I hurried to the church with my guide and confessed everything that I remembered. It was my first general confession in my life. Then I stayed for the Holy Mass and received Jesus. I felt lighter, the throng of thoughts died down, and the next day I received the solution to my problems. Praise the Lord!

“There is but one God”

A few days later, I woke up with these thoughts: “There is but one God” – and it didn’t give me peace of mind. I got up and started to think: “So what does this mean to me?” and my eyes were directed towards the four bookcases filled with esoteric books. I already knew what to do. I started to take them out one by one and packed them into a suitcase. I got rid of them, along with the pendulums, crystals, packs of cards, different kinds of ointments and all the other esoteric gadgets. I understood everything. Since there is but one God, then what are these other “gods” for? What is the use of these destructive objects? They all became useless in the face of the One God, who for me is the truth. Praise the Lord!

Another radical change took place. I looked into my wardrobe. There were a lot of nice, fashionable clothes – certainly because I wanted to look good and pretty… However, at that moment, I felt some kind of distaste towards those things. I understood that I didn’t want to wear provocative clothes, blouses with plunging necklines. I got rid of them and a lot of things which I did not want to wear anymore. I felt relieved…

God had freed me then as well from “shopaholism”. Before, when I had money, I had to spend it immediately, but when I was penniless, I would go window shopping and get angry and distraught that I could not afford to buy what was tempting me on display. One summer, my husband, our son and I went to the shopping centre to buy something for his computer. I didn’t want to go there, because I was afraid that such thoughts would come again: “You cannot afford to buy these, look what a beautiful blouse, great shoes! You cannot afford them because you’re hopeless”. I didn’t want this to happen again, so I begged God to help me. Then this came to my mind: “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want”.

I pulled out my leather wallet and wrote those words on it. The moment we entered the shopping centre, I saw the beautiful shop windows. I felt the pressure of urges in my mind. I thought: “How can I defend myself from them?” I only had one help with me: the Word of God. And so I had this thought going on in my head: “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want”. I was walking around from one shop to the other with my family and I did not even notice how those evil thoughts had left me. After this event, my problem with “shopaholism” disappeared from my life forever. Praise the Lord!

For me, it is impossible to stay depressed, since I have my Physician, God Almighty, and the best Medicine, which is the Body of Christ

Another attack

Then came another attack from the evil one: new, different and very strong. I thought how upset he must be that after fourteen years of living in sin, being more than forty years old, I was getting married in church. I laughed at the reaction of one friend who said: “What? You had a church wedding? When you’re this old, you divorce! “Yes, a divorce – but from Satan” – I thought to myself.

Now I understand that the evil force does not give up on us easily. And so financial problems came, and my dear mother-in-law had a stroke. Unexpectedly, beside my son, I now had an octogenarian “daughter”, a person who was completely dependent on us, whom I had to wash, feed, dress and carry. The pressure of obligations led me to fall into a state of bitterness and anger. I asked myself: “Why did this happen? Why can I not give attention to my spirituality now? What is God’s purpose for sending this to me? In my thoughts, Satan immediately whispered: “So how are you feeling after that church wedding? Did it give you something? Where is your God?” I tried to resist those attacks in my mind, but I experienced bouts of apathy and discouragement. I held on to God all the time, but the joy I felt before was taken away by the evil spirit.

I was looking for help. I said that I entrusted my whole self, my every decision in life to Jesus. I was aware that without Him I would do no good. I wanted my family to live in the state of sanctifying grace. There were various situations with my husband. There was a time when he did not want to go to church with me and our son. I talked to him, explaining in whatever way I could. Sometimes I did not have the strength and could not stand it any longer, so I shouted out that he was “lukewarm”. He paid me back, replying that I was almost a nun and had eaten up all my reason. He shouted that he didn’t understand all these things, that I was converted, but not him! “My God! – I beg you – what am I to do?” I took my rosary, which – I sincerely admit – I had not liked to pray before (I found it too long, boring, senseless). I had a nineteenkilometre drive to work. The moment I left the house, I started to pray the rosary, and by the time I reached there – I had finished. “This is amazing – this time is for Mary”. Now I was praying the rosary on my way to work and back. The day finally came when my husband went to confession. Once again, we can go to Holy Mass together. How my soul gladdens! Praise the Lord!

When I had money, I had to spend it immediately, but when I was penniless, I would go window shopping

The stress connected with my ailing mother-in-law disappeared when I understood that a real Catholic has to live for the other, to serve him by lending a helping hand. I somewhat revised the earlier views I had of myself when I saw how deeply I had fallen into the web of egoism. That is why, for example, while cleaning I repeat these words loudly: “I am the humble servant of the Lord”. For a long time, I could not understand what it really meant to be humble. Now I understand better. When somebody asks me for help – if I can – then I accept it with joy. I don’t have discouraging thoughts when fulfilling such deeds. I also affirm that being faithful to God when inside the church is very simple. However life shows what we arereally like when we go outside

I am not afraid now to speak about God

At work, we discuss spiritual problems. I try to live my life by giving a good example. I talk about my dilemmas, and together we look for solutions, relying on the Lord Jesus. I have always stressed that a person who truly believes doesn’t know what depression is and never falls into it. But when he does, he comes out of it fast, because he knows where to seek help. For me, it is impossible to stay depressed, since I have my Physician, God Almighty, and the best Medicine, which is the Body of Christ. I cannot remember the last time I fell into a state of apathy. That has become alien to me, whilst before it was something I knew very well. Glory to God!

I got a surprise call one day: “Please come over for a talk. Some procedures will be initiated, because your son has expressed loudly that he wants to take his own life, and it has happened two days in a row” (he was in the sixth year at the time). I froze when I heard those words. I thought: “What is going on? What kind of suicidal thoughts? It’s impossible!” I could not keep myself from saying those words when I asked my colleague from work to fill in for me. When I got in the car, I kept thinking: “What am I to do? Where can I seek help?” and I saw the rosary. I prayed a lot on my way. I entrusted my son to Mary. It came to my mind to call upon the Holy Spirit and ask Him to be with me during that meeting in school. The moment I reached our home, the panic subsided, and I felt peace within me. Everything became clear, although the next few days were restless. I resolved to seek help by offering a Holy Mass for our son’s intention.

I joined a prayer group called the Roses of the Rosary, where the parents pray the rosary for all the children who belong in the Renewal. The worry over my son has not ended, but I believe that it will have a positive conclusion. My husband is losing his mind, but I assure him that this crisis will pass; only in faith will we endure. It’s only a test, and how we come through it depends on us.

There is still a lot of work before me. I would like to be less emotional in facing problems. Sometimes it’s very hard, but I have strength within me, since I have support from Jesus and Mary. Once I read that Satan works by using our thoughts, emotions and feelings. I always remember about that. One of the most important things is to be joyful each day, regardless of what is happening to me, just as it is written in the Holy Scriptures: “Rejoice always in the Lord, once again I say: Rejoice!”