“PLEASE HELP ME!”
May 12th, 2017
In Honour of God, those with Him in heaven, and my brother.
Every happening, great or small is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message. –Malcom Muggeridge
I grew up in a middle-class family of five. My dad was a salesman and my mother was a seamstress. My family was afflicted with two serious illnesses; Alcoholism, which came from both sides of my family, and Bipolar disorder, which came from my dad’s side of the family.
Unfortunately, he never found recovery for either illness in his lifetime, which made our family life extremely difficult. My mother died when I was very young, which left my dad with the responsibility of raising my siblings and I.
My spirit eventually became crushed, and my heart became broken from all of the continual abuse I had witnessed, and endured, throughout my childhood. Later in life, I saw a commercial on television that showed abused dogs in a shelter. The sad, hurt, and fearful expressions on their faces reminded me of what had happened to me.
Throughout my childhood, my self-esteem, and self-confidence ultimately became shattered, and when that happens to any child, it will not only make their adult life more difficult. It can also take a very long time to rebuild.
I am not a child expert, but from one who once was a child, I believe that one of the best things a parent could ever do for their children is to discover what their natural talents or abilities are, through interaction and observation. Each child has their own very special quality or gift within them that should be recognized, nurtured, and encouraged, but never exploited.
A G.E.D. is my only scholastic achievement, in addition to 9 credit hours from a community college. I have no special titles or credentials. All in all, I am just an ordinary person. I would easily blend into any crowd.
I wish to mainly focus on the primary purpose of writing and sharing my story, which is how I was rescued from a life of total despair and certain death by Divine intervention, and the subsequent healing of my soul, and the renewal of my faith, which was followed by being gently guided to the awareness and subsequent recovery of certain serious illnesses.
My siblings and I were switched from our catholic school, to a public one shortly after our mom had died. I had little education in my faith, and it was not practiced much in my home. This is when I began drifting from my faith.
I have encountered many more spiritual experiences since the miraculous return of my faith in 1986. I will be describing a few of them in particular in my story. To recall all of them would be practically impossible, due to the fact that they cover a thirty-year period. Plus, they continue to occur on a regular basis.
Attempting to explain these events without sharing certain aspects of my faith, which is Catholic, would be virtually impossible. As my story unfolds, I will also describe certain experiences that I have had in relation to the Most Holy Trinity, (who I believe to be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), the Blessed Virgin Mary, and a few specific Saints and Angels.
I have also included scriptural passages from the Old and New Testaments of a St. Joseph’s Catholic bible, which illustrate the many examples of the number three.
My brother originally wanted to write a story about the spiritual nature of the number three which had occurred in the third month of 1990, that had left its mark on both of our lives. It was originally going to be a very small book containing only a few pages. Unfortunately, it never became a reality.
About 14 years ago, I attended a community class to learn basic computer skills for the main purpose of being able to write the story myself. I had taken typing I and II in high school, but that was when I was about 15 years old, which was a long time ago.
One day, I approached my instructor and told her I was going to write a book. She hesitated, and then told me that her father, who was then deceased, had three things that he wanted to accomplish in his lifetime. One was to write a poem, the other was to plant a tree, and the other was to write a book. She went on to tell me that he wrote the poem, and he did plant the tree, but like my sibling, his book had not materialized in his lifetime either. Her story of her father’s goals inspired me, because this book had become a life goal of mine, and I hoped and prayed that it would one day become a reality.
The following list includes some of the renewal and recovery that I have experienced from 1986 to the present.
- My soul
• My faith
• Childhood abuse- Professional Therapy (which addressed certain traumatic childhood events)
• Recovery from the effects of alcoholism- Alanon (which also includes Alanon Adult Children of Alcoholics, part of the Alanon Family Groups),
• Alcoholism – A.A. (recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction),
• Bipolar 1 disorder (formally known as manic depression), which included seven years of psycho- social rehabilitation.
• Nicotine addiction – by completing steps 4,5,6, and 7 of the AA program.
• Post traumatic stress disorder (P.T.S.D)
Through the love, grace, and mercy of my Heavenly Father, it has been twenty-one years since I last used illegal drugs of any kind with the help of A.A. I am also a grateful member of Alanon, a twelve-step program that helps relatives and friends of alcoholics to recover from the devastating effects of alcoholism, and two years’ recovery in Co-dependents Anonymous.
I have fifteen years of sobriety thanks to God, the fellowship, and the twelve steps of A.A. In addition, I have fifteen years of recovery for my Bipolar 1 disorder, including seven years of psychosocial rehabilitation and six years of psychotherapy. My recovery for P.T.S.D is slowly but surely progressing. I stopped smoking eight years ago by using steps four, five, six, and seven from the twelve steps of AA. I am in the seventh year of recovery for Diabetes type II.
I will not mention any last names or any human beings who have helped me greatly on my earthly journey. God knows who they are and I pray that He blesses them all, as well as my enemies. I will not refer to any actual geographic locations or any other places by name. I will include certain titles of books and their authors, that both enlightened and encouraged me along my journey.
I use the term ‘Heavenly Father’ and ‘God’ in referring to my Creator, as these are the titles that I feel most comfortable with.
Both the The A.A. and Alanon Preambles state that they are not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization or institution, so my Catholic sharing is from me personally, and not A.A. or Alanon, as both programs are based on spiritual principles. I’m just a Catholic who was led to recovery from both alcoholism, and the effects of alcoholism and drug addiction in A.A., and the Alanon Family Groups.
I have written my story anonymously, in honour of the 11th traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, and the Alanon Family Groups, which asks this of all of their members in the matters of press, T.V., radio, and film.
I have chosen to place my story on the world wide web at no cost in honour of God’s only Son, who said to his disciples, “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
I was unable to have this work professionally edited due to the fact that I could not afford to. I live on a small budget. I have spent much time in reviewing and correcting the overall text, and although it is not perfect, I hope that the reader can forgive me for any errors that may remain.
Whether you belong to any faith or none, I invite you to read and discover, or rediscover. I hope that it may become a source of inspiration. renewal, hope, consolation, strength, and encouragement.
CHAPTER 1 – THE ‘CLOSE CALLS’ OF MY CHILDHOOD
My dad took my brother and I to dinner one night. During the meal, I noticed that he was in one of his particularly strange moods. This usually happened after he had had a few drinks in him. It is the type of mood that causes a tight uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. It also alerts you that something bad is going to happen. It is when Dr. Henry Jekyll tells you that the evil Mr. Edward Hyde will be arriving shortly.
After the dinner, my dad began driving us home. It was a cold winter night, and as we were driving along a desolate stretch of a long road, he decided to pull over and stop the vehicle. There were no street lights and no passing cars. He then told us to get out of the car. I had noticed we were near a bridge. He then told both of us that he was going to kill us by throwing us over the bridge.
At that moment, we both began screaming, “Don’t kill us, don’t kill us” over and over, as we struggled with him physically to stop. By the grace of God, he did stop. His watch band had broken in the struggle. As I am recalling this now, that watch was an anniversary gift that my mom had given to him.
I truly believe that between our struggling with him, along with Divine Intervention, our lives were spared.
One day, my father decided that I should learn how money works, so he put me on a train that went downtown with no money to observe how money works at the Board of Trade. I was dressed in blue jeans and a tank top, hardly the appropriate clothing to wear on such a trip. It was also my first trip downtown alone. I wandered around the city and ended up hanging around a famous landmark.
Within a few minutes, a man approached me who said all the things that I wanted to hear in order to gain my confidence. He spoke about what a loving family he had with such affection. It did not take long for him to convince me to meet them. After all, I was not very happy with mine at the time, so why not?
When we got to his apartment, there was no family. Instead, he led me to his bedroom where he then molested me. I did not say anything, out of fear for my life. Afterwards, he drove me to the train station and gave me five dollars. I did not tell my dad about this. When he asked how I had gotten the money, I lied and said it was a tip that I stole from a table in a restaurant. He eventually found out through the only other person I had told anyway. That shocking embarrassment only increased my humiliation and shame.
When I heard about what John Wayne Gacy had done, which was not long after what had happened to me, I thought to myself that I could have just as easily been driven to his home by him.
When I was 15 years old, I was home alone one day with our family dog. I was feeling very anxious and overwhelmed from all of the constant overall abuse. It all just kind of hit me at once, which caused me to feel quite hopeless.
I had remembered from some years back that there was a handgun hidden on the top shelf in the downstairs bathroom closet. I looked to see if it was still there. It was a pearl-handled chrome twenty-five caliber Browning automatic, and I found it. I then brought it to another room in the house, which was adjacent to the dining room. I slowly raised it to my head, and pressed the barrel behind my right ear. It was very still and quiet.
As I held it there, I suddenly noticed the dog, which was lying down like a sphynx, as Great Danes sometimes do. His cropped ears were up and at full attention. He was looking straight ahead, but his eyes were looking directly at me. The whole expression on his face was that of deep sorrow. Not a hair on him twitched, nor did he blink. I felt as if the eyes of God were looking at me. I could actually see that his eyes were beginning to fill with tears. Without a sound, his whole expression was pleading for me to stop. I very slowly put the gun down onto the table.
That dog saved my life that day. I have never seen a Great Dane ever look that sad before, or since then. A few weeks before he died he had the same expression, and so did I as I hugged him.
In 1973, when I was 16 years old, I was involved in an automobile accident. My dad had asked me to go to the market to purchase some food. I took his car, a 1970 Lincoln Continental Towncar.
As I was driving back from the store, I began going faster and faster because there was a show on television that I wanted to see.
I was driving into a T-intersection on a rural road. By the time, I was nearly at the intersection, I noticed the speedometer read 118 miles per hour. I was travelling westbound along the top part of the ‘T’. The street inclined upwards, then levelled off as the intersection appeared. We used to flash our brights on and off to notify drivers coming from the opposite direction at night for a safety precaution. It was pitch dark. The road was crowned, meaning that there were wide, and deep ditches on either side. I was flashing my brights continually as I approached the intersection.
The instant I was just about to enter the intersection, there was a car which had already committed making a left hand turn right in front of me. I will never forget the expression on the face of the kid who was in the back seat. He seemed to be nine or ten years old. He had blond hair and was looking out his window at me with the most horrified look I have ever seen on any kid. All of this took place within a fraction of a second.
I immediately slammed on my brakes and the rear of my car swerved towards the right, as the front of my car swerved left. My back end missed the other cars back end by inches as my car headed for the ditch. The car went airborne and completely jumped the ditch. It came down on all four wheels unevenly, and it bounced several times. The 1970 Lincoln Towncar was a very big car.
I was in a field now heading towards a large high tension wire tower. Somehow, I ended up back in the ditch that I had jumped over, about 50 feet from the intersection. I had to climb out of the car like a submarine by using the passenger side door, because the car was completely lying sideways, and it was still running.
I was not wearing my seatbelt. I survived completely unhurt, not even a scratch. The windshield was broken, and the right front wheel assembly was all bent and twisted. The car was totalled. Reflecting on this now, there were three people involved in the accident. The driver of the other car, the kid who was a passenger in the other car, and me. There were no injuries.
An interesting observation I had made many years later, was the fact that the colour of the Lincoln was powder blue, or baby blue. It is the same colour blue of the mantle that I have seen adorned on the Blessed Virgin Mary.
We had a lot of trees on our property, and their branches would sometimes drip sap onto the vinyl top of the family cars. One day my dad asked my brother and I to clean it off the roof of his car. It was a huge boat-like Cadillac Eldorado with a white vinyl top. He had always said the gasoline was the best cleaner for this particular job. The car was parked near the front porch.
My brother and I proceeded to dampen a few rags with gasoline. We had a five-gallon army style gas tank, which was also near the porch. After cleaning the top of the car, we took a break at the top of the porch. We had laid the rags on one of the ledges. My brother had a lighter and started to light it. One of the sparks ignited the pile of gasoline-soaked rags. That is when things became dangerous.
Without thinking, we quickly pushed the rags over the ledge. We looked over the ledge and found that the rags had landed close to the five-gallon gas can. The car was a few feet away.
I immediately ran down to where the gas can was. The lid was open and I reached to grab the top handle. I began to lift it up and suddenly, imagining the handle was hot, I lost my grip and let it drop. The tank was nearly full and it dropped unevenly so when the bottom of the tank hit the concrete it started wobbling and then it fell down on its side.
The gas started running out of the tank, and a stream of liquid fire started running towards the car. I knew then that if I did not get the gas tank out there immediately, that we were going to have a major explosion.
I grabbed the top handle again and started to lift it back upright. Just as I started to do this I heard a ‘woosh’ type of exhaust sound coming from the tank. I did not know it then, but I believe that is the kind of sound that is made before a major explosion takes place.
After I righted the tank, I told my brother to get the car out of there, and I ran to get something to put out the fire which was now burning on the grass where the car had been. I found an old tarp that eventually snuffed it out.
I was at my dad’s place of business one afternoon. I had the family dog with me. We were both in the office, and it was a slow afternoon, so I decided to clean the 12 guage shotgun that my father kept in his office. I found a long piece of wire with a steel wire brush at one end near the gun, so I figured that it was used to clean the barrel. I was standing up, I held the gun with my right hand, and proceeded to place the steel brush into the barrel with my left hand.
The dog was lying down in front of the door. It was a small office. I do not recall precisely what I did, but after I removed the wire brush from the barrel, the gun suddenly fired. This greatly frightened the dog, who was not injured. I was holding the gun upright on an angle. The blast had jarred the gun from my hands and had landed on the floor. The shot went through the door to the back room, which had been opened and against the wall. It then travelled through the wall and sprayed buckshot into the ceiling of the rear room. The When I walked into the room, there was white dust falling everywhere from the drop-ceiling tiles. It was not until much later that learmed that the gun had a hair trigger.
One day In 1975, when I was 18 years old, my dad had asked me to go to his office. He specifically told me to take care of a few errands on the way. I did as he asked, and then arrived at the office. As I was walking up to the front door, I noticed that it was slightly ajar. I opened the door and found that the entire office had been totally ransacked. Everything was all over the place.
The office itself was located in a dangerous part of town. For security reasons, my earthly father always had two hamburger bags on either side of his desk. The open side of each bag was facing him when he sat down. In one bag was a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber snub nose revolver with hollow point cartridges. The other bag contained a .22 caliber luger. The Browning 12 guage automatic 5-shot shotgun was in the back room.
I went to the bag to retrieve the .38 caliber revolver, but I found a rusty chefs knife instead. When I saw the knife, an eerie feeling swept over me. I called my dad and told him what happened. I recall I had taken in payments the night before. I had placed them in between a stack of newspapers In the closet. He asked me to check if the money was still there. I checked and the money was all there.
After I got off the phone, I walked outside and noticed a man sharply dressed in a leather blazer walking towards me. As he approached he exclaimed, “looks like he got you too.” I did not exactly know what he was talking about until he told me that after the guy hit our place, he went around back and stole his brother’s Oldsmobile 98 Brougham. He went on to explain that after he stole the car, he drove north and circled a currency exchange too many times, and the girl inside called the police, who apprehended him in an alley.
I later learned that the man they had captured had a grisly method of burglary. He would rob small businesses, tie up the victims, then slash them and burn the place down. He is currently doing five consecutive life life terms. I also learned the knife was not rusty. It was dried blood.
I could have easily been victim number six if I had not have taken care of those errands prior to arriving at the office that day.
These incidents illustrate that even though I had already wandered from my faith, my heavenly father was always by my side. It was not until after I experienced the return of my faith in 1986, that I became more aware of how God and Heaven had played significant roles in helping me to survive these life threatening events.
CHAPTER 2-THE RETURN OF MY FAITH
I was now 29 years old, and It was around January 1986. I had become so lost in life, that I doubt a search party using laser-guided G.P.S. units would have ever found me.
I was temporarily staying in a condominium that was owned by a woman. It was in a large metropolitan city, and I was in very serious trouble. I was at the very end of my rope, and greatly distressed. I was on the run from the law, feeling extremely anxious, and experiencing suicidal and homicidal thoughts. I had arrived at a point in my life that I pray no one ever has to experience.
I had committed embezzlement against my employer, in addition to cashing bad checks throughout a particular state. I was also in possession of a rental vehicle that I was driving beyond the date that it was supposed to be returned.
This journey of crime had all started when I was in my apartment in another city smoking marijuana. I had devised what I thought was a then brilliant idea to rip-off the company I had been working for by stealing and selling certain accounts of theirs on my own without their knowledge.
Everything was working just fine, until something happened which I had completely overlooked. It’s one of those things that when it happens, original plans begin to unravel quickly, and all you can think about is getting out of town as fast as you possibly can.
What had happened, is that one of the companies that I had contacted had sent their payment to the company that I was ripping off, instead of sending it to the P.O. box that I had established. And when I had gone to the post office to check the box, there was a letter waiting for me from the company I was stealing from.
The letter was addressed ‘To whom it may concern…’ which told me that they really didn’t know who was stealing from them yet. Yet is a key word, because even though they hadn’t known who it was yet, I knew it would not be very long before they did know, and that imminent conclusion made me want to stop everything and run.
I then raced home, obtained a rental van, loaded it up, and moved in with a woman that I had hardly known. That bright idea eventually turned out to be another mistake.
Mistakes can happen often when you’re moving quickly, and on the run. That is where the drug and alcohol use got out of control, and I was still ripping off the company I had worked for! I somehow felt safe because I assumed they wouldn’t find me, as I now had a new address, but hovering around, like a news traffic helicopter, were the constant thoughts of my impending downfall.
I was smoking pot when I came up with the life changing idea of stealing from the company I was working for. I was also smoking pot at another time, when a depraved thought entered my mind of forcing sex on a woman against her will. It was only by the grace of my heavenly Father that the thought never became a reality. It is my opinion that all illegal drugs can have diasterous consequences for anyone who partakes in them.
It is truly like playing Russian Roulette. I used to smoke marijuana a lot, and it definitely led me to cocaine. The whole thing about drugs is that our curiousity is never satisfied. We are constantly seeking to get a higher, and higher experience from them. That is why we consume alcohol with drugs, or mix drugs with other drugs, and look for higher potency drugs.
I know for a fact that I have done many regrettable things when I was either high or drunk that I never would have done in a sober state of mind. Pot can make people laugh alot until it makes a person do something really stupid one day, where they end up in very serious life changing trouble. I guarantee that there will no be laughing then. Talk about stupid, how can anyone think that they can ever play it safe with dangerous drugs. Think about that. It is like driving a car with your eyes closed.
Cocaine is another drug altogether. I never quite got used to it because of the severe paranoia that came along with it. That, and the equally unwanted clammy and intense sweating. I only snorted cocaine. I smoked it a few times, but it had no effect on me. I never did administer any drugs into myself intraveniously. Fortunately, the extent of my drug use was smoking pot and snorting cocaine. I was addicted more to pot than I was to the cocaine.
I became increasingly paranoid the longer I stayed at the woman’s place. So much so, that one night I decided to leave without saying goodbye. I had only a few checks left in my checkbook along with my bankcard. When the money got low, I decided to cash checks at various stores until I was almost down to my last one.
I then located a very sophisticated photocopier, and with parchment style paper, I reproduced copies of the last check I had in my possession. After I ran off ample copies, I cut them down to the exact borders of the checks. They all had the same check number, but I wasn’t cashing them at the same place, so I felt I was good to go.
So there I was, driving a rental car that was overdue to return, my bank account was way overdrawn, and I’m cashing one hundred dollar checks all over the state. Passing bad checks may not seem like that much of a big deal, but when you go beyond the five hundred dollar mark, it becomes grand theft and grand theft is a felony. I had never been in that kind of trouble in my life.
As I reflect back on all of this, I cannot believe what a lying, decietful, scoundrel I had become. I can hardly count all of the times that I walked in, and then right back out of women’s lives, without ever saying goodbye. The drugs, alcohol, and the crimes. This did not all happen overnight. Twenty years of not practicing my faith played a huge part. How many people do you think are in jail or in prison now, that were actually practicing their faith just before they got arrested?
Very serious trouble in life ususally begins small, and as the years add on, and it keeps getting worse and worse, if it is not dealt with, and honestly faced. A person once told me to look for patterns, re-occuring examples of doing the same things over and over again. It is most revealing indeed to look and see where it traces to. Where, and when, it all started from in my life. I had actually started writing bad checks years before, but never at the level I was currently writing.
I believe it is human nature when a person wants to see how far they can push the envelope, or or how much more they can get away with. Not only with drugs, but with everything. Try telling that to the judge, when he asks you if you have any last words that you wish to say, before he sentences you.
When the Devil tempted Eve in the garden, he told her that if she ate the apple, she would be like God. God had given Eve and Adam everthying they could ever want, but they wanted more. They were not satisfied. They had to have more.
I recall my dad once saying, “lying leads to cheating, cheating leads to stealing, and stealing leads to murder.”
During my crime spree, I had met another woman who also agreed that I could stay with her. One day, I was experiencing an overwhelming fear and had a profound feeling of wanting to hide somewhere for as long as I could. In her condominium, I found a closet that housed the air conditioning filter unit. It had just enough room for me to squeeze into and shut the door. For a few moments I thought that this was the best hiding place ever, but then that thought dissipated as I would have to come out and eat at some time. Looking back at it now, I guess I was doing what Adam and Eve did when they tried hiding from God in the Garden of Eden.
I then went into the bathroom and thought very deeply about committing suicide. The more I tried thinking of how I could try to get away with it, the more I could see in my minds eye, and feel inside of me, that eternity never ends. With each suicidal scheme, the same glaring eternal reality would prevail. This continued until I was thoroughly convinced in my inmost being that there was utterly no way that I could get away with killing myself. This new reality depressed me even more. (I feel that this experience was ordained by my heavenly Father, as I believe every occurance in my life is.
Often, it is in reflecting on such events, that I can really see God’s hands at work. Insights of wisdom often follow the trials of life; the tests, the challenges, and if we are fortunate we can become aware of why a certain thing is happening while it is happening. I then went into the room of the condo where I was staying and got on my knees. I recall whispering “Please help me” slowly over and over again like a mantra. I was saying it like I really meant it too! Now that I reflect on this, it was a moment of surrender. I was all out of options and I was asking for help. This was the first time I had gotten on me knees, and had asked for God to help me, in my entire life.
Then, as I looked up at the ceiling, I noticed that it seemed to be totally on fire. It was a surreal image of rolling flames in smoke. I could see the rolling flames and smoke, yet there was no fire in the room. I could not help but just gaze at it in fascination. This turned out to be a supernatural vision. I will reveal it’s symbolic meaning later in the story.
The next day, a girlfreind of the woman who owned the condo let herself in. she was stopping by to visit. The woman was having sex with a lover in her bedroom, and I was in the living room holding a large kitchen chef’s knife. I just stood there and stared at her. Then she looked into my eyes and she seemed to catch her breath in fear, and froze. It must have been the look in my eyes, because just moments before she walked in, I was actually thinking of killing her girlfriend and lover, and then myself by leaping from the balcony, which was approximamately 20 stories up.
There were no words between us, and I was not holding the knife in an attack position. Nor did I move towards her, so she walked to the door very slowly and silently and let herself out. I then walked into the kitchen absolutely terrified. I laid the knife down onto the kitchen counter and quietly stood there for a while. I was trying to recall just how long it had been since I had left the church. It added up to roughly twenty years. I then said to myself under my breath, “Well, you’ve lived the last twenty years of your life without faith, let’s try the next twenty with.” I immediately felt a slight renewed sense of relief and hope. Looking back on it now, I also believe that my prayer petition for help was being answered.
I walked out of the building, still quite shaken from the frightening thoughts that were racing through my mind, and proceeded to walk down the street. Shortly, I came across a big red sign with white letters that read ‘WRONG WAY’. I then turned around and started walking the other way. I frantically asked the first person I ran into where the nearest Catholic church was. He told me that it was up a few blocks and a few blocks block to the left. I then directly proceeded to walk there rapidly. Reflecting on this now, there was three things that happened here too; (1) I prayed for help. (2) I had nearly killed 3 people, including myself. (3) I had asked the man where the nearest Catholic church was, where I returned to confession after nearly twenty years.
I rushed inside and found a priest, which was unusual since the church was empty and it was late morning. I asked a him if he could hear a confession. He said that he would. I walked into the confessional, and I then confessed to the priest what I believed was the very worst sin that I had ever committed in my life. Afterwards, I wept all the way out of the church. I could not hold back the tears. When I got back to the condominium, I felt greatly relieved of much of my anxiety, depression, and the crippling fear had also decreased measurably.
Later in my years, I would come to fully realize that that confession marked the most crucial turning point of my entire life. It not only saved my life, and the lives of two other people, but more importantly, my soul as well. Everytime I go to confession, which is regularly, my soul and my relationship with God is restored.
I mentioned what I believed was the worst sin I had ever committed. This is very important, because I also learned later in my journey of the renewal of my faith, that it is vital that I mention all of my sins, especially the mortal sins. (You can google venial and mortal sin to learn more) I must get totally honest with my heavenly Father. I cannot intentionally hold back, and after all, he knows all of them already. He just wants me to bring them to him so that he can forgive me.
Not too long after this, and not yet understanding how true repentance actually worked, I stole an automobile from the woman I was staying with, and proceeded to continue my crime spree throughout the entire state. I had previously returned the rental car to an airport parking lot, notifiying the agency by phone.
As I was driving from store to store, I happened to see one of those buses that are used to transport prisoners. It looked like those yellow school buses I use to go to school in, only it was off-white and had the windows caged for security. I thought to myself “I’d hate to be riding in one of those!”
Eventually, the police arrested me when I attempted to cash another check at another store. Fortunately, the owner of the vehicle did not press charges for auto theft. I ended up with grand theft, counterfeiting, and theft by deception charges, which resulted in me getting a two-year state sentence. I really did end up in one of those buses. More than once too. The county prison system uses them to transport inmates to various locations where they must appear in court. Somehow, I knew, as I was serving my time, that it would be not only my first, but also my last time in prison. That was thirty one years ago.
I had made my first confession at the church, and my second one was with the detectives at the police station. I told them everything. My third confession was unusual. It happened while I was still at the county jail system, at the then empty chow hall. I recall that about ten to fifteen other inmates were present along with a minister. We were all grouped together in a corner section of the dining area.
The minister asked all of us to close our eyes. Then he asked us if there were anyone among us who wanted to admit that what they had done was wrong, they could stand up. I stood up, and I heard a few others stand up too. Then the Minister said a prayer over us. This was my third confession.
On the way back to the bunkhouse, I began to have a spiritual experience. It is hard to describe, but my eyes seemed to be seeing things more differently than ususal. I also felt very peaceful and serene. It was as if my eyes were seeing through lenses that made everything look calm, very much like a Thomas Kinkade picture.
I started attending Catholic Mass weekly. I even lectored a few times. This is where I read the first reading from scripture assigned for the day to the congregation, and then the priest reads the Gospel.
After my release I was very fortunate to be able to stay with the only friend I really had in the world at that time. I acquired a few jobs simultaneously, and continued to attend mass weekly. Due to my bipolar disorder, which I did not even realize I had at the time, it was difficult for me to stay in any one place for too long. Actually, for most of my life I had been like a steel ball in a pinball machine, bouncing all over the place. The two flippers were Bipolar 1 and Alcoholism.
During the renewal of my faith, which began when I had made a confession after nearly 20 years. I continued to learn more and more about the various aspects of my faith, and I was attending Mass every Sunday. I eventually moved back to my home state, and found another job. My sibling also worked for the same company at a different location.
There are a total of Seven Holy Sacraments of the Catholic Church. They are Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation (Confession), Annointing of the sick, Matrimony, Holy orders, and the Holy Eucharist.
Due to the fact that it was the confession that I had made after nearly twenty years which turned my entire life around, I would like to offer some additional information about it.
The Holy Sacrament of Confession, sometimes called Reconciliation, is an act of restoring my relationship with my heavenly Father. I accomplish this when I go to a priest in private to confess my sins. There are two types of sins, mortal and venial. Mortal sins are very serious.
Here is what St. Francis of Assisi said about mortal sin; We should all realize that no matter where or how a man dies, if he is in the state of mortal sin and does not repent, when he could have done so and did not, the Devil tears his soul from his body with such anguish and distress that only a person who has experienced it can appreciate it.
Here is what St. Bernadette Soubirous (The seer of Our Lady of Lourdes) said in regards to mortal sin; When you see a condemned man on his way to the gallows, it moves you to pity. If you could do something to free him, you would do it. Well, brothers and sisters, when I see a person in mortal sin, I see someone drawing nearer with every step to the gallows of hell. And seeing him in this unhappy state, I happen to know the way to free him: that he be converted to God, ask God’s pardon, and make a good confession. Woe betide me if he does not.
Venial sins are less serious, but these can grow into mortal sins if they are not addressed. Whenever we sin, we offend God first. We also offend others by our sins. Most importantly, we damage our souls, which are eternal.
Another very significant fact about sin is the progressive nature of it. When we are young, commiting a sin can seem innocent and harmless, but if it is not confessed, it will continue to grow until it becomes something very dangerous and harmful. Eating an apple seems innocent and harmless enough. Just one apple was eaten by Adam and Eve, and look what has happened to the whole earth and it’s inhabitants since then.
The very best way to overcome sinful tendencies, and to keep them from growing like weeds in our lives, is to examine our concsiences, and to go to confession regularly. Our concsience is wonderful gift from God. It can notify us if we’ve done something wrong. This is why we sometimes have what is called a ‘Nagging consience.’
Thanks to this Holy Sacrament, I do not try to live with woman I hardly know anymore. Now, I make sure that they are thoroughly vetted first. (just kidding) Actually, all kinds of serious problems can arise if I am living with a woman, and we are not married. Obviously, there are many problems that married couples encounter too, but the unmarried couple will experience certain problems that a married couple will not; problems that can cause dire consequnces for their souls.
When we realize that we have truly committed any serious or less serious wrongs, we need to go to confession, receive forgiveness from God, and make a sincere effort with the help of God’s grace to avoid committing these sins in the future. By doing this, our souls become bright, shiny, and new.
There are two Saints that I call upon for help in making a good confession. Their names are St. John Nepomucine and St. Gerard Majella. They are the patron Saints for making a good confession. I also ask Mary to help me, along with the Holy Spirit, and my Guardian angel.
It is good that I make an examination of my conscience prior to making a confession. This is done by making a mental or written note of my sins. Sometimes I use Jesus’ two great commandments along with the Ten Commandments of God, or the 7 deadly sins, or both, as my guide. Here they are:
The Two Greatest Commandments of Jesus:
- You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all you soul, and with all your mind.
2. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The Ten Commandments of God:
- You shall honor no other God but me.
2. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath.
4. Honor your father and your mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
The Seven deadly sins are;
4. Gluttony contrition
The word ‘PAGGLES’, can be an easy way to remember the seven deady sins. Look again at the first letters in the order I have them. See?
If I am ever doubtful as wether of not I write something in my examination of concsience,, I put it in. Write down anything you feel undecided about. It popped into you head for a reason, and the reason was for you to write it down and confess it.
Before I enter the confessional, where I make my confession, I pray that I make a good confession.There are two Saints that I call upon for help in making a good confession. Their names are St. John Nepomucine and St. Gerard Majella. They are the patron saints for making a good confession. I also ask Mary to help me, along with the Holy Spirit, and my Guardian angel.
Another essential component of making a good confession is having a sincere attitude of true remorse for my sins, with the intent of amending my life. What I am trying to say is confession is not just for the sake of going through the motions. I need to be truly sorry for my sins along with a sincere desire to avoid committing them again in the future with God’s grace..
The following example will further illustrate my point. One time, I made a confession, and one of the sins I had confessed was that I was a smoker. After my confession was over, I walked out of the church, and proceeded to light a cigarette. The moment I lit it, the four church bells that were over my head, at the entrance to the church, started ringing very loudly. It was a wonder that my skeleton did not jump out of my skin and start running away from me. Those bells were absolutley earth-shaking!
In the confessional, the priest usually opens with a prayer. Then I begin by asking the priest to forgive me because I have sinned. I also say how long it has been since my last confession. Then I confess my sins.
I then end my confession by saying an act of contrition, where I tell God that I am sorry for offending Him and that I will try to avoid sinning in the future with His grace. Afterwards, the priest may make some useful suggestions on how to avoid these sins in the future, and suggest my penance. This could be saying a certain number of special prayers such as; ‘Hail Mary’s’ or ‘Our Fathers’ or some other form of penance. Then the priest absolves me of my sins in the name of God with a special prayer and the sign of the cross, then he tells me that my sins are forgiven, and to go in peace.
It was not until recently that I discovered the word ‘Grace’ in the Act of contrition. I really do need Gods Grace to help me to change. I cannot do it on my own. I need to participate with His grace in order to overcome the sin in my life.
I liken confession to a place where both my conscience, and my soul, can be washed clean. My soul had become nearly blackened during those twenty years that I had strayed from my faith. Now, everytime I go to confession it becomes bright shiny and new. This is very important to me because the most prized possession I have in life is my soul. Before I end my confessions I add “And for the sins I can’t recall, I am sorry for them too. For anything I did that offended God or those in heaven or on earth in any way.”
The greatest and most vital reason that I go to confession, is to make sure that my relationship with God is right. If I just do what I please down here on (His) earth, without being responsible for my actions, or intentionally hurting others, then I can’t see how God would be too pleased with me. Think about it, would a good earthly father be pleased if his children sinned? We’ve all heard of automobiles being recalled to the factory due to a defective part. Then, once repaired, they function as they was originally designed to. When I go to confession, I am doing the same thing.
St. Isadore of Seville explains it best. Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin, all hope consists in confession; in confession there is a chance for mercy.
If it has been a long time since you have been to confession, you may need more time to confess your sins. In this case, it is best to make an appointment with a priest to hear your confession. If you feel that your confession may be too lengthy, this is always a good option.
Normally, people who go to confession regularly, usually only take a relatively short amount of time. A substantal written examination would be more difficult to accomplish inside of the confessional because many do not have lamps, and you need to kneel while giving your confesssion. You could do it if you wish, bring a flashlite, because you may need one.
In the Cahtolic church, confessions can be made either in the confessional, or in person with a priest. I always do mine in person. It makes no difference to me if a priest sees my face; I just do not want it seen on the evening news, or in a Post office.
The last thing I will say about confessions is that under no circumstances whatsoever can any Catholic priest make known any sin that has been confessed to him. Never! Our ancient enemy is always delighted when people do not go to confession because our ‘ great accuser ‘ does not want us to be forgiven by God.
CHAPTER 3- THE SPIRITUAL THREE’S
In March of 1990, two family members visited me at my work unannounced. During their visit, my sibling, who had recently flown in from another state, started to notice things in three’s in the parking lot behind the office where I worked. He found three dollars in the parking lot. That is what started it. Then he went on to mention other three’s. He recalled that a relative, who was formally a politician, had an office on a third floor in Washington DC. He also mentioned that his flight number had three’s in it. Then he added that it was the third month. He just started mentioning things in three’s. He had never done that before in his life.
He may have mentioned a few more, but these were the main ones. Oh yes, he also remarked that there were three of us there.
A few weeks later, he called me up, and told me that he had made a spiritual connection with the three’s. He went on to tell me that there was Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and about the three wise men and their three gifts. He also mentioned that there were three crosses, and that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. He said he was going to write a tiny book about it because he had the perfect ending, God, because it had three letters in it.
I had also begun noticing various things in series of threes since the time in the parking lot, such as in the number of trees, birds, and such. Both of us were having spiritual experiences with the number three. His were from scripture, and mine were in the world.
I do not look for things in threes. They just appear whenever and wherever on their own accord in an infinite number of different ways. Whenever they occur, it makes me feel good. To me they are a sign of the Trinity; The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I have awakened in the middle of the night and looked at my chronograph watch, and when I had pushed the light feature button on it, I have seen the number three all across it, including the seconds. That has happened on many occasions as well as in the afternoon too.
Not only that, but I have also noticed on my watch when it was exactly 7:33 or 7:30. I have noticed when it was 1:30, 1:33, and with the number one all the way across. I also see threes on my l.e.d. timer on the digital panel on my exercise bike everytime I use it. As I said before, I am not looking for them. Somehow, I just happen to see them when they are present.
The three’s have not stopped appearing to me, in either numeric or other forms, since they manifested in my life in third month of the year 1990 when my two family members visited me at work (it just turned 3:33 on my watch). The 7 means God to me, because He created everthing in 6 days and then He rested on the seventh. The 30 was how old Jesus was when he began his ministry. The 33 was how old Jesus was when he died. Whenever I notice them, I feel they are with me. My sibling continued noticing them too.
So when I see 7:30 or 33, I feel that God and Jesus are with me. When I see 3:33, I feel that Jesus is with me too. 333 and Jesus will be explained further on. I believe that God reaches each one of us in his own special way, which is as unique and as special as each one of us is.
Here are just a few more examples of how I have encountered things in groups of three; in arches on buildings, in the number of squirrels I see in a day. I once saw three squirrels form a large triangle shape with each one at the triangles three points. 3 jet streams in the sky, 3 trees together. I have a silver ring with 3 identical channel cut grooves. That is why I chose it. Many times I have noticed 3 birds in the air and on the ground.
Another time I saw 3 balloons tied together with a silver ribbon. They were all blue and I saw them rolling down a street one night. From a distance I said to myself “what is that?”, and I was able to recover them. I took a picture of them when I got home. In nature or urban settings, inside or outside I just happen to notice things in three’s. I could go on and on, but I believe you have a general idea of the visually symbolic encounters with just some of the various things that I see in groups of three.
Prior to the manifistation of the three’s, I had participated in an Annointing of the Sick service. For years I was trying to figure out which one had triggered my journey of healing. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, It states in chapter two, article 4 #1520, that the first grace of the sarcrament is one of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. It claims that this grace comes from the Holy Spirit. In #135, it goes on to say that this assisance from the Lord by the power of his Spirit is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul, but also of the body if it is God’s will. It also states that if any sins have been committed, that they will be forgiven.
Reflecting on my journey of renewal now, I have to admit that the confession that I was guided to, marked the renewal of my soul and faith. I believe that the Annointing of the sick service, and the manifistaion of the three’s, also played an important part in my renewal process.
CHAPTER 4 – MY JOURNEY OF RECOVERY BEGINS
Dysfunctional family awareness and therapy
I distinctly recall, that it was within a week of the experience of the three’s, the first major personal awareness took place when I discovered very interesting book in the office where I was working. I asked who it belonged to, and nobody knew. I started to spot-read it, and for the very first time in my life, I was learning how seriously effected my life had become from the turmoil that was my childhood. It described the adverse affects that one can suffer by being a part of a dysfunctional family system. The title of the book was ‘Toxic Parents’. Dr. Susan Forward. I had made significant personal connections from the little I had read.
I have come to believe later in my journey of recovery that this was a ‘God-book.’ I have discovered other such books over the years. A God-book is any book that mysteriously crosses my path somehow. It is a book that I am not previously looking for. I feel it is a book that God has presented to me to read.
After that happened, I began seeing various therapists for counseling. It felt a little strange at first just sitting and talking to a person for an hour, but afterwards I felt relieved. I did not open up completely at that time due to lack of trust, and I only attended a few sessions with two different therapists.
I was then promoted to a management position at my job, which eventually put a wrench in my recovery gears. It was a cash job and I started making a lot of money. Nearly four times the amount that I had earned previously. The new positon, with the power and the extra money, really went to my head. Unfortunately, I became a lot less spiritual, and much more interested in making money.
With my newfound position and generous earnings, God just did not seem as important to me as he had been previously. Actually, not only did I wander from my path of healing, but my faith suffered too. After a while, I stopped tithing and reading scripture daily. I was not even going to mass consistantly. Believe me, money and a little bit of power can really cause more trouble than it is worth.
The problem with me was that money became my God. My position and my earnings became more important to me than God did. I became completely lost in my job. I let it take over all of my time and attention. I had no life. Nothing else mattered. After three years at managing the office, I lost the position, and once again I became a member of the sales team.
I then moved into the local Y.M.C.A. One Sunday, I happened to wander into the end of a speaker meeting for A.A. There was a literature table and I noticed the book titled Alcoholics Anonymous, affectionately called the ‘Big Book” by A.A. members. The reason for the nickname is that when it was first published in 1939, it was rather large with thick pages and binding.
The one I noticed on the table turned out to be the third edition! Someone there suggested that I attend the upcoming Wednesday ‘step’ meeting. Wednesday is of course the third day of the week. I did, and they were on step three. That was my very first A.A. meeting.
During my first two years in A.A., I attended three meetings per week. One was a speaker meeting, the other was a big book meeting, and the third one was the step meeting. The step meeting was my home group. A home group means that of all the meetings I may attend in any week, that is the one I never miss. My sponsor attended my home group as well, so we could stay better connected.
So, after the initial healing of my soul and faith, came the book about dysfunctional families, which led me into personal therapy, and then from Alcoholism in A.A. Along the way, as I was continually being led by the Spirit, I continued to notice things appearing in groups of three.
The exact nature of my wrongs
After about two years, I distinctly recall waiting for a train at the station near my job. As I was standing there I had pulled a prayer card out of my pocket. It was a prayer to the Holy Spirit. I have included it at the end of this book. Anyway, I was going to share my fourth step inventory soon by making a previous appointment to do my fifth step.
I had a deep desire to discover the ‘exact nature’ of my wrongs as stated in step five. Another member in A.A. had once shared with me what that meant. He used the analogy of a glass ball with lightening sparks hitting all parts of the inner glass from its center. He told me that my exact nature was like the central force of power in that ball. In addition, the lightning strikes symbolized all of the times thay my exact nature struck out at someone or something in my life. He also added that my exact nature would link to everything in my personal inventory. I like to think of my exact nature like that of an M.O. (modus operandi) of a criminal.
When the time came to share my fifth step, there were two people present. The other one I had previously met at another A.A. meeting. I felt a little uncomfortable sharing my personal inventory with a second person present, but I shared anyway. Actually, He proved to be an invaluable participant.
I started in with my resentments, and after mentioning a few of them, the first man flipped over his legal pad and wrote something on it and proceeded to slide it over to me. I looked at what he had written. It said ‘getting even’. I must have had a puzzled look on my face, because the second person remarked, “he doesn’t see it”, meaning that I had not made the connection between my resentments and ‘getting even’.
I became a little annoyed at his remark, so I exclaimed, “Okay, I’ll just pick a resentment off the top of my head and see if it applies.” I happened to choose one that was not even in my personal inventory, and sure enough, it applied! I was stunned into a whole new awareness about myself, and I was not too happy about it. It meant that I was a hateful and vengeful person. This unfortunate behavior had originally developed from my relationship with my earthly father. I had gotten even with him many times for all the abuse he had inflicted on me throughout my childhood.
I was to discover later on in my recovery, that ‘getting even’ had become a well practiced behavior in my life. It started with holding on to much of the pain and misery from my childhood. I never talked about it to anyone. Doing that produced a lot of deep seated anger and rage. While I kept stuffing all of my feelings, I would then think of different ways in which I could get even. The strategies I had developed to get even during my childhood were silence, avoidance, and eventually running away.
After four years of personal inventory, I discovered what the exact nature of my wrongs was. It is a failure to communicate my feelings honestly, due to the severe trauma and fear that I had experienced throughout my childhood. This is how I would end up getting even with everyone in my life.
And all those times I thought I was getting even with someone, I was really only hurting myself, not them. I truly believe that if I would have had the courage to sit down and talk things over with the person I had a resentment towards, we most likely could have worked it out.
Of course, when I was a kid, there was absolutely no way on earth I could have reasoned with my earthly father, because he was a very sick man, and I was deathly afraid of him, as was the rest of the family. Unfortunatedly this regrettable self-defeating behavior of getting even had never been adressed and corrected in my chilhood, so it carried over into my adult life.
I would later discover that this self-sabotaging behaviour applied to everything in my personal inventory. Because of this incredible personal revelation, assertively expressing my feelings appropriately is a key priority for me now. I cannot stuff my feelings any longer if I want to have any mental and emotional wellness, not to mention establishing and maintaining any long term relationships.
I also eventually traced the reason why I was so blatantly dishonest in my life. It evolved out of my relationship with my earthly father. Being deathly afraid of him made it very easy for me to lie. Whenever he asked me something, I would not say anything that might in any way anger him, for fear of being beaten. Lying was a way to avoid getting physically hurt. This happened so many times in my childhood, that it became habitual. The real problem was that this destructive habit carried over into my adult life. Even the bad-check writing began when I was a young adult. And there were no other relatives from either side of my family that I could talk to. They were as deathly afraid of him as I was.
The most important things that I learned about Alcoholism is the fact that it is a disease. It is an obsession of the mind and an allergy of the body. In reading the main book of recovery in A.A., which is called Alcoholics Anonymous, I began to realize for the first time, just how very sick my dad had been. I felt badly for all the times I had made his life more difficult. I began feeling true remorse for how I acted towards him, as well as feeling compassion for him for the first time. I eventually made ‘grave-side’ amends to him.
Discovering my Meyers-Briggs personality type profile
Another interesting discovery occurred in my life was when I found out what my personality type was by taking a Meyers-Briggs personality test. When I discovered what mine was, it really opened my mind to a much deeper understanding of who I really was. The more I studied it, the more aware I became of myself and my life.
For instance, I found out that two of my natural abilities were writing and inventing. I recall writing a story in sixth grade that my teacher like so much, she read it to the entire class. Another time in my youth, in a room in my home, I had used various lengths of kite string in such a way that would allow me to turn on and off the light, and open and close the door, from laying on the bed.
I also dicovered that my personality profile, which is I.N.T.J., comprises of only 1.5% of the american population. That information told me that I was truly one in millions! In addition, I am the most independent of all other personalities, and I am a very private person. I also prefer autonomy. I work best when I am alone. I also excel at symbolic thinking. I found out a great deal more insights about myself by researching my profile. It is a gift that keeps on giving in all areas of my life.
Alanon Adult Children of Alcoholics
I had moved in with an old and dear friend in a nearby state, in order to start a new business venture. I was still kept attending my A.A. meetings. When I had arrived at one in a nearby town, I noticed that at another entrance of the church there was a small gathering of people, and decided to check it out. I proceeded to walk into the entrance and walk down a hallway. As I came to the end of it, I found myself looking at a very interesting poster encased in glass. It had a black background and all across it, from top to bottom, were many different words and phrases, all displayed in beautiful rainbow calligraphy. They were all different examples of saying congratulations in different languages, such as; Way to go! You made it! Well done! Good for you!
As I was studying the poster, I caught something out of the corner of my right eye. It was something bright yellow. As I turned to my right, I saw a woman coming towards me with a bright yellow flyer in her hand. I looked at it, and discovered it was an invitation to an Alanon adult children weekend workshop. I then followed the woman into a meeting room where she told me that adult children of alcoholics were part of the Alanon program. She also said that there were certain Alanon adult children of alcoholics meetings. When she checked her meeting schedule, we discovered that one of these meetings met at my original Church in my hometown!
The term ‘Adult-Child’ basically means that as an adult I can revert back to the negative coping skills that I used as a child, which helped me to survive my abusive environment. The problem is that although these behaviors may have helped me then, they do not work well for me when I use them in my adult life. As a matter of fact, they can cause me to experience various problems in different areas.
For example, I stuffed all of my painful feelings inside of me rather than discussing them with anyone. Silence helped me to cope then, but it can only make matters worse for me in my adult life. One of the many things I learned in Alanon, is that the alcoholic environment I grew up in, taught me not to talk, trust, or feel. It is very important for me now to communicate my feelings in an appropriate way in order to continue to heal.
Years later, I was doing some genealogical research on my fathers’ side of my family. My grandfather, who had died a horrible alcoholic death, was buried in a cemetery in the same town where I found out about the Alanon adult children meetings. Somehow, I feel that he had something to do with leading me to that meeting where I would learn just how seriously the disease of alcoholism had affected my family, and my childhood years.
One of the greatest gifts of many that the Alanon Family Groups program has to offer is that their program helps me to focus on me rather than on everyone else. This helps me to put the focus on me and my life. It teaches me to honor, respect and to love myself. I have received and continue to receive much love and healing from Alanon.
I also learned that the receptor in my mind that would normally warn me of any potential problem I may be getting into with the alcoholic in my life is not there anymore. All the red flags are gone too. The rescue, fix, manage and contol receptors work fine, because that is what I’m programmed to do. That is what I had been doing all of my life!
Another very interestng thing that I learned from Alanon is that people who are ‘adult children of alcoholics’ share particular characteristics. There is a list of traits that was a real eye opener for me. It solved certain mysteries of my life. Reading about these behaviors really made me aware of me! One that really struck me was that I can judge myself mercilessly. I also constantly seek approval and affirmation. I take myself very seriously. I have difficulty having fun. I have difficulty in intimate relationships. These are just a few of them.
It was a little overwhelming for me to work through all those negative traits. The key is focusing on the solution. For me the solution is keeping it all simple. To continue to heal, I need to attend my meetings in order to stay connected, and work the 12 steps.
Later in my journey of recovery, I discovered that the adult-child characteristics were similar to the ones that I found in Codendents Anonymous. At a meeing, a person described to me what she believed what codependency meant to her. She told me that it was like she was always doing everything for everyone else, and never doing nothing for herself.
The beginning of my bipolar illness
One day, I happened to hear a commercial on an AM radio station about a free test study being offered for those suffering from depression. During the commercial, the announcer described a few of the symptoms of depression, and they sounded like some of the symptoms that I had exerienced from time to time, so I decided to a participate in the study.
On my visit, a woman with a clipboard asked me many questions concerning my personal background and medical history. She then left the room to show my results to a psychiatrist. When she returned, I asked her what the verdict was and she said that I had bipolar disorder.
There was an experimental medication involved, and when it came time to take it, I froze. I just felt very uneasy taking a medication that had not been officially cleared by the proper authorities, so I ended up suffering for another three years.
Right here, I would like to share a bit of wisdom I learned later in my overall recovery. It is this; the best way to sabotage yourself, is to not listen to the good suggestions that are given to you from the professional people in your life.
In a short period, I moved four times and applied for fifteen different jobs, and worked a few with no lasting results. I was all over the place like a ball in a pinball machine. Eventually, I spiraled into a severe depressive state for two to three weeks.
I was staying at my sister’s house at the time, and she became overwhelmed with my depression and my lack of being able to keep steady employment, so she asked me to move out after my depression lifted. I cannot say that I blame her, as I knew I had worn out my welcome.
Fortunately, I found a room to rent in a house, and a full-time job. That lasted for about a year, then I had another manic episode. I lost my job and went back to the former one, which I did not want to do, because I had burnt myself out working there the last time.
Later, I stayed with an old friend who lived near the job site. I was doing pretty well at just being an agent until I overheard the manager talking to my former boss. They were talking about another office that needed a manager. Well, that was all I needed to here to ignite yet another manic episode! In no time flat, I volunteered for the position. The deal was that I would work as an assistant manager.
I found out nearly four years afterwards that while experiencing mania, a persons judgment can be impaired, and can also make foolish and costly business decisions. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way. I was moving so fast and recklessly, I totalled my car. That did not slow me down one bit. When you are manic, you are on a mission and that is that! My short tenure as an assistant manager turned out to be a total nightmare.
I then began working as a cab driver after I let go of the managerial position. The company had offices in the same building. What an adventure that was! In retrospect, it is a wonder that I survived that job without getting into a serious accident as I was driving for up to sixteen hours a day. I was manic again so it was no problem for me.
One day I was near another resale shop and discovered that there was a ladybug on my arm. I looked at it with curiosity. As I studied it, an interesting thought entered my mind. I thought of Our Lady in Heaven. I concluded that Our Lady was ‘bugging me’ since that was one of several times that I discovered a ladybug on me.
About six months later I had an opportunity to attend a spiritual retreat that focused on healing childhood hurts. It was a very good experience for me. I was walking around the complex and sat down near the entrance on a bench. All of a sudden, I saw a huge swarm of insects flying towards the glass entrance doors. It wasn’t just one swarm but multiple swarms. They were all ladybugs. I had never seen that many ladybugs in all of my life. From that day on, the ladybug became the symbol for my inner child recovery, and Mary.
I also was led to another God-book titled ‘Ask your Angel’, and of all the many libraries in the world, It happened to be at the one located in my home town where I had moved to in order to attend the new Alanon Adult children of alcoholics meeting. A chapter in that book describes the use of an angel for each step of a twelve-step program!
I am totally convinced that my discovery of these various books along my journey of recovery is hand- picked by God. Only He has that level of impeccable timing! The odds are just too great for me to believe that it is just plain luck or sheer coincidence!
After a while, I noticed an ad for a job in the local paper that mentioned great weekly earnings. I thought that it would be ideal for me, so without investigating further, I asked the manager of this new job if he could set me up with lodging near his office. He agreed, and within a few days, I was renting a room within walking distance to the new office. It did not take me too long to discover that it was a fraud, so within a few weeks I started working for another local cab company. That was not working out to well either, so I started getting depressed and feeling pretty hopeless. I became exhausted and started falling behind in my rent.
My job as a cab driver failed since I was not making enough money to survive, which caused exhuastion, and depression. I recall seeing a bus that had medical center or hospital on it and the number had threes on it too, so I felt compelled to get on it. When I arrived at the hospital, I mentioned that I was depressed and they inquired if I had thoughts about suicide. I said yes, and before I knew it, they had me strapped to a gurney and proceeded to transport me to a hospital.
My first mental health hospitalization
I recall my doctor giving me a medication that made me calm. All of my life, when sitting or laying down, my right or left foot would move repetitively. I believed that it was a nervous condition that was brought on by all of the trauma from my childhood. That is just my guess, as I never had a doctor diagnose it. Anyway, when I was going to sleep my first night, I noticed that neither of my feet were moving.
When it was time for my discharge, I chose a place that had a name that seemed inviting. It turned out to be one of the largest homeless shelters in the city. I will never forget that experience, as it marked one of the lowest points of my life. I was saying my rosary at a nearby alley every day and attending mass at a church named after Mary, my heavenly Mother. I was constantly praying for her help.
After about two weeks, I called a manager at my old job. I told him where I was and he could not believe it. My friend, who was also working there, agreed to let me stay with him until I could get a place of my own.
A very interesting thing happened while I was at that shelter. They would have ministers from different churches come in and preach at the daily service. One particular minister mentioned the three’s during his sermon. He mentioned many of them from scripture. He was the only person from any faith that I came across that mentioned the threes at length. I could tell that he had done much research on them. He ended his sermon by saying that there were many other examples of the three’s in scripture. Not just the number three, but also in sequences of threes as well. I found this to be very interesting!
During my stay with my friend, I ran across another God-book written by Melody Beatty entitled Codependent No More. Was that ever a revelation for me! When I discovered and related to the many characteristics of codependent’s, I went into a 2-week depression! Not only was I a recovering alcoholic and addict, and a victim of sexual and child abuse, but I now discovered that I was also severely codependent! That was just great! At least it cleared more than a few mysteries in my life up.
After a month or so, my friend decided to move to another State. I had to move too. Fortunately, I found a place to live close by. I rented a room in a recovery house that was located within walking distance from my job.
While living there, I began seeing a therapist who specialized in Adult-Child issues. Speaking alone with a psychotherapist helped greatly in addressing serious traumatic experiences directly relating to my childhood.
Another therapist I had seen previously, mentioned that I my father had terrorized me. Interestingly enough, I had never grasped that fact before. The same therapist also enlightened me to the fact that I had been raised by a father who had a mental illness, along with alcoholism.
One day, out of curiosity, I compiled a chronological list of all the different places that I have lived since birth. When I finished, I discovered that prior to the beginning of my mental health recovery, I had live at fifty-two residences. This excluded the times I slept in an alleys, or when I lived in cars.
I have lived at only two residences in the last 15 years since my mental health recovery began. Twelve years at my current address, and three years at my previous one.
I was also seeing a psychiatrist at the same facility that my therapist was at. He prescribed an antidepressant for my depression, but since he had not realized that I had bipolar disorder, he did not prescribe a mood stabilizer. That eventually caused me to experience a full-blown medication induced manic episode.
During my manic episode, I was convinced, through many extremely brilliant deductions that I was to marry a woman who lived in the same building. The fact that she had been previously divorced three times did not delay my decision one bit. I even drew up a written wager for ten thousand dollars, which I did not have, that I presented to my property owner’s uncle who also resided there. Prior to that, I had made a one thousand dollar wager that she would be in my room before midnight. It was when I had gathered all of my evidence, placed it in a gift bag, and knocked on her door at two o’clock in the morning to share my brilliant earth shattering discoveries, when things started getting out of hand.
The next morning, I noticed that the gift basket was still on the ledge of her porch, so I knocked on her door. I was so excited to personally show her all the evidence and tell her the fantastic news! When she opened the door, I proceeded to exclaim, “You are not going to believe what I found out, and I have some things I need to show you!” She insisted I tell her instead. I then blurted out, “When do you want to get married!” Immediately her eyes grew two times their size in total alarm! She then rapidly told me that if I knocked on her door again, she would call the police. In less than one fraction of a second later, she closed and locked her door.
I must have knocked again, because shortly thereafter, two local police officers were speaking to me in the back yard, as the woman and the upstairs neighbors looked on. Calmly, I explained to them what I had done in the most reasonable manner that I could. After I had spoken, one of the officers calmly asked me if I would like to come with them to the station to explain further. I agreed. Looking back on it now, it could have been much worse. I might have thrown her in her car trunk and drove to Las Vegas Nevada to get married! At least they did not handcuff me. I went with them peaceably.
At the police station, I continued to describe my story again in detail to one of the officers, who had asked a woman to join us and listen as well. After I had finished, both the officer and the woman excused themselves in order to speak privately. When they returned, they sat down across from me, and the woman asked me in a very pleasant and calm manner if I wanted to go to a hospital and talk to a doctor. Since she suggested it to me in such a non-threatening manner, I agreed. Within the hour, I arrived at a well-known hospital of which I was familiar. Lying on a gurney in a room, a doctor and a few nurses came in with their clipboards and observed me for a few minutes. I do not recall if they asked me any questions, but I do remember feeling a little uneasy as they were intently studying me as if I were an extraterrestrial.
The state mental hospital was my next admission the following morning. My father had been admitted there once, after he had pulled a loaded gun on my brother. I remember watching from inside of my car from the parking lot as my father walked off the bus when he arrived there. The expression on his face was that of disillusionment, fear and weariness.
As I am reflecting on that particular moment now, I cannot help but think how long overdue it was. Here he was, which happened to be in the same year that he died, and tragically, he never found recovery for his alcoholism or his mental illness. I believe the main reason for this was due to his enormous ego, as no one could ever tell him anything. In addition, he unfortunately came from an era where it was not easy for men to share their feelings or to see a therapist, let alone a psychiatrist. After his release from that hospital, he only blamed the family member for trying to have him committed.
It is here at this same hospital where I truly experienced my mental health ‘bottom.’ It took two consecutive admissions for me to realize for myself that I actually had bilpolar disoder. After my initial release from the hospital, my condition was not stable due to being on the correct medications. Those first medications made me much to anxious and hungry. I could not sit still and I was eating like a horse.
Not being familiar with side effects yet, in addition to not feeling comfortable in sharing my feelings or speaking up for myself, only added to my difficulties. Within a week, I became totally overwhelmed and suicidal, and subsequently returned to the hospital. When I arrived, I recall a nurse telling me that she felt I had left too soon.
I recall that I was on the phone talking to someone, and in my memory, I was revewing the countless times I had either been depressed or manic in my life. It was then that I fully realized and accepted my bipolar diagnosis.
One day I came across another ‘God-book’. It was lying on the front counter. I asked if it belonged to anyone and no one knew, so I took it. The title was A Brilliant Madness, by Patty Duke. The book was about her life experiences with bipolar disorder. I found it very interesting and helpful. I also felt that the books title was quite appropriate.
When one experiences mania, their minds can reach high levels of superior intelligence and confidence with a rapid execution of many tasks, simultaneously. You feel that you’re on top of the world, and no one can tell you otherwise. You come up with ideas that seem perfectly attainable, the same ideas that would seem totally preposterous if you were not manic. That is just a few examples of what full- blown mania is like.
After being admitted the for second time, I saw my caseworker who felt it was ready to be discharged from the hospital again. I just looked at her in a daze, speechless. She told me that I would be looking over the discharge list of the various places I could go the next day.
I walked out of her office, and on the way back to my room, I spoke to God under my breath saying “God, I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t know where to go, and I’m really afraid. You take over. I’m putting everything in your hands now.”
I had reached the point of total surrender. There was just no more fight left in me anymore and when I arrived at my room, I went into a very deep sleep for a few hours.
When I awoke, I walked out to watch T.V. I sat there for a short time, when I heard a woman behind me call out my name. I turned around, and noticed a woman who was motioning me over to her. When I got there, I sat down. She asked me if I had ever heard of a certain place. I told her I had not. She then proceeded to describe the place to me. It was a residential facility for people who had mental disorders. The more she described it, the more I became interested. She then asked me if I would like to go there. I said, “Yes I would. What a relief!
I have since learned that when I had surrendered to God on the way to my room, it was then that He took over and solved my problem. In fact, since that time, I have been more keenly aware that when I get out of the way, when I decide not to run the show, to do things my way, or that I just do not have the answers anymore, that is when God steps in and straightens everything out! There are certain conditions I need to remember. One is that once I’ve let go, I cannot make any more attempts to solve the problem on my own, and I must completey trust God without reservation as to the outcome. I cannot tell you the countless times that I have acted on my own, or made decisions in my life, without first praying about it or discussing it with anyone.
I’ll never forget what it said on a large banner which was hung on one of the buildings there. It read ‘THERE IS NO HEALTH WITHOUT MENTAL HEALTH’. So true, so very true.
It took four months to finally get transferred to the facility, which turned out to be an apartment building. I shared an apartment with another person. Nearby was a mental health outpatient facility, where I would attend a day-program to help structure my day. I was also waiting for my social security benefits to be activated. The whole process took about three years, but then I was able to move out on my own.
During those three years, I learned a great deal about my illness by researching it at various bipolar sites on the internet. I requested any information concerning this illness to be mailed to me from five national mental illness organinations. When I received a list of the manic and depreeive symptoms associated with this disorder, it opened my mind and solved many events in my life that before had been total mysteries to me.
For instance, the ones that really caught my attention were reckless behavior such as reckless driving (that explained all those car accidents I was involved in!), spending sprees (the shopping spree at the mall, and all of those bad checks I passed. Sexual promiscuity (feeling sexually impulsive), alcohol and drug abuse! Increased goal directed social (or) sexual activity, excessively irresponsible behavior, impulsive behavior and poor judgement. Homicidal and suicidal thoughts were also listed! And there are more.
I even saw my dad in these manic symptoms as well. Bipolar 1 mania also has symtoms of rage and paranoia! My research was really paying off with huge dividends of personal insight.
Some of the depressive symptoms I related to were fatigue (tiredness or weariness) lasting weeks to months, excessive or innapropriate guilt (this was a major identifier!), diminished interest in daily activities, overwhelming feelings of despair, hopelessness, and helplessness. Innability to concentrate, remember things, or make decisions; I could really relate to these and more!
Attending a psycho-social day program at the local mental health center helped me learn new coping skills such as; dealing with side effects, medications, being self sufficient, such as cooking, etc. It helped me not to isolate by myself, which is very easy to do. Sometimes we would go on social outings to various places. The day program consisted of attending different meetings that each covered a wide range of topics, such as self care, cooking, problem solving, how to handle personal finances through budgeting, etc.
If I don’t make my mental health recovery my number one priority (Second to God), then my life will be utterly miserable and useless.
Since I mentioned the word miserable, I may as well share with you another word that can create a lot of misery. That word is depression. Everything is wrong when I am depressed. There is no motivation, and whatever daily routine that I may have had, disappears. Forget about cooking. Give me macaroni and cheese, baked goods, ice cream, and any other comfort food that’s out their, especially my favorite fast food restaurant. There is no need to shower, I’m not going anywhere. And sleep all day and night.
Yes, T.V., junk food, and sleep. That’s what I do when I’m depressed. And if I am really depressed, I just eat and sleep with more emphasis on sleep than food. Depression can be like being stuck in quicksand with no one around, and nothing to help you pull youself out. Even if you are doing everything right in your recovery, it can still strike. Sometimes I can ride it out, but when there are times when things seem overwhelmingly hopeless, and the suicidal thoughts will not let up, that is when I make that emergency call for help. In America I dial 9-1-1.
I really wish I could just be hypo-manic all of the time. Hypo-mania doesn’t get me in trouble like full blown mania does. And if you need a job done quickly, no matter what the size, if I’m hypomatic, then I’m your man!
Bipolar disorder can be a quite difficult illness to manage. I have been hospitalized five times, so I know full well of the seriousness of this illness. I have tried many different combinations of medications in order to find the most effective one. The key is never giving up.
Plus, medications by themselves are not the total solution. I have found that therapy, eating right, exercising, and getting the proper sleep are just a few ways to also feel better all around. I also quit smoking because I found out that people who have this disorder usually smoke more. I avoid caffiene too. Taking Caffiene with an anxiety disorder is like pouring stupid gas on crazy fire.
One of the most important things I have learned is the fact that I am not my illness. I am a good person who has this illness. Illness is illness. There are a multitude of illnesses in the world and I am extremely grateful that I do not have most of them!
During my recovery from bipolar I, I also found out how very important it was to know exactly which bipolar disorder I have, because there is more than one. Very early in my recovery, various professionals suggested that I learn as much as I can about this illness and the various medications that treat it. Another very important fact is that major stressors and not getting the proper sleep are the two main triggers for symptoms.
Well into my recovery, I discovered through much research about the illness, a comprehensive description of the symptoms of people with bipolar I. In its description it mentioned anger and rage, and paranoid thoughts. That described my dad exactly!
I also discovered that paranoia is the one symptom that distinguishes bipolar I from the other forms of bipolar disorders. That explained why my dad was always suspicious of me and accusing me of things that I never did.
I have learned other coping strategies along the way that I must use along with my medications every day, such as decreasing stress wherever and whenever I can. Exercising, listening to relaxing music, and taking time out just to have fun, to name a few.
There are two other tools that I regularly use for my mental health recovry. One is called the ‘Warm Line.’ it is a phone number that I call when I need to talk with someone. It is a support line for people with mental illnesses. The people there are personable, encouraging, empathetic, and good listeners. They are located all over the nation. All you need to do is ask you local mental health facility about it, or you can search online.
Another tool I use is a medtitation book for mental health. It is called ‘A Restful Mind,’ by Mark Allen Zabawa.
There are a myriad of illnesses and conditions out there. There is also recovery for many of them, if not cures. We live in a time where finding a solution can be right at our fingertips. First, I must realize that I indeed have a problem. Then I must be willing to address that problem.
It is very important for me to reach out to someone and discuss what I am struggling with. This could be a trusted friend or relative, or a minister, priest or rabbi. It coud be a school counselor, favorite teacher, or a doctor. The main thing is that that I address it. The worst option is to stuff it all inside, and suffer in miserable silence. I did just that and believe me, there is absolutely no future in it.
If I send a piece of mail, and I forget to write where it was going to, it will be returned, and it will keep on being returned, until I address it. Life already has it’s share of suffering. Why increase it by not addressing the things that obviously need to be addressed?
Overcoming nicotene addiction
Thanks to God and A.A. I was also able to quit smoking by using steps 4, 5, 6, and 7. I took an inventory that just dealt with the smoking in my life. My dad died of lung cancer so I put the tobacco companies down as a resentment. Dying of lung cancer is a dreadful way to go. It takes your last breath without mercy. I also wrote down on my inventory the times I ripped off cigarette machines, how I could not smoke in different places, how all the money I spent on them literally went up in smoke, and so on. I listed all of my resentments regarding smoking, and shared these with a priest.
After I had done this, I walked out of his office and walked towards the pews in the church. After I said some prayers I started to leave and what do you think I found on the floor near a pew? A new cigarrette that had been broken in half. The top half was still connected to the bottom half by a tiny part of the paper, and I no longer had any nicotine cravings.
One of the most important things that I learned about Alcoholism is the fact that it is a disease. It is an obsession of the mind and an allergy of the body. In reading the main book of recovery in A.A., which is called Alcoholics Anonymous, I began to realize for the first time, just how very sick my dad had been. I felt badly for all the times I had made his life more difficult. I began feeling true remorse for how I acted towards him, as well as feeling compassion for him, for the first time. I eventually made ‘grave-side’ amends to him.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
My other mental illness, P.T.S.D., is very challenging to live with. I learned that there are two types of trauma. Type one means that someone has been traumatized by a single major incident such as; a death of someone close, an accident, etc. Type two trauma means that a person has been traumatized over an extended period of time. There are a few medications that can help relieve the symptoms, but since I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, I choose not to take them due to their addictive nature.
My progress in my recovery for my P.T.S.D. has been somewhat difficult. I initially tried to tackle it myself, by using many of the recommended relaxing techniques. By doing this, I failed to look for a cognitive behavioral therapist, which is recommended for people with P.T.S.D.
I also discovered that there are other types of treatment for this serious affliction. I learned a very important lesson in recovery because of this. When it comes to any mental or physical problem that I may be dealing with, I should never try to take these matters in my own hands. It is extremely important that I speak up and out for myself to the people who are qualified, in order to receive the help that I need.
A particulularly useful stress releiver is by walking a Labrynth. Labrynths have been around for about four thousand years. Many have been discovered in the southwest part of the United States. They are also found in monastaries and retreat centers as well as hospitals around the world. Walking a labrynth helps us to center ourselves spiritually. I have found them to be very spiritual. The one that I walk is nearby and is a seven ring labrynth. Unlike a maze where there are dead ends, you walk a marked out circular path and continue walking until you reach the center, and then walk your way back out.
It is good to concentrate on a theme while you are walking such as; forgiveness, joy, grattitude, reflection, etc. One day I decided to walk with Leadian (My Guardian angel). I have also walked with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Mary, and certain Saints. I got lot more out of my walks spiritually when I did this. I have also walked while reflecting on a certain problem that I am dealing with. Spritual experiences have occurred after I have walked labrynths. After I have reflected on them, I write them down in a journal.
Pets are also excellent stress releivers. I love going to the park to seek out dogs that I can pet, with the owners permission. Unfortunatley, I cannot have a pet where I currently live.
Both my self esteem and self confidence had really taken a beating over the years. Here are a few of the things I do to help myself heal:
- I go to greeting card isles and read the encouragement and support cards. they really boost my spirit when I need it. It is as though some of them are written specifically for me. I call them ‘God cards’.
- I keep all of the thank you letters and cards sent to me from the charities I give to, so that I can re-read them when I am feeling unloved or depressed. They remind me that I really have made a difference in other peoples lives.
- Any little task I can accomplish helps boost my self esteem and my self confidence. All of those little victories add up.
- I say positive affirmations to myself. I always start each statement with ‘I am’ in front of it, such as; I am intelligent, I am talented, I am making progress, etc. these are my self esteem exercises. I have about niney statements. They do make a difference if I practice saying them on a regular basis.
My anger issues
One day, I decided to trace my anger to it’s root cause. What I discovered was a real eye-opener for me as the following list shows:
? A.C.O.A. (adult children of alcoholics)-we are angry people. We judge ourselves and others without mercy.
? Children who witness domestic violence-externalized or internalized anger.
? Abused children-anger and rage.
? Victims of domestic violence-quick to anger, quick to rage.
? Adults shamed in childhood-often feel angry and judgmental.
? Victims of sexual abuse-anger and rage.
? INTJ (my Meyers-Briggs personality profile)-may have intense and quick
temper. May hold grudges and have difficulty forgiving people.
? Bipolar 1 disorder-
DEPRESSION-anger and irritability.
MANIA-aggressiveness, short temper (poor temper control), rage.
? P.T.S.D. (posttraumatic stress disorder)-anger.
? Codependency-chronic anger.
? Victims of bullying (parents and other adults count too!) -anger.
The reason that the locks are opened is because the discovery of my ‘anger issues’ has unlocked what had formerly been great personal mysteries to me. Sometimes I still get angry (who doesn’t?) when I do, and I wind up offending someone, then I promptly need to make amends to that person.
I cannot tell you how much professional therapy helped me greatly in overcoming the internal scars in my heart, and the damaging memories in my mind from the sexual abuse that I had encountered in my childhood. I believe that it is very important to bring past abuse to light with a trusted and gentle therapist in a safe setting.
Those terrible thoughts and feelings relentlessly plagued me for many years, until the day I released them to a professional therapist. Here is a personal example of why I feel just how important this is; I attempted to take my own life when I was in my teens over the sexual abuse.
Diabetes is another challenging illness. I love sweets so I need to be careful, but artificial sweetners can be an option. Some are better than others. It takes a certain amount of discipline to do the things I need to do in order to keep this, and my other illnesses under control. Having help and guidance from heaven and earth is meaningless if I don’t do my part, if I do not cooperate with that help.
The tried and true suggestion of eating right and exercising is the best way to combat diabetes, including other illnesses as well. in addition to taking my medications, and checking my blood glucose regularly.
This is where the old statement ‘easier said than done!’ pops up. The key is turning the suggestions of my doctor into action. If I do not have the desire, I need to pray for it.
I.B.S. (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
The symtpoms of this ilness can cause utter misery, particularly the intestinal cramps. When they happen, it feels like there are tiny demons stabbing, poking, twisting, and pulling the inside of my intestines.
I believe it was the intensely stressful environment that I have been living in for the past 10 years, that caused it to flare up in me. I have learned that there are a few things one can do for relief.
The first thing to do is to see a Gastroeterologist. He or she can take certain tests to see if it really is IBS, or if it is something else. I also avoid certain foods. Between my Diabetes and IBS, it is a wonder I am not just eating crackers like a parrot! Peppermint tea also helps, as does the use of a heating pad.
Learned helplessness and revictimization
I thought that the illnesses listed above were all I had encountered in life, but during the writing of my story, two other ones surfaced. One of them is called Learned Helplessness, and the other one is called Revictimization. Actually, they are quite similar. A cognitive behavioral therapist happened to bring up the term ‘Learned Helplessness’ during one of our initial visits. He told me that the behavior is prevelent among prisoners and and victims of domestic violence.
I began researching this behavioral disorder and I was blown way by what I found, and how deeply I related to it. Without going into a huge explanation of what learned helpnessess is, I will just give you a basic understanding. It means that if anyone is exposed to repeated physical trauma, they can get to a point of just giving in to the abuse rather than leaving and moving on. They realize that they are being abused continually, but they cannot emotionally break free and overcome their dilemma. They just accept it. Talk about being trapped!
I recall exactly when I reached that point of giving up in my childhood like it happened yesterday. My dad had my brother and I involved heavily in sports from ages 5 to 19. He was obessed with making both of us world class athletes.
We were involved in one particular sport (forgive my avoiding all of the details as that would jeopardize my anonymity) six years. Their was much physical and verbal abuse throughout that period. Losing was absolutley forbidden by my dad. Even if I won, it was not good enough. One day, during one particular game, I just had had enough and I did not care anymore if I won or lost. It just did not matter anymore. You could describe learned helplessness in one statement; ‘Crushed spirit and heart’ I also have a good slogan for it; ‘Never get use to the abuse.’
I learned that Revictimization means that at an earlier time in my life I really had become a victim. The problem was that it was never addressed professionaly in order to overcome it. Eventually, I will recreate the the cycle of victimization in my life. I can do this on automatic pilot without even thinking about it! This most unfortunate behavior, along with Learned Helplessness, have caused additional wide-ranging suffering in my life.
CHAPTER 5: MY HEAVENLY HELPERS
I truly believe that all souls that are in heaven are always ready to help us at any time during our journey through life. I have personally experienced this numerous times and I have also received their help without asking for it. I believe that every person on earth has the very same access to this most indispensable assistance from heaven.
I also believe that if anyone ever finds themselves in a most desperate situation, and they are all out of options as I once was, and they call out to God as I did, they will indeed receive the help that they are seeking.
I recall one time when my brother was on the phone with a lady and while they were talking, he could distinctly here a loud whirring sound in the background. He asked her what it was and she told him that was her blender, and that she was making rosaries.
She said that she was blending rose petals. She proceeded to explain the process to my sibling. Once the petals were blended, she would remove the mixture and then start making the beads of the rosary by rolling a small portion of the mixture in her hands. Then she would add the tiny metal links to hold them all together to complete the rosary. What really struck me was the fact that she lived in the same town where I had laid a dozen roses at the feet of a statue of Mary at a particular church. I did it in honor of Valentines day. Shortly thereafter, I obtained her address and purchased one her rosarys.
Recently, I asked my guardian angel, Leadian, to make all the prayers I was saying, to be said perpetually in heaven. This way, my prayers could be said perpetually by many immortal souls. I usually end all of my prayers by saying “and that’s especially for my family, double for everyone else, triple for the children, and particularly for my enemies.”
Leadian was transforning all of my prayers into perpetual status for a few months, and then something very interesting happened.
I went to a confession at a church I usually do not frequent. At the end of the confession, the priest suggested that I walk to the front-left side of the church to look at a picture of our Lady of Good Help. It was a very beautifully framed icon of Our Lady. I felt I had come across this depiction of her at another time in my life because it looked vaguely familiar. Imagine my surprise when another person there told me that it was really our Lady of Perpetual help!
I could not help but think that all of my perpetual prayers may have caught her attention. I then relieved Leadian of the special prayer task, and began asking her to make all of my prayers perpetual.
One heavenly helper that has been helpful to me in regards to my worry and anxiety is Blessed Julian of Norwich. She was an English philosopher and mystic. Her name ‘Julian’ came from the Church St. Julian of Norwich where she was an anchoress. She lived between November 8, 1382 and c.1413. Not much else is known about her except for he writings. She wrote an exeptionally spiritual book that was based on Christ visiting and dialouging with her at various times. The book is entitled ‘Revelations of Divine Love.’ One particular thing that I found extremely interesting as I was reading her book is that it has the ‘Threes’ in it too!
My spirtual relationship with her began when I was at the little Chapel where I go to Mass. I also live in a little studio apartment. Sometimes I think that St. Therese loves the ‘littleness’ of these two places. Anyway, I was in the chapel and I happened to find what I thought at first to be a little prayer card. This is what was printed on it:
Julian asked, “Ah, good Lord, how could all things be well, because of the great harm which has come through sin to your creatures?”
This was the Lord’s response to her:
“And so our good Lord answered all the questions and doubts which I could raise, saying most comfortingly:
I make all things well, and I can make all things well, and I shall make all things well, and I will make all things well; and you will see for yourself that every kind of thing will be well. This spiritual message brings me much peace and consolation whenever I read it.
Saint Teresa of Avila also helps me to overcome my worries and fears:
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are changing.
God alone is changeless.
Patience attains the good.
One who has God lacks nothing.
God alone fills all our needs.
I would like to make a suggestion to the reader, because I feel that I can not be the only one that this has happened to. Make a list of certain times in your life where you really needed help of any kind. Try to remember where you were geographically. Then locate the catholic parish for that location. Then, if it has a saints name, look up the patronages for that saint. You may discover as I did, that one of their patronages match up precisely with what you were dealing with at that time. There are library and online resources to help find Catholic saints and their patronages.
After I had decided to attend a class to learn the basic skills of how to use a computer, I began to research different Saints. I made a few very interesting discoveries when I researched certain saints that I had become familiar with along my lifes journey.
I had decided to research all of the churches I had attended since I was a child since most of them were named after certain Saints. I love researching things! I knew I had attended St. Michael’s Church prior to my mother’s death. Then there was that nearly twenty year absence from my faith, where I had wandered far from my heavenly Father, trying to live life on my own with no family or heavenly support.
Prior to serving my prison sentance, I had made that all important confession at St. Basils. Remember when I had that experience of the ceiling burning in the room? I also found out that St. Basil is represented in art with supernatural fire, often with a dove nearby! That was the Church that was in close geographic proximaty to where I was at the time. Actually, St. Basil has the honorable distinction of being the saint who played a huge part in my re-conversion. And get this, he was also a reformer of priests and laity!
Another time a heavenly helper assisted me, without my seeking his prayerful assistance, was when I had put my drivers license up for collateral in order to get a full tank of gas so I could drive to a job interview. I was flat broke. When I arrived I was hired immediatley after talking with the manager and passing a readabilty test. The job payed cash daily which allowed me to pay off the gas station the following day.
After my first three years, I was promoted to management and my annual income increased from $13,000 to $45,000! I located the name of the nearest parish where I first got hired was St. Cajetun. Imagine my total amazement when I discovered that two of his patronages was unemployed people and job seekers!
It has been my experience with a few of the saints that I have come to know in my life, that as with the example above, they have introduced themselves, and their heavenly assistance, without my first having sought their intercessory prayers. Upon further reflection, I also believe that various saints have done the same for others in their lives.
St. Therese, the ‘Little flower’ is one of my favorite heavenly helpers. Before she died, she said that she would continue her work on earth in Heaven. She also said that she would let a shower of roses fall down from heaven. One particular morning, I was intently praying to her from a prayer card in her honor. There were about eight prayers on it.
Later on, I was at a large department store eating in a restaurant. As I was sitting there eating, and I turned to my left and saw the most adorable little flower pot with little tiny yellow roses. It was directly to my left about even with my head. I studied it in amazement! Why did I choose that particular table? I had eaten in that restaurant many times previously and there were never flowers or plants there. Even then, it was the only one. The color yellow of a rose means freindship. It also means joy. I had to have it and I needed to know how to care for them. I had never seen such tiny roses before.
After I was done eating, I picked it up and proceeded to walk towards the nursery. It was nice out, and I found a woman tending some flowers. I showed her the roses and she said that they were her favorite. She asked where I found them and if there were any more left. I then told her about the prayers I had said to St. Therese early that morning. She then looked directly at me and exclaimed that St. Therese was her confirmation name. She told me to give it a lot of light and to water it often as the little roses are very thirsty. Not only that, but when the tiny yellow rose fully blooms, it has three colors; yellow, white and the edge of the petals are pink. Obviously, I had felt that the whole incident had been quite spiritual.
Whenever I ask her to send me a rose from the heavenly garden, she never fails. One time when I had asked her for one, I was walking down a sidewalk in the afternoon and a discount store had these large carpets on display. One of them was black with a large red rose embroidered on it.
Another time, I was in a car with a lady friend and one of her gilfreinds. We were all going to breakfast. The first place we tried had a long line, the second one did too. On the way to the third restaurent, my friend adjusted her visor and something fell down from it. It was a long stemmed rose. I asked her where she got it from, and she handed it to me saying that she got it from the shrine of St. Therese on her feast day. She said it was blessed and touched to a relic of St. Therese. She said she got it for me. There were no lines at the third restaurent. The three of us happened to be seated at the same booth where I had treated my now deceased sibling to a birthday meal celebration a few years previously. This time my friend was treating me.
During a particularly low time in my life, I had been living at a hotel and became unemployed. I was running behind on my rent so one day I started walking around the neighborhood. I felt depressed and hopeless. I saw a church and decided I would go in and ask a priest something I’ve never asked before. I walked in and asked the receptionist if I could speak to a priest. She asked me to sit down and that she would get one for me. Within a few minutes, he showed up and we walked to his office.
We sat down and it took a little courage but I said to him, ”I’ve never asked this of any priest or church before in my life, but I’m a little behind on my rent and I was wondering if you could lend me a little money.” Just as I finshed speaking, his eyebrows raised slightly and he immediately got up and told me he would be right back. Within a few moments, he returned, and handed me a roll of money.
I thanked him and proceeded to leave the church. I saw the receptionist again and I asked her if she could tell me the name of the church. She replied “St. Alexus” I then asked her what he was the patron of. She then replied in a very sweet and humble voice “Oh, he’s the patron saint of beggars.” I also learned that another one of his patronages is for those suffering of nervous collapse, which happened to me shortly afterwards. He became yet another of my heavenly helpers.
When I was in prison, the chapel was named after St. Maximilian Kolbe. He is the patron saint of drug addiction, and imprisoned people.
There have been six churches that I have attended, that were named after the Virgin Mary since my return of faith. I recall that one church that had the year it was constructed engraved in a stone near the entrance. It was my birth year. I couldn’t help but think that both the church and I had both been around for nearly the same time. I usually like to talk to Mary before I say a rosary. I tell her my concerns and such.
Sometimes I may state why I’m saying a particular rosary, such as for a particular person or people, like people who are suffering from a catastrophe for example. I adopted Mary as my spiritual mother a long time ago. I do that for any Mass I attend. Before I arrive, I will choose a special group of people such as, all of the homeless of the world, all of the mentally ill of the world, etc. when the priest raises up the Body and Blood of Christ, that is when I offer my personal Mass intention silently.
After the holy Trinity, Mary is my number one heavenly helper. The hierarchy of my holy helpers from heaven for me is God the father, his only Son Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Mary, the saints, and then the angels.
St. Dymphna, another one of my heavenly helpers, had also crossed my path previously in my life. I found out that she is a patron saint of mental illnesses. Upon further research I discovered sixteen other saints with the same or similar patronages, so I made St. Dymphna the team leader.
The names of the team members are Sts. Benedict Joseph Labre, Bibiana, Christina the Astonishing, Drogo, Eustochium of Padua, Fillan, Giles, Job, Margaret of Cortona, Maria Fortunata, Medard, Michelina, Osmund, Raphaela, Romanus of Condut, and Veran.
When I was in the mental hospital, during art therapy, I made a prayer chaplet with beads that matched the colors of her clothes and hair from a picture that I had of her, and I attached her medal to it. I also made a St. Michael prayer chaplet with deep blue beads and black string, along with his medal.
Shortly afer I was discharged from the hospital, I decided to research the various saints that matched-up to me personally, such as my various illnesses, etc.
There are eighteen saints for bachelors, single or unmarried men. My team leader there is St. Benedict Joseph Labre. His biography, written by his confessor Marconi, describes 136 miraculous cures attributed to him within three months of his death. Mental illness, mentally ill people are also included as his patronages.
St. Francis de Sales, St. John the Apostle, St. Lucy, St. Paul the Apostle, St. Jerome, and St Alphonsus Liguori are the Patron Saints for Authors and writers.
The patron Saints for chastity are Agnes of Rome and St. Thomas Aquinas.
The patron Saints for alcoholism and reformed alcoholics are Martin of Tours, Mathias, John of God, Monica, and Urban of Langres.
For cooks and chefs there is St Lawrence, Macarius the Younger, Martha, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, and Pascal Baylon. St. Martha has helped me countless times when I shop for food and when I cook. I have made dishes that I’ve never made before with her help, with no recipe.
For help with desparate, forgotten, impossible or lost causes and situations, I can call on the following saints for help; Sts. Jude, Gregory, Thaumaturgus, Philomena, and Rita of Cascia.
The patron Saints for child abuse victims are Sts. Alodia, Germaine Cousin, Lufthild, and Nunilo.
There’s even a patron Saint for dysfunctional families! His Name is Eugene de Mazenod.
I call on St. Expiditus when I need help in getting anything done quickly. He is the patron saint for procrastination.
During the time it took for me to write my story, I became spiritually bonded with a few more saints.
These are just a few of my favorite saints. The Catholic Church has many more. I am totally convinced that they are always ready to help me concerning whatever matter I may be dealing with. One thing they all have in common is that I believe all of them accomplished God’s will in their lives. I also believe that they are all in Heaven.
I consider them to be my heavenly friends. They can be yours too. As a matter of fact, if you need some comic releif in your day, ask St. Lawrence for that. He is one of the patrons saints of comedians. The reason being is that during his Martyrdom, when he was being roasted alive, he said to his executioners “You can turn me over now, this side is done”
One day, on my knees, I asked for his assistance. I told him that I really needed some comic relief. Later that morning, I attended my weekly bible study session. Before it started, the Pastor, who led the group, handed me clippings form a cartoon strip. They were quite funny. We were both laughing over them. The name of the cartoons were ‘The Other Side.’ After a few weeks I had reflected that they really were from the other side!
I call on St. Vincent de Paul for spiritual help just before Mass, and at other times. I ask St. Martin de Porres for help when cutting my hair. St. Matthew helps me manage my money. St Anthony of Padua helps me find and remember things.
St. Gemma Galgani really came through for me when I was in serious pain one time. I have bachaches now and again. One time, I was experiencing a most painful bachache. I don’t know if it was due to a kidney stone or what. All I know is that the pain was low and excruciating. As a matter of fact, it was the worst pain I had ever encountered in life. Moving just a little was unbearable.
I cannot recall the exact details of how I came across information about St. Gemma Galgani. I had discovered that one of her patronages was back injury and back pain.
In my apartment, there is a little cushion on a chair that reads ‘Miracles happen to those who believe’ I told St. Gemma Galgani that I needed a miracle concerning my back pain. The next morning the pain was gone.
These are my holy helpers. I can truly say that I do have friends in very high places, and considering what life can throw at me at any given moment, I need all the help I can get!
I can tell you from personal experience that getting aquainted with these saints over the years has been an absolute delight, as well as the angels. Once you have made contact with one, and have spiritually bonded, it is truly something to behold.
My angel encounters
The first one occurred while I was walking down a hallway, which ran alongside an A.A. meeting room towards the elevator. Have you ever seen a postcard that has a night city view on it and there are long streaks of lights on the cars? That is called time-lapsed photography. You could probably find such photos on the internet. Well, as I was walking down the hallway, one of those streaks of light flew right passed me and in front of me about waist high. It was a tiny shiny and incredibly thin silver streak, and it was moving intensely fast and with exact precision. It was definitely celestial in character, and it’s tail seamed to disappear as it moved. This all took place in a split second. Prior to that incident, I had just recently read from the book; ‘St Michael and the Angels,’ which described how fast they can travel.
The second encounter actually took place inside the AA meeting room as a meeting was in progress. It was a large room with a high ceiling. During the day it was used as a day care room ro children. There were about 60 people in attendance as usual. Anyway, I was sitting in front of the stage one particular night and I had full view of the room. As the meeting proceeded, I found myself just sitting there calm and relaxed. All of a sudden, I saw out of the corner of my right eye, something move through the door, which was open, at the right of the room. This door led to the hallway where my first angel encounter took place. I looked at the door but saw nothing.
Then, with my eyes, I slowly scanned left and up and there it was! There was a large paper banner that had been taped to the wall, and at the top right corner I saw a little shiny silver object. It was pulsating. I was speechless, with my mouth open, as I gazed at it. Then, the top right corner of the banner became loose and started uncurling itself. I surmized that the heat which generated from the objects pulsations, rendered the tape useless. This encounter lasted about 15 seconds. To this day I don’t know why I didn’t just point to it and yell “ Look, over there!” I think the reason I didn’t is because I was totally stunned.
St. Michael and the Angels was another ‘God book’ that I found one day. In the book, I learned many fascinating things about them. For instance, they can travel from place to place in the twinkling of an eye without any intervining lapse of time, and can understand everything at a glance. I also found out that there are three hierarchys of angels.
? One consists of Angels, Archangels, and principalities.
? An other one consists of Powers, Virtues, and Dominians.
? The the other one is made up of Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim.
St. Thomas says that their knowledge extends to all truths of the natural orde. He goes on to say that they are familiar with all the secrets of nature and all that remains most hidden form the greatest minds that ever existed. They also know countless things at the same time in an instant, without doubt or obscurity. That sure would make them superior multi-taskers! There are no two angels alike, nor are any two equal.
On one St. Valentines day, I went to a resale shop and found a few spiritual items. One was a beautiful little hand carved angel. She has her head tilted slightly and she is holding a red heart. On the bottom of the adorable statuette it had written ‘Angel of the heart.’ I also discovered that there are three different St. Valentines.
A SPECIAL BULLETIN IN REAL TIME! A new Pope has been chosen for the Catholic Church. It is the first time a Cardinal was chosen from the Americas (there’s three Americas as you know) He is the first Argentinian Pope and the first Jesuit Pope. His Papal title is Francis I, which is also a first! That is three firsts!
CHAPTER 7- THE SPIRITUAL THREE’S
The spiritual confirmation about 3-3-3
I had made a visit to the tabernacle in a particular church, and upon leaving, I noticed a flier on a bulletin board in the lobby. It was a list of bible study groups in the area. I had recalled when I had read scripture many times previously on my own, so this appealed to me. There were many locations, and since I did not have a pen or paper, so I took the list with me.
My car at the time was not running at the time, so I tried to find a location that was in close proximity to my office. I was talking to the first person that seemed to be the nearest to me. He told me that the study groups were not currently active and that they would start again in a few months. He then asked for my name so he could contact me when they started again. When I gave him my name, he hesitated and asked me if I was a recent confirmation candidate. I told him that I was. He then said he thought he had recognized my name, and told me he was my confirmation sponsor!
I looked at his name on the list again and sure enough it was him! At that very moment, I observed that the red l.e.d. desk clock read three p.m., and the hour chime on my watch beeped. I then asked him if he had heard about the three’s. He replied, “You mean the Trinity?” I said “yes, but the other threes too” So I proceeded to share with him the other threes from scripture. He then told me “do you know what three, three, three means?”
At that remark, I sat straight up and felt a fuzzy feeling on both my arms. He had my full attention as I said, “No, what does it mean?” He said it was Jesus’ numerical reference in scripture! He also said that it traces back to the time of Nero, a Roman emperor. Now he really had my full attention and I asked him, “Where is the reference?” He said that I would never find a reference of Nero in the bible. After our call ended, I was so overjoyed! I had found out, at three p.m. from my confirmation sponsor, the meaning of the threes!
I could not wait to tell everyone I knew! I could hardly contain myself! Next to my office, there was a coffee shop. I was on a first name basis with the owner since I was a regular customer.
I went to get a cup of coffee and proceeded to the owner about the threes. I also knew that she was catholic, so naturally, I thought she would enjoy the story. After I told her, I mentioned that a relative wanted to write a little book about them. I told her that he had the perfect ending, God, because it has three letters in it. She replied “Dog also has three letters in it”
At the very instant she said that, she lost her grip on a crystal decanter which contained gourmet coffee beans. It flew off the counter and crashed on the floor breaking in many pieces. She had been trying to arrange it on a display shelf, which was above the check-out counter. It was for her Christmas display.
Immediately, she ran to get her vacuum to clean it up, and I noticed that she had a very distraught look on her face. I said to her “Don’t worry about it. It’s just coffee beans.” She stopped vacuuming and stood there looking directly into my eyes replying, “You don’t understand, there were exactly three pounds of coffee beans in that container!” I surmised later that God probalbly did not had not appreciate her taking His name, and reversing the letters to a name of a common animal.
Upon reflection, I had received answers to both of my prayers that I had made to the Holy Spirit at the train platform. He enlightened me to the exact nature of my wrongs during my fifth step with the two men. In addition, He revealed to me the mystery of the threes at my office during the call with my confirmation sponsor at three o’clock in the afternoon! How incredible is that!
The three’s revealed
I am the third and last child born into my family. I was born in the third hour in the morning. I reside in a tri-state area. There are only three Catholic churches in my town. There are three bus routes.
Originally, I was going to transcribe all of the examples of the three’s that I had discovered from both the Old and New Testament, but then I decided to just use one example from each of its sections.
The greatest fact of the number three is how it has played such a significant role spiritually in my life.
There are countless examples of the number three in the world, and in the realm of the spirit. It would be virtually impossible to categorize and list all of them on a global and universal scale. Moreover, they continue to manifest in my own life on a regular basis. I encourage you to discover them in your own life as well.
THE OLD TESTAMENT THREES:
On the third day Abraham got sight of the place from afar.
You shall make a lampstand of pure beaten gold-its shaft and branches-whith its cups and knobs and petals springing directly fom it. Six branhes are to extend from the sides of the lampstand, three branches on one side, and three on the other. On one branch there are to be three cups, shaped like almond blossoms, each with its knob and petals; on the opposite branch there are to be three cups, shaped like almond blossoms, each with its knob and petals; and so for the six branches that extend from the lampstand.
When you come into the land and plant any fruit tree there, first look upon its fruit as if it were uncircumsised. For three years, while it fruit remains uncircumsised, it may not be eaten.
They moved on from the mountain of the lord, a three days journey, and the ark of the covenant of the lord which was seek out their resting place went the three days’ journey with them.
Three times a year, then, every male among you shall appear before the lord, your God, in the place that he chooses: at the feast of Unleavened Bread, at the feast of Weaks, and at the feast of Booths.
Joshua told his officers to notify the Israelites to prepare their provisions, for in three days they would cross the Jordan to take possession that the Lord had given them.
Gideon divided his three hundred men into three companies, and provided them with horns and empty jars, with torches inside the jars.
Boaz told elders of all the people, that he had aquired from Naomi, all of the holdings of Elimelech, Chilion, and Mahlon.
I SAMUEL 30:11-12
An Ejyptian, who had not eaten for three days and three nites, was provided food from David.
2 SAMUEL 24:11-15
Three choices of afflictions were given to David for numbering Israel and Judah. The first was a three years famine, the second was fleeing from his enemy for three months, and the third one was a three day pestilance in his land.
1 KINGS 18:1
In the third year, the Lord told Elijah to present himself to Ahab.
2 KINGS 2:1-8
Elijah told Elisha three separate times “Please stay here…” when the Lord had sent him to three different locations. The first was Bethel, the second was Jericho, and the third location was the Jordan river. Each time Elisha replied to Elijah “I will not leave you.”
A muster of detachments of armed troops, drawn up in battle order, came to Hebron, and along with all of Israel, wanted to make David their king. They all remained with David for three days, feasting and drinking.
2 CHRONICLES 20:20-25
It took three days to take the spoils, so great they were, after the Lord had delivered the inhabitants of Judah and Jeruselam from the hands of the Ammonites, Moabites, and those of Mount Seir.
Ezra had the Israelite family heads assemble by the river that flowed toward Ahava, where they made camp for three days.
When Nehemiah had arrived in Jeruselem, he first rested for three days.
Tobias was instructed by the Archangel Raphael, who was posing as his traveling companion Azarias, to cut a fish open and remove its gall bladder, heart, and liver.
Judith 12: 5-7
Holfernes ordered his bodyguard not to hinder Judith, so she stayed in the camp three days.
Esther asked Mordecai to tell all of the Jews who were in Susa, to fast for three days on her behalf, and that she and her maids would fast in the same way.
1 MACCABBEES 10:34
King Demetrius told the Jewish nation that the three days which preceeded all feast days, sabbaths, new moon festivals, appointed days, and the three days that follow, would be days of immunity and exemption for every Jew in his kingdom.
Three years after Appollonius was received by Jason in Jeruselem, Menelaus, brother of Simon, was sent by Jason to deliver money to king Antiochus, and to obtain decisions on important matters.
JOB VIII: EPILOGUE 13-15
The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his earlier ones, including giving him three new daughters, whom he named Jemimah, Keziah, and Keren-hapuch. No other women in the land were as beautiful as his daughters.
Some rely on chariots, others on horses, but we on the name of the Lord our God.
Like a club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow, is the man who bears false witness against his neighbor
Where a lone man may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken.
SONG OF SONGS 6:8
There are sixty queens, eighty concubines, and maidens without number.
For the holy spirit of discipline flees deceit and withdraws from senseless counsels; and when injustice occurs it is rebuked.
With three things I am delighted, for they are pleasing to the lord and to men: harmony amoung bretheren, freindship among neighbors, and the mutual love of husband and wife.
On that day Israel shall be a third party with Ejypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land.
Put not your trust in the deceitful words: “This is the temple of the Lord! The temple of the lord! The temple of the lord!”
My eyes run with streams of water over the downfall of the daughter of my people. My eyes flow without ceasing, there is no respite, till the Lord looks down and sees. My eyes torment my soul at the sight of all the daughters of my city.
We have sinned, been impious, and violated, O Lord, our God, all your statutes.
…which he unrolled before me. it was covered with writing front and back, and written on it was: Lamentation and wailing and woe!
For the king’s order was urgent. So huge a fire was kindled in the furnace that the
flames devoured the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into it.
He will revive us after two days; on the third day he will raise us up to live in his presence.
What the cutter left, the locust swarm has eaten; what the locust swarm left, the grasshopper has eaten, and what the grasshopper has left; the devourer has eaten.
For thus says the Lord to seek the house of Israel: seek me, that you may live, but do not see Bethel; do not come to Gilgal, and do not cross to Beer-sheba. For Gilgal shall be led into exile, and Bethel shall become naught.
The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame; the house of Esau shall be stubble, and they shall set them ablaze and devour them; then none shall survive of the house of Esau, for the lord has spoken.
But the Lord sent a large fish, that swallowed Jonah; and he remained in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
The word of the Lord which came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah: that is, the vision he received concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
Make your couriers more numerous than the stars, your garrisons as many as grasshoppers, and your scribes as locust swarms gathered on the rubble fences on a cold day! Yet when the sun warms them, the grasshoppers will spread their wings and fly, and vanish, no one knows where.
I will stand at my guard post, and station myself upon the rampart, and keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what answer he will give to my complaint.
On that day, says the lord, a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate, a wail from the New Quarter, and loud crashing from the hills.
But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the Lord, and take courage, Joshua, high priest, son of Jehozadak, and take courage, all you people of the land says the Lord, and work! For I am with you, says the Lord of hosts.
Then the Lord said to me, “This is the Lords message to Zerubbabel: Not by army, nor by might, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts…
You also say, “What a burden!” and you scorn it, says the Lord of hosts; you bring what you seize, or the lame, or the sick; yes you bring it as sacrifice. Shall I accept it from your hands? Says the Lord.
NEW TESTAMENT THREES:
But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angls of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
From noon to three o’clock in the afternoon, when Jesus died, the whole country was covered with darkness.
And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah…
JOHN 2: 19
Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
Three months later, Paul and the others set sail on another ship to Syacuse, where they stayed for three days and then they sailed to Rome, where three days later, Paul called together the leaders of the Jews.
“For who has known the mind of the lord or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given him anything that he may be repaid?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
1 CORINTHIANS 1:22-23
Jews demand a sign, Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified…
2 CORINTHIANS 12:2
I know somone in Christ who, fourteen years ago (wether in the body or out of the body, God knows), was caught up to the third heaven.
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to confer with Kephas and remained with him for fifteen days.
… one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:6)
…that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on the earth and under the earth,…
Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!
1 THESSALONIANS 1:1
Greeting: Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the church of Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace.
2 THESSALONIANS 1:11
To this end, we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effect of faith.
1 TIMOTHY 1:13
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
To satisfy the one who recruited him, a soldier does not become entangled in the business affairs of life. Similarly, an athlete cannot receive the winner’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer ought to have the first share of the crop.
Urge the younger men, similarly, to control themselves, showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect, with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be criticized, so that the opponent will be put to shame without anything bad to say about us.
Addressing and Greeting: Paul a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon, our beloved and our co-worker, to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church at your house…
Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
THE LETTERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Rather, each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.
…who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorites, and powers subject to him.
2 PETER 1:19
Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
1 JOHN 5:7-8
So there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and the three are of one accord.
2 JOHN 3
Greeting: …Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son in truth and love.
In contrast to the other Letters recorded in the New Tastament, there is three different letters from John.
Similarly, these dreamers nevertheless also defile the flesh, scorn lordship, and revile glorious beings.
I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come from the mouth of the dragon, from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet. (Revelation 16:13)
THREE’S ASSOCIATED WITH THE VIRGIN MARY:
• Mary was assumed into Heaven three days after she died.
• Mary is the patroness of the three Americas; North America, Central America, and South America.
• Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth for three months. (Luke 1:56)
• St. Joaquin, Marys father, knelt by Mary for three days after she was born.
• Mary was three years old when her parents, St. Joaquin and St. Anne presented her in the temple.
• The first chapel for the Virgin Mary was erected in the year 33.
MARIAN APPARITION THREE’S:
• Our Lady appeared three times to a nun whose name was Sister Catherine Laboure in the year 1830, to tell her just how the Miraculous Medals, in her honor, should be made and displayed.
• Sister Catherine LaBoure also described how each of her fingers had three rings, with the largest stones emitting the most brilliant rays.
• Our lady of Knock appeared along wirh Joseph, and St. John.
• Mary replied “I am the Immaculate Conception” after St. Bernadette had asked her what her name was three times at Lourdes France.
• Our Lady of Fatima appeared to three shepherd children in Portugal.
• Mary appeared to Juan Diego as Our Lady of Guadalupe three times.
• Mary, appeared to Bruno Cornacchiola, and his three children, at Tre Fontane, Italy, (The place where St. paul was beheaded), which is aso known as the Fountains of the Holy Trinity. She said that she was the one of the Divine Trinity. She identified herself as “Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, and Spouse and Temple of the Holy Spirit. She said “I am the Virgin of Divine Revealation.
• Mary, appeared as the Mediatrix of all Grace three times to twelve-year-old Barbara Reuss.The Virgin was described as “unspeakably beautiful and brilliant, a blinding vision of most pure light and radiance… above Her head were brilliant rays forming a three-tiered crown.”
OTHER THREE’S NOT SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE:
• I H S is the first letters of Jesus’ name in Greek. These letters were placed at the top of the Cross.
• The statement, Jesus king of the Jews, was written in three languages; Latin, Greek and Hebrew were also placed above Jesus on his cross.
• Jesus, Mary and Joseph made three.
• Jesus spent three years in his ministry, from age thirty to thirty-three.
• Jesus was thirty-three years old when He was crucified.
• Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the garden of Gesthetame, God was betrayed be satan in the garden of Eden.
• Heaven , Hell, and Purgatory.
• 3 sinned in the garden of Eden; the serpent, Eve, and Adam.
THREE’S IN THE LIVES OF SAINTS:
• St. Patrick converted Ireland, explaining the most Holy Trinity by showing how three leafs grow out of one stem on a three-leaf clover, and raised 33 people from the dead.
• St. Joan of Arc wrote only three letters to the King of England.
• There are three St. Valentines.
• St. Thomas, the one who doubted, was miraculously transported back to Jerusalem on the third day after Mary’s death.
• St. Patrick raised thirty-three people from the dead.
• St Gerard Majella had three great loves; the Blessed sacrament, Our Lady, and the Crucifix.
• The way of the saint has three stages, the purgative, the illuminative, and the unitive.
• St. Ignatius of Antioch was the third bishop appointed there.
• St. Javarios was martyred under the emperor Diocletian in 304 ad. His body is enshrined in the Cathedral by his name in Naples Italy, where there are three vials of his blood. They liquefy on three different occasions per year. Millions of visitors have witnessed this miracle happen.
• There are only three female Saints who are recognized as Doctors of the Catholic church; St. Therese of the child Jesus, St. Teresa of Avilla, and St. Catherine of Sienna. St. Therese of Liseux is the third one.
• St. Vincent de Paul is listed as the third Martyr in the litany of the saints.
• Blessed Julian of Norwich’s book; Revelation of Divine Love, has the ‘Threes’ in it.
• There are three noted female Saints from three separate towns in Sicily. St. Agatha from Catania, St. Lucy from Syracuse, and St. Rosalia from Bivona.
• St. Joan of Arc heard commands from three Saints. They were St. Michael, St. Catherine of Alexendria, and St. Margaret of Antioch.
• St. Mary de Pazzi spent the last three years of her life in bed.
• On the third day after Marys death, St. Thomas was miraculously transported back to Jerusalem.
• Saints Faith, Hope, and Charity, the Heroic little Sisters, ages 12, 10, and 9, were martyed in the early days of the Church. Their mother died three days later.
• Thanks to prayers by his mother, St. Augustine became baptized a Catholic at 33 years of age.
• Saint Thecla (117), who was converted by St. Paul, was thrown to wild beasts in ampitheaters, thrown into a furnice of fire, and cast out into the wilderness. She still lived to 90 years of age.
• There were three founders of Our lady of Ransom. They were Saint Peter Nolasco, St Raymond of Pennafort, and King James of Aragon.
• Eight North American Martyrs (6 preists and 2 lay brothers) were put to death while they were bringing the Faith for the salvation of rhe Huron, Iriquois, and Mohawk tribes.
• St. Rene Goupil said “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” as he died at age 35.
• St. Peter of Alcantora ate every third day.
• Three men, who were false witnessess against St. Narcissus, were struck dead.
• St. Nicholis of Bari raised three children from the dead.
• St. Cecelia was struck three times on her neck by a Roman Soldier with a sword. She layed on the ground three days before she died.
• St. Francis Xavier was shipwrecked three times and he also baptised three million people.
• St. Therese, the Little Flower, asked Jesus for a sign that her prayers and sufferings could bring people to Christ. A convicted murderer was sentenced to death, and Therese discovered that he had not repented, so she prayed for his conversion for weeks and had a Mass offered for him. Just before he was to be executed, he kissed the Sacred Wounds on a crucifix, that a priest had given to him, three times.
? Therese’s father had wandered from his home in Lisieux for three days when he was very old. He was found up in Le Havre.
? Therese also had three sisters that had entered Carmel of Lisieux.
? Three years after Therese’s parents had married, her mother lost four children to trajedies.
? Therese was officially chosen as the 33rd Doctor of Church. She was also the third woman in the Catholic Church bestowed that title and honor.
• St. Aanias, St. Azarias, and St. Misnel were the three jewish boys that were thrown into the fiery furnace by the command of King Nabuchodmosor. It had no power to destroy them.
• St. Leonard of the Port of Maurice was a holy fransiscan friar missionary. His primary causes were the Immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin, the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and the veneration of the Sacred Heart.
• St. Catherine of Sienna belonged to the third order of Fransiscans and died at age 33.
• St. Agnes of Assisi died three months after her sister Saint Clare died.
• Saints Peter, James, and John were present with Jesus at His Transfiguration, when Jairus’ daughter was raised from the dead, and again in the Garden of Gethsetame when Jesus’ sweat turned to blood.
• St. Bernard of Clairvaux is depicted in art with three mitres at his feet.
• St. Vincent Ferrar converted many in France, Germany, and Ireland.
• Three years after returning to Damascus, St. Paul went up to Jeruselum.
• During St. Paul’s martyrdom, after he was beheaded, his head bounced three times on the ground. Each time it bounced he said the name Jesus. A spring also sprouted at each of the three places where his head had landed. His executioners converted after witnessing this.
(I discovered this information in a book titled: Saints to remember from January to December, by the slaves of the Immaculate heart of Mary (that I was not specifically looking for) at a library, about fourteen years after my confirmation sponsor had mentioned to me what 333 stood for.)
• An angel spoke to Joseph, Mary’s husband three times. (Matthew 1:20, 2:13, 19)
• St. Maria Gorreti had three brothers, and she was the third of seven children. The person who killed her, Alessandro Serenelli, repented after three years in prison.
• St. Teresa of Avila was paralized for three years, after becoming ill from malaria. She also experienced peiods of religious ecstasy through the devotional book The Third Spiritual Alphabet (translated from spanish-published in 1527-written by Fransisco de Osuna). In addition, she founded sixteen convents in the last three years of her life.
THREE’S IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:
• There are three theological virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity. These are infused into the human soul at Baptism.
• The Catholic Church has three powers: to govern, to teach, to sanctify.
• There are three readings from scripture at Sunday Mass. The the first reading, the second reading, and a reading from one of the Gospels.
• The Three Evangelical Counsels: Voluntary poverty, Chastity and Obedience.
• During Holy week in the Catholic Church, three of the holiest days of the liturgical year celebrated. The first one is Holy Thursday, the second is Good Friday, and the third one is Holy Saturday. These three days are referred to as the Holy Tridiuum.
• On the feast of all souls day, November 2nd , there are three masses said for the souls in Purgatory.
• There are three special feast days for Saint Peter. They are The Chair of St. Peter on February 22nd, the crucifixion of Peter and beheading of Paul on June 29th, and the Basilicas of Peter and Paul on November 18th.
OTHER INTERESTING THREE’S:
• We are now living in the third Millenium.
• We are living on the third Planet from the sun.
• The original bible was written in three languages; Hebrew and Aramaic in the Old
Testament, and Greek in the new testament.
• The universe consists of three things; space, time, and matter.
• Time = past, present, and future.
• A common symbol for recovery is the triangle, which has three sides.
• There were 3 gardens associated with God and Jesus;
- The garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15)
2. The Garden of Gesthetame (John 18:1)
3. The garden where Jesus was buried (John 19:41)
There are more examples of the number three in regards to each of the categories that I have listed above; especially in both of the Old and New Testaments
I believe that numerically, or any combination of groups of three, in whatever category or manner, represents the Most Holy Trinity’s spiritual presence in my life.
Concerning the Trinity, St. Augustine wrote: “It is necessary that we, viewing the Creator through the works of his hands, raise up our minds to the contemplation of the Trinity, of which creation bears the mark in a certain and due proportion”  . It is a truth of faith that the world has its beginning in the creator, who is the Triune God. Although the work of creation is attributed especially to God the Father this we profess in the creeds of the faith (“I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth”) It is also a truth of faith that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are the unique and indivisible “principle” of creation.
For me, the real significance of the number three is it’s spiritual nature. It appears so often in Holy scripture, and in relation to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Mary, the saints, the angels, and in creation. And, since God represents the Trinity, and He chose the third planet from the sun to create everything, leads me to believe that three may be His favorite number too.
MY LIFES’S TOP PRIORITIES:
1. God and heaven (Always first!)
2. My Faith
3. My Recovery
4. Everything else.
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE PRAYERS (*some I discovered without any authorship):
OPEN MY EYES
1 Open my eyes, that I may see
glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
place in my hands the wonderful key
that shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
ready, my God, Thy will to see;
open my eyes, illumine me,
2 Open my ears, that I may hear
voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
and while the wave-notes fall on my ear,
everything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
ready, my God, Thy will to see;
open my ears, illumine me,
3 Open my mouth, and let me bear
gladly the warm truth everywhere;
open my heart, and let me prepare
love with Thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
ready, my God, Thy will to see;
open my mouth, illumine me,
4 Open my mind, that I may read
more of Thy love in word and deed.
What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead?
Only for light from Thee I plead.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
ready, my God, Thy will to see;
open my mind, illumine me,
*By Clara H. Scott: Born 1841 in Elk Grove Village, Illinois – Died 1897 in Dubuque, Iowa.
TO MY GUARDIAN ANGEL
My Dearest Leadian,
Help me to let you lead the way,
To always stay loyal and obey,
So that we may conquer every day.
WHEN I AM AGITATED OR DOUBTFUL
I try to remain calm, and then I ask for the right thought or action, an intuitive thought or decision. (From the section describing the fourth step in the book Alcoholics Anoymous)
*A PRAYER FOR STRENGTH
O God, our refuge and strength, and a very present help in times of trouble; how much I need your strength, presence, and guidance in my life right now. I feel week, depressed, overwhelmed, anxious, and frightened. I need your help to face these distressing hours and days, so that I can walk through this very difficult time in my life. Help me to believe that you are truly with me to the end of the age, and that your strength will be sufficient for me. Please relieve me of all of my despair and bless me with your peace that surpasses all understanding, in Jesus’ name, amen.
*TODAY, I RELAX AND TRUST IN GOD
This is a day of release, a day of relaxing in the care of God. Whatever unrest I may have felt due to stress or anxiety, I now let go and rest in the assurance of Gods love. There is no support firmer than in Gods abiding presence. I awake to the realization that there is no greater safety than Gods love. I cease to focus on all that has been a source of disturbance in my life.
I relax the activity of my conscious mind. God can help me with any urgency that may arise. Today I relax and trust God. I will receive all of the blessings that trusting in God brings. God will bring a warm and revealing light to the darkness in my life. My heart, mind and soul are opening to up to all that is good around me. I rest peacefully in Gods love.
- St. Anthony – Behold the cross of the Lord, depart from me powers of darkness. Jesus the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David has triumphed! Allelulia!
- I reject you Satan! I love you Jesus! I trust you Jesus!
- Lord, help me to delay rather than react.
- All power is the lords!
- St. Alphonse Liguori – Evil spirits I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to depart frome me and never torment me again-in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
- Mary – cover me within the folds of your mantle. (A priest taught me this one)
- St. Michael – O’ great St. Michael, take us ‘neath thy shield, thy mighty power in our favor weild.
- Psalm 19, 13-14: Who can detect heedless failings? Cleanse me from my unknown faults. But from willful sins keep your servant; let them never control me. Then shall I be blameless; innocent of grave sin.
- Heavenly Father,
Please grant your very best graces and blessings to all sinners, especially to my enemies; so that by your mercy, their sins may be forgiven, and their souls may be converted, redeemed, and ultimately recieved into Heaven! I request that you apply all of the suffering that I have encountered in my life as a sacrifice for them.
I ask this in the name of your only Son Jesus. Amen
• O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises. Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Your Presence. This we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
(The above prayer is the closing prayer to the chaplet to St. Michael)
PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT (Found on a Holy Spirit prayer card)
Holy Spirit, in these days of doubt, confusion and uncertainty, come into our hearts with your light, your strength and your consolation. Come with the light of truth and teach us the will of God in our daily living especially now when God is basic laws are challenged or ignored. Come with your strength that purifies our hearts and our desires and guards us against the danger of pride and self-conceit. Bring your consolation so that with a heart attuned to your holy love we may live in peace and harmony in our families and give to our communities the spirit of cooperation, tolerance, and understanding. Oh God, you have instructed the faithful with the light of the Holy Spirit. Grant that through the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and enjoy his consolation always. (Then I ask the Holy Spirit to help me understand whatever I am struggling with)
(This is the prayer that I used helped me to discover the ‘exact nature’ of my wrongs, and what the three’s in my life meant.)
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THE SAINTS (From a Wikipedia search)
- Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent. St. John of the cross
- The more we are afflicted in this world, the greater is our assurance in the next; the more sorrow in the present, the greater will be our joy in the future.
St. Isadore of Seville
- Make yourself familiar with the Angels, and behold them frequently in spirit. Without being seen, they are present with you. St. Francis de Sales
- When tempted, invoke your Angel. He is more eager to help you than you are to be helped! Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him: He trembles and flees at the sight of your Guardian Angel. St. John Bosco
- Remember that the Devil doesn’t sleep, but seeks our ruin in a thousand ways.
St. Angela Merici
- How often I failed in my duty to God, because I was not leaning on the strong pillar of prayer.
St. Teresa of Avila
- I exhort you to speak little and to pray very much. St. Patrick
- It would be preferable to suffer all the possible torments of Earth until the Judgement Day than pass one day in Purgatory. St. Vincent de Paul
- If there be a true way that leads to the Everlasting Kingdom, it is most certainly that of suffering, patiently endured. St. Colette
- “Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die.” St. Angela Merici (15th Century)
- To suffer and not to suffer for God is torment. St. Macarius the Great
- If you have the courage to imitate Mary Magdalene in her sins,
have the courage to imitate her penance! St. Vincent de Paul
- If we only knew the precious treasure hidden in infirmities, we would receive them with the same joy with which we receive the greatest benefits, and we would bear them without ever complaining or showing signs of weariness.
St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
- During mental prayer, it is well, at times, to imagine that many insults and injuries are being heaped upon us, that misfortunes have befallen us, and then strive to train our heart to bear and forgive these things patiently, in imitation of our Saviour. This is the way to acquire a strong spirit. St. Padre Pio
- Without prayer it is impossible to resist temptations and to keep the commandments. St. John Chrysostom
During the time it took to write my story, my brother died, my sister was notified that she had breast cancer, and a longtime personal friend was told that he had lung cancer.
Here is a list of the spiritual experiences that were discovered after his death my brother who originally introduced me to the ‘Threes’:
- He died in a house that was on on 3rd Avenue.
• Only three people lived in that house.
• He was the third member of my family to die. My mother was the first, and my father was the second.
• Only three people attended his funeral mass.
• There are 3 rings of three encircling the top, middle, and bottom of my siblings memorial Mass candle.
• Exactly three months prior to the day he died, I had written a letter to God about how disheartened I was about his continual suffering.
• He had written two prayers to St. Wenceslaus, both of which he asked for that saint’s intercession in accomplishing Gods will. He died on the feast day of St. Wenceslaus.
I hope that you found some useful information in my story. Although I have learned much from my journey, there so much I have yet to discover.
I have had an opportunity to live my life without my faith for nearly twenty years, and to live it with my faith for thirty one years. My former path would have led my soul to certain ruin.
When I had wandered very far from my faith for nearly 20 years of my life, I was clinging to everything but God. Now, I cling to God like a mountain climber clings to a vertical side of a mountain.
May all of our minds and hearts be alert to the life that is to come, which is eternal. Human history attests to the fact that we do not live on earth forever. The only thing on the planet Earth that is eternal is our souls. Everything else remains here.
I hear many people say “At the end of the day…” repeatedly. I belieive if I say “At the end of my life…” It would be a good reminder of the finish line that awaits me. It would also help me to avoid sin, because I want to finish well. I do not want to have to bring any unrepented sin with me through the finish line. I have also heard it said that success in the end makes up for all of the mistakes along the way. I truly believe that.
- AUGUSTINES REMARKS ON THE TRINITY
Pope John Paul II
CREATION IS THE WORK OF THE TRINITY
General Audience â€” March 5, 1986
INFORMATION CONCERNING THE ANGELS:
St. Michael and the Angels, Tan books and Publishers, inc. P.O. Box 424 Rockford, ill 61105 copywrite 1983.
FOR THE THREE’S INFORMATION ON MARY AND CERTAIN SAINTS:
Saints to remember from January to December, by the slaves of the Immaculate heart of Mary, copywrite 1983 by the sisters of Saint Benedict center, the slaves of the Immaculate heart of Mary (first published 1961 by Saint Benedict Center)
Address-254 Still river rd. Still River Mass. 01467
-Miracle Hunter at MiracleHunter.com
FOR THE THREE’S INFORMATION ABOUT THE APPARITIONS OF MARY:
Miracle Hunter at MiracleHunter.com
FOR THE SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES:
St Joseph New American Bible – (large print). Copywrites-1970, 1969, 1991, 1992, 1990-by Catholic Book Publishing Co., New York, N.Y.
FOR THE THREE’S INFORMATION ON ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX:
The booklet titled ‘That Martin girl’, (which first appeared in 1974. The Society of the Little Flower was given permission to re-issue this edition of the Anthonian by F. Salvatore Fink, O.F.M. and St. Anthony’s Guild) SOCIETY OF THE LITTLE FLOWER, 1313 Frontage Road, Darien, IL 60561 First appeared 1974-5340. Ph: 1-800-621-2806.
FOR THE THREE’S INFORMATION ON ST. TERESA OF AVILA:
Copyright 1996-2000 by Terry Matz. All Rights Reserved.
- Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Forward
• A Brilliant Madness, by Patty Duke with Gloria Hochman
• Ask your Angels, by Alma Daniel
• Alcoholics Anonymous (The big book), Alcoholics Anonymous world services, inc.
• St. Michael and the Angels, Tan books and publishers, Inc. Rockford, Illinois 61105
• Codependent No More, by Melody Beatty
• Revelations of Divine Love, by blessed Julian of Norwich
• Saints to remember from January to December, by the slaves of the Immaculate heart of Mary, copy write 1983 by the sisters of Saint Benedict center, the slaves of the Immaculate heart of Mary (first published 1961 by Saint Benedict Center)
Address-254 Still river rd. Still River Mass. 01467
• MARY SAVE US by Adele Dirsyte: Servant of God. Translated by Rev. Kestutis A. Trimakas.
St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars
What toil we must endure, what fatigue, while we are attempting to climb hills and the summits of mountains! What, that we may ascend to heaven! If you consider the promised reward, what you endure is less. Immortality is given to the one who perseveres; everlasting life is offered; the
Lord promises His Kingdom.