Dark Night of the Soul ...Help


#1

OK this has to be one of the strangest questions here on Catholic Answers.
I’m a Catholic heretic: a cradle Catholic who dabbled in protestant Christianity. But please don’t blame me; I understood little of my faith, got involved in the Catholic Charismatic, got a little fuzzy and all snuggly with Jesus Christ, attended a born-again Christian fellowship (believing that it was no different from Catholicism) since I thought ,at that time, they all preach the same Christ and the same Bible.
Although I’m a heretic, I was sincere in my service to God, deeply desiring to be close to Him, offering my youth and helping lead others back to Him. I went through all sorts of trials because of my service to God, but I held on.
During that time, my Dark Night began. Many here understand that the Dark Night of the Soul happens to people who desire a closer union with God. So it happened to me. The problem is, I’m a heretic (though I love God) And because of my false beliefs about God (all snuggly and comfy with Him) and my faith, I made many wrong decisions, mainly out of bewilderment and confusion from the sheer weirdness of it all. (I was a teenager when that happened)
Ten years later, it is still happening, and the agony that I am in has increased five-fold. My life has been hell (because of my bad decisions). Unlike other non-heretic people who went through the Dark Night and made the most out of it (i.e. Mother Teresa & the other Saints), I am paralyzed by the “judgment of its fire”. I’ve only started reading about the Blessed Mother only about 5 years ago (!!!) and I’ve read her describing something (through the visionaries) about Christians in this era going through a “Demonic Disorientation”. Yes, I am severely disoriented. I don’t even know who I am anymore. I don’t know who God is anymore. I don’t know Jesus anymore. I want to go home but I don’t know how or when my dark night will last. And worst of all, I am gnashing my teeth in hell! (Don’t ask how)
I’ve already gone to confession, but it didn’t help any. But then again maybe it’s because I don’t know what sin to confess (??? How do you confess heresy? Even the priest I confessed to face to face seemed clueless???) If I confess the necessary sins would it work? (Does confession work that way?) Would my hell “ease back to purgatory” and end my paralysis? (Because I intend, though I may still be languishing in darkness, to live a normal life, and be of use to my family.)
There was one sin though that I forgot to confess that I only remember now. Years ago, I read the book the Purpose Driven Life (I think I see raised eyebrows) by Rick Warren. I was so touched by the “emotionality” of it all, and was moved by the author’s narration of the story of Moses and his intimate relationship with God. Moses was complaining to God about something (about God not being complete on His promises to Moses or something ) and I ended up copying Moses in that book and complained to God (maybe a little to much & brazenly, the way the author described it) about the agony I’ve been going through. It is only now that I’ve thought about this, that I may have blasphemed God in that manner. (Uh oh) If I confess that sin to the priest , would my confession have an effect?
I hope this question isn’t inappropriate for Catholic Answers (I guess I am THAT desperate) But I don’t know where to go. I guess you could say that I am “fishing for answers” here in this forum, just in case somebody here has gone through the Dark Night (of the Soul, the state of agony, of senselessness and unknowing)
Ok I may already be “weirding” some people out, so I stop here. Help please/ some advise…
:confused:


#2

Hello,

I work with a Catholic deliverance ministry, so I’ve seen much weirder. :wink:

That ministry has some self-help steps that I refer people to often here on CAF. It’s called the Seven Steps to Self-Deliverance. Following those steps will help you become a better Catholic, whether or not there is an issue of demonization. I did them about a year ago, and my life is dramatically different for the better now.

With prayers,
Becky


#3

girlfpurgatory

OK this has to be one of the strangest questions here on Catholic Answers.

I’ve seen stranger. :slight_smile:

I’m a Catholic heretic: a cradle Catholic who dabbled in protestant Christianity.

That doesn’t make you a heretic. Christ came into my life, through a TV Evangelist, but I ended up back in the Catholic Church. Christ uses the means He sees fit, to bring us closer to Him.

But please don’t blame me;.

Why are you rejecting the warm feeling of being close to Jesus?
The Catholic Charismatic movement isn’t heretical, but very much in line with the Catholic Church. Did you ever consider that this is how Jesus was trying to reach you?

Although I’m a heretic, I was sincere in my service to God, deeply desiring to be close to Him, offering my youth and helping lead others back to Him. I went through all sorts of trials because of my service to God, but I held on.

You have a distorted definition of what it is the be a heretic. Stop it! The devil is feeding you this nonsense.

During that time, my Dark Night began.

This isn’t the Dark Night of the Soul, as St. John of the Cross defined it. Those in the Dark Night of the Soul, do not lose their faith in Jesus, but struggle with the loss of consolations and the silence that he has given them.

The Dark Night of Soul isn’t the loss of faith, but the strengthening of faith, and only those who’s faith is strong enough, are brought through it.

Many here understand that the Dark Night of the Soul happens to people who desire a closer union with God.

Actually it happens to those who have reached a close union with God.

The problem is, I’m a heretic (though I love God) And because of my false beliefs about God (all snuggly and comfy with Him) and my faith, I made many wrong decisions, mainly out of bewilderment and confusion from the sheer weirdness of it all. (I was a teenager when that happened)

Faith without emotion is not faith. Christ’s presence within us, gives us feelings of peace and joy. These are beutiful and good. What we are not to do, is place the feelings as being greater than the one who gives them to us. Christianity isn’t a stoic coldness of heart, rather, God loves us, and when he touches us with His love, it is like a wound. The wound is the pain of love. Read St. John of the Cross, “Canticle of Love.”

Where have you hidden,
Beloved, and left me moaning?
You fled like the stag
after wounding me;
I went out calling you, but you were gone.

Commentary

  1. In this first stanza the soul, enamored of the Word, her Bridegroom, the Son of God, longs for union with him through clear and essential vision. She records her longings of love and complains to him of his absence, especially since his love wounds her. Through this love she went out from all creatures and from herself, and yet she must suffer her Beloved’s absence, for she is not freed from mortal flesh as the enjoyment of him in the glory of eternity requires.

You can read the entire book, here;
karmel.at/ics/john/cn_1.html

Ten years later, it is still happening, and the agony that I am in has increased five-fold. My life has been hell (because of my bad decisions).

It seems like you’re suffering from scrupulosity, not the Dark Night of the Soul.

Years ago, I read the book the Purpose Driven Life (I think I see raised eyebrows) by Rick Warren. I was so touched by the “emotionality” of it all, and was moved by the author’s narration of the story of Moses and his intimate relationship with God.

Its a good book, and nothing heretical or damaging from it. Many have been led to Christ through it.

You need to turn to the source of faith, Jesus Christ. If you have surrendered your life to Him, you have to also trust that he will lead you where He sees fit, for your spiritual growth. This could be, through Pastor Rick Warren’s books, or through the writings of the Catholic Saints. Either way, it is Christ providing the tools that he sees necessary to help you grow closer to Him, according to where you are in your level of faith.

Had he brought you to St. John of the Cross to begin with, you probably wouldn’t understand it, and would’ve abandoned seeking Christ all together. Instead, He gave you things that are easier for you to understand, but now, He perhaps has you coming to the Catholic Church, in order to feed you more deeply.

This doesn’t mean that what you received from other Christian sources is bad, but it was good, because its what Christ used to get you here today.

Don’t misunderstand the mercy and love of Christ. He loves protestants and Charismatics as much as Catholic contemplatives. Its just a matter of reaching you according to your own spiritual ability.

St. Theresa the Little Flower describes it as God’s garden and that we are all the flowers in His garden. He loves the tulip as much as the rose, and He being the divine gardener, cares for us according to our needs. A tulip might die from being fed lime, where the rose grows on it. But the nourishment God gives the tulip, will do better than if he gave the same thing to the rose. But both are given in love, because they both benefit and it is God’s love that nourishes both completely.

Take heart and learn that God’s love and mercy, isn’t limited by our human understanding.

God Bless
Jim


#4

Now I’m becoming more confused

The reason why I called myself a heretic is because, back then, I never wanted to do anything with the Blessed Mother. Though, right now, I desire to know her more, I am still struggling to appreciate her. As I have read from other admirable Catholics, who say that the surest way to Jesus is through Mary, I’ve realized that the Jesus I’ve met was a fake because I completely disregarded His Mother.
Back then, I had what they’d call a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; you know, prayer time at night, singing and talking to Jesus like a buddy. I never prayed the Rosary (as is standard among Catholics) and thought it was unimportant and brushed Mary off as unnecessary. That was my mistake.

It seems like you’re suffering from scrupulosity, not the Dark Night of the Soul.

What’s scrupulosity?

Its a good book, and nothing heretical or damaging from it. Many have been led to Christ through it.

You need to turn to the source of faith, Jesus Christ. If you have surrendered your life to Him, you have to also trust that he will lead you where He sees fit, for your spiritual growth. This could be, through Pastor Rick Warren’s books,…

But why are there Catholics who have complaints about this book? I have read an article from This Rock that reviewed this book negatively .
Here it is.
Even non-Catholic pastors have some words about this book. Some non-Catholics say that Rick Warren does have the tendency to water the gospel down.
(Are you a Catholic Jim?)
Oh I don’t want to argue with anyone. I came here for answers (not debate). I just realized lately that Charismatics also flock this forum so I apologize if I may have said something wrong to hurt you people. It’s just that that kind of spirituality is not for me anymore and I need to brush on more about the traditional Catholic stuff.
I just wish I had known Mary before…


#5

girlfpurgatory;

The reason why I called myself a heretic is because, back then, I never wanted to do anything with the Blessed Mother.

Thats because you did know her, and misunderstood her importance. Thats ignorance, not heresy, but your ignorance wasn’t your fault, but rather, you were not ready to learn about her.

Though, right now, I desire to know her more, I am still struggling to appreciate her. As I have read from other admirable Catholics, who say that the surest way to Jesus is through Mary, I’ve realized that the Jesus I’ve met was a fake because I completely disregarded His Mother.

For some, Mary may be the path to Jesus, for me it was not. I went directly to Jesus, and it wasn’t until I had faith in Him, that I could even grasp why I should honor His mother.

Back then, I had what they’d call a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; you know, prayer time at night, singing and talking to Jesus like a buddy.

A personal relationship with Jesus IS important. In that relationship, He is not my buddy, by God the Son, and the relationship I have with Him, is one of love.

I never prayed the Rosary (as is standard among Catholics) and thought it was unimportant and brushed Mary off as unnecessary. That was my mistake.

Not necessarily. The Rosary is a treasure to have, but it doesn’t exclude other paths to Jesus. There are many good Christians, who don’t pray the Rosary.

What’s scrupulosity?

Scrupulosity is an inordinate idea of our unworthiness. People who are scrupulous, see sin in everything. They have difficulty understanding the forgiveness and mercy of God. It can be a road block toward spiritual growth.

But why are there Catholics who have complaints about this book? I have read an article from This Rock that reviewed this book negatively .
Here it is.

Their disagreements don’t make it heretical and I would take what they print with a grain of salt. They’re not the Catholic Church.

Some Catholics had problems with Billy Graham, yet the dioceses where he preached would set up televisions in their own parishes, so people could hear what he had to say. The Church doesn’t agree with everything he preached, but the basic message of the Good News of Jesus Christ, is the same. He brought many fallen away Catholics back to the Church, because they received faith in Jesus Christ. Without faith in Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church becomes just a religion with rules that will eventually will either make no sense, or become a rigid means of discipline. Such people often become tyrants and crosses that some holy soul has to bear. St. Bernadette had such a person in her life.

Even non-Catholic pastors have some words about this book.

Yeah well they have problems with anyone outside of their religion as well, including Catholic writers.

Some non-Catholics say that Rick Warren does have the tendency to water the gospel down.

Actually, he makes the gospel inclusive, where others make it exclusive, i.e., if you don’t have full immersion Baptism, and publicly profess Jesus Christ is Lord, you will not be saved. Of course with such people, Catholics are doomed.

I’m not suggesting we should all follow Pastor Rick Warren’s teaching, but I have not seen anything harmful in it, and it probably is beneficial for many people. I know a man who came back to the Catholic Church, because of what he learned from Rick Warren’s book.

(Are you a Catholic Jim?)

Yes I’m Catholic.

I just wish I had known Mary before

This is good and it may be that Jesus is trying to bring you to Him, through her.

As I said, Jesus uses whatever He sees as the best way to reach us.

Take this thought with you, “God can not be grasped, except through love.” It comes from the book, “The Cloud of Unknowing.”

The only way to know Christ is through love. When we open ourselves to Him, He comes to us in love. It is through His love that we are transformed to be as He would have us be, not as we think we should be. When we allow Jesus to work in us, we become the person God had in mind, when He created us.

Drop these ideas that anyone not Catholic is a heretic. Pope John Paul II prayed with not only non-Catholic Christians, but non-Christan’s as well. He did what Christ would do, when it comes to responding to others. He loved them.

Jim


#6

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

I did the same thing - grew up Catholic - then was led into religious non-denominational Protestantism. My return to the Catholic faith occurred as a result of hard and painful experiences, but the Most Holy Rosary, Daily Mass, and Confession helped me to recover. I did not become a devout Catholic though - I went back to ambivalent Catholicism instead of having a lot of zeal, and dropped out of Daily Mass and near daily recitation of the Most Holy Rosary. Then, I had another painful experience, and I have now (thus far - pray for me that I will reach eternal life) become as devoted to the Most Holy Rosary as I know how to be (no kidding - I try to say all the mysteries every day) and devoted to Daily Mass and hope to practice fully True Devotion to Mary. The results are great so far! :slight_smile: :smiley: :heart: :slight_smile: :smiley: But I am still a novice and am still learning and growing.

I sometimes wonder if God allows ex-Catholics to fall to great levels, just like he allowed the Jews to fall. Both Hitler and Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) are among our number as ex-Catholics, although we can also boast of St. Augustine. We are the true prodigal sons, perhaps?

Anyways, here are the ***Free *** books containing almost I know about devoting myself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I hope to post more information about St. Louis Mary de Montfort and True Devotion to Mary later. Just know for now that it is a valid devotion - His Holiness Pope John Paul II himself practiced it.

And as for The Secret of the Rosary: St. Louis Mary de Montfort also wrote, The Secret of the Rosary, which explains the origin and name, prayers, mysteries, marvelous effects, proper dispositions, ways to combat distractions and pray the Rosary effectively, and Confraternities (so you can have the benefit of other people’s Rosaries as well) of the Most Holy Rosary. Someone once wrote of this book, *“Possibly the finest book ever written about the Rosary; appeals to all ages. Shows the great spiritual power of the Rosary, which is appreciated by few.” * St. Padre Pio, who said, “The Rosary is The WEAPON”, said as many as 90 rosaries a day in a special form for which he received ecclesiastical permission. Father Thomas Euteneur, President of Human Life International, cites this in The Rosary Batters the Gates of Hell hli.org/sl_2008-10-03.html

Links:
True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin montfort.org.uk/Writings/TrueDev.html
**Secret of the Rosary ** montfort.org.uk/Writings/Rosary.html
Preparation for 33 day consecration to the Blessed Virgin saintlouisdemontfort.com/consecration.cfm
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesusen.wikisource.org/wiki/Devotion_to_the_Sacred_Heart_of_Jesus#FIRST_POINT._.E2.80.94_The_ardent_desire_Jesus_Christ_feels_to_be_with_us.
Divine Mercy Chapletewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm
Cathechism of the Catholic Church vatican.va/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.
*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#7

I am still burning in hell
No one can help me
May the Lord have mercy on my soul!!
:crying:


#8

in general it is very unwise to attempt to discern demonic possession, or the stages in the spiritual journey, including whether or not one is in the Dark night of the senses (the first dark night) or the dark night of the soul (the second dark night and that usually experience by the advanced soul) without a good spiritual director.

A heretic is one who knows and believes the true doctrine yet deliberately and with full knowledge not only abandons the faith but preaches and teaches against it. So unless you are nailing 95 theses on the door of cathedral somewhere, you are probably not a heretic, even though your faith journey has some bumps in the road.

Your best next step is to come back to a good orthodox course under Catholic auspices on the catechism, to find out what the Church really teaches, and get answers to your specific questions. Welcome home, although it may take a while to get in the door.


#9

Thanks puzzleannie. I thought nobody was about to reply anymore

in general it is very unwise to attempt to discern demonic possession, or the stages in the spiritual journey, including whether or not one is in the Dark night of the senses (the first dark night) or the dark night of the soul (the second dark night and that usually experience by the advanced soul) without a good spiritual director.

How does one go about having a spiritual director? How do you choose one? Should it be a priest or is it ok to have a lay person as a spiritual director?


#10

most parish priests are too busy to give time to spiritual direction, and not every priest is qualified, but you might ask him for a recommend. Convents or monasteries near you may also have priests, sisters or brothers experienced in this field. Yes some lay persons may be spiritual directors, but there is no licensing or test of qualifications, so it would be best to get a recommendation from a solid priest you trust.

Fr. Groeschel’s books Spiritual Passages, and Journey Toward God are good first guides on the topic of spiritual growth and the journey, and he discusses spiritual direction; and his Still SMall Voice is good on the topic of discerning movements of the spirit.


#11

I suggest getting a spiritual director and discussing this issue with him.

IMO, I do not think that the Jesus you knew then was a ‘fake’. Rather, you knew as much about Him as you were able to accept at the time. Later on, you came back to the fulness of truth in the Church and realized the truth about Mary, etc. :slight_smile: If you read the works of the Saints… they DID talk to Jesus as to their Friend, they were not distant with Him. That is not wrong in itself. Quite probably some things you were involved in caused you to go in the wrong direction eventually, but God was still there with you through it all and He is with you now.

Also, I do not know for sure what you are experiencing; the Dark Night of the Soul is when the person feels completely abandoned by God and it’s when they have already achieved union with Him. Dark Night of the Senses is when there’s an absense of consolations…

I was baptized Eastern Orthodox as a child. Then I left it and became a non denom Protestant, much like what you describe about yourself. I found a “personal relationship with God”. Now I am becoming a Catholic. I believe that being Protestant is what I needed at the time, but now God wants to take me further. Don’t beat yourself up about what happened back then… God uses everything for good… if we let Him… just be thankful that you’re now in the Church again and definitely be devoted to our Lady and pray the Rosary…

I also have a question for you… I hope my post isn’t confusing you further!! But… do you TRUST God? Don’t distance yourself away from Him in an effort to be less “Protestant”… I don’t know if you are doing that or not… but don’t feel like we can’t have a relationship with Him as Catholics, this is actually a part of Catholicism too. It’s just fuller, it includes the Eucharist and Sacraments and the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Saints…

look Jesus is very merciful to us. I used to feel real hatred for Our Lady, but He still allowed me to know Him. I wouldn’t say that the Jesus I knew wasn’t the real one, just because my faith was so imperfect. God comes to us AS WE ARE. He came to me when I was so messed up and had many heretical views as well - and lead me right to the Truth and to Mary. :slight_smile: God never turns away from anyone who comes to Him, He has said so… even if their beliefs are all wrong. He was with you when you were involved in Protestantism and loved you through that, and He’s with you now that you’ve come back home :slight_smile:

if I could give you any advice, I’d say… try to get a spiritual director, go and spend time in Adoration…trust Jesus and abandon yourself to His mercy… let Him work in your soul as He wants… and if you want to, try reading books like “Divine Mercy in My Soul” by St Faustina and “Story of a Soul” by St Therese of Lisieux.

God bless!! hugs


#12

Thankyou for your kind reply, Monica.

You’re right, maybe the Jesus that I first knew wasn’t really fake. Maybe the problem with me is my manner of approaching Him. I treated Our Lord like a “best Buddy”, though there isn’t anything intrinsically wrong with it, it may have given me wrong ideas about Jesus. Or my approach to Him may have been too, well, “rock and roll” so to speak. I’ve read of many traditionalists raising their eyebrows at this approach,and I was wondering why at that time. To date I’m still in the dark as to how to approach our Lord properly, like how to pray and talk to Him (without getting struck by lightning?). I’m still confused.

In answer to your question, I honestly don’t know if I still trust God (I know it’s wrong to say this and I know should trust Him) because I feel abandoned by Him. I sometimes feel I don’t know God anymore (though we know that He is fully unknowable). Well actually, maybe the problem with me is that I don’t know how to approach Him anymore. I know it sounds silly, but I really am confused.

look Jesus is very merciful to us. I used to feel real hatred for Our Lady,

Thank you for saying this. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one. Well I didn’t really hate the Blessed Mother, I just felt indifferent. Yes Jesus is very merciful to us. Thank you, too, for telling me this, because honestly, in this darkness, I do keep on forgetting that!
Thankyou so much!


#13

aw I know it’s very confusing sometimes, how we should approach the Lord… I’ve struggled with this too, and sometimes still do. I think no matter how much we get to know Him, there is always still more to know. He is infinite. So we’ll always be discovering new ways of approaching Him, which correspond with His different attributes.

The key is keeping a balance… maybe back then you focused a lot on Jesus being our Friend but not enough on the reverence? (you and God know). Some people focus too much on the reverence and forget that God loves us individually too.
Sometimes when I go to Adoration I try to remember that Jesus is both my King and my Friend… so I am kneeling before Him, as is proper, at the same time I’m (hopefully) being fully open with Him. It’s amazing that the God who made the stars would come down to us on such a personal level… it’s keeping this balance, that seems to work for me better. (I still have lots to learn though and I’m not perfect at this at all).

Remember that you do not need to be distant in order to be reverent :slight_smile:

About trusting God. I think this is very important for spiritual growth in general. After reading St Faustina’s book, I realized that it’s my distrust that made me go backwards in my faith and caused confusion for me at one point in my life. I noticed whenever I lose this trust, I feel more stressed out about my faith, more lost, like I no longer know where I am headed. If you’re struggling with trusting God (and don’t be ashamed, most people go through this, I do too!) - maybe it would be good to overcome this first. (again, something that maybe a spiritual director could give better advice on).

I am certain that God has not abandoned you. If you feel this way, you are sharing in His Passion, and it is a heavy trial. You can offer your suffering to Him and unite it to the Cross, and then God will use it to sanctify you more.
But if He did not turn away from those who crucified Him, and hated Him, would He turn away from those who seek Him? Jesus said… whoever comes to Him, He will not drive away.

I remember one time in my life when I felt completely alone and at that moment God first communicated to me that He understands me completely. That…He really knows me, who I am, and He knows all my struggles even before I explain them.

I’m going to post something here in this thread, if you don’t mind, that encouraged me when I felt abandoned by God. I pray He gives you peace. It’s what He told St Faustina in a vision… and this is totally accepted by the Church :slight_smile: I’ll make a new post for this.

God bless!


#14

(from Divine Mercy in My Soul)

Jesus to St Faustina:
“Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul”

the whole point is that we CAN trust Him… His mercy will accomplish in us everything that we need.

**The Goodness of God. **
The mercy of God, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, the voice of the Lord who speaks to us from the throne of mercy: Come to Me, all of you.

*Conversation of the Merciful God with a Sinful Soul. *
Jesus: Be not afraid of your Savior, O sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to lift yourself to me. Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with Your God of mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish his graces on you. How dear your soul is to Me! I have inscribed your name upon My hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My Heart.

Soul: Lord I hear Your voice calling me to turn back from the path of sin, but I have neither the strength nor the courage to do so.

Jesus: I am your strength, I will help you in the struggle.

Soul: Lord I recognize Your holiness and I fear You.

Jesus: My child, do you fear the God of mercy? My holiness does not prevent Me from being merciful. Behold. for you I have established a throne of mercy on earth - the tabernacle - and from this throne I desire to enter into your heart. I am not surrounded by a retinue of guards. You can come to Me at any moment, at any time; I want to speak to you and desire to grant you grace.

Soul: Lord, I doubt that You will pardon my numerous sins; my misery fills me with fright.

Jesus: My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire World. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed Myself to be nailed to the Cross; for you I let My Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy. Do not argue with Me about your wretchedness. You will give me pleasure if you hand over to Me all your troubles and griefs. I shall heap upon you the treasures of My grace.

Soul: You have conquered, O Lord, my stony heart with Your goodness. In trust and humility I approach the tribunal of Your mercy, where You yourself absolve me by the hand of your representative. O Lord, I feel Your grace and Your peace filling my poor soul. I feel overwhelmed by Your mercy, O Lord. You forgive me, which is more than I dared to hope for or could imagine. Your goodness surpasses all my desires. And now, filled with gratitude for so many graces, I invite You to my heart. I wandered, like a prodigal child gone astray; but You did not cease to be my Father. Increase Your mercy toward me, for You see how weak I am.

Jesus: Child, speak no more of your misery; it is already forgotten. Listen, My child, to what I desire to tell you. Come close to My wounds and draw from the Fountain of Life whatever your heart desires. Drink copiously from the Fountain of Life and you will not weary on your journey. Look at the splendors of My mercy and do not fear the enemies of your salvation. Glorify My mercy.


#15

**Conversation of the Merciful God with a Despairing Soul. **

Jesus: O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy.

But the soul, deaf even to this appeal, wraps itself in darkness.

Jesus calls out again: My child, listen to the voice of your merciful Father.
In the soul arises this reply, “For me there is no mercy,” and it falls into greater darkness, a despair which is a foretaste of hell and makes it unable to draw near to God.

Jesus calls to the souls a third time, but the soul remains deaf and blind, hardened and despairing. Then the mercy of God begins to exert itself, and, without any co-operation from the soul, God grants it final grace. If this too is spurned, God will leave the soul in this self chosen disposition for eternity. This grace emerges from the merciful Heart of Jesus and gives the soul a special light by means of which the soul begins to understand God’s effort; but conversion depends on its own will. The soul knows that this, for her, is final grace and, should it show even a flicker of good will, the mercy of God will accomplish the rest.

My omnipotent mercy is active here. Happy the soul that takes advantage of this grace.

Jesus: What joy fills My Heart when you return to Me. Because you are weak, I take you in My arms and carry you to the home of My Father.

Soul: (as if awakening, asks fearfully): Is it possible that there is yet mercy for me?

Jesus: There is, My child. You have a special claim on My mercy. Let it act in your poor soul; let the rays of grace enter your soul; they bring with them light, warmth, and life.

Soul: But fear fills me at the thought of my sins, and this terrible fear moves me to doubt Your goodness.

Jesus: My child, all your sins have not wounded My Heart as painfully as your present lack of trust does - that after so many efforts of My love and mercy, you should still doubt My goodness.

Soul: O Lord, save me yourself, for I perish. Be my Savior. O Lord, I am unable to say anything more; my pitiful heart is torn asunder; but You, O Lord…

Jesus does not let the soul finish but, raising it from the ground, from the depths of its misery, he leads it into the recesses of His Heart where all its sins disappear instantly, consumed by the flames of love.

Jesus: Here, soul, are all the treasures of My Heart. Take everything you need from it.
Soul: O Lord, I am inundated with Your grace. I sense that a new life has entered into me and, above all, I feel Your love in my heart. That is enough for me. O Lord, I will glorify the omnipotence of Your mercy for all eternity. Encouraged by Your goodness, I will confide to You all the sorrows of my heart.

Jesus: Tell Me all, My child, hide nothing from Me because My loving Heart, the Heart of Your Best Friend is listening to you.

Soul: O Lord, now I see all my ingratitude and Your goodness. You were pursuing me with Your grace, while I was frustrating Your benevolence. I see that I deserve the depths of hell for spurning Your graces.

Jesus (interrupting): Do not be absorbed in your misery - you are still too weak to speak of it - but, rather, gaze on My Heart filled with goodness, and be imbued with My sentiments. Strive for meekness and humility; be merciful to others, as I am to you; and, when you feel your strength failing, if you come to the fountain of mercy to fortify your soul, you will not grow weary on your journey.

Soul: Now I understand Your mercy, which protects me and like a brilliant star, leads me into the home of my Father, protecting me from all the horrors of hell that I have deserved, not once, but a thousand times. O Lord, eternity will hardly suffice for me to give due praise to Your unfathomable mercy and Your compassion for me.


#16

Conversation of the Merciful God with a Suffering Soul.

Jesus: Poor soul, I see that you suffer much and that you so not have even the strength to converse with me. So I will speak to you. Even though your sufferings were very great, do not lose heart or give in to despondency. But tell Me, My child, who has dared to wound your heart? Tell Me about everything, be sincere in dealing with Me, reveal all the wounds of your heart. I will heal them, and your suffering will become a source of your sanctification.

Soul: Lord, my sufferings are so great and numerous and have lasted so long that I become discouraged.

Jesus: My child, do not be discouraged. I know your boundless trust in Me; I know you are aware of My goodness and mercy. Let us talk in detail about everything that weighs so heavily upon your heart.

Soul: There are so many different things that I do not know what to speak about first, nor how to express it.

Jesus: Talk to Me simply, as a friend to a friend. Tell Me now, My child, what hinders you from advancing in holiness?

Soul: Poor health detains me on the way to holiness. I cannot fulfill my duties. I am as useless as an extra wheel on a wagon. I cannot mortify myself or fast to any extent, as the saints did. Further more, nobody believes I am sick, so that mental pain is added to those of the body, and I am often humiliated. Jesus, how can anyone become holy in such circumstances?

Jesus: True, My child, all that is painful. But there is no way to heaven except the way of the cross. I followed it first. You must learn that it is the shortest and surest way.

Soul: Lord, there is another obstacle on the road to holiness. Because I am faithful to You, I am persecuted and suffer much.

Jesus: It is because you are not of this world that the world hates you. First it persecuted Me. Persecution is a sign that you are following in My footsteps faithfully.

Soul: My Lord, I am also discouraged because neither my superiors nor my confessor understand my interior trials. A darkness clouds my mind. How can I advance? All this discourages me from striving for the heights of sanctity.

Jesus: Well, My child, this time you have told Me a great deal. I realize how painful it is not to be understood, and especially by those whom one loves and with whom one has been very open. But suffice it is to know that I understand all your troubles and misery. I am pleased by the deep faith you have, despite everything, in My representatives. Learn from this that no one will understand a soul entirely - that is beyond human ability. Therefore, I have remained on earth to comfort your aching heart and to fortify your soul, so that you will not falter on the way. You say that a dense darkness is obscuring your mind. But why, at such times, do you not come to Me, the light who can in an instant pour into your soul more understanding about holiness than can be found in any books? No confessor is capable of teaching and enlightening a soul this way.

Know, too, that the darkness about which you complain I first endured in the Garden of Olives when My Soul was crushed in mortal anguish. I am giving you a share in those sufferings because of My special love for you and in view of the high degree of holiness I am intending for you in heaven. A suffering soul is closest to My Heart.

Soul: One more thing, Lord. What should I do when I am ignored and rejected by people, especially by those on whom I had a right to count in times of greatest need?

Jesus: My child, make the resolution never to rely on people. Entrust yourself completely to My will saying, “Not as I want, but according to Your will, O God, let it be done unto me.” These words, spoken from the depths of one’s heart, can raise a soul to the summit of sanctity in a short time. In such a soul I delight. Such a soul gives Me glory. Such a soul fills heaven with the fragrance of her virtue. But understand that the strength by which you bear suffering comes from frequent Communions. So approach this fountain of mercy often, to draw with the vessel of trust whatever you need.

Soul: Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness in remaining with us in this exile as the God of mercy and blessing us with the radiance of Your compassion and goodness. It is through the light of Your mercy that I have come to understand how much You love me.


#17

Conversation of the Merciful God with a Soul Striving after Perfection.

Jesus: I am pleased with your efforts, O soul aspiring for perfection, but why do I see you so often sad and depressed? Tell Me, My child, what is the meaning of this sadness, and what is its cause?

Soul: Lord, the reason for my sadness is that, in spite of my sincere resolutions, I fall again into the same faults. I make resolutions in the morning, but in the evening I see how much I have departed from them.

Jesus: You see what you are of yourself. The cause of your falls is that you rely too much upon yourself and too little on Me. But let this not sadden you so much. You are dealing with the God of mercy, which your misery cannot exhaust. Remember, I did not allot only a certain number of pardons.

Soul: Yes, I know all that but the great temptations assail me, and various doubts waken within me and moreover, everything irritates and discourages me.

Jesus: My child, know that the greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and an exaggerated anxiety. These will deprive you of the ability to practice virtue. All temptations united together ought not disturb your interior peace, not even momentarily. Sensitiveness and discouragement are fruits of self love. You should not become discouraged, but strive to make My love reign in place of your self love. Have confidence, My child. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy.

Soul: I understand what is the better thing to do, what pleases You more, but I encounter great obstacles in acting on this understanding.

Jesus: My child, life on earth is a struggle indeed; a great struggle for My kingdom. But fear not, because you are not alone. I am always supporting you, so lean on Me as you struggle, fearing nothing. Take the vessel of trust and draw from the fountain of life - for yourself, but also for other souls, especially such as are distrustful of My goodness.

Soul: O Lord, I feel my heart being filled with Your love and the rays of Your mercy and love piercing my soul. I go, Lord, at Your command. I go to conquer souls. Sustained by Your grace, I am ready to follow You Lord, not only to Tabor, but also to Calvary. I desire to lead souls to the fount of Your mercy so that the splendor of Your mercy may be reflected in all souls, and the home of our Father be filled to overflowing. And when the enemy begins to attack me, I shall take refuge behind the shield of Your mercy.


#18

“Conversion to God always consists in discovering His mercy, that is, in discovering that love which is patient and kind as only the Creator and Father can be; the love to which the ‘God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’ is faithful to the uttermost consequences in the history of His covenant with man; even to the cross and to the death and resurrection of the Son. Conversion to God is always the fruit of the rediscovery of this Father, who is rich in mercy.” – Pope John Paul II

catholic-forum.com/churches/cathteach/divinemercy_Mercy.htm

catholic-forum.com/churches/cathteach/divinemercy1.htm

I think that when we see that God’s mercy is greater than anything, greater than all our sins and our wretchedness and all the mistakes we’ve ever made… and once we see that God didn’t abandon us while we were His enemies (so how can He abandon us now that we’re His children?)… it might be a little easier to trust Him and through this trust, come to a sure knowledge of God. A relationship that’s not built on emotion or our understanding, but simply a willingness to love Him and accept His love. We’ve all probably made mistakes in our spiritual journeys and how we’ve approached God… I believe that if we trust Him, if we’re devoted to the Eucharist and to Our Lady, our approach will be straightened out with time :slight_smile: we just have to take it day by day and simply live with God right where we are in life. And if we take some time to meditate on His Passion (perhaps by praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary :)) we’ll undestand the great love He has for us. We also understand this love through the Eucharist, which is a gift of Himself.

hope that makes sense… it’s pretty late when I’m typing this lol! :wink:


#19

and whenever we suffer, that is an opportunity to share in His suffering and we can offer our trials in union with the Cross and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for other souls… :slight_smile:

“your cross” by St Frances de Sales

The everlasting God has
in His wisdom foreseen
from eternity the cross
that He now presents to you
as a gift from His inmost heart.

This cross He now sends you
He has considered with His all-knowing eyes,
understood with His divine mind,
tested with His wise justice,
warmed with loving arms
and weighed with His own hands
to see that it be not one inch too large
and not one ounce too heavy for you.

He has blessed it with His holy Name,
anointed it with His consolation,
taken one last glance at you
and your courage,
and then sent it to you from heaven,

a special greeting from God to you,
an alms of the all-merciful love of God.

suffering IN ITSELF is bad, but God takes something bad and uses it, turns it to good… and Jesus can relate to everything we go through, He suffered more than any of us, He took all our pain on Himself, He even felt abandoned by the Father.
Someday He’ll take away all our pain and replace it with perfect joy, but now He is still with us through everything.


#20

Wow Monica

Now I’m seriously thinking about buying that book (Divine Mercy in my Soul)

I just realized that I know so little about God and have yet a long way to trek in my pursuit of trying to get to know Him. And now, at least I have an idea what to pray/say to God with regards to my own problems, how to come to Him. I’ve so many things to learn from your posts. I’m eternally grateful. Thank you so much!!:o


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