Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Feeling Unworthy and His Divine Mercy

A couple of days ago, I was going through what I think might've been a spiritual attack. I was trying to pray the Rosary when I was bombarded with thoughts that I was a pathetic excuse for a Catholic.

"Maybe Fr. G was right; maybe I should quit being Catholic. I'm terrible at it. I can't do anything right."

I clutched the beads and started crying, shaking my head as if I could shake those thoughts out of my mind.

"Maybe I should stop praying the Rosary. If I suck at being Catholic, why continue praying? Why not give up?"

I almost stopped but I shook my head. "No," I said to myself. "This is possibly an attack. Okay, I might be a horrible Catholic but maybe there's hope for me?"

"No. You can't get your act together," the thoughts persisted. "Just stop. Quit. What's the point?"

The inner struggle then became physical. I felt like I couldn't breathe; like something was tightening together in my chest. I let go of the beads, temporarily losing my place in the Rosary. I immediately returned to my place. My hand wanted to let go and give up... but I didn't want to. It was a fight (mostly internally) until I finished praying the Rosary.

I was a sobbing mess when I finished. I felt awful. I felt like I had been kicked down and was incredibly unworthy to ask Our Blessed Mother to be with me when I fail spectacularly. I knew I still had to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy since it's one of the devotions I must pray daily (it's a desire to pray it).

I started praying the Chaplet... and it literally felt like whatever was plaguing me had become undone and that it was falling to my sides. You know when you have something heavy on (like a backpack or a heavy coat) and you get home and you slide it off, making you feel lighter than you had moments before? It felt exactly like that. Not only did I feel a calming peace, I also felt like that moment was a gift.

I finished the Chaplet and then decided to read the Blessed is She devotional for the day. One part (which that day's writer chose to share) immediately stuck out at me:

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor 12:9)

Hello, new wave of tears and gratitude. You know how I said that the moment felt like a gift? When I read that verse, it all made sense to me. Through my moment of weakness -- in which my thoughts were negative and I felt like I kept getting kicked while I was already down -- I came to remember how much I love God and being a Catholic. During that moment of divine mercy (see what I did there?) -- while praying the chaplet -- I was reminded that no matter how badly I mess up, God still loves me and that there's still hope. I also thanked God for the gift of tears because (as I said) it felt like a gift at the end.

Have you ever felt that you were unworthy to be called a child of God? Someone unworthy to have a relationship with Him and Mama Mary? You're not. I'm not. Sometimes it's hard to see or feel that -- especially when you're in the middle of a spiritual dry spell or an attack -- but you are. We all are. No matter how often we fail (or how big our failures may be), we can always come home. We can always repent. That's what the Sacrament of Reconciliation is for. We're not perfect and we're not expected to be perfect. Also, we can't egotistically believe that our sins are bigger than God's mercy and grace. Those are all lies that pop into our heads.

Tomorrow is Feast of the Purification (Candlemas) when we say goodbye to Christmastide. If your parish (or a local parish; takes only minutes to inquire) will bless candles for the day, I highly recommend it. The candles must be 51% (or greater) beeswax but those are easy to find, especially if your parish sells them. Whole Foods and other stores have 100% beeswax candles, too. Get a candle (or two) blessed and light them up during times of darkness. If you don't know much about the practice, I recommend checking it out here.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this. I'm currently taking a break from finishing my lecture videos because I have mental fog that makes concentrating on the detailed notes hard to do. I'll get back to it when it clears up a bit. :)

I hope y'all are having a good week thus far. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

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