Tag: Testimonies

An American Tells What It Was Like To Meet The Great Padre Pio. 

An American Tells What It Was Like To Meet The Great Padre Pio. 

An American Tells What It Was Like To Meet The Great St. Padre Pio.

“I spent a week in San Giovanni Rotondo in 1965 and had the honor to attend Padre Pio’s Mass on my 21st birthday, January 8th, 1965. There were not many visitors to the monastery at that time of the year. I got up every morning while it was still dark and was able to enter the church about 4:30 am. The Mass began at 5:00 am. 

Padre Pio’s Mass was unforgettable, with long silent pauses in which Padre Pio appeared to be in ecstasy. He took off his half gloves during the Mass and from my vantage point where I was sitting in the trancept of the church, I was able to clearly see the stigmatization of his hands. 

One morning, I went into the church to make a visit to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. As I was leaving, I looked up and saw Padre Pio at his place in the choir. He looked down at me and smiled. He held up his Rosary for me to see and pointed at it. I took my Rosary out and held it for him to see. I knew that he was encouraging me to pray the Rosary. 

One night before going to sleep at my hotel, I prayed and asked my guardian angel to go to Padre Pio and tell him of all my spiritual needs. The following night, I joined the villagers outside in the square below Padre Pio’s cell. They gathered there every evening to bid goodnight to Padre Pio. He came to the window and gave everyone his blessing and spoke to the group in Italian. I asked the woman next to me who spoke English to tell me what Padre Pio said. She told me that Padre Pio said that he had been kept awake the previous night by a guardian angel from America.”

Baptist Man On The Rosary: ‘More Powerful Than I Thought It Would Be…’, Recommends Mother Angelica As Teacher. 

Baptist Man On The Rosary: ‘More Powerful Than I Thought It Would Be…’, Recommends Mother Angelica As Teacher. 

Whoa! You don’t see this everyday!

While Catholics and Protestants have a lot in common, there are few things that get Protestants more concerned about Catholicism than our veneration of Mary. And what’s more Marian than the Rosary?

And yet, a Baptist writer on Twitter reveals that he recently prayed the Rosary and found it very powerful. Not only that, he recommended people watch YouTube videos of EWTN foundress Mother Angelica to learn how!

Here’s his tweet:

@Bevelonbooks, Twitter
He writes: “My hospice client is Catholic & I’m going to pray the rosary with her which is a) not something Baptists usually do; b) something that would kill my mother; and c) more powerful than I thought it would be and also there’s a woman named Sister Angelica on YouTube who’ll teach you.”
Mike Bevel‘s unusual tweet is going viral. Even though he only has 346 followers, his tweet (as of this writing) has gotten more than 1200 likes and 88 retweets, and counting.
He’s gotten lots of comments and questions, and he’s given some interesting responses.
About Mother Angelica, Bevel said, “I’ve known about her for all of 90 minutes and I am ::absolutely:: fiercely protective of her and her adorable apple face.”
When someone explained she was the foundress of EWTN, he responded, “I ONLY know about EWTN because it was on the YouTube video I watched. I watched the rosary for Friday, which also includes the 5 Sorrowful Mysteries. Sister Angelica is now, along with Sister Wendy, among my favorite nuns.”
To which the official EWTN twitter account responded! They said they’d be praying for him and shared a quote from Mother Angelica:
@EWTN, Twitter
When someone mentioned how the rosary led them to becoming Catholic, Bevel shared his spiritual journey on the matter:
“I had sort of a Spiritual Awakening last year, and thought I was being called to be a Catholic! I went to one catechism class and thought, ‘Well, I love the Catholics very much, but I, Mike Bevel, am not a Catholic.’ /1
“Then I tried the Quakers, but that made me realize I need more religion/Bible in my religion. So I thought, “I’ll just go to the faith that I was essentially raised in.” But spirals are found all over nature and who knows where I’ll end up ultimately. /end”.
Even Catholic author and radio show host Jennifer Fulwiler jumped into the conversation and shared, “When my husband, who was raised Baptist, first encountered a rosary he held it up and said ‘How do you operate this?’”
Bevel joked back, “There’s an On button, right?” (I’m still laughing about this story you told.)”
Say a prayer for this man’s conversion!
Powerful Testimonies From The Saints On The Power Of The Mass, The St. Michael Prayer And Other Legions Of Angels During Mass

Powerful Testimonies From The Saints On The Power Of The Mass, The St. Michael Prayer And Other Legions Of Angels During Mass


THE LATIN LITURGICAL BOOKS OF 1962.
The Traditional Latin Mass Prayers to St Michael, that were removed from the New Mass, at the Second Vatican Council.

 St. Michael and the Angels at Mass.

Jesus said the evil groups removed the prayers to St Michael, which is still prayed in the Traditional Mass, from the Norvus Ordo Mass, because they know the efficacy of that prayer in protecting the Church. Now read more about it here.
It is said that St. Michael presides over the worship of adoration rendered to the Most High and offers to God the prayers of the faithful symbolized by incense whose smoke rises towards Heaven. In fact, the liturgy presents St. Michael to us as the incense-bearer, standing beside the altar as our intercessor and the bearer of the Church’s prayers before the throne of God. 

An Angel of the Lord stood near the altar of the temple, having a golden censer in his hand, and there was given to him much incense, and the smoke of the perfumes ascended before God.” [Offertory, Mass of St. Michael].
At the beginning of Holy Mass [the Traditional Roman or Latin Mass], St Michael’s name is mentioned in the confession of faults made by the priest at the foot of the altar, and by the faithful in turn. At the offertory, in Solemn High Mass, the priest implores the blessing of the Almighty upon the oblation through the intercession of St. Michael. And during the Canon of the Mass [The Canon was obliterated in the Novus Ordo, as were several other beautiful orations, for which either nothing was supplied at all or banal prose was added.], after the Consecration, the priest prays God to command that the oblation be borne by the hands of His holy Angel to His altar on high. The Angel here referred to is doubtless the Archangel Michael. With loving solicitude he watches over the Precious Blood, that no accident may occur, and also over all the tiny particles which may fall from the consecrated Hosts at the time of Holy Communion, that they may not be lost or desecrated.
But St. Michael is not alone present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar. Christian tradition assures us that innumerable Angels also assist at Mass. St. John Chrysostom, among others, states that: 

When Mass is being celebrated, the Sanctuary is filled with countless Angels who adore the Divine Victim immolated on the altar.” Besides the guardian Angels of the faithful who are present, thousands of Heavenly spirits assist at Mass, reverently worshipping their Lord and God. With what sentiments of profound veneration do they not adore the Precious Blood being shed anew upon the altar! It is the self-same Blood that was shed on Calvary, but with this difference, that then It fell upon the ground and stones, whereas in Holy Mass, It is applied to the souls of those present. The efficacy of the Mass is so wonderful, God’s mercy and generosity are then so unlimited that there is no moment so propitious to ask for favors as when Jesus is born on the altar. The Angels know this full well and come in throngs to adore their Divine Master and make their petitions at this hour of mercy. What an example for us! Whenever we attend Holy Mass, therefore, let us unite with St. Michael and the holy Angels, “and place our offerings and petitions in their pure hands, to be presented to the Most High, that He may receive them graciously and pardon our lack of devotion for the sake of the devotion of the celestial spirits with whom we associate ourselves. It was revealed to St. Mechtilde that three thousand Angels from the choir of Thrones are ever in devout attendance around every Tabernacle where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. Doubtless a much greater number are present at Holy Mass, which is not merely a Sacrament but also a sacrifice.” 

And we read in the revelations of St. Bridget

One day when I was assisting at the Holy Sacrifice, I saw an immense number of Holy Angels descend and gather around the altar, contemplating the priest. They sang heavenly canticles that ravished my heart, Heaven itself seemed to be contemplating the great Sacrifice. And yet we poor mortals, blind and miserable creatures, assist at Mass with so little love, relish and respect!” 

Do Catholics ever think of this amazing truth, namely: that at Mass they are praying in the midst of thousands of God’s Angels?
Let us beg St. Michael and his Angels to impart to us a greater realization of the infinite value of the Mass, “where Christ spiritually sprinkles the souls of the faithful with His Blood.” St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi says of this spiritual sprinkling: ‘This Blood when applied to the soul, imparts to it as much dignity as if it were decked in a costly robe. It imparts such brilliance and splendor that couldst thou behold the effulgence of thy soul when sprinkled with that Blood, thou wouldst fall down to adore it.’ Happy the soul adorned with such beauty! Let us go to Holy Mass often, that we may be sprinkled with this adorable Blood and our soul arrayed in rich apparel which will render us glorious forever in the sight of the Angels and the Saints. The Catholic Church owns no greater, no more costly treasure than the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ; for a single drop of this Blood, which is united to the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, outweighs in value all the riches of Heaven and earth.
Let us remember also that one Mass heard during life is of more benefit to the soul than many heard for it after death, and that every Mass will go with you to Judgment and plead for pardon. They will, moreover, shorten your Purgatory and win for yourself a higher degree of glory in Heaven. How pleasing to God is the frequent attendance at Mass, is well illustrated in the following gracious little story:
A poor farmer was wont to attend daily Mass for many years of his life. He was crossing the snow-covered fields one cold morning on his way to church, when he thought he heard foot-steps behind him, and turning, he saw his Angel Guardian bearing a basket full of beautiful roses which exhaled a delightful perfume. “See,” said the Angel, “these roses represent each step you have taken on the way to Mass and each rose represents also a glorious reward which awaits you in heaven. But far, far greater are the merits you have acquired from the Mass itself.”



The thought of the priceless advantages that are to be derived from devout assistance at Mass, ought to be a stimulant for us to hear it not only on Sundays, but also on week days; whenever possible. Should illness or some other serious reason prevent us from doing so, let us send our Guardian Angel in our stead with the prayer following the next section. 

  

Fittingly is the Blessed Sacrament called the “Bread of Angels,” because of the ardent love with which the Angels cherish the adorable Sacrament and the profound adoration which they render to their God hidden beneath the Sacramental veils. But this designation reminds us also of the Angelic purity which ought to adorn our hearts when we receive Holy Communion.

We ought, therefore, to think of our Guardian Angels and their incomparable purity whenever we approach the Table of the Lord, asking them to obtain for us the grace to approach the Heavenly Banquet with true purity of heart and worthy dispositions.
It is particularly when we approach the Holy Table that our Guardian Angels exercise their most watchful care over us, for here there is question of a very special homage to their most beloved Lord in the wondrous condescension of His Eucharistic state. With what glowing love they hasten to render Him their services! And yet the Holy Eucharist was instituted not for the Angels, but for men. Ought we not to be wholly abashed in contemplating the Angels’ fervor?
When we are preparing for Holy Communion, the Angels strive to awaken in us holy sentiment; they urge us to banish distractions and to repeat pious acts of contrition, longing and love. The evil spirit takes delight in disturbing us in order to hinder us from receiving Holy Communion fruitfully, for he knows that this is the fountain of all good. On this account, we often experience that just during Holy Mass and at the time of Holy Communion we are most violently assailed by distractions and temptations. But our faithful Angel also redoubles his watchfulness at this sacred time, and if we cooperate with him, he will assist us to conquer the enemy and to receive the adorable Sacrament with proper dispositions. We must also strive not to displease our good Angel by want of reverence in approaching the Holy Table.
Our holy Guardian Angels also rejoice in uniting with us in adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament and during the time of Holy Mass. They do all they can to keep us from inattention and irreverence, for they are inflamed with love of God, whom they behold face to face. 

St. Francis de Sales had special devotion towards the holy Angels charged with the guardianship of the tabernacles. His veneration for these Angelic Guardians was increased by an instance which showed that these pure spirits revere not only the Sacred Species, but also the ministers who consecrate and handle them. After having conferred Holy Orders on a pious young man, St. Francis noticed that the newly ordained priest hesitated before a door as if to let someone pass before him. “Why do you pause?” asked the Saint. “God favors me with the sight of my Guardian Angel,” replied the priest. “Before I was ordained to the holy priesthood, my Angel always remained at my right and preceded me. Now he walks at the left and refuses to go before me.” Such is the great veneration which the Angelic spirits show even to God’s ministers because of their reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.

Prayer When Unable to Assist at Daily Mass.


Go, my Angel Guardian dear, 

To church for me——the Mass to hear. 

Go, kneel devoutly at my place 

And treasure for me every grace. 

At the Offertory time 

Please offer me to God Divine. 

All I have and all I am, 

Present it with the Precious Lamb. 

Adore for me the great Oblation. 

Pray for all I hold most dear 

Be they far or be they near. 

Remember, too, my own dear dead 

For whom Christ’s Precious Blood was shed. 

At Communion bring spiritually to me 

Christ’s flesh and blood my food to be, 

To give me strength and holy grace; 

A pledge to see Him face to face, 

And when the Holy Mass is done.

Then with His blessing, come back home.
It is related of St. Catherine of Siena, who was also favored with the visible presence of her Guardian Angel, that once while praying in the church she turned her head slightly to gratify her curiosity. Her Guardian Angel gave her so severe a look for her disrespect in the presence of the Most Holy that for several days St. Catherine was inconsolable and performed severe penance in atonement.

Blessed
Veronica of Binasco relates a similar experience: “Once,” she writes, “when, prompted by curiosity, I happened during the time of Mass to look at one of the Sisters who was kneeling near the altar, the Angel of God who is constantly beside me rebuked me with such severity that I almost fainted with terror. How threateningly he looked at me as he said, ‘Why dost thou not keep watch over thy heart? Why dost thou gaze thus curiously at thy sister? Thou hast committed no slight offense against God.’ Thus spoke the Angel, and by Christ’s command he enjoined on me a heavy penance for my fault, which for three days I bewailed with tears. Now, when I hear Mass, I never venture so much as to turn my head, for fear of incurring the displeasure of the Divine Majesty.” What a lesson for those who give free rein to their eyes in church and even talk during the time of Holy Mass! 

The Leonine Prayers.

Prayers after the Low Mass.
The Leonine Prayers were prescribed by Pope Leo XIII to be said by the priest and congregation after Low Mass. The original intention was the defense of the temporal sovereignty of the Holy See. In 1904, St. Pius X granted permission to add at the conclusion of the Leonine Prayers a threefold invocation, “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.” In 1929, Pius XI ordered that the prayers should be said for the conversion of Russia, alluding to the request of Our Lady in Fatima. They are customarily said kneeling.

After Vatican II, the prayers were no longer said. Vatican II had refused to condemn Communism, while Paul VI after his election in 1963 began to approach communist countries with the “Vatican Ostpolitik” – the policy of deténte with Communism. Since the Leonine Prayers were a reminder of Moscow’s plans for universal expansion, they were among the first things to go.

Ave
María – Hail Mary (3 times).

Ave María, grátia plena, Dóminus tecum, benedícta tu in muliéribus, et benedíctus frúctus véntris tui, Jésus. 
Sáncta María, Mater Déi, ora pro nóbis peccatóribus, nunc et in hora mortis nóstrae. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst 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.

Salve Regina – Hail Holy Queen

Sálve Regina, Máter misericórdiae, vita, dulcédo, et spes nóstra, sálve. Ad te clamámus, éxsules filii Evae. Ad te suspirámus geméntes et fientes in hac lacrymárum valle. Eia ergo, advocáta nóstra, illos tuos misericórdes óculos ad nos convérte. Et Jésum, benedíctum frúctum véntris tui, nóbis, post hoc exilium osténde. O clémens, o pía, o dúlcis Virgo María. Ora pro nóbis, Sáncta Déi Génitrix. Ut dígni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi. 
Orémus.

Deus, refúgium nóstrum et vírtus, pópulum ad te clamántem propítius réspice; et intercedénte gloriósa, et immaculáta Virgine Dei Genitríce María, cum beáto Joseph, ejus Spónso, ac beátis Apóstolis tuis Petro et Paulo, et ómnibus Sánctis, quas pro conversióne peccatórum, pro libertáte et exaltatióne sanctae Matris Ecclésiae, preces effúndimus, miséricors et benígnus exáudi. Per eúndum Chrístum Dóminum nostrum. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee to we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O pious, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let
us pray

O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the Saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Sáncte Micháel Archángele, defénde nos in proélio; contra nequítiam et insídias diáboli esto praesídium. Impéret illi Deus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, Prínceps milítiae caeléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in mundo, divína virtúte in inférnum detrúde. Amen

V
. Cor Jesu sacratíssimum. 

R. Miserére nobis. 

V. Cor Jesu sacratíssimum. 

R. Miserére nobis. 

V. Cor Jesu sacratíssimum.

R. Miserére nobis. 

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the Devil. May God restrain him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. 

Amen. 
V. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 

R. Have mercy on us. 

V. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,

R. Have mercy on us. 

V. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 

R. Have mercy on us. 
At High Traditional Mass During Incense
ORDO MISSAEORDINARY OF THE MASSP. Per intercessionem beati Michaelis Archangeli, stantis a dextris altaris incensi, et omnium electorum suorum, incensum istud dignetur Dominus benedicere, et in odorem suavitatis accipere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

P
. Through the intercession of Blessed Michael the Archangel, standing at the right hand of the altar of incense, and of all His elect may the Lord vouchsafe to bless + this incense and to receive it in the odor of sweetness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The priest censes the offerings, the cross and the altar, saying:

ORDO
MISSAEORDINARY OF THE MASSP. Incensum istud a te benedictum, ascendat ad te, Domine, et descendat super nos misericordia tua.

P
. May this incense blessed by You, arise before You, O Lord, and may Your mercy come down upon us.
The priest incenses the altar.
ORDO MISSAEORDINARY OF THE MASSP. Dirigatur, Domine, oratio mea sicut incensum in conspectu tuo: elevatio manuum mearum sacrificium vespertinum. Pone, Domine, custodiam ori meo, et ostium circumstantiae labiis meis : ut non declinet cor meum in verba malitiae, ad excusandas excusationes in peccatis.

P
. Let my prayer, O Lord, come like incense before You; the lifting up of my hands, like the evening sacrifice. O Lord, set a watch before my mouth, a guard at the door of my lips. Let not my heart incline to the evil of engaging in deeds of wickedness.
We shall read more about St. Michael, the Holy Angels in general, at Mass and other activities during this September, the month of the Angels!

St. Michael the Archangel defend us in the day of battle…

The Power Of Forgiveness: Priest Shares His Inspiring Story On How He Was Able To Forgive His Abusive Father Who Fractured His Skull 14 Times

The Power Of Forgiveness: Priest Shares His Inspiring Story On How He Was Able To Forgive His Abusive Father Who Fractured His Skull 14 Times


The shocking experience of Ciril Čuš proves the extraordinary power of forgiveness.

Father Ciril Čuš, a parish priest in Žetale, a small Slovenian parish on the border of Croatia, comes from a traditional Catholic family with two brothers and a sister. The first-born daughter in the family died as an infant. They lived a very simple and humble life, working on a farm and surviving on bread, milk, and water.

His father worked as a builder and one day took a fall from 16 feet, spending a month in a coma. After the accident, he wasn’t the same. He started drinking, becoming very aggressive — and young Ciril was often the target. Between the ages of 7 and 10, Ciril’s head was fractured with a blunt object 14 times.

“When I was 10, I had to wear a cap in the summer heat so that people would not notice the wounds,” Ciril said.

When his father was sober, he was a wonderful man; he taught his children a lot. But when he was drunk, he wasn’t safe to be around; the family tried to leave him completely alone.

Ciril had to escape through the window several times and spent many nights in the barn. He was afraid to sleep because he had terrible nightmares. He had learning difficulties and barely finished school.

Where should I run?

When I was 10, my life lost its meaning. I wanted to kill myself, but something stopped me.”

At 12 years old, he no longer qualified for aid to attend school, so he got a job picking strawberries, sour cherries, apples, mushrooms and chestnuts to help pay for his education. When he was 14 he wanted to run away from home because life no longer seemed to have a purpose, but he had nowhere to go. “I was beaten many times, whatever I did was wrong, and I was always afraid of my father.”

The abuse and distance from his father led Ciril to take up karate in school. Determined to prove himself — and protect himself — he won the national kickboxing championship and became a kung fu coach.

After secondary school, he got a job and moved to an old house in the town of Rače. “My friends at that time were rats and mice. But Monday to Friday I was okay, whereas at home it was a proper hell.”

Ciril no longer went to church. “I was very quiet, sad, I did my best to avoid people. I felt abandoned, unwelcomed, and all this had a great impact on me.”

But, with a lot of time on his hands, he would often visit the local library. It was there that he started reading the Bible. “I was drawn to the word of God, more and more every day.”

Out of curiosity, he travelled to Medjugorje. He was not particularly touched there, however, he made a good confession. When he returned home he felt at peace, but nothing extraordinary happened … until …

The realization

One Sunday, a fellow pilgrim from his Medjugorie journey paid Ciril a visit, and convinced him to accompany him to a Catholic Charismatic Renewal prayer group. “Everyone there lifted up their hands and praised the Lord. I thought they were on drugs, that they were not normal. I was definitely not used to that.” He decided never to enter a church again as people there were “completely abnormal.”

But his friend convinced him to try it a second time, and being that it was freezing outside, Ciril had no choice but to step inside the church. He heard a woman speaking about her husband who beat her and cheated on her, but she was still able to forgive him.

For the first time in my life, I realized what my biggest problem was — that I was not able to forgive my father. I was so angry that I even considered killing him.

This testimony touched him deeply and he kept returning to the prayer group every week. When other people prayed for him, he cried like a little child and his wounds began to heal. In order to be able to forgive, the priest suggested he pray. He prayed a Rosary for his father every day. During this time his father entered rehab but he did not get any better — in fact, he became even more aggressive.

A holy promise

“I wanted God to do something with my life. This was the only chance I could see for myself.” He prayed the Rosary at the cross, on his knees. He says this was incredibly difficult and he only managed to do it because he made a solemn promise to God that he would pray until he could forgive his father.

“For me, this was a sacred promise. I did not want to break it. Most of the time it was really difficult, I was not able to see any change. Everything seemed so pointless. I did not feel like praying; I would prefer watching the TV or going to the disco.” But, as he later found out, all of this was just a step away from his problems.

After a year and a half he realized that prayer alone was not enough, that he had to go to his father and tell him he forgave him. “I fought with myself, I fought with God, telling Him I was not able to forgive. But a month later I received mercy from God, I was able to approach my father and shake his hand.” Nothing changed; there was no mutual forgiveness, and this led Ciril into deep spiritual crisis. But from that point on he prayed two rosaries a day instead of one.

Overcoming fear

After three years of praying rosaries, he realized that he had to tell his father how much he loved him. Initially, he resisted the urge, and then he asked the Lord to heal his heart from any lack of love for his father. “This is how my faith grew. I had neither courage nor mercy to approach my father straight away. I kept having visions in my head of how badly he had treated me,” he said.

He received more mercy and approached his father yet again. He told him that he had been very angry with him. He apologized for everything he had done wrong. He told him that he was his only father and he loved him very much.

“It was at that point that the worst suffering in my life began,” Ciril said. “My father grabbed a knife and said: ‘I will kill you like a pig!’ I ran to my room and father went to the garage to get the chain saw and kill me. For the first time in my life I stepped in front of the crucifix on the wall and started thanking the Lord Jesus: thank you for giving me a father like that, an alcoholic, thank you that I am so unworthy.” He escaped through the window.

From then on his father’s words no longer hurt him. But there was still no forgiveness. He started praying three rosaries a day. His father entered rehab for the fourth time but escaped after a few hours. Once again, he tried to attack his family with an axe.

After praying three rosaries a day for nine months, Ciril thought: your love was not shown in deeds. “I knew then that I had to give my father a hug.” At that time, his father would drink a quart-sized bottle of liquor every day, sometimes not even returning home. He suffered from cirrhosis of the liver, coughing up blood. His doctors told him he only had a month to live — it was his choice to determine how he’d live it.

The power of forgiveness

“I asked to forgive him before he died. One day, after prayer, I went to meet my father when he was coming home from the woods. I had always been afraid but at that moment I felt at peace. I took his hand, looked him in the eyes, told him I forgave him, that I was sorry for everything, and that I loved him. I held his head close to my heart. It was the first time in my life that I hugged my father.”

From that moment on his father stopped drinking and peace returned to the family. “His eyes opened and he wanted to fix everything. For the first time in our lives the children saw mother in father’s embrace – we cried tears of joy.  He told us, his children, that he loved us.” He lived another 16 years.

Once I forgave, I was happy, joyful. This real encounter with God is more powerful than any hatred, curse, suffering or distress,” says Ciril. He never stopped praying, either.

Priesthood? Not for me, thank you

But Ciril’s journey was not over. He had always wanted a big family. He and his long-term girlfriend planned to marry and start their own family, but suddenly that direction felt wrong. He had never considered becoming a priest, either, as he barely finished secondary school.

When the Lord called him originally, he hesitated. But he soon made up his mind.

Today, Ciril realizes that he had to walk his path of suffering to be able to understand and help people who go through similar experiences. His life bears a powerful witness. He travels a lot around the world, witnessing about his experience of forgiveness.

“If we do not forgive, we stop God’s blessing from entering and God cannot work within us. Forgiveness means establishing a new relationship with another person. And that is a great gift from God.”

“But everyone has his own path. Jesus will provide mercy when he sees the necessity. Sometimes it takes a long time. If Jesus had granted me mercy after two weeks I might have become the same old me. But after three years I was happy to pray. And when forgiveness came I did not stop praying.”

Source:

Aleteia – English 

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