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Expert Answer Forum

by Catherine Frakas 08 Feb 2003

Have I allowed eveil to enter my life? QUESTION from Shirley Rindero September 12, 2000 Dear John Paul.
I was raised in the catholic faith, though I have fallen away from the church. I have in the past attended other chrches, but nothing regular.
Four years ago my husband died, he was 42 years old. I lost my ability to pray, I am bitter and full of self pity. Ever since that day everything seems to go wrong. I have been surrounded by death since then, One year later my sister in law died, then my aunt died in my home, my nephew died in my arms the following year, and my favorite cousin passed away last month. I made investments which failed, I moved 5 times in the last 4 years, got into a very bad intimate realtionship. To make a long story shorter, it seems everything has gone wrong. The ex-wife of the man I was involved with, claimed to be psychic and believed in things such as the evil eye. I didn't even know if I believed in those things, and I definately thought I was immune even if they did exist, but now I wonder, just because of all the things that have happened. Is this possible? I realize you have very scant information, but can you supply with any resources, or advice?
Thank You, Shirley
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on November 25, 2000 Dear Mrs. Rindero:
I am so sorry in hearing all the trials and tribulations you have experience. We will certainly be in prayer for you.
Satan does not have to be involved for all these things to happen. As an old saying goes, Life Happens! What you have experienced is certainly overwhelming, but all the deaths are more likely to be coincidence that some sort of demonic conspiracy. God is in control of life and death, not Satan.
The problem is not so much the events all around you, but your reaction to those events. Life, or ourselves, or others, might bring to us a LOT of lemons but IF WE LET GOD, God will make lemonade out of those lemons.
The Bible tells us that All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purposes. This does not mean that all things are good, but that all things working together something good can come out of it, a lemon can be made into lemonade. But this happens to those who 1) love God, and 2) are called to his purpose.
The deaths are out of your control entirely of course. You must accept them as lemons in your life. There is nothing you can do about it. But the personally laid lemons, like a failed relationship or bad investments are, to some degree within our control.
When we are not on intimate terms with God, living a Godly life, then it becomes easier to make bad choices. In such events we make our own lemons.
But the solution is the same whether the lemons are of our own doing or completely out of our control..... give them to God and allow God to make lemonade.
You have not done that. Instead you are trying to deal with all of these trials and tribulations, regardless of the sources of these trials, on your own. The result can only lead to despair. You are already in the early symptoms of a dangerous slope leading to despair -- that of inability to pray coupled with bitterness and self pity.
You must stop.
One of the great things about the Catholic Church is that the Church recognizes that there are times with pre-written prayers are ABSOLUTELY NEEDED. Protestant deliverance counselors recognize this too.
When you cannot pray, FORCE yourself to pray using pre-written prayers. The fact that you are forcing yourself to pray, even though it feels hollow or even hypocritical, means that you ARE PRAYING. God knows what you are doing. You are praying when doing this and God will respond according to His will. Reality and feelings are not the same thing. Feelings often distort reality. So do not be deterred from praying because of how you feel. Rather PRAY without feeling for now. Force yourself.
Go to the Blessed Sacrament. Spend time with Jesus here. Tell Jesus, Lord I feel like a hypocrite for praying to You. I don't know what to pray, I don't feel like praying. Help me!
Then begin to ask God to help you to heal from your wounds. Give Him your bitterness and self-pity. Remember Jesus dies for you. Jesus was tortured for you. He understands your pain and He is willing to help you. Ask Him.
If needed, see a good Catholic Counselor to help you overcome the bitterness and self-pity, but if you return to the Church, participate in the Sacraments, spend time in adoration and in devotion, this is likely to go away and you can enjoy the lemonade.
I think I know one reason why these things are happening to you.......
God is calling you Shirley. If He wasn't you wouldn't have left this question for me to answer.
God is calling you. Accept His call. Return to the Church, return to Him, give Him your troubles, and drink from the living water (and lemonade) that our Lord has from you. His healing and living waters will quench your thirst.... for you are thirsty Shirley. All this shows that you are thirsty for our Lord. Come home dear.
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