Love One Another! 8/2007 → Family Life
It all started quite innocently. At the age of thirteen I came across a “wonderful” magazine (or so I thought then) called Bravo. I read every issue from cover to cover. Before long I became especially interested in a regular series of articles entitled, My First Time.
I would read them through several times and even imagine I was the central figure. I thought about it more and more until one day I discovered the pleasure of masturbation. In time, self-abuse became a part of my life. I thought I could not live without it. It never even occurred to me that what I was doing might be a sin.
In the meantime, two years passed by, and it was time to choose a secondary school. I chose a grammar school. Beginnings are always hard. For me, getting used to my new surroundings was a nightmare. I needed some release. I wanted to relax; cigarettes and alcohol entered my life. I did not drink much, but I was crazy about cigarettes. And so I became mired in sin, destroying the life that the Lord had given me. Of course, I went to confession and received Jesus in Holy Communion, but He entered an unclean heart, because I never confessed to the sin of impurity.
Everything changed when our religion teacher handed out a summary of an article from your magazine in class. Discovering LOA was my deliverance, a lifesaver thrown out to a drowning person. I read through the entire magazine in one evening (just as I had done with Bravo). The articles moved me deeply. I faced the facts. I could not believe what I had done. All this time I had been destroying my dignity, my life — the gift bestowed upon me by Jesus, that same Jesus who had died for me on the Cross. I cried. I cried tears of great sorrow. I realized that I had been living in defiance of God’s will. And yet only a few years earlier, He had granted me a physical healing (had it not been for the prayers of my family I would certainly have lost a leg). That evening I made a decision to pull myself together.
The first step taken by this “lost sheep” was a good confession. My knees were shakier in the confessional than they had been at my First Communion. My cheeks burned as I confessed my sins (this time I left nothing out!) But when I heard the priest’s words “Go in peace,” I felt born anew. My world suddenly stopped turning around “pleasures,” as some people call addictions. At Mass I received Christ, and for the first time felt that He was happy within me. That was a fantastic feeling.
Now I find it hard to believe that I fell into Satan’s power all through reading magazines like Bravo and Girls. I thought I was getting rid of stress and that I was being grown-up. I wanted to be liked. But that was a lie.
Dear LOA readers, I found it very hard to write this letter. I cannot be sure that I will never fall into bad habits again; but I know one thing for sure. God will always be with me. He will help me with everything, if only I trust in Him. I really want to remain chaste. I believe I can do it. After all, I have a free will and am able to resist Satan. My weapon is the Rosary. This prayer sustains me and helps me through the hard times.
This year I am going on a walking pilgrimage to Jasna Gora. I want to thank Mary for helping me to return to her Son. Dear readers of LOA, I promise I will pray for you just as the Mother of God prayed for me. Please do the same of you, for intercessory prayer is especially pleasing to God.