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Saved by the Miracle of the Sun

“I will give thanks to thee, O Lord my God….For great is thy steadfast love toward me; thou hast delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol” (Psalms 86).

When I was fourteen years old, things began to go wrong in my life. It was a period of rebellion, which I suppose everyone experiences in his youth to a greater or lesser extent. I had just quit being a lector at church and decided, like the “grown man” that I was, to have nothing more to do with the Church, which I had convinced myself was a dead institution anyway. Around the same time I became fascinated with the punk subculture. I began to play the part. I wore heavy army boots with multicolored bootlaces, torn trousers with rolled up cuffs, black sweaters and leather with flashes attached with safety pins. I wore my hair “regulation length” i.e. long — and uncombed. I listened to the harsh strains of punk rock — that excellent carrier of a none-too-Christian philosophy. (You could summarize it in the following words: freedom and the total negation of everything else.}

Things got more dangerous when substance abuse entered the picture: beer and cigarettes to start with, but soon followed by cheap wine and so-called “soft” drugs like pot and hashish. In two years I had changed beyond recognition. My parents were no longer close to me, but my enemies. I still recall our terrible rows, which usually ended in my mother bursting into helpless tears. I would come home only to eat and sleep — and then not always. I fell into numerous addictions, which I am simply ashamed to write about. Things at school went from bad to worse. I would go truant for two weeks at a time. My grades plummeted from C minuses to Fs…

Interestingly enough, I never gave up my belief in God, such as it was. I can see now that I was unconsciously seeking Him all that time, and that He never stopped calling me. I even got to read the entire Bible. My girlfriend would talk me into going to Confession. At such times Jesus gave me feelings of real freedom and joy. But the sacrament brought about no apparent change in me. Jesus tried to reach me through some evangelists working for the Jesus Woodstock Festival (I made my escape there one evening, through the window, without a cent in my pocket and with nothing but a bottle of water and seven dry bread rolls in my backpack.) The Mass I attended there was unforgettable.

After the festival, things got steadily worse. I had a painful breakup with my girlfriend. I lost all my friends. It was then that the Evil One appeared on the scene. He told me how lonely I was, how much in debt I was, what a piece of rubbish I was — beaten up by skinheads and shunned by my friends. Even a dose of “ecstasy” turned into a heavy “downer.” The Devil put suicidal thoughts into my head. (If it hadn’t been for a very “amateurish attempt,” I’d have scored a total success.) 

I remember saying a short prayer to Jesus one night. I begged Him to pull me out of this mire, since I couldn’t do it myself. Once more He reached out to this rotten, stinking sinner. Once more He knocked at the door of my heart. I have an uncle who is a great missionary priest (I get to see him for a month every year). He took advantage of my interest in the recently revealed Third Fatima Secret to pass me a copy of Love One Another Magazine — the issue devoted to the Marian revelations at Fatima.

Many of your writers talk about meeting Jesus during spiritual retreats, New Evangelization courses, pilgrimages and other kinds of events. But the Holy Spirit “bloweth where it listeth.” As I was lying in my bedroom one night, reading the article on “the miracle of the sun,” I received powerful slap on the cheek from the Holy Spirit. This is very hard to explain, but all of a sudden I realized that Jesus really did exist and that everything else was “vanity of vanities.” In the Jubilee Year, Jesus Christ Himself achieved in an instant what had seemed to me impossible, i.e. He took away my old life and gave me a new one: a life without addictions or fear — in short, “the abundant life.” Now I know that Jesus is the one true Lord of heaven and earth, and that honor, power and glory are His forever! I know for sure that if Jesus Christ was able to do something like this in my life, He can do the same thing in yours. His mercy is greater than your sin! Only trust Him! Allow Him to love you!

Daniel, aged 19

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