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Don’t lose love!

It took me a long time to decide on joining the Movement of Pure Hearts, until one day I thought: “What am I hesitating about?! After all, I know very well what I want: never to return to what was before!”

Don’t lose love!

It took me a long time to decideon joining the Movement of Pure Hearts, until one day I thought: “What am I hesitating about?! After all, I know very well what I want: never to return to what was before!”

My name is Justyna. I attend high school and I’m seventeen years old. It is extremely hard for me to look back at my past, but I know that my testimony can help others.

At home, I never lacked any material goods, but God and Christian values were only an addition, not the foundations of our life. Sunday Mass was never a meeting with Christ, but only a ritual celebrated by everybody. My parents worked a lot; we have never been close. A relationship with God, prayer and purity did not matter. The most important thing was to have good clothes and make-up. There is a fashion nowadays to have a boyfriend or girlfriend — it doesn’t matter who it is, one just has to “have” somebody, preferably older than oneself. All forced and artificial, it is a huge problem for a contemporary adolescent. Thus it was also in my life.

In my fourth year of school, I began to use make-up, a bit later I started to dress and behave provocatively, because the boys liked it. In the sixth year, I had a boyfriend who was three years older than me. He soon taught me to make out, and later we began to touch each other’s private parts. Very early, I began to drink alcohol. I tried it for the first time during the summer holidays; we were on a cruise with friends, visiting different places. One day, the parents went sightseeing, and I stayed in the port with my siblings and friends. My older brother went to buy some beer — one six-pack, then another, and so on. I didn’t like the taste at all, but it was all about the drinking itself, about boasting about it later, back at school. The adults didn’t notice a thing, because they were drunk as well. I first smoked cigarettes when I stayed overnight at an older friend’s place. Her parents were away and there was an opportunity to organise a party with a lot of alcohol. That evening, I learned to smoke. I remember these guys telling me I was a quick learner. Later, me and my twin sister began to buy cigarettes by ourselves. Soon afterwards, I would smoke several cigarettes a day, including at home.

After breaking up with one boyfriend, I would have another at a moment’s notice. There were a lot of them, each older than the previous one. The parties began. At home, we all waited until our parents went away. I would get so drunk that I couldn’t move. I drank as much as I could or as much as we had. Later, we wouldn’t even wait for our parents to leave. We would go out after school and come back in the evening with chewing gum — directly to our rooms. My parents never caught me drinking.

Along with the parties, alcohol and boyfriends, sexual intercourse began, including with humiliating situations. At the age of around fifteen, I dated a twenty-five-yearold who sexually abused me, but I didn’t mind. Over the summer holidays, I would go to youth camps, where there were lots of alcohol, cigarettes and parties that often ended with sex with random guys. For the first time, I tried drugs, which my brother gave me. Day afterday, I descended into sin.

All my meetings with a boy were sinful. Lustful kisses, touching each other’s private parts or mutual masturbation were normal. I did things that humiliate a woman, agreed to them, believing that it was what adulthood was all about. I watched porn films and listened to stories told by my friends. I was more and more lost in the blind alley of impurity. The guys I knew treated me like an object, and after a while I accepted it as “normal” behaviour. It ended the same way with each boyfriend.

There are so many noisy, vulgar and provocatively-dressed girls. Just as I used to, they crave love. I feel sorry for those girls, because I’m aware of the consequences

The mass media tell us that extramarital intercourse is a normal thing and everybody does it. Those are horrible lies, which ruin our lives. They drag us down into Satan’strap. The mass media manipulate us, and we have to be careful what we feed ourselves with, what we watch, read or listen to. Television does not talk about purity! The Internet is filled with pornography! We are manipulated from the earliest age! Children in kindergarten are given textbooks on sexual education, which attempt to destroy what is beautiful in man: his pure heart. Nowadays, boys often treat girls as objects, not as beautiful peoplecreated by God.

Not long afterwards, a new priest arrived in my parish, who became my catechist. At that point, I was using a lot of makeup and dressing provocatively. That priest was my arch enemy. I fought against him as much as I could. In religion classes, I was very vulgar; I was a good pupil at school, but not in his subject. One day, I began to talk to him. He encouraged me to make a confession of my entire life — he didn’t know my story yet. Unfortunately, my confession was sacrilegious: I didn’t say everything or I spoke in very general terms. I had no idea how grave my problems were. One night, I found a rosary that I got for First Communion. For the first time since I could remember, I prayed on it. It was a very superficial prayer, because I didn’t know how to pray — I only knew the words I had learned, not even very well. But from then on, everything in my life began to change. I tried to quit smoking. I left the company I used to spend time with. I understood how strong and disastrous their influence had been. The priest helped me to eliminate what was worst in my life and showed me what was beautiful. It was very difficult and humiliating, but it was all my fault. To some extent, my way of thinking was changed by a book entitled Don’t Lose Love: Letters to Youngsters. Thanks to that book, I had a fresh outlook on purity, learning to recognise its enormous value.

Yet Satan did not give up on me. I would mutilate myself and get high on painkillers. I would starve myself by not eating or drinking almost anything for a week. I looked awful. I don’t know why, but I tried to return to what was before. Fortunately, I pulled myself togethersoon enough. I stopped using make-up and dressing provocatively. I received a Bible and began to read it. The Word of God is powerful. It heals and performs miracles. It is the Word of God Himself, it is He who speaks to me through the Scriptures, changing me and my life, but above all it gives helpful advice. When I have no idea what to do, I open the Bible and look for an answer. The incredible thing is that God always answers. For some time, I have been praying on the Rosary every day. Sometimes I find it hard, but I pray as best I can. It is important to be systematic, to always pray, even if you don’t feel like it. If a sportsman only trained once a month, he wouldn’t get very fit. I know it’s the same with my spiritual life. If I stop at some point and cease to do my best, I’ll go backwards.

I tried confession, but I wasn’t aware how many lies were still present in my life and I confessed in very general terms, not mentioning all the sins. Only after a long time did I confess everything in detail. I prepared for a long time, and it was very difficult for me. The most devastating of my sins was the sin of promiscuity, which I had been omitting at earlier confessions. After this first sincere confession, I received Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament — and that was the breakthrough in my life. Ever since, I’ve been receiving Eucharist every day. For me, the Holy Mass is the most perfect prayer and the biggest miracle. I’ve been spending more time on prayer, especially to the Blessed Virgin, who helps me a lot. I have received a grace from God which allows me not to see the nightmarish images from the past every night in my dreams. Now I confess my sins every fortnight. I know that confession is a conversation with Jesus himself. It is to Him that I confess my sins and it is Him that I ask for forgiveness and healing. Satan only waits until we hold something back. One has to say everything in detail.

There are moments in my life when others laugh at me; at home, it happens all the time. But if God is with us, who can be against us?

The situation in my home was and still is bad. This is a consequence of living without God. My brother is a drug dealer and destroys my parents’ expensive cars. My older sister had to resort to psychological therapy after spending two years with a boyfriend who kept cheating on her. Our parents do not respect us at all. All that’s between them is the family business and money. My family treats me as weird and stupid, and they strongly dislike the priest who showed me the truth. It annoys them that I speak of what is bad in our family, encouraging them to go to a mass or confession.

Once, in religion lessons, the priest told us about the Movement of Pure Hearts. I was long undecided about joining the movement, until one day I thought: “What am I hesitating about?! I know very well what I want: never to return to what was before!”. I was ready to make the promise to the Lord. The Movement of Pure Hearts is not only for those who live and want to go on living in purity — it is also for those who have been hurt. Purity is a great treasure. What is pure is beautiful. None of us drinks dirty water, none of us likes rubbish tips. That’s what I used to be: dirty. But Jesus got me out of there!

Confirmation time arrived. I prayed a lot that the Holy Spirit’s gifts in me be multiplied. I chose as my patron saint the blessed Karolina Kózkówna. I often ask her for intercession and admire her attitude, that she was ready to die defending purity. I decided to join the Movement of Pure Hearts and wear the blessed Karolina’s ring as the symbol of purity. My entrusting went as follows: a priest said a mass in my intention, I received the Communion in the form of bread and wine, and then I said the Prayer of Entrustment before the altar and wore the ring.

Now I know a very important thing about purity is a suitable look. One has to take care about oneself, of course, but it is just as important to look neat and decent. Behaviour is important as well. There are so many noisy, vulgar and provocatively dressed girls. Just as I used to, they crave love. I feel sorry for those girls, because I’m aware of the consequences. They just want to be noticed. There is nothing more wrong! It’s silence, modesty, humility and purity that bear evidence to the true beauty of a woman. Yet cherishing an attitude of purity requires a lot of hard work. Nothing of value will “make itself happen”. One needs to pray as well. Prayer can work miracles. The Lord says: “Ask, and you shall receive”. That’s why I pray on the Rosary every day, say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the litany to blessed Karolina and the Prayer of Entrustment, meditate on God’s Word and receive the Eucharist. Whenever I have the opportunity, I participate in the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after school.

There are moments in my life when others laugh at me; at home, it happens all the time. But if God is with us, who can be against us? I trust God! With Him, nothing threatens me, so I just smile to such people and pray for them.

I am very happy, and miracles keep happening in my life. I constantly feel the closeness of God, who gives me immense graces and blessings in everyday life. I enjoy meeting new people. Now my best friend, who helps me every day, is blessed Karolina. In difficult times, I fall to my knees and pray, especially to the Blessed Virgin, who always helps me in incredible ways. I look at the world in a different way, seeing God’s actions everywhere. I can see that only those who live close to God are really happy!



The article was published with the permission from "Love One Another!" in September 2020.

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