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I can do nothing on my own

The Word of God speaking in the Gospel about healing did not give me hope; instead it hurt me. I almost screamed to Jesus with pain, accusing Him that He once healed, but now He did not care about my suffering.

I can do nothing on my own

I am writing this to glorify the unfathomable mercy of God. He freed me from the sin I have been struggling with since my childhood (since the time I was around five). At that time, I could not even name it.

“He drew me up from the desolate pit.” Every day I thank Him for this

I did realise, however, that it was something bad and shameful, something that others, and above all my parents, should not see, because I was brought up in a very religious family. The sin committed by me every few days turned into an addiction. It was a terrible habit of masturbation … I hid it pretty well; I never confessed it or talked about it — until I came across the book Podnoszę z ziemi mój głos [I lift up my voice from the earth] by Fr Wiesław Niewęgłowski. In the book, I found the text of the examination of conscience, where the sin committed by me was named. So not until I was twenty-one did I realise that masturbation was a sin. But I wasn’t able to fight it — sixteen years is too long to break up with it in a moment. From that moment, I confessed this sin, but after confession I would fall again … I did not have enough willpower to end it completely. The sin of masturbation made me miserable in my own eyes. I could not look at myself. More and more I was convinced that God could not look at me, either. I compared myself to a black sheep or the woman in the Gospel who was brought to Jesus to be stoned … I couldn’t allow myself to think that Jesus could love me — He who is so perfectly pure. I hated myself. I did not want to keep committing the sin that was so humiliating to me, but when temptation came, I did not remember about the humiliation and I would give in to the desires of the flesh … I consciously chose sin, even though I knew that it could not satisfy me. I reached for pleasure, but in return I received only pain and emptiness … I remember how, having fallen, I would cry, feeling powerless, but the following day, as soon as temptation came, I did the same thing … The most difficult days were holidays and days off work — then the evil seemed to intensify. I was not free from other temptations: I looked for indecent scenes in films and was attracted to forbidden websites on the Internet. However, I would not open them, for fear that it might come out. Not for the love of God, not for fear that I could hurt Him, but because of normal fear! Satan knew my weaknesses well and could use them, and I succumbed to him so easily …

I consciously chose sin, even though I knew that it could not satisfy me. I reached for pleasure, but in return I received only pain and emptiness …

Years passed and nothing changed — except that I was becoming more and more engrossed in my addiction. I went to confession to various priests, because I was ashamed to confess the same sin to one priest. I looked for help, but to no avail. I even participated in therapy, but after six meetings I resigned. Life was unbearable for me then: I lived with the knowledge that only death could free me from this nightmare. I wanted death; I even prayed to be paralysed, because perhaps then I would not feel this strong attraction to sin. I held it against God that He did not want to help me, allowing me to fall. The Word of God speaking in the Gospel about healing did not give me hope; instead it hurt me. I almost screamed to Jesus with pain, accusing Him that He once healed, but now He did not care about my suffering. I cried that it was not true that He could heal me, and if He could — for He is omnipotent — He certainly did not want to! I am not important to Him, He abhors me and the only thing that awaits me is eternal damnation, where one does not see God, because only “the pure of heart will see God”, and I am as dirty as the dirtiest of rags …

And Jesus? He must have been hurt by my cry, but He was always with me and even defended me, and forgave me. He would not let me perish. Five months ago, I experienced great grace. I took part in a retreat led by an exorcist priest. Taking advantage of his presence, I explained to him my problem with purity, and he, having listened to me, said he did not know how to help me. It was another blow: why have I revealed my misery — and, what is more, full of shame — to a much younger person if he cannot help me anyway? But God probably wanted to say to me that really only He Himself could help me. The only thing the priest could do was to pray … Even today, I can hear the priest’s words as he was binding evil spirits and sending them to the cross of Christ. The next day — together with everybody else — I attended the service. During the service, we were to forgive all the people we had grudges against. So in my heart I forgave people, myself and God that He hadn’t helped me get out of the addiction although I had asked Him so much. I also took to heart the priest’s words, “we receive as much as we are open to” and “our healing will depend on our faith”. I still could not open myself, and in addition I lacked faith in God’s love for me. So I was earnestly asking Mary to lend me her faith, asking for the faith of Abraham and all the saints in heaven. And so it happened … Jesus set me free! Why did I have to wait so long for this grace? I don’t know. That is the mystery of God. I only know one thing: God looked upon my misery and showed me His unfathomable mercy. “He drew me up from the desolate pit.” Every day I thank Him for this. Now that I’m free, I want to cooperate with His grace, not to fall into slavery again. This experience has taught me that I can do nothing on my own, that whatever good I can do, it is only by His grace. I don’t see myself in black; I don’t stone myself. Through God’s grace, I found my worth. And even should I fall, I know that Jesus will never cease to love me. In the Year of Faith, I received the gift of faith — in God’s love for me. Every night before going to sleep, for at least a quarter of an hour, I look into the eyes of the Merciful Jesus. I thank Him and ask Him, I meditate on the words of the Gospel for the next day and tell Him that I love Him a lot … I love Him for being present in all the tabernacles throughout the world. When I wake up in the morning, my first thoughts go to Him. I invite Him into my daily life.

In writing this testimony, once again I thank the Good God, Mary, and all those who have ever prayed for me.

To God be the glory!



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

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