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Feast Days Ink Slingers Natalie Novenas Prayer Saints

In Honor of St. Joseph: Our Guide, Our Intercessor, Our Friend

I picked up the phone and heard my sister’s ecstatic voice on the line. “WE HAVE SOMEONE INTERESTED IN THE HOUSE!”  My heart sang and I smiled. I could hardly believe my ears! This was good news, and a very big thank you was owed to St. Joseph.

Going back to the beginning….

My sister Shell and I have been best friends since I was born. She waited patiently for me for 6.5 years and squealed with delight when she found out she had a sister! We loved each other dearly and spent every moment together. Our days were spent playing Barbies, making fairy houses, and nearly killing ourselves a couple times (much to our Mother’s grief!) Those were the golden years!

Years flew by and soon we were both grown. Shell married back in 2007, just before I turned 18.

I then met my now husband Stephen shortly after I turned 18 and had a whirlwind courtship and we got married in the summer of 2009. I moved to Phoenix. It was devastating to move so far away from my family, especially my sister. We had no idea if we’d ever move back, but we knew it was very unlikely.

Shell and I talked frequently and dreamt that someday we would live closer and our children would grow up as best friends. If only it could happen!

My husband and I bought a house and settled and called Arizona our home. Four years passed and we welcomed 3 handsome sons into our family.

Shell called me one day and told me that the house they were trying to sell had been sitting on the market for over a year with NO bites. They were under two mortgages and were desperate to get their other house sold.

My sister and I decided that very day that we would begin praying the St. Joseph novena asking for his intercession. We figured that if it was God’s will, he would let something happen so that we could live closer to each other and see our children grow up together. It was a crazy prayer, a very impossible intention at that point, but we had great faith! Shell was also praying that they would sell their house.

On the last day of our 30 day novena, my sister called me with the news. Someone had just contacted her and wanted to rent to own the house they had been trying to sell!

We began a second novena….

I still remember the day clearly. My husband Stephen broke the news to me suddenly.

One evening he blurted “I got a job offer in Washington!!!!”

I sat there stunned, my head whirling. At first I didn’t know whether to believe it was true.

“Wait….Are you serious?”

He absolutely was!

I called my sister in a flurry with the news and she, like me, could hardly believe it. We both laughed and cried with joy. Could this REALLY be happening?

With the second 30 day St. Joseph novena complete, we began a third, begging his intercession for our house to sell.

Sell it did…Almost immediately after we put it up for sale. Everything fell into place so perfectly and without a hitch.

The day our house closed and we had $20,000 profit from it transferred into our bank account was also the day my husband got a confirmation that the job was absolute in Washington and we were moving!

Moving day came mid-January 2014. We packed up our vehicle, said our goodbyes and hit the road. It was the beginning of a new adventure and a trip that proved dangerous and very scary!

We prayed hard, and finally made it to our new rental home and settled in.

My sister and I were only FIVE minutes away from each other! We laughed in glee that such a miraculous thing happened to us! We could drink coffee, spend the day together and watch our children play. We do not for a day take our situation for granted!

After a year in our rental house, we knew that we were ready to buy a house in the area.

The housing market was poor. I checked the listings daily and felt more and more disheartened.

One day, a house popped up onto the market as a new listing. The house was beautiful, well taken care of and had 5 bedrooms, a generator attached directly to the house, its own well and it sat on nearly 5 acres. It was too good to be true!

I called my realtor immediately and told him I wanted to see the house IMMEDIATELY!

We made an appointment the next day and went to see the house. Our realtor opened the door and when we walked into the house I knew, immediately that this was our house. It was even more beautiful in person then in the pictures.

We made an offer on the house THAT day and offered over asking price!

This was right before Christmas and we prayed for a Christmas miracle! We continued praying the St. Joseph novena daily since we first began about 1.5 years ago and now we begged for his intercession once again.

We waited anxiously as the day approached that the owners would be viewing the offers. Apparently we were not the only ones who made a quick offer on the house, there were several sitting on the desk and the house had only been on the market 4 days!

Finally, after what seemed like forever, I got the anticipated call from our realtor.

Our realtor said “I have good news and bad news…” The bad news is that several of the offers were much better than yours…” My heart sunk. “However, the good news is that the sellers accepted YOUR offer out of all of them!!!!”

I stood there shocked, in completely disbelief.

We finally signed several months later. We had a VA loan and it proved to be extremely difficult. We almost lost the deal several times, but miracle after miracle happened and things kept falling into place slowly, no matter how hopeless it felt at times!

I was pregnant at this time, about 4 months along.

We were finally able to rest easy as we settled into our beautiful new home and awaited the arrival of our 4th child.

June rolled around quickly as we enjoyed our days in our new house and soon I was in labor.

I prayed asking for St. Joseph’s intercession and protection again as I was home alone when labor began and quickly progressed.

My husband and midwife got to our house just in time to witness the gentle birth of our 4th son.

We named him Joseph Andrew, after our patron saint and dear friend St. Joseph.

St. Joseph has protected us diligently and 4 years after we began the St. Joseph novena, we continue praying it DAILY.

If you have an impossible situation in your life, pray the St. Joseph novena. I promise you he will be there. In honor of his feast day, I share my testimony of this 30 day St. Joseph novena!

St. Joseph, Pray for us!

 

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Giveaways Ink Slingers Natalie

GIVEAWAY: 3rd Time’s the Charm – Everyone Wins!

Entered to win! Catholic Sistas celebrates three years TODAY! How did time fly by so quickly? We’re not sure, but we ARE sure of is that we want to celebrate YOU instead of us by hosting an amazing giveaway that includes CASH and PRIZES.

Here’s what YOU can win:

ONE winner will receive a $200 Visa gift card!

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THREE winners will receive a FREE download of the Catholic Through The Year calendar and any/all bundles they would like {Household Management, Homeschool, Catholic Blogger}

Prizes donated by Martina Kreitzer – Catholic Sistas

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Prize donated by Nat’s Niche

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ONE winner will receive a Kindle copy of Angela’s Song!

Widow and mother of three, Angela ‘Jel’ Cooke is full of regret about her marriage to her late husband. Her close friends can see that she is keeping busy to avoid her pain. But no amount of cooking, baking, volunteering or late-night games of Yahtzee with her BFF can bring her any peace. When Jack Bartolomucci walks into her life, he challenges Angela to face her demons head on. What follows is a poignant, sometimes hilarious tale of hope and healing. Angela’s Song has been awarded the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval, has been a bestseller on Amazon, and has over 200 reviews.

Prize donated by AnnMarie Creedon, Author

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ONE winner will receive a doTerra intro kit,

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Prize donated by Essential EO’s

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ONE winner will win a $30 gift certificate for Cathletics Craft Kit Printables

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Just in time for the new school year!

Prize donated by Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families

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The MiraNous Signature Planner is a unique planner for Christian women. It helps you manage all those daily-things. But it does not leave behind your dreams, heart’s desires, and the things that make you a better-version of yourself. It will help you prayerfully identify your priorities and commitments. And then it will make those part of your actual, daily living. The planner is not for the faint of heart. But it certainly is for you, the woman who wants to live a more God-centered, relationship-focused, goal-oriented, and purposeful life.

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NEW PRIZE ADDED!!!!!

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Prize donated by Silver Hill Treasures

 

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Current Events Natalie Respect Life

Aborted Baby Flesh Encapsulated For Human Consumption

The title just about says it all: North Korean officials just announced that they intercepted travelers smuggling powdered baby flesh pills from China under the guise of “stamina boost pills.” I bet you are just about ready to throw up right? Yea, that was my first reaction too. Absolutely… Sickening…  Beyond… Belief.  Evil and corrupt Chinese hospitals and abortion clinic staff members are reportedly being “tipped” to illegally deliver aborted and stillborn baby bodies to “medical companies” who then store the remains in personal refrigerators of those involved in the gruesome trade. Babies and children ALREADY BORN are also reportedly placed in rooms throughout China to slowly starve and die.These children are unwanted because of the one child policy in China,  so they are purposely left to slowly die alone.
The bodies of all these unwanted babies are then placed in dehydrators until they become brittle enough to pound into dust, which is then mixed with a some other herbs to try and cover the smell and taste. This aborted baby dust is then encapsulated and sold for human consumption. The pills are supposed to be “super medicine” and many are involved in the illegal trade in order to obtain the pills. Testing was done on the pills after being confinscated and were found to contain very harmful super  bacteria. So not only is the making and contents of the pills beyond disgusting, they are potentially very dangerous for human consumption. Comforting eh? Full article can be read HERE

 

 

 

Where do I begin? First let me link back to the last article I wrote in relation to this very subject. Baby Drowned In Bucket After Failed Abortion
So Chinese hospitals and abortion clinics are brimming over with aborted babies as they abort approximately 13 million babies yearly with the majority being forced abortions against the mother’s will. Many of the mothers will finally consent to the abortion rather then being beaten brutally or imprisoned by Chinese officials.If they don’t consent then they are tied down and violently forced to abort. Their babies are chopped to pieces with scissors or they are shot in the head or heart with poison. If the baby still comes out alive they are drowned or their skulls smashed in. So how exactly are the bodies of over 13 million babies being disposed of? I guess we just got our answer huh? Sold to companies who use the aborted remains in pills, food, cosmetics, etc.
Before you totally demoralize China for this, keep in mind we do it in this country all the time, though for different purposes.

 

People still can’t seem to wrap their heads around this and or accept that stuff like this is actually going on ALL THE TIME around the world! Would you be surprised if I told you that fetal cells are indirectly being used in your common food and drink you buy from the grocery store every day? Be prepared to have your stomach turn….

Products that use fetal cells in their testing/development:

 Boycott:

• Sierra Mist soft drinks
• Mountain Dew soft drinks
• Mug root beer and other soft drinks
• No Fear beverages
• Ocean Spray beverages
• Seattle’s Best Coffee
• Tazo beverages
• AMP Energy beverages
• Aquafina water
• Aquafina flavored beverages
• DoubleShot energy beverages
• Frappuccino beverages
• Lipton tea and other beverages
• Propel beverages
• SoBe beverages
• Gatorade beverages
• Fiesta Miranda beverages
• Tropicana juices and beverages

Nestles Products:

• All coffee creamers
• Maggi Brand instant soups, bouillon cubes, ketchups, sauces, seasoning, instant noodles

Kraft – Cadbury Adams LLC Products:

Gum:
• Black Jack chewing gum
• Bubbaloo bubble gum
• Bubblicious bubble gum
• Chiclets
• Clorets
• Dentyne
• Freshen Up Gum
• Sour Cherry Gum (Limited)
• Sour Apple Gum (Limited)
• Stride
• Trident

Cadbury Adams LLC Candies:
• Sour Cherry Blasters
• Fruit Mania
• Bassett’s Liquorice Allsorts
• MaynardsWine Gum
• Swedish Fish
• Swedish Berries
• Juicy Squirts
• Original Gummies
• Fuzzy Peach
• Sour Chillers
• Sour Patch Kids
• Mini Fruit Gums

Other Cadbury Adams LLC Products:
• Certs breath mints
• Halls Cough Drops

 

The manufacturers of these products  employ the company Senomyx ; which develops “taste and smell enhancers” for many large food and beverage companies. Sonomyx uses Human Embryonic Kidney 293 cells(HEK 293) in the testing and development of their flavors and food enhancers. There is no ingredient directly used in these products, labeled or otherwise, that contains actual fetal cell lines. The kidney cell lines are used EXCLUSIVELY for testing and developing the food enhancers and flavors; not in the actual ingredients of the finished additive. The fact that these companies support the use of fetal cells in the testing of the ingredients they use is appalling. It’s amazing what people are willing to do in order to make a profit.

This is only the beginning of products that directly or indirectly use aborted fetal tissue unfortunately. Many people are also unaware that many of the vaccines being administered today use aborted fetal cells in their development.

The following list was compiled by Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute.
Vaccines that use fetal cells in their development:

  • MMR II (Merck)
  • ProQuad (MMR + Chickenpox – Merck)
  • Varivax (Chickenpox – Merck)
  • Pentacel (Polio + DTaP + HiB – Sanofi Pasteur)
  • Vaqta (Hepatitis-A – Merck)
  • Havrix (Hepatitis-A – Glaxo SmithKline)
  • Twinrix (Hepatitis-A and B combo – Glaxo)
  • Zostavax (Shingles – Merck)
  • Imovax (Rabies – Sanofi Pasteur)

 

And of course fetal tissue is being used in cosmetics. The company Neocutis Cosmetics is a very involved partner with Senomynx as well.It is claimed that the products listed below use fetal cells from male babies at 14 weeks gestation. Neocutis admits to using fetal skin cells on their own WEBSITE.

  • Bio-Gel Prevedem Journee
  • Bio-Serum Lumiere
  • Bio Restorative Skin Cream

Other medicines:

  • Pulmozyme (Cystic Fibrosis – Genetech)
  • Enbrel (Rheumatoid Arthritis – Amgen)

 

You know how “collagen” is a common ingredient in cosmetics nowadays? Look closely at the ingredients in your cosmetics sitting in your bathroom shelf. Unless it specifies animal collagen or bovine collagen chances are that the collagen was collected from the remains of aborted babies.

Long story short, boycott these companies and products. Don’t support these heinous on-goings. Repeating from my last article, STOP SUPPORTING CHINA! I dare you to go into Wal-Mart or Target and find even ONE toy not made in China. Go to the shoe section and see if you can find one pair of shoes not manufactured in China. You might be thinking “well surely the manufacturing of toys and shoes don’t use aborted fetal cells?!” Well, honestly it wouldn’t surprise me, but that is not the point here… Every time you buy Chinese products you are supporting their communist government. Their government is beyond corrupt and the money is going towards forced abortions and then the selling of said aborted babies. China, among most countries(America very much included) are greedy and they are willing to do whatever they need to line their pockets with cash. Abortion is a HUGE money maker around the world.  Abortions in America alone is bringing in approximately half a billion dollars a year. China, and America have both figured out that abortion alone isn’t the only money maker…They can then sell the dead bodies of babies per pound and make a small fortune; then they make money off the products that the aborted fetal tissue is used in. Talk about a good money maker huh?

So, before we all freak out about these Chinese “stamina boost pills” lets remember that America is aborting millions of babies annually and that the bodies of American babies are being used in products as well. China may be worse at the moment but America is close on it’s heels. What can you do? First boycott all companies who donate to Planned Parenthood(the biggest abortion slaughterhouse in America) You can find a list HERE.  Do your research on the food, vaccines, medicine and cosmetics that use aborted fetal cells and stop purchasing and using! Secondly stop buying stuff from China. You may think that YOU buying Chinese products alone won’t make a difference…But it does! Every cent makes a difference and if everyone stopped buying Chinese products it would make a HUGE difference. I know it is nearly impossible to buy stuff not made in China nowadays so at least make a conscious effort to avoid and start noticing where your products are coming from! If you have a choice between Chinese made or made in another country, buy the latter! I will literally spend hours in the store looking through ALL the products to try and find items NOT made in China.Sure it’s inconvenient but it’s worth the extra effort!  Stop sitting around doing nothing.Stop being ignorant. Boycott and complain to these companies and start spreading the word far and wide! Your work alone may save several babies! We can make a difference and we CAN stop this or at least slow it down by acting and doing our part. Raise your voice and protest! Countless millions of babies will continue to be murdered yearly and their silent cries will go unheard if WE don’t do something!

 

ETA: Pepsi products were removed from the boycott list due to them stopping the use of fetal cells in their testing and products.They are still in partnership with Senomynx. ARTICLE

 

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2140702/South-Korea-customs-officials-thousands-pills-filled-powdered-human-baby-flesh.html?ICO=most_read_module

http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/aborted-human-fetal-cells-in-your-food-vaccines-cosmetics/

http://www.fightpp.org/

Image sources:

http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/south-korea-cracks-down-on-flesh-capsules-from-china

http://www.takepart.com/article/2012/05/07/south-korea-confiscates-17500-pills-filled-powdered-babies

 

 

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Current Events Ink Slingers Natalie

Baby Drowned In Bucket After Failed Abortion

The new Internet outrage? A photo of a full term baby drowned in a bucket of water after a forced abortion in China. People are outraged and disgusted, as they should be. This photo has been shared countless thousands of times on facebook now and supposedly was shared at viral quantities over in China after the photo was released. You can read the full story HERE.
This is beyond disgusting. One word. Communism. This is only ONE case out of millions. Chinese mothers are being kidnapped, tied down and forced to abort their unborn. Read this woman’s story HERE.
Then if their baby still isn’t dead after all this, they drown them or shoot their heads full of poison or downright smash their skulls in and then throw them out into dumpsters like rotten garbage. Shocking isn’t it? Disgusting beyond belief? You bet. But why exactly are people so SHOCKED over this? Because that “fetus/clump of cells” is actually a BABY and not a clump of lifeless cells after all? This baby, this sweet innocent child finally put a face to this horror. Humans, being naturally compassionate, are horrified because they finally saw a snapshot of reality.
WTH people?! This is happening countless thousands of times a day all over the world. Babies, all the way to full term and even after birth are the victims of heinous crimes of violence. They are mutilated, chopped to pieces, sucked out of their mother’s wombs by vacuums, shot in the head with poison, drowned, their heads crushed, their body’s disposed of as though they were useless sacks of meat. Pro-CHOICE people are condoning this every.single.time they call themselves “pro-choice.” It’s apparently ok to murder unborn and even born children if they are inconvenient or unwanted by the parents. Infanticide is happening right now as you read this, all over the world. What do most people do? They turn a blind eye to it. They pretend like it’s not happening. They want to be politically correct and blend in with the liberal crowd who condone evil and so they call themselves “pro-choice.” More like “pro-murder-your-child-if-you-want.” They refuse to put faces to these children. They tell themselves they aren’t even human and don’t deserve the right to live. Why is it that our society of death is so shocked by this photo? A drowned baby in a bucket thrown into the corner does not even begin to show the reality of what’s really going on.

Chinese mothers can only have one child. If they get pregnant with a second the government tracks them down, kidnaps them and forcefully murders their child that they so desperately want. What do Americans do in general? They have their one or two token children and then refuse to have anymore because children are inconvenient and it means not buying that new car or house.
It means no more partying and coming home drunk and having sex with whoever you want. It means being a responsible adult.So what do they do? They convince themselves that they aren’t pregnant with a baby(even though it is scientifically proven that life begins at conception) and they go and volunteer their child’s life up for their own benefit. Some might say “the baby is only a couple weeks old…It can’t feel pain.” Umm…Can you prove that? And even if the child can’t feel pain, does that condone murder? Oh and just so you know, it is not uncommon for women in the USA to have abortions all the way into the third trimester.

The only difference between China and ourselves is that we are not YET forced to have an abortion – thank God! – but babies are still being murdered the same way and thrown into dumpsters, regardless. Don’t be fooled though because that is the path we are heading down very quickly. Obama has tricked so many fools. He is trying to get the HHS Mandate passed and it will be a huge step towards communism. The government is trying to force us all to pay for abortions, sterilization and birth control(which is also an abortifacient) because he has no morals and these children have no faces to him. He wants to be sure we have blood on our hands right along with him. This goes way beyond “affordable health-care for women.” This is just plain evil. Anyone who does not see this forces their eyes closed and covers their ears, screaming “it’s not true, it isn’t happening.” Obama is trying to force YOU to pay for that baby to be drowned. Obama is trying to force you to pay for that baby’s head to be injected with poison or his/her head smashed in. I, for one, would rather not have health-care at all then know that I knowingly put even a penny towards the murder of a child. I don’t want to face God and tell him that it was too “inconvenient” to stand up and fight for these children and that it was much easier to bow down, kiss Obama’s a** and pay for these demonic baby-slaying abortions. Yes, you’ve been horribly lied to. There is absolutely nothing in any way shape or form that is good about Obama-care. If you have any morals at all you will absolutely NOT support the HHS Mandate or any of the evil things our president and government are trying to force down our throats. Don’t turn a blind eye to what is really going on not only in our country but other’s like China. Be the first to stand up for the basic human rights of these children – LIFE!

Please do be horrified by this picture and please let this be a wake up call. This is happening in your own town, right down the street from you. Every time you call yourself “pro-choice” you are telling the world that you believe a woman has the right to choose whether her child lives or dies according to what she feels she wants or needs with no regard to the child. You are condoning the drowning of the full term baby in this picture. Either you are for what this picture represents or you aren’t. There is NO grey area here. DO NOT support abortion in any way, shape or form and that includes calling yourself pro-choice or giving your money to anybody/thing that supports abortion. Boycott the companies who donate any amount of money to Planned Parenthood (the biggest abortion slaughterhouse in the US) to name a few big ones: SGK – Susan G.Koman breast cancer foundation, Girl Scouts, PayPal and Ebay,etc. View the list to boycott HERE.

DO NOT support China! America is a HUGE consumer of Chinese products and that money is going towards the communist government, forced abortions and slave labor. Don’t buy Chinese cr**! Thirdly, for your own good and the good of our beloved country just STOP supporting Obama and his plans of suicide and destruction. Don’t vote for him. Don’t support the HHS Mandate which is a baby slaughtering move on the government’s big ole’ chessboard. They are using you as their pawns.
Be the first to stand up and say NO! Fight for the rights of unborn children! They cannot speak for themselves and they are the current victims of the biggest ever holocaust on earth. Their silent cries go unheard because too many people turn a blind eye to their deaths.Thousands of them being brutally murdered daily but it goes unnoticed by the majority because it’s not “politically correct” to fight for them. Educate yourself on what is REALLY going on in this world and don’t let the evil surrounding us fool you. Do not let this child’s death be in vain. If enough people stand up and fight this child will have died a martyr for many others who cannot defend themselves against this horror.

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Ink Slingers Natalie Testimonials

Torments of a Scrupulous Soul

I lay awake, tossing and turning in fear and anguish. I could feel the presence of demons crawling all over me. Each time my body gave way to exhaustion, I would wake again, hot and sweaty with the torturous fear of the evil surrounding me. I could almost feel the heat of hell as my bedroom filled with more and more demons…dancing on me, whispering in my ear, tormenting my every thought.

At 12 years old I was plagued by religious scrupulosity and saw evil everywhere and doubted my own goodness constantly; I endured this spiritual cross for years as a young Catholic.

  For those of you who have never been afflicted with this spiritual disease, scrupulosity is a mental state in which you can’t tell difference between mortal and venial sin. Everything becomes a mortal sin in your mind, even things that aren’t even considered venial sins in the Church. It is an agonizing spiritual affliction and many of holiest saints, such as St. Alphonse, suffered from this during their lives.

Most people imagine I must have grown up in a joyless, oppressively religious family to have suffered from scrupulosity. Not so. I did grow up in a large, practicing Catholic family, but the faith was something that bound us together in love. We went to church weekly and on holy days and prayed together often. We were home-schooled and well-catechized in the faith.

 

As a young child, I took faith for granted and did what I was supposed to without question. As I got older, however, I began delving deeper into my faith and my favorite stories to read were those about saints. They inspired me greatly and I would spend hours curled up on the couch downing stories of good Catholic saints. I understood my faith better and decided that I, too, wanted to become a saint.

That’s when my life changed dramatically and my soul was taken over by scrupulosity. Scruples can be extremely detrimental to your spiritual health if you let them consume you, which is exactly what I did. I went from being a take-everything-for-granted cradle Catholic to a horribly scrupulous soul. Every day, I felt like I was followed and tormented by demons, whose presence surrounded me constantly. I thought I was constantly committing mortal sins in everything I did or thought. I was ashamed of myself and felt I was the worst sinner on the planet.

 

I would go to confession every week, but I could not seem to surrender myself to Christ and my scruples got worse. Soon I began believing I was not forgiven in confession; I doubted the mercy of Christ. This caused me to abstain from the Holy Eucharist more and more, because I never felt worthy of Him. I felt like everyone in our parish was looking down on me for confessing weekly and sitting in the pew during Communion. I would lay in bed at night, literally writhing in spiritual pain. The harder I tried, the worse the scruples became.

 

Around this time, we moved across the state for my father’s new job. All I could think of was that I would no longer have confession available to me; I’d be at a new parish and would have confession with a new priest. What would become of me?

We moved and my spiritual health got even worse. I rarely went to confession, and didn’t receive Communion at all. I believed with my whole heart in the divine authority and teachings of the Catholic Church, but I felt completely unworthy and hopeless. I retreated emotionally from family and friends and slid into silence and depression.

 

My family began worrying about me and my mother would encourage me to frequent the sacraments. One day after Mass, our new priest asked me why I didn’t receive the Eucharist and after that, I would practically run out of church at the end of Mass to avoid everyone.

 

My family no doubt began wondering what sins were keeping me in this spiritual hole, but I could not confide in them. My parents knew I was scrupulous, but they had no idea the extent of the problem. My mother began questioning me more, which caused me to shut down completely. I still attended Mass weekly because I longed to remain faithful, but that was as far as I could go.

 

I chose to emotionally numb myself and as a result, I was tormented less. I convinced myself the demons had done their job by turning me into a lukewarm Catholic, so they probably had gone off to torment someone else’s vulnerable soul.

 

After nearly five years of this torment, God threw me a lifeline. I was cleaning one day when I keeled over with most horrendous pain I’d ever felt. I tended to be something of a hypochondriac as a child, so my parents initially thought I was overreacting to a stomach bug or something else fairly benign. I went to bed, but could not keep even keep water down. When I could barely move, my parents brought me to the doctor, who thought I had a bad appendix. She drew blood and then sent us home to await the results.

 

A few days later, the doctor called. “Get her to the hospital NOW,” she said frantically. “Her white blood count is through the roof!”

 

A few days in the hospital brought more tests and waiting. I couldn’t eat so I hydrated through an IV. All I could think about was my spiritual health; I had been away from the sacraments knew that if I died I would not be going to heaven. Finally, the hospital doctor came rushing into my room and said they were operating that afternoon: my lower intestine had turned inside itself and was dying slowly as it ate itself. The doctor expressed surprise I was even still alive.

 

I asked for a priest and waited anxiously for his arrival. I received Confession, the Eucharist, and the Anointing of the Sick. I had never felt so at peace and the love of God flooded into my soul. As I was wheeled into surgery, I had no fear at all, just peace.

I had two weeks of peace until the scruples showed up again. By now, I was at home and recovering from surgery. Once again, I was plagued with self-doubt, only it was much worse this time, as I would envision myself dangling over hell itself. I asked God why he would allow me to struggle so painfully with scrupulosity and when the answers didn’t come, I truly began to despair.  I felt hopeless and feared this spiritual disease would plague me for the rest of my life.
It wasn’t until I was 18 that God finally released me from this heavy cross and he used my husband, Stephen, to do it. We met online that year through Catholic Match. He was a soldier in Iraq and I was still living at home. All I had ever wanted in life was to meet a wonderful Catholic man and raise a traditional Catholic family and I could see that future with Stephen. There was only one obstacle: me. I knew that to obtain this dream, I had to surrender myself completely to God. After all, I couldn’t very well raise my children Catholic if I could not even partake in the sacraments myself. Though Stephen and I wrote each other intimate letters about our dreams and life goals, I was too ashamed to tell him I was struggling spiritually and was only receiving the sacraments a few times a year.

 

One day after Mass, my mother asked me if I had told him about my scrupulosity. She pointed out what I already knew, that I couldn’t raise a faithful Catholic family being barely Catholic myself. It was like a punch in the stomach but it was exactly what I needed to hear. That day, I went deep inside myself and began asking important questions. I realized I wasn’t being fair to Stephen by withholding this part of myself. If I wanted to be a truly good Catholic wife and mother, I had to break free of the bondage of scruples.

That day changed me. I went to confession many times and began receiving the Eucharist often. I began praying again, praying that God would help me break free from my scruples completely. This time I didn’t just put my foot in the door, I surrendered completely to Christ. I consulted the wonderful priests in our parish about my problem and they helped tremendously with their prayers and advice, too.

Less than a year later, Stephen and I were engaged. We married in June and by then my scruples had evaporated entirely. I partook in Christ’s feast often and used the sacraments to heal my soul. My husband, without even knowing it, had challenged me to finally surrender to the Lord, which made all the difference. He was instrumental in leading me closer to Christ.

 

It’s been nearly five years since I decided to give my soul completely to God. I have my mother and husband to thank for giving me a reality check. I also thank Our Savior for lifting me to new heights spiritually. On the rare occasions when I’m struggling and vulnerable, I’ll feel the shiver of scruples run up my spine. But now I can quickly recognize those toxic thoughts and shut them down before they have the chance to drag me away from Christ again.
To the many faithful Catholics who struggle with scruples: you are not alone. I truly understand what you are going through. I had the honor to meet a very holy priest once, who talked about his own battle with scruples he fought when younger. It was inspiring to hear that such a good and holy man had dealt with these same issues, had overcome them, and grew in holiness after all.

 

If you are prone to scrupulosity, admit to yourself that you’re having a problem. Don’t hide it inside, as I did; tell your family or a close friend you’re struggling. Reach out and ask for prayers and guidance. Find a good spiritual counselor you can trust and confide in him often. Submit yourself completely to Christ and TRUST in his mercy and forgiveness. I highly recommend a daily Divine Mercy chaplet.

I believe scruples is a cross God permits some of us to carry, so that we will emerge stronger than before. It is a spiritual disease and it isn’t always so easy to cure. But it can be overcome, with time, perseverance, and grace. Don’t ever despair, because “With God, all things are possible.”

 

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