Unshackled – One Woman’s Story

darkness into light

(This piece is the first person account of a woman who journeyed from radical feminist to faithful, orthodox Catholic. Collen DeLima is a friend of our team member, Lisa Huber. I love this story because it illustrates a great truth: fear and hurt often present as anger. Some people are just angry jerks, but many are among those that Colleen calls the “walking wounded.” We must all pray to see past the surface to the heart, that we may have the grace to give heart and welcome to those who seem angry, but are actually wounded and afraid. It’s a tough job, particularly given that we are not allowed to use our compassion to justify enabling evil. Serious Christianity is not for wimps. 

If you have a story of conversion or grace (and conversion does NOT just mean going from one faith to another; it is more the story of when and how faith became real to you; when you encountered Christ in a way that changed your life), put a note in the comments to alert Beckita or me. We will get back to you quickly. These stories help us to build each other up, to strengthen the bonds between us in this growing community of hope and help.-CJ)

By Colleen DeLima

A Journey Back to Jesus

As followers of Jesus Christ, what unites us in this life is that we are all on a journey, a pilgrimage. We are traveling on our way home to Heaven. About 20 years ago, my journey took a detour, something akin to the 40-year roundabout route in the desert that the Israelites experienced with Moses to reach the Promised Land. A detour is defined by a route (often a long one) taken to avoid something or to visit somewhere along the way. This alternate route, which involved joining the radical feminist movement, brought a season of darkness and suffering upon me that kept me in bondage for many years. I now know that my detour was me avoiding something, or rather, Someone: God. This is my story of becoming unshackled. It is a journey from feminism to freedom, from seeking ungodliness to seeking holiness, and the return of a life back into the arms of a Savior.

As a cradle Catholic, I was raised to never miss Mass on Sunday. I went to CCD (that is what we called it back in the day) and received all of the Sacraments that a young person would, from Baptism up to and including Confirmation. I had a connection to Jesus from the time I was a very little girl. I used to talk to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph every night before I went to bed as they were my best friends. However, one late evening, long after I had gone to bed, everything changed when my parents began to fight and their voices escalated to the point of startling me awake from my slumber. I heard shouts and insults being thrown around, and then I heard my Daddy say, “That’s it! I’m leaving”. My mother retorted, “Well, when are you planning on coming back?”. To that my Dad shouted back, “Never!”. I bolted out of bed, ran downstairs, grabbed my Daddy’s leg, and begged him not to leave us. I told him I loved him, I cried, and begged him to stay. He ended up staying, but their marriage grew even more cold and lifeless and was basically extinct in terms of any sign of life or love after that night. From that moment, combined with a double whammy of learning that Santa Claus was not real, and feeling so stupid for believing that he ever was, I never spoke to Jesus, Mary, or Joseph again. I actually forgot about them altogether and instead paid more attention at night, before I fell asleep, to specific sounds in the house. I needed to hear two sounds before I could fall asleep: 1) my father coughing or the tv on so that I knew that he was there and 2) my mother washing the dishes. If I heard silence on either side, either from my mother or father, I would go down the stairs and peek to see if I could catch sight of them so I would know they were still there and that neither one had left us.

Growing up, I never really had a clue of what my faith meant or what it truly taught. I never opened a Bible or prayed a Rosary. I definitely no longer had a personal relationship with Jesus. When I arrived at Penn State, in my college years, I did not identify as a Catholic. I had grown to perceive it as a label that I could peel away and discard as soon as I left home. I did not set foot inside a church during my six years of college, four years at undergraduate, and another two years of graduate school. My friends, my social life, and being accepted became my raison d’être, and I could not have been happier…or so I thought.

During my junior year of college, I was raped on campus. With a friend’s help and support, I reported the crime to campus police. When I underwent a thorough physical exam, it was confirmed that it was not an act of love as I had wounds that needed medical attention. The perpetrator, a young man on campus, was a serial rapist. I identified him in a series of photos the campus detective presented to me. He was tried in a court and while I don’t know if he ever got any jail time, I do know he was expelled.

After that dark season, whatever peace I had internally, albeit a superficially imposed peace as I was not walking with The Lord, had disappeared. My detour had taken me away from a path of forgiveness, mercy and healing. I began to spiral downwards very quickly. Having no Godly outlet for the raw emotions of what happened to me, I became drawn to various speakers on campus who spoke so eloquently about such intimate issues as violence to women, liberation from oppression, raising public awareness about rape, etc. I was so intrigued that I eventually pursued Women’s Studies classes and made that my minor degree. Once I took the bait, I was hooked. I remember feeling such a sense of belonging, like this area of studies and academia were speaking to my wounded self. I not only felt welcomed but empowered. My anger turned to activism and the hate I harbored was stoked by the hatred that fuels feminism. Feminism is a movement that, at its root, is hatred. It is the act of loving to hate and espousing hatred as if it were love.

By the time I graduated, some of my friends had already met their future husbands. Not me. I inwardly gloated that I would never succumb to entering into the “prison” otherwise known as marriage, as I did not have a healthy model of marriage as a child, adolescent or young adult. Amidst all of the arguing and shouting that I witnessed between my parents, I never once heard the words “I’m sorry” or “Please forgive me”. I suffered from a profound lack of forgiveness for the young man who violated me, and over time I had become a ticking time bomb of bitterness and resentment towards men, including God.

One of my gifts that I now know to be God-given is the gift of learning. I love to learn. I am an eternal student. In those college years, I marinated in victimhood in the radical feminist classroom. I excelled at mastering the concepts, especially that of identifying my oppressor as the White Male. I found a new home and identity as a feminist. It was where I could lick my wounds and vent my pent-up frustrations as a very lost, lonely and embattled young woman.

However, there was always one nagging aspect of radical feminism that had not set well with me, but I would never reveal it to my peers or professors for fear of being labeled as inauthentic to the movement. That element of radical feminism was called radical lesbian feminism. The only way to explain it was a pressure to completely free oneself from male domination. In other words, it was the pillar and purity of the movement. If you were truly a radical feminist, you were embracing lesbianism in a big way. If, as a woman, you did not reject all gender and sexual norms, you were not a true feminist, one of “them”.

The focus was increasingly on women freeing themselves from the powerlessness of a patriarchal world. I identified with the women being oppressed part, but I could not subscribe to lesbianism. Even within radical feminism there is disagreement about transgenderism. Any radical feminists who do not subscribe to transgenderism, for whatever reason, are then deemed “transphobic”. If one is not well versed in other feminist views such as “intersectional or black feminism”, one is seen as a racist or not “checking their white privilege”. To be honest, the growing emphasis on gender fluidity and all of the splintering views, judgements and condemnation left me more alienated than sure-footed as I aged in the world of feminism. Once I graduated college however, I still identified as a feminist and was radical enough to still defend the bastion of the feminist movement: abortion.

I moved back to my home state of Massachusetts where I got a job and worked full time. I remember reading an article in The Boston Globe hinting at a possible ban on partial birth abortion. As abortion is the sacred cow of the radical feminists, I quickly jumped to defend it. I wrote a letter to the editor defending a woman’s right to choose without “pesky” restrictions that were only, after all, imposed primarily by white male politicians. What did they know about a woman’s uterus? I regurgitated the mantra in my letter. I was so proud of myself when they quickly published it. Truth be told, I did not even know, medically speaking, what a partial birth abortion was – but it did not matter; it had to be defended. Ironically, I only learned what an abortion really was decades later when I returned to the Church.

Fast forward to the turn of the century, the year of 2000 when I turned 30 years old. I was already a raging alcoholic and still loving to hate men, but I felt extremely alone and lost. I was seeking to fill a void, deep in my soul, with all of the wrong things. I tried every “ism” out there: baha’ism, Universal Unitarianism, spiritualism, etc. Nothing clicked until one Saint Patrick’s Day night when I met a strikingly handsome man from Brazil. I felt the ground beneath me disappear, as we had a lot in common. He was recently divorced and I had never been married, so we were both a bit jaded and wounded. However, he was a devout Catholic while I was an agnostic hot mess. Although my alcoholism quickly became apparent to him, he never condemned me or judged me, but instead, without my knowledge, began a forty day fast, praying for me to heal my addiction.

I received a great healing not only from my alcohol addiction, but that prayer thawed out my frozen heart. It filled the giant hole in my soul. There is something powerfully supernatural that occurs when someone prays for another. The love of Jesus that dwells on the inside of that prayer person spills over into the person that needs the prayer and fills them up like a true vessel. The result of such a heavenly exchange is that the prayed over person is filled up to overflowing with the love of Jesus. That happened to me. I wanted to get to know Him again. Jesus can break through the toughest of barriers by just one heart being open, like this young Brazilian man’s heart was open. I now call that man my husband of 17 years and could not be more blessed that God sent him to me.

After we married, I became more involved in our local church. I prayed to God to reveal in which ministry He wanted me to serve. The word abortion kept coming up. I remember literally speaking out loud to God to please not have me do anything around abortion. Months later, I found myself praying outside an abortion clinic in a 40 Days for Life Prayer Vigil. I came alongside a longtime prayer warrior I had recently met. She is an amazing defender of life from womb to tomb. I met her standing in the rain and I could not believe all of the signs she had in her car and all of the gear to combat inclement weather she faced day in and day out as she showed up, often alone, to pray in front of the abortion clinic. I was so proud I showed up to pray for just one hour and here she had been there for hours on end already. I thought to myself, “Who does that?” Oh, how I longed to have that unstoppable resolve to serve God: no fear, just selfless love and mercy. That faith-filled warrior for Christ was the first of many I would come to meet, know and love as I joined the Army of God that day.

God placed me in the company of a group of super stealth prayer warriors who joined forces to act and pray to shut down for good a notoriously unscrupulous abortion practice that had cropped up in our neighborhood. That effort was led by a prayer warrior who would walk through fire to save women and their babies from the horrors of abortion. I am constantly in awe of how God strategically equips His children to build His Kingdom.

Looking back now, I can see so clearly how God used my own mess to be a message. The message is simple yet so easy to completely overlook and miss out on: be open, even the slightest bit, to God’s love.

The hardest of hearts can soften with just a tiny drop of the love of Christ. I truly believe that today’s self-proclaimed feminists are the walking wounded among us. The temptation is to be combative with the walking wounded because their words and actions more often than not serve to cut and hurt us. But underneath the jagged exterior there is a little girl whose beloved Daddy left home one day and never came back or a frightened teenager who is pregnant and terrified, feeling falsely empowered by a culture that only wants to swallow her up, or a grown woman who has forgotten who she is  – and Whose she is.

We live in a killing culture that has progressively, incrementally and purposefully buried and denied access to “The Greatest Story Ever Told”: For God so loved the world that He sent His only son to step into time, suffer and die a wretched criminal’s death to free us from our sins, bring us back where we long to be, where we were created to be, into the loving arms of Our Father in Heaven. Nothing on this earth can fill that void but Jesus and nothing can get us back home to the Father but through His love.

Finally, my journey back to Jesus was about reclaiming my true identity. I no longer identify as a victim. Jesus wrapped me in His love to see clearly that in my former victim mentality, I was looking to every “’ism” out there to find myself and to tell me who I was. Jesus was ever so gently and constantly leading me back to my true self. True freedom this side of Heaven is not found in any “’ism”, movement or ideology. In feminism, freedom from ________ (fill in the blank) will always be peddled like a cheap prize at a carnival and the goal posts will forever shift to name a new oppressor and to promote a new victim mentality.

Jesus turns all of that on its head and teaches us a new way to live and to love. A dear friend recently reminded me of the incredible story of the criminals on the Cross with Jesus. His ministry and teaching was so bold as to proclaim an entire enslaved nation, subject to the tyrannical Roman Empire, as freed when he said this: “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36). At the Crucifixion, a criminal on Jesus’s right side was set free and was the first person that Jesus took to Heaven. Why? Because he heard the Truth, received it in his heart, repented, and was set free from death to eternal life. The criminal on Jesus’s left side hurled insults at Him. While he had the Truth right before him, he rejected it and died a criminal’s death. As women, we are not free from anything on this earth by espousing ideologies rooted in hatred, that lead us through deception to sin and death. Identifying as a feminist, I remained like the criminal on the left of Jesus: ignoring the Truth that had been laid out before me. After coming out of the proverbial desert that was feminism, my deepest hope and prayer is for other women, young and old, to be open to Jesus unshackling them so they can return to the arms of their Savior on their journey home.




68 thoughts on “Unshackled – One Woman’s Story

  1. Wow, Colleen! Just WOW! Thank you so much for your witness. May your sharing produce the fruit your deepest hope desires: freedom for others.

    And, Charlie, you nailed it: “We must all pray to see past the surface to the heart, that we may have the grace to give heart and welcome to those who seem angry, but are actually wounded and afraid. It’s a tough job, particularly given that we are not allowed to use our compassion to justify enabling evil.”

    Liked by 10 people

  2. Words cannot express the gratitude for this post. I have a 34 year old radical feminist daughter in Los Angeles who I now know what to do for her….I am beginning a 40 day fast and prayer effort for her, just as the author’s husband did for her.

    Liked by 16 people

      1. That’s my take, Http. Although from some of the evangelical books on fasting, they take more extreme measures, but that has to be cleared by your physician. So if one can’t give up more than deserts, give up tv or internet news, whatever. Some friends gave up coffee for 40 days then received a job promotion. Read a case of a Dr.. fasting for at least a year, (didn’t give details, but he had been to Medjugorje, so probably followed the Marian suggested fast of bread/water only on Wednesdays and Fridays.) His intention was for one of his nurses, who was going through rough times. She decided to end her life and knew the amount of whatever kind of pills needed, took it, but in the morning woke up and felt none the worse. She mentioned it to this co-worker Dr. He explained how natural laws and vices can be broken by fasting, what he had been offering up for her, and encouraged her to go to Medjugorje, which she did and converted.

        Liked by 7 people

  3. This puts me in mind of a very important lesson God taught me in my second and sophomore year of high school at seminary. For some still unknown to me reason, I began to take a dislike to one of my classmates and began to build up feelings against him that grew into a viable and somewhat intense hatred toward him. Thankfully I never acted out on it but Jesus lead me to understand that this hatred was not doing anything to him but was poisoning my own soul. I simply chose to let it go, abandon it and retrieved my own peace of mind. I never lost sight of that lesson and have never harbored bad feelings again to this day. We need only to open our hearts to God’s prompting.
    May the Holy Spirit continue to guide and protect us, lead us to all holiness and truth as we discern the next right as the Rescue progresses on to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Watch and pray, pray and watch. TRUST in the Lord.

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  4. There are so many lines I could pick out to comment on but that would be an entire article itself, so I’ll just take one. “Oh, how I longed to have that unstoppable resolve to serve God: no fear, just selfless love and mercy.” No fear. Just selfless love and mercy. I lack courage in a big way. I was named after St. Joan and also took her as my confirmation name, and the older I get the more I realize I need her assistance. I talked to a priest about my lack of courage and he suggested I “practice” being brave. Since his suggestion, I’ve noticed how often I shy away from things that might offend people, often pertaining to public displays of Christianity. I never thought about actions as “selfless love.” Thank you for another way to look things, another way to evaluate any decision in general and in particular a lens to look at areas where I lack courage.

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    1. jmeyer, for the past couple of years my family and I have made it a point to all make the sign of the cross together and then bless our food wherever we are – especially in public. Though not a huge display in public, it’s still what we do and love doing it. Often my 5 or 6 year old is the first to do it! And they say it loud! LOL…. I like to think we’ve started one or more conversations at tables around us… never know I guess. It’s a great way to start off practicing being brave… 😉

      Liked by 11 people

      1. We do the same as a simple witness to our faith. Many years ago, in Catholic Digest, I read the story of a man witnessing a family simply praying before their meal. He said that something inside of him broke and he found the closest church and priest to make his confession and come home.This story is what motivated me to pray in before eating in public.

        Liked by 7 people

      2. Billbad, I have started doing this too! I think about the priest who gave me that piece of advice every time I do it. But it says something not so good about me that something that small is a sign of bravery for me.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Way to go, Jmeyer! Like you, I don’t consider myself to be brave (mouthy, yes… but not particularly courageous). What helps me a lot, though, is trying to remember the verses “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” and “My [the Lord’s] strength is made perfect in weakness.” I try to remember that Jesus is infinitely brave, and his infinity plus my 0 or 1 is still infinity. So if I just take my littleness and weakness, offer them up to our Lord and join them with his “infiniteness” (I know that’s not a word, but I can’t put my finger on the right one), and attempt to take the “next right step,” He will take care of the rest. 🙂

          As an aside, you note that you were named after St. Joan and that you need her help. I was named after St. Michael; and I bet that the mighty “prince of the heavenly host” chuckles in amusement when I’m a big chicken and run to him for help with something which, in the grand scheme of things, is probably rather trivial. But hey, at least he never gets bored with me around. 🙂

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Mick, your last paragraph made me laugh! Thank you for your input. I’m thinking it would be a good idea for me to print off those verses and hang them where I’m looking at them every day, or put them on my computer screen in very large font as a constant reminder.

            Liked by 3 people

        2. Jmeyer3131: Thought of that iconic book, The Little Engine That Could. Think of small labored steps of courage uphill and then gather steam and speed downhill. Read you comment with interest and know that I need to apply that philosophy of courage to myself. I have trouble staying the course even with a 54-day Rosary Novena and this time I really need to follow through. Merry Christmas, Joan! The comments on this site really do help to hold each other of us up!

          Liked by 3 people

      3. Thank you for sharing Bill. When my wife and I with friends have dinner in our favorite restaurant we always make the sign of the Cross and pray grace before dining.On one occasion, after we had prayed grace, I said, “Praise the Lord!” a man nearby responded, “Alleluia!” We were surprised and delighted to have publicly received a public response to my call to praise God! You never know.

        Liked by 7 people

    2. JMeyer3131: I commented previou about courage and the book, The Little Engine That Could. Imagine my surprise when I picked up this Sunday’s church bulletin an on it was the cover of the book and an entire article by the Rev. Leonard N Paterson based on it. It did get me to chuckle out loud (but right befor Mass started. Here’s the link. http://www.standrewnewtown.com/Images/Bulletins/001AND%20December%2023,%202018.pdf

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  5. Whoa! Powerful setting on maximum! Thank you for these Charlie and Beckita! What what pain, what hate turned to amazing witness, wonderful inspiration.

    The one line that made me well up and wipe something from my eye…. “But underneath the jagged exterior there is a little girl whose beloved Daddy left home one day and never came back or a frightened teenager who is pregnant and terrified, feeling falsely empowered by a culture that only wants to swallow her up, or a grown woman who has forgotten who she is – and Whose she is.”

    This extends beyond feminism, though so rightly nails all causes of it! This right here is the root cause of hatred in anyone we see (female, male…..). I pray every day for the ability to not react to hate or crassness…. I pray that I can see every person as I wish to be seen, as the person I talk to personally and know intimately…. I want to see souls through the faces, bodies, attitudes, and acts…. I long to see people how God created them and knows them…. I know I can’t do that, but I want to deal with the boss (the actual person), and not their walls, defenses, and “isms”…. God, please help us all to see YOU in everyone we meet…. that is my prayer for us all. A lot of times I am jokingly happy with others, and even a big smile can get me a smile back – I try to just ignore their projected gruff nature if I sense one…. I don’t want that, I want them….

    It is tough to deal with people when they are so violent and mean, but I still pray this way so that I can Take the Next Right Step and be A Sign of Hope to everyone and anyone I meet….

    God bless us all!
    Bill

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Hearty Amen to your insights, Bill. These words, particularly, caught my heart: “This extends beyond feminism, though so rightly nails all causes of it! This right here is the root cause of hatred in anyone we see (female, male…..).” Your words resonate with my oft repeated sense that rebuilding the culture will include the rebuilding of individuals wherein hurts are resolved in a healing process… and beyond interior healing, those hurts can be transformed by Christ’s Power. He yearns to do this for us. “…but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (2 Cor 12:9) And: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” In solidarity of prayer with these intentions you’ve expressed, Bill.

      Liked by 10 people

  6. Colleen, yours is a beautiful proclamation of the kerygma–the “simple, radical, countercultural and joyful message of the Gospel.” Your witness is a light to bring others back to Jesus and the realization that they are truly and irresistibly loved.
    Thank you for your response to the Holy Spirit.

    Liked by 8 people

  7. “ I love this story because it illustrates a great truth: fear and hurt often present as anger.” Boy, do I identify with that statement. I was raised on a steady diet of fear and rage. Many years later in Adult Children of Alcoholics groups, I learned anger is secondary emotion. Sometimes, it is difficult to filter it out and discover the “truth”.

    Liked by 10 people

  8. As a young boy I was physically and verbally abused by two public school female teachers. Those experiences shook me to my core and made me afraid of women in my early years and incapable of intimacy on any level later in life. I have healed since then due to some miracles; praised be to Jesus.

    I write this because I can relate to this person’s anger and resentment towards men. I felt the same towards women.

    I think we men (in general) have much culpability for women’s liberation as the women. The way that we have treated the women in our lives caused their response. If we men had instead loved the women in our lives as Christ loves the Church none of this would have happened in the first place. How broke we are and how we are in need of a Savior.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. Wow, Rich. Thank you very much for your sharing. While I see your point about the need to care for women as you describe, I also know people whose stories reveal culpability for both males and females, depending on the particular circumstances of the abused individual. The state of brokenness, so often, has beau coup tangled lines running through it such that the expression: “What comes first, the chicken or the egg?” is apropos. In the cry of Advent to the Lord: Come and set us free!

      Liked by 10 people

  9. two great videos of inspiration

    My back hurts watching these guys in a horse stance. I was look back to the thread discussing How to cure [Charlie’s] back pain and a warrior yell but figured to place here. Just picture our feminists doing these moves…

    This video by Admiral McRaven is awe-inspiring… ten rules to live by.

    ‘Never give up’

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Is that an evil hand gesture?

      It is not the sign for love. I am always curious when people use this hand gesture and what they are trying to say with that gesture.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. heck we used to do horse stance in martial arts every work out and it never hurt my back. If the back is not injured perhaps try a few light deadlifts using proper form keeping chest up and back straight and work up to some heavier weights and your back may be stronger. At least it worked for me. Yes we need a bit more warrior in our blood these days.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Deadlift Video. And don’t say you can’t do it if you are in good health. My coach has a 78 year old lady deadlifting 250! She is an extreme competitor but it shows us old folks can get stronger:

        Liked by 3 people

  10. Collen–thanks for sharing this beautiful story–so wonderfully written! It is helping me to understand some things about some women in my life! My husband’s daughter is a radical lesbian feminist. She has now told us that she will not be known as Sarah anymore, but Ess, and not to refer to her as she or her, but they or them. Sarah has always been attracted to the most extreme liberalism. Her current partner is a girl who says she’s a boy–which I just don’t get since she’s a lesbian–so why is she with someone who says they are a male?! Talk about insanity land! She was boy crazy in high school, by the way. The sad fact is, that her mother abandoned my husband and their two girls when Sarah was only 9 years old.
    I have a friend who is a feminist–and that is unusual for me—but she has a lot of anger and I would say that she rails against her “powerlessness of the patriarchal world” a lot. I told her that perhaps she was insecure, since she always complained that she is not treated equally as men. Now I’m thinking that it is more a case of anger, and I wonder where it comes from. Such brokenness is heartbreaking!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Kim,
      I offered the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for your husbands Daughter and friend.

      { I could include my thought on how to combat this but shall not as it is better to maintain a positive attitude with prayer. Though, for me, I would always use her correct name or a childhood nickname; not the one she desires to be called due to their mental illness. Yikes, sorry. }

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for prayers, Sean–when she decided to live as a lesbian we sought counseling from one of our dear priest-spiritual advisors. It’s in his area of expertise. He does a lot of classes on the Theology of the Body. He helped us a lot. He helped us understand that we need to stay firm in our beliefs and not accept her lifestyle. She doesn’t want to see us because we won’t accept her partners, but we pray that standing firm will help her in the long run. It is devastatingly painful!

        Liked by 4 people

    2. 50 years of divorce culture has wounded many a child. In many respects, I believe we are reaping the consequences of this in the decline of our culture as there are now millions of wounded souls. It is a sad state. Our job now is to do our best to love and heal one soul at a time. There is a lot of work ahead.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Amen, Doug. May we continue to encourage the walking wounded with Jesus’ words: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” and “Behold! I make all things new.”

        So grateful to be alive and to be Christ’s servants. In all humility and simplicity, we’re like God with skin on.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for sharing your reversion story Colleen!

    I can totally relate on many levels your life experience.

    Pondering if I should be so brave to share my reversion story.

    There is much to learn and understand from all that you shared with us. At least you were honest with yourself and were agnostic. I deceived myself into thinking I was a “good Catholic” even though I was still attached to sin.

    And when in a state of sin the poor choices that heap more pain and heartache ononeself.

    Your wise words resonate with me. I too forgot who I am and Whose I am.” I finally feel like I am almost myself- the me that God wants me to be.

    Thank you for sharing and posting!!!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. I am sending private emails out to those who have a proposal, Deacon, but I don’t use Twitter at all. Do you have an email address you could send me? Just put it in a comment, which I will delete and send you a private email.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Don’t ever start with Twitter, Charlie. It’s more addictive than crack. It’s amazing how these famous theologians, philosophers and apologists who use Twitter find time to read or publish anything. I gave it up on the Feast of Christ the King in preparation for Christmas. May the Lord give me the strength not to start up with it again!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I was never much on Twitter, though I had an account a few years ago that I rarely used. Somebody found some crude stuff on it and asked me about it. I went and looked and there was all sorts of ugly stuff there that I knew nothing about. So I just deleted the account entirely – and have NEVER regretted it.

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  12. I love personal conversion stories: so powerful, so true.The pain, the cross is always in them but so important is the gentle movement of God. I have learned to accept anger in people around me as a sign of a deep wound. It can be the beginning of metanoia. Patience, patience.
    Thank you Colleen for your witness.

    Liked by 10 people

  13. Colleen you are one beautiful brave heart. Thank you for your awesome testimony.

    How true it is that we are wounded by the behaviour of adults in our childhood. I have to say our family grew up without these disadvantages. My parents never argued or even raised their voices in front of us as children. When I was grown and married I asked my mother if she and my father ever fought, and she said yes; but no parent in their generation/peer group would ever show bad example in front of the children. I had never seen an angry adult until I went to the nuns at school. LOL

    On the other hand, the man I married was brought up in a home where there was anger and complications. In the early years of our marriage when the children were very young, I remember one day asking my husband if he could wait until the children were not around when he wanted to rant about some issue or other. The result was he found a perfect platform any time he had an issue, and would always rant in front of the children.

    I did tell him, adult issues should not be discussed in front of children. And when he did not respect that, I decided this is the type of marriage I am in, and gave as good as I got when ever the need arose…..still do if that is the way he chooses to resolve issues. Julia may have lost the grace of Redemption through humbly submitting to being treated like a doormat. Only God knows.

    I don’t hold resentment towards my husband, that is the way he was brought up. I did try and explain to the children dad can’t help it, it is how he was reared, and he is not prepared to change.

    And yes, my girls have zero tolerance towards the men in their lives. My son however is very tolerant with his wife and family thank God. I have told him his girls will be out looking for a father figure in a relationship way too early if he does not cherish them. Because young girls looking for father figures get lovers by default, And that is not love.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Julia, how I can relate to your upbringing. My parents, God rest their souls, did not fight in front of me and my siblings either. Our mother always seemed so cordial that one would not know if she harbored any ill will. They were both gone, one to a dreaded disease/suffering and the other to death before I first married and went through what I refer to as my *adult reality shock phase* of life when I was surrounded by dysfunction and corruption as a young spouse/mother and employed adult. Thanks be to God we have a lifetime of learning and growing, if we so choose, to seek to get it right. ❤

      Liked by 7 people

  14. In my comment at 11.58pm I should have mentioned my husband was habitually sarcastic and derogatory to the children when they were young. It seems to be an English form of humour. To me it is the lowest form of wit, and I asked my husband not to talk like that to us. This is why I feel the girls have grown up with zero tolerance. Only God knows if I have got it right.

    Ending a Roman Catholic marriage would be out of the question.

    We just call him a grumpy old man these days if he misbehaves. LOL

    Liked by 5 people

  15. Colleen that was such a beautiful and heartwarming history of your life. I am very sorry for all the pain and sorrow you endured all those young years & thanks be to God, He sent you a knight in shining armour your husband who brought you back to the faith. God bless & keep you always. Thanks for sharing Colleen😇

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Hope this link if permitted will encourage anyone who reads the comments and is still hoping in the Lord to send a special someone to brighten their path. Merry Christmas.

    Actual song starts at 2 minutes in and finishes at 4.55 minutes. Fr Kelly an Irish Priest sings.

    Liked by 7 people

  17. A letter I wrote to our Archbishop in response to his letter addressing the “abuse crisis”:
    Dear Archbishop

    Thank you for your letter addressing what has come to be called the “Abuse Crisis”. And thank you for reminding us that courage and anger are a part of hope. But I believe we as a church must be willing to show even more courage than some of us have done so far. Let me explain.

    To state that we are opposed to the abuse of children and are taking steps to prevent future abuse is agreed on by almost everyone. It only takes a moderate amount of courage to take these steps and to address these issues. But to address the deeper issues leading to the abuse, beginning with a homosexual subculture in some seminaries and with active, often consensual, homosexual activities engaged in by some clergy, including even cardinals and bishops, will take great courage indeed. Yet I believe these consensual and tolerated sins led to acts leading up to sexual harassment and even abuse which were too often tolerated and allowed to remain in secret. And sadly, in a culture which tolerates certain sins and even looks on them with a sense of “pride”, addressing them will again lead to the church being seen as a “sign of contradiction”. But how else will our church be able to proclaim the values of sexual purity and holiness, unless we are willing to openly confront these sins in our own church and to speak openly of doing so?

    The Ruth Institute has some good research on the link between homosexuality in the priesthood and the rates of sexual abuse. Their web page is at https://spark.adobe.com/page/xIVdVcuq9whJL/

    I have spoken to Bishop Herman and to Fr. Mason. They have both verified that our seminary is “very good” and that issues of sexual sins have been and are continually being cleansed from our midst. I believe we need to openly report the health of our seminary and of our seminarians so that good and strong men and good candidates will feel comfortable applying here.

    Also, Archbishop, if you read this letter please say a prayer for me as even though I am happily married, I still need to pray for daily grace and for the help of Our Lady to live chastity with integrity. Also, Archbishop I am sorry to have to write this letter, but I believe that all of us, including lay Catholics, must all work to help remove these evils from our church. Also, as a retired social worker who has worked with addictions, I would be available to help in any way I can, if needed.

    Thanks and Sincerely,

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Awesome!!!!!

      May I paraphrase to use in my letter to my bishop?

      My diocese is that which the PA Grand Jury reported upon.

      I have been waiting to be motivated to write such a letter. Always asking God when? When?

      I will of course, commend him on some of the actions he has taken.

      I just needed the verbage to say what needes to be done.

      Thank you for sharing!!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. NO copyright here. If my ideas are helpful use as you like. My spiritual director yesterday told me he was glad I wrote it as we all need to help and to pray in this.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve always recognized feminists as a hate group, in fact a lot of equal rights groups out have a lot of hidden hatred towards normalcy & God.

    White privilege? These idiots just want all hatred redirected towards white people, and there’s lots of “white” people out there that suffered too like the French & Irish by the English that wanted to conquer & assimilate them back in day.

    Patriarchy? The same critical thinking abilities that make men good at math & sciences, does naturally make most men good providers. Men & women were created by God to compliment each other in a equal PARTNERSHIP, not as interchangeable substitutes. Humility is recognizing that we are just a part of a machine, not the whole machine, nor the multi-purpose part that fits anywhere. Men add a lot of stability to society due to critical thinking, these would be better times if most people were true Christians; a fall away from God makes society unfair regardless whether men or women are in control.

    These hateful ideologies come from Liberalism, the false gospel of evil. 2+2=4 not 5, not 6, nor anything else… God’s truth is absolute meaning only one correct answer and infinite wrong any, as black & white symbolizes 50/50 which is wrong. A white lie is still a lie. This is no doubt why the devil seeks to water down God’s words as it introduces errors which create incorrect understanding of God’s teachings.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Incredible testimony that speaks so strongly of the importance of a loving mom and dad to a child..two parent families raising their children with a strong faith in GOD. Looking around at our culture is beyond heartbreaking..and yes I too have wished I could load up my family and step back in time and live in Mayberry..I could be the piebaker ! I have often teased that when I stand before JESUS I will come with his favorite pie!😊 On to a more serious note a sign of hope in these dark days ,please read about “Rene Martinez” it’s another incredible testimony from a former gang leader of such evil who is now on fire for JESUS! I would also encourage all who can to read about “Brian Kolfage” and his go fund me campaign “ We the people will fund the WALL”..and donate whatever you can.. Enough of this garbage from the evil LEFT.. GOD bless all here and once again Thankyou to you Charlie you were and are right on..PS I was devastated to read you feel the country is gone..too late..I too have felt this maybe the truth but reading about Rene Martinez ,the walk away movement,one of the big rap artist who recently stated he is taking a sabbatical from his music to learn the word of GOD gives me hope that possibly they can influence many of the young especially the most lost and bring them to our LORD🙏🏻

    Liked by 2 people

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