It all started quite innocently. At the age of thirteen I came across a “wonderful” magazine (or so I thought then) called Bravo. I read every issue from cover to cover. Before long I became especially interested in a regular series of articles entitled, My First Time.
I would read them through several times and even imagine I was the central figure. I thought about it more and more until one day I discovered the pleasure of masturbation. In time, self-abuse became a part of my life. I thought I could not live without it. It never even occurred to me that what I was doing might be a sin.
In the meantime, two years passed by, and it was time to choose a secondary school. I chose a grammar school. Beginnings are always hard. For me, getting used to my new surroundings was a nightmare. I needed some release. I wanted to relax; cigarettes and alcohol entered my life. I did not drink much, but I was crazy about cigarettes. And so I became mired in sin, destroying the life that the Lord had given me. Of course, I went to confession and received Jesus in Holy Communion, but He entered an unclean heart, because I never confessed to the sin of impurity.
Everything changed when our religion teacher handed out a summary of an article from your magazine in class. Discovering LOA was my deliverance, a lifesaver thrown out to a drowning person. I read through the entire magazine in one evening (just as I had done with Bravo). The articles moved me deeply. I faced the facts. I could not believe what I had done. All this time I had been destroying my dignity, my life — the gift bestowed upon me by Jesus, that same Jesus who had died for me on the Cross. I cried. I cried tears of great sorrow. I realized that I had been living in defiance of God’s will. And yet only a few years earlier, He had granted me a physical healing (had it not been for the prayers of my family I would certainly have lost a leg). That evening I made a decision to pull myself together.
The first step taken by this “lost sheep” was a good confession. My knees were shakier in the confessional than they had been at my First Communion. My cheeks burned as I confessed my sins (this time I left nothing out!) But when I heard the priest’s words “Go in peace,” I felt born anew. My world suddenly stopped turning around “pleasures,” as some people call addictions. At Mass I received Christ, and for the first time felt that He was happy within me. That was a fantastic feeling.
Now I find it hard to believe that I fell into Satan’s power all through reading magazines like Bravo and Girls. I thought I was getting rid of stress and that I was being grown-up. I wanted to be liked. But that was a lie.
Dear LOA readers, I found it very hard to write this letter. I cannot be sure that I will never fall into bad habits again; but I know one thing for sure. God will always be with me. He will help me with everything, if only I trust in Him. I really want to remain chaste. I believe I can do it. After all, I have a free will and am able to resist Satan. My weapon is the Rosary. This prayer sustains me and helps me through the hard times.
This year I am going on a walking pilgrimage to Jasna Gora. I want to thank Mary for helping me to return to her Son. Dear readers of LOA, I promise I will pray for you just as the Mother of God prayed for me. Please do the same of you, for intercessory prayer is especially pleasing to God.
The above article was published with permission from Miłujcie się! in November 2010