December 28, 2016 | StMichaelRadio *** WARNING: This story has not been altered. Due to the nature of the author’s past, some of the language and scenarios are graphic. We purposely did not edit anything to show that all the darkness in the world can’t put out a single light. Christ’s mercy is much greater than any sin. He died for you. He loves you. He wants to spend eternity with you. Ask for his mercy. Cheers to Jesus!***From Darkness to LightThe Catholic Man ShowIt is particularly hard to discuss my past. I can imagine this is the same for anyone who came from a dreadful beginning. But in many ways, it can be necessary to discuss such difficulties for the sake of others. To reveal each others past, no matter how dark, for the sake of illuminating the path to Christ is vital to fellow soldiers of Christendom. So we may know that we are not alone in our struggles with the powers and principalities of wickedness in high places, I mean to reveal all that I can from the pit to the cross. However, I am simply unable, within a single article, able to put my entire life and all that I encountered; but I can highlight the path that held most sway over my soul and how I came to be today.A Broken HomeMost wretched beginnings often find their source in a broken home. My mother and father divorced early in my life but late enough for painful memories. To be old enough to see your house, your bedroom, and all your belongings to be lost. To know that your mother and father no longer love each other so much so that their rift is irreparable. Being so young and not understanding what could be so bad that could cause this split. I remember looking at my mother with her tears flowing down her face when she told me, “mommy and daddy aren’t going to be together anymore.” The horrible feeling of collapse was overpowering within me. That cold shock wave that runs through your chest and panic of confusion set in and I stared in disbelief not even truly comprehending fully what was said to me. I remember looking at my older and only brother and saying, “what is going to happen to us?”. Dan could barely answer me as he was in his own world of collapse. After what seemed like months of a never ending nightmare, because of my mother’s lack of interest for my brother and I at that time…she left us with our father.Father of MagickMy father was a loving man. In my younger days before the divorce, he was the one that actually taught Dan and I Catholicism. He taught us spiritual realities such as the existence of angels, demons, and “places between places”. However, my father had dark past when he were a young adult. My father as a young man became disillusioned with Christianity due to hypocrisy he witnessed in his own father (my grandfather) who was a baptist preacher. He was lead to join a cult called the ‘Sons of Solomon’. This cult used various rituals and incantations binding themselves to demonic spirits by way of spiritual contracts. Shortly before he met my soon to be mother, he had already shed the occult from his life realizing it was cancerous. He even took up preaching at his father’s baptist church for a while but never threw away his talismans and other pagan tools. It was not until after the divorce did he fall back into the practice of Magick. I recall at an early age of 10 years old when my father called my brother and I out to the back yard and in chalk drew a circle around all three of us. After he gave us strict orders to stay within the circle no matter what happens, he turned his face to the night sky with dagger in hand and recited the incantation to call forth the Dragon. What I saw that night defied reason and physics as the clouded sky actually parted so that the stars would become visible. In further invocation of this “Dragon”, fog formed around us and what looked like streaks of light above us. My brother said it was the stars but I wasn’t interested…in fact, I was terrified. My brother, on the other hand, was immensely enjoying the spectacle. I wanted to run but I was told once again not to leave the circle as I would be at the mercy of the Dragon. I remember falling to my knees and praying ‘Hail Mary’ aloud as many times as I could. Interestingly, the more I prayed this prayer, the desired effect from my father’s invocation seemed to lessen. I vividly remember my father laughing and asking me to stop but I refused to stop. When my father finished, he allowed us to return inside where my brother and father spoke about fundamental elements of witchcraft. I on the other hand ran to my room and stayed within it. Terrified, I tried to sleep but could not do it unless I prayed.Lusts, Addictions, & DeceptionAs I grew into high school, I became acquainted with drug and alcohol use. I smoked pot whenever I could, popped pills of any sort that would numb me, and drank alcohol whenever I had the opportunity. With my reckless path set before me, I sought after girls to satisfy my emptiness. This was not difficult as I learned how to manipulate women with my experience in romanticism ultimately for sexual purposes. I went as far as to forget my fear of witchcraft to cast a spell on a girl I wanted to sleep with. I used names of power to influence her will such as the Tetragrammaton. I used vocal incantations (meaning hums and moans while meditating on my desires) which were drawn out echos of specific words of spiritual commands. I began to do this in an effort to strengthen a sexual soul tie with this girl so much so that I was consumed with having her regardless of what was to become of me. There was a time where I was so entrenched in my very own abyss that I fell into a terrible depression and contemplated suicide. I even attempted to sway storms and weather using the invocation of the Dragon and the “Call into the Abyss” (a druidic incantation that means to make yourself known to whatever may be lurking into the Abyss). The results did vary depending on my involvement in the invocations. However, as time went by, I gave up on witchcraft and began to recall my Catholic faith. My brother on the other hand was a devoted witch and wanted nothing to do with even the name of Christ. He even revealed to me that when he heard the name “Jesus” it made him physically ill. I soon entered into college where I all but left any thought to my Catholic faith. I lived a pagan hedonistic life of drinking, partying, and chasing women as often as I could. I even joined a fraternity that was centered in Freemasonry. I was numbered among the “Sons of Pythagoras”, in this fraternity, I was on my “Golden Quest” for meriting Godhood. This fraternity’s patron religion was based off of Pythagoras’ Numerology in which is taught that you can obtain Godhood through your own thoughts, words, and deeds. The initiation of pledges into active members was one of our most treasured and sacred ceremonies where the blind-folded pledges would be lead to different pillars manned by an active member. Each pillar would reveal some bit of “wisdom” concerning this religion. I was among my pledges, the one whom would “die and resurrect” as I was lead to a clearing and told to lie down as though dead. Around me, were my fraternity brothers cloaked in black to mimic the “four spirits of death” to breath life back into me. Still blindfolded, I was lead to a larger clearing where the president of the fraternity called for me to receive the light of truth. After which the blindfold was removed and I was given the purpose of my life. That I could become like a God if I tread my Gold Quest carefully, following the tenets of the fraternity.The Sleeper Must AwakenAll was fun and adventurous among my brothers. I even found a girl who loved me and it partly had to do with my involvement within the fraternity. Although, I didn’t actually meet her there, I actually met her in Psychology class. ( I like to say that she messed with my head! ) It was because I cared about her that I began to question the motives of some of my brothers. Parties ran hard and liquor poured freely along with every debauchery that one can imagine when men and women come together under such circumstances. I began to think that this was a lifestyle that would harm my relationship with this girl I began to love. Soon after this thought crossed my mind, one of my fellow brothers was preparing himself for the Sacrament of Confirmation at the local Catholic church. Almost like a lightning bolt, I was faced with my faith again. Like a flood of memories, I recalled all the things I was taught concerning morality as a practicing Catholic. But I was no practicing Catholic, though only one by word of mouth. I began to slowly separate myself from the brotherhood and spend more albeit immoral, but intimate time with the girl I loved. We were passionate for each other and did not hold back our lusts. I did not care for anything but her and she cared for nothing but me. We did not think of our souls nor to who ever else we may have scandalized by our behavior with each other.Enter the ChurchIt was not until we became deeply emotional involved did spirituality ever come up. I told her I was Catholic and she revealed she was non-denominational. Although, she had mentioned to me that if we ever got serious with each other and decided to marry that we would likely have children raised in the Catholic Church. I was surprised for her to have said this, and I asked her why. She said that, though she does not know much about Catholicism, she knows it is an organized and well-structured religion that has spanned the test of time. Wise answer, in my opinion. And sure enough, she and I found a local Catholic Church to attend. I began to realize the necessity to partake in the Sacraments (such as Confession) before I could properly teach her what Catholicism was. For I did not want to teach her by just theory but with action. She was so interested that she wanted to come to Mass and learn all that she could but when it was time to take Holy Communion, I asked her not to. She was so offended that she was not allowed to partake that she almost stormed out. I had to catch her and explain that one of the reasons to not go to Holy Communion is because she is not in Full Communion with the Church (.i.e. Not Catholic) and that to take Holy Communion while not recognizing the True and Abiding Presence of Jesus Christ – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity – is mortal sin. Not to mention, we had not yet gone to Confession to receive in a state of grace. So because of this, she demanded to speak with a Catholic Priest. She marched over to the friary and knocked on the door…I was afraid she was going to run over the local Priest and asked her to behave herself. We were met by a little old balding man – Father O’Neal. Poor man of God, he didn’t know what was coming! But she talked to him and brought up her concerns which morphed into weekly meetings. She and I met with him every Thursday for an hour or two discussing Catholicism as though we were in a personalized RCIA class. She told me time after time, “I am not going to become Catholic! I am just learning this so I know how to raise my children in it!” – My response was always, “Yes ma’am!” However, the more we studied with the Priest, the more she came to understand that she actually believed most of what the Church has always taught. I found myself excitedly watching my future wife becoming Catholic! We had lived such a hardcore lifestyle but it was slowly being replaced with the faith in Jesus Christ. Her desire to learn more about my faith gave me motivation to rekindle the faith within me. It was not long after she came to realize she was a secret Catholic and didn’t know it that she made sure to tell me, “I am NOT becoming Catholic…just because you want me to…I am doing for myself!” and my response like always was, “Yes ma’am!”. We ended up getting Confirmed together (due to my parent’s divorce, confirmation class was completely ignored) and soon after we were married by the same Priest that taught my wife and helped rekindle the faith I always knew. Since then, my wife and I have had 2 kids and 1 on the way and I have never been more aware of Christ in my life than when I look at their precious faces. Now I do all that I can to spread the Truth of the Gospel as revealed through the Pillar and Ground of Truth known only as the Catholic Church. I do so with joy and much pleasure to which I shall remain Catholic until my dying breath. May I have the grace of Jesus Christ and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary to continue such a lofty task to not so much convince but to inform and offer penances for those that were like me or worse. Amen!