Saturday, January 18, 2014

An angelic testimonial.

I wrote this testimonial after a little over a year in the AWC:

I had never been to the Dominican House of Studies when my friend invited me to the enrollment ceremony for the Angelic Warfare Confraternity on the Feast of the Archangels in 2011. I knew little about the AWC, although I had learned as much as I could from the website, and I had no intention of joining. But as Fr. Brent explained the confraternity, it seemed to be just the kind of spiritual armor we need to protect ourselves from the sexual depravity of today's world.

At the time I had not experienced any threats to my chastity and purity in at least nine months and, since I had never struggled much in that area, I felt that I didn't need the AWC for my own sake. But I, somewhat smugly, decided that I could join the confraternity to help my brothers and sisters in Christ. And so I did enroll and have diligently kept up with the daily prayers for myself and the other members of the confraternity.

However, shortly after the enrollment ceremony I came to appreciate how Divine Providence had led me to the Dominican House that night. I had just come through a period of what St. Ignatius would call spiritual desolation brought on, in part, by exposure to the unhealthy attention of certain men. Becoming the object of their inappropriate attention had caused me to feel a certain anxiety and disillusionment. However, knowing that I have recourse to the intercession of St. Thomas Aquinas gave me a sense of inner peace so that I was no longer anxiously awaiting the next offense.

Over the course of the next year I received great graces through the prayers, in the blotting out of memories that had certainly stained my chastity and purity. The AWC prayers worked as a healing balm for wounds that had never quite healed. And, thanks be to God, I was still not experiencing any sinful temptations.

A little over a year after the AWC enrollment ceremony, someone asked me to pray for a seminarian who was plagued with intense threats against his purity. So I decided to offer the graces obtained through my AWC prayers, should our merciful God allow it, for this seminarian. I had been doing this for approximately one week when I started feeling a completely inappropriate attraction to someone, whom I had known for quite some time without experiencing such a thing before. It only took a couple of days of this for me to wonder if I needed the graces from the AWC prayers more than I had thought. I decided that I would have to intercede for the seminarian in a different way and asked God to restore to me the graces I had offered for him. Over the next few days, the inappropriate attraction faded away.

This humbling experience certainly taught me a lesson and speaks to the power of the confraternity. May God bless the other members of the confraternity for their dedication to the protection of chastity and purity; I pray that the confraternity will continue to grow and bear much spiritual fruit.

May God bless you and protect you from all evil!

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