LTRP Note: The following story was submitted by a Lighthouse Trails reader and was written by her friend who just passed away. We are posting it as an exhortation to those who feel discouraged in trying to talk to friends, family, and church members about spiritual deception. We must pray to the Lord for courage and never think it’s better to remain silent when someone we know is heading in the wrong direction spiritually. Had it not been for an “outspoken” friend, Mary might not be with the Lord today.
I was born and raised Roman Catholic. My parents were not especially religious but they raised us (nine children) on Christian principles such as being kind and considerate of others and to follow the Ten Commandments.
I attended mass regularly on Sundays and Holy Days according to church rules. But I always knew something was missing.
I remember at Christmas time, looking at our living room stable scene and thinking that there was more to it than what I knew and that something in my teaching was lacking.
I knew I really did not know God and perhaps it was my own fault for not trying hard enough. So when the Lenten season came, I thought I would do all that the Church asked of me. So I decided to fast but not for candy or easy things, but for things that would really mean true self denial. So I gave up smoking which was a great sacrifice to me and also to get up extra early and attend Mass every morning before work as well as receive communion daily and go to confession every week. I also read spiritual material and studied every word and took them to heart.
Then after about three weeks, I was reading the Beatitudes and could go no further and I said to God, “You ask too much.” And I gave up and went back to ordinary living.
At age 37 years, I met a born-again Christian girl who lived in the same apartment house as my niece. We became casual friends. She talked a lot about the Lord and that was fine with me.
One evening after dinner at my apartment as we were doing dishes, she bluntly asked me “What do you do for your sin?”
I quickly replied. “I go to confession and receive Holy Communion, and that cleanses me of all sin.”
She answered, “No it doesn’t.”
Well! I was very annoyed that she could be so rude and attack my religion when I was so polite about her beliefs. She added that “being good” had nothing to do with going to heaven.
I answered that my mother who was such an exceptionally good woman all her life was certainly in heaven.
She replied, “Only if she had received Jesus Christ into her heart; being good and doing good would not have gotten her there.”
Needless to say, I ended the conversation.
Then one night, June 15, 1969 to be exact, I just could not sleep, which was very unusual. I found this book on my night table which my Christian friend had given me months before called Good News For Modern Man. It had a colorful cover and pictures inside. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a New Testament. She had told me to read “Romans.” (She later told me that she was very surprised at that because she had never told anyone to read Romans and had no recollection of telling me to read it).
Nonetheless, I read it –all 16 chapters of it. To say the least, I was blown away. I remember saying over and over, “She’s right, she’s right, she’s right.” (I had no idea I was reading the Bible.)
I quickly got on my knees and asked the Lord Jesus into my heart. It was an incredible union. (The night before I had listened to a tape by Gert Behanna who’d had a terrible life and finally got on her knees and received the Lord. That was how I knew what to do.) Incredible! Incredible! Incredible!
The following night I remember asking the Lord, “What do I do with your Mother Mary? I won’t pray to her anymore until you tell me to.”
I never heard from Him regarding Mary.
To date, there are 22 members in my family who have come to know the Lord. Amen and amen!
P.S. When my mother was going into the hospital, she asked to borrow these monthly pamphlets I had subscribed to all about the Lord Jesus taken, of course, from the New Testament. When she returned them, she said, “I believe,” her exact words. At the time, I was not saved, but the Lord brought this memory back to me to encourage my heart.
I believe in my heart I will see her in glory.
Used with permission.