Something that Can Change Your Life — For the Better

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The guy in the above YouTube Video tells his story of dying and going to hell (obtained from Bio network).

There are a lot of things that can change people. 

Unfortunately, some things can actually make people worse. An example is the effect of choosing to abuse drugs and subsequent addiction. Most of us are familiar with the faces of drug abuse and how an individual can transform from an otherwise healthy individual to looking gaunt and sickly in a matter of weeks. Stress and trauma are additional examples of things that can elicit a huge transition in a person. The effects of stress can take an obvious emotional, physical, and spiritual toll. This is often overtly manifested.  Some may lose a significant amount of weight. Others might gain.  Some turn prematurely gray or even white; while others might lose their hair altogether (however, I must qualify that some things like hair, stress or no stress, can also change because of genetics and hormones. Yours truly got natural curly hair after having kids).

Other examples of change for the worse are lifestyle choices that can lead a person away from God, family, and friends. A person can deliberately drown out the still small voice of a conscience and “harden the heart”.  And if someone thinks that these statements are being judgmental, think about where the still small voice might be coming from in the first place. A popular responsorial in Mass that comes from Psalm 95 states, “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” 

Unfortunately most of us have known at least one person who has undergone a change for the worse. Sometimes it might even be oneself.

I Survived…Beyond and Back

One of my favorite television programs is “I Survived…Beyond and Back.”  This show, appearing on the Bio network, features accounts of people who have experienced a legal clinical death and for whatever reason have survived to come back. Each one of them speaks about a type of heaven and/or hell encounter. What is consistent in these accounts is that their experience of the beyond ends up transforming their lives. At the beginning of this post, I have included a YouTube account of a man who states that he died and went to hell and came back.

A lot of people choose to be victims of their circumstances. 

It is a fallacy to believe that a person must hit “rock bottom” before a change for the better can occur. Instead of waiting for that proverbial “rock bottom” (and you don’t want to find out what “rock bottom” looks like), a person can decide to change right away. If one cannot commit to a lifetime, any type of change can be significant, even if it is a little pledge to begin for one moment, for an hour, then maybe a day, or even a month at a time. The idea is to make progress, no matter how small and to avoid procrastination. Others might not notice right away. Even you might not be able to tell.  But God can tell.  Instantaneous miracles can occur, but who dictates that miracles have to be sudden?  Miracles can happen slowly too.  Most of us can only accomplish change in baby steps. But don’t forget that many baby steps can equal a big step.

Some are looking for a jump-start to making a positive change in their lives. 

As a person of faith, I believe that there is a solution, an ever present help in our time of need(Psalm 46:1-3).  When venerable Matt Talbot (1856-1925), a modern day patron saint for those struggling with addictions, first desired to quit drinking, he made only a three month pledge at first.  But then he supplemented that pledge by going to Confession (as he was Roman Catholic) and attending daily Mass. Receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus gave him the strength to overcome what seemed otherwise impossible for him – alcoholism.  He took up daily reading of Scripture and prayed frequently. Gradually, through the grace of God, his life was transformed.  He went from out-of-control drinking binges to being declared a venerable by the Church. His feast day is observed on June 19 and deserves a separate blog soon.

In addition, we cannot discount the effect that the prayers of others can have on recovery and change. It is an act of mercy to pray for someone. If we know of someone who is in need of a major transformation, prayer is a strong weapon as well as going to Mass with their intentions in our heart.  St. Padre Pio often referred to the rosary as the “weapon.”

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

This Sunday marks the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ or Corpus Christi, a significant feast day in the Catholic Church. It is a big one but is not marked by sales in the stores, chocolate figurines, a giant bunny, or a bearded fat man. This observance consists of the Bread and Wine which becomes consecrated as the Body and Blood of Jesus.  It is our spiritual food for the journey of life and a source of grace and strength.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to the Eucharist “as the source and summit of the Christian life” (136).

Unfortunately, a lot of people, non-Catholics and even some professed Catholics, may not realize or appreciate the significance of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. But it is life transforming and life giving. Especially in that Jesus is Really Present for each one of us through this Sacrament. Learning about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is what led to my own conversion to Catholicism. The Sacrament of the Eucharist is something that can change each one of our lives for the better.

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