Legion of Christ plays cat and mouse with Pedophile Founder’s Victims once again

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Copyright Real religious orders resources

Besides Pope Francis acknowledging his misjudgment of Chilean clergy sexual abuse, the other major Catholic news of the week has been a letter sent by Legion of Christ sexual abuse victims demanding Legion of Christ leaders acknowledge and compensate them once and for all. As the reader will see, the primary thrust of the demand is not money but formal and specific recognition of their suffering as well as acknowledgement and reparation of the Legion’s neglect and defamation of the victims together with Legion’s internal information control (vis-à-vis their members) regarding the full effects of the founders’ crimes.

The victims’ letter to the Legion of Christ General Chapter meeting in Rome was originally ignored but strong coverage by Associate Press, the general media and Catholic sources such as the Catholic News Service put the leaders’ feet to the fire and they have responded in a communication couched in the most cautious and legalistic terms.

Sequence of Events:

  • Maciel survivors send letter[i] by various means to all members of Legion Chapter General meeting in Rome: [ii] “From March  26  to  April  7, 2018,  the  first  part  of  the  Extraordinary  General  Chapter  of  the Legionaries of Christ will take place at the seat of the General Directorate in Rome. The second part will take place from November 19 to 24, 2018, at the same venue.”
  • The letter is not acknowledged or discussed at the Legion of Christ Extraordinary General Chapter held in Rome.
  • Receiving no response from Legion leadership, the victims release the letter to the media, spear-headed by AP[iii]. The news quickly spreads to other major world and Catholic news media, such as CNA.
  • Thereupon, Legion leadership issues a communique, through their communications officer, Fr. Aaron Smith, in Spanish and undated[iv], referring to the letter without replying to (ignoring) the Victims. We post initial paragraphs of communique, translated by out team into English so the public can catch a glimpse of Legiospeak.[v]

“LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST, INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE COMMUNIQUE

asmith@legionaries.org

+39 328 987 26 15

www.regnumchristi.org/sites/dg/

Regarding the letter sent to the Legionaries of Christ by José de Jesús Barba Martín and José Antonio Pérez Olvera, the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ states the following.

  1. On March 26, the general director received a letter signed by José de Jesús Barba Martín and José Antonio Pérez Olvera, two of those who denounced Fr. Maciel´s abuses publicly in 1997, requesting that their petition be included in the General Chapter’s Agenda.
  2. The general director, after consulting with his council, presented the request to the Extraordinary General Chapter, and informed the Chapter that the general government would seek a personal rapprochement with the each one of the signers and respond to their requests.
  3. We ask forgiveness from all the victims who throughout our history have suffered any kind of abuse, knowing that this request will never be enough to heal their wounds. Regarding Fr. Maciel, the 2014 General Chapter stated:” etc.
  • ReGAIN, gathering the victims’ recent private reactions to Legion communique, comments: The Legion’s communique is riddled with inaccuracies, ambiguities and downright lies: as stated above, the victims’ letter was sent to each and all the members of the Chapter and not specifically or only to the LC general director, Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil (indisputably a disciple and protege of Fr. Maciel). Fr. Robles pre-emptively took control of the letter and the chapter general fathers’ response, preventing any option of a reaction or discussion from or among the fathers. He decided for them not to put the letter on the floor and decided unilaterally what was to be done with the letter’s requests. There was no free discussion. Robles-Gil promises to meet with the two signers of the Letter (individually?) but he
  1. does not address the senders
  2. or mention the group of eighth survivors as such whose lives were destroyed by Founder, Fr. (the serial pedophile founder was never defrocked by the Vatican!) Marcial Maciel.[vi] As can be seen in the communique
  3. the Legion did not heed any of the victims’ requests but gives a facile response, suggesting it has already addressed the issue in question. This has been the Legion’s operational policy since the group originally accused Fr. Maciel twenty years ago. Reader, please revisit victims’ recent requests in footnote i

______________________________________________-

Endnotes

[i]

“México City, March 2018

The undersigned, collectively known as the ‘historical victims’ of Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, ask the Legion of Christ, through its representatives gathered in the Extraordinary General Chapter taking place in Rome from the 24th March 2018 that the issue of the Victims of Fr. Maciel and of the Legion of Christ be included in the agenda of the said General Chapter. Specifically, we make the following list of requests:

————-REQUESTS—————

  1. We ask that the Extraordinary General Chapter emit a Public Recognition of our status as victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Fr. Marcial Maciel and as victims of moral, psychological and spiritual harm at the hands of the Congregation. We ask that the congregation recognize that it made us and our families suffer in a continued, consistent and prolonged way when we revealed the perverse crimes of Maciel to the Church and the international community through articles published by journalists Jason Berry and Gerald Renner (Hartford Courant on 23rd of February 1997) and through the complaint presented to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the 17th of October 1998.
  2. We ask that it be publicly recognized that our struggle to make known the truth about Fr. Maciel was a true service to the Church, of which we form part, as well as being a true service to the Legion of Christ. Consequentially we ask that the Chapter declare that we were never traitors of the Church or of the Legion.
  3. Representing the historical victims to whom the “Commission of Contact with the Victims” never approached we request that the said commission be re-opened in order to fulfill the mission for which it was instituted by Cardinal de Paolis. We declare once again that this commission never contacted us.

For the reopening of the Commission for Victims we request the following:

  1. a) The commission would be composed of members named by the historical victims, by the Legion of Christ and by the Church.
  2. b) It’s re opening will not affect or prejudice any legal actions undertaken by the historical victims.
  3. c) It will make effective the recognition of the historical victims through the establishment of a plan of action negotiated with the historical victims and evaluated by interdisciplinary professionals. It will determine the harm inflicted on us and its indispensable reparation.
  4. As a visible sign of reconciliation, we request a public act of redress for the historical victims with the community of Rome, where many of the abuses took place, and another similar event with the communities of Mexico.
  5. We ask that we be informed appropriately of the decisions of the Extraordinary General Chapter with regard to our petitions to the following electronic address: (sic) and through courier to the attached postal addresses and that that the communication be considered as received when we acknowledge receipt.

Postal Address (sic)

Yours Sincerely

José de Jesús Barba Martin                     José Antonio Pérez Olvera

Representing the Historical Victims of Fr. Macie and the Congregation of the Legion of Christ for the purposes of the above written letter

Mexico City

March 24, 2018”

 

[ii] http://www.regnumchristi.org/rcstatutes/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Communique-about-the-extraordinary-General-Chapter-of-the-Legionaries-of-Christ.pdf

[iii] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/ap-exclusive-victims-seek-compensation-in-abuse-reckoning/2018/04/12/8384e156-3e6f-11e8-955b-7d2e19b79966_story.html?utm_term=.04196cb60d5b

[iv] http://www.regnumchristi.org/sites/dg/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2018/04/Comunicado-de-la-Legion-de-Cristo.pdf

[v]  Spanish version of Legion Communique. The writer could not find an English language one.

LEGIONARIOS DE CRISTO

OFICINA DE COMUNICACIÓN INTERNACIONAL

COMUNICADO

Oficina de Comunicación Internacional

asmith@legionaries.org

+39 328 987 26 15

http://www.regnumchristi.org/sites/dg/

Respecto a la carta enviada a los Legionarios de Cristo por José de Jesús Barba Martín y José Antonio Pérez Olvera, la Congregación de los  Legionarios de Cristo desea expresar lo siguiente:

  1. El 26 de marzo de 2018, el director general recibió una carta digital firmada por José de Jesús Barba Martín y José Antonio Pérez Olvera, dos de las personas que denunciaron los abusos del P. Maciel públicamente en 1997, solicitando la inclusión de su petición en la Agenda del Capítulo General.
  2. El director general, después de haber hablado con su Consejo, presentó carta al Capítulo

General extraordinario, e informó al Capítulo de que el gobierno general buscará un acercamiento personal a cada uno de los firmantes de la misiva y responderá a sus peticiones.

  1. Pedimos perdón a todas las víctimas que a lo largo de nuestra historia han sufrido algún tipo de abuso, sabiendo que esta petición de perdón nunca será suficiente para sanar las profundas heridas.

Con relación al P. Maciel, el Capítulo General de 2014 dijo:

 

[vi] “In a statement Friday (April 13th, 2018)  responding to a request from The Associated Press, the Legion said its leaders ‘will try to get in touch personally with each of those who had signed the letter and respond to their requests.’ “:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/world/legion-vows-to-respond-to-victims-request-for-compensation/article_fad3ee4c-68c3-5e1f-a362-292b9350c57d.html

 

Sex abuse Victim Sues Legión of Christ in Cutanda case in Connecticut Federal court

Legionary of Christ Multiple Abuser of Minors sued by Victim
(Reader can find Legion’s initial response, on Regnum Christi official web page below)

CONNECTICUT LAW TRIBUNE

“Article 7 of 10150
Alleged Catholic School Sex Abuse Victim Sues Legion of Christ

ROBERT STORAGE
08/17/2017

A 48-year-old California man allegedly raped as a teenager by an employee at the Connecticut-based Legion of Christ has filed a federal lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, claims the victim identified only as John Doe was first sexually assaulted at the now-defunct Immaculate Conception Apostolic School in New Hampshire when he was 13 years old. The teenager was allegedly raped every two to three weeks for about three and half years at the Roman Catholic boarding school for boys grades 7-12. Continue reading “Sex abuse Victim Sues Legión of Christ in Cutanda case in Connecticut Federal court”

Cardenal Rivera, Protector de Pedofilos, debe renunciar

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Sin duda que se libra una batalla campal de poder politico y eclesiastico en Roma y en Mexico en estos momentos. Los defensores de las victimas han lanzando una demanda legal en contra del cardenal. Otros lo defienden. He aqui dos comentarios contrarios:

A su consideración (Alberto Athie)
 

Como si nuestro interés fuera de tipo político, lo que estaría en juego en nuestra denuncia ante la PGR es incidir en la renuncia del cardenal Rivera y no en que rinda cuentas antes de que se vaya impune, que es lo central para nosotros.

Según Enrique Aranda -y les invito a leer todo su artículo-:

“…Nadie pues, ni siquiera el exsacerdote Alberto Athié —fallido aspirante a obispo, por cierto— que, en un gesto de oportunismo extremo, pareciera que intenta aprovechar la ocasión para construir consensos públicos con miras a imputar al prelado delitos y/o bien, hacerlo blanco de difamaciones.

El asunto, insistamos, depende sólo de una persona (del Papa)… de nadie más”.

De mi parte comento: Es decir, aunque un prelado de ese tamaño -para los católicos incondicionales el tamaño del prelado es el criterio de autoridad incondicional e impunidad que tienen- cometa delitos graves de encubrimiento de pederastas (15 reconoció finalmente al término de su mandato) dañando a muchas víctimas niñas y niños en este país y además no informe a las autoridades competentes para que intervenga, sino sólo a su Jefe máximo en secreto, además, sólo este Jefe máximo, el Papa, lo puede mantener en el cargo o quitarlo y nadie más!!! Dónde estamos? En qué país nos encontramos?

Para algunos católicos mexicanos este es el Estado de derecho soberano en el que nos encontramos. Un prelado mexicano puede hacer lo que se le pegue la gana -incluso cometer delitos graves en contra de niñas y niños, proteger a los agresores y no informar ni denunciar a las autoridades competentes- y, además, ser a su vez protegido por sus incondicionales que afirman que sólo su Jefe máximo puede intervenir en su permanencia o no en el cargo!!!

Por eso les invito a expresarse, incluso públicamente, si lo importante es respetar a prelados de este tipo, que, por ser lo que son, hagan lo que hagan, no tienen porqué rendir cuentas de sus actos a nadie y, además, dejarle sólo al Papa la decisión de cuándo debe retirarse simplemente sin que nadie les reclame nada…

Como dice el mambo famoso de Pérez Prado:
“Juárez no debió de morir—ay de morir”

(Hasta aquí Athie)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Abajo sigue el artículo completo publicado por Enrique Aranda al que alude Alberto Athie arriba) 


“En manos (sólo) del Papa…

Norberto Rivera Carrera sometería su renuncia a seguir encabezando la más importante y compleja jurisdicción eclesial del país, al apenas cumplir los 75 años.

Entregada presumiblemente en mano desde la pasada semana al Papa Francisco por su autor, aunque con fecha 6 de junio, la carta-renuncia al arzobispado de México no implica, de manera alguna, que el cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera deba abandonar el cargo este martes ni, menos, que la encumbrada posición quedará vacante en espera de su supuesto sucesor pues, vale aclarar, ni lo uno ni lo otro ocurrirá, sino hasta que el Pontífice así lo decida. No antes, independientemente de las presiones mediáticas, aspiraciones y/o autopromociones.

Es verdad, como explicó él mismo en su oportunidad, que en cumplimiento de lo que establece el canon 401, párrafo 1 del Código de Derecho Canónico de 1983, el primado sometería (¿sometió ya?) su renuncia a seguir encabezando la más importante y compleja jurisdicción eclesial del país, en lo que a peso político y gobierno refiere, al apenas cumplir los 75 años de edad. Ello hoy, sin embargo, o en unas horas más de no haber sucedido ya, alienta más dudas y expectativas que certezas…

Más dudas, porque si bien propios y extraños dan por hecho el “inminente” relevo del duranguense que en 1995, procedente de la diócesis de Tehuacán, Puebla, llegó a la arquidiócesis metropolitana, sede del más importante santuario mariano existente a nivel mundial, a suceder a monseñor Ernesto Corripio Ahumada, nadie atina a definir una fecha de retiro y, menos, un destino para un hombre cuya innegable influencia y liderazgo, a la vista de la más compleja elección presidencial de las últimas décadas y en la que, puede usted apostar, la Iglesia tendrá mucho que decir, y eventualmente decidir, tiende a acrecentarse.

Así, al menos se perciben las cosas al más alto nivel gubernamental, por los rumbos del exPalacio de Covián para ser más explícitos, donde se alienta la idea y se cruzan apuestas en el sentido de que Rivera Carrera, quien apenas el viernes por la noche volvió de su más reciente visita a la Sede Apostólica, a la eterna Roma, pudiera mantenerse en el cargo “hasta bien avanzado el año en curso o, en una de ésas, hasta pasadas las presidenciales…”, en razón de ser él, en la actualidad, el único jerarca católico en activo con capacidad para interactuar en forma directa y clara con la totalidad de los actores políticos del país… independiente su filiación partidista y/o su personal posicionamiento doctrinal.

Definidas así las cosas entonces, y dejando siempre a salvo la personal y exclusiva facultad que al santo padre compete de aceptar de inmediato o diferir (el tiempo que juzgue conveniente) la aceptación de ésta u otra dimisión episcopal, nadie hoy puede apostar a la presión mediática como vía para avanzar en tal o cual sentido…

Nadie pues, ni siquiera el exsacerdote Alberto Athié —fallido aspirante a obispo, por cierto— que, en un gesto de oportunismo extremo, pareciera que intenta aprovechar la ocasión para construir consensos públicos con miras a imputar al prelado delitos y/o bien, hacerlo blanco de difamaciones.

El asunto, insistamos, depende sólo de una persona… de nadie más”

Scandal at the Vatican (New Video on the Legion of Christ)

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Thanks to the initiative of the former Legionary, Xavier Leger, the Irish, RTE, English language dubbing of the original French documentary, is now available.

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Crisis is my Life! autobiography/testimony of David L Sadler

           Shipwrecked

Crisis is my Life

Autobiography of David L. Sadler        

 

DEDICATION:

To my loving family, my parent’s, Steve & Caty & my brother Marc & my best friend Joey who never gave up on me no matter what.  When your love was the hardest to give—is when I needed it the most. And I don’t know what I would have done without it!

 

PREFACE:

I got the title “Crisis is my Life” from “Christ is my Life,” title of the autobiography of the founder of the Legion of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, LC. I thought my title would be more appropriate for his story since he was a psychopath, drug addict, pedophile, rapist and was completely corrupt in countless other ways. However, as you read my story—you will see that the title is equally valid to describe my tale. I hope this story touches you and hopefully helps you see God’s kindness and mercy in a new light; that helps you find your inner strength through an honest and courageous journey of self-discovery. Enjoy the read!

 

 

CRISIS IS MY LIFE

 

In the beginning was the Wound….

In Crisis I began through an Emergency C-section. “I want that baby out in 60 seconds or less!”, my grandfather ordered the nurses—as he was Chief of Staff of the hospital, they worked for fear of their jobs if they lost Dr. Sadler’s baby. After a great deal of pain to my mother, I was born David Lloyd Sadler on October 18th, 1983 at Saint Anthony Hospital in Denver, Colorado.  Three months later I was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church at Saint Jude’s Parish— which holds significance due to the fact that he is the Patron of Lost & Hopeless Causes. After reading this story you will understand more clearly why that holds such significance in my heart and soul.  I actually claim to remember this occasion—with both of my parents, Steve & Caty, and my Godfather and my Uncle Mike, standing over me with smiles of joy as the deacon poured the Holy Water over my forehead. I cried, but wasn’t afraid. I felt a sense of peace that is unparalleled to this day.

 

Terrible Twos

From what I can remember, I enjoyed my infancy. I would throw my finger paints on the flow and catch gold-fish out of our small pond in the back yard and even terrorize my mother by throwing eggs at the walls.  When I was about two years old, I was bitten by our beast of a dog, our big black Newfoundland rightly named Tank. Luckily our next door neighbor was a fire fighter and temporarily bandaged the wound on my head as my Dad rushed home to take me to the Emergency Room to get eighteen stitches. This was my second of many near death experiences.

 

Kansas City…

When I was four, right after my little brother Marc was born, my father was transferred to his Corporate Office in Kansas City Missouri. I really enjoyed the good old K.C. We went to baseball games at Royals Stadium and Chiefs games alike. I really got into sports and my father coached my T-ball and soccer teams—in which I became one of the star players after much practice with my Golden Retriever, Happy, in our back yard. Unfortunately, Happy caused another one of my childhood traumas when he had a seizure and died before my very eyes. I was ten years old. This devastated me, as I took it personally and, for some reason, thought it was my fault.

The rest of my childhood was completely joyful. I would ride bikes, go swimming and start clubs with the other neighborhood kids. My family and I would go camping and on nature walks often at Lake of the Ozarks as well as many other joyous vacations and trips back to Denver. The hardest part was being away from my maternal grandfather—whom I practically worshiped as a kid and considered as the ultimate role model and living saint for the rest of my life.

Also when I was ten I made my first communion. This was another paramount event in my life since up until then I was always fascinated with God and religion. I would often drive the nuns crazy in Catechism classes by asking off the wall questions in an attempt to satisfy and unquenchable thirst of spiritual knowledge. Both sets of grandparents came out for this glorious occasion and our Parish priest even inspired me to want to become a priest that day as I wanted his job and wanted to be exactly like him when I grew up. This was a vocation that was fostered for the rest of my youth.

 

Back to 5280…

Also when I was ten my paternal grandmother with whom I was very close, and who also held many saintly qualities. died. This caused us to move back to the Mile-High City—which was bitter-sweet because I got to be with my external family again, but had to say good-bye to all of my close friends. I also had a very hard time adapting to the school system.  The rest of the adolescence was fairly normal. You know: acne, puberty, driver’s license, first job; normal, except for the case of my first girlfriend—who was actually in Columbine High School during the time of the shootings; the shooters even shot into her class room.

I got really involved with religion and Christianity as a whole at this point in my life. I went to a lot of Church events and retreats—Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical. When I was sixteen I even met the Archbishop who became my person spiritual director—which was a great honor, even though I found him to be quite over bearing at times. I visited many seminaries and different religious communities—Franciscans, mostly, until I met a Legionary of Christ at a youth retreat and was instantly impressed with his demeanor and how clean-cut he was and the way he presented himself. So I went over to talk with him and my infatuation with the Legion of Christ began at that very moment.

I became a leader in my church youth group and started a bible study; I even was supposed to become an officer in my public High School’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes; but was turned down since I wasn’t considered to be a “real Christian” because I was Catholic. So I ended up going to Catholic School the next year and had to leave my positions on the drum line and the tennis team. At Holy Family High School, I went from being persecuted for being Catholic to being persecuted for being too Catholic—GO FIGURE! I was made fun of and bullied for wanting to be a priest. As the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, if you want your kids to stand up for the faith and defend it – put them in public school, but if you want them to lose it – put them in Catholic School.

 

The Legion

Having had enough persecution for my faith, I finally decided to join a community that was just as radically for Jesus Christ as I was. So hi, hi, ho—off to the Legion I go! I started off in Rome which was one of the best experiences of my life. I got to go into the Vatican Gardens and was even incorporated into the lay movement of the Legion called Regnum Christi (Kingdom of Christ) by the founder himself, Fr. Maciel in St. Peter’s Square. I then decided to attend the boy’s high school seminary, Immaculate Conception Apostolic School, in New Hampshire, following a visit to their primary seminary in Cheshire Connecticut. It was there that the scandal occurred. I noticed how the other boys were being treated by the superiors and the general method of operation within the Legion in general. There was a lot of mind-control and forms of brainwashing that took place after taking us away from all of our family and friends and basically turning us into robots.

Saying good-bye to my family was the hardest part since even though it turned out to be a false diagnosis; the doctors at the time thought that my father had cancer and the Legion’s response seemed to be “Let the dead bury the dead—come and follow me” and “He who does not hate his mother and father and comes and follows me is not worthy of my kingdom,” etc.

I remember telling a superior in one of my “Spirit of the Legion”, AKA brain washing sessions, that me becoming a Legionary at the time felt like putting a square peg into a round hole. His response scared me as he said: “Wait around a couple of weeks, David, and see how you feel.” Needless to say, my natural instinct was to get the heck out of there as quick as possible.

Since the superiors are completely controlling, as most cult leaders are, by reading your mail, listening to and deciding if and when you can make a phone call and even watching you while you sleep, I had to manipulate them to use the phone to call my Mom and told her to get me on the next flight to Denver and if she called back and they didn’t let her talk to me—call the police! She panicked and did just that.

My Mom told me that when I got off the plane in Denver she could barely recognize me: I was literally shaking, and she saw a look of horror on my face that she had never seen before. I tried to cover everything up at first, but I couldn’t and – for the first time ever – I considered ending my life: I could find any reason to live since the phrase in the Legion to keep you in the cult is “lost vocation is sure damnation.” In other words, they make you feel like you traded Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. From then on until this day I have never been the same. I had lost the happy-go-lucky Dave that I had been before and became someone foreign to me that I detested and desperately didn’t want to be anymore. Therefore, I spent the next sixteen years self-medicating with drugs, alcohol, sex and other self-destructive behavior such as cutting and burning myself, getting three DUIs and going to jail for battery. I even tried to kill myself in 2011. I was also diagnosed with Severe Mental Illness such a Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the Legion, sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, and many other traumatic events such as an airplane crashing right behind my house; all of the above leading me to the conclusion that it was just time to end it. My suicide attempt was a blessing in disguise. I had slit my throat and took a combination of fatal pills. Luckily my parents walked in on me in time to call 911 and save my life, even though I was technically dead for over a minute. During that time my grandfather who had passed away in 2007 appeared to me, grabbed my hand and said, “It’s going to be ok, Dave—just take me hand…It’s going to be ok!” I then woke up in the hospital with both of my hands in restraints, and the doctor asking me “Do you know where you are?” and my traumatized family looking over me in tears.

To this day my grandfather’s promise has held true and I desperately want to live. I write this very story as an assignment from my therapist at the Passages Ventura Treatment Center in California where I feel my new life has just started.

 

A new Creation…

I want to close with a story I heard that I don’t know if it is true or not but has deeply impacted my life. It is about how Da Vinci painted his Last Supper. It is told that he used live models and that he spent a year painting each one. He wanted to start with Jesus, since he the most important and central part of the piece. He decided to find an angelic choir boy who gratefully agreed to do so with honor. Then he proceeded accordingly so on and so forth.  Finally, he arrived at Judas. He considered him to be just as equally important as Jesus since he was to offset Jesus in contrast. He searched and searched and could not find his Judas since he wanted a man who was filled with self-hatred and complete bitterness for life. He decided that the only place he could find such a man was in prison.  He finally found his model who agreed to pose within his cell; but the man couldn’t hold still, kept crying, and remained restless. Da Vinci paused and asked the man if he was upsetting him; the prisoner replied: “Don’t you recognize me?” “No I don’t,” said Da Vinci. The man looked down to the ground, wept, then wiped the tears from his eyes and looked back up at Da Vinci saying: “Twelve years ago you painted me as Jesus in this very piece.”

This story has always bothered me ever since I heard it with the Legion’s mandate of “Lost vocation is sure damnation” to make those who ‘betrayed Christ” feel like Judas. Until one of my close spiritual encounters in deep prayer and reflection opened the eyes of my heart and soul to realize: “Dave, why do you have to be one or the other? Why can’t I allow myself to be loved as the sinner I’ve been and trust in God’s unconditional love?”

 

Moving forward…

Maybe you can relate to this story of Da Vinci’s painting, or even to mine to a degree. I just want to share my view of it and how I am going to apply it to my personal life. I truly believe that Judas greatest sin was choosing to give up by letting his guilt get the best of him and deciding to hang himself instead of trusting in God’s mercy.

I promise you, whatever you’ve done, whatever you’re going through or however bad you think you are—God’s mercy is greater than all of our day-to-day nonsense. If we choose not to allow ourselves to be forgiven or forgiving ourselves, refuse to let ourselves off the hook, and keeping ourselves in a perpetual Lent, then what we are basically saying is that what Jesus did on the Cross was worthless and pointless. He died and resurrected for a reason. YOU are that reason. Please trust in that reason! I hope that this story has inspired you in some way, shape or form. It really has helped me find peace and closure on my past and I pray that it will do that same for you.

Please feel free to tell me your story or provide feedback or ask further questions about mine at: dave.sadler@gmx.com –

Peace & Blessings my Good Friends!

In Jesus & Mary,

Dave

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