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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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The Real Jesuits

Clergy collar

By Jean Baptiste Le Sel

  1. They are the priests who look like the Jesuits used to: the simple black buttonless habit is almost the same; except the waist sash that hangs from the other hip.
  2. They are the priests who pledge and give allegiance to the pope, the “Holy Father”, just like the Jesuits of old with their special vow.
  3. They are the priest who don’t smoke, do comb their hair to the right, have no beards or moustaches and always use their Roman collar shirt front with their black tailor-made suit.
  4. Their spirituality is centered in Christ, over the door of the their novitiate the word of St. Paul, “Christus Vita Vestra”, Christ Your Life is proudly emblazoned; there is a military style: lining up, standing to attention, raising their red and white flag after the papal flag while saluting it singing “Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat,” Christ to conquer, Christ to reign, Christ to rule! They are the Roman soldiers of Christ.
  5. They use the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola –albeit their own version- for their spiritual growth and that of the lay people under their pastoral care.
  6. They are the priest who, like the Jesuits, believe in twice daily examination of conscience. Their founder also insisted that each member spend an hour every Sunday morning responding to a detailed examination of a particular virtue; a “practical exam”, chosen by his spiritual director, focused on obedience, simplicity, attention to detail, delicate fraternal charity, gossip, generosity…
  7. The founder described their spirituality as “Contemplative and Conquering.”
  8. From the 1950s to the 60s their seminarians used to study in Rome with the Jesuits (Gregorian Pontifical University) and the Dominicans (University of St. Thomas, Angelicum) but when these institutions became too liberal, under the influence of Vatican Council II, the order created its own college of higher studies, Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum, to avoid contamination.
  9. In his life time the founder wrote a treatise on how to train priests, Integral Formation of Catholic Priests[1] and the order has gained the admiration of popes and bishops who entrust the training of seminarians to them; seminarian who will be the bishops of the future. The training of seminarians had always been a specialty of the Jesuits.
  10. In fact the history of this order is closely entwined with the Jesuits whom they have now supplanted. The founder sent his first Mexican recruits to study at the Jesuit run seminary in Comillas, Cantabria, Spain, in the 1940s. The founder even poached some senior seminarians, studying at that institution for the diocesan priesthood, to increase the maturity of his own too young seminarians. These men became priests for the new order and the founder’s faithful followers and generous collaborators: Frs. Antonio Lagoa, Rafael Arumí Blancafort, Rafael Cuena, Faustino Pardo, the blond twins Gustavo and Guillermo (the pedophile) Izquierdo, José María Escribano and Gregorio López: all of whom are now deceased. R.I.P. This was another chapter in the founder’s love-hate relationship with the Society of Jesus.
  11. Some critics hold that the founder even based his constitutions on the rules of the Jesuits which he purloined from the public library in Coyoacán, Mexico City. Defenders maintain that this holy man, slandered by many, made better use of St. Ignatius’ rules than the order originally founded by the Basque. Only time and the holiness of the Real Jesuits will tell.
  12. Long the darlings of Pope John Paul II, their constitutions were recently approved by Pope Francis. It is business as usual now for this much maligned order. But the founder had warned his members to be prepared to stave off calumny and detraction.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Integral-Formation-Catholic-Priests-Marcial/dp/0965160130