I’m in Hell on Earth

The things we say, the things we do… they all cause. In each action we cause good, or we cause ill, trouble, or something we do not always intend to happen. This is why our intentions are important, for our intention can differentiate between whether or not we sin or we defend, protect or harm.

With that said, the “road to hell is paved with good intentions.” (first published by Henry G. Bohn’s “A Handbook of Proverbs.”)

I’m worried because I am convinced that I have built up a ‘hell-on-earth’ around me which causes another greater fear in my heart: the fear of salvation and the desire to spend my eternity with God. And I know that if I continue living like I do, that’s not what my eternal reward will be. For example, I cannot wear myself thin nor to the point where the veil is shredded between this life and the next in order to ensure that everyone else is okay.

I find it awful easy to judge myself to be in a good disposition, to be strong for those whom I love and to hoist myself up as some sort of solid rock they can all grasp to, then I remember that I am not God. Easy it is to imagine that my tether could keep someone fully grounded, that my love enough would blot out every trickle of anxiety that assaults them – when I, myself, am asphyxiated by discontent and a sickening restlessness.

But, I promise: I’m trying. Perhaps in the past I have not articulated, really, the uneasiness that is my cross. Throughout my life I have dealt with more loss than gain and I’m only in my twenties. Having a family that is primarily of an older generation, death is frequent. Belonging to a generation in which depression and despair is rampant, like one ever-descending icicle. I’ve found myself trying to be the main-station for all. I can not do that. It is not my purpose either.

I will help as much as I can, but often enough, I need help as well. I’m reflecting upon these past two years in particular. My eyes have been closed and my own, personal descent down-hill hidden from my sight yet so palpable to those around me. No kindling remains lit in the fire, yet the lights are on and nobody is home, lyset er på, men ingen er hjemme, some might say.

So I admit defeat and I have no shame in saying it, either. God will build me up again, like anything that falls.

Five months ago I drove into the ocean and ruined my car, but as soon as those waves crashed over me I also felt the love of God consume my heart and soul and I knew that what I was doing was wrong. I called my mother to get me, and we towed the car out because, thank God, the water was shallow, more shallow than my thinking and selfishness. The wharf is down from a grotto of Our Lady, so I tried under her very eyes to end my life and she dragged me right back to start it again.

I sought counselling afterwards, it didn’t work. Twenty-two years old and already at rock bottom. There are scars on my body that no intellectual could ever decipher, there are words I have said that no book ought to have written in them. I’ve cried enough, wept enough, to give the banshee a run for money. But I did one thing at least, one thing: I “raged against the dying of the light.”

I never want to think like that again. I never want to feel those dregs of vexation and depression. In that one moment, I figured I would be bringing myself to my true home, to true happiness…but in reality, how quite the opposite would the reality have been!? I have lost a lot. I have lost so much in my life, and the road has never been an easy one, but how dare I become someone else’s loss as well? Not only that, I would be a loss unto myself and the glory of God.

Pray for me, my friends. I will keep writing. On March 2nd, I’ll be going to a place for some help, a hospital of sorts but one that treats cancer of the heart and mind rather than of the body. I won’t be ashamed when I go, and I won’t be afraid to admit to my weakness which is my own, but I will rejoice in my strength which is God’s.

How He Loves Us!

He found it hard to focus on the light, because the strength and depth of the void between them was far too blighting, far more gentler, and slightly more beautiful than the stars which mapped the heavens.

Water moved below his feet, slapping against concrete, holding the River Thames together. Finite, finished, feeling. “Oh just to plunge, to drown – to fall into the depths of darkness and complete this earthly journey…”

The young man prayed, and Jesus came. Consumed by divine love and ardour, he took up his pen. Then he wrote a hymn, words of hope and an expression for reason. A true reason, the only reason for to live.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
‘Tis an ocean vast of blessing, ’tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Samuel Trevor Francis is the author. Although a member of the non-conformist Plymouth Brethren, as a lay preacher, his sentiments are contained in no ecclesial community specifically, and reign in the fulness of truth when we consider the profound truth of Christ’s holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Perhaps if Francis were a member of the Church, he might have been completely consumed in the fire of Divine Love, with access to the Body and Blood of our loving Saviour himself.

I love this hymn. Quite often I find myself lost in the void of darkness, carrying the burden of a sadness so inhibiting and burdensome that I wonder if I can carry on until the next day. I have never been suicidal, because it is the love of God alone who guards me from those thoughts. It is my faith that drives me, because I know that God wants every individual here on Earth for a divine reason. I know I am loved, and I know who is my master, and it is not myself.

“How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!” How true are these words! How He loves us! Each Sunday we are privy to His own flesh and blood, soul and divinity!

Though unworthy, how He loveth! 

To all who carry their cross, never despair. Always hope, and if you can’t hope, pray. Then you will be given the grace to hope. Never stop praying.

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The Good Shepherd – Voelkel