My parents met through their mutual friends. Because of the great distance which separated them (my mother lived in the east and my father in the west of the country) they had seen each other just a few times before the wedding and did not have time to get to know each other well. They married after a few months of getting to know each other over a distance. After marrying my mother moved to other end of the country and lived in a big house with my father and with his parents.
And then it all began …
Before the wedding, my father carefully concealed his true identity from my mother. Moreover their joint, “good” friends (if this can be apt term), did not tell my mother about my father’s evil inclinations. Already soon after his marriage the truth came to light.
After the marriage he did not give up his old way of living. I cannot imagine what my mother had to go through, when almost immediately after the wedding, my father had to go back to jail for some offense or another. It must have been a really big shock for her in addition to my father’s other excesses. He was often out of the house and when he returned, he was often drunk. My mother took all of this pretty hard, especially considering that my grandmother on my father’s side, would always side with my father against my mother.
When I was born my father disowned me, telling my mother that I was not his child. Finally he reached a new low and threatened my mother in my grandmother’s presence, no less. Immediately afterwards, my mother packed her belongings and returned with me to the family home in the eastern end of the country. I was 5 months old when my mother left my father. Soon after, my parents were officially granted a divorce.
I never had a chance to get to know my father, because he was not interested in me. Only one time, when I was a few years old and was going to school already, he sent me two books from another one of his stays in a prison. Then, when I was ten years old, “good” friends informed us that he had died suddenly in a car accident. We were told that he was drunk and fell straight under the wheels of a speeding truck.
I was a wounded child
Time passed and my mother raised me alone, never remarrying, because, as she put it, remarriage after a divorce would be incompatible with the Christian faith and would destroy her friendship with God.
As a very small child, I was unruly, screaming for no reason and I couldn’t be silenced. If anyone mentioned my father, I would react angrily, shouting and even cursing. I hated it even if his name were merely spoken in my presence.
Over time I ceased to behave in this unruly way but I started to avoid company, isolate myself from people and grew more and more timid. I could go on for hours without speaking to anyone. I remember feeling a lot of pressure during family gatherings and social events. Whenever someone came to visit us, I would usually come up with a justification to excuse myself and then went to a secluded place where I could sit for hours and wait until the guests had gone home.
In relations with other people, I would wear a ‘mask’ and just tried to be friendly and smile often. No one could therefore suspect me of such internal states. That was the opinion of my mother anyway, who I confided in some years ago. Apart from that, I had lots of friends, learning was easy for me and I learned new things quickly, took part in extracurricular activities, competitions and shows and developed all kinds of diverse interests. So I appeared to be a normal kid on the outside…
However, despite successes in and out of school, I felt undervalued and complex ridden. Years passed and I became more and more shy and shut myself off in my own world. I felt worse than other people, probably because I was always running away from them, and was not able to build lasting relationships. Often my moods changed quickly. I was happy one minute, and full of sadness and discouragement the next. My states were independent of me and when I started to feel low, I couldn’t control it and kept feeling worse and worse.
At one point in my life I discovered that my internal state was becoming more and more of a hindrance to me and was making my life and relationships with people difficult. This was particularly exacerbated when I entered adult life. I was afraid of making any sort of decision and I was a very dependent person. I did have many interesting ideas, but was too scared to take any steps to implement them. I probably wasted a good deal of opportunities to instead do something easy.
My life was therefore filled with periods of inactivity, accompanied by failures and disasters, because I was afraid of taking the initiative. Often, just because it required contact with other people and I was afraid of negative reactions, I would say no for simple fear of yet another rejection.
In the end I came to the conclusion that with such an attitude life was simply lost. I yearned for some change of heart, because I really did not want to be the way I was. I knew, however, that I would not be able to solve my problems on my own.
In moments of my breakdown, I usually remembered my father, who I faulted for the misfortunes in my mother’s life and in mine. I would think that everything would have turned out differently had he been a good husband and father. I felt how much he had hurt me. I was constantly filled with the feeling of rejection. Thinking about my father resulted in even more anger and pain, and it deepened my hatred for him. I could not think of my father without it being accompanied be the feeling of hatred.
One day in some daily newspaper I read an article about the Charismatic Renewal of the Holy Spirit movement in the Catholic Church. I cannot explain why but I felt inside that I should join. After some time I decided to go to the first prayer meeting in a nearby church.
Since then I started to go to regular prayer group meetings, and took part in a retreat twice. Since joining the community, I felt that little by little something had begun to change in me for the better. As if some small rays of light and hope had begun to elucidate the darkness that was inside me… I felt that God had begun to heal my sick soul.
One day my mother (who was not then suffering from Alzheimer’s) was in my room listening to a radio program with a missionary who talked about God and his work. But I had more important things to do and was not listening. A few days later, when I entered her room, I again heard the same interview with the same missionary being replayed. But this time I also had no intention of listening as I had something more important to do. But apparently the Lord wanted me to listen to the program. One evening, a few days later, my mother came into my room with a radio in her hand and asked if she could turn it on. The same program was being aired again. It was another replay and as it turned out, the last one. This time we listened to the very end of the program.
The program’s guest was Father James Manjackal, a charismatic missionary who preaches the Gospel throughout the world, richly endowed by the Lord with charismata, such as the charism of healing.
I have never heard anyone speak in such a way about Jesus and his boundless love for humanity. About Jesus, who lives, works, heals, healing sick souls and bodies. Father James talked about another world, that is, the spirit world, which so far had been rather unknown to me, although I was – as it seemed to me- a believer. What he said about Jesus was fantastic.
As I listened to him, a deep desire was born in me spontaneously, to move toward God and to get to know him. Finally, the father said a prayer for, among others, those listening to the program. I then somehow felt better. This prayer filled me with profound hope.
Immediately after the program I found the website of Father James (www.jmanjackal.net) and I sent him a message asking him to pray for my complete internal healing.
I needed healing
A few weeks passed. One day by chance I was in another part of my neighborhood running an errand. Walking down the sidewalk I casually looked at the boards and I saw a notice of recollection in one of the churches. Because at that time I did not plan any participation in a recollection, I probably would not have stopped and I would have continued further but my eyes caught something on the board. It was a picture of a figure similar to Jesus. This would probably not been special if it weren’t for the fact that I recognized it as the same figure from Father James Manjackal’s website.
For several days I thought about it and I came to the conclusion that this was a sign for me. After all, I asked Father James to pray for me and although I did not already have such plans, I decided to take part in the recollection.
During the recollection I learned about how much of an impact wounds from the past have on human life. As a result of this people need internal healing. During common prayer I realized just how much I was injured and I discovered that my wounds and internal states had their origin in the period of my early childhood, and especially the prenatal period, during my mother’s pregnancy.
Thus the cause of my problems was the attitude of my father, my mother’s experiences during pregnancy and the events shortly following my birth. For this reason, I did not experience joy in my life, I was injured inside, wore a yoke of my father’s sin and guilt together with a sense of rejection.
I realized the essential need for internal healing and I wondered what I would have to do to experience it.
Good Lord, as usual, took care of everything. Several months passed
and one day at a certain moment I felt an internal impulse to turn on
the radio. Immediately afterwards I heard the announcement that
Father James Manjackal would soon visit my city! He was there to
lead a four-day recollection entitled “By his stripes we are
healed” and pray for the sick in need of healing. I knew
immediately that this would be something for me. After all, I wanted
so much to lose this burden, which had been overwhelming me for so
This was a very intensive recollection to prepare those in attendance for adoption of the internal healing grace. Each day began at 9:30 and ended at 20:00 or even later. I thank God that it had been organized just then, because otherwise I do not know how I would have gone on. I simply did not have the strength, the physical or mental health to continue to live. Everything hurt so much. I remember in the early days of the recollection, people sang, laughed and clapped and I just cried. I could not help but cry when I thought about my father and my entire mess of a life.
During the retreat Father James spoke a lot of internal injuries, their causes and the need for internal healing. And all that fit perfectly with me. He said a lot about how to discover the sources and causes of injuries and open up to Jesus, his love and inner healing.
I took the recollection very seriously and tried my best to adhere to exactly what Father James said to do. During the recollection I confirmed that my injuries were both from the prenatal period as well as from early life, just after my birth. I made sure that they were caused by the attitude of my father. Father James talked a lot about the necessity of forgiveness, without which there can be no inner healing or any other healing for that matter. And I felt great hatred and grief towards my father. So I asked Jesus to help me to forgive because I was unable to do so by myself.
I did a thorough self-examination and held a long confession. My confession consisted largely of purging myself of all the grievances, resentment, hatred, unrest, weakness and everything that which had been tormenting me. Once I left the confessional, I felt as though I had lost a great load off my back.
In the evening of the same day there was a prayer for healing. Father James prayed asking Jesus to heal each one of us. While saying the prayer he went through all the stages of human life from the prenatal period. I asked Jesus to touch me too.
During the prayer I felt that something was happening inside of me. It’s hard to describe. I felt warm inside. It was as if I was immersed in something that exudes goodness and kindness. It was a wave of internal heat, which filled me completely. I just felt as if someone loved me very much and that Love leaned over me, seized me, and penetrated me. In one moment everything passed: grief and hatred for my father, resentment, feelings of rejection, etc. I felt in a blissful peace, inner peace and joy. I felt brave, strong and powerful.
It was an incredible experience and it cannot be compared to anything else. I cannot even describe it. I can only say that from that moment everything in this world was only a substitute. Since then I am not looking for and do not wish to have anything else that might make me happy. In that one moment he gave me everything. He gave me himself and his boundless love. That’s enough for me.
And then for the first time I thought well of my father. I realized how unhappy he was, because he stupidly lived enslaved by sin. I felt that I had forgiven him for everything. In fact, I felt also that I share a deep bond with him.
When the prayer ended, it was already very late. Father James quickly went towards the exit, to get an evening’s rest. I ran after him and grabbed him right at the exit.
“Father, Jesus healed me!” – I said.
And then I added something that has long been on my mind it was in a special way was reinforced in me that evening:
“-Father James, I want to work for Jesus.”
Father James smiled to me and said:
your testimony.” And then he walked away and repeated: “-Share
And this is my testimony.