Photo: Felix Carroll
After three failed marriages and years of alcohol and drug abuse, Lee was ready to die. He needed a miracle to turn his life around.
'If You Help Me, I'll Do Whatever It Takes'
by Mary Kathryn Volpone
One of the great privileges I enjoy in my new position in the Evangelization and Development Office is contacting Marian Helpers and thanking them for assisting the Marians of the Immaculate Conception in their mission of spreading the message of Divine Mercy. I've heard some powerful stories, but this one, I think, stands out.
Lee feels God has been guiding him since his teens. But he had a distorted view of God as a harsh judge who was "keeping track of your wrongdoings and you'd have to answer for it." Lee gradually drifted away from God. His life went into a downward spiral.
After three failed marriages and years of alcohol and drug abuse, he was ready to die. He knew he needed a miracle to turn his life around. He finally found himself on his knees and in tears with a Bible in his hand, telling God, "If you help me, I'll do whatever it takes." Eventually, he entered Alcoholics Anonymous and began to take the slow road to recovery.
Two years later, Lee discovered Divine Mercy, and he hasn't looked back since.
"I first learned of the message of Divine Mercy while watching the Marians on EWTN. I ordered some materials on Divine Mercy and read the Diary of St. Faustina," Lee explained. "Reading St. Faustina's Diary changed my life.
"Saint Faustina wrote about the same God I had known since my youth. However, she explained God in a more merciful way," he said. "Going to church had become a habit to me. But through St. Faustina, I discovered I was missing the most important part of life — a personal relationship with God. Through St. Faustina, I came to know Jesus Christ."
A few years later, Lee organized the first Divine Mercy Sunday celebration at St. Mary Parish in his hometown and continues to do so to this day. "When I first started, I felt embarrassed and unworthy," he said. Although he still struggles to forgive himself, he believes that God is always with him, "guiding him with a loving hand." He shares his story with others and strives to be a good example to his sixth grade religious education students.
By God's grace and help, Lee has remained sober for 18 years. He believes we need to remember the poor, needy, and disenfranchised of the world, saying, "I am blessed enough to help others and will do so as long as God continues to provide."
When I asked Lee why he chooses to support the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, he said that it's "because they believe in Divine Mercy and are steadfast in spreading the message." He supports the Marians' Seminarian Campaign and, for several years, has been a member of the Friends of Mercy partnership. If Divine Mercy has touched your life, I'd love to hear your story, too. Feel free to contact me at the phone number or addresses below.
Mary Kathryn Volpone works in the Marians' Evangelization and Development Office. You can contact her at: Association of Marian Helpers, Stockbridge, MA 01263; 1-800-671-2020; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn how you, too, can become a Marian Helper.