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  10 tips for parents who are out of their minds with worry

Dear Fr. Thaddeus,
I really am desperate. .... My son left his wife and children and moved in with another man. .... I just cannot sleep. ... What did I do wrong. ...

Dear Fr. Doyle,
Forgive me for writing, but I am sick with worry. My children have all turned out bad. ... Two of them are in jail. I always lived a good life ..... How did I end up rearing a family of monsters?

Dear Fr. Thaddeus
I am on a big guilt trip, as I feel I have gone very wrong somewhere along the line as a mother. Once or twice in the last month I have felt like taking an overdose of anti-depressants.

My Response
Decide on a campaign of prayer and spiritual warfare on their behalf. Take the following steps.

1. Trust
Each day in prayer, meditate on the Scripture verse, "His salvation is to children's children of those who are faithful to His covenant."
(See page 7 of A Shower of Blessing).
This scripture verse promises that if you are faithful to the Lord's covenant, then He will look after the salvation of your children and your children's children. It is not a promise that they will go straight to Heaven, but that they will escape Hell.
Drink in the meaning of this verse. Use it to renew your trust in Jesus, and your trust that Jesus will look after the person in question. Then start thanking God for His great love, and that He is going to look after the person you are concerned about.

2. Write Down
Develop a little prayer page or diary that you will use for daily intercession for them. Write on it the Scripture verse above. Write the person's name and the name of others involved. Learn to pray for each person - even someone you may consider a bad influence. Add bits to the prayer page as you take the other steps. Then use this page each day as you pray for the person.

3. Renounce Worry
"Do not worry about anything" Phil 4:6
It is totally right that you grieve in your heart when a family member has problems, just as Mary grieved in her heart when Jesus was missing. If a family member has serious problems, and you are not grieving in your heart, then your love is superficial.
But while grieving for them in your heart, renounce the spirit of worry. In particular renounce worry about material things. "Do not be anxious about what (they) shall eat nor what (they) shall wear." Lk. 12:22
As soon as you spot a particular worry, write it on the prayer page, and hold it before the Lord each day until you can hand it over to Him.
4. Forgive
Make a decision that you are going to seek to forgive everyone involved. Forgiving doesn't mean that you can't be firm (- as you can see from this issue of the Diary.) But seek to bring your own hurt and disappointment to the Lord. This is important for becoming open to the Lord's anointing, and it is also important, as when we speak out of bitterness or disappointment, we end up saying things that hurt the situation rather than help it. Indeed, if you find yourself furious, deal with your own emotions before challenging the person

5. Surrender
God loves the person in question even more than you do. Make a decision that, while you are going to do what is in your power, you are also going to surrender them into God's hands with trust in his mercy.

6 Give Thanks
Start thanking God for the person you are concerned about. Bitter, negative and fearful thoughts block blessing. Thanksgiving drives away these thoughts and opens us to God's anointing. So soak your prayer in thanksgiving. Thank God for the person with the problem. Thank God for His love for this person. Thank God that He will look after their salvation. Thank God even when the situation is most upsetting.
(See booklet To Pray With The Voice of Jesus)

7. Pray for deliverance
Identify any evil spirits that may be involved, and pray against them.
When we make wrong choices, the forces of evil can infest our lives, leading to compulsions. For every human spirit of weakness there is an evil spirit that may latch on to it. Focus first on the one's that may be attacking yourself - the spirit of worry, the spirit of anger, etc. "Lord, I renounce the spirit of .. " Then the ones that may be attacking the person in question. "Deliver ... from the spirit of .."
(See booklet To Pray With The Voice of Jesus)

8. Use Blessed Objects
Place blessed Miraculous Medals or other blessed objects close to the person for whom you are praying - in their car, under their mattress, in the lining of their clothes etc. (For clothes, a soft object like a small green scapular may be less likely to be detected.)
Through my speaking engagements, I now have several friends who were in the IRA before their conversions. One was an IRA explosives expert. One of his bombs should have detonated in his hands, due to an error when setting the fuse. It didn't, yet it detonated perfectly later. On another occasion he was planting what was effectively a suicide bomb at a military centre. A soldier pointed a gun at him when he was placing the bomb, yet didn't pull the trigger. Despite the extremely short fuse, the bomb didn't explode until both he and the soldiers were clear. Nobody was killed.

So twice he should have been killed, but somehow was 'miraculously' protected.

Likewise others were protected from his bombs. Since his conversion, his life has been a blessing to many. The Lord already knew that his conversion would take place, so that may help explain the amazing protection he experienced. But he himself is convinced that it was because his mother had miraculous medals hidden everywhere she could hide them - even in the lining of his clothes.

9. Bless with Holy Water
If you have access to the person's room, regularly bless it with Holy Water. If you don't wish to go in, bless the door. Ask Jesus to deliver the room or house from the power of the evil one, and to counteract any evil, (in pornography, or in alcohol, or in drugs, or in the occult, or in music, or in guns), that the person will bring into the room or house.
"Lord deliver this house from the power of evil. Deliver this house from the scourge of ...." etc.

0 Persevere
St. Monica prayed for St. Augustine for up to 30 years before his conversion. Set yourself for the long haul, and trust.


At My Wit's End

Dear Fr. Thady,
I am at my wits end as to what to do with my family. They have all gone badly astray. One daughter, I don't know whether I should even be still visiting her den of iniquity - though I still do so. She has six children by different fathers. When I visit, I feel like an alien. Sometimes I also feel that there is a spirit of evil following her. (Extracts)

My Response

It is clear from your letter that you are most likely the only apostle that Jesus has in that situation. Because of that, and because of the fact that you are clearly faced with spiritual warfare, it is so important that you yourself come into an ever deeper living relationship with Jesus.

I recommend our Living in Jesus Association - take on the spirituality even if you don't feel led to become a formal member. (Or alternatively the lay apostles of Jesus Christ the returning King - or both.)

Jesus is inviting you to a life of deep union with Him. He then offers you the opportunity to be His hands and His voice when you visit your daughter and the other members of your family.

In coming into ever deeper union with Jesus, you will also be enabled to pray more and more with His voice.

I recommend that you read John 4:1-26 often, the passage where Jesus met the woman who had had five husbands and was now living with yet another man. In reading this passage regularly, enter into the great compassion that Jesus had for this woman who had turned to sex and relationships to satiate the 'thirst' in her life. Invite Jesus to visit your daughter. Invite Him also take up residence in your heart, indeed in your entire being, so that when you visit her, you will be doing so in union with Jesus.

Pray daily for her and for the other members of your family. In praying for your daughter, use the method of intercession in pages 19, 20, 21 of "To pray with the voice of Jesus", starting with forgiveness and thanksgiving. Then using the method of prayer on pages 22 to 30, identify what your daughter needs to be delivered from and pray for that for her.

I also recommend the Chaplet of Mercy, changing the words, "Have mercy on us and on the whole world" to "Have mercy on X (or X and X) and on the whole world." Insert the names of different family members in different decades of the chaplet.

Jesus promised St. Faustina to both bless the person who says the chaplet and the person for whom in is said, recommending it especially as a prayer to offer for sinners.
(You will find the chaplet in the back of 'The Miracle Rosary' with suggestions for how to say it in a situation like this.)

Continue to pray like this with total trust in God, and with confidence that your prayer will be heard. Persevere regardless of how long it takes.

The Bible promises, "His salvation is to children's children of those who keep His covenant." Even if there is no sign of conversion in your daughter's life, trust that Jesus will somehow lead her to Himself - even if it is with her dying breath.


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