I have read every word of what you wrote. And I am proud of you. Proud that you can speak these words to yourself. Proud that you have the courage to speak them to others. Proud that that you are here, proud that you have walked this road and made such astounding progress since the lowest of the low had you in its grasp.
You have arrived at the final frontier, the last great sacrifice that God demands of his sons when they truly seek him. That sacrifice is consecration, a complete turning of body, mind and spirit towards Gods purposes. Consecration, like sobriety, like conversion is not an event, but a process, and you are on the path. Consecration takes the mundane and makes it holy.
It takes that which is low, and base, even evil in us, and puts in its place new motivations that drive us to serve God and serve our fellow men, not because we want to receive in return, but because we are now designed to give. The will to bestow eclipses the will to receive, and we become like stars, always radiating, always bestowing, always shining a light that gives brightness where there is darkness and life where there was death. We begin to reflect God. This is the meaning of a saint.
A saint is a consecrated person.
Saints are saints not because they are perfect, but because they are trying. The foundation of all spiritual progress, the source of all health, is the ability to bridle the passions and the impulses of our mortal nature. Importantly, bridling the passions is not the same thing as stamping them out. Absence of desire is not the goal. The goal is to elevate our mortal appetites to the fulfilling of immortal purposes.
Eating is a necessity, but eating without control makes us fat and dead. This is gluttony. Sleeping is essential, but sleeping without control makes us lazy, weak, and unaccomplished. This is sloth. Pleasure and comfort should be joys in life, but without control pleasure becomes addiction. This is pride.
Sex is the desire to seek unity with others and with the divine, the deeply ingrained impulse of creation. Without control, sex becomes a whirling tornado that does the exact opposite, wrecking relationships and making us anything but divine. This is lust.
When God begins to rewrite your story, these passions take on a new level. Again, they cannot and should not be stamped out, but they begin to march to the tune of a higher law. You learn to embrace hunger and control your appetite, withholding with the power of your will the ability to eat without real intent, and you begin to eat towards God.
You are the master, because you have utter and complete control over your appetite. Because you are comfortable spending time with hunger, when you eat your taste buds pick up every detail, and your food becomes delicious again. This is temperance.
You go to bed early and you get up early.
You embrace the discomfort of having to leave a warm bed and face the difficulties of the day. You work hard and you labor until your days allotment of breath from God has been spent building up his kingdom in your life. Then, when your head hits the pillow at night, you are not being compelled by exhaustion, you are choosing with real intent to embrace sleep as a true pleasure. When your eyes close at night, you are filled with the satisfaction of knowing you have earned your rest. This is diligence.
When you reject the opportunities to drink, to drug, to dull the senses with entertainment that can occupy but never satisfy, you learn to be. You learn to embrace what your life is presenting to you in that very moment. Perhaps it is the discomfort of boredom. Perhaps it is the pain of difficulties in life, in relationships. Perhaps it is the simple stress of daily living. But rather than cover them, you embrace this discomfort. You embody it, you live it, even love it.
You do this because when you have taken the time to truly experience discomfort, when you turn at the right time to a simple pleasure, as simple as a walk in the park or the sight of a sunset, you feel that moment with every fiber of your being, and you are truly satisfied. This is freedom.
When you feel the urge to express sex, rather than crushing the urge by acting upon it or by trying to suppress it, you let it fill you up. You let that energy fill your whole soul, because that is the voice of God telling you to create, to connect, to help him bring to pass his purpose of filling and expanding creation. Sex is not a single part of the plan in Gods eyes, it is the very driving force.
The work and the glory of God is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. He does that by sending his children to earth, to fall completely ans sin darkly so that they might experience true and everlasting happiness and righteousness when they are brought back to him. His children get to earth through sex, but this isn’t just about reproduction.
Sex drives us to build nests to welcome new souls to this earth. It drives us to build up communities where the children of God can grow and be nourished. An exalted sex drive leads us to fatherhood, and fatherhood is more than having biological children. It means being a watchful guide, a disciplined leader, and a tender caretaker over those that God gives you to be your spiritual children.
You channel that infinite power into creating, presiding, directing, providing, and being a wise and generous father. This is Chastity.
You write about Todd with extreme reverence. He was God for you. Now you have matured to the level that he stood at when he reached out his hand and snatched you from the abyss.
Of all the titles God has, and he has many, he has asked us to refer to him by a name that means more to him and should mean more to us than any other. He is our Father.
Todd was God for you in that moment. God reached through his hands and spoke through his mouth to put you back on the path to happiness. Now it is time for you to let God do the same through you.
You have been where your children are. You have walked their path, you have carried their sorrows. Now you stand a few steps above them, you have matured, you have mastered, you have received a measure of light above them. Now turn, and stretch out the hand that was stretched out to you. Speak the words that your Father spoke to you, and the same words that one day your children will speak to their sons and daughters.
Adopt them. Love them. Cherish them. Raise them to do good. Teach them that there is a God in heaven who loves them enough to save them. Be patient with their shortcomings. Catch them when they fall. Admonish them when they act against what they know.
Reach down and strengthen them when their knees are shaking and they are learning to walk. Be the father that you needed at their age in the process. One day they will write their stories, and when they write your name, a tear will come to their eyes, and a lump will come to their throats, as they write your name.
I love you.