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I Have Discovered a God of Love

By Peter Cass

My life was an empty shell. I was incredibly depressed and fighting hard to stay off the grog. I was working out a way to kill myself. I could not see any future … life had nothing to offer, but loneliness, boredom and self-pity. I knew that there was a God; but I knew Him as a God of fear and someone to turn to in time of trouble.

I am an alcoholic and a manic-depressive (a bad combination of illnesses). I have been an alcoholic since I picked up a drink 33 years ago and a manic-depressive for about 15 years. The combination of these two diseases took me from the peak of the industry I worked in and a lovely wife and 4 boys, to sleeping under piers, under bridges, in parks, at stations and on beaches. I drank what I could get, even Dettol, I stole altar wine and I was locked up in institutions 14 times in the last 10 years. All I faced was more of the same if I drank again.

{pullquote}Not everything is rosy in my life, but it is ever so much better than before I saw the Healing Service banner outside St Augustine’s and put God back in my life in a way I never thought possible.{/pullquote}

Then I was on a tram in Bourke Street when I saw the banner outside St. Augustine’s church. It said there was a healing service on the following Sunday night. I do not know why, but I went and was introduced to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. I liked everything about it, not least of all the warmth I felt.

During the weeks that followed I got to know the people at the Centre behind the church: Mary Quin, Paul, Kathy, Fr Paul and a host of others, including Helen Alcock. I have discovered a God of Love, and through Helen, I have opened a dialogue with the Lord Jesus. I have learnt to talk to Jesus, and ask for faith love and hope. A lot of the despair and loneliness has been replaced with that hope, faith, and love and a strong desire to work for the Lord. In the time I have been coming since that Sunday night, I have made contact with one of my sons — Jon. This was the first time since the world opened up and swallowed me 10 years ago!

I see a way of life I could never have hoped for. I have survived 24 episodes in my life where I could easily have been killed. I have tried to electrocute myself, gas myself, shoot myself, and came close to death under a train.

I now realise God was with me all the time. I just did not realise He was there; like the story of ‘Footprints’ I have been carried in my time of greatest trouble.

Not everything is rosy in my life, but it is ever so much better than before I saw the Healing Service banner outside St Augustine’s and put God back in my life in a way I never thought possible. I am looking forward to a life of service, and quiet times free of loneliness, boredom and self-pity.

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