“Sin is ugly; we can’t sugarcoat this.”

The Healing of the Lepers

Mike Gormley begins by discussing the social effects that were impressed on lepers in Jesus’s time. They were isolated physically, emotionally, and spiritually for their disease was deadly contagious. However, he references Luke 17:11-14, which describes the story of the leper whose faith in God ultimately healed him. Now that he had been healed, he could go about his normal life again. Included in his schedule would be returning to the Temple, and that is why Jesus instructed him to tell the priests of his healing first. When Jesus healed someone, they were able to return home and their home is the Temple. Mike states that “Jesus is not just concerned with the individual, he wants to bring that individual into the life of the Body.”

The Leprosy of Our Time

While leprosy may not be a common disease in this day and age, there are much greater illnesses in its place that may be even more difficult to cure. Many of these “illnesses,” however, are not necessarily the ones that cough syrup can fix. Mike discusses the struggles of addictive behaviors an how they are rooted in a lack of community.

Shortly after, he showed a video of a girl who struggled with an addiction to pornography. She described her downfall and steady journey to recovery as she was constantly reaffirmed of God’s love through the sacrament of Reconciliation. In fact, she called herself a “Reconciliation-aholic” as she found that going every day made it harder for her to justify her sin every time she slipped up. She also used Adoration and Mass as a way to re-train her eyes in order to keep command of her thoughts and actions as well as the Victory App created by Life Teen.

Mike states that the principle topic of this video is that being alone is how these bad things take root in our lives and that cleansing and “Confession [are] beautiful form[s] of Kingdom Restoration.” This is one of the many reasons God sent his only Son to die on the Cross for us: He poured all of our sin and suffering into Jesus so that you and I would never be able to say we are suffering alone.

Are You Hungry for Freedom?

Mike goes deeper into describing his own addiction to pornography and how it has become a worldwide issue with its growing presence in people’s lives as early as elementary school age. He says that he “was not using reason, but trying to justify [his] behavior.” However, the only successful method to keep God’s mercy away is to reject it.

He elaborates saying that porn’s purpose is to train you for divorce. It teaches us to form attachments and break them over and over again, fueling a culture of broken hearts and relationships.

In fact, it almost seems to act as an easy way out. Any type of relationship is difficult as they force you to grow, and the broken serve as a product of both people not desiring to grow anymore. Contrary to popular belief, Mike argues that porn “does not make you a better lover, it make you a terrible relater,” saying that it almost dehumanizes you.

“Logic of the Gift: In order to find yourself, you need to give yourself away” – St. John Paul II

Mike explains that there is a difference between comfort and happiness. He says that “happiness takes work [and] involves suffering and trial;” if you want to take a shortcut, you are cutting yourself short and resorting back to comfort, which serves as the addiction in this case.

He closes his talk stating that there are three principles that we should follow by: Community, Prayer, and Confession. Mike advises: “If you want forgiveness, go to Confession. If you want freedom, go to a brother or sister.” With this, we are encouraged to, of course, receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to strengthen our relationships with those around us by using them as confidants. If you desire to experience true freedom and happiness, seek a friend or other support at home.

The best way to achieve this freedom and happiness with your peers is to get outside and close your screen. In addition, Mike highly advises praying a Divine Mercy Chaplet as you remind yourself that Christ wants to set you free.

Quotables

“The Cross in the fundamental sign that you are not alone, God had not abandoned you and God does not despise you.”

“Loneliness hurts more than the destruction of the drug itself.”

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Written by Erika Olsen
My friends claim I speak in two different languages: English and Twitter. I'm a sophomore at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana studying Marketing and Political Science. I love retreats, Starbucks coffee, Parks and Recreation and am obsessed with holding various leadership positions! I'm from St. Louis, MO and serve on College Core at Ascension in Chesterfield.