The Way of Love for the Lord
Chapter 42. She could not forgive her husband (July 24, 1982)
I was serving as one of the group leaders in the seven-week seminars on the charismatic movement. On one day, a lady in my group by the name of Maria came to me and said that she had already participated in six of these seminars previously. She said that she had wanted to belong to my group from the beginning, but had never been placed in my group. So, she was thinking about giving up attending more seminars, but, to her great surprise, she was placed in my group in her seventh try. With much joy, she came to me and began telling me about her life.
Every day during thepast seminars, she had gotten up early in the morning, washed herself with cold water, and participated in the seminar with her utmost sincerity. During the seminars, she had even received the charisms of "praying in the Holy Spirit" (such as praying in tongues)*, making prophecies, and healings, but she had always felt emptiness in a corner of her heart and had not been able to forgive her husband and her son.
She said that her husband had a disability in one of his arms and other health problems as well, and, thus, in her opinion, lacked the necessary conditions for marrying her. However, this man was attracted to her and committed sexual abuses against her making her pregnant. Because of this, she had no other choice but to marry him and gave birth to a son and later a second son after the marriage. Ever since the unplanned marriage, she has always hated her husband and the first son who had been conceived against her will. While her first son was attending elementary school, she frequently scolded him and beat him. In the mean time, her heart dried up and her face always looked angry.
After hearing her story, I said, "Sister! It seems that the fault was not entirely your husband’s, because he had one disabled arm and had other health problems as well. How could a man with one disabled arm and other illnesses commit sexual abuses against a healthy woman? Of course, I do not know enough about the circumstances at the time, but please try to remember well to see if you were also falling into the temptation or off your guard even for a moment.
Would it not have been possible that you yourself provided some of the causes? Please stop hating him, change your heart, and make a new start. In addition, even though the marriage was not done in a normal way, your husband has never looked at other women but has always remained steadfast in his love for you. The real problem seems to be that you have always been dissatisfied with the fact that a normal and healthy person like you had to marry a man who was ‘unworthy of you’ and constantly despised him."
After hearing me, Maria said, "I think you are right. I have continuously despised him, thinking that I had been better educated than he, had more abilities than he, had a better appearance than he, and have been forcefully taken advantage of by him."
I said, "Sister! It is not too late yet. Now is a good time to start practicing love. Your husband has continuously loved you and cared for you with single-mindedness despite the fact that you have always despised him. Where else can you find a man like him? Do not envy others who are in better conditions than you are but think about those in worse conditions than you. What if you had married someone who was healthier, had a higher social status, and was richer than your husband but did not really love you, got involved in extramarital affairs, and despised you?"
Maria said with a flushed face, "Oh, my! That is true. Since I first met him, my life has always been filled with resentment, hatred, anger, loathing, and violent emotion... ", and began gradually opening her heart that had been tightly closed for a very long time.
I continued, "Sister! You have so far believed in and tried to follow the Lord and make Him known to others, but, in fact, you have neglected your own family. Actually, you have done worse than neglecting your family, because, while preaching love to others, you have hated your husband and son and physically abused your son; they are the persons whom you should love more than others. How much pain must the Lord have been feeling in His Heart?
So, now, replace what you have been saying: ‘It is your fault!’ with ‘It is my fault!’ and accept the reality as what the Lord gives you out of His Love and offer everything up with love and as your sacrifice. Even when you were hit by a rolling rock while you were standing still and your foot was badly hurt, think of it as your fault, because the reason why you were hit by the rock is that you were standing there. If you practice this, you will please the Lord."
Maria repented, "Oh, my goodness! I have been crazy. What should I do? I have caused too many wounds to the Lord’s Heart!"
I said, "You can give joy to the Lord by repairing the wounds that you have caused to your husband and son. If you realize this, it is not too late yet. By practicing love and consoling the hearts of your husband and son, you will be making reparations. Love them with sacrifices and sincerity."
Maria began crying loudly and said, "Until now I have believed in God and participated in many charismatic seminars, but everyone who heard about my situation said that my husband was to blame. So, I had been blind to my own faults. I think it was the Lord Himself Who led me to you."
I said, "Yes, it is Our Good Lord who has allowed this meeting. It is not by chance at all. Now that you realize your faults, how about making a general confession?"
Maria said, "Yes, I will do it. I have one more request."
I said, "Yes, what is it?"
Maria said, "May I visit you again tomorrow?"
I said, "Sure, please do so."
* During one of the overnight prayer meetings in Naju, Julia Kim revealed that she had received all of the seven charisms from the Holy Spirit in the early years of her participation in the charismatic movement. For example, she could read the inner conditions of other people’s souls and also understand the detailed nature of their physical illnesses.
Soon afterwards, however, she asked the Lord to take away these charisms from her, because she had seen many people becoming proud of themselves after receiving the charisms and also because it was too painful for her to see the inner conditions of other people’s souls. She prayed that the Lord allow her to participate in His sufferings and take away from her the ability to see the inner conditions of other people. The Lord has granted her prayers.
With Cardinal Jaime Shinn in Manila,Philippines (February, 1992)
Stella Han, a Korean living in the Philippines and a Presbyterian, decided to convert to Catholicism after meeting Julia and working as her interpreter. She was baptized and confirmed by Cardinal Sinn.(February 1992)