>You are better than this email! You need to stop listening to the devil.
I have thought and prayed all night about this and have tried to be direct and honest with you – since you asked. So here it goes.
“Just as at the sea those who are carried away from the direction of the harbor bring themselves back on course by a clear sign, so Scripture may guide those adrift on the sea of life back into the harbor of the divine will.” (Gregory of Nyssa)
Read your Bible again. I think God had little to do with whatever actually happened, but I think the Enemy has everything to do with how your soul is poisoned.
Imagine if everyone acted the way you do? You think that some explanations are needed, then walk over to the “offending” brother or sister and talk. If they have done nothing (and from what you told me that is exactly what they have done – nothing) then why should they come to you? To do what? Apologize? For what?
Think your accusations through – look at your heart, is it reflecting the Face of Christ, or someone else’s?
Our church is blessed in being a place where one can make good and deep friends – I see it every Sunday. I sure hope to have made some. I hope my wife makes some. It is a place I can talk to some people about things I do not talk with my wife about. And vice versa. That is good and healthy. The church is a family – it is good to reach out to talk with family is it not? I talk to my sister or my mother about stuff I do not talk to my wife about, and she does the same with her sisters and parents.
I have tried to ignore some of your ‘hints’ about whatever you think he is ‘up to’. But you are right in calling this an obsession – and it has turned into a sick fantasy about love triangles. There is a very very big problem here – from a spiritual perspective the only thing that matters are your, frankly, slanderous accusations. This is very serious!
Now, I have zero tolerance for gossip (as I warned you in our first meeting) and unless you got video proof from a motel room, then you need to stop this now – I say this for the health of your soul. What are you doing? I hope you have not confided your concerns to other people in church? Because that is even more serious. People talk, and in a small church they talk a LOT. Do you want to be responsible for the results of gossip? Please tell me you have not shared your concerns with anyone but me!
You are not a victim. We talked about your issues with authority (male) figures. I think we have uncovered another: don’t believe for one second the lies of the devil that you are a victim.
You chose your current life circumstances, and you are choosing to believe fantasies. Snap out of it. I hope you do not really believe this stuff about ’emotional infidelity’ or whatever it is you called it. That does not exist – and you are setting yourself up for another round of victimhood.
Only one Person is able to fulfill all our needs. No other person is going to be able to fill the huge gaping whole in your chest – God is. And you are under no obligation to be anyone else’s “god” either.
That is why God puts other people in our path, special friends who can help us. Godly friends are able to allow us to grow in Christ through a mutually respectable intimacy – which is exactly what church is for. From what I have been able to discern, they are reaching out to people who are good Christians, who are kind and gentle and caring enough to listen without judging (that is the definition of a good Christian).
Through the sharing they are finding a way to continue walking with Christ – this is spiritual direction, spiritual friendship – anam cara (Google it). You should encourage it. You should be excited about it. You should be looking for more of that yourself. Instead you are making many many people suffer, not just those two. And if you have indeed shared your concerns with others, then you are making them suffer too – either by enticing them to sin by gossiping (and it is an evil and pernicious thing); or by breaking their hearts because they thought well of these people and are now having to reassess it; or by breaking their hearts from sorrow for you and your family over a falsehood.
You are choosing to hurt people. Why?? Only the devil wants suffering and separation. Anytime you try to separate people, to isolate them, to insulate them, to judge them, to be less than loving to anyone, especially at church, then you are doing the devil’s work. Stop it right now!
Spiritually, you need to stop looking at things outside yourself to blame for your current problems. These are scapegoats for the failures in your life. You need to take charge of your life and your family. We have talked about this too. It is absolutely not ok for you to accuse others outside your marriage of anything – ANYTHING. They are not your responsibility (or problem). We have talked about this in our first meeting – your spiritual work is about you and you alone!
Above all, from the perspective of spiritual work you need to look at your actions and inactions. I have already outlined some above, but it is important that you hear this: you are inventing a soap opera to justify your failures. Take a long and hard look at what you have done or left undone.
You asked me about being blocked in prayer. Your distrust and anger seems to me to be a great place to start.
Some possible and practical actions – I hope you will prayerfully consider them and act on them immediately:
1) Memorize these two verses and repeat them to yourself when you get up in the morning and before you go to bed at night:
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person’s eye. (Matt. 7:1-5)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Phil. 4:4-9)
2) Seek the forgiveness of all the people you are accusing. You have judged them – that is God’s job and you decided to be God. To make matters worse, you have judged them in a way that Jesus Himself does not. Again, imagine if everyone thought like you! Imagine the chaos and destruction – the living Hell! Stop listening to the devil. Call the priest today and ask him to hold a service of reconciliation – and invite the very people you have accused to attend – do it before Sunday. But think bigger, apologize to those whom you offended in thought, word or deed, especially God, at any time in your life. Be honest about your anger, your malice, your distrust, your fears.
3) Resign from your committee immediately – how can you work with someone who is doing what you claim? Don’t let Jesus call you a hypocrite….Unless you know in your heart of hearts that they are not doing what you claim….
4) Stop going to church. How can you worship a God who manipulates things so that the illicit love affair can continue? Unless you know in your heart of hearts that these are lies….Look at the serpent, look at it – despicable, lying, crawling vermin! Crush him with His Heel. Smash it against The Rock.
How can you read and read all this spiritual material about getting right with God, when you continue to attack your neighbors? You must rush to be the first to forgive and you must forgive everyone of everything – factual of fictional. You must take charge of your life. “Be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” (Titus 3)
Stop blaming God – that is the devil’s work. Do it now, before it is too late for you. Repent, turn around, change directions. Be patient, be kind, be loving. I echo Paul – whatever I have said above or demonstrated to you in person, do it and the peace of God will be with you.
Get well, get strong, and then you will be able to correctly discern what is really going on. Right now all your energies should be focused only and solely on getting well and getting better and regaining your life. Let me know when you are ready to meet for lunch.
May God in his love enlighten your heart, that you may remember in truth all your sins and his unfailing mercy,