With the conclusion of the novena, I felt a great lightness to my feet. I didn’t feel fatigue or bodily pain anymore and I felt excited to go to Church for the first time since April. I was getting ready to receive the Holy Spirit in the way I thought which was full of glory and joy, however, this was according to what I thought, but not what God thought.

When mass ended, I felt no different than I did prior to the novena and neither did I receive any visions of glory or locutions. I was really disappointed and unhappy, but I didn’t give up on my faith. I would just repeat to myself that I am unworthy and that God had all the right to not listen to me. I am a sinner and I don’t deserve the grace of God. I then got off the bus to get home when I received a locution from the Holy Spirit. He spoke very deep in my heart so no words even came to my mind, but I understood the gift He gave me in an instant. He gave me the ability to suffer with joy.

At that moment, I felt a longing for harsh penances and to be mocked by everyone who would come in contact with me for Christ. I wanted to suffer for Christ to the point of death. I was so happy that I understood Christ and His passion a little bit more because of the grace of the Holy Spirit.

I didn’t hesitate when I received the grace of suffering with joy. I started contemplating what penances I would begin which is when fasting, praying more frequently, waking up early and sleeping on the floor came to mind. However, I felt that I wanted to do more on top of that, which then an inspiration came to me to start exercising by biking. I contemplated this and realized the regime I would do would be on par with that of a professional cyclist even though I have not worked out in many years. This thought was very dangerous because my heart rate was 150/100 , but I trusted in God regardless of this thought. I felt I could only die if it was His will (a statement which I still live by) so I began my regime the following day.

The first day of having done my cardio session, I was going to experience something that everyone is afraid of when it comes. I had my first brush with death, but it was how I acted during and what happened after that changed my view on it.

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