Triggers & Overcomers

God gives the gift of freedom, but not often quickly. The long fix is the best one, a repair that will hold for eternity.

Long before the throes of any trigger, which seem inevitably to come, whence the fog of pre-intoxication blots out the nearness of God, and makes us somehow think that we are in fact (again as per normal) tested beyond our strength, we could finally doubt that moldy lie and ask for the patience of Joseph and Mary as when they were tried by the loss of the child Jesus in the temple.

We sinners are exhorted to find the Master where He always lives: in the Sacrament, the confessional, the tabernacle, the monstrance, the priest, the temple: the Bread of Angels, the Book of Heaven, the Law of God.

Remembering the joy of the child Jesus running to his Mother’s arms in the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, we search not in fear for Protector, but in joy jump into His arms, trusting in Protector’s strength, Who will show how it is that temptation is not in fact greater than the reality our little human prayer.

The only thing finally to conquer is the trigger. If there were no triggers there would be no passions, addictions, compulsions and no sin. But there is no merit without temptations. So it is.

What is a trigger for a sexual compulsive or addict? It is a saloon-door moment when the body enters suddenly into spontaneous chemical state, a pre-flow of dopamine that will urge the sufferer to go on to the torrid ecstasy of sin. Triggers ask for amplification of their first phantasm, until a forbidden threshold of self-intoxication is crossed. These moments have a thousand kinds of births: by contact with formally similar sensual memories, by contact with material associations with past sensual experiences, by things embedded in the spiral calendar of life history, by drinking too much alcohol, by certain drug-laced (stimulanted) foods, by full moons, by extremes of temperature and weather, by great fatigue or exhaustion, by sleeping too long or not nearly enough, by just becoming supine, by dreams, by subconscious sleep phenomena, by immodestly clothed persons, by a mere word look or gesture, by isolation as when in woods, by diabolic spells, curses and actions, by picking up spirits from others and in public places. The final, most vexatious of all triggers is the totally blind trigger or thought, out of the blue, which trace no apparent source context logic or timing.

If we fool ourselves and actually want the trigger to come, then there must follow a very great and unstinting search of one’s heart to figure out why on earth the attachment is fixed so deep. It is possible that Jesus will have removed the seed of concupiscence and the seed of corruption from the heart root, but He will not remove the mark of Original Sin.

August 18, 1943 to Maria Valtorta, Jesus says:

It is said: “To the one who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life…” That thought has been applied to Me.

Yes, I am the tree of eternal life and give Myself to you as food in the Eucharist, and seeing Me will be the overcomers’ joyful food in the next life. But there is another meaning unknown to many, precisely because many who comment upon Me are not ‘overcomers’.

Who is an overcomer? What does it take to be one? Works ringing with heroism? No, then those who overcome would be too few. Overcomers are those who overcome within themselves the Beast that would like to get the upper hand of them. In truth, between the dreadful but brief martyrdom assisted by supernatural and natural factors, and the secret, unknown, and constant struggle, the one of greater weight on God’s scales – or at least the one of a weight of a different, precious kind – is the struggle.

No tyranny is worse than the flesh and the Devil. And those who can overcome the flesh and the Devil and turn their flesh into a spirit and the Devil into a loser, they are the overcomers.

But to be such they need to have given themselves totally to Love. Totally: those who love with all their strength keep nothing for themselves, for the flesh or for the devil. They give their God everything and God gives to those who love Him everything.

You do not love Me: that’s the problem. To love does not mean an occasional superficial visit of worldly courtesy. To love means to live with the soul united and fused with, and kindled by, the One and Only Fire that nourishes a soul. Then, in the fusion, understanding also comes about.

At the absolute first onset of any trigger, try going to the Litany of the Saints, the ancient prayer used by exorcists in the first line of defense and which the demons and Satan absolutely hate.

Jesus, please give the actions in Your Divine Will that successfully endure and overcome the unsought, unwanted trigger. Jesus, have mercy, please let the creature’s virtuous idea, planted by You in mind and heart – true freedom - overcome the ungodly behavior of my body. Let our heart be right and stronger than the stupid flesh, Jesus. Let our bodies obey God’s law. I do not leave Your righthand Father of Purity, make this flesh my footstool. Amen.