AS A YOUNG GIRL, THÉRÈSE PRAYED FOR PRANZINI,
A CONDEMNED CRIMINAL WHO WENT TO THE GUILLOTINE FOR BRUTALLY MURDERING
A WOMAN, HER DAUGHTER, AND HER SERVANT
You probably have to have experienced addiction yourself to know that once a person is in its grip, he or she no longer has free will. The addict is no longer able to choose NOT to drink, drug, gamble, binge and purge, smoke. That's what "normal" people simply can't grasp...
To say you didn't ask for the compulsion doesn't derogate the fact that you're still responsible for everything you do under its influence. I just watched an old video of Stone Phillips interviewing Jeffery Dahmer. In prison, Dahmer came to believe that Christ was his "Lord and Savior," and that he would be accountable to him.
He took full responsibility for his actions, refusing to blame them on his parents or anyone else.
He also talked about how after the first time he killed, and especially the second, he was in the grip of a compulsion. He couldn't have stopped if he wanted to.
When I try to imagine the craving to drink, which ruled my life for twenty years, as a craving to dominate, control, even kill...I can in a sense understand or at least sympathize with it.
Also, when asked about the cannibalism, Dahmer said, "I thought if I ate [his victims], they'd somehow become part of me...permanently"...Which is exactly the exchange that takes place in the Eucharist...
At the heart of the darkest evil--when passion has passed way, way over to pathology--still Christ resides, reigns, calls...
Like Thérèse, we can pray for the Jeffrey Dahmers and Ed Geins of the world. We can realize that what they had in them, we have the seeds of in us, too.