Falsely Accused? How Our Catholic Faith Helps Us Heal

When I think of the happiness that is in store for me, every sorrow, every pain becomes dear to me.” (St. Francis of Assisi)

When we are falsely accused it is an incredibly devastating experience where emotions and feelings of anger, devastation, and anxiety rush through our very being. We are overcome with an absolutely out of control feeling where we feel helpless and alone. It can be incredibly challenging to bear when our reputation is sullied or when we lose close relationships due to baseless accusations made against us. There is much agony when one is falsely accused.

It is in our state of agonizing pain that we can unite ourselves to Christ. When He was put on trial by the Sanhedrin and condemned for blasphemy we can only imagine the feelings that must have rushed throughout Jesus’ entire Person. Christ was standing there in the midst of the crowd with false testimonies being brought against Him from all sides, and not one individual stepped in to attempt to put an end to the false accusations being brought against Him. Christ knew His mission; the reason why He was sent to earth, and He knew the love of the Father, which provided Him with the strength to endure such an unjust trial.

As Catholics we can be confident that our faith will help us through the difficult experience, and offer us comfort and consolation. We know that if God permits us to endure a particular roadblock in our lives, He will help us to make it through the challenge, and hopefully we learn a thing or two from the experience that can help us to become the sons and daughters of God that He intends us to be in this life.

Many Saints throughout history have endured the ordeal of being falsely accused and tested by adversity. Despite being a fervent defender of the faith, St. Gregory of Nyssa struggled with financial management and, at one point, suffered significant financial losses that led to false accusations of embezzlement from both the governor and his heretical opponents. As a result, he was stripped of his position and sentenced to imprisonment, but after a few years, he managed to escape his captors and eventually returned to his see. Blessed Miguel Pro along with his brother were accused of plotting to murder the Mexican President during the Cristero War, which ultimately led to his martyrdom. Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, a Chinese-Filipino, faced false accusations of murder and knew that his word would not be accepted over the Spanish accusers. Ruiz fled but was later captured and sentenced to death during the Christian persecutions.

One of the major aspects of our Faith is forgiveness, and healing always needs to begin with forgiveness. It is an ordinary part of the human experience due to our fallen human nature to feel anger and bitterness towards an individual who has committed an offense against us. However, we cannot start the healing process until we seek freedom from the negative emotions and feelings that hold us hostage. Refusing to forgive leaves us as a prisoner trapped inside of ourselves. It is not until we let go that we receive true freedom. Forgiveness is necessary for us to attain salvation, and also helps us to have peace within our hearts.

We do not know the plan that God has for us in our lives, but we know that we can place our trust and confidence in Him. The bumps that we experience on the highway to heaven are that which is necessary to prepare us for eternal life with Christ. When we are confronted by false accusations we can become blindsided and lose sight of God’s ultimate goal for us; our final destination in paradise. But as Catholics we can be rest assured that even when it may seem that all is lost, God will help us to weather the storm and navigate through the turbulent waters of our life. Saint Faustina once said, “In difficult moments I will fix my gaze upon the silent heart of Jesus, stretched upon the cross, and from the exploding flames of His merciful heart, will flow down upon me power and strength to keep fighting” (Diary 902).

When we are experiencing an incredible hardship we can always turn to prayer; the intimate dialogue between humanity and Divinity. We can receive comfort and consolation in the silence when we allow God to speak in the quiet of our hearts. It is in prayer that we can be strengthened by the whisper of the Holy Spirit Who helps us to keep moving onward from the unjust ordeal with our heads held high because we remain sons and daughters of the King. God’s grace is enough for us to survive a false accusation because no matter the waves that hit us and knock us down, the truth will always prevail even if it does not happen until the Last Day.

Photo by Francesco Alberti on Unsplash

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Christina M. Sorrentino resides in Staten Island, New York, and is a freelance writer, theology teacher, and author of the books Belonging to Christ and Called to Love - A Listening Heart. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Ignitum Today and has contributed to various publications including Word on Fire, Radiant Magazine, and Homiletic & Pastoral Review. She has also appeared on Sacred Heart Radio, and has been featured in the National Catholic Register's "Best in Catholic Blogging". Christina blogs at Called to Love - A Listening Heart and can be followed on Twitter @cmsorrps4610.

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