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
Of course to say you didn't ask for the compulsion doesn't derogate the fact that you're still responsible for everything you do under itsinfluence. Interestingly 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.
And he 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 actually in a sense understand or at least sympathize with it.
Also interestingly, 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...
As someone once said: "Deep within every man, woman, and child is the fundamental idea of God"...and perhaps as well of Christ.
Right at the heart of the darkest evil--when passion has passed way, way over to pathology--still he 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.