Greetings world. My name is Reverend Joaquin R. Larriba and I am the author of “Remember the Prisoners: He came to Set the Captives Free”. This is my first blog in an attempt to reach out to the community of families who have loved one(s) in jail or prison. it is my firm belief, that if the inmate can be restored wholly then the family will be restored as well, thereby affecting society as a whole.
Recidivism: The likelihood or act of one repeating an offense after having been previously punished for an offense leading to incarceration or criminal sanctions. We are all too aware of the great danger of this “repeat offending”, happening to our loved one(s). We helplessly watch them get trapped in a revolving door by some unseen force that is trying very hard to keep them from reaching their full potential and happiness. It is heart breaking to say the least.
The statistics on this subject are staggering and are too great to cover in this blog, for there are many factors that go into this matrix, ie; type of crime, age of offender, were drugs involved?, were weapons involved?, ethnicity, geography etc . What I propose is one subject that covers the many great many symptoms of a hurting society.
Spirituality: or rather the spiritual condition of an individual is manifest in their conduct. We can safely conclude that one who is engaged in illicit behaviors is spiritually destitute. But just because one has never been in trouble with the law or have a needle sticking out of their arm, does not mean that they too are not spiritually destitute. For example: The policy makers of this nation have no qualms in denying the unborn absolute rights to live, from the point of conception, and sell off fetus body parts wholesale for their “great humanitarian stem cell research”. I find that destitute. In order to better understand these statements, we must ask: “What is spirit?”
According to secular resources, they concur that the spirit, is just that. . . spiritual. The spirit is not of this physical wold, though it makes its home here within humanity’s physical paradigm; the body. Regardless of what some may say about the spirit having mass or not, we know for sure that two aspects of life inhabit the same space at the same time. But allow me to be even more bold for I suggest that three aspects, just as real and tangible in their own way inhabit the same space at the same time, the spirit, the soul and the body. Contrary to popular belief, the spirit and the soul are not the same thin thing.
The physical is tangible in the strictest sense of the word, we can see, smell, touch taste and hear the physical. But the Spirit is tangible as well in the sense that if it leaves the body, the body dies for the spirit is the breath of life. And the soul is tangible, in that our reasoning and self-awareness, conscience is seated here. If it departs we are left an empty shell.
My perspective is just this; that man is three parts, spirit, soul and body in that order. For man to be whole, lacking nothing, his spirit must be awake in order to pull the soul into subjection. For the soul sits on the throne of the soul and where the soul goes, there goes the body. Bad choices are made from bad thoughts.
Sure one can consider him or herself the pinnacle of reason and by virtue of reason choose between good and bad and completely exclude any Divine influence thereby becoming their own god. To this I say, “the reason people choose to reject God and His message, is because, they don’t want to be held accountable to any moral authority outside of themselves. They want to be able to do whatever they want, and it be ok. Fine, if that is good enough for you, fine, you have made your choice. But, for the thousands and thousand and thousands of incarcerated people who aren’t governed by supreme reason, perhaps I may have something to offer. . .
You see, I was one of those incarcerated, completely destitute of hope because my spirit was dead asleep. That is, until I met the quickening Spirit who is the Lord from heaven, Jesus the Christ. This is why I wrote “Remember the Prisoners” this is why I am here now reaching out to you family members, to give you hope through my experience. God bless.
Rev. Joaquin R. Larriba