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  #1  
Old Oct 30, '13, 2:50 am
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Lasting faith Lasting faith is offline
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Default How did this happen?

As usual I don't know if this is the right forum but if not, move it.

There was this ordinary chap, nice home, three kids and a Volvo, a job he did like to do and a loving wife. Everything was as OK as it can. He was religious, not too much but he did attend Mass at least one Sunday every month, what church he went to was not important, all he wanted was to hear the Gospels and the homily. He did pray often and had even a Rosary because he had no problem in believing that Our Blessed Virgin do pray for us. One day he went to a Catholic Church and he did like the "feeling" there was. After a few years he was sure that he should convert, and that he did. He did not agree on every point but for him it was "all or nothing". His wife did not convert, she was not the religious type, but had no problem with the fact that she now was married to a Catholic, and she did her best to adapt her husbands "new life", she even stop taking "the pill" because she knew it was not what her husband wanted her to use them. A few years everything was as good as it could. But the more the man did read The Bible, the CCC and other books about the Catholic Faith, he started to feel depressed because he did start to see sin in almost everything he did or saw. He felt that the teachings become a heavy burden and could not cope anymore. He was sad and did not know what to do, he did talk to a priest but the more he did listen the more he did feel like the worst sinner on earth, even though he did not sin more then we all do. Every sin he confessed kept on bothering him more and more. He did not want to take the kids to the beach anymore because there was "temptations" no matter where he did look, and he was not able to watch the TV due to the fear that he maybe would see something not proper for a Catholic. And the clouds got even darker, he started to cry in his fear of hell and he did confess everything he did as a sin, the priest did what he could, but at some point this man could not attend Mass anymore because he feel he was not worthy to be in the Church anymore. And the more he did read the closer to hell he came. He lost his job because they did provide things that could be used in a sinful manner, the wife did not knew what to do, but she did convert as well in a effort to help her husband. He got more sure every day that no matter what he would do hell was his destination. At some point he could no longer go out because he was sure he would see women dress in a improper way, soon they had to move to a smaller flat, only his wife did get money, his depression did get deeper and deeper, and when all hope was gone he did remember that Christ did say that His burden is easy and light to carry. One day, after many hours of praying he knew what he needed to do, and he went to a Protestant Church and sat there listening to the Sunday homily, and he did realize one important thing, everything is not sin. Needless to say, he never did return to the Catholic Church, but something was still wrong, he was so much afraid of hell that the rest of his life was destroyed. His marriage fall apart, he could not get a job anymore and most likely live on social welfare now. Alas, this story is true, he had never any mental problem before this incident. One life lost, one broken marriage, three kids who hardly will ever see their dad anymore. So, is The RCC give us a to heavy burden to carry?
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  #2  
Old Oct 30, '13, 4:51 am
SinnersAnonymus SinnersAnonymus is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

Sounds like a bad case of scrupulosity. I have a close friend who suffers from this and the only things that helps is when he listens to his spiritual director. When he choses to do things on his own (listening to his very tortured conscious) he ends up going to extremes. For example, I remember him telling me once that eating a peach was somehow sinful. He tried various medical and therapeutic approaches but that usually never ended well. He leaves and comes back to the Catholic Church in spurts, going protestant and then coming back after a year of two.

A grounded spiritual director that the person is willing to hand over their conscious and trust their advice implicitly is the best solution I have seen.

Just my

God Bless
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  #3  
Old Oct 30, '13, 5:18 am
MJJean MJJean is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

It sounds to me like this poor man is suffering from a mental illness. His mental illness manifested itself and caused the downward spiral, not the teachings of the RCC.
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  #4  
Old Oct 30, '13, 5:27 am
Starrsmother Starrsmother is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

[quote=Lasting faith;11352177]As usual I don't know if this is the right forum but if not, move it.

There was this ordinary chap, nice home, three kids and a Volvo, a job he did like to do and a loving wife. Everything was as OK as it can. He was religious, not too much but he did attend Mass at least one Sunday every month, what church he went to was not important, all he wanted was to hear the Gospels and the homily. He did pray often and had even a Rosary because he had no problem in believing that Our Blessed Virgin do pray for us. One day he went to a Catholic Church and he did like the "feeling" there was. After a few years he was sure that he should convert, and that he did. He did not agree on every point but for him it was "all or nothing". His wife did not convert, she was not the religious type, but had no problem with the fact that she now was married to a Catholic, and she did her best to adapt her husbands "new life", she even stop taking "the pill" because she knew it was not what her husband wanted her to use them. A few years everything was as good as it could. But the more the man did read The Bible, the CCC and other books about the Catholic Faith, he started to feel depressed because he did start to see sin in almost everything he did or saw. He felt that the teachings become a heavy burden and could not cope anymore. He was sad and did not know what to do, he did talk to a priest but the more he did listen the more he did feel like the worst sinner on earth, even though he did not sin more then we all do. Every sin he confessed kept on bothering him more and more. He did not want to take the kids to the beach anymore because there was "temptations" no matter where he did look, and he was not able to watch the TV due to the fear that he maybe would see something not proper for a Catholic. And the clouds got even darker, he started to cry in his fear of hell and he did confess everything he did as a sin, the priest did what he could, but at some point this man could not attend Mass anymore because he feel he was not worthy to be in the Church anymore. And the more he did read the closer to hell he came. He lost his job because they did provide things that could be used in a sinful manner, the wife did not knew what to do, but she did convert as well in a effort to help her husband. He got more sure every day that no matter what he would do hell was his destination. At some point he could no longer go out because he was sure he would see women dress in a improper way, soon they had to move to a smaller flat, only his wife did get money, his depression did get deeper and deeper, and when all hope was gone he did remember that Christ did say that His burden is easy and light to carry.



Sir, stand back and re-read your post yourself. Does this man sound rational to you--honestly? I didn't think so. He sounds a little nuts doesn't he? Obviously, to everyone but the man himself, he has a serious mental health problem--and unless he is in treatment he still does. Whether he becomes protestant, Catholic or atheist, it will resurface in some way, because it's very much there--maybe his illness will "morph" and he'll obsess about something besides sin--but obsess he will and it will still ruin his life. He won't get better--he'll just be a different kind of crazy, because I ASSURE you, it will resurface!

No, the problem is absolutely NOT RCIA. The problem is in the man's mind. Normally, when people convert--and I've known many converts, what I have seen is a great sense of relief overcome them--just knowing that if they do sin, they can go to confession, receive absolution and start out fresh is often very liberating to converts! Sometimes it's the very first spiritual gift they really take notice of--a sort of sweeping sense of relief! But this man feels no relief or blessing-- all he sees is fear, self loathing, a punitive God just waiting to "get him" and worst of all, he sees sin lurking behind every bush--even where no sin or temptation exists, he sees it there. He probably drove his wife out of her own mind if she was able to face life rationally and could only watch in desperation and disbelief as he went deeper and deeper off the edge.. The approach to nit-picking over religion is called scrupulosity---a form of OCD. Often, people who exhibit this behavior also suffer from deep and chronic depression they don't even see that they have--which needs to be treated professionally and often with medication I know someone with this very problem, who did get treatment, is on medication which she will probably have to take the rest of her life--but she is now one of the happiest, decent, faithful Catholics I know. And believe me, she was a MESS. I wondered for awhile if she wouldn't end up institutionalized or commit suicide--and like your friend, she even drove her entire family away with her bizarre obsessions and fears. You'd never know it today though if you met her--and her husband and she are working to reconcile their marriage---which everyone thought was beyond saving---because of her behavior. I mean, I wouldn't have stayed with her either the way she was! Your friend should know that sin isn't everywhere--and that normal people go to work, the beach, watch TV etc and don't worry about continually falling into sin. The man needs help. He's already lost his faith, his family his job and his quality of life. Without some SERIOUS mental health help--he may ultimately lose even his very life!!! The problem is NOT what religion he is or isn't. The problem is that he's mentally ill and unstable! If you have any sway wit this man and you care for him--please suggest that he get professional help--and right away!
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  #5  
Old Oct 30, '13, 5:30 am
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HoneyBea HoneyBea is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

Sounds like a man suffering from mental illness. What a tragic story! I hope he was able to get some help.
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  #6  
Old Oct 30, '13, 6:41 am
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RoseMary131 RoseMary131 is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

I would give this wonderful man a hug and tell him that God loves him very much.

I once meet a dear man who was always at Mass, always an usher, always kind to everyone. We lived in the town for a few years where this man lived his whole life.

He told me that he could not go to Communion. I was so confused why anyone could not go to Communion.

He said because he hadn't gone to Confession. I said, "Mr. Smith, just go to confession. Then you can go to Communion."

He told me that he couldn't go to Confession because he was more afraid of going to Hell than being perfectly sorry for his sins. Therefore, he felt his confession was not good enough.

I tried to get him to go to Confession so he could go to Communion. Looking for answers to help him, I posted his situation on a Catholic site like this one. People explained to me that the kind man, Mr. Smith, most likely suffered from being Scrupulous.

I don't know if Mr. Smith was ever able to go to Confession and Communion. I do know that our Lord understands the pain within Mr. Smith's heart. I know that He knows how much Mr. Smith loved Him. I know that God sees Mr. Smith was not turning his back on God, but was suffering greatly.

Your friend sounds very much like Mr. Smith. Please ask your friend to look up information on being Scrupulous. It is a religious form of OCD. He may want to speak with a priest about this issue.

May God bring peace to your friend. May he be healed from his pains. May he find a reconnection to his family. May he feel God's love embrace him.
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  #7  
Old Oct 30, '13, 7:00 am
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RoseMary131 RoseMary131 is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasting faith View Post
he did realize one important thing, everything is not sin.

So, is The RCC give us a to heavy burden to carry?
The man realized the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church - everything is not a sin.

It took him sitting in the Protestant pew to hear what the RCC teaches.

Ask him to discuss this with his priest. His priest will assure him that everything is not a sin. The priest will help him overcome his pains of suffering from Scrupulosity / Scrupulous.

So, no the RCC does not give us a burden too heavy to carry. A misunderstanding of what a sin is and suffering from being Scrupulous is a very heavy cross to carry. Help from a priest and maybe a mental health professional can help to take the heavy burden from the shoulders of this man.

May he feel God's Peace.
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  #8  
Old Oct 30, '13, 7:24 am
jaimeleglise jaimeleglise is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

I too used to suffer from scrupolosity. This gentleman needs to find.
a good psychiatrist, counseling and medication. He must find a holy spiritual director and obey him. Once he confesses a sin, he must trust in God', mercy and not rehash it.
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  #9  
Old Oct 30, '13, 7:30 am
bilop bilop is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJJean View Post
It sounds to me like this poor man is suffering from a mental illness. His mental illness manifested itself and caused the downward spiral, not the teachings of the RCC.
Exactly.

If it hadn't manifested itself in religion, his illness would have manifested itself in some other way. Maybe an addiction, maybe another obsession, OCD, etc.

God Bless
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  #10  
Old Oct 30, '13, 7:33 am
Geo17 Geo17 is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

This man is clinically depressed. He needs professional help. It would be ideal if the therapist is also a Christian or a Catholic, but he needs a professional therapist to talk with. He may also benefit from an antidepressant med. But those drugs are given out too easily by family Docs and talk therapy never gets tried. I'm in favor of first going to a talk therapist and if he thinks meds should be used a psychiatrist should be the Doc to prescribe them. Although even psychiatrists often have to try several before the right one is found.

The thing is he's right about seeing sinful things on TV and at the beach, but he's taking it beyond where a normal thinking person would.

I hope he can get help.
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  #11  
Old Oct 30, '13, 7:49 am
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Lasting faith Lasting faith is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

Well, he is not my friend, I saw this on TV a while ago, but it did bothering me, and yes, it is obvious he suffer from some mental problem, big ones, sad to say. Why I did post this story was because I think we Christians need to understand that not all find peace in our faith. To me my faith is what keep me going, but for someone else it is the beginning of decline. But I think the Church has a very big role in tragedies as this was/is. The Gospel is not the only thing needed in life. I do feel sorry for this chap though, with bad luck it could be about anyone of us.
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Old Oct 30, '13, 7:56 am
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HoneyBea HoneyBea is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

Just because he hasn't found peace in his faith doesn't mean he can't.
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  #13  
Old Oct 30, '13, 8:09 am
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Joe 5859 Joe 5859 is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBea View Post
Just because he hasn't found peace in his faith doesn't mean he can't.
Exactly. Judas spent three years of his life day-in and day-out walking with Jesus Christ Himself. And he didn't find peace. But that was not Jesus' fault.

Certainly, since none of us are Jesus and we are all sinners, we Catholics can contribute to the downward spiral of others. That's something we should be sensitive to and avoid to the best of our ability. Ultimately, howver, we are responsible for our own actions.
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The more I follow the online discussions ... the more I follow the debates and disagreements in the Church about administrative unity, or the concerns expressed about the moral or personal or administrative or leadership failings of the bishops or the clergy, the more I become convinced that whatever might be the truth of these concerns, ALL of this is simply a distraction. No, itís more than that. Itís a justification, an excuse, for not helping each other and those outside the Church fall in love with Jesus Christ. How easy it is to talk about everything, but about Jesus hardly at all.

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  #14  
Old Oct 30, '13, 8:10 am
gardenswithkids gardenswithkids is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

I'd say he despaired due to false humility. Okay, he's a sinner. Join the club! I'm a sinner too. We're all sinners. It's not a good thing--and sin is the worst thing in the world, but what makes him think he's so special that his sins are so far worse than mine or anyone else's? That's false humility--and it's an odd form of pride. It lead him to despair against the mercy of God for sinners, because he thought his sin was bigger than God's mercy.
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Old Oct 30, '13, 8:18 am
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RoseMary131 RoseMary131 is offline
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Default Re: How did this happen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gardenswithkids View Post
I'd say he despaired due to false humility. Okay, he's a sinner. Join the club! I'm a sinner too. We're all sinners. It's not a good thing--and sin is the worst thing in the world, but what makes him think he's so special that his sins are so far worse than mine or anyone else's? That's false humility--and it's an odd form of pride. It lead him to despair against the mercy of God for sinners, because he thought his sin was bigger than God's mercy.

I don't think he had false humility or a form of pride. I think he suffered from being Scrupulous which is a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

He most likely doesn't think he is "so special", but truly suffering a mental disorder which caused him much pain.
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