Catholic Guilt?

I was thinking recently of some of my family members and of some people that I have heard speak in a twelve step group to which I attend. My thoughts went along these lines. I hear alot of people complaining about being raised in a strict Catholic environment where they were made to feel guilty about themselves and their behavior. Complaining about being told to go to confession, and to avoid the occasion for sin. Many of these people have fallen away and blame the Church for pushing them away and for giving them a standard to which no one could live up to lest they be a saint and that they knew no such people alive in thier world. I realized that the moral code that the Church and Christ calls us to live by is unattainable, outside an abundance of Grace, which is only recieved by living a sacramental life, ie daily mass, regular confession, heavy prayer, daily rosary’s, and avoiding mortal sin and all sin, and being brutally honest with oneself, God, and ones confessor. Outside of this commitment to a sacramental life, the moral code is too high a hurdle and therefore unattainable. This leaves the average Catholic, who by their own will have decided not to live a sacramental life, with a sense of failure and guilt which they run from and later blame, for all of their problems and use to leave the Church, claiming a loving God would not create such an unattainable lifestyle. What they do not realize is that he not only desires such a commitment because he knows that in this way of living we will find true happiness in him, but that he has given us the Church and the sacraments which make such a life attainable, we need only conform our will with his and deny ourselves of the pleasure of this world for the higher pleasures of heaven. Easier said than done, but if we they(I) would only follow the way which has been spelled out for us so simply, and not attach our own desires and wordly wants to such a simple saving gospel. I feel sorry for them and at the same time I have no pity for them because it is their self pity and total selfishness that has caused them to fall away, many of which may never come home. May God send an abundance of grace down upon the Catholic children of adult Catholics, and fill them with His Spirit leading them to a sacramental life, through Christ our Lord, Amen:blessyou:

Sad but true. Most of the Catholics never really knew their faith and the value of it. In Marcus Grodi’s program of stories of converts and reverts, those who started out Catholic and left the church, came back when they actually studied the Catholic faith. For the first time in their lives they actually found out that the fullness of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus is found in the Catholic Church.

Deacon Tony SFO

FullofTruth,

**You said it so beautifully. You maybe speaking from experience, if not then your insight is a gift. **

**1st John1:9 did not say how many times we may be forgiven did it? I have read to forgive 7 times 70, and I take that as a very large number. God is merciful, but just too. He reads our hearts and minds. Thank You for posting that about “Catholic guilt”. :thumbsup: **

Sigh!

I guess we all have our work cut out for us, no?

This is but one of many topics discussing the Catholic Faith that makes me more aware of just how lacking or at least apparently lacking Catholic education has been. But is it all really the fault of the Catholic Church?

Just look at how many Catholics vote and think today! What is one to do to reverse the tide?

I’m only a new convert, but the work is overwhelming from a human standpoint. Thank God that isn’t the end of things!!! - Mfaustina1

Sigh!

I guess we all have our work cut out for us, no?

This is but one of many topics discussing the Catholic Faith that makes me more aware of just how lacking or at least apparently lacking Catholic education has been. But is it all really the fault of the Catholic Church?

Just look at how many Catholics vote and think today! What is one to do to reverse the tide?

I’m only a new convert, but the work is overwhelming from a human standpoint. Thank God that isn’t the end of things!!! - Mfaustina1

Remember the work is not just overwhelming, but it is unattainable outside an abundance of Grace. We don’t have to bear the brunt of the work, Christ will. We need only get out of the way, and mend our will with His. Selfishness and self centeredness is the root of all sin. Selflessness is the cure, but apart from Christ and the Sacraments it is impossible to be selfless. May we be willing to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand him through the Church.

I converted to the church in 1992. I have no idea what this “Catholic guilt” thing is.

1ke, In the history of our church this last century there were two distinct areas of thought. First, everything was considered a sin. Then after The 2nd Vatican Council, nothing was considered a sin. By the time you came home to the church, much work was done to bring some sanity back to the faithful. Many who have been away from the church for some time, only remember when it was taught that God was was a very cold ruler that only wanted to tell you that you were bad. (Catholic Guilt) Now we know that God must be feared, but that at the same time, he has a great love for all his creatures and desires that all will spend eternity with him. Hope this helps a little.

May God bless you and your family,
Deacon Tony SFO

I was recieved into full communion with the Church from Anglicanism - my wife (cradle Catholic) sighed one day and said ‘You are lucky, you have all the good things of faith but without the heavy guilt’

I have sympathy for cradle Catholics who had to endure this sort of thing (and these are examples from less than thirty years ago)

Nun ’ Look at the trees out there. Look at the leaves falling. That’s your souls falling straight to hell if you sin’

(To a class of primary children)

Priest: If you commit a mortal sin, you can never be forgiven, you will go to hell.

These are obviously wrong, but said to children by those in authority in the church.

I don’t think Protestant guilt is any different by the way!

JGC is SO right! All those pre-SVII years were very similar for Protestants. (I entered the Catholic Church 4 years ago.) The problem with Protestant guilt is that there is no place to go with it, you just keep schlepping it around with you. Example: When I was about 7 or 8, I had done something naughty – who knows what, how naughty can a 7 or 8-year old be? – and my father said after chastizing me that it was no more than to be expected, I was just born a wicked, wicked little girl. And I was Daddy’s pet! I think it reflected on the upbringing he had.

BTW, did I mention, I love Confession? :yup:

There’s also such thing as “Catholic Forgiveness.”

[quote=1ke]I converted to the church in 1992. I have no idea what this “Catholic guilt” thing is.
[/quote]

Don’t feel lost on such ideas. I was born into a Catholic family, received first instructions there and then in parocial school. When I first heard this ‘guilt’ term used by some ex-Catholic, I wondered what on earth was being refered to.

And I’m over 70 years old. :smiley:

Kotton

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