Catholic Misery

Having read numerous threads on here now, there’s really only one conclusion I can come to. Your by-the-books, hyper-orthodox Catholic lifestyle has got to be exceedingly miserable. How do you guys ever live life, not wanting to simply die immediately, when you seriously believe that touching yourself or oversleeping and missing church will damn your soul to eternal torture?

How do you live life constantly feeling like you’re walking a tightrope in fearful obedience to a God who will make those ISIS criminals who burned that Jordanian pilot alive look like boy scouts? How does life bring you any joy?

If I genuinely believed everything you guys talk about here, I’d want to do only three things. Confess, commune, and immediately die. Life itself wouldn’t be worth the risk. I’d despair continually and come to hate God and see him as a sadistic torturous monster. I was baptized Catholic and raised in the faith, I’ve tried to come back to it, and thanks to this forum all I can see is absolute utter misery. All I see is rampant psychologically devastating scrupulosity and sheer misery.

I don’t care about your historical arguments or “upon this rock” diatribes anymore. If the God of Catholicism is true, I don’t want anything to do with him. He’s a monster. What kind of God tortures his creatures forever because they commit a single sin? You make the cross of Christ of no effect.

I’m a sinner to the very core of my being, there is no good in me, and if I had to merit eternal life, even with divine help, I’d fail. If its up to me I’m doomed, period. I love my sin too much, and I can’t shake it. All I can do is trust that Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection is sufficient to save my soul; that the grace of God alone, apart from my actions, is what redeems me. If i’m wrong, and you guys are right, I guess I get tortured forever. And if that’s the case, I’d probably rather endure that then worship such a monstrous God anyway.

How you all live like this I have no clue. Life must really suck for you, fear must pervade your entire psyche to the point of crippling you. What a terrible, terrible religion. Sorry for my rant, just had to get that off my chest. I’m done, goodbye Catholic Church.

You are judging your creator: “such a monstrous God”. The grace of God alone, apart from actions, is not what Jesus Christ taught, rather as you read in Matthew 25. The grace of God is sufficient, but for it to be efficacious it requires our cooperation (but that does not mean that sinful habits are immediately overcome, some require long struggle, yet the willful opposition to sin must be present).

Matthew 25
41 [c]Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44 [d]Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45 He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ 46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

I think this is what occurred during Jesus’ time on earth. Many people (the pharisees etc) thought God was strict and exacting and harsh on people, demanding much of them, and without mercy, and so they didn’t understand how the person of Jesus could represent God at all - cause He ate with sinners and did things on the Sabbath and showed mercy to sinners and outcasts etc. He did not always show ‘strength and might’ with the promise of destroying His enemies; like maybe Judas thought He would. Therefore, many people, even St Peter I suppose, did not understand Him at times, and then there were those (often those in power) who simply could not accept that Jesus was anything like God. I think there is that tendency today to picture God as different than He really is. People in society are harsh on people and do not show love, but that does not mean that they represent God.
God is not a ‘grumpy’ old man. :slight_smile:

The Holy Spirit brings joy. Luke 10:21 ‘Just at this time, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit…’ Every good things come from God. True happiness is only achieved with God. Touching yourself etc… these are fleeting moments of pleasure, not real happiness. There is no real happiness with sin. To search for God is to find happiness and truth. When God comes into our lives, we grow in our faith and choose to avoid sin, it’s really not the way you paint it.

We don’t merit eternal life. God gives us grace… it’s not anything that comes from us. It’s all down to God’s goodness.

If you love sin, then that’s your free choice …though God will forgive all your sins, no matter how terrible, if you choose to repent. It’s not fear… at least not for me, it’s happiness, and it’s something that grew within me slowly. God is love and mercy but he is also just. He isn’t monstrous at all. He died for us. The Church will always be ready to welcome you back if you choose to return.

How sad. Let’s see what you say when you are at the other end of life…

OK. Let’s take a deep breath and enhance our calm…

First of all, I guess I am one of the people you are referring to, in that I believe there is such a thing as mortal sin, and I do believe when mortal sin is committed, one is in danger of eternal punishment. And yes, I believe that certain actions and experiences are against God’s plan for our sexuality and fall under that category.

AND my life is absolutely joyful and meaningful and goofy and wonderful and full and free and expressive, and I have friends with whom I share laughter and tears and affection and play and work… :thumbsup:

Why do you think the two (joy and acceptance of certain actions being mortal sin) are mutually exclusive? I think you answer that question with this statement: “I love my sin too much, and I can’t shake it.”

OK, so you enjoy your sin – well, duh. If we didn’t enjoy it, we wouldn’t do it, now would we? :stuck_out_tongue:

And you can’t shake it. Well, welcome to the human race. St Paul admitted the same thing in Romans 7. Here’s a great link to five different translations of that chapter:

biblehub.com/romans/7.htm

As a Catholic who often finds herself “doing the evil that I do not want,” I make frequent use of the sacrament of confession. I don’t go in beating myself up. I don’t live in anxiety and crushing fear of hell until I confess. I KNOW that Christ loves me and wants me with Him infinitely more than this human mind can comprehend. But I also don’t presume upon His mercy and just give in to sin willy-nilly, just for the fun of it.

I fight the temptation to sin because His Word tells me to fight sin.

I believe that certain actions are sins of a more serious nature because His Church tells me they are.

Whether or not you agree with the concept of certain sins creating an eternal wedge in our relationship with God, sin is still sin. And out of love for our savior we should never just give in to sin, responding as many of Jesus’ disciples did: “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” (John 6:60)

Rather, we should always be striving after holiness. As you say, we are always going to sin. God knows this!

Now, there are indeed some people on these forums who suffer from scrupulosity and they are constantly focusing on themselves and their weaknesses and **their **lack of power to overcome sin and their fear of damnation, and so on.

But healthy faith, which many of us have here, is turned towards God’s mercy, God’s love, God’s forgiveness, God’s desire for us, God’s eternal longing for our hearts :heart: :heart: :heart:

Whatever you decide to do with regards to Catholicism, please let go of your anger and focus on Christ – not on His followers who are just as messed up (and sometimes more) than you. You will find perfection in Him, not in any of us minions here :smiley:

God bless you!

Misery is eternal separation from God, let me know how that turns out for you.

Beautifully said. :thumbsup:

If you leave, you leave on your own. You control your own reactions to what you read here.

Try to live according to the Gospels and the messages of the Church, particularly in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, instead of trying to live up to the standards some here have set for themselves. I don’t necessarily follow the examples I see on CAF. I can’t. But that doesn’t mean I’m leaving the faith.

As far as I know, this is Catholic teaching. We are all sinners, we cannot earn Heaven, we are saved by God’s grace.

So why are you leaving the Church? Is it because of some crazies on this forum? They do not teach correct Catholic doctrine. There are nuances that some Catholics cannot wrap their heads around.

Since it bothers you, dump the forum (I take regular breaks myself because of the negative effect), but stay in the Church.

Vaya con Dios.

You do understand that scrupulosity is mental illness in the OCD family and that those who suffer from it need help and often seek out forums like this? Therefore you will find a disproportionately high number of sufferers in places like this.

Do not confuse the way those suffering from scrupulosity see the world with what the Catholic Church teaches.

“The life of union with God is an anticipated Paradise: it is Heaven on earth, the Heaven of the interior soul. The more a soul loves purity of heart, the better is she fitted for converse with God. God acts with the pure of heart as a mother acts with her little babe.”

  • Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

We were created for union with God, the Source of all Being and Goodness. To turn away from Eternal Life is to find eternal death; God does everything He can to prevent this. If everyone did His will and loved Him, all would enjoy eternal life.

St. Padre Pio said that it is difficult for a soul who is not persistently evil to be damned. God will give us good-will if we desire it. And if we have good-will, God will infallibly help us.

Damnation would not be so severe if God were not so good. His goodness reveals the infinite malice of sin. Don’t dwell too much on sin; it has no substance and will therefore bring only confusion.

Its hard to stay in the church when…

A. You don’t agree with everything the Church teaches.

B. You can’t go to confession because you are not at the point where you’re willing to stop committing the sins you love.

and

C. You can’t ever take communion because of the above.

So I’m out on sacraments, I can’t participate in any of them at all. I feel like I should be somewhere where I can be a fully participating part of the faith community. Its becoming increasingly obvious that that place is never going to be the Roman Catholic Church.

My old nondenominational church is looking more and more attractive by the day. At least there there was just a simple trust in the grace of God and, ironically enough, those times I was doing best in regards to holiness were those times where I wasn’t fighting sin but just trusting in God’s grace. The sin tended to just fall off of my life. Since I’ve been back in the Catholic Church, I actually find that I sin more.

The part I bolded was exactly what I learned in the Catholic Church! I learned to throw myself on God’s mercy and trust that he loved me enough to want to keep me safe for Him.

When I was a protestant, I had trouble believing that God had really forgiven me. I learned that in confession I was forgiven, even if I had committed the same sin multiple times.

You did mention that you don’t want to stop sinning, so you might want to check with the protestant church you’re interested in to see if that’s a problem for them. You might have to start your own church. And that’s not a joke - I know people who did that because they couldn’t find a church that agreed with their take on Christianity.

I both do and do not want to stop sinning. Where I am at right now is absolute despair over my ability to stop. All I can do is trust in the grace of God, that’s it. Which is exactly what the reformed faith tends to teach;

You are wicked and vile, there is no good in you at all, God loves you and chose you anyway out of his unfathomable mercy when he would have been just to leave you to your ruin, now rejoice and trust in his grace and mercy, elect of God, and overtime you will be transformed as the Holy Spirit does his work in your heart.

Can’t say I’ve ever heard such a message in the Catholic Church.

That’s odd. I never heard that in the protestant churches I attended. Perhaps we were both suffering from selective deafness. :frowning:

I think that the message “you are wicked and vile, there is no good in you at all…etc” that is not a Catholic teaching. One of the best advice I have ever received from a Catholic priest I received during confession, and his message was the opposite of this

He told me…“You’re a daughter of God…
A cherished member of his family. Go before the blessed sacrament and pray for the grace to be able to treat your body as a cherished tabernacle for our Lord”

Alovedivine…you are a child of God…a priceless member of his family…pray for the grace to treat your body as a tabernacle for our lord

Try not to base your faith reaction on what you read on internet forums. People sure do get mighty righteous on these and other Christian forums. Don’t let it turn you off.
Try a relationship with Christ and in his sacraments instead, trying every day to grow and change, and trusting entirely on his mercy and grace.

And get off the interwebs for a while and go have this conversation with a priest. Really.

God bless

You really are able to stop. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that no temptation is too great that we cannot overcome it. You need to surrender yourself to God. Put yourself in His hands. Sin is an offense against God CCC 1849 and 1850. Leaving sin behind can be a slow process, but it is possible with God’s help. I think we need to want to reject sin though. We have reconciliation because we are sinners.

Such a beautiful, compassionate, and encouraging post Gertabelle! God bless you!

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