Faith and works

Okay, this may belong in the Philosophy Forum, but not sure.

Preface: I typically write my thoughts like one would splatter paint onto a canvas wildly, so I am opening myself up to possible misinterpretations that may need to be clarified later as I see the glaring errors and/or omissions in the clarity (or lack thereof) my statements. So here goes…

I have referred to my increase of growth in my spiritually journey here in these forums before. So to summarize, over the past two years, I have grown immensely, to the point where I go to confession almost every Sunday, among so many other wonderful things that are offered to me as a Catholic. I’m learning the Catholic faith everyday, praying more, doing as much as I can with the help of the Holy Spirit to become the soul God intended.

As I’ve finally confessed all of my previous sins, began a better relationship with Jesus, and searched my soul for ways I can serve Him, I’ve discovered that most of life I have been “unworthy” of grace because of the free will of my actions. I choose “other”. I want to make up and atone and repent for those things. I have (through the sacraments, but at the same time, I feel like I need to live long so I can prove to God I will do good works, charity, etc. I know we cannot earn our way into Heaven, but I also feel pulled through my own human mind’s failings, that I should be allowed to show and demonstrate to God that I will make up for all the horrible things I’ve done in the past. I have been volunteering my time more at charitable organizations, giving more freely, etc., but I don’t feel like it is enough. I guess my faith is not strong enough to realize that I cannot earn my salvation, even though I believe that if I’ve confessed my sins properly with true repentance, and strive to sin no more, and to lead a life God has chosen for me, that is enough.

I am undergoing a major surgery next week, and with any surgery it has its risks, including death, and so I called Father at church for a special confession, and anointing of the sick. I am truly sorry for all my sins. I spent several days examining my soul and conscience. So why do I feel like I won’t go to Heaven if I die?

What is my problem? What’s wrong with me? !!!

Heaven is not 100% guarenteed for anyone, but you have to have hope that you are Christlike, the Holy Spirit is within you, and you have Gods sanctifying grace. The way you are living it seems like you can be pretty sure of that. You will be in our prayers for a healthy surgury.

IT seems you haven’t quite accepted Gods love. God forgives us of our sins but it is hard to forgive ourselves. Thats may be where you are at… you have to remember that God loves you for being you first and foremost. I know how you feel about making reparations for your sins and that’s natural and it’s good that you are doing things for God. But you have to remember that God is merciful and loving and wants you to be in friendship with Him but it’s hard to be in friendship with Him if you feel guilty being with Him. I would suggest offering up your sins to Jesus at communion and ask for His help in letting yourself feel free of them and go forward without letting your guilt feelings take over your life… Feel free to love God and love others… Talk to Jesus, your ‘brother and friend’ who wants you to feel whole again and at peace. Fear and anxiety stands in the way of Joy and peace and God wants you to be happy and at peace…:slight_smile:

Agree. Only God can judge our hearts - our deepest motivations that often we ourselves cannot judge. It is for us to hold HOPE.

It is very hard for us to have a continuing well-balanced understanding of God’s Love, Grace, Justice, and Mercy.

Perhaps your feeling of uncertainty is from focusing too much on Justice and too little on Love and Mercy. Yet, God did give you the Grace to approach Him and you responded by taking action to come closer to Christ.

Remember that Christ became Man to teach, suffer, die, and resurrect so that we sinners, who try our best to follow Him as you have expressed, will be rewarded with eternity in Heaven. Christ came to SAVE, not to condemn.

A very holy priest at a retreat told us that we also need to forgive ourselves! You have shown repentance, now don’t look back, look at Jesus in His Crucifixion and Resurrection and let Him love you! He desires your complete happiness with Him.

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom…Pray for us!

Hi Joe! I wish you the best for your surgery and recovery!

I think your concerns might stem from faith and trust. We have all had problems in those areas at one time or another. First, faith is FAITH. It is believing without always having concrete evidence. God is merciful and He knows your heart - trust in him even when evil brings doubt to mind. I promise you that will give you so much peace.

Trust is just that…I have a simple prayer that is so meaningful to me. It begins “Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, I Place My Trust In Thee”. Live that prayer, believe that prayer, and you will have , again. a peace in your life that is indescribable.

Take care and hug your wife and children tonight!

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