Feeling like a hopeless sinner


#1

I’m wondering if anyone else struggles with this and maybe we could encourage one another lol.

I really want to grow in holiness because I know it’s God’s will for each person, and I want to please Him more with my life. One day I realized that if we embark on this journey we’ll have to deal with suffering too, we’ll have crosses to carry. I felt God asking me if I would still take it, and I said yes. When I was a Protestant to be honest I didn’t notice that many crosses, and when I did have trials I didn’t make use of them. Lately, as I’ve been going through my conversion and entering the Church, I’ve suffered more interiorly than ever in my life. But God has been giving me strength to offer it to Him and not give up trust. I just hope and pray that none of the things I go through would affect people I love like my family and friends (that’s been a big fear of mine, but I trust God to always take care of them now and in the future), but that I’d be able to stay peaceful and joyful at home and in school, regardless of what’s happening.

One thing that God helped me see is that when we are going through an interior trial it’s best to just surrender it to Him, use that time to love Him, and don’t become too absorbed in ourselves but reach out to help others (who are suffering much more than me!). Also, submission to His will in all things is key.

But there’s one thing that I repeadly struggle with.
I know that God’s mercy is greater than my sins. I don’t doubt His forgiveness. I also know that I shouldn’t expect much virtue from myself because let’s face it, I don’t even have the Sacraments yet (but hopefully this year! :))

But I get these thoughts a lot:
How can I ever hope to grow in virtue and holiness if I’m so damaged by sin. :frowning: I have so many horrible habits. Also, no matter how much I try I fall daily, over and over. Jesus told St Faustina we should rely on Him, not our ourselves. And I try to do that. But often I forget and go back to relying on myself, and mess up.

For example, this morning. Someone at home said something I disagree with. And I should have just let it go! If it bothered me, I should have just used that as an opportunity to make a sacrifice, and offered my annoyance to God. Well instead of this, I started explaining my position and the person got annoyed too and it turned into a stupid argument. Totally unnecessary! Well this whole day I just feel so horrible about it. And - I know the reason I feel horrible is because I’m disappointed in myself, and that’s good old PRIDE.

So then I look at myself, and I see a person who sins everyday AND is full of pride and selfishness and laziness… I want so much to do something for God, but I can’t get myself to do anything, NOR can I get myself to do little things for Him during the day like what St Therese wrote about. Because I constantly mess everything up.

I want to love God with all my heart and I want to have simple childlike faith and to always trust Him… I also want to be more careful about sin and to pray more… I also really want to have the pure heart of a child like the Saints did, like St Therese. (unfortunately my heart is not pure at all)

but I feel like there’s so much in me that’s preventing me from growing. HOW do we ever become more holy anyway? :frowning: how does God turn sinners to saints? I feel too weak to resist sin and when I get thoughts of maybe having a religious vocation or whatever, I feel totally unworthy… especially because of my past… I did some horrible things before I was a Christian (and afterwards too).

Often I have the desire to be a saint (and even feel it’s God’s will) but then I wonder if I’m proud for thinking so, yet God knows I don’t think I have any such virtue in myself, - and if I ever get there it would be entirely by His grace. I don’t want to distrust in His grace because I know that hurts Him.

I hope it would be better once I start going to Confession.

The only thing that encourages me is when I look back on what has happened over these past several months. I was this very opinionated Protestant who thought Catholics don’t know God and felt a dislike for Mary. And - I know ONLY God could have changed me cause I was so resistant, lol - He changed me to a Catholic and gave me His Mother and even many consolations that I don’t deserve. He also gave me crosses to carry that I don’t deserve. When I was really nervous about my conversion He’s always given me great peace in my heart.

So clearly God HAS been working in my life :slight_smile: and I know that Our Lady and the Saints have been praying for me, - for example St Therese, who I see as a great friend of mine in Heaven lol :). I’ve had some really cool things happen to me as a result of their intercession.

But does anyone else feel totally disappointed when they look at themselves, because of all the sin? How do I overcome this? I feel that all my sins keep me back from following God entirely, and my discouragement and occasional distrust keeps me back too. I really try to trust Him as much as I can.

wow. :blush: sorry for rambling once again. :o But…can anyone else relate?

God bless :slight_smile:


#2

Contemplate on God’s Mercy and on the Passion of Jesus Christ.

:slight_smile:


#3

Wisdom of St. Faustina


#4

Of course! That’s what being part of the Catholic family is all about. :slight_smile:

St. Pio (sorry, but I always think of him as “Padre” Pio!) was once asked, “Father, when will I stop sinning?”

Padre Pio’s reply: “Five minutes after you’re dead!” :thumbsup:


#5

Join the club! I mean that literally, not cynically, or in a snide way. :o

There’s your answer to the first quote!

It will be, especially when followed by the Eucharist. Don’t ever doubt the power of the Sacraments. Did you know that a sincere confession is more powerful than an exorcism?

All honest Catholics can relate. I sure can! Keep trying! Even if you fall flat on your face, at least you’re moving in the right direction! Perhaps God is using this to call you closer to Him.

Regular confessions, especially if you can consult with a Spiritual Advisor, will really help. As will daily prayer. If you can slip into a Church and spend a few minutes in front of the Blessed Sacrament, that is a great aid. If not, get a nice crucifix, put it in a private spot, and spend some time in front of it in prayer and contemplation (and thanksgiving) for all that Jesus did for us.

You didn’t fall into bad habits overnight, you won’t break them overnight. All you need to do is keep trying your best and let Jesus help you.

Despair is the work of the Devil. He knows that you are trying to get closer to God, and is using this as a wedge. Don’t let him!

One thing that can also help is to memorize and recite the St. Michael prayer first, before praying anything else. It helps to keep the Devil away while you are trying to pray. Devotion to the Blessed Mother will not only keep him at bay, but bring you closer to our Lord also.

Sorry for the “shotgun” approach, but pick whatever strikes your fancy. Or maybe one of these will remind you of a better way for you. Whatever you decide, you are not alone! Never give up!


#6

I can really relate to what you are saying. I think that the fact that it bothers you shows that you are on the right path.

No one can be perfect, but what matters is that you are honestly trying to change and give up your bad habits.

If you are sincerely repenting, God will forgive you and you will just get closer to him.

So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

Luke 17:3-4

Jesus wants us to forgive our brothers and sisters everytime they repent, even if it is seven times a day. Imagine how much more He can forgive you when you make little mistakes!

And everytime you are in a situation in which you are about to sin is a chance to prove yourself, and God, that you know and can do better. If you have a tendency to argue instead of letting go of unimportant arguments, you will just have to learn to give it up.

It’s doable; I did it myself. Before you talk back just ask yourself if it’s worth it. Try to cout to 5 in your head before saying something. Most of the time I would argue with my parents, and it would lead nowhere. If you know you are right, so does God.

If you can, don’t say anything. If you can’t, just tell whoever you are talking to that you respect their opinion, but don’t agree, and don’t think it’s worth fighting. If the other person it trying to provoke you on purpose just change the subject. :o

Just pray a lot for the strength to be as patient as Jesus was when he was being betrayed, accused and condemned.

You can do it! :slight_smile:

Marycruz


#7

You could sin and not be disappointed but that would not a very good Christian make. The struggle’s worth it and the victories come and they increase our faith and hope but the battle for perfection is not an easy one-perseverance is required.


#8

A saint is someone who falls 9 times and allows Jesus to lift him up 10 times.:thumbsup:


#9

Thanks so much everyone! :slight_smile:

I know in my heart that I should just keep trying and not let thoughts of my sinfulness stop me. Cause if I don’t like my sinfulness, well it would only increase if I do nothing about it. :wink:

I do have this tendency to always speak my mind even when I shouldn’t. This can definitely be a flaw and causes arguments sometimes. I’m really planning to work on this and think before I speak. (or type ;)) it’s true there are a lot of things that are just not worth arguing about. And if it’s worth it, well arguments won’t convince anyone and it’s better to pray for that person.

I have lots more bad habits to overcome but I’m going to work on it step by step and rely on God’s grace.

thanks again :slight_smile:

God bless!!


#10

:slight_smile:


#11

Take a few minutes each day to just sit quietly and think about how grateful you are to God for bringing you where you are, at this moment in your life.

Read the scriptures. Go to mass. Take it all in and let it become a part of you. Remember the story of Martha and Mary? Jesus said that Mary, who sat at his feet listening to him, had the better part as opposed to Martha, who ran around complaining that Mary wasn’t doing enough to serve Jesus when he was guest at their home. Be a Mary at this stage.

I’m paraphrasing what my pastor advised me when I told him that I was afraid I wasn’t doing enough for my Church. It was very good advice.

That was a year and a half ago (I entered the Church in April 2007). Taking that advice really helped me to begin to grow in my faith.

Blessings in your journey,

Mrs. Mac


#12

thank you Mrs Mac! :slight_smile: that’s a great reminder!! :slight_smile: :thumbsup:

God bless!


#13

Have you read The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila? I really think that reading certain books and putting their words into practice help us to advance in holiness :slight_smile:

**The Way of Perfection: ** catholicfirst.com/TheFaith/CatholicClassics/StTeresa/way/wayofperfection.cfm

I probably need to re-read this book soon myself :eek:


#14

M o n i c a. :heart:
before i say anything else, i hope and pray that the following excerpts from St. Faustina’s diary, Divine Mercy in my Soul (which can be found at saint-faustina.com/Diary/DMIMS1.shtml)), will encourage you, help you and bring you hope and begin the process of healing that you deserve so much. :slight_smile:

The Goodness of God.
The mercy of God, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, the voice of the Lord who speaks to us from the throne of mercy: Come to Me, all of you.

Conversation of the Merciful God with a Sinful Soul.

Jesus: **Be not afraid of your Savior, O sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to lift yourself to me. Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with Your God of mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish his graces on you. How dear your soul is to Me! I have inscribed your name upon My hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My Heart. **

Soul: Lord I hear Your voice calling me to turn back from the path of sin, but I have neither the strength nor the courage to do so.

Jesus: I am your strength, I will help you in the struggle.

Soul: Lord I recognize Your holiness and I fear You.

Jesus:** My child, do you fear the God of mercy? My holiness does not prevent Me from being merciful. Behold. for you I have established a throne of mercy on earth - the tabernacle - and from this throne I desire to enter into your heart. I am not surrounded by a retinue of guards. You can come to Me at any moment, at any time; I want to speak to you and desire to grant you grace. **

Soul: Lord, I doubt that You will pardon my numerous sins; my misery fills me with fright.

Jesus: My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire World. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed Myself to be nailed to the Cross; for you I let My Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy. Do not argue with Me about your wretchedness. You will give me pleasure if you hand over to Me all your troubles and griefs. I shall heap upon you the treasures of My grace.

Soul: You have conquered, O Lord, my stony heart with Your goodness. In trust and humility I approach the tribunal of Your mercy, where You yourself absolve me by the hand of your representative. O Lord, I feel Your grace and Your peace filling my poor soul. I feel overwhelmed by Your mercy, O Lord. You forgive me, which is more than I dared to hope for or could imagine. Your goodness surpasses all my desires. And now, filled with gratitude for so many graces, I invite You to my heart. I wandered, like a prodigal child gone astray; but You did not cease to be my Father. Increase Your mercy toward me, for You see how weak I am.

Jesus: **Child, speak no more of your misery; it is already forgotten. Listen, My child, to what I desire to tell you. Come close to My wounds and draw from the Fountain of Life whatever your heart desires. Drink copiously from the Fountain of Life and you will not weary on your journey. Look at the splendors of My mercy and do not fear the enemies of your salvation. Glorify My mercy. **


#15

***Conversation of the Merciful God with a Despairing Soul. ***

Jesus: **O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy. **

But the soul, deaf even to this appeal, wraps itself in darkness.

Jesus calls out again: My child, listen to the voice of your merciful Father.

In the soul arises this reply, “For me there is no mercy,” and it falls into greater darkness, a despair which is a foretaste of hell and makes it unable to draw near to God.

Jesus calls to the souls a third time, but the soul remains deaf and blind, hardened and despairing. Then the mercy of God begins to exert itself, and, without any co-operation from the soul, God grants it final grace. If this too is spurned, God will leave the soul in this self chosen disposition for eternity. This grace emerges from the merciful Heart of Jesus and gives the soul a special light by means of which the soul begins to understand God’s effort; but conversion depends on its own will. The soul knows that this, for her, is final grace and, should it show even a flicker of good will, the mercy of God will accomplish the rest.

**My omnipotent mercy is active here. Happy the soul that takes advantage of this grace. **

Jesus: What joy fills My Heart when you return to Me. Because you are weak, I take you in My arms and carry you to the home of My Father.

Soul: (as if awakening, asks fearfully): Is it possible that there is yet mercy for me?

Jesus: There is, My child. You have a special claim on My mercy. Let it act in your poor soul; let the rays of grace enter your soul; they bring with them light, warmth, and life.

Soul: But fear fills me at the thought of my sins, and this terrible fear moves me to doubt Your goodness.

Jesus: **My child, all your sins have not wounded My Heart as painfully as your present lack of trust does - that after so many efforts of My love and mercy, you should still doubt My goodness. **

Soul: O Lord, save me yourself, for I perish. Be my Savior. O Lord, I am unable to say anything more; my pitiful heart is torn asunder; but You, O Lord…

Jesus does not let the soul finish but, raising it from the ground, from the depths of its misery, he leads it into the recesses of His Heart where all its sins disappear instantly, consumed by the flames of love.

Jesus: Here, soul, are all the treasures of My Heart. Take everything you need from it.

Soul: O Lord, I am inundated with Your grace. I sense that a new life has entered into me and, above all, I feel Your love in my heart. That is enough for me. O Lord, I will glorify the omnipotence of Your mercy for all eternity. Encouraged by Your goodness, I will confide to You all the sorrows of my heart.

Jesus: Tell Me all, My child, hide nothing from Me because My loving Heart, the Heart of Your Best Friend is listening to you.

Soul: O Lord, now I see all my ingratitude and Your goodness. You were pursuing me with Your grace, while I was frustrating Your benevolence. I see that I deserve the depths of hell for spurning Your graces.

Jesus (interrupting): Do not be absorbed in your misery - you are still too weak to speak of it - but, rather, gaze on My Heart filled with goodness, and be imbued with My sentiments. Strive for meekness and humility; be merciful to others, as I am to you; and, when you feel your strength failing, if you come to the fountain of mercy to fortify your soul, you will not grow weary on your journey.

Soul: Now I understand Your mercy, which protects me and like a brilliant star, leads me into the home of my Father, protecting me from all the horrors of hell that I have deserved, not once, but a thousand times. O Lord, eternity will hardly suffice for me to give due praise to Your unfathomable mercy and Your compassion for me.


#16

***Conversation of the Merciful God with a Soul Striving after Perfection. ***

Jesus: **I am pleased with your efforts, O soul aspiring for perfection, but why do I see you so often sad and depressed? Tell Me, My child, what is the meaning of this sadness, and what is its cause? **

Soul: Lord, the reason for my sadness is that, in spite of my sincere resolutions, I fall again into the same faults. I make resolutions in the morning, but in the evening I see how much I have departed from them.

Jesus: You see what you are of yourself. The cause of your falls is that you rely too much upon yourself and too little on Me. But let this not sadden you so much. You are dealing with the God of mercy, which your misery cannot exhaust. Remember, I did not allot only a certain number of pardons.

Soul: Yes, I know all that but the great temptations assail me, and various doubts waken within me and moreover, everything irritates and discourages me.

Jesus: My child, know that the greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and an exaggerated anxiety. These will deprive you of the ability to practice virtue. All temptations united together ought not disturb your interior peace, not even momentarily. Sensitiveness and discouragement are fruits of self love. You should not become discouraged, but strive to make My love reign in place of your self love. Have confidence, My child. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy.

Soul: I understand what is the better thing to do, what pleases You more, but I encounter great obstacles in acting on this understanding.

Jesus: **My child, life on earth is a struggle indeed; a great struggle for My kingdom. But fear not, because you are not alone. I am always supporting you, so lean on Me as you struggle, fearing nothing. Take the vessel of trust and draw from the fountain of life - for yourself, but also for other souls, especially such as are distrustful of My goodness. **

Soul: O Lord, I feel my heart being filled with Your love and the rays of Your mercy and love piercing my soul. I go, Lord, at Your command. I go to conquer souls. Sustained by Your grace, I am ready to follow You Lord, not only to Tabor, but also to Calvary. I desire to lead souls to the fount of Your mercy so that the splendor of Your mercy may be reflected in all souls, and the home of our Father be filled to overflowing. And when the enemy begins to attack me, I shall take refuge behind the shield of Your mercy.


#17

monica, please know that you are far from alone in this. i definitely know exactly what you are going through, for i have experienced similar and deep pain myself, especially recently. the fact that you want to grow in holiness and please God shows the depth of your love and the sincerity of your faith, which is amazing, and i admire you so much for it. i don’t think that we can ever truly advance in holiness and begin to lift up our lives as an offering to God until we truly realize and accept all of the suffering and pain that will be involved along the way. because you’ve already realized this, and have completely accepted it, then i think that what is actually the hardest part of advancing in holiness is over with for you. it took me a very long time, over a year after my conversion in november 2007, to accept that the cross i will have to bear all my life involves my mental illness, spiritual depressions and constant torments from the evil one, and it took me even longer to accept that in order to make the suffering work for good, i have to accept it and offer it up to God in love. it was only during my most recent spiritual depression that i realized this, and as soon as i offered up my deep pain for love of Jesus, for the sake of the souls in Purgatory and for the conversion of sinners, i immediately felt better and stronger than i ever have before. i have been deeply encouraged and strengthened by the fact that i now know that i can offer up my suffering to save souls and help Jesus carry His Cross. because you have accepted the fact of suffering, that shows your strength and courage, and i definitely trust that your sincerity is very pleasing to God.

the strange thing is that i can also relate to you in that when i considered myself a nondenominational evangelical Christian until december 2008, i still experienced these spiritual depressions, i still had my mental illness and i was still tormented by the enemy—but as soon as i converted back to Catholicism, and especially as soon as i prayed to God to make me a Saint, my interior trials grew deeper, more frequent and more painful to bear. so i did have crosses when i was a Protestant, but not nearly as many, now that i think of it, which just deepens my trust in the Truth of the Catholic Faith. also, just like you, when i did endure crosses, i would completely crumble under the weight of them, and they became useless to me. i didn’t have the support of a Catholic community like this to lead me to the Truth of the Catholic Faith and help me to accept and endure my suffering—it’s only because of the support and love of the people on here, combined with God’s great grace, mercy and love, that i’ve learned how to offer up my pain for love of Him, and use it for the good of souls who need Him. so that’s definitely another way that i can relate to you. please know, again, that you are far from alone in this, and that because i can relate to you so much, and also because i am always here and will always care, if you ever need anything at all, even if it’s just someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to contact me, and i will help and support you as much as i can. :heart:

i can relate to so much of what you are saying in this post that you remind me of myself, and i hope and pray that i can help you in at least some small way. i have a strong feeling that part of the reason why God has me go through my own interior trials, and why He had me go through the deep darkness of my past, is so that i can reach out to others who are enduring similar pain, and help, support and encourage them, and bring them closer to Him. God also has helped me to see and to realize that i need to focus less on myself when i am suffering, and much more on Him and on others, while still taking care of myself and being sure not to overburden myself with the needs of others. i have struggled with this in the past, especially as i am naturally selfish and self-centered, but i am determined in the future, especially during my inevitable next spiritual depression, to focus much less on myself and much more on God and on others, so that i can offer my pain up to Him and help precious souls who need help. i no longer struggle with submitting to His Will in my life—i have already prayed to Him that He can do whatever He wants with me, and that i will accept it. of course He had the right before, but it’s only now that i’m coming to accept it, and telling Him that i love Him enough to submit to all that His will is and does in my life.


#18

we all have our struggles and our weaknesses in life, monica, so please don’t ever put yourself down for going through this. i’m so glad beyond words that you do know and appreciate the truth of God’s forgiveness, and i am so excited for you, that you will soon receive the Sacraments. [please keep us updated, and let us know when you do receive them for the first time! :)] to answer your question, on how you can ever hope to grow in virtue and holiness when you still sin—please know, monica, that once you begin to receive the Sacraments, especially the Blessed Sacrament and Confession, you will begin to receive many precious graces from God that will lift you up, strengthen you and assist you. so, yes, things should definitely improve for you once you receive the Sacraments, so please don’t be too hard on yourself when you haven’t received them yet. this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t strive for holiness—but that when you do fall, as we all do at times, including myself, you remind yourself that you will soon receive more graces to help you and strengthen you, and focus on God’s strength, love and mercy that will grant you the courage to get up again and keep trying, keep going. i have no doubt, monica, that you definitely have the courage, strength, bravery and determination to overcome all of your sins and weaknesses in God, and that your sincerity, purity of heart, strong faith and desire to please God will definitely lead to you becoming a Saint for His glory. :slight_smile: another way that you can definitely grow in virtue and holiness despite your sins and weaknesses is through prayer. prayer is an incredible grace that God has given us, and i definitely recommend that you take advantage of it. pray for God to help you, ask Him to help you become a Saint, and He will. please know, though, that immediately after i prayed this prayer, my suffering increased tremendously—i have no doubt that God is using my suffering to purify me and lead me to Sainthood, and i trust that He will do the same to you in order to lead you to sanctity. the essentials in growing in virtue and holiness are to receive the Sacraments and prayer—but it is also absolutely essential that you have a strong spiritual life, for the closer you grow to God, the more strength and graces you will receive. for this reason, i recommend that along with receiving the Sacraments frequently, and praying very often, you develop a strong spiritual life through fasting, reading the Bible, reaching out to others and quiet time with God.

here are some resources on developing a strong spiritual life that i’ve found and have recommended to other people on here, that i hope and pray will help you in at least some small way:
prayer—catholic.org/clife/prayers/
catholicdoors.com/prayers/
ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/index.htm
catholictradition.org/prayers1.htm
catholicity.com/links/152/


#19

i especially recommend that you begin to pray the Rosary daily, for the Rosary transfers so many incredible graces to us, and Mary has given amazing promises to those who will recite her Rosary every day. i definitely suggest that you learn more about Mary and grow closer to her, asking her for her help in growing in holiness and virtue, for as your loving Heavenly Mother, she wants so much to help you to grow closer to God, and who is better equipped to help us grow in holiness than Mary?

i’m sure that you have your ‘horrible habits,’ but monica, we all struggle in our own ways. we all have our sins and weaknesses, and while we definitely shouldn’t ignore them, it’s important that we focus not on ourselves and how weak we are, for that will only lead us into despair, but that we focus instead on Jesus and how strong and loving and merciful He is, and how deeply He longs to help us and draw us close to His Sacred Heart in Love. if it would help you to confess specifically what some of your horrible habits are, none of us here will judge or condemn you—we are only here to help you, love you, support you and lift you up, not ever to hurt you or tear you down. of course, if that’s too personal, you definitely don’t have to share anything you don’t want to—just please know that you don’t ever have to be ashamed of having weaknesses or sins, for we all struggle in our own ways, and God understands that we are only human and will fall out of our inevitable frailty. He won’t grow angry or disappointed in you, monica, if you are trying your hardest to advance in holiness and do your best to avoid anything that will displease Him. in fact, i have no doubt that He sees your sincerity and desire to grow holy for Him, and that He is extremely pleased with you for it. if you’d like to talk more personally about your ‘horrible habits’ and anything else that might be bothering you, again, please don’t ever hesitate to contact me, for you honestly seem like a beautiful, loving, sincere person, and i would love to help you as much as i can, for i hate to see anyone suffer, especially when they have a heart shining forth as beautifully as yours does. :heart:

i know exactly what you mean when you say that no matter how hard you try, you continuously fall daily, struggling with the same sins and the same weaknesses. i tend to be weak in the same areas that are exposed when i don’t pray the night before or neglect God in some way, so i am beginning to rely more and more on prayer to grant me the graces to be strong, and leaning more and more on God to grant me the strength i need to avoid the sins i struggle with the most. i’m slowly but surely learning how to stay strong by remembering that Jesus lives in me now, to focus on living not as myself, but by letting His life within me shine forth, so that i can stay strong and avoid sin not in my own weakness, but in His strength. my suggestion to you is to learn more about who you are in Christ, and more about the glorious truth of His Love and Life within you. here is a great resource i found that can tell you more about this truth: ficm.org/whoiam.htm. once you realize who you truly are in Christ, and realize how much of His abundant life and love shines forth from within you, it should be easier to focus less on yourself and your own weaknesses and failures—which we all have, as we are all human, but we are loved and forgiven despite them—and more on Jesus living His Life through you. i will definitely pray for you, monica, that you will truly realize how beautiful you are in the eyes of God, how much He loves you and how much He forgives you, and how He longs to set you free from this despair over your sins. He doesn’t want us to despair over the fact that we are sinners, but to trust in His great Mercy that embraces us always, and to trust in Christ living His Life within us, setting us free and keeping us strong in Him.


#20

monica, i can definitely relate to the vicious cycle that you’re outlining when you talk about making a mistake and then feeling disappointed in yourself. i constantly make mistakes, i constantly fall, i constantly mess up and then hear the negative voices in my head tormenting me again. i’m learning how to replace negative self-talk and self-condemnation with positive truths of who i am in Christ and how much He loves and forgives me. it’s going to take time after despising and hurting myself for so long, but i trust that He will help me and lead me further into growth and healing, and that He will do the same for you. it’s good to realize that you made a mistake so that you can learn from it and grow for the future, and avoid making the same mistake a second time—when we fall, it’s important not to condemn ourselves for falling, but to realize that we are human and can never be perfect, and simply to take Jesus’ outstretched hand and get up again, and keep going in Him. of course sin is serious, and should be thought over and realized with a contrite heart—but as you definitely have a sincere, contrite heart that is truly sorry, you don’t need to drown in despair, but to accept that God has already forgiven you, and that if you only go to Him and ask for His help, He will grant you the strength not to fall again in this same weakness. did you know that if we sin, and then show true, sincere contrition for that sin, God forgives us, even before we go to Confession? of course we should still go to Confession, but please know that just because you haven’t received the Sacraments yet doesn’t mean that you aren’t forgiven. the fact that you are feeling miserable over your sins shows that you care and take sin seriously, with a contrite heart, which is extremely pleasing to God. i trust that God is extremely pleased with your efforts to please Him, and your efforts to overcome sin. He isn’t looking at you with condemning eyes, but with eyes of Love that see you as His beautiful, precious creation, loved with a depth beyond anything you could ever imagine or comprehend. the fact that you are trying to overcome sin and not simply set in your ways—i know this must please Him, and i know that He will help you if you only come to Him and ask for His help. all sins can be overcome through Him, including pride, selfishness and laziness, all of which i struggle with myself. you are definitely not alone in this, monica, and you are loved more than you could ever imagine. :heart:

i’m slowly learning not to see myself and be disappointed or despairing, but to look at myself in the mirror and see myself as God sees me. i hope, i pray, that my efforts to become perfect and to become a Saint are pleasing to Him, for i truly want to please Him and glorify Him with all of my heart. try to realize that there is more to you than your sins, even if it doesn’t feel like it at times. you definitely have some amazing qualities—a sincere, contrite heart, a love for God, efforts to become perfect, a strong faith, compassion and beauty. your posts on my thread were beautiful and helped me so much, and i wanted to thank you in this post for taking the time to write so much to help me. i see so much beauty in you, monica, and i hope and pray that someday soon you will be able to see it and realize it in yourself. you may be full of pride, selfishness and laziness, but you are also full of beauty, love and compassion. if you focus on the good that shines forth from within you, as well as on Christ’s life within you instead of your own weakness, and pray to God for His help, i have no doubt that you will soon advance much in holiness. :slight_smile:

the fact that you want to love God with all of your heart shows that you have a deep love for Him already, which i know is very pleasing to Him, for in the end, He just wants our hearts and our love. i don’t think that God wants you to despair over your sins, monica, when you are so deeply loved, and when His great mercy and forgiveness is always waiting to embrace you. if you want to love God with all of your heart, pray to Him for this grace, as well as for the graces of trust and a childlike faith. i have found that many graces come to us through the Rosary, so you might want to consider asking Mary for her help as well, praying a Rosary for the graces to love God with all your heart, to have a simple, childlike faith, to always trust Him, to be more careful about sin, to pray more and to have the pure heart of a child. God can work miracles in hearts and lives, and i have no doubt that He will cleanse your heart of all impurity if you come to Him and ask Him for this grace.


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