Having almost no faith at all, and: Should I pray outside an abortion facility this week?


#1

I will be studying abroad as a college student in Japan, 2 January - 16 May; I need to pack, clean my room, and work on a report for school (that should be finished before 2 January). I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, and after studying abroad will “defend” that report (“thesis paper”) over the summer, so I may enter graduate school for Medical Physics in the Fall.

It appears the closest abortion facility is 32.4 km (20.1 miles) away, estimated 31 minute drive, in eastern TN (USA). I don’t want to drive for 62 minutes and pray in the bitter cold for 30 minutes (holding a sign or not? Should I?) if no one will be there this week – if it wouldn’t help anything.

Is it worth it? Personally, my older brother and I are frustrated so much so that we have no prayer life – it appears as if (or feels like) God doesn’t hear our prayers. I tried praying the Rosary a while ago, and after seeing the “15 Promises of the Rosary” (what?! It seems so far-fetched!) from EWTN, I feel like I should start praying again, but it doesn’t seem to do any good. (Praying the Rosary seems to be like talking to myself and “brainwashing” myself about the Bible’s stories, to convince myself that they’re true.)

It’s just such a long drive, about 35 minutes each way. Do you know how active abortion facilities are this week, Dec 27 - 1 January, and if it would be useful? Please give me as much detail as you can; the abortion issue brings me to tears (as a man), but in part those tears are from senseless futility, frustrated ridiculousness; a somewhat nihilistic outlook on life that God seems absent, while humans murder their children, both suggesting that God is there (thus my ability to grieve) and that God is not there (thus our situation, of murder being the law of the land).

(I feel somewhat strangled, that I try to have faith, but it feels like I cannot have faith, that the absurdity of life is overwhelming. Reason suggests to me that I should not have faith, that if God were as real as the tree outside my window, I should not need faith: Faith as a theological virtue suggests the absence of God, as in, “No, he’s really there, although it looks like he might not be: Take our word for it. No, you can’t go behind the curtain yet, just believe he’s there because we say he is.” Considering Paul’s definition in Hebrews 11:1, faith seems to me “holding a belief to be fact without sufficient evidence; hoping something to be true”. And so the thought of praying the Rosary outside an abortion facility makes me want to cry, because I want God to be real and to be with God, etc., and to fight demons and save lives, but it seems impossible. I cannot escape myself and my slavery to doubt, reason and questioning; I cannot tolerate the idea of doing anything without believing in it, and I cannot seem to believe the Christian message (Gospel?) like I believe mathematical truth and empirical observation. How can you believe anything without empirical evidence? I find Christian philosophy beautiful (concerning human sexuality, etc.) because it is fitting with my life experience, and with reason as I know it (i.e. my worldview), and both of those are from observation and experience with others – not warm fuzzy feeling or emotion. Christianity has beautiful philosophy and a beautiful worldview, but I cannot seem to believe it as actual objective truth – perhaps you might believe I am under heavy demonic attack? Wouldn’t your prayer help me, if God listens to you? I hope to schedule Confession tomorrow; although I received the Eucharist today, I try to blame this apparent “separation from God” on sexual sins I have committed since my last confession. But it seems everything I do is hopeless, noting verse 6 of Hebrews 11:4-7. So faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26), but works without faith, even trying to build faith, are also dead. I have a little faith, or else I wouldn’t be here writing this post, but it doesn’t appear to be enough faith to produce anything useful other than singing pretty music at church.)


#2

JMJ / MMM 091227 Sunday
Greetings ethereality –
Thank you for sharing meaningfully. I have printed off your posting and will study it carefully in prayer. Faith is, of course, above reason … but never against reason. If your faith is weak it may be because you are in need of a clearer understanding of prayer, what prayer is.

At this moment I’m involved … but I do intend in 2-3 days to respond to you and share with you some understandings that may help to make your faith stronger. I think so.

For the moment consider – Jesus in the Garden BEGGED His Father, with a torn heart and many tears, to spare him what was coming. “Father, please let this chalice pass me by. I beg You. I’m terrified. Yet, Your Will be done.” And the answer? “No, My Son. There is important work to be done. This is why I sent You and this why you accepted to become human.”

Consider also – (Epistle) 1 John 5:14, “If you ask anything, that is according to the Will of God, you will be heard.” God’s Wisdom decides. Our limited views cannot see His Great Plan.

I will return here and post again in 2-3 days.
Every Blessing of Jesus and Mary be yours!
John (JohnJFarren)


#3

Pray for faith. You may not be having any positive feelings right now while praying the Rosary, but it actually does work. If you stick with it in spite of your feelings, I believe this act of faith (for that is what it is) will impact you for the better.

Also, Hebrews doesn’t mean our faith is groundless or without sufficient evidence. It’s just that with anything in life, after we have sufficient reason to convince us of the truth of something, we need to take one more step. That step is faith.

You believe in the truth of mathematics. Your faith is built on reason. Faith and reason work together. I believe my parents love me because of experience, evidence and reason, but in the end I have faith in them. Faith is the final step.

If you need more evidence, I recommend reading Lee Strobel’s book, “The Case for Christ.” Also “The Incorruptibles.” And there are some books on Eucharistic miracles, if you look on amazon.com, which are really impressive.

Here’s a post I sent a guy in the Scripture Forum, who was asking if Biblical miracles were untrue because nothing that amazing happens today. I added to the post a bit later.

Lief Erikson:

Whooooaaaah boy. I don’t think you’ve read much at all about the Catholic saints. There are thousands canonized. Look any of them up and you’ll see the “cool events” did not stop with the Bible.

Here’s one, the famous “flying monk,” St. Joseph Cupertino. Here’s the longish version of his story, a good article I really enjoyed reading. ewtn.com/library/mary/joseph.htm
A shorter version:
newadvent.org/cathen/08520b.htm

Here are some of St. Padre Pio’s miracles: padrepio.catholicwebservices.com/ENGLISH/Miracles.htm

A description of the marvels at Fatima:
scribd.com/doc/16920434/Fatima-Prophecies-the-Miracle-of-the-Sun

This one you must read about the marvelous apparitions of Mary at Zeitoun:
marypages.com/ZeitoenEng.htm

And look at this one, about the “Incorruptibles,” the saints whose bodies never decayed because the saints were so united with God in their lives:
catholicapologetics.info/library/gallery/incorrupt/incorrupt.htm

Here’s one of the most famous Eucharistic miracles:
therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/lanciano.html

And the Miracle of the Holy Fire which has annually occurred at the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem for 2,000 years:
holyfire.org/eng/

Here are several links to Eucharistic miracles you can read about, all the links on this page:
homebusinesslink.com/eucharistic.html

The Virgin Mary appeared at Siluva in Lithuania during the Protestant Reformation and converted the whole nation to Catholicism.

Around the same time period, she appeared at Guadaloupe in Mexico and converted that whole country!

Here you can read about St. Catherine Emmerich, one of the greatest visionaries of history, or the greatest. jesus-passion.com/ANNE_CATHERINE_EMMERICH.htm

Seriously, look up any of the saints, look up and google the saints, and you’ll see the most amazing things come up all the time.

God’s power is as real and active today as it was in Biblical times. The Catholic Church is full to bursting with wonders. Read about some of them through these various sources and enjoy! :thumbsup::thumbsup: :smiley:

The lives of saints are filled with wonders that prove the truth of Catholicism. There are so many wonders in Catholicism. This is the place where Heaven and Earth meet and are made one!

You also will want to look up the Shroud of Turin (newgeology.us/presentation24.html) and Image of Our Lady of Guadaloupe (Some evidence for the miracle: catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=16789 - and a blog with links to the story and some further evidence: romancatholicblog.typepad.com/roman_catholic_blog/2006/12/our_lady_of_gua.html) online.

End post.

If you need more evidence, these sources are a good place to start, though there’s a LOT more out there beyond what I’ve described. Just reading through the stories members of CAF often post shows how incredibly God acts in people’s lives.

Pray for faith, and stick with the Rosary. That in itself is an act of trust. You don’t have to have any special feelings or particular faith. Remember how a boy’s father once spoke to Jesus when asking for a miracle, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” And Jesus answered His prayer. The very fact that the man had gone to Jesus was an act of faith, as well as desperation. By sticking with the Rosary, you show faith. You may be going through a time of testing, but these are the times when God builds our faith most.


#4

Even if you show up at the abortion mill and find it closed and you are the only one there, if you offer up all your sufferings along the way, from the gas mileage to the amount of time the trip takes, to the bitter cold, to the battle otherwise known as prayer, to your feelings … God sees you and loves you for it! :heart: :tiphat:

:blessyou:


#5

Hi,

I just have a question: Is it the fact that you feel as though you do not have faith and this is what has convinced you that you have a lack of faith in God?


#6

JMJ / MMM 091230 Wednesday
Hello and Blessing, ethereality --
"The absurdity of life is overwhelming." It can be. But that's why the Almighty God chose to identity with that absurdity. This always stuns me > God could have shared Divine Life with us most certainly in an easier way (for Him). And yet .. God chose to make Himself VULNERABLE .. ABLE TO SUFFER .. ABLE TO DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH. That is what stuns me! All this was done through Love, Infinite Love for us, individually and collectivly.

Yes, this life without Jesus Christ is absurd! How right you are! But with Jesus, united with Jesus, Eternal Victory has already been won! We know this by faith/trust.

"God doesn't hear our prayers." God hears every single prayer. God has at least two answers > YES and NO. He gave a NO to His Son in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is a factor in prayer that we pray worthily, devotely, hoping. IF the following prayer were truly sincere, I would bless it > "God -- if You happen to Exist -- please help me! Please grant my request!" And, of course, for a good reason Known by God in Infinite Wisdom, God could respond (with Love) NO.

It's very important to remember why we are here .. in this process .. in this becoming .. in this world with so much suffering and ignorance and evil. We are meant to become real sharers in God's Divine Nature and Divine Life. Our continuing struggle is between our self-centered self OR our Christ-centered self. Whatever we may fancy our desires and wishes and joys and pleasures .. and sufferings .. and even our sins .. to be .. the fact is God is supremely interested in and involved in our becoming fully what we are meant to be, namely, Divine Sons and Daughters of God.

And it is not possible for human beings to attain such a Divine Goal without dying to lesser goals -- and this, inescapably means suffering and death .. both our physical death and our self-centered death.

IF God wanted puppets, God could simply Will us to be perfect and establish us in Divine Life. God does NOT want puppets. In the Second Eucharistic Prayer we pray, "Have mercy on us all; make us WORTHY to share eternal life, with Mary ..."

This is the difficulty! Not with God .. but with us, the material God is working with. God wants us to be WORTHY of Eternal Life! Staggering! We could stand before God and say, respectfully, "God, I want my Eternal Life. I have been made WORTHY of It .. and I, respectfully, have a right to It."

If we were to have proof for our faith, there would be no faith .. only clear reason. We do have abundant evidence ("circumstantial evidence") for our faith. What is "circumstantial evidence"? Consider someone on trial in a courtroom, accused of a serious crime. There are seven pieces of reliable information, each of them pointing toward the guilt of the accused. Yet .. no single one of them could get a guilty verdict. But .. putting them all together .. and no piece of evidence pointing clearly toward acquital .. they constitute "circumstantial evidence" and can be a firm foundation for a guilty verdict. And we do have much such evidence .. enabling us to choose to make our act of faith.

There is only ONE WAY to salvation and Eternal Life, the WAY that Jesus showed us, the WAY that leads to the "death" (or rather transformation) of our self-centerdness and the Fulness of Divine Life in Jesus Christ. "Come, follow me ... If any one would be my disciple he must give up all and follow me ... Unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remains alone ... He who sees me [hears me] sees [and hears] the Father."

In closing, ethereality, I'd like to recall what prayer is .. and petition is not first.
1 -- Prayer is worship, adoration, loving God ...
2 -- Prayer is thanksgiving ...
3 -- Prayer is sorrow for sin ...
AND 4 -- Prayer is petition, asking .. and Jesus did urge us to ask.

Every blessing for you, your family, and your studies and future life.
John (JohnJFarren)


#7

Pray this novena with all your heart. St. John Vianney said to pray this whenever you start losing faith and other gifts of the Holy Spirit. It’s the oldest novena.

It is the most powerful novena I have ever prayed. Ask God for grace, and he will give you what you need.


#8

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