He Can't Be That Merciful......Can He?


#1

I find myself struggling with old sins which I ingrained within myself as a Neo-Pagan. I hate them, but I always find myself coming back to them.

I feel as though I am torn between one part of myself and another part, one which desires the Lord but another which is equally dedicated to the sins.

Early this morning I had one of my few experiences where I shed “tears of repentance.” (I think so anyway). I was before the Eucharist and I wept.

Yet later in the day I turned away again.

It has been a constant battle, one which I cannot overcome.

I wonder now, whether it is possible to continually come back to forgiveness, how can One live so hypocritically and so sinfully again and again, and yet still find Him with open arms.

I preached the love of God before, the Gospel before. I witnessed and bore testimony to the Mercy of God.

I need that mercy again, but I don’t think I am bear the shame of getting in that confessional with my regular confessor and saying the same old things.

It feels so easy just to “give up”…again.

I say that I love Him, I proclaim He is Messiah, I believe it too.

I want to love Him, I need to be near Him, I need to live in Him. I have tasted false gods and goddesses, and they are nothing. I know the emptiness my sins cause me. I am aware of the danger they pose to my stability, my vocation, and my soul.

But I return to them like a dog to vomit.

I preach to others, but I myself am disqualified.

And I HATE it.

How can I come back with everything I have done? How can I turn around when I can’t stop sinning. How can I come back home when I constantly leave home on my own accord.

How can I come back to my Father…after I have spit in His face and crucified His Son in my heart for a second, third, and fourty-fourth time??

After I have grieved His Spirit?

I feel as though everything I am demands holiness, but I cannot achieve it. I feel lost…again.

And the very thought of having to come back to my pastor and confess my sins again will be too much to bear, which is why I can hear the old gods calling me. To be frank, Jupiter is looking very appealing, even though I know he can’t satisfy my soul.

He couldn’t before, and somehow I know he can’t now.

Please pray for me, help me. My brethren, I don’t know if I want to get back up again. I’m just so sick of this.

If the Evil One hates me so, surely I must have a purpose. But literally I feel the Evil One is destroying whatever vocation I may have.


#2

He CAN be that merciful…he can be anything!!! I think part of the devil’s trick is to convince us that we are unworthy of God’s love so that we will escape into darkness…but here is the thing, its true! We are unworthy of God in every way…yet we are recipients of his mercy. The devil tries to make us think we have to attain a certain level of holiness before we can be loved by God, but that is not the truth. God wants us NOW, whatever the state of our soul. If we keep putting of coming to God because we feel unworthy we will never join him because we can NEVER be worthy of him.
Your sins do not erase the time you spent adoring Christ in the Eucharist…little by little you will become stronger against the devil’s snares until you find that the old sins disgust you.


#3

There are many temptations in this world, especially for young people.

Please know that God’s mercy is boundless. God is THAT merciful. He loves you very much. Be patient with yourself. Don’t worry about going back to your Pastor for the same sin in confession. The Pastor has heard it all and he understands.

If you don’t have a spiritual director, maybe you ought to consider looking for one.

I prayed for you. God bless!


#4

Please don’t give up. Go to confession and tell the priest how concerned you are about this. Tell him how much it bothers you to confess the same sins over and over again. And please, believe him when he tells you that God nevertheless forgives you. I think most of us go to confession with more or less same sins. I know I do.

You have a cross to bear in this and it sounds awful, but you are not alone. Jesus is with you and will never leave you.


#5

I can only echo what the other posters have said. :slight_smile: I definitely suggest you read this page with excerpts from Divine Mercy in My Soul

My daughter, do you think you have written enough about My mercy? What you have written is but a drop compared to the ocean. I am Love and Mercy itself. There is no misery that could be a match for My mercy, neither will misery exhaust it, because as it is being granted - it increases. The soul that trusts in My mercy is most fortunate, because I myself take care of it. (1273)
*
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. (Jesus to souls striving for perfection and holiness - 1488)*

*So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.*

Romans 7:21-25


#6

This last line already shows progress.

Yet later in the day I turned away again.
It has been a constant battle, one which I cannot overcome.
I wonder now, whether it is possible to continually come back to forgiveness, how can One live so hypocritically and so sinfully again and again, and yet still find Him with open arms.

And Yet he is. He sees into the heart and sees how you are struggling. How you hate the sin.

I preached the love of God before, the Gospel before. I witnessed and bore testimony to the Mercy of God. I need that mercy again, but I don’t think I am bear the shame of getting in that confessional with my regular confessor and saying the same old things.
It feels so easy just to “give up”…again.

Then go to a different confessor or, since you already have a regular confessor, tell him what you’ve told us. Ask if he can offer any additional help. Perhaps there is some spiriual councilor you could meet with. One with experience with Neo-paganism. The Confessional is not just for reciting in, it should be for ral council and help. Do not be afraid to ask for it.

And on that idea, this may well be God’s way of preparing you for a voaction counciling just such ones as yourself.

I say that I love Him, I proclaim He is Messiah, I believe it too.
I want to love Him, I need to be near Him, I need to live in Him. I have tasted false gods and goddesses, and they are nothing. I know the emptiness my sins cause me. I am aware of the danger they pose to my stability, my vocation, and my soul.

But I return to them like a dog to vomit.

I preach to others, but I myself am disqualified.
And I HATE it.

Please do not give into this tendency to despair. When all else fails, when your strength fails, just give it over to God. I was once in such a position where the only prayer I could muster was, “Please God, just don’t let Go of me”. You know - It worked. He did not let Go of me, and He won’t let go of you either.

How can I come back with everything I have done? How can I turn around when I can’t stop sinning. How can I come back home when I constantly leave home on my own accord.
How can I come back to my Father…after I have spit in His face and crucified His Son in my heart for a second, third, and fourty-fourth time??
After I have grieved His Spirit?

Cling to His mercy. He died for this. That we should cling to Him. Even in our dispair, Cling to Him.

I feel as though everything I am demands holiness, but I cannot achieve it. I feel lost…again.

And the very thought of having to come back to my pastor and confess my sins again will be too much to bear, which is why I can hear the old gods calling me. To be frank, Jupiter is looking very appealing, even though I know he can’t satisfy my soul.
He couldn’t before, and somehow I know he can’t now.
Please pray for me, help me. My brethren, I don’t know if I want to get back up again. I’m just so sick of this.

Heavenly Father,
Send St Michael and the heavenly host to aid our dear brother in his fight. Do not let teh poison of dispair overtake him. Hold him in your large loving arms. Let him climb upon your lap and weep as you did for me, your servant. Send to him a sign of hope, to lighten his heart.

If the Evil One hates me so, surely I must have a purpose. But literally I feel the Evil One is destroying whatever vocation I may have.

Be patient with yourself. Many Saints have been where you are now. Have you read the lives of any of these?

Peace
James


#7

I guarantee that you are not the worst person in the world. Both God and your pastor have seen worse. I once felt like you feel. I went to confess. My plan was to conceal my most embarrassing faults with a blanket statement of general indiscretions. The “angel” who was hearing my confession revealed things to me from his past. He was worse than me! I totally unloaded things that I thought I would never say out loud. What an experience…

Keep trying. Life is about progress - not perfection.


#8

Nobody is perfect except for God. Don’t worry about stumbling along the way. Even thought you may feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, loving God one moment and then turning away another, God will always be there. His love for you is immeasurable.

You said that you’ve preached the love of God before. If one person out of the many you talked to picked up a Bible and started reading and praying, don’t you think you’ve made a HUGE difference?

Don’t get discouraged. Like I’ve said before, nobody is perfect, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"
Keep praying.


#9

The devil gets us to think of God’s mercy before we sin, and His justice afterwards. It should really be the other way around.

I heard Peter Kreeft say this during one of his talks and it stuck with me. I too have a sin which I struggle with. A sin that I keep returning to, that I have to repeat in confession nearly every time. But, the grace of the confessional is that as time progresses, I am feeling more and more repulsed by the sin. Sometimes I am able to resist the temptation. God is helping me.

God’s mercy is that great. You see, His mercy **is **His justice.

Do not despair–it is pride that makes us think our sins are bigger than God’s mercy. He will always forgive you, because you are His child.

May you always find shelter in the mercy of God.


#10

I think your problems are too serious for an internet message board. Please talk to a trusted priest/friend in your seminary about your difficulty. Meanwhile, pray the Rosary! It will defeat Satan without fail!


#11

How can I come back to my Father…after I have spit in His face and crucified His Son in my heart for a second, third, and fourty-fourth time??

After I have grieved His Spirit?

Hi brother, I think it’s important to humble ourselves in these moment. To KNOW that we are unworthy, but STILL trust in God’s mercy, despite that. Try to do that :slight_smile:


#12

Antonius Lupus,

I know exactly how you feel. I am going through that right now. I mean I’m not Neo-Pagan but your feelings are my feelings. I feel awful that I always have to go with my spiritual director and confess the same sin all the time. And reading these replies, I feel like God is speaking to me through them. But you see, I feel like even though this is good advice, none of it gets to my heart. What is wrong? I try to read it more than once but nothing. I KNOW what it is that I’m reading but none of it makes me break down or be like ohh my gosh and then start crying. A friend of mine said I need a prayer of healing, meaning people from my diocese who are in a ministry of prayer to pray for me. This Saturday I’m going to confessionals and have to confess the same sin again to my spiritual director but these replies have helped me to know what to say.

And I couldn’t have said it any better than this:

[quote=Antonius Lupus:]Please pray for me, help me. My brethren, I don’t know if I want to get back up again. I’m just so sick of this.

If the Evil One hates me so, surely I must have a purpose. But literally I feel the Evil One is destroying whatever vocation I may have.
[/quote]

Pray for me too!

:blessyou:


#13

Be very careful. To think that God’s Mercy is not more powerful than sin is the SIN of despair. It is a surrendering to our sinful nature, of which we tell ourselves, there is no way out. Repetition of sin, is no indication of its power. Man is sinful by nature, but strives ALL HIS LIFE(not just a few years here and there) with God’s grace to fight sin.

“I don’t ask that you succeed. I ask that you try.”

How often do I forgive my brother? 70 times 7.


#14

I don’t know if this will be of help to you and Antonius or not, but I am moved to write so perhaps the Spirit wishes you to know this.

I too (as many do) have troubles going to confession and reciting the “same old sins”. I realize that most priests hear them and forget them but still it is a grind and darned depressing as we see here. Something that I determined to do during my examination of conscience was to look, not so much at the 10 commandments and my acts, but rather at the Cardinal Virtues and the “Seven Deadly Sins”. The reason is that many of my acts of sin will flow from these. It helps me to focus less on the outward “sinfulness” and more on the underlying causes.
This Link will allow you to see these Cardinal Virtues and Deadly Sins.
reflect on these and see if it provides any new insights or help or at least something new to bring before your confessor or spiritual director. It might give you a new slant - a new place to start from.

Anyway I hope it helps some.

Peace
James


#15

I want you to know that this is not the first time I have heard this from a Catholic with a pagan background. I want you to know you might not be so unusual after all. You might be normal, and this might be what it is like as you struggle to be sanctified, and you might be making huge amounts of progress that you can’t feel.

This is also not the first time I have heard the despair of what you are saying, “how can God possibly keep forgiving me”. I have heard so many people say the same thing.

Can you ask yourself what it is that keeps drawing you back? The real sin underneath the sin? Because it isn’t really your beliefs you are struggling with, it is an emotional habit that has been ingrained. Whatever you are actually doing, what is it providing you emotionally? I don’t know what you’re doing, but how does it help you deal with some aspect of your life? Does it relieve anxiety? If you can figure out that, then maybe you can figure out the underlying emotional attachment. Turning to something out of anxiety, for example, is similar to turning to drugs, and is a way to appease the flesh. And as we hear from people who are former drug users, that too takes a long process of constant repentance and emotional growth. Maybe a 12-step type of approach would even help? If you can replace whatever it is in the flesh that you are attached to with a spiritual fruit, then perhaps you can break the habit. So, going back to anxiety, if you can replace it with faith, then maybe it will set you free.


#16

remember that our feelings often lie. Try to not be too attached to them.


#17

take a look:

rcspiritualdirection.com/blog/2009/06/08/how-do-i-get-rid-of-my-inner-ugliness

Is God frustrated with you because you aren’t perfect yet? Is he up in heaven tapping his watch and raising his eyebrows? Not a chance. Let me tell you, as a Catholic priest, that he is OVERJOYED with the fact that you have followed his nudges and made your way through the wilderness of our secular society onto the one path of holiness. Yes, you are on the path of holiness; you are on the “steep road” and passing through the “narrow gate” (Matthew 7:13) that lead to salvation, wisdom, Christian joy, everlasting fruitfulness, and eternal beauty. He has been trying to convince you to get onto that path for a while, most likely. Now you are there, and you are traveling it, and you are following the road signs (prayer, confession, spiritual direction… Heck, you’re in the fast lane!), and he is delighted!

So, if your frustration doesn’t come from God, where does it come from? I am sure you have already guessed it: your pride. You want God to go at your pace, but God is not always going to go at your pace. He knows better; he is going to go at his pace, and we (all of us) need to learn to follow that pace. If not, we will never grow in humility, the bedrock of all holiness and true happiness.


#18

Dear brethren,

Thank you all for your support, prayers, and help. I wanted to give an update.

Before I proceed, let me quote a new passage I found:

15 For thus says he who is high and exalted, living eternally, whose name is the Holy One: On high I dwell, and in holiness, and with the crushed and dejected in spirit, To revive the spirits of the dejected, to revive the hearts of the crushed.

16 I will not accuse forever, nor always be angry; For their spirits would faint before me, the souls that I have made.

17 Because of their wicked avarice I was angry, and struck them, hiding myself in wrath, as they went their own rebellious way.

18 I saw their ways, but I will heal them and lead them; I will give full comfort to them and to those who mourn for them,

19 I, the Creator, who gave them life. Peace, peace to the far and the near, says the LORD; and I will heal them. (Isaiah 57)

If there is any book of Scripture, imo, which best shows the love of God the Father before Christ’s coming, it is Isaiah.

I spent about 45 minutes today examining my conscience. Then I went to confession.

I was a difficult confession, but I just pushed through it. Thank God I had written down my sins!! Father had little to say and was very gentle with me.

In my act of contrition I went into detail expressing how I felt. How I regretted ever doing what I did. How I hated my sins, in so far as they leave me empty and with nothing. How I would sin no more in those ways and I begged the Lord to let these pagan sins end today.

After this I bowed for absolution.

Shortly before and during the prayer of absolution, I remembered something. I had remembered how I had fallen shortly after weeping before the Lord in my holy hour. While I had confessed the sin itself, I had no mentioned that I had done it not long after I had been at my holy hour.

I felt that since I was uncertain, and still am, as to whether it was a grave sin…I chose not to confess it.

When I sat back down in the sanctuary afterwards, I reflected. I felt scrupulous about my confession because of what I just described, but I remembered that unless we are absolutely certain that we held back a sure mortal sin, then we have made a good and valid confession.

This means that we were forgiven.

When I started to reflect on that, I started to sob. It wasn’t like the weeping I had done in my Holy Hour. Rather, it was very much like when I had received my First Communion.

I thought as I was getting into my car to go home that the “feeling” of forgiveness was simply a grace from God. Job says that God gives and takes away.

I started to think that perhaps the feelings I had experienced after, for example, my first general confession had been given to strengthen and confirm me. After all, I had only been a Catholic for a short while, and had yet to participate regularly in the sacraments.

Now that I am older in the faith, perhaps the Lord has removed from me those feelings so that I might learn to trust Him, and His promises.

Perhaps now that the feelings have ended, I am now in a position to mature further.

Thank you all so much!!!


#19

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