Help finding my way back


#1

I have really been struggling with my spirituality the last few months. It’s not a lack of faith so much as the desire to live my faith.

I used to go to Mass everyday. Now, I have to force myself to go on Sunday. I missed yesterday with no good reason. I didn’t go on Christmas because I was “too tired”. Logically, I know I need to get to confession and start going to Mass. I just can’t force myself.

I know I’m in a state of mortal sin. I suppose the best word for it is “selfish”. I’m more wrapped up in myself. I’ve tried to work my way out of it and I haven’t be successful.

Has anyone been there before? Do you have any suggestions? I realize it’s a matter of getting over myself. Any words of encourgement?!?


#2

CONGRATULATIONS on being awake to the voice of the Lord within you and within every living thing!! :slight_smile: :smiley: :extrahappy: :clapping: :dancing: :smiley: :slight_smile:

You may try reading St. Augstine’s Confessions. He prayed “Lord give me chastity; just not yet!” He is one of the Doctors of the Church and (may I be correctted if I am wrong :confused: ) also chaired the Synod of Hippo that determined the canon of Scripture. He spent a lot of time in a relationship with a woman that eventually ended in the birth of an illegitimate son. The son later died. The woman was devastated when he had to break up the relationship, and she vowed never to marry again.

Confessions of St. Augustine newadvent.org/fathers/1101.htm

Perhaps also try praying through Mary to Jesus. The Mother of the Word enriches our merits with her own when she petitions Christ and it is more humble to pray to Christ through an intermediary. For whoever humbles himself will be humbled, and whoever exalts himself will be cast down.Matthew 23:12

More resources on this:

True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html
**Secret of the Rosary ** montfort.org.uk/Writings/Rosary.html
http://www.saintlouisdemontfort.com/consecration.cfm
Reflections on True Devotion to Mary by His Holiness Pope John Paul II http://www.michaeljournal.org/montfort.htm

Finally, maybe beg God earnestly for the grace to repent. From St. Maria Faustina’s Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul

#1150 Let every soul beg for the help of actual grace, as sometimes ordinary grace is not enough.

saint-faustina.com/Diary/DMIMS23.shtml

Another excerpt:

#1181 When I was close to the Lord, He said to me, ** Why are you afraid to begin the work which I have commanded you to carry out?** I answered, Why do you leave me on my own at such times, Jesus, and why do I not feel your presence? **My daughter, even though you do not perceive Me in the most secret depths of your heart, you still cannot say that I am not there. I only remove from you the awareness of my presence, and that should not be an obstacle to the carrying out of My will. I do this to achieve unfathomable ends, which you will know later on.

My daughter, know without a doubt, that only mortal sin drives me out of a soul and nothing else!**

saint-faustina.com/Diary/DMIMS24.shtml It’s such a wonderful thing that we have Confession so that all of us who struggle deeply with sin, as myself, receive incredible grace to repent, persist in carrying the Cross of Christ with Mary and walking in the way of the Lord with Mary, as well as the complete and total forgiveness of our sins!

Great prayers: Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Litany of Humility ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/humility.htm

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#3

I’ve certainly felt what you’ve felt sometimes. I doubt if there are many practicing Catholics who haven’t, unless they’ve just converted. I would guess that even the Saints have felt this at one time or another. But the Saints didn’t allow it to change what they did. When you do feel this, pray and then realize that it makes a difference to _____ (your favorite person). It does, you know. That’s what being part of His Body and the communion of the saints is all about. Each time you take advantage of the Sacraments you are making it easier for yourself, too. Do it for your immortal soul, then put yourself on automatic pilot and just do it. That’ll be the hardest time. Practicing Catholics are generally, at least for a while, practicing out of selfishness for their own immortal soul! If you are feeling strong doubts, pray (especially to Our Lady - she’s all of our spiritual mother!), call your pastor (that’s one of his jobs), come here with your questions.
The Sacraments are God’s Gift to help you. And they give grace - help - to our soul. Christ is within every Sacrament. Make sure you can take full advantage of them by calling your pastor and telling him you need to schedule a confession since you are coming back to the Church (even if only a short time has elapsed since you were fully practicing - in your heart, too). Tell him that you’re having trouble availing yourself of the Sacraments. If the pastor you speak with isn’t warm and friendly (like the Prodigal Son’s father) talk to a different one - one who isn’t dieting or too busy or … Call him! His job is sheparding you, including your soul.
My prayers are with you.


#4

Nicole, I’ll pray for you.

Please go to Confession for your own sake.
And please seek help as to whether you are suffering from some depression, which seems likely from your post.

Take care of yourself.

Warmly, Trishie


#5

Thank you all for your posts. All of them have been helpful.

I have been depressed (I have lost a child, I’m really good at spotting depression) and don’t believe that’s the deal here. Only because it isn’t happening in other areas of my life.

I have no problem going out with friends for dinner or visiting family, etc.

I have always been really hard on myself. It kind of started when I realized I was doing too much. I was going to daily Mass, on three different committees and participating in Christ Renews His Parish.

I had to, for my own sanity, take a break. The problem is that it’s hard for me to take a small break. Or to pick one or two things to give up. I wanted to drop all of them.

Plus, I just moved so I’m sort of in between parishes. I am committed to Christ Renews His Parish until February. I’m honoring that committement. So, I’m not officially changing parishes until that is done.

You know, I’m going to take some advice and pray to Mary tonight. Even one decade of the Rosary will be worth while.


#6

A decade of the Rosary will certainly be worthwhile! There are a number of all or nothing perfectionists in my family and I’ve seen and felt a quite a bit of that (my daughter is one of them). It’s hard to balance doing for your fellow man and compassion with self-care (as a creature of His). My prayers are with you!:crossrc:

Some Christian psychology books on boundaries might help. :confused: :shrug:


#7

nicolep, I’ll add you to my prayers. And boy, do I know how hard it is to keep on that narrow path. So much much much harder than any of the atheists out there would believe.

I am one of those who struggles to get to daily Mass too–and then every time I get a cold I have an excuse to skip!! It’s SO HARD.

Just keep telling yourself that it’s worth it. It’s the only thing in the world that’s really worth anything, and I notice it brings such joy into my life, like a little bright bubble in the midst of all the dross. .

I’ll say some prayers, and hope they help, God bless, Annem


#8

I’m not good at spiritual advice, but it definitely does sound like you need to slow down a bit. Especially after losing a child… I’m sure God would understand.


#9

Just so everyone is on the same page, it has been four years since my son died. It was four years on August 31st. I’m not at all saying that I don’t have my fair share of grief still, but it’s not fresh.

The holidays are hard though. It’s difficult to be around family and friends and seeing how much their kids have grown. I suppose I do get little spells of depression around the holidays. That probably has some to do with my issues.

It’s also quite true that mortal since separates us from God. There’s no room for grace. My next step has to be confession. Now, I’ll have to repeat that to myself several times so I will actually go. I’m going to read some of the suggested items in this thread. I have to figure out a way to keep a balanced spiritual life. I can’t do the up and down thing. It’s either over kill or nothing.

Thanks again everyone!


#10

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.