Help for direction and resolve


#1

I decided to post here because even though my other posts have been in the liturgy and sacraments, this post is not really a question but more of a need to seek spiritual assistance because of confusion and frustration with the faith.
Retrospectively, this concern would not have been apparent during a period of darkness and pain without appreciating its purpose. It now just adds further suffering to recognize the source of that pain.
Confirmation was merely a fact of life in 1984 without any content of catechisis in the faith. Confirmation was a way of passage right outside the door of the Church into the world. Beforehand, I had hesitancy and doubt about undergoing something not understood. I was too much in the frame of mind that it was like attending school, acquiring knowledge, demonstrating an ability to pass tests before receiving a certification. I basically underwent Confirmation by pleasing my mother and grandmother. There was also an element of social conformity with peers who attended a public school together. Catechism for an hour, once a week was woefully insufficient. On the other hand, after reading, listening and studying the conditions of the Church in the United States during the mid 1970s to mid 1980s, I have to wonder even if Catholic schools in name were handing on a counterfeit catechisis, watered down. I know not whether to be thankful for not having absorbed that rather than have insufficient faith. Is there comfort in reflecting upon the fact of having received the gift of Baptism and Confirmation?
Meanwhile, I became spiritually and emotionally adrift for at least ten years to 15 years while experiencing life’s disappointments, frustrations and losses. I became suspicious of organized religion as just a clique or club of like minded individuals. I was not susceptible to the wiles of evangelicalism. There are too many divisions and fragmentation of Christianity to think that these discredit and obscure the message. I was still searching for love in the beauty of women. I became very philosophical after a philosophy course in college. I desired wisdom. The second half of college was spent between studying economics and sociology. This was a roundabout way of seeking the kingdom of God by following the law of the household.
Even though my faith was probably initially awakened by 1987 by philosophy, it was not until 1992-1994 when Pope John Paul II visited the United States for World Youth Day in Denver, and later, I accompanied my grandfather to Europe for his return reunion to commemorate the 50th anniversity of D-Day and World War II in Europe. This became a spiritual pilgrammage for me by having visited the old churches of England, France, Belgium and Germany. I saw in the architecture what was lacking in the faith at home.
This is reflective thinking because basically my faith has difficulty growing and being nurtured for the past 15 years. I feel marginalized on the edge looking inwards, feeling weak and spiritually malnourished. I feel anxious and afraid. Everything about the faith has been learned from the outside through television and internet. I read daily scripture regularly now according to the daily mass readings. I occaisionally attend Masses during the week, and sometimes sit in Eucharistic Adoration.
I feel stuck and alone, feeling ashamed and embarassed, confused. Nobody in my family practices the Catholic faith anymore. The family is scattered geographically. My uncle is the only religious in a non denominational congregation. His mother, my grandmother recently died from complications of Alzheimers over a period of 15 years. My 90 year old grandfather is stubbornly indifferent to the faith, although he had a Catholic Mass of Chrisitan burial for her. That was an awkward moment.
For a very long time, I been reading and studying about the Eucharist. I have a fascination with medieval literature about the Holy Grail. I feel drawn to receiving communion worthily, unlike when younger without any sense about it. I need to confess. But I have difficulty trusting. I have so much doubt because of bad examples of scandal in the Church, and a feeling of betrayl for not having my faith nourished and nurtured. I have an underlying desire to be loved and love, but feel as if my natural love and desire has been misdirected. I felt a deep ache inside when unable to receive the Eucharist at my grandmother’s funeral. I was afraid of being unworthy, and not wanting to be a show off to my family.
I cannot understand my uncle’s wayward faith among the weeds. I cannot see the wheat through the chaffe. My neighbor has been trying to evangelize my parents and I about her faith. She is a Baptist who keeps changing congregations. This is a confusing obstacle to me. I dont want argue with her. My faith is so weak and tepid, that I can only offer the authority of the Catholic Church with Pope Benedict and John Paul II. She comes from the perspective of scripture alone. I am not confident enough to face someone who has scripture down by memory. I am still digesting daily readings through the assistance of authoritatitve commentators.
Please pray for me. Thank you for having read to this end. I have probably written too much, and left too many gaps to be coherent.


#2

I also ask for anyone’s prayers and intercession for my Aunt Barb, who has experienced cancer within the past year. Now she faces unemployment and financial stress. I have nothing like money or technical expertise to offer her. I try to pray as best can for her to endure her difficulties, and hopefully and most importantly have a conversion of heart and mind to return to a welcoming community of faith in the Catholic Church again.


#3

Dear Lord, please guide us and give us the strength and courage to do Your will always. In the name of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen


#4

O Dear Heavenly Father I pray to You. May You make Your children see You through Christ and may You send Your Spirit to kindle our faith. May we all recieve the word and bear the roots. In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and of God the Holy Spirit. Amen.


#5

Roy, welcome to this room in Catholic Answers. :slight_smile:

I can see that your journey has not been easy, and I ask God’s blessing for you.
I realise there is a lot to address in your post. Your intellectual ability is a blessing and a cross.
But regarding a first step to provide a touchstone of peace, may I encourage you, and I pray that – you will put aside your awareness of the humanity of priests that is sometimes flawed and sometimes very holy, and come to the heart of Confession, which is Christ. The priest is in the Confessional in person of Christ through the authority He gave priests through His apostles when He said ‘Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven. Whose sins you shall retain, they are retained’. [John 20:23]

As for worthiness to receive the Lord, who of us is worthy! :slight_smile: Couched in my prayer is a relevant quote from Merton.

Our God, You know that I deeply regret my sins and failures. You know that I am often saddened by my mistakes and inability to achieve much that might please You or bless others. Yet You know my resurgent desire to live Your commandments of love for God, for others and for myself as You love me. I know that You pardon my sins and heal the damage they cause.

I know that, in response to my prayer, You love and delight Yourself in me who seems intrinsically unimportant, one of countless billions of average persons throughout time. I know that in Your merciful love, You give me true faith in You and true knowledge of You; You make me a living tabernacle, an overflowing chalice of Your love, a powerhouse of prayer, and an open doorway to God for others.

I know…for “**God is asking me, the unworthy, to forget my unworthiness and that of my brothers, and to dare to advance in the love which has redeemed and renewed us all in God’s likeness…to laugh, after all, at the preposterous idea of ‘worthiness’" Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Thomas Merton. ** I know these things of Your great LOVE in whom “everything is possible”."

My Dad would say with deep feeling, “It is blasphemy to say we are worthy of God.” But we are human, and it is in our humanness that God loves us, not in our perfection, as any goodness or any perfection comes from Him alone. We try, we intend, we repent, we try again. That’s all we have. He is all else that is good and whole and worthy in us.

Love, Trishie


#6

Amen to your prayers for your Aunt Barb, Roy. I’ll keep her in mine.


#7

You and your aunt will be included in my daily rosaries, Masses and adoration prayers. I pray the Good Lord keep you close to Him and fill you with His Spirit to such a high degree that you find yourself willing to trust in a good spiritual director. May nothing separate you from our Lord and His Church and may our Lord find you a good spiritual director who can help nurture you and guide you as you grow in your faith toward eternity. Lord, help Roy place all his confidence in You. May he trust completely that you will not abandon him. May he be completely abandoned to your will with the utmost confidence in You. Amen.


#8

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 death
Amen.


#9

Hello & welcome Roy,

Thankyou for sharing your spiritual journey with us on CAF. I can see how the Holy Spirit has been working in your life and I am going to pray that He continues to guide you as you grow stronger in faith. I just want to reassure you that as a member of the Catholic church you not only have family on earth, but a faithful and devoted one in heaven. (The saints and angels in heaven are constantly interceding for you and all of us to Our Lord.) I suggest that you make an appointment with your parish priest to see if you can get a Spiritual Director to give you some concrete advice and direction. In the meantime I’m going to pray for you and your family.
St Gabriel

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


#10

For you in your spiritual and your human needs.
In prayer that you will find deep wisdom and unity with God in the Church

**Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven. **
Give us this day our daily bread;
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

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.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end
. Amen


#11

Trishie,
Thank you for you welcome and reassuring words.
The intellectual effort has more to do with coping with a suffering heart, where the passions have been like a tidal wave swamping the inner self. The first step toward confession is having the confidence and courage to distinguish sins of commission from sins of omission within myself and society. I have much confusion, frustration, disappointment and simmering resentment over the apparent lack of formation of faith and conscience within the Church. Even though there is some consolation in the strengthening from Confirmation, which I didnt understand at the time, I felt vulnerable to the sifting cultural winds. I need to trust more, rather than follow the habit of self reliance. I need discernment of truth and wisdom that is beyond all subjectivity. I need order and authority to obey, rather than think religion is an individual perference and congregational arrangements of likeminded interpreters of Scripture. I ask the Holy Spirit in union with all the prayers here to penetrate deeper into hearts and minds.

Thank you


#12

Thank you. I hope this spiritual companionship by this means will open the doors to friendships of faith in charity here, and there wherever this words are read.


#13

Thank you for allowing your attention to follow along with my effort to be better clear and concise about my conversion. It is a tremendous comfort in knowing there is a place to turn when feeling alone and isolated, almost groping around in weakness when emerging from the dark, tumultous storms of living. I fear when so lonely that turning to the saints and angels in heaven would be like having imaginary friends, when lacking friendships here on earth. I have heard that the departed are more present to us now than when here and now. Rather than being someplace, they are somehow- if that makes sense. After my grandmother’s funeral, my 90 year old grandfather was very much like a Davey Crocket Hamlet waxing with tears philosophically, if and whether he will find her again, and where. I dont know if I have the confidence to explain and persuade him about the Mass and Eucharist, since this has been difficult for myself. I hope there is a way to make this leap with confidence, courage and trust.


#14

You will be in my prayers Roy.
You are so closed to our God, I can see this in your post.
Be sure that God will not leave you, so let’s pray to Him.
let’s pray also for your family.
God bless you


#15

Your Aunt Barb will be also in my prayers.


#16

Roy,
Just remember, with God all things are possible. We just need to place all trust in Him and he will take care of us. Life is hard and we will experience suffering in this world, but Christ taught us that our suffering has meaning and gave it purpose when he died on the cross. The Good News is this…He is risen!.

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


#17

Still praying for you Roy and for your family


#18

You’re welcome, Roy.:slight_smile:


#19

continued prayers for you and family


#20

Suffering seems to have no meaning without a purpose. Suffering is the consequence of a privation or absence of a good. Suffering is a result of personal sin. Suffering happens from the actions, or inaction of others. Then, there is Christ’s suffering. What is redemptive suffering, when the One who knew not sin became sin for our sakes? And are we expected to suffer along with Him because of our participation in the Body of Christ? Does suffering increase because of our Baptism? Is there any consolation of recognizing that Confirmation strengthens us to endure that suffering, even if we cannot comprehend it? Such questions were hardly raised or brought to attention. Becoming adrift from the Church was part of suffering without knowing it. Knowing what has happened in the Church during the 1970s and 1980s is cause for more suffering on top of the suffering without reason and purpose. This has been most difficult in making the journey in a condition of spiritual malnourishment. I seem to have nobody to blame. I had experienced self-loathing for a long time. I hesitate in spiritual and emotional paralysis. The examination of conscience is difficult. Thank you for your encouragement. Help build up the Church block by block.


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