I guess the title is rather broad but it is very difficult to know the answer to this for me. I don’t believe myself to be in a state of Mortal sin. I go to confession once or twice a month. I go to church every Sunday and I try to avoid even small sins if I can. I realize I am not doing enough for others and I am trying to figure out how I can do more. There are still a lot of things I do not know what to do or how to do. I read the bible daily for a short time and I have been studying the Catechisms. I havent started doing the Rosary yet but I intend to start doing the Rosary soon. I think I can be a little scrupulous and I daily question if what I am doing is right and yet I still worry it is not enough. I read a speech which was given by a saint on the matter of hell and how most christians will go to hell and few will be saved and I was really scared. I don’t know what is enough or what I should do to be more in line with God. Must I give everything up for God? I would if that is asked of me but is that necessary? Should I give up my desire to be married and have children? Should I give up my hobbies and interests and only focus on religious study? Must I forego any and all wordly connections and think only of God? What is necessary for me to be true to God and my faith?
God bless you for your desire to be everything He wishes you to be. I ask Him to help you. You are a human being and your whole human personality is precious
A clue that you can’t “give up everything” is that if you give up food and water, you die. If you give up air, you die. These things are part of being human, a human person created by God. If you give up everything that makes you happy you will become depressed and quite likely, ill.
“I have chosen you, not rejected you, do not be afraid for I am with you; stop being anxious and watchful for I am your God. I give you strength, I bring you help, and I uphold you with my victorious right hand.” [Isaiah 41:9-10]
Jesus when You command us to love others as ourselves, You require something more challenging than simply to “love others.” There is an underlying command to “love your self.”
If we do fail to love ourselves correctly, in proper care of ourselves and our needs, we cannot accept God’s love. Rightly loving oneself in order to love others as God’s precious children may be confused with the selfishness that ruins unselfish self-love. It requires us to reject negative self-talk and responses. “If a man is mean to himself, to whom will he be good?” [Ecclesiasticus 14:3].
Growth in Christian self-love is facilitated by “filling your mind with everything that is true, everything that is noble, and everything that is pure and good” [Philippians 4:8] and **serving “in works of love.” **It is allowing the Spirit to direct your life and then “you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence. What the Spirit brings is…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control.” [Galatians 5:13, 16, 26, 22-23]…
Jesus, help me to know that You really love me. Help me to love myself so that I can love You and others love others truly.
There is a rightful place to human activity. We aren’t free to sin, which can happen in sad things as well as happy things…The bible doesn’t say only to do things you dislike and not the things you like to do.
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
[Ecclesiastes 3:1-7] NKJV
Thank you for your replies Trishie, I appreciate it. I understand the things you are saying but it still isn’t obvious enough for me, maybe I am just not intelligent enough to grasp it. How do I know the things I do are enough? How do I know if I am doing enough? Of course when I said should I give up everything, I did not mean things like food, water or air, I meant any pleasures or desires I might have in life. For example, my hobby is playing video games, it is what I enjoy doing. Must I give that up? Should I ration how much time I do it? Should I evaluate how much time I spend thinking about God and how much time I spend doing things for entertainment? Should I give up my desire to have a family and children because I might feel that I am putting something before God? It just seems so difficult to find the right answers. I know we should all follow Jesus, but then that means I should do these sorts of things. Jesus never married or had children and Jesus lived poorly relying on others for his material needs. I don’t know if Jesus had any hobbies or things that he enjoyed doing just for the sake of entertainment or not. It just isn’t so clear. Should I pray more? Spend more time at Church?
For example, my work finishes either at 6 or 7:30, I could make it to an evening mass here where I live on those days if I want. Should I go to mass because I can? Or is it okay if I only go on Sunday? But then I think that Jesus did so much for us, how could I say that " Well we are only obligated to go to mass on Sunday so its okay if I don’t go everyday" It becomes confusing and frustrating because I want to do the right things but even though I read the bible and read about how others live good lives, I just don’t know what to do.
For basics I have been told by my folks, to love God with my whole being, and love others as myself.
Loving God is mostly between the person and God; Loving others shows what that personal love can do in the created world. It is rather easy to love another with the same state of mind… but how about those that are a bit different… or a lot different… or just plain contrary? Didn’t He do these things?
The other thing to think about, especially in this world of ours, is the First Commandment. Not so much for the purpose of selling all and following Him, but what would you not want to give up if He asked you to? Remember, variety keeps life interesting… this means a little bit of most anything, not too much of anything. If one is taking too much time having fun alone, how much time is lost in not socializing with the ‘others’ that the Commandment states. (Getting to know them and them you)(Sharing!). (PS: this web-site sorta does this.)
When God chooses to call you closer to Himself, you will know it, a ‘choice’ will have to be made… you will be at the end on a “T” road and will have to go one way or the other.
But don’t pass up all the gifts God is trying to send your way, perhaps a future spouse, or a better job, or raising kids, or relocation, or other people in general. These are in front of you now, do not shun them. The Good Lord is putting these ‘others’ there for you, and also, to see how you do with them (and them with you). Simply, remember your priorities… which Commandment(s) are first, which are second, etc.
To sum up: Love God and do as you will…
I would give up anything for God of course, the problem I am thinking of is does he want me to give up things for him? How do I know if he does? If I like something too much, should I give it up?
I wonder if it is so simple as you say Michael. I read from a Saint’s speech that in 100,000 people maybe 4 or 5 people will be able to enter heaven. It also said I should not dwell on this and instead should strive to be one of those 4 or 5. That is what I hope to strive for, it is just hard to know what should be done and how.
May I be so bold as to differ with that speech? In this life, who knows who gets to heaven and who doesn’t? Only God knows! How infinite is God’s Mercy? How infinite is God’s Love? Which way is correct for me may be different for you… it depends on what God’s will is for each of us… not what each of us acts like. Also remember, God knows the Heart, is it in the right place (His Love)? Also, Christ liked variety, He picked fisherman, tax collectors, sinners, prostitutes, blind, even the dead, as well as one who was prosecuting Him (St. Paul), and a gentile woman at a well… and lastly, a thief on the cross next to Him.
Again, if I may be so bold, what was St. Joseph’s mission (God’s will that he do)? Simply, be a Dad for Christ and husband to Mary. No more was asked of him. Did he do the will of God? Where was his Heart during doing that? You see what I mean? Remember, He will not ask more of you than you can do… His yoke is light.
All I will say for now, is do what you know is right, keep trying to get closer to God and He will get closer to you; you will know when He asked you to do something, at that time, the choice will be yours… you will not have to ‘wonder’ what it is He wants from you… you will know… but then to do it!
BRZ, I understand these things are typical in the mind of the Christian.
First of all, are you pretty involved with your Church, I would get involved with some programs and help spread the word of God to your folks. Even if you don’t know what to say, the holy spirit will guide you and show you the way. The point is to be prompt in action and love the Lord with our hands and feet (and your mouth, if you got one!). Continue on your daily reading, and prayer, I would say pray more than read, I find myself as an eternal student of the Lord and even in heaven the saints adore and continue to grow in understanding the mysteries of the holy trinity.
Anyway, back to my original question, how involved with your Church are you?
Well, I am teaching English in Korea and the church I go to in Korea, no one speaks english really. The priests don’t so there isn’t much I can do. I go to mass and recently I met with some of the youth federation here but only one of them really speaks English. I am contemplating going on a trip with them which is to be a sort of training thing although I don’t know how much I can get from it.
How much can you ‘give’ to it?
What I mean is, they all speak Korean and I do not speak Korean so I don’t know how much I can understand. When I said “get from it” I meant I don’t know how much I can learn, or even they can learn when we do not have the means to communicate with each other.
what is necessary is to obey the commandments and partake of Christ’s love as he pours it out through the Church and the sacraments. All else fosters this. The ordinary means to do this is by living out the vocation to which God is calling you. If that is marriage, you life it out in your family and your duties to them. If that is religious life, then that is where you belong. You are asking about discernment. search that topic on the vocations or spirituality forum for great guidance.
For your burning desire to do more, service is the answer. Find ways to serve, anyone, anywhere, during the day and don’t miss any opportunity that arises. I don’t mean enlist in the army, volunteer to teach ESL and become PTA president all on the same day because somebody asked you or you saw an ad on TV. I mean look for those daily encounters in the world and chances to do tiny tasks, with love, without notice, that help someone else, all for the love of Christ.
When that has become a habit you can look for ways to serve within your current vocation–student, single person etc.–where you are living that vocation–your campus, your town, your apartment building whatever. When you are depressed–find someone or some way to serve. When you are at a crossroads–service is the answer. When you feel unloved–service is the answer.
you have a perfect opportunity to get involved in the youth service because I bet many there would love the chance to talk with an English speaker, and that will btw enhance your job skills and your own knowledge of Korean which can only help you where you live now. Then you come back home and help someone like me, who has had Koreans coming for RCIA and desperately looking for someone to work with them. Ask the pastor, and where you work, there may be other English speakers adrift who could use some companionship as well.
What I was speaking of is Therese’s little way: pick up a piece of litter or put a dish away, or water a plant, or say a kind word, or hold the door for someone, but consciously do it for love of Christ. Greet your class kindly, each person by name, each day, for love of Christ. Put the books and supplies away carefully, for love of Christ. Thank God for you food and other blessings. you get it.
No you don’t have to give up simple pleasures, only give up what keeps you away from God or poses a temptation, or what takes away from your duty to family, employer, or the poor.
Thanks for your advice puzzleannie. I have attempted to study Korean but it just doesn’t seem to interest me or I find it too difficult and too time consuming to learn. I know it will only help me since I live in Korea now but I just can’t seem to find the will to learn the language.
My pastor doesn’t speak English and I appear to be the only foreigner in my church, which is not a small one but not overly large. The city I live in doesn’t have many foreigners but other cities nearby do. I have been keeping away from most of the foreigners here in Korea because they tend to enjoy only drinking and doing things which I would rather not be a part of.
Maybe you desire sainthood… We are all called to be saints; some of us will never be recognized in this life. That is why we have All Saints Day to recognize unrecognized saints and All Souls Day for souls in Purgatory, purification of sins before Heaven. :o I will keep your discernment process in my prayers.
Oh, sounds like you are in quite a pickle.
Well in that case I would ask the Lord in deep prayer to give you the gift to understand this language. He may give you the will to want to learn it, or not. Whether you really want to learn it or not, I think he put you in a situation like that for a reason, therefore, you have to make the best with what he gives you. The priest in your parish might know of some program specifically designed for people like you, or maybe if you call the diocese you could get in touch with someone that knows English. I don’t know, just throwing ideas out there.
Let me tell you something. God is looking at your heart. That’s what He wants the most. This is not to say that works are not necessary, but I think you’re stressing to much over the works and not enough about the relationship.
What God yearns for is intimacy with His children. This does not just consist in doing the right things so we can go to heaven. The Bible says that there were many who will “follow all the rules” or “perform great works” and God will say to them,“Depart from me, I never knew you.” These people were doing everything right, but their hearts were not on fire with love for God.
Spend more time in prayer. I don’t mean memorized prayers. I mean that you should spend some time just yearning after God and falling in love with Him. Devote your whole heart and soul to knowing Him and developing a relationship with Him. That’s what He wants from you. If you find that something in your life keeps you from that desire or that you are putting the video games at a higher level in your *heart, *then you should definitly consider at least limiting these things.
Give these things up because they are in the way of your relationship, not your salvation.
Memorized prayers are amazing as well - particularly the Most Holy Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet - but I think that the point that Joyful_1 made about falling in love with Christ or at least, sincerely desiring, to fall in love with Christ is key.
The Love of Eternal Wisdom by St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort ewtn.com/library/Montfort/lew.htm
- Can we love someone we do not even know? Can we love deeply someone we know only vaguely? Why is Jesus, the adorable, eternal and incarnate Wisdom loved so little if not because he is either too little known or not known at all? Hardly anyone studies the supreme science of Jesus, as did St. Paul (Eph. 3:19). And yet this is the most noble, the most consoling, the most useful and the most vital of all sciences and subjects in heaven and on earth.
From Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [ - revelations/apparitions revealed to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and compiled by her confessor - http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Devotion_to_the_Sacred_Heart_of_Jesus#FIRST_POINT..E2.80.94_The_ardent_desire_Jesus_Christ_feels_to_be_with_us.]( - revelations/apparitions revealed to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and compiled by her confessor - http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Devotion_to_the_Sacred_Heart_of_Jesus#FIRST_POINT..E2.80.94_The_ardent_desire_Jesus_Christ_feels_to_be_with_us.)
Consider that the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ was no sooner formed within the womb of the Blessed Virgin, than it was inflamed with an immense love for all men, but, as it is the property of love, to desire to be continually with those, for whom this love is felt, a life of thirty-three years appeared to Him too short, to satisfy His excessive desire of being continually with us. It was necessary to work the greatest of miracles, to content the greatest of all desires. This Heart could not place limits to the excess of Its love. Be not afflicted, oh my Apostles, said our loving Jesus, if I am obliged to leave you to ascend to Heaven; my Heart desires with more ardour to be with you, than you desire to be with Me, and as long as there are men upon earth I shall be with them. Ecce ego vobiscum sum usque ad consummationem saeculli. All the motives that led the Son of God to clothe Himself with our flesh have ceased. The work of Redemption is fulfilled. Nothing but His excessive desire of being continually with us, obliges Him to work this constant miracle, and this compendium of all His wonders; His immense love making it, as it were, impossible to Him to be separated from us. Jesus has ascended to His Father: why does He every day return invisbly on earth, if not because He cannot separate Himself from men, and His delights are to be with us? Who would ever have thought that Jesus Christ could have loved us to this excess? From the greatest height of glory, He desires to come and dwell in our hearts, as if something were wanting to His felicity, when He is at a distance from us. A desire must be very violent, when it cannot be satisifed in Heaven, where all desires are fulfilled. Jesus Christ must love men passionately, since not restrained, by the great glory He has enjoyed since His Ascension, He every day places Himself, in a humble and obscure state on our Altars, to satisfy the excess of His love and of His tenderness; proving to us the truth of what He had said by His Prophet, that His delights are to be with us: Deliciae meae esse cum filiis hominum.
Go over to “the back fence” of this forum. There is a poster
called “Just Wondering” in the thread titled: So what happened
today? Just Wondering is also in Korea teaching. I hope you
Thanks for all your posts and advice. See I was away from the Church for a very long time but I came back a few months ago and I have been going to mass every sunday, reading the Bible, reading the catechisms of the Catholic Church and I pray before going to sleep. I have sometimes gone to the church just to pray. I am not trying to focus on just the works. I guess I am just trying to find out how I should be as a person and what God expects of me. I understand some of the things being said but it is hard to understand when someone says “spend time yearning after God and falling in Love with him” I mean I kind of get what you are saying but how do I know if its enough? Maybe I just don’t understand so please forgive my ignorance. I am seeking the truth.
I mean, is there a certain amount of time I should spend talking with God, praying, reading the bible, etc? How do I know if I am doing it enough or if I am letting other things get in the way of that? How do you know? Sorry if I sound confused. I am not confused in my faith, I believe in God and the Catholic Church 100%. I am just trying to understand what I should do to live my life in the way God intends for us. Do you understand? All of the advice I get helps me think about it and hopefully will help me understand more about myself, God and my faith. Thanks.
Also, I want to start praying the Rosary but I do not have Rosary beads. Is it necessary to have Rosary beads to pray the Rosary? (maybe that is a foolish question) Do I have to have blessed Rosary Beads?
No. I heard of a person (in this thread: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=286845&highlight=rosary+prison) who was a priest in prison for the faith somewhere in Asia. He used matches from a matchbook to pray the Rosary, that way the guards didn’t know he was praying. They thought he was crazy, staring at the matches.
One can also use one’s hands.
To grow in perfection in following the will of Christ, why not observe, study, analzye, and understand those who excelled in this quest, the saints.
Online Adoration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament louisville-catholic.net/WebCameras/AdorationChapel/tabid/825/Default.aspx
True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html
**Secret of the Rosary ** montfort.org.uk/Writings/Rosary.html
Reflections on True Devotion to Mary by His Holiness Pope John Paul II http://www.michaeljournal.org/montfort.htm
**The Glories of Mary, ** by St. Alphonsus de Liguori, one of the 33 Doctors of the Catholic Church, explains Hail Holy Queen http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/glories.htm
On the Dolors of Mary by St. Alphonsus de Liguori, one of the 33 Doctors of the Catholic Church, explains the sufferings of Our Lady http://writer.zoho.com/public/immaculate/Seven-dolors
Marialis Cultus (Apostolic Exhortation for the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary of His Holiness, February 2, 1974 by His Holiness Pope Paul VI ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P6MARIAL.HTM
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus en.wikisource.org/wiki/Devotion_to_the_Sacred_Heart_of_Jesus#FIRST_POINT._.E2.80.94_The_ardent_desire_Jesus_Christ_feels_to_be_with_us.
Divine Mercy Chaplet ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm
Rosary Confraternity Enrollment rosary-center.org/nconform.htm (As Pope Leo XIII said in his encyclical on the Confraternity, *“Whenever a person fulfills his obligation of reciting the Rosary according to the rule of the Confraternity, he includes in his intentions all its members and they render him the same service many times over.” * Each member includes deceased fellow members as well; and thus he knows that in turn he will be included in the prayers of hundreds of thousands both now and hereafter.
Cathechism of the Catholic Church vatican.va/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm
Litany of Humility ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/humility.htm
**Litany of the Blessed Virgin ** intermirifica.org/Mary/marylitany.htm
**Cathechis of the Popes on Mary, Mother of God, ** catechesisofthepopes.wikispaces.com/Mary
Mystical City of God themostholyrosary.com/mystical-city.htm
In Defense of The City of God Mystica Civitate Dei: dailycatholic.org/issue/05Jun/jun10tim.htm - to summarize the research of three priests on the official decision of the Holy Roman Catholic Church regarding The Mystical City of God by Venerable Mary of Jesus of Agreda and to ascertain thereby whether it is permitted for anyone of any authority whatsoever to forbid the reading of this extraordinary book.
The Way of the Cross by St. Josemaria Escriva escrivaworks.org/book/the_way_of_the_cross-point-4.htm
Diary of St. Maria Faustina Divine Mercy in My Soul saint-faustina.com/Diary/DMIMS1.shtml
Autobiography of St. Therese of Liseux: The Story of a Soul gutenberg.org/etext/16772
Perhaps start with Mary, the Immaculate Conception, the only created being who won’t ever lead you away from Christ in any way if you go to Christ through her.
Polish Saint Maximilian Maria studied philosophy, theology, mathematics, and physics as a college student, before earning a doctorate in philosophy and a doctorate in theology in Rome, while suffering from tuberculosis. He became a priest, changed his name to Maria from Kolbe to venerate the Immaculate Heart of Mary, sheltered 2,000 Jews in his friary during the Holocaust, and when taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp offered to die in place of another man since that man had family and he did not as an abstinent fiar. During his time in the cell, he led the men in songs and prayer. Finally, after three weeks of dehydration and starvation, he was injected with carbolic acid and died. He is reported on the Jewish Virtual Library as Righteous Among the Nations. It shows that no matter how dire the situation God can continue to strengthen us. jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Kolbe.html.He founded Slaves of the Immaculata, www.consecration.com www.miyouth.org. More information: acatholiclife.blogspot.com/2005/09/st-maximilian-kolbe.html