How do you keep from feeling like a failure as a Catholic?

How do you keep from feeling like a failure as a Catholic when there’s so much we are encouraged to do? The Daily Mass, The Daily Rosary, The Chaplet of Divine Mercy, reading the lives of the Saints, praying the Stations of the Cross. I want despairately to be a “good Catholic”, but what exactly is a good Catholic? I aways wind-up feeling like I can never do enough. I think Jesus is happy and loves me but there’s always more to do.
Maybe I over think it, but there was a Priest on my Catholic radio station saying we should pray the Rosary 3 times a day. I want to be a happy Resurrection Catholic but I want to follow Holy Mother Church. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Some can do more than others. On the radio there was a Saint who prays 1000 Hail Mary’s a day or more. Well, she is specially good at her prayers.

So the bottom line: do what you can and don’t stress over I think. The most important part is to keep Christ as your focus every day – from dusk to dawn. Then you build from there. If you over worry, you’ll get caught in scrupulosity. Here’s two articles, the first of which is something I may need to read ever so often.

catholic.com/thisrock/2006/0611fea5.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0509fea4.asp

if you are asking me personally, I gave up long ago on “feelings.” I have found them to be unreliable indicators of spiritual health. I just do my best to do my duty (like my old girl scout promise) to God and my country, and to my vocation. The priest may be a good man, but there is no requirement to say the rosary multiple times a day, or at all. Pray as you can. it has nothing whatever to do with the number or quantity of prayers and devotions you get through in a day, and it has everything to do with offering to God, with Jesus, through the Holy Spirit every action, event, sacrifice, joy, sorrow, blessing and setback of each and every day, in every circumstance, most especially when you feel no reward at all for doing so.

Get up every day, pray, do your duty to your family, your employer, give of yourself in some way to someone else, pray again, and sleep in peace. Love God and love your neighbor, and love yourself. If you think being a good Catholic depends on multiplicity of prayers you are falling into the same error as some non-Catholics who criticize us for that very thing.

Here’s what came to my mind when I read your post.

Don’t worry so much about external devotions. Focus more on your internal union with God. The best way to do this is to practice the presence of God. Try to get in the habit of being aware of God’s presence at all times, and doing all things for God and with God. The interior union with God is what is most important. If you want to be a happy Catholic, that is the key. Anyone who has a good internal union with God will have great interior peace and joy.

Regarding external devotions: I would encourage you to get in the habit of going to confession once a week. That’s not too much. I would also suggest saying your morning and evening prayers and never miss 5 decades of the Rosary. These are the basics for external devotions. Don’t worry too much about doing more than that.

Also be on the look out for the devil to tempt you to despair. He will always attack us at our week points, and it sounds like you are ripe for such a temptation. God does not ask the impossible of us. He just asks that we do our best.

Great question. Of course, every answer will be different. To keep from feeling like a failure there are certain things that we must do, and others that we should do…

The Ten Commandments and the six precepts of the Church are a good starting place in terms of things we must do. Also, not just knowing the ten commandments, but actually reading what the catechism of the Church says about each one would probably be very enlightening for any and every Catholic.

Things that we ought to do include different devotions and prayers. We should pray every morning and night, before and after meals, and at a lot of other times (e.g. saying a St. Christopher prayer when we get in our cars to drive somewhere).

I think the main point is to try to remember that we are in the presence of the Lord at all times…To remain free from sin…to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect.

Wow, Ultima Ratio…Good response! We posted at the same time, both of us with very similar answers. :thumbsup:

You cannot fail as a catholic. That will not happen, you are doing okay. If you feel uncomfortable praying then try talking to your father, it is like praying but is far more peacful because there is no opening such as “our father” or “dear God”; instead you just talk to him, as you would do if you knew him.

I keep two things in mind.

Faith is not a matter of feeling and external devotions that are not required by the Church do no make one more, or a better, Catholic than anyone else.

But what about her vision at Fatima!? We are pleaded to pray the blessed rosary because it saves souls and converts people…

Fatima and the Rosary are both private devotions. One can be a good Catholic and never pray a rosary.

We are commanded by Christ to pray, to do good works and to obey the Church. If we do those things, we cannot fail!

We shall not fail. :cool:

I agree that one should focus on the interior practice of the presence of God. With the strength of this loving attention, you will be able to do what you could not do in the past.

The focus on God directly and the exterior aspects of the task indirectly.

Eucharistic Adoration is a key way to gain a greater focus on the presence of God.

When you leave away from that, nevertheless do your utmost to retain a loving awareness of Him.

We can do nothing without God. If you are too weak to do something, then you need Him more and should go directly to the source. :slight_smile:

Do not underrate what you can in this fashion. It can surprise you and be all that you wanted to do but could not in the past and more.

Amen my little friend. :cool:

Fatima is a private revelation and is not part of the Deposit of Faith. We are not required to believe in any private revelation. The Church rule that some private revelations are “worthy of belief” not that they are true and binding. A Catholic is free to believe in or not believe in any private revelation that the Church has stated it is “worthy of belief”.

like life itself you can’t do everthing all the time. And like life it self you just have to strike a balance.

I keep my prayers simple and concentrate on my vocation as best I can. Life is a gift from God and we can enjoy both it and our faith by keeping it simple.

…what is vocation?

I was recently at a seminar and there was a Priest giving a talk, and he gave 5 great points on helping keeping your faith strong.

  1. Weekly Mass
  2. Make time for daily prayer
  3. Find a weekly prayer/ study group
  4. Monthly healing Mass
  5. A yearly weekend retreat or pilgrimage

I thought these was really good, and thought Id share.

Hello,
I want to thank everyone who took the time to write, and to write such thoughtful and helpful information. Each of you has helped me find my way back, as I was maybe starting to slide. It’s about my relationship not my “numbers” ! God Bless each and everyone of you!

I think the Venerable John Henry Newman wrote this for his fellow Oratorians, but I use it to remind myself that the duties I have in my daily life – relating to work, family, religion – to do them well.

Yes, I also sometimes feel ‘I should do more!’, and as we grow in the Faith we likely will, but what is also important is to continue. Some days are better than others, some worse, but continue – I take every day as a new opportunity to continue on the road to God.

take care. :slight_smile:

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A Short Road to Perfection
September 27, 1856

It is the saying of holy men that, if we wish to be perfect, we have nothing more to do than to perform the ordinary duties of the day well. A short road to perfection—short, not because easy, but because pertinent and intelligible. There are no short ways to perfection, but there are sure ones.

I think this is an instruction which may be of great practical use to persons like ourselves. It is easy to have vague ideas what perfection is, which serve well enough to talk about, when we do not intend to aim at it; but as soon as a person really desires and sets about seeking it himself, he is dissatisfied with anything but what is tangible and clear, and constitutes some sort of direction towards the practice of it.

We must bear in mind what is meant by perfection. It does not mean any extraordinary service, anything out of the way, or especially heroic—not all have the opportunity of heroic acts, of sufferings—but it means what the word perfection ordinarily means. By perfect we mean that which has no flaw in it, that which is complete, that which is consistent, that which is sound—we mean the opposite to imperfect. As we know well what imperfection in religious service means, we know by the contrast what is meant by perfection.

He, then, is perfect who does the work of the day perfectly, and we need not go beyond this to seek for perfection. You need not go out of the round of the day.

I insist on this because I think it will simplify our views, and fix our exertions on a definite aim. If you ask me what you are to do in order to be perfect, I say, first—Do not lie in bed beyond the due time of rising; give your first thoughts to God; make a good visit to the Blessed Sacrament; say the Angelus devoutly; eat and drink to God’s glory; say the Rosary well; be recollected; keep out bad thoughts; make your evening meditation well; examine yourself daily; go to bed in good time, and you are already perfect.

newmanreader.org/works/meditations/meditations8.html#shortroad

wordonfire.org/WOF-Radio/Sermons/2009/Sermon-457-The-Necessity-of-Spiritual-Heroism-.aspx

Above is a nice sermon about spiritual heroism from a couple of Gospel readings ago that the OP may find enlightening.

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