Ever since I became a Christian last week I’ve been feeling like I cannot make a moral judgement without running first to a priest to ask what our Dogma says about it. Do I need to memorize the Catechism and all the Papal encyclicals before I can think again without the fear of offending God?
Seek your answer in the gospels and pray, if you need too, talk to a priest.
The ‘quick’ moral judgment is the Golden Rule. What would you like? Done to you? For you? In any given situation? Suddenly becomes what you are suppose to do! This is the making of the Conscience.
Secondly: Love God and your Neighbor… that means anyone else you come in contact with thru-out your daily activities.
Neither of these take a whole lot of thought or study. You may even have some instant memory flashes of when you had something done to you that you did not like, helping you to not do it to another. Of course, the good flashes may also come to mind, to lead you to do more of the same.
When you examine your conscience, you can look at your motives, the why you did what you did. If it was from Love or serving God, no problem; it it was from hate, envy, lust, pride, etc, confess it and try to do better next time. This is a growth religion… with Christ’s help it happens. But you have to do the leg-work.
Have you seen how big the Catechism is??? No don’t go and read everything you can all in one go it will just go over your head and confuse you so much that you will be back where you are now. As the above post explained; ‘Treat others as you wish to be treated’ - Do this with LOVE and FOR GOD. I have wrist band that says W.W.J.D? (What Would Jesus Do?). Well Jesus was a nice person who loved people and loved God. Do what you think is best and do it in a nice way. Learn through reading the Bible and listening in Church, this way you will eventually have a definate idea of ‘what is the right thing to do’ in a situation. None of us knows exactly what God would want us to do in every situation. So just try your best, pray, listen, learn and make sure you have GOOD INTENTIONS in whatever you do.
I offer this charitably…perhaps you should do more listening and less thinking. There are all kinds of voices(TV, friends and family, loud music etc.) trying to distract us from Our Father’s voice…and sometimes one of those voices is our own. Perfection does not come from knowledge of dogma and encyclicals, but rather from an openness to allow the grace of Our Lord to fill your heart. If you fill that space with your own fears and anxieties, where can that grace reside? Do the best you can. If you mess up, guess what? Christ has more than enough mercy to forgive you and he has given the Church the sacrament to absolve you, and you have a limitless number of do-overs.
Cut yourself a little slack…take ten really slow deep breaths…and thank Christ for coming into your life
use the short form, the 10 commandments
Every Catholic should read the Catechism, it is a beautiful explanation of Jesus’ teachings and very easy to read (I’ve done it twice).
It is an excellent resource. Even if you can’t read it all, look up any topic you may have a question on. Everything is explained with Scriptural, Apostolic and historical references.
May God Bless You!
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a big book and can be confusing that is why they made the **Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. ** It is in an easy to read Q & A format and available online here.
**12. What is Apostolic Tradition?
**Apostolic Tradition is the transmission of the message of Christ, brought about from the very beginnings of Christianity by means of preaching, bearing witness, institutions, worship, and inspired writings. The apostles transmitted all they received from Christ and learned from the Holy Spirit to their successors, the bishops, and through them to all generations until the end of the world.
Some good Posts in this thread to date. Certainly to offend God one needs to have the motivation to commit a sin/to offend God and you have exactly the opposite desire - so try to rest easy in God who is Loving of us and Forgiving…not at all the Big Judge in Heaven very touchy and easily offended.
I think that our hearts are a pretty good indication of what would be sinful and what would not be sinful. And do remember that we cannot commit a sin accidentally. Sometimes I may do or say something, even think something, and after the event suddenly aware it was potentially sinful. If I then persevere in those words, acts or thoughts, then I am probably committing some sort of sin…and if I dont know whether it is grave matter or not and mortal sin, then I mention it all to Father in Confession.
In those moral matters that are not at serious matters, strive to love your neighbour as yourself and to love yourself as a child of God with a holy and sacred dignity to preserve. If a matter is serious, then you can consult the Catechism, see below, certainly you can ask questions here on CAF on moral matters, and certainly consult with a priest, either in Confession or by making an appointment.
Those sins that are not serious or mortal sins are forgiven outside of the Confessional in many ways, certainly by attending Mass and Holy Communion humbly and sincerely…we are not bound to confess less serious or venial sins although it is a very good a fruitful spiritually habit to do so, and to get into the habit of doing so. But do remember that sins that are not grave and serious do not prevent us from attending Holy Communion, though we have not confessed them.
I find the online Catechism the best, as it is so easy to search it and this particular translation has its own Search Facility.
Online Catholic Catechism with Search Facility
The Compendium to the Catechism is excellent also and the online Vatican edition is quite easy to search with a computer - and far easier than searching the written edition, or at least I find this.
Online Compendium of Catholic Catechism
I hope that this thread will bring you consolation and you can rest easy and do ask any questions at all that you may have. There is no such thing as a silly question. If I have a question, any question, or anyone else has, then it deserves an answer. If you are still troubled, then mention it to Father in Confession or make an appointment with a priest…the prime role of our priests is to be a Loving Shepherd of The Lord’s flock. Very especially in the Confessional.
The Confessional is also the place of spiritual direction, to sort out, ask advice about, our quandries, questions and difficulties re our journey with God.
May your journey with The Lord be rich in many blessings:thumbsup: …and as another poster said, it is a journey of growth and of knowledge and I am 62yrs a Catholic and still very much learning…Barb:)
Wow! What a tremendous experience for you. My faith has been established over a long time. For you it is fresh and new all at once.
Bicycling is something I enjoy and I first went on a bicycle tour back in 1996. The feeling of being out on the open road with so many unknowns was and is truly inspiring. So I guess that is how life is for you right now. You have an open road with Christ as your guide. ENJOY:)
Thank you all for your answers. I have done so many things in my life believing that they were wrong, that I guess I can cut myself some slack if from now on I only do what I think is right even if later I learn that they didn’t conform to our doctrine.
I felt as you did on my conversion to the Roman Catholic Church and I had spent years as a protestant (an active Anglo-Catholic). What I did at first (and even now) was that I did read through the CCC - the Compendium of the Catechism hadn’t yet come out - and listened to CA radio (there was no Catholic radio station where I lived, so I listened on the internet). I am so glad I did. If you find it easier to read the little “briefs” (or summaries) of each chapter at first, rather than the “meat” of the chapter that is certainly fine, however at some point in the future you will want to read it completely. It’s been long enough since I’ve read it that I want to read it again, soon. I want to make sure that I am worshipping Him as thoroughly as I can, and try to avoid spiritual sloth!
Man, I hate that religion, ANY religion does this to people.
I have been an agnostic Humanist most of my life, probably much more sophisticated than you will ever be, and I was just an ignorant fool. So I know just how you feel except for the hate, and wish you the best.
Christ did not do this to people - our natural selves do this or the evil one does this in order to keep us from Him. True Christians/Catholics (followers of Jesus) don’t either. It is very easy to follow Him, once we admit we don’t know all and get beyond our disordered beliefs. That’s why the Catechism is such a help. To help us to get beyond ourselves and the disordered things we were/are taught by humans that are “bent”.
No, I feel quite certain that God does not want you running around in fear all day long of sinning. Rather, I truly believe that he asks us to fill our hearts with love and spend time with him on a daily basis. Then, at night perhaps, do a daily examination of consciousness to review the day. See the link below to an a daily meditation call Rummaging for God. Sort of like going through the sock drawer to find it. Find God in your day and go forth with trust and love in your hear, NOT fear.