Hey everyone. I feel like I am not right with God even though I am sure I am in a state of grace. I am always having these nagging doubts and temptations to go back to my Baptist roots and sometimes I experience temptation to become Muslim. I was a Muslim at one point in my past but it didn’t last long at all. I am also always feeling like I am not doing enough for God. I feel like if I don’t bear any fruit, I will go to Hell despite being in a state of grace and I feel like I am not bearing any fruit for God. Please help.
You are bearing fruit, right now. These mental sufferings can be offered up for the succor and help of many others, and that is one of the biggest graces that God has given us as Catholics.
You have come home to the fullness of grace, teaching and presence of Christ in the Catholic Church…Satan doesn’t like that one bit, and he’s going to try everything he can to make you feel like you don’t belong.
But remember what day it is! Jesus is risen today! On this day of all days, take courage, invite our dear Jesus to come into your heart, and be glad knowing that you are indeed right and well with God. Say a Rosary of thanksgiving and simple gladness in our Lord.
Also, I will be praying for you. I will type here the St. Michael prayer, that you are protected against such attacks by the devil.
"Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the other evil spirits, who roam through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Feel free to send me a PM too, Holly…sometimes, it’s just good to know that one isn’t alone. Be glad, safe, and well.
Thank you Lochias. I am confused I guess. If I am indeed bearing fruit then why can’t I tell? Why don’t I see the results of my efforts? I mean, I pray all the time for the conversion and salvation of my family and my boyfriend but I see no progress being made. Its as if my prayers aren’t answered.
There are many things we don’t see, but rest assured, not one prayer goes to waste. I once read somewhere that praying is like cutting down a tree: it takes many axe-swings and much diligence, but suddenly, with one swing, the entire tree comes down.
And, God always answers our prayers, just not in the way we would always like, or can see. You are bearing fruit right now; your very questions are proof of that. It can take a long time for God’s plans to come to fruition; you must take comfort and solace that you are doing all that you can, right now. Our faith enables us to start such things; it is our co-operation with God that lets Him do the work, not us.
Again, I tell you, your suffering is something that can be offered as a concrete and powerful prayer in the eyes of God; just remember that He knows better than any of us, and will see that prayer used exactly how and when it needs to be.
Did you attend Vigil Mass tonight?
Hey Lochias. I did not attend the Vigil Mass. I am planning to go this morning though. That said, I do know that I can offer my suffering and I do offer it quite frequently. May God receive all the glory though. I am not worthy of any glory.
That said, I know we can’t often see things like the fruit that we do bear. I don’t know if I have borne any fruit or not. I certainly hope that I have. I want to bear a ton of fruit for God! I want to bear so much for Him that I would be worthy to be considered a Saint. But I don’t want this for my sake but only for His. I only want to bring Him glory. I deserve no glory. I only want Him to have the glory. If I am someday declared a Saint then I will give Him all the glory! Of course, I doubt that will ever happen. I am nowhere near holy enough to be a Saint. But I am trying to become more holy day by day. Still, I am still a very sinful person.
Holly, your response sounds very similar to many saints I have read about. Indeed, all glory and honor to Him…and peace to you. Remember, He loves you so, and you are unique and special to Him in this moment, right here, right now. He knows your heart, and knows what fruits it has produced. What tree spends its life worrying about what its apples are going to look like? It just climbs towards the sun, and exults in the rain.
You are doing well, very well. I am going to go to bed, in confidence that you are indeed right with God. Please, be at peace, and know God loves you. If it’s anything to you, I am glad I was able to talk to you tonight, and I will sleep with a smile on my face. That is fruit if I ever saw it. Goodnight, and have a joyous Mass tomorrow!
Thank you Lochias. May God alone receive all the glory for anything good that I ever say or do. Indeed, I am definitely not worthy of it.
All glory and honor is God’s…just remember that He chose to put you here in life, to know Him and love Him. That is our call to joy, and you are most worthy of that, and whatever it may entail. It is one thing to recognize our humbleness and inability to do good without God’s help…it is another to never recognize that we are special and loved. Don’t go down that path, 'k? You are most worthy of the love of others, and of God, or else He would never have sacrificed His only Son as He did.
Ok, really going to bed now.
St. Jeanne d’Arc
The trial record demonstrates her remarkable intellect. The transcript’s most famous exchange is an exercise in subtlety. “Asked if she knew she was in God’s grace, she answered: 'If I am not, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me.” The question is a scholarly trap. Church doctrine held that no one could be certain of being in God’s grace. If she had answered yes, then she would have convicted herself of heresy. If she had answered no, then she would have confessed her own guilt. Notary Boisguillaume later testified that at the moment the court heard this reply, “Those who were interrogating her were stupefied.”
I would share how I feel with my Father Confessor and also take my concerns in prayer:
Dear Lord, I feel I am not right with you even though I am not conscious of a grave sin. Lord, that I may see.
I now recall the story of the rich young man in the gospel.
The first question I have to ask is whether you have a spiritual director.
If the answer is yes then ignore everything that anyone advises you. Unless your spiritual director suggests to get opinions from professionals or from people who have expertise in a subject (let’s say a friend who’s good with spiritual warfare) you are bound to obey your spiritual director. There can only be one.
On the contrary, what anyone suggests to you becomes nullified if its not in line with your director. Also talking to alot of people leads to gossip. Take everything that anyone says to you with a grain of salt. Then pass it to your spiritual director. Hopefully he is a priest.
Assuming that you dont have a spiritual director, it’s important to realize that being in a state of grace is your life saver. It’s your shield. God protects you. No matter what you do, what evil intentions people try God will reverse that and turn it into good. As long as your intentions are pure and innocent. God exalts the lowly and dethrones the powerful.
The first line of defense is a daily rosary. This is mandatory. Whether or not you believe in Jesus, the Church, Mary or whatever; reciting the rosary is so powerful that it doesnt matter what you believe in. It’s the action and will that counts. Mary will wrap you with her mantle and bring you to Jesus Christ. You become transformed. Her intercession is superior. She weeps for humanity and what son says no to his mot her?
Being in the state of grace is being free from mortal sin. Being in venial sin creates holes and opens you to be vulnerable to commit mortal sin. Am I loving my neighbor as I love myself? Do I treat him with love? Do I love God above all? Or is my work, wife/girlfriend, video games, friends more important?
Remember suffering is an honor! How you could pray for your suffering friends, family and neighbors. You have people that don’t like you? Say “Jesus I give you all this suffering to change the heart of Tim”. At the end the day we have no suffering because in all we glorify God and give Him everything. From joy to suffering.
You will only have peace of you follow Gods will. I do warn you that God sometimes tests souls to see if they are worthy. This is called desolation. It’s pretty common for those in the state of grace. At first achieving the state of grace gives you that love and peace. It reaps that sweet grace. Now it’s different. God could be testing you to see if you pray selflessly to love Him or do you pray to feel good? Prayer is NEVER about feeling good. Grace and peace is only a symptom of prayer.
Remember that your old sins will haunt you. It’s not forever. Once you have completely conquered sin, the evil one will stop trying. It only tests you because it sees vulnerability. Sin is not necessarily attributed to evil spirit so I don’t want to give you the impression of superstition. Jesus did say that if you cast out demon, three more more evil than him returns. Sin is the same way. You were once Muslim and Baptist. Good for you.
This is your life. Your choice. If you believe in Jesus then you will be saved. He promised one church. His bride. He promises the spirit of truth to guard the church from fallacy. His bride is the Catholic church. Do you accept that?
Keep in mind that if you don’t you are calling Jesus a liar. If Jesus is a liar then how can be God? He is not a liar. Believe. The evil one is like a dog chained. It desperate to eat meat. His time is short. Love Jesus. No evil shall torment you.
Act of Faith is also what you need;
I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three divine persons. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe that Thy divine Son became man and died or our sins so that He will come again to judge the living and dead. I believe this and all the truths that the Holy Catholic churches because Thou has revealed them. Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.
Also, stay off the Internet. Don’t listen to people. Go directly to a priest (your spiritual director).
There are some truths that are meant to be revealed at a certain time. Your spiritual director uncovers that for you. How would you feel if a stranger tells your 4 year old child that in 60 years he will die? The kid will not understand. We are all in different levels of spirituality.
Thank you everyone for your advice. I talked to my spiritual director this morning, went to Confession with him, and received the Anointing of the Sick as I feel that my mental illnesses are acting up and I have other things going on with my health. I believe it has helped me. I attended Easter Mass directly after I talked with him.
Glad to hear it.
First of all, about bearing fruit, you ARE fruit. You are the fruit of the creation of God, and grew up from the seeds that were left before you to become you.
Don’t judge your prayers by whether others change; use your prayers to change your outlook so radically that they will notice and it will affect them at a level so sublime they won’t even know what hit them,
Have you tried any forms of contemplative prayer? It is a way of praying, a mindset of prayer too, really, CCC 2700-2724.
About your feeling you’re not bearing fruit … what sort of fruit do you feel like you’d like to produce but aren’t? Maybe we can help you pray for yourself, then you can in turn pray for them. It’s like in an airliner … put on your own oxygen mask before trying to help the person next to you. You will stay alive and helping them won’t drag you down.
You may be much closer than you think. The fact that you are a sinner makes you like the saints, not different from them. It’s kind of an unfortunate thing that we seem to think one has to quit being a sinner to be on track for being a saint. I mean seriously, what about the Saul-Paul thing? Need we any more examples?
I prayed for my husband for many years, (about thirty) and finally two years before his death he became interested in his Catholic faith, started to pray, and eventually went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He was so happy after that!
Well, I’d like to bear fruit of influencing people to convert to Catholicism. So far only one person has expressed their serious interest in Catholicism to me but I don’t think she ever went through and converted and I doubt her interest in Catholicism was because of me.
It is my sincere desire to evangelize people and help bring in converts to the Church but so far I have noticed no fruit from my efforts such as distributing the Pillar of Fire Pillar of Truth pamphlets and praying for people and such.
We should all be so desirous of being instrumental in helping others to recognize the truth of Our Lord Jesus Christ as fully contained in the Catholic Church!
It is He who is inspiring us to do just that, and it is the Holy Spirit who will do the work. I am a senior citizen now, and I have learned over the years that I must be focused on the sanctification of myself first of all, and, of course, I like to loan people books, DVD’s, and pamphlets that will give them information and hope for the confusion of their lives. I must continue to pray, trust, and grow spiritually and leave the rest to Him.
As we allow the Lord to change us, others will notice the change in us and then want the same peace we have.
Do not be discouraged for not seeing any results coming from your efforts.
St. Therese of Lisieux died at age 24 and never left the convent. Yet, the grace of her life was known to many through her book “The Story of a Soul” which she wrote under obedience to her superior. She, by the grace of her cooperating with the Lord, has touched countless souls!
Myself and others prayed for my husband for many years, and four months before he died he fully returned to the Church, going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
We do what we can, and trust the Lord to do the rest.
Holly, I think you are being too hard on yourself. Might I challenge you to broaden your way of thinking just a bit? First, we are not going to be able to convert everyone to Christianity, let alone Catholicism, and many of the ones we do convert we won’t know if they’ve converted until we are on the other side of this life. All of my family were raised Protestant, and many aren’t even practicing any kind of religion right now. My prayers for them, are just to bring them to Jesus, to repentance and to eternal life. They likely will never become Catholic (although it would be fantastic if they did!) but I am most concerned for their eternal salvation. I pray the rosary regularly for them, and I have hidden the green scapular near two of my family members, for whom I pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary daily for their conversion. Aside from prayer, which I believe to be the most powerful tool of conversion we have, is the example of our lives, which should include obedience to God, and which should bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit: charity, joy (in all circumstances), peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness,modesty, self-control, and chastity. If we live our lives this way, others will be drawn to us and will know something is “different” about us and may even ask us why we are different. Even if they don’t, we can still “sneak” little comments into our conversation that show others we are thinking of God or that get others to think about God. We may even invite them to go to church with us. But the key is to be “gentle” about it, not forceful b/c for many that is a turn-off. We are not all going to be Mother Theresa, but God can still be very pleased with our efforts.
Blessed be God and thank you and God for your perseverence!
Thank you for the affirmation. God is so good!