I have a confession


#1

I’m absolutely obsessive when it comes to buying CDs. I mean…I can’t even tell you how much debt I’ve put myself in because of buying CDs. And even now when I’ve consolidated that debt, part of me (the bored, lonely, dissatisfied part) is SO ready to drop another $150 on some more.

I need help. :frowning:


#2

To overcome this you have to not only stop, you have to go in the opposite direction.

You must pray and sell, give, or trash some of your cds.

:slight_smile:

Music plays too big a part of your life. With little of it you will appreciate it properly, in a better happier way. Appreciate holy silence like St. John of the Cross.


#3

Not only are you right, but I’ve thought of everything you said multiple times throughout my life.

While I may have exagerrated how much debt I’ve accumulated because of CDs, I must admit that I do spend my fair share per each paycheck on these types of purchases.

Even though I’ve bought hundred and hundreds of discs, my typical habit is to buy, listen to it once or twice, grow jaded and bored with it, then sell it. What I still have in my possession are a few favorites and a few I’ve not been successful in ridding myself of. Several months ago, during my misdirected Franciscan phase, I sold 2/3 of my collection, keeping only a few favorites. I regret selling several of those now.

I know that when I die I can’t take any of this with me, I know that only God can make me happy and all else is desert, and I know that the next CD I purchase will likely end up sold like all the others. Nonetheless, there’s something in me which isn’t happy, which is bored, and dissatisfied, something which is not finding a nourishing relationship with God (which is my fault, not his), and something which wants to create an identity for myself (pride), and just simply wants to know what ***that ***piece of music sounds like.

The horrible thing is that I know the answers to most of my questions, I just refuse to acknowledge them.


#4

At one time I had a compulsion for shopping. The thing that helped me was to go to the library. I could look around like window shopping and gather a bunch of stuff (books, cd’s, movies, computer software, etc) and take them to the counter like checking out and take everything home and have the good feeling of looking at what I got new, just like shopping.Sounds a little cooky I know but it helped a lot and after I would look through everything I just took it all back and got more stuff to satisfy the urge.
Another approach I took if I had to spend money was to only shop places I knew that have a Clearance section and only look through those isles and, like a game, see how cheaply you can get what you are looking for.
I hope you can find peace with this and I will pray for you.

Paul

ps… one more thing that may help and I still do this(cuz I love CD’s too) buy a spindle of blank CD’s and go to this web site and download all the FREE catholic sound tracks and talks and debates you want . A whole lot cheaper.


#5

Hey Paul,

Thanks for the reply.

I know to many people that this seems like a weird “Spirituality” topic because shopping is shopping and involves only finances, right? I don’t see it that way because continuing in this fashion is definitely affecting my relationship with God, its affecting my inner peace, and its hardly the model I need to live by in the face of actual sin.

It’s not so much the “shopping” that I like as it is my very broad interests and, again, this identity which I feel the need to form. For instance, to give a very broad, inexact example of what I’m talking about: let’s say that I fall in love with the music of The Beatles. Well, all of a sudden, I feel this urge to suddenly buy all their albums, all the box sets, etc. in order to try to obtain all the music because not only am I interested in hearing all the music but I also try to form this identity as a “Beatles aficionado.”

It’s juvenile, I know! And it is embarassing. :o

Like I said in the post above, I know that at some point my interests will change and I’ll stop wanting to solely listen to the Beatles and will turn my attention to The Rolling Stones, whereupon it is the same process, for the most part.

You can call me pathetic. I know I am.


#6

I would only call you pathetic if I were painting myself with the same brush… I guess my only difference is that though my tastes do change wildly, they tend to go full circle again, and I’ll go back listening to Harry Chapin or Joni Mitchell (my mom graduated high school 1974… :rolleyes:) again. I have no advise on how to overcome this, because I still have yet to overcome it myself, but I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone with this… Or pathetic, either… Sometimes it IS important to know how many songs the Beatles had “Coo coo ca joo” in it. :wink:

I’ll be praying for the both of us.

Ericka


#7

Thanks, Ericka. :slight_smile:

And, I should mention that my tastes typically go full circle, as well – but by the time they do, which could be months or years, I’ve already sold or gotten rid of “the old” (mostly so that I can pay for “the new” without dipping further into credit, etc.).

It’s frustrating as hell. And the more I think of reasons “not to,” the more rebellion I feel in my bones…which I know isn’t spiritually healthy.


#8

If you need help, I’d be glad to make a promise/deal with you to throw out a certain number of CDs on a certain day.

I could use some house pruning too.

I think it would be a good work to anyone who wanted to join in. :slight_smile:

Our purpose here on earth is not to live for our own enjoyment, but for the glorification of God.


#9

After reading many of your posts on other threads, I am beginning to wonder if you’re not too hard on yourself.

Sometimes our desire for “perfection” can be our greatest downfall, because it becomes an obsession. The spiritual life is not about perfection. It is about holiness. We will never do everything right or follow every rule to the letter. We will always be human.

The important thing is our passion for the Lord. The rest are the daily battles and struggles that remind every human being that we dependent on God, not on us. These keep us humble and humility makes us holy.

Try not to focus so much on how many CDs you have. Try to focus on how much good you can do with your money. Who needs medication? Is there someone who needs groceries? Do you know someone who may need a loan to help pay some bills in this strained economy? Does your local shelter need new towels? Do sick people in your community, job or parish get a nice plant delivered to them? Is there a child at your local religious education program who can’t afford to pay for his or her religious education books? Is there an organization or religious community that needs some extra funds?

If you share your resources, then you do not have to worry about having too many material things.

Fraternally,

JR :slight_smile:


#10

Beautiful! :slight_smile: :thumbsup:


#11

The spiritual life is not about perfection. It is about holiness.

Not to be too hard on you here but I find this language ‘off’ and not Catholic in its sentiment. I understand that you are trying to say something against an obsessive perfectionism, but the spiritual life is about perfection, and that’s the Catholic language we use for a reason, Christ Himself said it – and said it because of all the inner meanings of those words involved.

If you share your resources, then you do not have to worry about having too many material things.

This is not true. There are many problems with having too many material things. First of all, because of the profane, they could displease God in and of themselves, by the very fact that they exist and they could have problematic content.

Next, there is luxury, which the saints all avoided for very good reasons, and it is obvious that he has problems with the attachment to the CDs, buying them, and it is a luxurious attachment of ‘I will be happy’ when ‘I am surrounded by all these things’.

The rich man with his problem entering Heaven is a real one with many deep reasons for it. The man who lives in this world is not to live as if he is of it. This is true spirituality.

It’s right to suggest good spiritual habits to replace this habit, it is wrong to imply if he shares in other ways he can ignore this problem, that will not be enough and simply be glossing over something that shows all the signs of having more than one root that needs to be pulled out.

We can’t just cater to people’s feelings as a way to good spirituality, even when they too surely need some adjustment too. :slight_smile:

Benedice I pray. +


#12

I agree with you as well Shin. :thumbsup: I think that both you and JReducation have hit on different aspects of the solution.

My summary/take thus far. It is not wrong to feel convicted, but obsessing over ones sins is a deteriment to holiness and is a source of spiritual pride in and of itself. One reason why God allows the devil power on Earth is to humble him and force him to realize that he will always be inferior to Christ and our Blessed Mother, though human and woman, can crush his head just because God allowed her to. God has free will as well to do what he likes when he pleases and we his slaves acknowledge it as good.
**He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly. Luke 1:52 **

One should shoot for perfection, realizing that only the Immaculate Conception and Christ, savior of the world, are sinless humans. Others may reach perfect union in Christ, but in God alone is the fullness of perfection. Some saints have a lot more power than others because they have reaced a greater degree of perfection. You notice a lot more intercessory miracles attributed to some saints than others. Yet, Christ is happy even with his smaller saints. St. Rita or St. Vincent de Paul or St. Padre Pio are not worthless because Mary, St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Dominic, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, St. Maria Faustina, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Mother Teresa, or St. Gemma Galgani exist. :stuck_out_tongue:

You see this in St. Faustina’s Diary where she writes Conversation of a Merciful God to a Perfect Soul almost immediately after Conversation of a Merciful God to a Soul Striving for Perfection and previously Suffering Soul, Despairing Soul, Sinful Soul.

Focusing on one’s own imperfections when one is doing one’s absolute best to follow the will of Christ takes away time from serving Christ. We see David with Bathsheba. God killed the son that was conceived. While the son was dying, David did all he could in prayer and mortification to plead to God for mercy. Yet, when the son had died, he went about his business. Peter denied Christ three times and was absent at the Crucifixion despite his numerous public, vocal, heartfelt, and loud declarations of his realization of who Christ was and his love of God. Yet, Christ returned after his Resurrection to ask him to say “I love you” three times to erase his “I do know who you are talking about” three times. Peter fell again in the New Testament even after the Resurrection of Christ. Yet, he is forgiven. ** Upon this Rock, Christ’s Church stands. **

#1789 + Today I saw the glory of God which flows from the image. Many souls are receiving graces, although they do not speak of it openly. Even through it has met up with all sorts of vicissitudes, God is receiving glory because of it; and the efforts of Satan and of evil men are shattered and come to naught. In spite of Satan’s anger, The Divine Mercy will triumph over the whole world and will be worshiped by all souls.

#1790 I have come to know that, in order for God to act in a soul, it must give up acting on its own; otherwise, God will not carry out His will in it.

#1791 When a great storm was approaching, I began to say the chaplet. Suddenly I heard the voice of an angel: “I cannot approach in this storm, because the light which comes from her mouth drives back both me and the storm.” Such was the angel’s complaint to God. I then recognized how much havoc he was to have made through this storm; but I also recognized that this prayer was pleasing to God, and that this chaplet was most powerful.

So I support the above posts when they tell you to be content at holiness, accept imperfection, but strive for perfection. And I give strong support to the idea of spending one’s time thinking about ways to serve others as well as the specific recommendations listed above as a way to help free yourself in addition to repentance and remorse.

Saul’s ferocious fervor at persecuting and killing Christians turned into St. Paul’s powerful testimony! :extrahappy: :heart: :heart: :heart: :slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue:
Saints recognize their mistakes, strive to correct them to the utmost of their ability, pick themselves back up when they fall, and keep on trying!


#13

I’m sorry that you may have misunderstood my message to Epistemes. But he and I go back a while and he understands what I’m speaking about. I will ask you to trust me on this one. Thank You.

Fraternally,

JR :slight_smile:


#14

I was in a similar boat as you, my friend. I joined an art community, and I was getting obsessed with buying art. I kept telling myself I wouldn’t buy any more, but I kept at it. Finally, I decided enough was enough: I closed my account, and, while I’ve looked back at the site a few times, I know I’ll never join again. It takes real will power and it takes submitting oneself to God, who wishes to help us overcome our petty obsessions.


#15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.