I'm afraid for my soul

I struggle with a lack of charity. I’ve learned how vital this is to eternal life. I have little or none (charity). I don’t really know why. I am selfish, unpleasant, I’ve been working to improve this but I’m not improving at all. I go to mass several times aweek, Eucharistic adoration, confession, 2-3 hours of daily prayer. I also suffer from anxiety and depression. I can’t get to Heaven with little or no charity, so how do I get it? I pray for it daily (for over a year), it’s like a chore to me, I am not affectionate or very caring, can someone help me, my eternal life depends on it. Thank you and God bless.

[quote=dizzy_dave]I struggle with a lack of charity. I’ve learned how vital this is to eternal life. I have little or none (charity). I don’t really know why. I am selfish, unpleasant, I’ve been working to improve this but I’m not improving at all. I go to mass several times aweek, Eucharistic adoration, confession, 2-3 hours of daily prayer. I also suffer from anxiety and depression. I can’t get to Heaven with little or no charity, so how do I get it? I pray for it daily (for over a year), it’s like a chore to me, I am not affectionate or very caring, can someone help me, my eternal life depends on it. Thank you and God bless.
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Dave, your post concerns me. You certainly are remaining very close to our Lord even though you claim to be unloving. Keep in mind that God IS love–and the reason you are tending to your spirituality is because God is drawing you closer to himself–to love. The next time you are in Church for Mass or adoration try to bask in that love.

You mention that you suffer from anxiety and depression and it is important for you to realize that such chemical imbalances can alter the way we think. They can make us feel unlovable and unloving. If you are not already seeing a doctor, I hope you will consider doing so. It may make a tremendous difference in your physical, emotional and spiritual well being.

I will keep you in my prayers.

[quote=dizzy_dave] 2-3 hours of daily prayer…I can’t get to Heaven with little or no charity, so how do I get it? I pray for it daily (for over a year), it’s like a chore to me
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How about instead of praying so long for charity, you use that time to pray for others–because that’s charity right there:)

Pray for people you would consider enemies–abortionists, homosexual activists, that jerk down the street, etc.

Pray for people in need.

Pray for family and friends.

Have you ever heard of contemplative orders? That’s all they do pretty much–pray all day for everyone. That charity is just as real as physical, corporal works.

Dear Dave

Why are you afraid for your soul? You must trust Jesus. You have committed yourself to Him and have given your life to Him, trust in His Providence for you.

God’s Mercy is greater than any view you may hold of yourself or any sin you may ever commit. You must trust Him and His Mercy.

Continue to pray as you are and let the Holy Spirit lead your heart in prayer. Prayer is life. That is the purpose of your life and everyone else’s life, to be in communion with God.

Try to focus more on letting God into the very smallest of your daily activities. Every detail of your life is interesting to Jesus, though you may not think so, He created you and just as you may watch with great interest your children and listen to everything they have to say, that is how God lives amongst His creatures, with great interest and Love.

It is a widespread thing that people compartmentalise God into ‘prayer times’ forgetting daily at every second He is within them and all around them in the very smallest of things to the greatest of things. When we realise this, we realise the greatness of all things. When this enters our hearts by God’s grace we view people and the world differently. It’s a beautiful orchestra of God’s Love, even in trial and sufferance.

Offer to God all of your trials and everything that is worrying you about this virtue of charity and remember every occasion we are faced with a temptation is an opportunity to practise virtue.

My advice to you, is to look at the smaller things in life and see how God upholds everything. You may desire to do great things for God in the way you see fit, that might not be God’s plan for you, all things in good time and in God’s Will.

First we must love then we must strive to be humble and ask for God’s grace, all things fall into place with humility.

‘Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart’

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

Perhaps Dizzy_Dave is suffering from a case of ‘scrupulousness’. Maybe he really isn’t all those things he mentioned, at all. Much the same way a woman might see herself as fat when she really isn’t that fat.

Maybe he is all those things he mentioned, but just the awareness of that gives one something to work toward. It seems that most people with problems similar to that, have no idea there could be a problem at all. Usually, for them, it’s all those other people who have a problem.

[quote=dizzy_dave]I struggle with a lack of charity. I’ve learned how vital this is to eternal life. I have little or none (charity). I don’t really know why. I am selfish, unpleasant, I’ve been working to improve this but I’m not improving at all. I go to mass several times aweek, Eucharistic adoration, confession, 2-3 hours of daily prayer. I also suffer from anxiety and depression. I can’t get to Heaven with little or no charity, so how do I get it? I pray for it daily (for over a year), it’s like a chore to me, I am not affectionate or very caring, can someone help me, my eternal life depends on it. Thank you and God bless.
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Hello,

As hard as it may be to hear, it sounds to me like you need professional counseling. My advice is to seek out your local catholic community services (if available). At least in my diocese, they offer free counseling.

The issue isn’t eternal life ('cuz we are never assured of that), but your anxiety and compulsion in trying to attain it (which probably helps feed the depression).

God bless, and find someone who can help you.

Dave - you are a faithful child of Christ. You are keeping him near you through the devotions of mass and Adoration, etc.
I think you are under spiritual attack to make you think you are less than acceptable in the eyes of Christ. Well, guess what??? Not so! Keep on hanging with Christ, keep on believing in His redeeming mercy, and have faith. The enemy would have you believe otherwise to arouse a sense of despair in you.

I will keep you in my prayers for strength and faith.

[quote=dizzy_dave]I struggle with a lack of charity. I’ve learned how vital this is to eternal life. I have little or none (charity). I don’t really know why. I am selfish, unpleasant, I’ve been working to improve this but I’m not improving at all. I go to mass several times aweek, Eucharistic adoration, confession, 2-3 hours of daily prayer. I also suffer from anxiety and depression. I can’t get to Heaven with little or no charity, so how do I get it? I pray for it daily (for over a year), it’s like a chore to me, I am not affectionate or very caring, can someone help me, my eternal life depends on it. Thank you and God bless.
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Dave, could you tell me what a charitable Dave would look like to you? I’m wondering what it is you think you should be that you are not …

Dave,

I’m not very good at giving advice here, but I wanted to say this:

Remember that Christian charity comes from your will and not your feelings. Will yourself into saying something kind to an aquaintance, even if you don’t feel like it. Will yourself into volunteering at a soup kitchen (or something along those lines) even if you don’t feel like it.

What matters to God (so I hear from others) is your effort, not your feelings, not even your success.

A book that I would highly recommend for you: Light and Peace, Instructions for Devout Souls to Dispel Their Doubts and Allay Their Fears by R.P. Quadrupani, Barnabite. Published by TAN books.

I hope this helps, and I will say a prayer for you.

Thanks, your posts are always uplifting to me. God bless you.

[quote=jrabs]Dave - you are a faithful child of Christ. You are keeping him near you through the devotions of mass and Adoration, etc.
I think you are under spiritual attack to make you think you are less than acceptable in the eyes of Christ. Well, guess what??? Not so! Keep on hanging with Christ, keep on believing in His redeeming mercy, and have faith. The enemy would have you believe otherwise to arouse a sense of despair in you.

I will keep you in my prayers for strength and faith.
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Lets see, right now I’m on the computer while I should be with my wife and kids, I ignore my co-workers, just because. I am not friendly to strangers when I easily could be. I am selfish with my time (It is mine). I don’t hardly ever call my mom, bro., sis, G-pa. I know these thins are wrong but no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to do it.

[quote=MaryAgnes]Dave, could you tell me what a charitable Dave would look like to you? I’m wondering what it is you think you should be that you are not …
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Dear Dave

Don’t take this as uncharitable Dave, it’s a clear observation.

You ask for advice but never give any yourself. You ask for advice but never take any unless it suits what you like to hear.

Now that sounds harsh, but it’s a fact. What God gives us is meant to flow out of us. My best advice to you is to take your own advice. You know what you should be doing and your heart is led by the Holy Spirit, so follow Him. The falling down doesn’t matter , it’s the keep getting up that does.

Persevere.

You remain in my prayers

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

[quote=dizzy_dave]Lets see, right now I’m on the computer while I should be with my wife and kids, I ignore my co-workers, just because. I am not friendly to strangers when I easily could be. I am selfish with my time (It is mine). I don’t hardly ever call my mom, bro., sis, G-pa. I know these thins are wrong but no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to do it.
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So charitable Dave would spend less time on the computer and more time with his wife and kids? He would pick up the phone and call his mom, brother, sister and Grandpa?

If that is how you see your charitable self, then why not tackle one or two of those phone calls each week? Does that sound like too much to do? If so, then just make one call per week. You don’t have to be charitable all in one day!

And why not promise yourself that before you head off to your computer you will visit with your family–ask the wife how her day was, and the kids how there’s was. Listen to their responses even as much as you listen to the advice given in this forum. You might actually like what you find out about those closest to you!

With regard to “your time,” always remember it was God’s first … and he has only entrusted it to you! I hope this helps.

[quote=dizzy_dave]I struggle with a lack of charity. I’ve learned how vital this is to eternal life. I have little or none (charity). I don’t really know why. I am selfish, unpleasant, I’ve been working to improve this but I’m not improving at all. I go to mass several times aweek, Eucharistic adoration, confession, 2-3 hours of daily prayer. I also suffer from anxiety and depression. I can’t get to Heaven with little or no charity, so how do I get it? I pray for it daily (for over a year), it’s like a chore to me, I am not affectionate or very caring, can someone help me, my eternal life depends on it. Thank you and God bless.
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Sounds to me like you have identified the problem, and that you are taking steps to overcome it. You sound like you know your self better and that you just now need to let God’s grace work in your life, I think you are doing a great job(better than most from what I experience). Keep up the good work. (I am a wife too, go hug her and kiss her and it’ll make you feel better too.) Offer up some time away from here, that would be charitable (offer it up for the poor souls in purgatory.) Like less time than usual, or a day less than usual. I will keep you in my prayers too, remember me at Mass.

[quote=springbreeze].
The falling down doesn’t matter , it’s the keep getting up that does.
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That’s a great point!
Our pastor presented a homily about a month ago and this subject fits perfectly.

We’re NOT going to do Everything…we Can’t do Everything…If we could tackle All the world’s cares, would we? That’s God’s job, however we are to take care of Our Part of the World…those that concern us and we cherish the most.

My brother told me once that when I felt guilty of not pulling over and wanting to help someone on the side of the road that “IT wan’t My Turn to help. It was meant for someone else to help.” But I understand the frustration Dave…you want to Do the Big Jobs…what about the small ones?

It’s Satan that fills your head for wanting to do the grand tasks, when the very small tasks can do Much More.

For example Dave, at work, say a prayer in the car while going to work. Ask for a gift of kindness and gentleness and to give that to your co-workers during your work day. Ask for the time to call your family and those you care about the most. Smile and just be pleasant to those you encounter today or when the moment arrises.

One final thing, I struggle with the teaching of Fath AND Works…the Works we think about are ALWAYS the physical, and we tend to forget the mental. I had wondered if Prayer was considered Works? After what I just wrote I guess it is… Can anyone expand on this…am I on the right track?

[quote=Edwin1961] I had wondered if Prayer was considered Works? After what I just wrote I guess it is… Can anyone expand on this…am I on the right track?
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Dear Edwin

Prayer is a Corporal Work of Mercy. It is the unseen kindness to friend or enemy. It is the work that the soul does without anyone knowing but the Father, it is the work that is hardest to do, it is the work that brings ourselves and others closer to God by the Power of the Holy Spirit. Prayer is action and word either silent or spoken aloud. Life is prayer. Offering joys and sorrows/sufferings is prayer, offering work is prayer…everything is prayer. You Edwin are a living prayer, I am a living prayer, everyone is a living prayer if they offer all to God.

You are on the most right of tracks!:slight_smile:

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

[quote=springbreeze]Dear Edwin

Prayer is a Corporal Work of Mercy. It is the unseen kindness to friend or enemy. It is the work that the soul does without anyone knowing but the Father, it is the work that is hardest to do, it is the work that brings ourselves and others closer to God by the Power of the Holy Spirit. Prayer is action and word either silent or spoken aloud. Life is prayer. Offering joys and sorrows/sufferings is prayer, offering work is prayer…everything is prayer. You Edwin are a living prayer, I am a living prayer, everyone is a living prayer if they offer all to God.

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa
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Thanks, but I hope Dave will take your words to heart as well…they are meant for him too…and everyone…that’s what we need to be reminded of.

Dave, this just occured to me:

“If you LOVE Me, keep My Commandments.” "Unless you Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood, you have No Life withing you."
Your faithfulness to going to Mass/Adoration is what Your heart desires.
You may just be involved with a spiritual attack from the Evil One. Satan wants to distract you from your effforts…we all battle against him. Just keep doing what you are doing because Satan hates that. No One said, not even Christ,said that the Christian walk would be a ‘cake walk’.

[quote=springbreeze]Dear Dave

Don’t take this as uncharitable Dave, it’s a clear observation.

You ask for advice but never give any yourself. You ask for advice but never take any unless it suits what you like to hear.

Now that sounds harsh, but it’s a fact. What God gives us is meant to flow out of us. My best advice to you is to take your own advice. You know what you should be doing and your heart is led by the Holy Spirit, so follow Him. The falling down doesn’t matter , it’s the keep getting up that does.

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Dear Teresa,

I kind of skimmed the thread because I wanted to try turning him toward contemplative practices and finding SD, but I wanted to comment on your observations. It would seem your observations are exactly in line with the problem he claimed to be facing in the OP, so hopefully he will recognize they are on target.

When people talk about mental illness, trying extremely hard to do right by God and getting confused, I first suspect they will be extremely wary of any advice. I say that because my own bipolar disorder, I attribute in large part to my attempts at reconciling mutually exclusive advice, often from the same people. One only wants to do what is right, but so many people say so many stupid things, and then treat those who ask pertinent questions as if they are space aliens, I think this is really fairly common – just most people don’t get to the point like me where they get locked up in a nuthouse for it.

That makes a tough shell to crack. I’d suggest Dave gets a spiritual director (call the diocese office and see if they have one) and see what can be done.

Also you might want to check out the musings of people both with and without mental illness, on the Bipolar Club thread. (Mental illness not required to participate, but it can make it more fun. :slight_smile: ) Feel free to post on it; it needs to be resurrected.

Also one of the best chapters in a book I’ve read about anger was in a book by Robert Conklin, “How to Get People to Do Things.” It showed how anger is usually used as a tool to gain control, but unfortunately it actually gives away control to the opponent. Amazon claims they have copies starting at 23 cents.

Oh, yes, and try not to be afraid. I know that sounds empty, because it’s easier said than done, but I’ve been through things that sound at least as bad as those things you have revealed. They can be beaten, and it doesn’t require your turning into a vegetable on psychiatric medication. Nothing is impossible with God. (Do NOT take this as advice to avoid physicians or psychiatrists; they can help save your physical life and help your symptoms even while the Holy Spirit is healing you.)

Peace,
Alan

[quote=dizzy_dave]I struggle with a lack of charity. I’ve learned how vital this is to eternal life. I have little or none (charity). I don’t really know why. I am selfish, unpleasant, I’ve been working to improve this but I’m not improving at all. I go to mass several times aweek, Eucharistic adoration, confession, 2-3 hours of daily prayer. I also suffer from anxiety and depression. I can’t get to Heaven with little or no charity, so how do I get it? I pray for it daily (for over a year), it’s like a chore to me, I am not affectionate or very caring, can someone help me, my eternal life depends on it. Thank you and God bless.
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Hi Dave -

We all don’t need to be Mother Theresa in order to be charitable. Simply living a good life falls within the definition of “good works.”

Something simple that you can do is have a payroll deduction taken from you paycheck for charity. In the past, I’ve had 2% taken out and given to March of Dimes, Red Cross, and others. At present, I cannot afford to give at this rate. If you choose to do this, it certainly falls into the definition of “charity” and will begin a life including charity for you.

Each time you feel an urge to be charitable, act on it.

For instance, you may have, in the past, walked by a person with his/her hand out. Next time, walk up to this person and give him/her a buck or two. You won’t miss it and you will feel better for it.

I was vacationing with my son in Washington D.C. this last June and came across a woman with her hand out asking for change. Everyone on the crowded subway was passing her by. I listened to what she was asking for and it turns out that she was 65[size=2]¢ short to buy a pass home. I handed it to her.[/size]
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[size=2]You can also put money in the poor box at your church, or volunteer at a soup kitchen, or visit the elderly.[/size]
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[size=2]The bottom line is that you need not dedicate your life to the poor, become a missionary, start a soup kitchen or anything else that you do not have the resources for. If you work for a living, have kids, belong to a bowling league, etc., you simply do not have time.[/size]
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[size=2]Jesus tells that we will always have the poor with us. There simply are not enough resouces to aleviate all of the suffering in the world. Do what you can and that will be enough.[/size]
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[size=2]Subrosa.
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[quote=dizzy_dave]Lets see, right now I’m on the computer while I should be with my wife and kids, I ignore my co-workers, just because. I am not friendly to strangers when I easily could be. I am selfish with my time (It is mine). I don’t hardly ever call my mom, bro., sis, G-pa. I know these thins are wrong but no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to do it.
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Hey Dizzy_Dave,
You’re getting good advice. Here are a couple more angles for you:

First. It’s vital to your mental health to always say hello to people -your co-workers, people in the elevator and so on. You don’t have to chat with them, just say hello, how are you, and move on. I do this and think to myself “At your service, sir/ma’am. Anything else? You know I’m here!” For the first month or year it will be difficult but it will eventually become very natural to you.
So that is loving your neighbour.

Second. You didn’t specify your style of prayer, so I’m going by instinct. Again take the focus off you, and this time on God.
Here is what works for me: I believe the key is to know oneself. But you don’t get to know yourself by studying yourself directly. You “study” God and He will then reveal yourself to yourself, or to be precise He will reveal Himself in you.
So that is loving God.

[font=Arial]To live those two commandments. They are vital to our mental health.[/font]

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