is saying a prayer without full belief a sin?

After Mass this morning, there was a novena (I was ready to leave, and surprise, there was another part).

I repeated the prayer, but in my heart, I have not fully accepted the Immaculate Conception (lingering doubts and such)…but I would have felt guilty if I didn’t say it. And then there was the part about consecrating ourselves to Mary and the Miraculous Medal…things I’m kind of hesitant about.

Is it a sin to recite a prayer without full belief?

Isn’t the Miraculous Medal a private revelation? Is it required in the Church to accept it?

if it were a sin to pray without full belief, then this prayer would be sinful, and people use it all the time: “Lord, help my unbelief”

So, no, it’s not a sin.

So long as you accept the IC as true because the Church says it’s true - you re OK…Our personal doubts or lack of understanding need not prevent us from participating in an act as part of the universal Church.
So - No sin in what you did.

And then there was the part about consecrating ourselves to Mary and the Miraculous Medal…things I’m kind of hesitant about.
Isn’t the Miraculous Medal a private revelation? Is it required in the Church to accept it?

Such things are indeed private revelations and/or private devotions. No Catholic is required to undertake a particular private devotion.

Peace
James

Excellent posts in response to this question. The only thing that I would add is to encourage the questioner to “be still and know that the Lord is God”

Speaking for myself and I’m sure many others, I’m sure we’re all on a continuum between absolute doubt and absolute assurance. If we use our doubts positively - the “Lord, help my unbelief” approach - they can lead us to greater faith eventually.

I also believe it’s prudent to keep really big struggles to ourselves. I’ve had friends who’ve lost their faith and some of them I’ve had to tell to quit trying to mess with mine. It’s rude to say the least to needle people about their faith. Some of these folks I’m referring to would latch onto any rumor or legend - “Did you know the Church used to teach reincarnation?” “Why would it be a problem if Jesus was married?” blah blah blah . . . I just wanted to tell some of them to take their Dan Brown novels and go home. :rolleyes: But that would’ve been rude on my part, so I just had to set firm, loving boundaries.

Sorry for the digression. Keep praying. You’ll be fine.:thumbsup: :gopray: :blessyou:

To the OP: I would encourage that you pray about this more. There is no surer way to Jesus than through Mary.

But…why? She doesn’t give private revelations to most people.

Why not just ask God directly for faith?

I know that this is not directed at me…but if I may…

You may certainly ask God directly for faith. There is no problem here.

As for the matter of Mary giving private revelation…you might be surprised at how often she does.

Look at it like this.
Heaven is not a lot of isolated individuals - it certainly is not described that way in the book of Revelation. Rather heaven is a whole body of souls all connected by union in Love with the God who is Love. And we are members (or potential members) of that family.
So - to bring this idea down to our level…
Suppose you walked into a room where your Father, mother, and elder brother were all sitting at a table. There is no doubt that these three are in complete agreement with each other and "talk things over with each other.
So - Which do you go to to ask for something?
If you ask mom to ask dad, will dad be mad??? Not likely
If you ask dad directly - will mom be mad??? Nope
If you ask your brother to ask dad - will the others be mad??? - again…the answer has to be no.

If you ask mom - mom is going to give you dad’s answer…That is why we say that going to Mary is a sure way to God to God.
It’s not a requirement…but it is good and it is comfortable for many…

Just some thoughts…

Peace
James

[quote=EIF5A] Quote:

Originally Posted by concretecamper

To the OP: I would encourage that you pray about this more. There is no surer way to Jesus than through Mary.

But…why? She doesn’t give private revelations to most people.

Why not just ask God directly for faith?
[/quote]

Absolutely go to God and pray for more faith…I assume you have already. But we get distracted and tempted and sometimes lose faith. Asking Mary to intercede for us may be that little extra help we may need.

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We should be able to pray in any state of mind, the point is to pray to the point where we no longer feel doubt.

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