Is this a wrong view?


#1

As I am journeying in RCIA, I getting excited about my Confirmation, but I admit I sometimes fall into a certain viewpoint which is probably wrong:

Basically, one of the things I love about the Catholic Church is I feel it is much more objective than the Protestant background I came to faith in. Whereas many people, especially more Evangelical types, complain about all the rules of Catholicism, I find them comforting. After all, as a Protestant, people talked about subjective ideals like “listening for the voice of God” or “seating Christ on the throne of your life”, etc. etc. As a soon-to-be Catholic, I feel like it is much more objective. There are rules to follow (i.e. go to Mass every Sunday and on all Holy Days of obligation, don’t commit mortal sin, etc.). In many ways, it seems easier than the Protestant (I am not saying all Protestants are like this, but many of the ones I dealt with and were involved with were like this) view of where it seems more subjective like “just let the Spirit guide you” or “just do Christ’s will”.

Also, I find it easier to seek to serve the Church than to serve Christ. After all, the Church is quite vocal (I do not mean this in a negative way) as to what it expects and wants. In some ways, I guess it feels better for me to feel I seek to serve the Church.

Is this a wrong view theologically? After all, I do want to serve the Church, I am drawn to the Sacraments (especially Reconciliation, which my Priests tell me I receive way too much, and, when I am Confirmed, the Eucharist) and I believe that the Church is the original Christian Church (at least, from my readings of history, I have not found an earlier church that can show how it has been in operation since the beginning).

Sometimes, I feel a rebellious attitude towards Christ, but never towards the Catholic Church.


#2

Your last line…I’ve not heard that one before!
I pray and expect that the Church, because it directs us to Jesus, to Christ, and draws life from Him, will in the end heal this issue within you!


#3

The thing is I am not always in that legalistic frame of mind. At other times, I feel a great desire to grow closer to God. This is what confuses me.

I think part of my problem is I tend to, to borrow a phrase from John MacArthur (I usually disagree with him on things and he is a Protestant, forget which denom, pastor), but I sometime fall into viewing God as a “Cosmic Killjoy”. For instance, when I think about Holy Orders, I almost automatically assume that since it is a desire of mine, then God must be against it. Same thing goes for my interest in joining the military.

I suppose it all comes down to an incorrect view of God, but it still bothers me. After all, I know feeling rebellion towards God is probably a sin and I certainly do not want to fall into that whole mess.


#4

nsper7, welcome to the family! As for your questions, first of all, I notice you’re a “Jewish Christian”, perhaps this is why you like the, let’s say, structure of the Catholic Church, if I’m hearing you correctly. Catholicism is very much a natural - er, supernatural! - continuation and fulfillment of Judaism, so maybe that’s a part of the appeal for you - not that there’s anything wrong with that! :wink: And no, there isn’t anything “theologically wrong” with it.

As for your “feeling rebellion towards God”, no that’s not a sin in and of itself - well actually, it is a sin, it’s called Original Sin! (the sin was washed away in baptism, but the inclination to sin remains) But remember our Lord’s parable of the two brothers (Matt. 21:28-32), it was the brother who (reluctantly) actually did the will of his father who was righteous. So kick and scream all you want just so long as you do His will! :smiley: And the “Cosmic Killjoy”? Well, if you mean that God wants you to nail your will to Christ’s cross and do His will, then I suppose that’s one way of looking at it. :rolleyes: Of course, God only wants what is best for you; He wants you to have true joy, in this world and the world to come. So just do your best to listen to God and follow where He leads you, and when you “receive the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:17) at Confirmation, that should help you discern you vocation. God bless.


#5

I would be very bothered about any putting of Christ second to anything, including the Church. Love of the Church can cool & die, or else become horribly distorted - whereas giving Christ the Lord of the Church His rightful place can do a great deal to prevent or to heal that.


#6

To live in the Church and to find it secure and suited to your nature is good.

However, perhaps you don’t find it as hard to love and serve Christ as you think. Jesus tells us to love one another. He tells as to loves others as we love ourselves. He tells us in Matthew 25, verses 31-46, that to love others, ie not only have goodwill for others, but to actually do good for others where they need it, this is to love and seve Him, and upon this, as He says in that scripture, our salvation depends.

So I do think you do doubtless love Jesus and serve Him.
If you have issues of understanding Him, you’re human, and I’m sure these will resolve in time. But I don’t doubt that you love and serve Him.

“Have you not sometimes loved the Lord? Do you not love God now? Do you not long to love God forever? Therefore, do not fear! "(Saint P. Pio)

Translate me into Your own terms
Dear Jesus, I choose to love You truly and to allow You to love and serve others through me. I want to live Your dream of me fully, but I may misinterpret Your will and inspiration as it refracts through my emotions and mental processes. Please nevertheless fulfil all that You desire through my life and prayer.

Flood Your love to others though all my efforts and errors. Grant me faith, fidelity, wisdom and prayer. Recreate me in the fullness of Your will and fill me with Your love, for sake of Your honour and delight, and for salvation of souls.

Let me be the person who You dream me to be, so that Your desire for Yourself and for each soul You place in my care or influence is generously fulfilled.

Translate me into Your own terms as I come contritely and gropingly before You in humble trust, with my imperfect efforts. I know that You have mercy on good intentions even if these are misguided. Yet please let me know Your will—for You have said, “I will instruct you, and teach you the way to go; I will watch over you and be your adviser.” (Psalm 32: v. 8) (1981)


#7

Hi, I agree with you that Catholicism is much more objective and that the Church helps us understand God’s will (and the right interpretation of the Bible ;)) much more than we can do ourselves… I think though that it is always true that God has an individual plan for each of us, and it is right to pray that we would follow it, it is right to seek God, and in fact the Church would encourage doing this. All the Sacraments, etc, they’re not there for the sake of having rules, but to help us find God in a fuller way. :slight_smile: Look for Him, and you’ll find Him in a greater way in the Catholic Church than maybe you ever have before.

Also, remember when we are serving the Church we are in a way serving God too, because He values obedience (cause it shows humility) and when we’re obedient to the Church we’re also obedient to His will. But it’s best to follow the Church out of humility, not because it is easier :wink:

I’d suggest not trying to analyze yourself too much right now and most of all, don’t worry. Just take it step by step. As you advance in the faith, God will help to figure out little things like this. Personally, I think that Catholicism is sort of a balance… we don’t blindly follow the Church, we do seek God and follow Him, but the Church ends up being a big component of this. And it leads us to the fullness of truth and the fullness of knowing God… especially in the Eucharist… I really recommend reading the works of the Saints, they really help to find the right perspective.

I do suggest putting God first, but letting the Church lead you more surely to Him.
God bless!


#8

Love of anything, be it Christ, the Church or one’s spouse, can ‘cool & die’.

I sometimes feel like I am less interested in a “personal relationship with God” and more in just doing what I can to avoid Hell (note, I did not say I always feel like this). In some ways, the Church makes this easier because of its rituals: attend Mass weekly and on all HDOs, receive Eucharist (after I finish RCIA and am Confirmed), receive Confession frequently, avoid mortal sin, etc.


#9

There are other ways that we can have a personal relationship with God, but that isn’t likely to happen in your life just now, if in fact God does come into any of our lives in a mystical way.

We can’t sit down and have a coffee with God, and it may seem therefore that we can’t have a relationship with God. It may also not seem really possible with the pre-Christian God to have a personal relationship, at face value. Jesus does give us the possibility, but even He can’t sit down with you and me and have a coffee. He could, but He won’t…except in the person of someone else.

However in this very fact, of others in our lives, is the way that God most usually conducts relationship with us and vice versa. Even the Sacraments are shared with us through others, eg, our priests. You objestive, though a negative rather than a positive take…you wish to avoid hell, is actually accomplished in the same way, to an extent, that those who don’t think much about hell or such consequences, but only tend to think of the positives.

Matthew 25 verses 31-46…Jesus’ words on who will be saved:

“The Last Judgement”
“When the Son of Man comes in all His glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men from one another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats.
He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. then the King shall say to those on his right hand,” Come you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was a stranger and you made me welcome. I was thristy and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me; sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.

Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?

And the King will answer, " I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me."
Next he will say to those on his left "Go away from me with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels, for when I was hungry you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in proson and you never visited me."
Then it will be their turn to ask, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty; a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and not come to your help?"
Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.” And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.

And since Jesus is the very Person who will judge all of us, I think we have to accept HIS criterion for who may be saved! **His criterion is salvation depends upon our charity towards other people, which He regards as charity directly given to Him, and in being good to others, in having relationship with them

…you do in fact have relationship with God**


closed #10

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