Need Advice Desperately


#1

I’ve been a catholic for about a year and a half…and for the first year, I spent it with a very small parish close to my home, back in CA. Since there were very few of us RCIAers going through, the rest of our parishioners adopted us all and through their friendliness helped to shape my view of what Catholicism is. We were a family (arguments and all!) and I felt like I grew a lot with them in my faith.

Fast forwarding, I moved back to my home city of DC about five months ago. I come from a family of Baptists (as I’ve mentioned in other posts I’ve made on this board), which isn’t the problem since I feel no temptation to become Baptist again.

But… lately I feel like I’ve been drifting away from God and my faith. I haven’t been to confession in over a month, or mass in about that long… something that once or twice was due to my job but as a whole rests on my laziness. I haven’t even found an official church home. Inevitably, because of all this, I’ve fallen so deep in sin that I can’t see the sun, much less find my way out.

Back in CA, I felt like I had an entire network of people/friends/priests to go to when I was experiencing a crisis of the soul…whereas here, I’ve got no one to turn to. I feel like I don’t have the right to pray to God for an answer anymore.

What do I do? How can I get out of this?


#2

You’re so lucky to be in DC. Take yourself over to the Catholic Information Center and talk to the priest there. When you look at the website, you’ll see that there are all kinds of great things to do there, and people to meet who will be a good support system for you.

Do it - you’ll be glad you did!

Betsy


#3

I suggest a novena to the holy spirit. It will never fail to bring you back.

John Marie Philomena


#4

I hear the struggle in your words and will pray for you.

You do have someone to go to, Jesus, and you do have a right to pray to God for answers, you are His precious child. If you can, spend some time before the Lord in Adoration and talk to Him. Then go to confession and simply tell the priest what you wrote in your post.

When I go through times of darkness and become aware of my lack of trust in God and my increasing reliance on other things this is what helps me most.

Peace - Annie :signofcross:


#5

You must understand that the evil one will present one obstical, one excuse after another to prevent you from going to mass, which in turn lowers your defenses, causing you to spiral downhill. Recognize it for what it is and don’t play his game, know that he that is in you is greater then he that is in the world, and no longer listen to the father of lies, for that is what he’s trying to fill your head with, lies pure and simple.

At no time are we ever to the point while we live on this earth of no longer being able to pray to God, not now, not ever, and it’s through prayer when you are at your strongest and most protected.

This will not be the first time you will face this same attack, we all do, in fact, even at the very steps of the church when I was walking in yesterday, bam, immediate attack, and what was in store after mass was wonderful, I now am enrolled to help feed the homeless and signed up to play guitar at mass to boot! You see, no wonder the attack happened, and it was just this odd instant, at those steps, telling me to turn back, I recognized what it was, for what it was, you should with yours as well and get to mass immediately.


#6

you know the answer, look in the phone book or on the internet and get to the nearest Catholic Church–find one that has Mass this evening if possible, and if you get the chance to speak to the priest beforehand ask him to hear your confession.
no excuses.
get on back
just like when you lose your cell phone or your keys, you look in the last place you remember seeing them or using them. Go back to where you were at home and where you found your Faith–that is the Catholic Church, any parish.
Welcome home, and here is the big news, most of us, cradle Catholics or late bloomers, have experienced this at one time or another.

When you find a parish, volunteer for something, anything, just to get to know people. Nothing like helping someone else to grow your faith.

try the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception-phenomenal must-attend for anyone in DC area. (not the National Cathedral, that is Episcopal).


#7

The truth has a certain ring to it. The above post is true. Believe it.

John Marie Philomena


#8

Thanks guys, you have no idea how much this is helping. Someone was kind enough to send me a message with a recommendation for a priest to speak with, of whom I will speak to as soon as possible.

I know it’s wrong to think I can’t come to God for help but it still feels like it sometimes…and actually has been my excuse as to why I stopped going to confession. Things start going through my mind like, ‘there’s too much to say,’ or ‘it’s pointless because I’ll end up doing it again anyway.’

It’s hard, but I’ll try to do what I should have done from the start - that is, give it to God and trust that he’ll give me what I’ll need to keep moving in the right direction.

In the meantime, any and all advice you guys can give me will be appreciated.


#9

This is a spiritual attack! Pray to St Michael the Archangel, and do a Novena to the Holy Spirit. Also, ask Jesus to wash your body and mind with HIs most precious Blood to restore your faith and longing for Him in the Eucharist.

In Christ,
Nicole


#10

Those thoughts of “it being pointless” etc. etc. are temptations, my friend. You’ve gotten some great advice (and I completely second the recommendation to visit the Basilica- BEAUTIFUL experience! You can make a day of it with confession, Mass, Adoration, the works!) Just need to get back on the horse, so to speak- go to confession and say everything you said here, bring these temptations into the light along with your sins. As long as there’s breath in your body, there is hope, and there is another chance to start again.

That said, from one convert to another, it is NORMAL to have a sort of “honeymoon” experience complete with passion and fireworks when you join the Church, then suddenly fall onto drier, colder times when practicing your newfound faith is suddenly a monumental effort of will, you’re inundated with temptations on every side (even things you thought no longer were an issue for you), you no longer have the same consolations and warm fuzzy feelings when you go to Mass or even confession, etc. It is a natural part of every living, growing relationship, including our relationship with God. It tests and strengthens our faith, challenges us into a more mature love of God. Sometimes we feel like we are clinging in darkness, but even when we can’t see/feel/sense Him as we did in the beginning, He is still there. We must count on faith, not feelings, and keep going, and understand that this is normal and it will pass and it is a “phase” that most Christians go through multiple times in their lives, as they grow in their faith. So please don’t think there is something wrong with you that the fireworks aren’t there at the moment and it has all become so hard when you were doing so well before and now you’re “adrift.” Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going even if it entirely on willpower at the moment- it will be OK, just don’t give up!


#11

Confession, be it in the Catholic and Protestant manner has it’s merits in regards to if you are weak in a certain area, where you know you might repeat it in the future, that all you can do is make an honest effort and repent as best you can, is all that is required, and sometimes it takes several times of slip up’s to get the point of his grace in this area, for he is very generous with it. You end up in the end, just kind of laughing at yourself over it, going, come on, this is getting kind of ridicules, you see how it’s so clearly the worldly “old” you that’s vestiging still and the thing behind this and everything else spritually related, within this life time is a matter of purging yourself of the ways of the world, of which you naturally have been programmed to believe due to it’s exposure, and accepting your new nature, which is not of the world, and really, you are following your new innner voice in that regards, letting yourself live the way your new nature wants you to, not trying to conform from without.

It seems that when ever there is a great spiritual move forward, we reach a period where we feel kind of abandoned and are left unto our own entirely. The thing is, it’s God seeing how well we can walk without his constant direct assurance of his presence within your being, this same thing can be described as with a parent letting their child walk on their own for the first time, or the first time they ride their bike without training wheels. The parent knows the child will of course fall down and get hurt, but the mobility they have gained in the process to them is far better then having to be carried around, or being limited to training wheels, or in a sense, not really having any kind of free will, of which he encourages us to retain, for we are unique individuals that have the capacity within our own personal flavor for him to do so much good through us.

I recently read a book that has given me great insight into the battle you just faced, and will continue to face. I know, it’s a protestant author, but there is very little within it that you have to adjust with what he wrote within it to keep in compliance within the Catholic church, very little when it comes down to it, so remains one of my favorites. It’s called The Invisible War, by Chip Ingram. It’s not a huge book, I liked Chips writing style, very easy to read, and everything within it is based upon the gospel and in your case, I would consider a must read because you need the additional protection and it will lead you to become armed to the gills ready for this spiritual battle every single man woman and child faces on this globe.


#12

Amen to this!

I go to daily Mass at the CIC. They have a wonderful bookstore that carries many of the best Catholic books. If they don’t carry something, the staff goes out of their way to find it for you. Stop in and say ‘hi’ to Father Arnie- he is one of the most dedicated Priests I have ever met. His dedication to the Mass is a blessing to my faith.

Chris


#13

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