Hi, i know this is a bit simplistic but it is just how it seems to be for me right now.
I am newly baptised (easter 2018) and for the first 6 months i was really strict with following the commandments. Probably more out of fear. Than i met a woman, this woman was also a practising catholic (former novice nun). We met and got engaged really quickly but we had a big problem with staying celibate. She had also before we got together (but were friends) slept with another guy, this led me to have a bit of a crisis of faith. Does’t even a nun follow the rules? Why don’t I follow the rules, I really want to. In the relationship I was as ‘‘eager’’ as her to engage in sin.
She told me 2-3 months after i got baptised that the priest that runs our church (don’t know the english name) had behaved inappropriately with her (nothing sinful, just weird) when he was blessing her new apartment. This was my first time exposure to my own naive way of thinking. Anyway, i broke of our engagement because we were wrong for each other. shortly after (a couple of months) She started dating someone she met at catholicmatch. THis was a person that is involved in church activities in another city, and he said i follow all the Church teachings. The he told her on a date that he doesn’t, that he pleasures himself and uses contraception and that every catholic basically does this (she told me this). Then on their second date he unfortunately raped my ex-fiance. Something I can’t express my anger at. I helped with the police, follwed her to the hospital and generally just being there because she needed someone.
I feel after my relationship with this woman i really want to follow the Chuch teachings but i feel really weak in doing so. No one else seems to be doing it. I know this is false but my motivation is suffering. I should do it for God but I allow my surroundings to influence me. How can I find the strength to do this?
Edit: I have seen others who (2 women) who say they are practising catolics but I found out that they are not. Although this is from reasonable assumptions based on what I know not facts.
Hi, i know this is a bit simplistic but it is just how it seems to be for me right now.
You’ve come to the conclusion that “nobody follows the rules” based on your interactions with one lady, who seems to be confused and making some not very good choices in life, and the stories she told you about two other men she dated and a priest whom she claims behaved “inappropriately” though not “sinfully”. I cannot imagine how a priest could behave “inappropriately” without its also being some kind of a sin, but we’re also not getting the priest’s side of the story here.
In any event, this is a total of 3 people (or 4 if you count the priest who may or may not have done anything) who don’t seem to be following the church teachings…hardly the entire universe of people out there.
I suggest you try to meet some other friends and dates who are trying harder to follow the church teachings. I have heard that the people on Ave Maria Singles follow the teachings more than those on Catholic Match, so you might want to use Ave Maria to meet people instead. Also, if you meet someone who seems “eager” to “engage in sin” you might want to avoid that person rather than get deeply involved with them.
Don’t you think it’s a stretch to extrapolate a few bad examples to the whole community, and claim nobody is following what the Church teaches? Evidently that’s not the case when you look at the wider Church, because there are many people out there striving to become saints, and there are many Catholics who are extremely moral. Every one of us struggles with sin.
I don’t know the details of the person you’re referring to, but I’m getting the impression there are underlying issues she has, and reasons why she probably wasn’t suited for the religious community (‘novice nun’ is a pretty broad term), and that you’re getting only one side of the story.
It’s impossible for anyone to follow the 10 commandments.
Even priests pray for forgiveness.
God knew that humans couldn’t follow all ten.
Many people mistakenly look at the Ten Commandments as a set of rules that, if followed, will guarantee entrance into heaven after death. In contrast, the purpose of the Ten Commandments is to force people to realize that they cannot perfectly obey the Law (Romans 7:7-11), and are therefore in need of God’s mercy and grace. Despite the claims of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16, no one can perfectly obey the Ten Commandments (Ecclesiastes 7:20). The Ten Commandments demonstrate that we have all sinned (Romans 3:23) and are therefore in need of God’s mercy and grace, available only through faith in Jesus Christ.
To follow all ten commandments you’d need a pure heart which as humans we have not.
As St Paul says, all have sinned and fall short of.the glory of God, in ways big or small. He talks about how he finds himself doing that which he does not want to do, and not doing that which he wants to do.
Does that mean the rules have no meaning? Or.that it is not worth even trying to follow them? Of course not. The trying itself is good for us, and like our muscles we build up strength every time we strive against sin.
I think that it is the fact that you don’t exactly hear from people who ‘‘follow’’ the rules but you hear about the people who don’t. I know everyone is a sinner it is just that I knew no catholics before getting baptised and this is my introduction. I think in the beginning that i expected every person to strive as hard as me. When I found out that wasn’t the case and being reminded of it, that I have a hard time getting ‘‘back on my feet’’
Find a good book of lives of the Saints to read if you want some positive role.modals of real people who did God’s will in their lives., often in societies that did not value these people as ours tends not to.
Then realise that there are people living quiet lives of sanctity all around us, they just tend not to brag about it (humility, ya know).
Converts often try a lot harder to be “good Catholics” than cradle Catholics. It’s because converts freely chose to become Catholics, while a lot of cradles just sort of ended up in the Church and didn’t quite leave.
I agree with the advice to read up on some saints, and try to find some people who are living quiet drama-free lives.
You will get back on your feet, and one thing you’ll learn (as I did the hard way) is that the secular world isn’t going to live up to your standards of morality, and it’s going to put you in situations where your intergrity as a practising Catholic is challenged. You’ll learn, during your examination of conscience and confession, that secular life will drag you away from sainthood. You might someday find yourself dealing with people who have no conscience, and with the worst humanity has to offer.
You will struggle, just like the rest of us. This is what the Church is about.
Very well said.
I don’t think it is all that difficult to follow the ten commandments even if one is not a saint. These are, after all, general rules of conduct regarding the relationship between people and G-d and between people and others that many can and do practice. However, it is the further details of each commandment, as described in the Law, which are more challenging to follow in everyday life, although Moses in Deuteronomy told the Jewish people that the Law is easier to follow than one might think.
It’s hard to feel like you’re the lone weirdo set apart from the crowd and “acting good” while everybody around you is living it up.
But first of all, there are people out there, Christians of all stripes, who are making the sincere effort to follow the moral law. People make mIstakes, but there are people who care.
It’s also good to find out why the Church teaches what she does. It’s still not an easy path, but it really does make sense, and it really makes life better for yourself and those around you.
Third, while you never want to think you’re too good to hang out with the sinners try to cultivate friendships with people who are trying to live according to God’s plan.
It really depends on one’s situation in life.
When you are dating in today’s Western society, it can feel impossible because pretty much everybody expects to fornicate. Even those who are trying to stay chaste before marriage will often want to do as many preliminaries as possible without actually crossing the line. Those who do not want to fornicate also sometimes have other issues, such as not having sexual desire for the opposite gender or not having sexual desire at all, or a wish to get married very very fast in order to have sex, which often doesn’t allow enough time for the two people to get to know each other as people and see if they get along.
I am a widow right now and there are a number of reasons why I have chosen not to date again but these above are among those reasons. I simply don’t want to be dealing with this stuff. Going through it as a late teen/ twentysomething was bad enough without going through it as my age and on top of life responsibilities and grief. I committed a large number of sins in my younger days which I do not wish to repeat.
Even when you are married, then you have to face issues of being “open to life” and what sex acts you can and can’t perform in your marriage.
I’m not saying sex is the only sin out there but it is certainly one of the biggies and the story told by the OP is totally believable. It gets much, much easier to follow God when sexual behavior is not part of the picture.
You can’t do it on your own, you must cooperate with the grace that God gives you and remain in a state of sanctifying grace. That certainly means confession after any mortal sin and avoiding the near and voluntary occasions of sin, and the intention to remain in the state of grace.
There are Catholics who strive hard to follow what is taught on faith and morals.
We have saints who give us wonderful example of what the Lord can do with us when we obey and love Him!
Pray that the disappointments you have experienced will not drive you to despair!
There is always hope, and God loves you very much. Pray for those who are weak and do not take advantage of the sacraments.
I think most of your concerns regarding sexual indiscretions or sins would fit under what I called “the details” of the Law. The only one of the Ten Commandments that deals explicitly with sex is “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” so if one can avoid that, one is fine. However, it is the details (the devil is in them) that get many people in trouble.
As you know, I follow Catholic teaching and these other areas such as fornication, “open to life” etc are not mere “details” and it is not a case of simply avoiding adultery once you are married.
These are important moral teachings, and I spent enough years committing various heterosexual sins that I think there are good practical reasons for them to be important moral teachings. I’ve never read Theology of the Body, but I don’t think I have to read that in order to see that the way society is going about its relationship behavior these days is not good. Violating “the details” did not make me happy, it made me miserable, and not in a “I’m afraid I’m going to Hell” way because at the time I did not believe I would be going to Hell. Rather, it made me feel like I was living in Hell because it was ultimately not a pleasant way to go about my life. I did not like it and it created many negative emotions in me.
I have absolutely no wish to live like that again, not only because it displeases God but because I don’t think it would help me in any practical way either except perhaps a momentary physical pleasure and a short alleviation of loneliness that would no doubt be accompanied or quickly followed by other hassles and headaches. It’s spinach and I say to He** with it (figuratively speaking, as I like fresh spinach).
I have also reached the age when other people my age who have had pretty active sex lives not within a marriage are also expressing the same kind of weariness and dislike of the whole business. It’s not just me and it’s not just because I’m Catholic. This is just not good.
Of course the details are important, not only according to Catholic teaching but also Jewish teaching. The Law is full of details, all 613 commandments, both positive commandments and negative commandments. I did not mean to imply the details are not very significant for all of us. Some of these details we would never even have considered using only our own reasoning. Yes, there is also the saying that G-d is in the details. Nonetheless, the Ten Commandments proper do not include the details; rather, they are the blueprint of our moral values, and when the OP states that “no one follows the commandments,” it is this blueprint that I believe they are referring to (but I might be wrong). Further, Hillel the Elder, the proponent of Pharasaic teaching in Judaism, made the remarkable statement, which Jesus later reiterated, that there are only two commandments really: “Love G-d and love thy neighbor” while “all the rest of the Law is commentary; now go and learn.”
Matthew, I may not follow all the rules in that I don’t attend church every Sunday. However, I do consider myself a “practicing Catholic”. I’m not sure what is worse. A chaste person who does not attend Sunday mass (my case) but who prays every day, or someone who always attends Sunday mass but who sleeps around or cohabits with their significant other. I know many individuals with religious family members who have engaged in these relationships, so I don’t know what to think. However, I do agree that as far as sexual morality and contraception, most Catholics do not follow the rules. This is why I feel and am made to feel like an outcast, both by Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
Do not focus on them focus on yourself.
‘He whose disposition is well ordered cares nothing about the strange, perverse behavior of others, for a man is upset and distracted only in proportion as he engrosses himself in externals.’ - The Imitation of Christ