Not sure being a strict Catholic is for me

I was baptized a Catholic and I go to mass. However, here i see how devout so many of you are and I think if I were to do many of the things I see here it would suck all joy from my life. In one thread about lust a man said he was thinking of taking a drug to curb his desire. I like watching Game of Thrones even with the nudity. I make comments about pretty women to other guys. I am over 50 and am acustomed to certain things. Catholics here always talk about the “sorrows” of our lady and about suffering. Am I just csught up in the world or does it take a certain personality type to be a devoted Catholic?
  

(I posted this in the other sub-forum where you asked this question also)

Devotion and joy are not mutually exclusive.

I find that many people in the forum are a little too preoccupied with the more “dour” aspects of our faith. That does not make them more faithful or devout than someone who enjoys life.

There is nothing wrong with being joyful and it does not make you “less than”.

Be at peace, and pray as you can, not as you can’t. What matters is that you pray! :slight_smile:

:amen:

Being on CAF may indeed suck all the joy out of your life.:smiley: But, *your *being Catholic has nothing to do with what the people on CAF are doing with their lives. The woman who gives her last two cents has given more than the rich man who gives a years wages.

People are called by God to do different things. Some people ignore it others go with it. I would have no idea where you fall in the sceme of things. But personality type doesn’t have a lot to do with it IMO. It’s more a matter of God’s calling and our listening. Part of me feels like you already know this.

It’s all in the Bible. Jesus tells us what to do, how to respond, how to behave. Joy is meant for healthy, moral pursuits. Ask God to lead you into these things. God, through the Holy Spirit, gives each of us different Gifts.

Avoiding sin is a good thing. The world is promoting immorality 24/7. Ask God to inspire you, to renew you. There are so many good things a person can do for fun but again, ask God to remind or inspire you. When I was growing up, society was more Christian. No, it was not perfect, but we had lots of fun. Lots of fun. Yes, there were bad times, but even as a kid, I understood that was part of life.

Ed

I think this place can be a great resource, and there are clearly some smart folks here. That said, I do think there are more people here than normal who probably lean towards the scrupulous side: basically, falling into the trap of thinking everything is a sin.

Also, keep in mind that some of this is about you the individual and knowing yourself and your struggles. Like, if you can watch Game of Thrones and not become preoccupied with lust or driven to sexual impropriety, then great. Pop the popcorn and enjoy. Someone else may have a little bit more of hair trigger so to speak, so it might be necessary for them to avoid something provocative that you can handle. What’s a near occasion of sin for one person may not be for another.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Mt 6:21)

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant who is in search of a fine pearl, who on finding a pearl of great value went and sold all he had and bought it. (Mt 13:45-46).

Sometimes it is God who moves us and changes our hearts, not so much on our own strength and personal effort. We just have to desire and ask, and the Holy Spirit will be given to us. (Lk 11:13)

Pray for a renewal.

One can’t compare themselves to those who think having a pile a mile high of devotions is being a great Catholic because we really can’t know for sure if they are simply repeating prayers, or if they truly have achieved a high degree of spirituality through various prayers.
Rote prayers and such are like the building blocks of our faith . When you are a child, you must learn how to print your letters, sound out words, learn phonics, and gradually learn the rules of grammar and expression.
Same with faith. Children learn prayers to know HOW to pray. Eventually, we speak to God through those beautiful prayers, yes, but also with our minds, our hearts, and our lives.
Make your life a prayer, and the rest will come. Some people get much from Adoration, some from daily Mass, some from devotions. It’s all good, all driven by the Holy Spirit. All of these things work in concert to bring you to faith. Do not make the mistake of making comparisons to people you perceive are “holy”. That’s the work of the prince of lies. He wants you to doubt yourself. He wants you to abandon your relationship with Christ. He wants you to size others up.
You are beloved of Christ. Listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, bend to the will of God, and see if things don’t turn out just beautifully.
God bless you.
Everyone has occasional struggles. It’s normal. Don’t give in to despair. It’s not what God wants for you and your life.

Well stated.

Nudity per se isn’t bad, neither is finding attractive women attractive but Game of Thrones seems to revel in gratuitous sex and violence, which can’t be good for one’s soul.

Pax et Bonum! It is becoming obsessed with these things that cause us to sin and get in deeper…one can have a glass or 2 of wine for example, or spend their whole paycheque on alcholol, not paying the bills, not showing up for work - obsessions that lead to addiction or doing it for the wrong reasons is why we have to remain vigilant. angeltime

You don’t have to be extreme in things that you do …but avoiding sinful situations is not extreme!
There may be a scene in a movie that catches you off guard & you watch it. But to intentionally watch a program that will give you impure thoughts, should be avoided.

We all fall into sin…that’s why we have the sacrament of Penance. :thumbsup:

I’m not lecturing because I’m relatively young in the Catholic faith and still figuring things out as I go, and consider myself on a high learning curve, but here are just some streaming thoughts from me:

Nobody is really meant to be a “strict” Catholic: we’re human beings. By our nature, vulgarity, drinking, partying, nudity, vanity, and just general revelry all have an attraction to us. If they don’t, it doesn’t mean you’re holy: it means you had enough confidence/social anxiety issues growing up that you continue to stay away from them as an adult. But if you gain confidence, then these things will gain an allure, probably infallibly. The reason they have an attraction to us is because there is no sacrifice or responsibility tied up into them. You can simply “let the good times roll” and enjoy the levity. It doesn’t force you out of a comfort zone.

There’s a lot of fun things you can (and should) do as a Catholic. For certain people that are the opposite of you, who are prone to being very somber or scrupulous, their spiritual directors will sometimes actually order them to find ways to lighten up & connect with people. But it needs to be a true joy and not the counterfeit kind that we often are attracted towards: we think coarse joking or drinking or looking at a woman/man in an objectifying way doesn’t really affect who we are or how we behave with other people or with God, but it does. The healthy outlets we choose to have for unwinding & relaxing need to be done in the context of building up our self-esteem and our respect towards others rather than tearing it down or reducing it to a toy status.

Everything about Catholic spirituality - all spirituality - is ultimately rooted in attraction, even penance. We are moral creatures and although evil things have an attraction for us, so do good things. We have a natural attraction & desire inside of us to be better, greater, nobler men, so we have to choose that attraction instead of the other attraction.

I am having a very hard time letting go of something clearly sinful. Part of the reason is my reluctance to live a holy life. In fact it is far more than a hard time. I am loosing sleep and seem to have become fixated. I think about this all day long and people are starting to notice. It is all based on an error i made by taking a step i was not ready for even though my priest urged me to do it. God does not seem to hear my please for peace and my faith is failing. I am at panic mode all due to 3 minutes of giving up something I was clearly not ready for. I had a weird moment of being overzealious.

Please do not lose faith! You will be in my prayers! Take it easy on yourself, healthy balance is needed for spiritual progress. Ask the Queen of Heaven for help too.

:thumbsup: Very well put. As a nearly 30 year old man recently returned to the Catholic faith of my youth those words really resonate with me.

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