Ongoing, lifelong struggle with a specific SIN


#1

So, I was late again. I was 5-10 minutes late to Mass on Easter Sunday…

My life-long struggle with sin is the struggle with timelines. I have lost jobs. Early school memories involve detention and discipline.

Priests in confession chastised me for being rude and selfish by being chronically late to Mass.

One priest actually said you need to see a Dr. However, Dr.’s want to drug me, and by reading all these posts, I know I shouldn’t do drugs. And when I say drugs, I mean CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES that Dr.’s want to prescribe. I will not follow the path into further sins. I don’t want to be led into further sins.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=11902459#post11902459

My timeliness issues have led into multiple other sins, such as dishonesty.

About one year ago, I made a firm resolve to STOP this sin. I tried so hard to pick up the pace when getting ready to avoid being late. This has resulted in various injuries and emergency visits. So, to be safe, I slowed down my pace and am chronically late again.

At this time, I feel hopeless, doomed, and incorrigible, and almost in tears at Easter Sunday Mass for being late on the most important event of the year!!!

If you have helpful advice, it would be appreciated, but I feel so trapped in this sin that I cannot change!!!


#2

I do not, nor have I ever suffered from “chronic lateness”, but I have many friends and family members who do, and in my observations, it all boils down to one thing- trying to do too much at once.

My MIL is the “Queen of Late”. It’s so bad that we we married, we had to tell her we were getting married 2 hours earlier than we actually did, so she would be on time.

My suggestion is to try to plan a little better- make a schedule if you have to and stick to it.

As far as medications- I strongly suggest that if you have mental health issues (which chronic lateness can be symptomatic of) you really need to discuss this with a medical professional. Medications can be used to help people better their lives. Of course, there are always risks, but it is much safer that self-medicating.

This is a problem only you can change, and it will require self-discipline on your part. You must make the decision to change, and it will have to be done daily.

Peace & prayers for you.


#3

Taking a medication prescribed for you is NOT a sin! The only way it would be a sin would be if you deliberately misused it.

Why make yourself and others miserable if there’s medical help available? :confused:


#4

There’s a very big difference between ‘doing’ illicit drugs and taking medication for health reasons. Please don’t conflate the two.

Why is it that you’re late? Is it because you always feel very tired and don’t sleep well? Or do you feel anxious in the mornings and procrastinate about getting up? These things can point to a sleep disorder, depression, etc - although I’m not a Dr so you should just check with what your Dr is saying.

Edit: I just read in your linked post that you have an anxiety disorder. Perhaps this is contributing.

It’s a bit depressing how many people are anti medication, especially for mental health reasons. It can save lives.


#5

I was thinking the same thing. You might have a lack of motivation or procrastination caused by depression. Prescription medication. can help, and it does not have to be a controlled substance. Please get help. Praying for you.


#6

Make a physical, structured, daily action plan to overcome this sin. The first step to purging yourself of sinfulness is to acknowledge its existence, but that is where it begins, not where it ends. As a Christian, you are called to be on the offensive, not in a state of passivity. Don’t sit around vaguely wishing for your problems to magically go away. They’re not going anywhere. The longer the habit has been instilled, the more powerful it will be. It will be dug into your soul like a wall of concrete.

Write down in a journal the standard tasks that a person does prior to arriving at Mass in the morning. 1. Get up at X time, 2. Wash, 3. Eat Breakfast if need be, while observing the fast, 4. Dress, 5. Go out the door and go to Mass.

  1. Obey the plan, by the book. Do not be creative. Do not deviate. Just follow the plan.

  2. Continue to follow an action plan, week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week after week, x50, after week, after week, after week. Drill it into your skull with brute force. Continually write it down. Continually set the alarm at X time on Sunday. Make it a repeating event in your phone. Instead of arriving on time, arrive early. Overcompensate for the habit so as to further beat it out of you. Bring a rosary or a prayer booklet or a prayer app or something else with which you can edify yourself for ~15 minutes prior to the start of the Mass.

Address this habit in your petitions for edification into your prayers, every single night, after night, after night, after night, after night, after night, after night, after night, x50, after night after night. Write it down so as to complete it.

Be like a bloodhound. Just keep doing, again and again and again. If you screw up, keep doing it anyway. Don’t start sobbing to yourself about your weakness. Just go immediately back into the fray.

The most difficult period of breaking a habit is in the months immediately after you pro-actively, aggressively commit to break its back. When you arrive early week after week and see just a thin crowd of people already in the sanctuary before you arrive, you will feel inspired by your achievement, and that will give you momentum and renewed strength to keep pushing forward.


#7

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength & fortitude to overcome your problems.


#8

Lots of good suggestions, I will try again. The problems is that when I try to speed up just a little, I get injured. I was seriously working on this habit until a recent injury.\

Other have observed that it is extremely difficult for me to organize myself, and contant mishaps, such as locking myself out, forgetting my keys, falling, etc. that really delay me.

Because of the way I am, I am labeled as a very IRRESPONSIBLE person, even though I try to do right.


#9

If you really do have some kind of condition that makes you extremely clumsy, absent-minded, etc., as previous posters have said, don’t shy away from consulting a professional about advice & options. You know the Church doesn’t condemn the use of prescription medications, right? I mean, pretty much everybody would agree that as a country we are over-drugged, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t real problems out there which medicine can help with. You get injured if you go at a certain pace? That seems very unusual to me. Don’t be scrupulous or prideful about looking into that.

But even so, you still need to have a tangible action plan to help put your life into order.


#10

YES, you are correct. I DO get into all sorts of accidents if I pick up the pace. I resolved about one year ago to end my tardiness problem, and have been having regular “mishaps”, many serious enough to require medical attention.

And yet, all my life, people (such as employers) told me that I better pick up the pace, that I am wasting their time by going at my pace, etc.


#11

I do OVERCOMPENSATE a lot, for instance I may allow myself 2-1/2 hrs. to get ready for church, And, my counters are covered with sticky notes with reminders. I have sticky notes everywhere.

But, invariably something happens at the last minute, such as misplaced keys, that cause me to be late.


#12

I can’t relate sorry,I am more of a chronically early person.

I think what could help is for you to just leave early to everything. If you have to write down a start time 20 mins before something actually starts and resolve to be there then.

What is it that makes you late? Watching tv, playing, eating, what?

Just set aside whatever you are doing earlier so you are always 10-20 mins early to things.


#13

First, trust in God and ask for his help.

Second, like me, make it a point to get up earlier. Or set your clock or other device to tell you it’s time to leave. I have had this problem too but those are the things that helped me. Perhaps you can ask someone you live with to remind you it’s time to go.

Take it a step at a time. Plan to get there 10 minutes early. I’ve managed to do it 95% of the time and it feels good.

God bless,
Ed


#14

None of those things. I always allow ample time (at least 2 hours), it’s just that something always happens. For instance, I misplace keys, forget that I turned the water off, forget to close refrigerator door, and have to go back, etc. I try very hard and use sticky notes, but still get in trouble.

Noone seems to understand how difficult it is for me to hold it together, such as remembering to close refrigerator door, turn stove off, etc.

A friend of mine described me as being “scatterbrained”!


#15

Hmm my ex wife is “scatterbrained” it was a side effect of serious mental illness. I’d recommend working with a psychologist. Perhaps they see more too it hence the prescriptions


#16

Respectfully, I suggest you see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. I have similar problems due to my depression and anxiety.

Peace,
Ed


#17

:thumbsup:


#18

It might just be something physically wrong with your brain which is why medicine might be the way to go. There is a difference between physiological problems and psychological problems. The former has to do with chemical and physical processes and the latter has to do with mental and emotional states. If your problem is physiological then you can’t correct the problem through will power. This is probably why sticky notes and other types of preparation are not working for you. The chemical processes in your brain might not be working correctly. The only way to address the problem is by working with a psychiatrist and trying different medications until you find one that works. A good psychiatrist probably will be able to find the right medication for you without too much hassle.

I have a physiological mental illness. It took a long time to convince me when the problem arose in my mid thirties that I had a problem that needed medical attention. I took the medicine for two years and still thought my problems were psychological and my doctor was not sure so we lowered the dosage. After about a month on the lower dosage my problems returned. I learned that there is nothing I can do about my illness except take the medication. It is a physical thing.

If you have exhausted yourself with trying to cope with your problem by using your intelligence but have not overcome your problem I would recommend a good psychiatrist. Not all psychiatrists are equal so you might have to try more than one to find a good one.


#19

I DO have anxiety with depression, and recently I have felt as if the depression could swallow me whole!

However, it is difficult to reconcile myself with using dangerous drugs. And it appears that the Catholic Church has an “anti-drug” slant.

As I mentioned earlier, I SO want to do what’s right.


#20

Others have given good advice regarding seeing a doctor and the appropriateness of taking prescirbed medications.

I’ll touch on another issue. One problem I suggest with people who are chronically late to mass is that they aim to be at mass “on time” - which usually means walking in the door just before mass starts. Rather than aiming for this, we should all be aiming to get there with time to pray beforehand and prepare ourselves.

Perhaps you should resolve to be at mass 30 minutes before it starts. And make this about the importance of prayer and preparation, rather than about being a scheme to ensure you are “on time”. If you are late, you will cut into this important prayer time, but still be there before mass starts, which will be an improvement. But keep aiming to stick to your schedule and prioritise this prayer time.


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