Revelation

#21

Awake, one of the things that bothers me is that your relationship with God is based on a fear of punishment rather than a desire to be with Him.

Let’s take a look at an example (although my examples haven’t worked well so far, eh? ;)):

You find a girlfriend and as you and her start dating, she tells you, “If you leave me, I"ll kill you”. And somehow, you know she is serious. How do you learn to love this woman? How do you learn to give all of yourself to her? In my case, I can’t. I can stay around, but I will never find the joy and peace that I’ve found in my relationship with my wife.

On a side note, my wife is Italian. And during our wedding, she had the singer sing the theme from Godfather (Speak, softly love). Although it’s a beautiful song, I can’t help but think it was a threat. :wink:

But, back to my point. When I told you earlier that Mass is first and foremost giving glory to God and secondly thanks to Him, for me there is a lesson in there.

When I give praise to God and thanks to Him for all of His gifts, it helps to remind me that nothing I do (that is good) is done on my own. It’s only through the Grace fo God that I do these things, or it’s only by God’s gifts to me that I have the skills to do these things. So, in giving Him thanks and praise, I am reminded of all He has done for me, which only makes me want to give Him even more thanks and praise!!!

Does this make sense?

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#22

Awake,

How old are you?

I’ve been thinking about your dilemma all day, especially at Mass (of course, while I was praising and giving thanks to God! ;)). Maybe God is teaching you patience, for right now. Also, if you are doing all the things you say (and I’ve got no reason to believe you’re not), then when God does bless you with Faith, then he will enter in a house that has been well-prepared for Him!!! Take heart in that, my brother!

There’s one prayer I came across today while reading the Bible. It comes from Mark’s Gospel, where the man approaches Jesus because His disciples couldn’t rid his son of a demon that has possessed him.

***Jesus said to him, " ‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith." Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!***”

I often pray this, especially when the priest is holding up the chalice during the Eucharistic Prayer. I thought you might want to add this to your prayers!!!

Good luck!

John

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#23

Faith in God requires action on the part of God and a human. The person needs to seek faith and be open to it, but God also has to give gift faith.

That’s what I mean by God revealing himself. I try to do everything I can on my part to have faith, but God doesn’t seem to be doing his part. So that just ends up resulting in me living my life as a Catholic because I want to believe and not because I actually believe.

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#24

He may be in the Eucharist and in the scriptures and in tradition, but he hasn’t revealed himself to me through any of those. I receive the Eucharist because I want to know God, not because I already do.

(But I probably shouldn’t be receiving the Eucharist anyways because I don’t know if I believe in the real presence. I want to believe, but I don’t think I do.)

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#25

I understand your point, and you’re correct. Obviously, I can’t really give all of myself to her if I’m afraid of her.

But at least I know my girlfriend. I can connect with her and can love her. I can’t say the same thing about God. I know what other people have told me about him, but I don’t know him myself.

But, back to my point. When I told you earlier that Mass is first and foremost giving glory to God and secondly thanks to Him, for me there is a lesson in there.

When I give praise to God and thanks to Him for all of His gifts, it helps to remind me that nothing I do (that is good) is done on my own. It’s only through the Grace fo God that I do these things, or it’s only by God’s gifts to me that I have the skills to do these things. So, in giving Him thanks and praise, I am reminded of all He has done for me, which only makes me want to give Him even more thanks and praise!!!

Does this make sense?

Imagine for a second that you didn’t know God.

Somebody comes up to you one day and says “Hey, there is this guy named God you haven’t met, but he’s really great and is responsible for everything good in your life, but not responsible for anything bad in your life.” What would say to God? Probably something like “Uh…, I don’t really know you and don’t know if you exist, but my friend tells me you are responsible for everything good in my life. So thanks, I guess.”

Would you have a profound desire to praise him and give him glory? Probably not. You wouldn’t know him and wouldn’t know if he was even real.

That’s where I feel like I’m at. People tell me about God and demand that I praise him, but I don’t even know who he is. I can’t really praise Beethoven for his 9th symphony because I don’t even know him, other than what I’ve read about him. So all I can do right now is listen his 9th symphony and admire it. Then if one day I do meet Beethoven, I’ll tell him how great his music is.

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#26
  1. I’ve spent my whole life trying to know God, and quite extensively for the past 5 years. Please don’t tell me “you’re too young, you’ll figure it out when you’re older.”

I’ve been thinking about your dilemma all day, especially at Mass (of course, while I was praising and giving thanks to God! ;)). Maybe God is teaching you patience, for right now.

Maybe. Quite an annoying way to learn patience, though. I would think there’d be a better way to learn patience than keeping myself up at night fearing God and damnation.

Also, if you are doing all the things you say (and I’ve got no reason to believe you’re not), then when God does bless you with Faith, then he will enter in a house that has been well-prepared for Him!!! Take heart in that, my brother!

Let’s hope.

There’s one prayer I came across today while reading the Bible. It comes from Mark’s Gospel, where the man approaches Jesus because His disciples couldn’t rid his son of a demon that has possessed him.

I often pray this, especially when the priest is holding up the chalice during the Eucharistic Prayer. I thought you might want to add this to your prayers!!!

Good luck!

John

I pray that prayer, “I believe Lord, help my unbelief”, all the time. Probably a more appropriate prayer would actually be “I want to believe Lord, help my unbelief.”

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#27

If anyone says they know God, they are misleading you or fooling themselves (or probably a little of both - kind of like the Emperor’s New Clothes, eh? “Uh, yeah, I know God, too!”). God is so much a mystery, that if anyone claims to know Him, in my book, than that means they need to go back to the end of the line and start over again.

Imagine for a second that you didn’t know God.

Somebody comes up to you one day and says “Hey, there is this guy named God you haven’t met, but he’s really great and is responsible for everything good in your life, but not responsible for anything bad in your life.” What would say to God? Probably something like “Uh…, I don’t really know you and don’t know if you exist, but my friend tells me you are responsible for everything good in my life. So thanks, I guess.”

You know, I was sitting in my truck at lunch watching it rain. I was thinking how much energy it would take to lift the water up into the clouds and toss it down as rain. Mechanically, it would be an incredible achievement!

Then I thought, “Wow, So God makes the water evaporate, where it’s lighter than air, and it lifts itself up until it coalesces back into water, and then it throws itself back to earth, all with no energy other than the sun’s at all! Brilliant!”

My point is, I don’t have to have anybody tell me that God is responsible for all of this. God talks to me in stuff like this. Just look at your hand and the complexity of it. Than compare it to your brain and nervous system, and realize that your hand is like a toy compared to the brain. This couldn’t have happened by chance.

Would you have a profound desire to praise him and give him glory? Probably not. You wouldn’t know him and wouldn’t know if he was even real.

As you can guess by my previous answer, yes, I do have a profound desire to praise Him!

That’s where I feel like I’m at. People tell me about God and demand that I praise him, but I don’t even know who he is. I can’t really praise Beethoven for his 9th symphony because I don’t even know him, other than what I’ve read about him. So all I can do right now is listen his 9th symphony and admire it. Then if one day I do meet Beethoven, I’ll tell him how great his music is.

But you know you are going to praise Beethoven for his wonderful 9th symphony, right? Let’s say you have a microphone and someone tells you that Beethoven is on the other end, do you have anything you wish to tell him? Wouldn’t you want to tell him how much you admire him and his masterpiece?

BTW, don’t ever praise God because it’s demanded of you. Praise Him because you want to.

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#28

No, you’re not too young. You’re just too impatient! :wink:

I’m telling you, you are light-years ahead of where I was at in my relationship with God. Are you familiar with the “lukewarm” people in Revelation? Those that think they are living a good enough life to get to heaven? That was me, brother, at your age. I envy your drive and your desire to know Him.

Maybe. Quite an annoying way to learn patience, though. I would think there’d be a better way to learn patience than keeping myself up at night fearing God and damnation.

Maybe… but to me its less annoying than telling someone he and his beautiful wife are going to be the father of multitudes and then waiting some 50-70 years or so before you give birth to your son, Isaac.

But of course, such lessons learned come with great rewards! :slight_smile:

Let’s hope.

I pray that prayer, “I believe Lord, help my unbelief”, all the time. Probably a more appropriate prayer would actually be “I want to believe Lord, help my unbelief.”

Tuh-may-toe, Tuh-mah-toe.

Again, I pray that prayer every time the chalice is raised. BTW, When the Host is raised, I pray a prayer from St. Augustine (for another picture of patience, read about his mother St. Margaret) “Lord, shine your glorious light into the darkness that is my soul”.

But my point is, we are all faced with un-belief like yours to some level. We feel we need that reassurance from God from time to time. Just keep praying for that faith… and patience! :wink:

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#29

Ah, so nobody knows God. Everybody just claims to know him because they hear other people claiming the same thing.

You know, I was sitting in my truck at lunch watching it rain. I was thinking how much energy it would take to lift the water up into the clouds and toss it down as rain. Mechanically, it would be an incredible achievement!

Then I thought, “Wow, So God makes the water evaporate, where it’s lighter than air, and it lifts itself up until it coalesces back into water, and then it throws itself back to earth, all with no energy other than the sun’s at all! Brilliant!”

My point is, I don’t have to have anybody tell me that God is responsible for all of this. God talks to me in stuff like this. Just look at your hand and the complexity of it. Than compare it to your brain and nervous system, and realize that your hand is like a toy compared to the brain. This couldn’t have happened by chance.

As you can guess by my previous answer, yes, I do have a profound desire to praise Him!

You’re referring to the argument from design which can get into a lot of philosophy. I don’t intend to debate any philosophy, but I will say that I’m aware of the enormous complexity and elegance of the universe as a whole from galaxies to quanta. I greatly admire many things about the world, which leads me to want to find out who this God is that supposedly created everything. But I don’t know him. I just know stories that others claim are about God; many of which seem very unusual and peculiar to me.

But you know you are going to praise Beethoven for his wonderful 9th symphony, right? Let’s say you have a microphone and someone tells you that Beethoven is on the other end, do you have anything you wish to tell him? Wouldn’t you want to tell him how much you admire him and his masterpiece?

Yes, if I knew that I was talking to the man who composed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, I would tell him how much I admire his masterpiece. But I wouldn’t tell him how much I admire him. I don’t know him at all, other than what I’ve read about him.

BTW, don’t ever praise God because it’s demanded of you. Praise Him because you want to.

Hmm… should I keep my mouth shut during the psalms at Mass?

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#30

You envy my desire. I envy your belief.

Maybe… but to me its less annoying than telling someone he and his beautiful wife are going to be the father of multitudes and then waiting some 50-70 years or so before you give birth to your son, Isaac.

But he did supposedly live to be 175. 50 years would be less than a third of his life. :slight_smile:

Tuh-may-toe, Tuh-mah-toe.

Again, I pray that prayer every time the chalice is raised.

Me too.

But my point is, we are all faced with un-belief like yours to some level. We feel we need that reassurance from God from time to time. Just keep praying for that faith… and patience! :wink:

I need assurance, not reassurance. And yes, maybe I need some patience too.

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#31

Yes, you heard it, From the “Gospel of Notworthy”. Of course, this is my opinion, which may not reflect the opinion of any other living person! :wink:

You’re referring to the argument from design which can get into a lot of philosophy. I don’t intend to debate any philosophy, but I will say that I’m aware of the enormous complexity and elegance of the universe as a whole from galaxies to quanta. I greatly admire many things about the world, which leads me to want to find out who this God is that supposedly created everything. But I don’t know him. I just know stories that others claim are about God; many of which seem very unusual and peculiar to me.

Yes, if I knew that I was talking to the man who composed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, I would tell him how much I admire his masterpiece. But I wouldn’t tell him how much I admire him. I don’t know him at all, other than what I’ve read about him.

Hmm… should I keep my mouth shut during the psalms at Mass?

Well, maybe you want to praise Him for His handiwork? (I refer you back to your Beethoven quote… ;)).

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#32

Awake,
I leave you this evening with a marvelous prayer that someone gave me the other day. It was written by Padre Pio, and it reflects so much of my weaknesses and needs for our Lord.

Prayer after Communion

[RIGHT][RIGHT]***- Padre Pio***[/RIGHT]
[/RIGHT]
***- Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You.

*** ***- Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often. ***


  • Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life and without You I am without fervor. ***
  • Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light and without You I am in darkness. ***
  • Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will. ***
  • Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You. ***

-Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much and always be in Your company. ***


  • Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You. ***
  • Stay with me, Lord, as poor as my soul is I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love. ***
  • Stay with me, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You. ***
  • Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of the bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the Light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart. ***
  • Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love. ***
  • Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more. ***
  • With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen. ***

But there’s something else that makes this prayer special. Somebody that I work with (on a teen-ager retreat team) gave this to me. Every time I pray it, I thank God that I have someone in my life that loves me enough to know that I need this prayer and was willing to share it with me.

So this prayer (of Padre Pio’s) is accompanied with a prayer of Thanksgiving for my friend, Cathy.

God Bless and good night!

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#33

But most people who have the gift of faith have never had a sensational religious experience and I bet that not one person who has received one did so by demanding it. For myself, the most powerful answers to prayer came when I was at the end of my rope, knew I was helpless, and could only cry out to God as to a father for help. This was the situation the centurion found himself in when he brought his sick daughter to Jesus. Formulas and multiplicities of words and doing this or that never got me so much. God is really quite simple in a way. I don’t mean to say He’s not vastly superior and all, of course, but He’s so incredibly, singularly, and awesomely LOVE and what He really wants from us is a simple, childlike faith-and perseverance in it.

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#34

The Eucharist is very sacred. You cannot receive it if you don’t believe God is in it. That is sacrliege and blasphemy - mortal sins. If you’re Catholic, than you need to go to Confession as soon as possible. If you can’t go today, than go tomorrow, and if you can’t go tomorrow, than the next - but whenever you are able to go, go to Confession. Your immortal soul is at stake, Awake.

If you’re not Catholic, than you need to go to a Catholic priest and tell him what you did, and tell him you’re seeking God, and be sure to listen to what he tells you.

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#35

I don’t necessarily disbelieve in the Real Presence, I just don’t know if I really do believe. But I have been advised to frequent the sacrament of communion. I confess every week (sometimes even more) that I struggle with my faith.

And if I was sure that I didn’t believe in Catholicism, I wouldn’t be able to go to confession anyways. That would also be considered a sacrilege.

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#36

I’ve always thought that Padre Pio was rather unusual, but I’ll try praying this tonight. Thanks.

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#37

So God won’t reveal himself if I ask him to, and he won’t reveal himself if I don’t believe in him. I have to wait until I’m at the very worst part of my life where I’m on the brink of an emotional breakdown, and then I’ll base my belief off of this small glimpse I received at a time when I’m not sure I was even thinking straight.

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#38

I gotta admit, I was always worried that Padre Pio was “out there”. But when I read that prayer, it was completely clear where his heart lied - within the Eucharist. When I prayed it today at Mass, I added my on little “sumthin-sumthin” after each verse - that little “Notworthy” extra.

For example:*** - Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life and without You I am without fervor. - ***and I am without hope or joy.

When I finished, I was filled with such a peace and joy that was unimaginably wonderful!

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#39

[quote="Notworthy]Maybe… but to me its less annoying than telling someone he and his beautiful wife are going to be the father of multitudes and then waiting some 50-70 years or so before you give birth to your son, Isaac.
[/quote]

I was dwelling on this earlier this morning (“get out of my head, Awake!” ;)) and I couldn’t resist but to re-answer this.

My wife and I spent 2 years struggling to conceive our first child (and 2 nights to conceive our 2nd) and I gotta tell you, it was hard each month as she found out she wasn’t pregnant yet again.

So, you can imagine what Sarah put Abraham through FOR FIFTY YEARS!!! My man Abe learned patience, Awake!!!

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#40

I don’t call myself Awake for nothing. :slight_smile:

My wife and I spent 2 years struggling to conceive our first child (and 2 nights to conceive our 2nd) and I gotta tell you, it was hard each month as she found out she wasn’t pregnant yet again.

So, you can imagine what Sarah put Abraham through FOR FIFTY YEARS!!! My man Abe learned patience, Awake!!!

I’ll have to take your word on that. It’ll be a while before I have to start thinking about having children.

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