Sinful to be Catholic to be happier & for self-improvement?

Most of the people I know who actively observe the Catholic faith (going to church on a regular basis, going to confession on a regular basis, pray the rosary on a regular basis, etc.) tend to be more well-grounded and, well, happier than people who aren’t Catholic.

That said, is it sinful to be more observant of Catholic faith WITHOUT caring about salvation, etc., and other eternal matters, for sake of feeling happier in THIS life? I mean, isn’t all the salvation stuff supposed to be the logical, natural consequence of the moral compass that being Catholic provides?

I don’t mean to be disrespectful or come across naive in any way. I just wonder if, as a single male who often feels left out of parish life because I’m not a family, would I be happier if I were a more observant Catholic? :shrug:

What if the knowledge of God’s mercy and salvation is the cause of their joy? I mean, there’s nothing particularly fulfilling about the process of reciting rosaries if there’s no connection to God.

I am glad you are looking in the right place.

Truly I think it is the love of God and recognizing his influence in our lives, and glory in creation that makes us happy in this life. Being Catholic is not easy, even with this in mind, but God makes it worth it!

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Hmm well, many people who approach Catholicism do so for different reasons.

I don’t think it’s sinful to be Catholic just for happiness, but you ought to ask yourself why the faithful Catholics you’ve observed seem to be happier and more well-rounded. It’s rarely because they are simply Catholic; unfortunately, there are Catholics who are miserable. There’s a reason why Catholicism brings happiness, and it usually has to do with the love of God with salvation mixed in there. I think once you figure that out for yourself, you’ll no longer have to worry about your initial reasons for looking into the faith.

Go ahead and live a moral life according to the Church, but look into the reasons why we do so. Think about who God is and what our relationship to Him is. That will help you in finding happiness.

If you put God as the center of your life, you will feel joy that is not dependent on the circumstances of your life. I know it’s cliche, but I know from experience that it is true. I have undergone difficulties in my life but through the grace of God I have emerged not only unscathed but better and stronger.

Self-improvement and joy because of the grace of God is not sin.

I don’t think it’s precisely sinful, but it’s an extremely immature level of spirituality. I think it’s a valid level, however, for somebody just starting on a spiritual journey, assuming that over time they abandon the self-centered motive, and start walking with Jesus for His own sake.

For instance, a person who landed in jail for stealing might very well look around at his circumstances and say “my life would be so much better if I hadnt stolen”. Then they decide to reform their life. Is it self centered? Yes. Is it valid at this stage? Yes. But we hope the thief will eventually genuinely respect the rights of others.

I went through a stage like this some years back, I was in a state of darkness and confusion, and the only thing holding me on the straight and narrow was the motive you described. I learned to grow past it, but I needed it at the time.

Oh, and BTW, please don’t think that converting will bring you an easy life and glittering earthly prizes. Nope. You’re gonna carry that cross, and it’s only going to get less comfortable to be a Christian in the future.

God Bless!

In addition to the foregoing, are there supportive Protestants near you who could share Scriptures on Christian living with you, at times that don’t clash with Catholic activities? They have been my main lifeline throughout life.

Although I had received all sacraments when I was 9 (over 50 years ago) I have gatecrashed Journey Of Faith (that leads to RCIA) and the newly formed branch of SVP (at the latter I have asked to be helped as well as to explore being a low-key volunteer).

For several decades I was shy of “diocesan” and “parish” projects as they had turned out not to be “diocesan” or “parish”. Now that Christ is more important, I can let some of the silliness wash over me.

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