Spiritually Moving Forward


#1

So today I attended my second session of the Anchor Your Faith course I’m doing. Topic for tonight’s session: sin and forgiveness. As some of you may know from my previous post, I suffer from “impurity” problems along with doubts about the Church’s teaching on these issues. I realised from the teaching tonight and from the sense of guilt I had at this point that the Church is probably right about these things even if I can’t intellectually understand why. I think God showed me tonight what a miserable sinner I can be. I want to fix that, but I’m not sure I can.

I want to pursue conversion, but I’m not sure I’m not just kidding myself that I could ever follow the Church’s teachings on these matters. I also have a logistical problem - my parish doesn’t seem to offer RCIA (nothing on website or newsletters anyway). The parishes which do in my area offer it on a Monday night, when I often have to attend meetings. I would feel very nervous about asking the local priest about this, especially as I have been attending mass regularly and following what everyone else does reasonably (not receiving of course) and he probably thinks I’m a Catholic anyway. I don’t know what to do. Its like I know where I should be, but I just can’t find the door.


#2

Thank you for your wonderful posting…one of the things we should do is to encourage one another.

Last part first…Go ahead and talk to the local priest and explain the situation. I’m sure you will “make his day” by wanting to come into the Church. He may be able to help you customize some study to prepare you to enter into the Church.

As to the matters of impurity. It is one of the most difficult habits to break. God understands this and will help all that he can. So don’t feel too down on yourself…

If it helps at all, the thing that finally allowed me to break the habit was this:
I developed a “visual prayer”…After all, if we can “visualize” toward lust - why not “visualize” away from it…
So I prayed, “Father, take me to the foot of the cross”, and then began thinking, visualizing myself there. Gazing on the scene of the one who died for my sins.
Hot, dry, dusty day.
The foot of the cross buried in the ground.
The wood of the cross stained black from blood and sweat.
The feet of our Lord.
Filthy and stained and dripping blood and sweat.
I did this - I put Him there - Not alone - but I helped.
Every time I sin, it is increases His pain.
If I refrain, it eases His pain.
Feel the heat of that day, the dryness of the air.
How thirsty He is…
…and so on…

How could I possibly sin while standing at the foot of the cross.

As a corollary to the idea of our sin putting Him there, consider how his cross is the accumulation of our sins. Each time we sin, the cross gets heavier…Each time we resist sin, the cross gets lighter.

Peace
James


#3

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the more beautiful sacraments in the Church. Some other members can probably help verify, but I do not believe you have to be Catholic to go to reconciliation. There may be some other things involved and you can always request a private meeting too.

This may at this stage you are at sound like a lot, but you have reached the first stage of identifying the habit.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen has a good teaching on temptation I recently watched on You Tube. It was in three parts and he gives some very good insights for us to use. (Google Fulton Sheen temptation)

Do check with your parish priest, he can help through this process and/or guide to the person in the parish that assists in this ministry - regarding RCIA.

One last item, one of my confessors said that with habits it s always good to ask God/Jesus for strength at the start of the day and to turn your day and all else to Him in your morning prayers.

God bless and will be keeping you in my prayer intentions.


#4

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.