Spirtual of obsessive?


#1

Hi Friends, it’s that confused Pagan again!

You know, there is so much I can tell you but it would take all day to type it so I’m going to keep it simple for my benifit as well as yours.

As you maybe aware that I’m a practicing Pagan, but it seems I have left the door open for Jesus!
This may sound a little odd but as I’ve mentioned over previous threads I’m challenging my present faith of Paganism, something which I feal has a distinct lack in a department or two.

What’s been going on with me, well I visited Lisieux and Ste Therese, again. (PS. I went camping in the area with my wife although she did not know that I went there for the day, infact I visited a couple of D-Day museums and then went straight to Lisieux).
Plus now I have obsessive thoughts on trying to visit Catholic churches and listen to an audio version of the Catacist.

(Sorry if the spelling is not red hot!, new keyboard as well!!)

I’ve even taken a secret time out to visit a local Abbey and attend a Mass, it was’nt planned at all it just kinda happened when I arrived at the time with an intention to pray quietly.
I enjoyed the Mass although I could not hear a thing as the words echoed though the area and becamed muffled!

Plus then I followed the small crowned and before I knew it I was taking communion. Somthing which I really regret as I know I’m not a Catholic and promise I won’t do that again.

But I did enjoy it!

I’m 37 years old and for the past 10 years I have had suffered from depression (very badly) and anxiety although I have seemed to sorted the depression but still have the anxiety.
This has reflect on my spirituality which originall inspired me to become a pagan. Now I question that and my world is turning upside down.

I’m also interested in Buddism, well the art of meditation anyway as that has been my main cure for the depression.

Now what? I have an active role in the local Pagan community, my wife has no idea that I have a growing Catholic belief!
I don;t know where any of it is going, just that it’s going somewhere but I wish I can shed the heacy load of obsessive thinking.

Well I do have so much more to tell you but I’ll leave it there.

What I’m going to do now is just to carry on as I’m going, I’m running a Pagan meeting next week and write for a Pagan magazine so I do have responsibility there.

Thanks for reading,

With my love, Graham


#2

Hi Grimble/Graham!

I’m so happy that you are interested in Catholicism, and I know that God is too and the Holy Spirit will guide you along your discoveries. Also, St. Thérèse is a perfect start for you, her simple and beautiful way of life is very inspiring and I’m sure you have found her!

God’s blessings for whatever lies ahead:highprayer:
littletherese3


#3

Thank you for your kind words.

Blessings, Graham


#4

Hi Grimble,

What you described has all the hallmarks of a calling from God. When the Holy Spirit calls us, it is a constant tugging, a gentle drawing towards something that can be compelling.

Saint Augustine says, “You made us for Yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”

I’d recommend going to your local parish, having a seat in the pew, or kneel if you wish, and spending time before the Blessed Sacrament (which is Jesus truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity) contained within the Tabernacle. Then pray. You don’t have to pray out loud, since God hears our silent prayers. Prayer is simply talking to God. Talk to Him about what’s going on with your pull towards the Church. Ask Him for guidance and faith. You can also pray at anytime, anywhere - you don’t have to be at a Church.

When you are ready to join the Church, call the parish office and ask about joining the Church. They will tell you what to do.

In the meantime, you can continue to visit with Jesus as I described above, and you can go to Mass (just don’t go to Communion; that has to wait until you join the Church).

You say you’re depressed and anxious? Being baptized brings with it the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, which in turn bring about the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. My guess is you’ve found all those things lacking in Paganism.

With prayers,
Becky


#5

Graham, I couldn’t help a smile. You’re being pursued by God who loves you. Whatever the difficulties and barriers, I’ve little doubt He will continue to do so and with time and prayer the barriers will seem less and less important and you’ll take the ‘hand’ of God that is being offered.

Looking forward to hearing from you again!

God bless you. I’ll keep you and your wife in my prayers…Trishie :slight_smile:


#6

If you are the kind of person who likes to read, I would highly recommend Pierced By A Sword by Bud McFarlane. It deals with the realities of Catholic life and how to manage leaving a non-Catholic past behind you. One character seems to be in a very similar position to you, his name is John Lanning, except he is a Mormon.

We are all praying for you:signofcross:

-littletherese3


#7

HI Graham,

The books by Patrick Madrid called ‘Surprised by Truth’ are excellent and tell the stories of those who convert to Catholicism from many different backgrounds, including wicce, paganism and buddhism.

I became interested in buddhist meditation for similar reasons to you, and can honstly say that the peace of Christ far surpasses any peace that I worked for through hours on the meditation cushion. In fact, meditation worsened my depression rather than improved it. I find saying the rosary especially helpful when anxious and I know, as taught by the Catholic Church that I have a guardian angel from God at my side to ‘light and guard, to rule and guide’.

God bless you on your journey home!


#8

If you are genuinely seeking Truth there is no escape, He will find you. God bless you and welcome home, no matter how long it takes you to get here. I don’t think you quite realize yet what you have done, introducing yourself to Therese. She is the patron saint of missionaries, you know, and she is quite relentless.


#9

Thank you all again for the kind and inspiring words, I know that I take my time and will take everything on board that is said.

I’m living with a spiritual mental chaos & difficulties in my marriage at the moment and hope this year will bring clarity, focus & direction.

With all my love,

Graham


#10

Dear Graham,

I realize this is an old thread, but perhaps you’re still there. Your attraction to Paganism might also be a calling from God to the protection of St. Francis as well as St. Therese of the Little Way. Holy St. Francis is one saint who many Catholics turn to to bless their animals, he was humble and loved nature. I pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be upon you as you unravel some of your life’s (and life’s) mysteries.

Peace be with you & Happy New Year!
:harp:
Here’s a prayer to St. Therese, you might want to say it for 9 days, for the same intention:

O Little Therese of the Child Jesus, please pick for me a rose from the heavenly gardens and send it to me as a message of love.
O Little Flower of Jesus, ask God today to grant the favors I now place with confidence in your hands (here, mention your specific request)
St. Therese, help me to always believe as you did, in God’s great love for me, so that I might imitate your “Little Way” each day.:amen:


#11

g r a h a m. :heart:
i’m so glad beyond words to hear that God, Who loves you infinitely more than you could ever imagine, is pursuing you and drawing you close to Himself! i remember when He brought me out of my own darkness, calling my name as He carried me out of the pain of my past, and to know that He is working in your life and bringing you into the light and glory of the Truth is precious and amazing. please keep us updated as your story progresses, as i would definitely love to hear more on how God is bringing you into a relationship with Himself through the holy and true Catholic Faith, and know that i will definitely be keeping you in my constant thoughts and deepest prayers.

you refer to yourself as a “confused Pagan,” but everything in this post made perfect sense to me. for someone who is confused, you are definitely able to express yourself well! i can definitely see why you are confused, though. you most likely have held on to these pagan beliefs for so long, and now that God is pursuing you and calling your name in Love, you feel that it’s time to let them go—to leave behind something you’ve known for what seems like forever. please correct me if i’m assuming anything and getting it wrong, but i can relate to you in some small way in that i was caught up in darkness myself for two and a half years, including the darkness of homosexuality, and when God called me out of my twisted, painful past, i found it incredibly painful and difficult to leave behind the depression that i had known for so long—it was all i seemed to have left after everything else had been stolen away from me. but i promise you that as God leads you into the Truth, your own depression and anxiety will become glorious light, hope, peace and joy in His beautiful grace—and you will know love in ways you never could have imagined. at least, that’s what i’ve experienced over the past year that i’ve been a reborn Christian after my two and a half years of pain. i flirted with atheism and agnosticism over those two and a half years, so i can relate to you when it comes to beliefs in a very small way as well—please know that i am very open about my life experiences, so if you’d ever like to hear more about what i’ve gone through and how i can relate to you, and how God called me to Himself out of deep darkness, i would be more than happy to share my story with you.

it is my deepest hope and prayer that as you realize that there is no truth or fulfillment in paganism, God will lead you further out of it into the Truth, and deeper into a love relationship with Himself. it is my deepest hope and prayer that you will find hope and healing in Him, and that your depression and anxiety will become glorious joy and peace. it is my deepest hope and prayer that you have a blessed, beautiful and fruitful New Year, during which i hope and pray you may experience God’s love in amazing ways that lead you out of darkness into the safety and glory of the Truth that will carry you Home.

i think that it’s an amazing idea to visit St. Therese—she truly was a beautiful soul and i admire her so much, and pray that i will be able to follow in her way of holiness. i hope and pray that your visits to her will lead you deeper into Truth and hope—and i have no doubt that they will. i’d love to hear about your experiences there, as well as your thoughts. please know that if the rest of the story is too complicated to post here, i am completely open to talk further with you, not only about my own story but about yours as well. i’m very interested in how you are being brought out of darkness, just as i was, into the light of God, just as i have been!

you don’t seem obsessive at all to me, but of course i can’t judge your thoughts when they’re not my own. if the thoughts are repetitive and intrusive, maybe they could be labeled obsessive—most likely, though, you’re simply caught up in the feeling of this new experience, and eager to find out more. i’m not trying to bring down your thoughts on how you feel, though—not at all. i’m simply saying that you don’t seem obsessive to me, and that you might simply be having these thoughts out of excitement. still, if they bother you, i would definitely recommend maybe talking to a priest about them, and seeing if he can lead you further into the Truth. i have a feeling that the more you learn and believe in the Truth, the less these thoughts will bother you. if you feel yourself being called into the Catholic Church, it is most likely God calling your name and reaching out to you. i’m so excited to see this, and can’t wait to watch your story progress!

i would definitely recommend that you continue to attend Mass and continue to pursue God in prayer. of course, since you are not yet Catholic, make sure that you don’t take Communion again—but definitely take the time to go to Mass and pray, so that you grow closer to God through seeking Him even as He is reaching out in Love to you. the Eucharist is such a beautiful, glorious Truth, and such an important part of the Catholic Faith, and it is definitely worth waiting until you are officially Catholic to enjoy it and know that you are enjoying it in the state of grace.


#12

i’m so sorry beyond words, graham, that you have suffered from depression and anxiety for so long. i will definitely keep you in my constant thoughts and deepest prayers, not only when it comes to your journey towards the Truth but when it comes to your hope and healing as well. i have a feeling that when you grow comfortable with the Truth and the way that God is lovingly calling you to Himself, your anxiety and depression will become a hope beyond anything you’ve ever experienced, as it will become a hope completely and forever in Him, a hope that will never abandon you, a hope reaching out to you to save you from darkness. i completely understand how your world is turning upside down as you are questioning your beliefs—it is my deepest hope and prayer that you find the Truth, and that it transforms your life the way it did mine.

instead of turning to Buddhism to help with your depression, meditation and contemplative prayer are also part of Christianity, and i am interested in learning more about both of them myself. because i don’t know much about them myself, here are some resources that you might want to look at concerning Christian meditation and contemplative prayer:
The World Community for Christian Meditation | wccm.org/home.asp?pagestyle=home
Christian Meditation – Is it really Christian? | allaboutgod.com/christian-meditation.htm
An overview of some Christian ways of meditation | frimmin.com/faith/meditation.php
An introduction to Christian meditation | jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/13763.htm
if you would like more resources, simply let me know, and i’ll see if i can find some more good ones for you.

graham, please know that i will definitely keep you in my constant thoughts and deepest prayers as you continue your sincere and beautiful search for Truth, that will inevitably lead you to Jesus Christ, our Lord. please know that i will pray that God heals you of the obsessive thoughts, but doesn’t lessen in any way your thirst to find out more about the holy and true Catholic Faith.

let me pray for you now:

Loving Heavenly Father, i lift up graham to You now, in the deep hope and prayer that You would assist him in his sincere and beautiful search for Truth, that will inevitably lead him to You, as he learns Who You are in Love, in beauty, in glory. i praise and thank You, Lord, with all my heart that beats for You alone, that You are pursuing graham in love just as You called my name through my own darkness and brought me to Yourself, healing me of my own scars and bringing me life and hope, light and peace, joy beyond anything i ever could have imagined before You found me. i thank You and praise You that graham is beginning to feel a thirst for the holy and true Catholic Faith as you draw him closer to Yourself and to the Truth that will lead him not only to You, but to our Blessed Mother and to the saints, who i ask to pray with me now for graham, that You would lead him completely and forever into the Truth and heal him completely and forever of the darkness of his pagan beliefs, and heal him of his depression and anxiety as well. i pray that the love, light and life of Your precious Holy Spirit would touch his heart and not only replace his depression and anxiety with all that You gave to me when You called me into Your loving arms, but replace the darkness of paganism with the light of Your Truth, and speak to him, convincing him that what he is pursuing and searching for is the holy truth, and the light that will expel all darkness that remains in his life. i pray, Father, that You would continue to call graham to Yourself, healing him in every way, encouraging and supporting him in every way so that he will soon become a devout, dedicated member of the holy and true Catholic Faith. i pray that You would heal him of his confusion and obsessive thoughts, while letting his thirst to find You remain. i pray that You would pour out Your love and blessings upon graham, and that You would grant him a glorious, beautiful, blessed New Year during which You would pursue him relentlessly and draw him continuously to Yourself, until he is completely caught up in You and truly knows Your Love and is truly experiencing the glory of Your abundant life. encourage graham, Lord, to continue to seek You, to continue to attend Mass and to pray, and i pray that You would speak to his heart and let him know that You are the One, True, Living God, and that You are the world’s salvation. i pray all this in Jesus’ precious, mighty Name, and ask for the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, Mary, and all the angels and saints, so that together we may offer this prayer to You, Father, that comes from the heart, trusting that Your perfect and holy will is done in graham’s life, leading him forever to You alone. Amen.

God bless you, graham. please know that you are far from alone in your confusion and obsessive thoughts (i suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder and scrupulosity, so i can definitely relate to you in that aspect!) and that God will certainly heal you and draw you closer to Himself, into the light of the complete and holy Truth that i know will transform your life completely and forever. please stay strong, please stay safe and please take care of yourself—and know that i am always thinking of you and praying for you with all of my heart. have an amazing, beautiful, blessed and fruitful New Year, and know that i will remember you during my nightly prayers! God bless! :slight_smile:

love,
in the peace and love of Christ,
alison :heart:


#13

Alison, you took that suggestion right out of my mouth… :smiley:

Graham, I was raised Presbyterian and with some pretty dark views of Catholicism as a whole (although the more I learn about Catholicism, the more similiarities I do see)… My parents still share some of these beliefs, so I have an idea of how difficult it is to even be contemplating this in regards to your pagan community and wife. St. Therese also helped me out, as well. I had the same (what I thought at that time) crazy urge to go inside and pray at St. Therese parish in Clinton, TN I passed everyday when I went to college, and I didn’t understand it at that time, but looking back, I knew it was her calling me to become a part of the body of Christ. At that time, I had started skipping going to church and had been in quite a few dark places for a long time. I suffer from bipolar disorder, and as a result of that, engaged in quite a few addictions and an eating disorder. Even when I first joined the Catholic Church, I still struggled with those on a minute to minute basis, and less than a month after being confirmed, was admitted to an eating disorder treatment center.

A priest told me that maybe these crosses that I was bearing were God’s way of drawing me closer to him. I took those words to heart, and started really getting serious about the faith, attending Mass as often as I can, praying as much as I can (anything in between formal prayers to “inexpressable groanings” that Paul writes about in Romans 8:26), even when I wasn’t even sure if I believed, which I know was part of the darkness of my mind. Lo and behold, if that priest wasn’t correct… :smiley: :rolleyes: I used to get extremely depressed in the winter, to the point of having to be hospitalized at least once before Christmas. This year is the first year since I was 17 (I’m now 22) that I have not been hospitalized. Not to say that I haven’t had any recurrance of depression, but my worst days now are better than my best days being separated from God and from his church. With his graces and impeccable sense of timing, I have reconnected with an old friend who was a “lapsed Catholic” for over 5 years, who was starting to feel the pull back towards the church. He was too afraid to go back on his own, and I was very lukewarm at that time, and had not been to church in almost 3 months, not even to look inside. Since then, he and I are going to Mass every week at least, he had his first confession in over 5 years, and received the Eucharist for the first time again this Christmas Eve.

I can’t think of any specific advise that hasn’t already been given in this thread. I will be praying for you that you follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Also, if you need to bend anyone’s ear, please IM me. I know how terrible and debilitating and paralyzing and etc, etc… depression and anxiety can be. I also want to tell you about St. Dymphna, the patroness for those who suffer with mental illness. I started praying through her a year ago (wow… time has FLOWN this past year). No eloquent words, just “St. Dymphna, pray for me” over and over again at first. Later on, the “eloquent words” came, but in times of great distress, I still say “St. Dymphna, pray for me”. There is a prayer for St. Dymphna, which I’ll post at the end of this thread. Even if it doesn’t feel like you’re actually praying and just reading words, keep praying it. After awhile, it will become a prayer. I say this for any type of prayer, actually.

God Bless!
Ericka

Prayer to St. Dymphna


I turn to you, dear virgin and martyr, confident of your power with God and of your willingness to take my cause into your hands. I praise and bless the Lord for giving you to us as patron of the nervous and emotionally disturbed. I firmly hope that through your kind intercession He will restore my lost serenity and peace of mind. May He speak to my heart and reassure me: "My peace I give you. Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid."
Pray for me, dear St. Dymphna, that my nervous and emotional turmoil may cease, and that I may again know serenity and personal peace.
Amen.***


#14

I cannot thank you enough, you have given me much to ponder.

I have a serious addiction which your kind words have just put me in a position that I cannot act on those urges, but don’t worry it’s nothing destructive, well only really to my mind!

I know I have along way to go and speaking out like this allows me to vent the anguish.
There are so many aspect to my ‘problems?’ and I’ve had years of Counselling, but I still carry these burdens.
Perhaps I should do a blog!

I’m starting to pray alot more now and have started to learn the Rosary. But it’s difficult here as I do this in secret like everything else! I seem to have so many baths now as it’s the most private place in the house and you can only justify so many trips out!

Perhaps a hint of paranoia there! it’s really not that serious, just me and my mind.

Anyway, thank you again.

Love, Graham


#15

I often pray the rosary in my head and use my fingers instead of my beads. I also pray it when I am walking and before I go to sleep.


#16

Link to entire poem:

cs.drexel.edu/~gbrandal/Illum_html/hound.html

The Hound of Heaven -

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter.


#17

Dear Grimble -
I think you’ve received some very good advice in replies. But I agree - keep searching for God - keep going to Church or visiting shrines - whatever / wherever God calls you. But no Holy Communion until you are a member of The Church and have received proper instruction. Paganism is belief in nothing - that there is no God.

It sounds like you’re searching. Keep up the good work.
And God bless you. Talk to St. Therese since you’ve been to Lisieux. She practiced her Faith and spent her days serving God in what she called “little ways”. Pray to her to find the little ways that will bring you closer to God. You sound like you’re on the path…Don’t stray now !


#18

Graham - you mentioned wanting to possibly listen to an audio catechism. While I’m not sure that there is such a thing, there *is *an excellent and extremely thorough audio series about the Catechism by Fr John Corapi SOLT - a very gifted and passionate speaker.

You can locate it at fathercorapi.com.


#19

Amen! Not to mention YouTube.


#20

Nothing wrong with praying the Rosary in secret on a daily basis. :thumbsup: I’m really interested in reading the Testimony of Hope by Vietamese Archbishop Nguyen van Thuan
Archbishop Nguyen van Thuan was a prisoner in a communist concentration camp for 13 years, 9 of them in solitary confidement and he reveals the secret which allowed him to cling to hope in the midst of despair. pauline.org/store/moreinfo/0819874078.html

I don’t know if it was him or some other priest, but Rebelecka posted in a thread here: About Praying the Rosary forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=4440425#post4440425 that some priest in prison for the faith used to pray the Rosary by using matches from a matchbook to say the Rosary. That way the guards didn’t even know he was praying, they just throught he was crazy, staring at the matches.

Maybe you might also try reading Scott Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home. amazon.com/Rome-Sweet-Home-Journey-Catholicism/dp/0898704782 He was a Presybterian pastor who converted to Catholicism. His wife follwed 4 years later and it was truly a trial/a cross/a struggle for her to accept the faith! He helped me find my place in the Communion of Saints when I returned from Protestantism to Catholicism. He’s amazing!! Here’s his bio: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Hahn

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


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.