... Struggling


#1

Hello, this is my first post here. I’ve been sort of going through a realization of my faith recently. I live 20 min. away from the Fransiscan University campus and for the last two years I’ve been going to there summer teen conferences.

[After finishing my post I realised I got a bit carried away when talking about the conferences so anybody who has been to or knows about them can skip this next part if you want.]

For those of you who don’t know Fransiscan University puts on several conferences, the ones I am talking about are the teen conferences. Basicaly they are a three day (Fri. - Sun.) conference with talks mass Praise and worship ect. the one thing I think they are famous for though are their “Saterday nights”. On Saterday night they start out with some Praise and worshop, then they start Adoration. Man, it is the most powerful things I have ever experenced, everybody (which is usally about 2200 people) is effected (although some in not such an outward way). People cry, tremble, laugh (uncontrolably, sometime up to 45 min after every thing is over), pass out, they feel utter peace and trenquility. And when its over you feel literaly on fire for God, I’ve personaly gone from crying and trembling uncontrolably during adoration, to feeling like I can take on an army of deamons in the name of Christ. If I could I probably would have done summersalts and backflips. But anyway, I’ve been ranting enough, its time to get to the point of this thread.

So after going to these conferences I've begun to truly belive in Christ more fully, to *truly* want to become a soldier for Him.  So I thought to myself, *"If God were to appear to you now, would you be proud of yourself?  Would He be happy with you?  Would you go to Heaven, or at least purgatory?"* and the answer wasn no.  No I would not be proud, no I don't think He would be happy... and I truly doubt I have done anything to gain any mereit with God.

So I set out to change my ways, to become a better person... but more importantly to become a soldier for Christ.  I must admit that in some areas I have improved, the most noticeable thing for me is at mass.  I have been able to ocasionaly lose myself in it, to feel at peace, to feel that God is here.  But there are two things that I struggle with on a daly basis, and cause me to fall ever farther away from God, and ever deaper into the camp of the enemy.

The things I most struggle with are:
  1. Self Mastery

I find this increadibly hard and at time impossable to achive. I have been fighting to be the master of my passions for what seems like forever. But I don’t belive I have ever truly made any improvements. :frowning: I… I pray about it, I ask continiously for the grace to be able to become the master of my passions, but I continue… over and over and over to fail. I think that eather I am not strong enough, or … that I do not belive strongly enough.

  1. Faith

This is another problem I think I have. Its not that I don’t belive, its… well I belive in God the same way I belive in math. I know 2 + 2 = 4, and I know God exists. But I do not belive in my heart. I think that if I truly belived in my heart then I would not sin as I do. That utter love for Chirst would drive me away from sin.

Well those are some issues I have been dealing with for awhile now. I just needed to get the off my chest, as I would be too embarressed to speak to anyone face to face. I am at the time of writing this in a state of dispair and grief. I apologise for writing such a long post, and I thank you for taking the time to read this. I ask for your prayers and any sugestions, comments, or anything that could help me on my quest for Christ.


#2

heart knowledge comes from relationship. the Eucharist is the source of your growth in relationship with Jesus Christ. You learn about him in the bible, and you learn Him in the Eucharist. visit the blessed Sacrament, and while you are there read Mark’s gospel from beginning to end. Every time you receive communion, ask Him to grow within you.


#3

While there will be times of great and powerful consolation like you’ve had at the confrence, there will also be times when there is nothing. Those powerful times will probably give you great hope. You must also keep the faith when the feeling is not there. In the Bible, look at Exodus God did great things to save them, but then later when God wasn’t so present they doubted. For example in our lives, say a couple gets married, very often the wedding the couple may feel a great closeness. Soon enough that feeling will wear off, does that mean there is no love. No if the love is great there it will be there regardless of if the feeling is there or not. So with God, we must always keep our faith, hope and love, in consolation and in despair, and learn how to navigate when where are inbetween the two.

The process to become more holy often tends to happen slowly. It is hard to break old habits, and if we go to quick we might fall to pride. But you realize where some problems are, keep praying and keep confessing. You youself can only take it so far, so surrender to God and ask for the grace.

So pray pray pray; confess and repent; get the Eurchrist; adore at the Blessed Sacrament. Decrease, so He can increase. Have faith that your struggles are pleasing, you are a profitless servant, but you have a Master thats Wealth itself.


#4

I strugle with the same passions thing and I’m doing waaay better by frequenting confession, communicating daily and finding a good director. If you are gonna be a warrior you need to train daily. Adoration too. If you feel like you can’t your right you can’t do it, God has to. Herein lies the key. Changeup the way you pray. Pray to Jesus in a meditative way and do it all day…combine this with your other prayer and build the relationship. Read if you can some saints like Cath of sienna and the seven mansions by theresa of avila.rEAD PRAY STAY CLOSE TO THE SACRAMENTS AND IN SMALL WAYS DISSASOCIATE FROM THIS SWILL WE LIVE IN. Every minute, every breath, every heartbeat give praise and stay close to God.

Peace and Love
how can i find out about going to one of those retreats. were there any parents with kids?


#5

Thank you all for your help. I can’t go to daily mass or go to confession as often as I want to because of the ratio of cars to people in my family , plus I live 20 min. outside of town so I can’t walk.:frowning: But I think I will try to pray at least one decade of the roasary every night before going to bed, maybe a whole one. I have not been praying daily as I should so I want to do a short prayer every morning before I start my day asking God to be with me and my gaurdian angel to aid me in my struggle. Also I will see if I can talk to my parents about going to confession a little more regularly.

**cyprian

**Here is a quote from there FAQ on their homepage.

I am a parent who wants to bring my teen. Do I have to have a group?

We consider a group to be one adult and one teen. If you would like to stay on campus it has to be a same-sex parent (mother/daughter or father/son) since campus housing is segregated. Otherwise there are hotels in the area.

Here is a link to their schedule for this year. The ones I was talking about are the ones on there campus in Steubenville, OH.

I will be going to the High School Youth 1.


#6

[quote=Anim8]Thank you all for your help. I can’t go to daily mass or go to confession as often as I want to because of the ratio of cars to people in my family
[/quote]

He-he . . . I’m on the parent end of your transportation dilema. Time to ponder a 3rd car.

I agree about getting to confession as often as you can. There are graces to be had in confession that can not be received any other way (not even the Eucharist). Telling God you want to serve Him is the first big step. Stay strong! —KCT (a graduate of FUS)


#7

Congratulations friend. From the sound of it, you may be a rationalist. Me too… so, one to another…

Consider that faith is not a feeling, but a decision. Sometimes it is even a decision that doesn’t make sense all the time – even seems a little on the irrational side. But if you really get rational… even scientific about it… your critical thinking will bring you home to Rome (credit to Scott Hahn for the catchy line).

A thousand years ago, when I was in college, I took a course in philosophy – the professor was a total atheist who Our Lord used to bring me back to my faith – especially in terms of the moral teachings of The Church. Go ahead and spend some time with Plato, Rand, Descartes, and their ilk (and read them like they were the only available voices of truth).

When you reach a point that one or the other appeals to you… check out Kant. I trust that he will appeal to your 2+2=4 mindset. You’ll also find that his concept of “categorical imperatives”, while making sense as clearly as math, bring you to moral judgements in perfect alignment with not only math… but also, with the magesterium.

If it is God’s existence and identity that are eating at you… look up “spontaneous generation.” It doesn’t work. Everything that is, was caused by something else. Since, that everything we experience or see is the result of another thing, we end up in a scientific quandry… the beginning of existence (since, everthing has to have a beginning) must, logically, be something that never began… something that always was.

Now consider all the arguments (in all the religions and philosophies) for the description of that “something”… that first cause. By now, your rational approach will tell you that our faith has the only (not the “most”… the only) concept in perfect harmony with rational thought.

Eventually, after you’ve dealt with Budha’s and Mohammed’s bones, and the uncontrolled creativity of Hinduism, I’m confident that logical conviction will bring you to Our Lord.

When you’ve gone through whatever elements of the above appeal to your particular station, the intellectual journey will be well traveled (unless, of course, you need to have a look at protestantism as well – which I encourage, since nothing is more effective at securing good catholics than an honest look at protestantism).

Now commence the spiritual journey… You may find, as I did, that this was the journey you were on all along.

I know you want to feel that “burning in the bosom” that comes now and then when you feel that you are really in-tune with God. When it does happen, consider it God’s gift to you. When you struggle with times of feeling “separated” from God… and you remain firm in your resolve to follow Him regardless of how you feel – then you will be God’s man (these times are your gift to God).

Be prepared… staying true to your decision to follow Him regardless of your feelings is difficult. The same will happen with all significant relationships (believe it or not, you won’t always “feel” the same passion for your spouse, or your vocation, as you did during the honeymoon). Steadfastness in these circumstances is among the greatest virtues & reflects the courage and strength of Our Lord (…remember how he felt in the garden before his passion… now remember how He acted despite His feelings).

Don’t get discouraged. Our Lord has a plan for you to do great things. I’m sure of it.


#8

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