Stuck and can't get over the hump!


#1

Thanks for reading my post. As brief as I can be, I am a cradle Catholic, believe the Catholic Church is the one true church & believe in the tenets of our Church. I love the liturgy and the sights, smells and sounds of Catholicism.
I pray the rosary as much as possible, pray the Divine Office when time allows and read as much about the church fathers as possible. Of course, I also love to read the scriptures.
Here is the problem. I do not attend mass regularly or go to confession more than once every 2-3 years. When Saturday night or Sunday morning comes, I just do not always feel compelled to “go to church”, as much as I enjoy it. Am I a paradox, or am I just lazy?
I pray for guidance, strength and the will to remedy this obvious sin.
Anyone else ever experience this dilemma, please chime in or encourage/pray for me.
Thank You for reading,
Steve


#2

I would say not a paradox and so the alternative is just lazy (as in spiritual sloth). You do not need to feel compelled to go to Church. You have plenty of real reasons to understand that you are compelled to go. Salvation is not a feeling it is a choice, we either accept it or not. This is about self discipline for what is good for us and not about what we like or what makes us feel good. Trust me, once in heaven you will really feel good.

Try to overcome your sloth by substituting some of your other devotions with a deep study/meditation about the Mass. There are plenty of good books about it. Once it really downs on you what the sacrifice and the communion meal really are, then you will feel compelled to go. In the mean time just go out of duty, it is good enough.


#3

Waiting to be “compelled” to go to church is like waiting for inspiration to wash your hair or do your homework. Once you form a habit of going to church, you won’t have to think hard about it. Just go, each week, and if you miss a week, go the next week.


#4

We are all faced with challenges, in this situation you are not different. How we respond to the challenges either enhances or hinders our relationship with Our Lord. At times we are on FIRE and at other times we are in the desert but no matter where we are we must know that Jesus is Lord (this is not based on our subjective feelings) Ask the Lord for help in this area and understand the implications of not fully participating in the Sacraments instituted by Christ. These Sacraments are for us, they impart Grace (supernaturally)on our lives. Humans are weak and (I know I am) and without the active participation in the sacraments we fall fast and deep. First commandment is to love God ABOVE ALL ELSE (including yourself).


#5

Obviously the Holy Mass has not been revealed completely to you as the Most Precious Gift from Jesus that it is.

**I too used to avoid Mass, as I didn’t realize that we are actually present, with Jesus, at the Last Supper and His Crucifixion and His Glorious Resurrection!
**
Jesus desperately wants to give us His Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist as our food for the journey through this life, “I am the Bread of Life” (Jn 6:35&48), but sadly, we often throw His beautiful gift in the garbage.

I hope you don’t have to go through the self-inflicted Hell on earth that i did, rejecting Jesus and eventually ending up in prison where i could not go to Mass!!

Only then, after having to come face to face with my betrayal, like Peter, did i cry, “And he went out and wept bitterly.” (Mt 26:75).

Only until i had thrown away that most precious gift, the Holy Mass and the gift of the Most Sacred Eucharist, and was unable to receive the Body, Blood,Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, did i finally break down and cry. I had finally caused myself to hit rock bottom.

Then and only then, after a seeming eternity of pain did i finally open my heart to Jesus.

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:26-28).

Now Holy Mass is the most important thing in my life! i pray for the day when it is primary in your life too!!!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

Mark


#6

My dear steveinny, how hard it must be for you. I have some practical suggestions.

Make a date with God. When I was single, it was always easier to go on Saturday evening. Then, I would plan something fun for that night, even if it was just dinner out by myself. It gave me an extra reason to get up and out.

If Saturday doesn’t work in your schedule, make yourself go to the early Mass on Sunday then go out to a great breakfast.

Go to church with friends or family, if possible. Also, if you go to the same Mass and sit in the same area, you will soon meet the “regulars” and perhaps begin some friendships.

I hope this helps.

God bless and keep you.


#7

:bigyikes:

For the sake of your soul for all eternity, I will pray that you will make a good confession and then start going to Mass regularly.

Perhaps since you haven’t been attending the Sacraments regularly, you fell into grave sin. I remember how the nuns use to tell us that many venial sins can lead to mortal sinning.:eek: Appears they are right.


#8

I forgot to tell you this…This coming Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday, here is more information on this feast. What a better time than now to go to confession?

ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/index.htm

Also, pay particular attention to this Indulgence, (it explains what it is too for those who don’t know or understand.)

ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/indulgence.htm


#9

How can anyone claim to love - or even respect - the liturgy and not take every opportunity to go to Mass? Mass IS the liturgy, no? How can anyone claim to believe in the tenets of the Church and yet reject its binding commands to confess at least once a year and attend Mass weekly? These are as much tenets of the Church as any others :confused:

It’s like saying ‘oh yes, I love my wife very dearly, I just don’t care to spend time with her, nor can I be bothered to do as she asks’. Love IS wanting to spend time with the beloved, and love IS wanting to do as your beloved asks of you when it’s possible.

You’re not a paradox, that’s too lofty a term for it. You would appear to be deluded and paying lipservice to your faith - picking and choosing those aspects of it that are easy and attractive to you and ignoring the meat and potatoes, the core, of the faith.


#10

As the nice folks at Nike tell us so often,

JUST DO IT, BABY!!
OK, I added the baby part.

And whoever remembered that this Sunday is Divine Mercy is brilliant! Jesus is calling you back on a very special day. Go to confession and then to Mass and Communion, and you’ll be so clean and so happy!

Prayers for you!

Betsy


#11

This was the first thread I read.

Boy, you guys sure are tough here. I am wondering how Steve is holding out…

Steve?

Best

Aner


#12

Dear Steveinny,

I wish to tell you a bit about myself, not because I want the whole world to know, or because I wish to toot my own horn, but because in you, I see myself, in many ways, as I was just a few short years ago.

I go to church regularly on Sunday’s and as often as work allows during the week. I do not go because it is a duty, or because I fear God’s retribution, but out of love for Him who, with His strong right arm, has brought me back from the edge of extinction in sin.

I am 62 years old, and except for my younger to mid teen years, I had been at odds with God. Oh, it took many forms. I got tired of going to confession and telling my priest the same sins over and over. I rationalized that it must be a virtue to not be hypocritical with God. Yes, I attended mass, off and on; Christmas, Easter; you know, the important times. I returned to the “church”, on several occasions, even going to confession, but never really making a good one. As the years passed, I stopped going almost altogether. My sins mounted up. I made excuses for them, telling myself that my problems were not my fault, and that God would probably overlook my weaknesses. It even got to the point where I no longer recognized my sin as something evil and loathsome in God’s eyes.

Then, a few years ago, I began to hear whispers, although at the time I did not recognize them as such. I slowly began to realize that there was something inherently wrong in the way I had led my life up to that time. I came to understand that I had no idea who God was, or why I was, for that matter. I began to feel an overwhelming need to pray, to seek truth, to find out who this God is. I prayed to Our Lady that the Holy Spirit would find me. … He did!

At first, it was through reading various materials which would suddenly catch my eye. Slowly, I began to come to an understanding of who and what God is and how I had so grievously offended him in my life. I started attending mass again, and my prayer became more fervent as I asked this God to forgive me. At times, my prayer would bring me to tears. I made up my mind to confess my life and I asked the Spirit to help me recall my sins. A few weeks later I suddenly started remembering things that had gone on in my life; things I had long forgotten, some major, some seemingly minor (to me). This went on for many weeks. I became cognizant that God was whispering to me in many other ways also, and I learned how to “hear” that whisper.

I finally made that good confession- with no little fear and trepidation I might add. I felt God lifting an immense weight from my chest and crushing it before my eyes into nothingness, and this is where my love of the mass and for my God has come.

You my friend, have in a way, built a wall between yourself and your God. The same wall as I had built, although made perhaps of different sins. You have cut yourself off from God and from his saving grace. You see yourself as not a half bad catholic and you convince yourself of this by profession of the many things you do. I think though, that you do not really know who God is, much as I did not.

Please do not take what I say as condemnation or judgment, but rather as reproof, for, as you have seen, I wore no hallo either. Just as God whispered to me, so, he whispers also to you. You have heard him, although you probably do not realize it. Rectify your life. Start with attendance at mass; as a duty at first if needs be. Pray, fervently. Ask our Lord to make you humble so that you may see you life as it really is. Seek “The Face of God,” and you will find it! Go to confession, with a “humble and contrite heart.” The more you find out about God, the more you will come to know the mercy that is his infinite love. Then you will come to mass out of love for Him.

May God’s blessing be upon you.


#13

May I ask how old you are? If your age is near what my age was I might have some relevant experiences and idea to share with you.

God bless


#14

Do you realize that by not attending the Eucharistic Sacrifice, you deprive the Body of Christ (which is the Church) of one of His organs?

As the Didascalia (a 3rd century Christian document) put it, “Do not deprive Christ’s Body of one of His members. Do not rend, do not scatter His Body.”

Think about it.


#15

Truth isn’t always pleasant or easy, and Jesus certainly was far from being all sugar and spice to everyone He came across.

Imagine how you’d feel if you were one of the people whom He called ‘brood of vipers’ ‘faithless generation’ or ‘whited sepulchres’? One of the Temple moneychangers who He whipped? Or poor Peter, being called ‘Satan’!

We are called on by scripture to rebuke our erring brothers, and to forgive them IF they repent. It’s much more merciful than allowing them to think they’re OK and drift along into possibly even worse wrongdoing.


#16

[quote]Quote:
Originally Posted by Aner
This was the first thread I read.

Boy, you guys sure are tough here. I am wondering how Steve is holding out…

Steve?

Best

Aner

Truth isn’t always pleasant or easy, and Jesus certainly was far from being all sugar and spice to everyone He came across.

Imagine how you’d feel if you were one of the people whom He called ‘brood of vipers’ ‘faithless generation’ or ‘whited sepulchres’? One of the Temple moneychangers who He whipped? Or poor Peter, being called ‘Satan’!

We are called on by scripture to rebuke our erring brothers, and to forgive them IF they repent. It’s much more merciful than allowing them to think they’re OK and drift along into possibly even worse wrongdoing.
[/quote]

Hi Lilly,

I agree with your points - however, I don’t think Steve qualifies for the Mt 23 invectives - or, most of the invectives he has received above to be honest.

Steve is a devout soul that is sharing his struggles - and is looking for a hand up - NOT a hand out (as you suggested would be inappropriate) nor a slap in the face - which is mostly what he has received so far.

Steve, as a disciple, first I want to share with you that I appreciate you opening your heart and sharing with us your struggle. I struggle all the time - I hate the things I do so often - yet here I am in some sense doing them again just by writing this blog rather than taking responsibility and going to bed, etc.

What do I do? This sounds like the Rom 7/8 struggle - I keep coming back before God - NOT WITH MY OWN AGENDA - but with a broken, contrite heart - in a genuine spirit - fully opening my heart, spirit and mind before the Lord Jesus Christ and His Father who by His Spirit and His angels will work with me as He sees fit. To this great grace to I owe manifest thanks - “what is man that Thou are mindful of Him - the Son of Man that, etc.”

I know of no other way to live - to walk with God.

Go in peace my brother - the Lord is with you.

Amen,

Aner


#17

To all who responded to my thread, I sincerely thank you. I came here in honesty and with a great deal of shame. I did not expect to be praised for being a sinner and with much humility know full well that Christs sacrifice and His presence in the Eucharist deserve all of my love and devotion. I am admittedly wrong for not attending mass regularly and will rectify this not out of guilt but because I want to honor my saviour who died for us all. With that said, It is difficult enough to open your heart to strangers and admit to your faults without being judged so harshly. I will make my peace with God and ask for His mercy. He loves us all, warts and all. I thank those of you who took the time to open my eyes spiritually and for the great suggestions. I don’t think I am “deluded”, just lost and in need of Gods grace.
Thank You,
Steve


#18

:hug3: my apologies for coming across as overly harsh, and I’m glad you’ve resolved (apparently) to attend Mass regularly from now on. Resolve to confess more regularly too and you’ll have made brilliant spiritual progress.

Where I’ve come from is a lifetime of priests and others who should know better who, in my experience, have been far too willing to not just forgive or absolve my sins, or advise me on them, but to excuse them away entirely on the flimsiest of pretexts, which has caused me a tremendous amount of confusion and pain and no little spiritual difficulty.

I agree, God loves all His children. I would add that He loves us in spite of our flaws, certainly does not love them in us, and wishes us to be rid of them - to be perfect, as Our Lord says in scripture. And He doesn’t bid us to do the impossible either - for nothing is impossible with Him except that which we convince ourselves is impossible, since then we never even sincerely try.

So we can afford no resting on our laurels or becoming complacent about our practice of our faith in any particular. In fact the only thing that I’ve found even half works is a zero-tolerance policy on excuses, on spiritual sloth, on sin of any kind, just as we have on crime.


#19

Steve, are you still out there? Just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you.


#20

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