Stumbling Around


#1

You know ……. sometimes it is scary to read this particular forum. I’m just a normal every day “walking around” kind of guy. I have no special knowledge of how to be saved. I want salvation more than ever before. Did I even want to be saved before? I struggle with what’s driving me now. I wonder if it’s because my heart has been really opened or just that my age is increasing as my health is decreasing.

When I read what’s written here (maybe searching for a hint that I’ll be ok) I come away more disturbed than when I started reading your posts. Some of my thoughts include:

How do I live the way it is written here?
What if I don’t?
How do I gain this knowledge?
What if I don’t?
I’ve just learned something.
Now I own it.
How can I feel it?
What if I don’t?
Why is this a struggle?
Who are these folks?
How did they become this way?
How can I?

I’ve learned about the possibility of sins I am committing right this very minute that I did now know were sins a minute ago.

I am so sad so many of us are going to hell. I’m sad that I’m going to hell. Last week I thought I was going to heaven. Today, somebody here led me to believe I’m heading to hell.

A couple of weeks ago I thought it was a sin not to believe that I am forgiven. So I accepted forgiveness as a way of life. I felt good about that cause I thought it would get me to heaven. Now I’m going to hell again.

I’m getting answers as I’m writing this. Now I feel better, thanks.


#2

Your desire is not so much for “salvation” as it is for God himself, though you are still framing your quest in terms of lesser goals, such as knowledge and assurance. Knowledge has its place – and knowing (and understanding and in your word “owning”) why something might be sinful that you didn’t think of until one minute ago is a very great grace indeed. But knowing “things” isn’t the core issue for you. You are awakening to love in a way you have not known before, and you are confused.

God seems to be dismantling you, which is a sometimes painful, though simultaneously joyful, prelude to being re-made according to his own design. But he will do it on his terms and in his time. I would strongly advise you to find someone – preferably a good priest – who can hear your heart and help bring you into the communion with Christ you so deeply desire.


#3

[quote=PeterC]You know ……. sometimes it is scary to read this particular forum.
[/quote]

First off, welcome – truly. :smiley: Don’t be scared. Remember that no matter where you go, when you first arrive there will be a certain number of “oldtimers” who may at times act like they run the place… if it happens in parishes it can happen here!! :slight_smile:

You must remember that on this forum there are numerous people who have been here a long time (well, since it started earlier this year, which isn’t that long) and there are people who really do actually know a large amount about the real teachings and history of the Catholic Church (and, granted, a few who think they do but do not…).

While these people would perhaps be better citizens of this online community by being a loving source of advice and assistance to other individuals (such as yourself perhaps) who are just awakening the desire of finding God, the reality is that there are many conversations going on in these forums that are “inside” discussions – they are ongoing conversations between people who are well-versed in the Bible and the teachings of the Church, pulling document quotations out of thin air and “debating the details” if you will. Don’t be too hasty to call them “legalists,” but realize that their knowledge has advanced to the point where they desire to dig deeper, to really eat their fill of all the intricacies of the Catholic faith.

You may be best served at this point to stick to the Ask an Apologist forums, where specific questions are specifically answered by a competent and professional Catholic apologist. Only search through these forums as needed, when you have specific questions about the faith.

I’ve learned about the possibility of sins I am committing right this very minute that I did now know were sins a minute ago.

If you well and truly did not know that something was sinful when committing it, then while it may have been objectively wrong, you are not morally culpable for it – one of the conditions for mortal sin is full knowledge (along with “grave matter”, and “full choice”).

See the Catechism at #1854-1864 at scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a8.htm.

(continued next post)


#4

(continued from last post…)

I am so sad so many of us are going to hell. I’m sad that I’m going to hell. Last week I thought I was going to heaven. Today, somebody here led me to believe I’m heading to hell.

This is one of the reasons you may wish to use caution when reading these forums…some folks are a bit overzealous on the hell issue (NOT that I deny hell, or the fact that it is a serious concern that should be addressed far more often than it currently is…)

The Catholic Church has never taught that “many” or “few” are in hell, or even going to hell. In fact, the Church has not even said that Judas, the traitor himself, is in hell (or Hitler or Stalin either, for that matter). God alone is the Judge, and He is both Mercy and Justice.

To go to hell the Church teaches that one must be in unrepentent and unconfessed mortal sin at the instant of death, when the soul has separated from the body (which is something that no scientist can even tell us, as a matter of fact, which is why we can NEVER know if someone truly died without turning to God’s mercy)

A couple of weeks ago I thought it was a sin not to believe that I am forgiven. So I accepted forgiveness as a way of life. I felt good about that cause I thought it would get me to heaven. Now I’m going to hell again.

We should live out a life of forgiveness, both seeking forgiveness from God and each other, as well as forgiving others – “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”, as our Lord taught us to pray.

The “sin against the Holy Spirit” that cannot be forgiven is the denial of forgivenss – which can be either 1) being too prideful and overconfident (“I don’t need God’s mercy”) or 2) being despairing of forgiveness (“I’m too sinful and even God cannot forgive me”). In either case, the problem is a lack of repentence.

As someone else suggested, you are in the painful and beautiful awakening stage of your spiritual journey, and you need guidance. The great thing about resources like these forums is that they can help people awaken this desire, but the bad thing about these forums is that they cannot substitute for a good priest-confessor/spiritual director. Please go find a priest and make an appointment with him for spiritual discussion (and perhaps confession as well) – this is something that should be a more structured session than just the 5-minute confessional encounter.

As I see it, there are two main dangers at this point - 1) that you become too despairing, seeing the path as too difficult and giving up before you truly begin to understand what is actually being asked of you, and 2) that you throw yourself completely into the practice of your faith before you are ready – you must let the plant’s roots grow deep before the stem grows too tall!

If you are unsure of a good priest to turn to, and especially if you live in a metro area, you may wish to post here and ask if someone on here can recommend a good priest to talk to. You need honest spiritual guidance right now – you are at a crucial stage in your journey, and God is calling you!!

My prayers are with you, may our Lady guide you always to her Son! Please contact me if I can be of any other help to you, you can either e-mail me or IM me.

+veritas+


#5

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