The Internet, Discernment, and other Rants


#1

Hello all. This may be a long post, so please bear with me. I would like as many thoughts as possible from you all regarding this. I have learned long ago not to trust my own reflections as absolute.

First, a few of you have heard this but it is relevant to the topic: I am a 20 year old male university student in the Honors College at Ball State. I am a Latin major on the teaching track and have a minor in both Comm. Studies and Philosophy. I have been a Catholic for just over a year now. I have become a weekly penitent. I am engaged, and, though I think I still love her (the philosophy student and penitent in me asks, 'What IS love, exactly?'), I have often-increasing doubts about our relationship's survival.

Other than the rare watching of EWTN for a short period maybe once a month, if that, my TV simply collects dust.

I used to have a Facebook, but deleted my entire account. My YouTube account, if it were not linked to my Email, would be deleted as well. I used to get into frequent arguments on YouTube over religion, but have put an end to commenting period on that site. I use it now only to listen to traditional hymns, such as "Full in the Panting Heart of Rome" and occasionally watching one of Andrew Klavan's tirades.

I get online rarely for recreation (discounting this site). Mostly, it is to find information for research, Latin resources, or something concerning the Faith.

I think, once I graduate, and once I have completed my prayer-book, I will be done with the internet. I doubt seriously at this point that I will actually teach as a career. I have found that I love prayer and fasting and reading Scripture - but I have to force myself to do all of this; something within fights against them. I feel more alive when doing the activities listed above (including Latin study), but I must fight against a large part of myself to do any of them.

I dislike living in my household. I care deeply for my entire family, but I feel stifled. The highlight of every week is Mass. Each day, I long to adore our Lord in the chapel, but I have been kept home for various reasons this past week (studying, cleaning, watching my brother).

Odd things have started happening at Mass: just this last Sunday, for example, while the Priest was consecrating the Host, I began to shake. Enormous joy and shame welled up simultaneously. After Receiving, I knelt and [joyfully] cried. I rarely ever cry. Period.

Odd prayers pop out at me now, prayers that I wouldn't take a second look at two months ago, such as the Litany of Humility.

I seem to be going through a period of rapid spiritual growth. Since my first Lent two years ago, I thought that if I were not to be married (and I had no reason to look at this route then either - my fiancee and I were just starting our relationship), then I would be a Diocesan priest. Now, I find myself longing for a contemplative lifestyle, and looking at the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the Brigittine Monks and the Canons Regular of New Jerusalem. I know, being engaged, I should probably not do this, but those orders reflect the kind of lifestyle I wish I could lead. I want a sort of escape from the World. At this point, any amount of time not spent with our Lord in Prayer or spiritual reading, or not spent in Latin study, or Mass seems a great waste of time. Thank you for reading this.


#2

[quote="ZDHayden, post:1, topic:247993"]
Hello all. This may be a long post, so please bear with me. I would like as many thoughts as possible from you all regarding this. I have learned long ago not to trust my own reflections as absolute.

First, a few of you have heard this but it is relevant to the topic: I am a 20 year old male university student in the Honors College at Ball State. I am a Latin major on the teaching track and have a minor in both Comm. Studies and Philosophy. I have been a Catholic for just over a year now. I have become a weekly penitent. I am engaged, and, though I think I still love her (the philosophy student and penitent in me asks, 'What IS love, exactly?'), I have often-increasing doubts about our relationship's survival.

Other than the rare watching of EWTN for a short period maybe once a month, if that, my TV simply collects dust.

I used to have a Facebook, but deleted my entire account. My YouTube account, if it were not linked to my Email, would be deleted as well. I used to get into frequent arguments on YouTube over religion, but have put an end to commenting period on that site. I use it now only to listen to traditional hymns, such as "Full in the Panting Heart of Rome" and occasionally watching one of Andrew Klavan's tirades.

I get online rarely for recreation (discounting this site). Mostly, it is to find information for research, Latin resources, or something concerning the Faith.

I think, once I graduate, and once I have completed my prayer-book, I will be done with the internet. I doubt seriously at this point that I will actually teach as a career. I have found that I love prayer and fasting and reading Scripture - but I have to force myself to do all of this; something within fights against them. I feel more alive when doing the activities listed above (including Latin study), but I must fight against a large part of myself to do any of them.

I dislike living in my household. I care deeply for my entire family, but I feel stifled. The highlight of every week is Mass. Each day, I long to adore our Lord in the chapel, but I have been kept home for various reasons this past week (studying, cleaning, watching my brother).

Odd things have started happening at Mass: just this last Sunday, for example, while the Priest was consecrating the Host, I began to shake. Enormous joy and shame welled up simultaneously. After Receiving, I knelt and [joyfully] cried. I rarely ever cry. Period.

Odd prayers pop out at me now, prayers that I wouldn't take a second look at two months ago, such as the Litany of Humility.

I seem to be going through a period of rapid spiritual growth. Since my first Lent two years ago, I thought that if I were not to be married (and I had no reason to look at this route then either - my fiancee and I were just starting our relationship), then I would be a Diocesan priest. Now, I find myself longing for a contemplative lifestyle, and looking at the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the Brigittine Monks and the Canons Regular of New Jerusalem. I know, being engaged, I should probably not do this, but those orders reflect the kind of lifestyle I wish I could lead. I want a sort of escape from the World. At this point, any amount of time not spent with our Lord in Prayer or spiritual reading, or not spent in Latin study, or Mass seems a great waste of time. Thank you for reading this.

[/quote]

I personally like to tackle problems head on. If I were you, I would not only talk to your fiancee, but pray with her about it. Include her in your spiritual developement, so that if God is calling you to the religious life, then you will be her offering up, she will be your sacrifice. By all means, do pray alone and have contemplative time with the Lord in adoration, though.
Second, praying with her and integrating her into that sort of depth will broaden your love of the community around you. Whether you are living in a monastic community, or a family, it is imperative that we learn to see others before ourselves. This will be a wonderful way to delve into that!
And lastly, pray every day that God's will be done, not your own. Too often we rely on our feelings. While they can certainly be God's way of nudging us in one way or another, they are not stable like the Lord is. So we must seek him, as he looks after us, so that he may make our lives strong and fruitful.


#3

Thank you for your advice. I do pray that God’s will be done often, but perhaps not frequently enough. Perhaps I need to make “Fiat Voluntas Tua” my personal prayer and Mary’s “fiat” my prime example. Thank you.


closed #4

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