Thoughts about Church and how it "feels"

I spent some time recently reflecting on my thoughts regarding church in general and the Catholic Church.

A tiny bit of background: I was born into a family that was Catholic, but mostly by name. Due to various circumstances, I didn’t get baptized into the Catholic Church until I was 6 years old. I recall CCD at the local church while attending public school, first communion, etc. I attended Catholic school from 5th to 9th grades and was confirmed. Attended mass regularly (through school, not Sundays) those first few years, and managed to get one of my parents to take me to church on Sundays the year I was being confirmed (yes, they would drop me off and I went alone!)

My parents divorced when I was 14, I changed schools to public school and never went back to the Catholic church. I determined that I “left” the Church for whatever reason sounded good at the time.

At 19, I began searching… being a mother of a one-year-old, I knew I needed something… a Protestant and VERY conservative church (very close to Mennonites for comparison sake) found me. I joined, was baptized again and stayed there for five years or so.

Due to reasons too long to go into here, I left there. For about two years now, I have been searching again. Reading a little here, researching a little there. I returned to college last year and took a World Religions class. Fascinating. Gobbled up every bit I could. Figured every religion in the world had all the same basic points and beyond that it was symantics.

So why all of the sudden did I start feeling like going to church? And a Catholic Church at that? The Church I said I would never return to because it was all redundancy, repitition, corrupt from popes we don’t even remember the names of and just too ritualistic to be the real deal?

I don’t know… and while I have taken baby steps over the last year, I still haven’t gotten up the gumption to go to Mass.

What I’m wondering is this - in my experiences with religion (and I did searching into Reformed Presbyterian, Reformed Baptist, Calvinism and a few others I can’t remember) I have observed people who seem to “get it” and appear religious and moved and spiritual. Yet - I cannot think of a time that I felt any of those things. Does anyone FEEL different because of going to Church every week?

Secondly, I also observed myself during the times I was regularly attending church and found myself being very judgemental of people who didn’t. And when I would express these feelings of “are all those people wrong?” I would get responses like Yes, they’re lost and they’re damned if they don’t get it right! Well, quite frankly, I don’t like being a judgemental person - I’m certainly not going to cast the first stone because what do I know?

My fear is that if I return to the Church for all the reasons I can think up during the quiet moments of life, that I’ll become that judgemental person again and gag - I’m outta there.

Does God keep calling me? Will He prevent me from becoming that kind of person again?

Sorry this got so long… thanks for reading this far and thanks for your feedback.

Dear friend

You come back to the church because God the Father draws you to do so’ No-one can come to Me unless the Father draw Him’

People who sit happily in church spouting the damnation of the masses who do not step foot through a church door have simply forgotten about God’s unending MERCY. They have forgotten that the Holy Spirit is not only working inside the Church but also works outside the Church in each soul drawing them in many differing paths towards God in His One True Catholic and Apostolic Church. Some people do not reach ‘the steps’ (so to speak) of the Church until they are on their death beds, even so, God’s mercy is abundant even at the point of death.

I am more worried about the motives of those in church than those who do not even come into the church!!!

God is active in everything, from people to specks of dust, His hand is in everything. Christ Jesus knocks on every door and sooner or later most people answer Him, it’s just a question of when and how; and His mercy is so unending, Jesus has no desire to damn all of humanity ‘I am not condemnation, I am life’

No you will not be judgemental because you have learnt your lesson in that dear friend.

Remember also dear friend that no-ne enters heaven alone, your faith is a witness to all others you know and it will bear fruit, in other words you by your faith In Christ Jesus will lead others to faith in Christ Jesus, because Christ Jesus desires it and will bring it about. He uses to most unworthy vessels you know, I know I am one of them!

Welcome home and make God’s house your home because it is the house of YOUR Father.

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

I will just offer you a little advice if you will hear me.

Ask yourself , " What does God want?"
He wants us all to love God above all else, and love our neighbhours as ourselves.
Christianity condemns judgementalness, sinfullness, laziness, lukewarmness etc etc. But never the sinners- US.
I am RC. My Church teaches that any person Catholic or any religion if they strive to lead good lives and follow their consciences to the best of their ability. Then though they lack the full knowledge of the truth they can be saved. Why does it seem all the other Christian Church’s say the Catholics will go to hell.
I’m going to post several posts I think you will like. It’s taken from many good books and made into a pamphlet. Let me know if it helps you in your decision here.

If you have ever wondered about this big question please take a few moments to learn what the
Catholic Church has been teaching on this subject since the time of the Apostles - 2000 years.
We shall attempt to answer this both complex and simple issue by taking a brief look at the following
questions. The answers to these questions will help us gain some insight into the Catholic perspective.

  1. What proof is available for the existence of God?
  2. Whether there is any proof for the existence of an immortal soul in mankind?
  3. What proof is there for the Catholic Churches claim to be the ‘One True Church’?
  4. What has the Catholic Church always taught we must do to inherit eternal life and go to Heaven ?

God has made a big promise to us all of eternal life in paradise with Him if we make but a small effort to do
His will. Lets explore the Catholic understanding of the questions above and explore what the Church
has always understood to be Gods will.

Q. 1. What proof is available for the existence of God?

Answer. Following is an extremely brief summary of 24 arguments for Gods existence.
Science cannot prove the existence of God as it deals only with what it can touch and see. As God is Spirit
we need to look for evidence elsewhere. The main evidence available for the existence of God is
philosophical & theological so please take the time to absorb as many of these proofs as you can. Many
people just need to look around to see the proof for Gods existence, but if you want more evidence read this
section slowly and thoughtfully.

1.Ontological ( Anselm ): “God” means “that which has all conceivable perfections” ; and it is more
perfect to exist really than only mentally; therefore God exists really. The most perfect conceivable
being cannot lack any conceivable perfection.

  1. Cosmological
    A. Motion : Since no thing (or series of things ) can move ( change ) itself, there must be a first, unmoved
    mover, source of all motion.
    B. Efficient causality: Nothing can cause its own existence. If there is no first, uncaused cause of the chain
    of causes and effects we see, these second causes could not exist. They do, so it must.
    C. Contingency and Necessity: Contingent beings ( beings able not to be ) depend on a necessary
    Being ( a being not able not to be ).
    D. Degrees of perfection: Real degrees of real perfections presuppose the existence of that perfection
    itself ( the perfect Being ).
    E. Design: Design can be caused only by an intelligent designer. Mindless nature cannot design itself
    or come about by chance.
    F. The Kalam ( Time ) Argument: Time must have a beginning, a first moment ( creation ) to give rise
    to all other moments. ( The ‘Big Bang’ seems to confirm this: time had an absolute beginning 15 - 20
    billion years ago.) And the act of creation presupposes a creator.

  2. Psychological
    A. From mind and truth

  3. Augustine: Our minds are in contact with eternal, objective and absolute truth superior to our minds
    ( e.g. 2 + 2 = 4 )and the eternal is divine, not human.

2. Descartes: Our idea of a perfect being ( God ) could not have come from any imperfect source ( cause ),
    for the effect cannot be greater than the cause. Thus it must have come from God.

B. From will and good
1. Kant: Morality requires a perfect ideal, and requires that this ideal be actual and real, somewhere.
2. Newman: Conscience speaks with absolute authority, which could come only from God.
C. From emotions and desire.
1. C . S . Lewis: Innate desires correspond to real objects, and we have an innate desire ( at least
unconsciously ) for God, and Heaven.
2. Von Balthasar: Beauty reveals God. There is Mozart, therefore there must be God.
D. From experience
1. Existential Argument: If there is no God ( and no immortality )life is ultimately meaningless.
2. Mystical experience meets God.
3. Ordinary religious experience ( prayer ) meets God. ( Prayer of the Skeptic :” God, if you exist, show
me” - a real experiment.
4. Love argument: If there is no God of love, no absolute that is love, then love is not absolute. Or, the
eyes of love reveal the infinite value of the human person as the image of God.

  1. The argument from the analogy of other minds, which are no harder to prove than God ( Plantinga ).

  2. The practical argument: Pascals wager: To bet on God is your only chance of winning eternal
    happiness, and to bet against Him is your only chance of losing. It is the most reasonable bet in life.

  3. Historical
    A. From miracles: If miracles exist, a supernatural miracle-worker exists.
    B. From providence, perceivable in history ( e.g., In scripture ) and in ones own life.
    C. From authority: Most good, wise, reliable people believe in God.
    D. From saints: You see God through them. Where do they get their joy and power. As with Mother
    Teresa of Calcutta.
    E. From Jesus: If God is unreal, Jesus was history’s biggest fool or fake.

Q. 2. Does man have an immortal soul? And is there any proof for this?

Answer : Firstly we shall prove that man has a soul.

A living human body is not the same thing as a corpse. Now the soul is the difference between a

corpse and a living being. A dead body cannot move, eat, think, express itself, enjoy or be miserable.
It can but fall to pieces and go back to dust. There is something that stops your body from doing that now.
It is your soul.For every activity you must find a principal of operation behind it. The principle in a man
which thinks and loves, and is happy or miserable, is a very real thing. It is not nothing, less than the
very body it animates. Nor is it a chemical. No doctor, examining a corpse, can tell you what chemical
is missing that it should not live. If there be nothing else save chemical substances, let doctors and
scientists gather together the requisite chemicals and say, “ Live! “ They can effect nothing like this.
There is something that chemistry cannot reach; it is the soul or spirit. Look anyone in the face, and
behind those animated features, those changing expressions, in the very eyes, you will read the soul.

Now we shall see if there is any proof for the immortality of the soul.

That the soul will, and indeed must, survive the death of the body is demonstrable from many points of view.

Firstly, its essential structure forbids dissolution by death. Death is the disintegration of parts. Only
composite things can die. Yet the soul is not composite. Its power of pure immaterial thought proves its
independence of matter. It is endowed with spiritual faculties, and is as spiritual as the faculties it possesses,
which will enable it to live and to operate when seperated from the body. Not being material, it can never be
destroyed or fall to pieces like matter. Nor would God endow it with a nature essentially fitted to live on
just for an idle freak, and with the intention of annihilating it after all.

Secondly, every individual experiences a sense of moral obligation, and every obligation demands a
sufficient sanction. If the state said, “ This is the law,” and I replied, “ What if I do not observe it,” it would
be ludicrous were the state to reply, “ Oh, nothing will happen. I say only that it is the law. If you break it,
you break it, I suppose.” That would be a joke, not a law. I know that I shall have to answer some day for
my attitude towards the interior sense of moral obligation. I can go right through this life without
encountering anyone capable of judging me concerning it. The real answer must be given at the judgement
seat of God, and my soul will have to be there. Consequently it must survive.

Thirdly, a more universal view of human life shows us the many inequalities which offend against the
sense of justice. We know that justice will be done some day, and as it is not always done in this life,
it will be done in the next. This implies our presence, and therefore our living on after death.

Fourthly, every soul naturally has an insatiable natural desire for happiness, and for lasting happiness.
No earthly or temporal good can satisfy this hunger. Yet this innate natural tendency cannot lack its rightful
object. As well try to conceive the existence of the human eye, perfectly adapted to sight, yet without
the possibility of light anywhere to enable it to see.

Reflection, then, upon the simple structure of the soul, upon the future administration of the sanctions
attached to the moral law, upon the rectification of worldwide inequalities, and upon the teleological
inclinations to a lasting and perfect good, makes it a violation of reason to deny the survival of the soul.

Q. 3 : What proof is there for the catholic churches claim to be the one true curch ?

Answer: The proof lies in the fact that the catholic church alone corresponds exactly to the
exact religion established by Christ. Now the Christian religion is that religion which-

(A) Was founded by Christ personally;
(B) Has existed continuously since the time of Christ;
(C) Is catholic (universal), in accordance with Christs command to go to all the world and teach all
      nations;
(D) Demands that all her members admit the same doctrine;
(E) Exercises divine authority over her subjects, since Christ said that if a man would not hear the 
     Church he would be as the heathen.

Now the Catholic Church alone can claim-

(A) To have been founded by Christ personally. All other Churches disappear as you go back through 
      history. Christ said, “ Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.”. There are many
      claimants to the honour of being Christs church. But among all non-Catholic Churches, we find
      one built on a John Wesley; another on a Martin Luther; another on a Mrs Eddy etc. But the 
      Catholic Church alone can claim to have been built on Peter, the chief of the Apostles, and one time
      Bishop of Rome.
(B) To have existed in all the centuries since Christ.
(C) That everyone of her members admits exactly the same essential doctrines.
(D) To be Catholic or universal.
(E) To speak with a voice of true authority in the name of God.

Q. 4 : What has the Catholic Church always taught you must do to inherit eternal life and go
to Heaven ?

Answer: One must obey the commandments and fulfill the precepts of the church. The following are
exerpts from the catechism of the Catholic Church.

The precepts of the Church

2041 The precepts of the church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by
liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is
meant to guarantee to the faithful the indispensable minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort,
in the growth in love of God and neighbour:

2042 The first precept ( “ You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.” )Requires
the faithful to participate in the Eucharistic celebration when the Christian community gathers
together on the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord.

The second precept (” You shall confess your sins at least once a year.”) Ensures preparation for the
Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism’s work of
conversion and forgiveness.

The third precept (” You shall humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion at least during the
Easter season.” Guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lords Body and Blood in connection

with the paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.

2043 The fourth precept (” You shall keep holy the holy days of obligation.” Completes the Sunday
observance by participation in the principal liturgical feasts which honour the mysteries of the Lord,
the Virgin Mary, and the saints.

The fifth precept (” You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence.”) Ensures the
times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts; they help us acquire mastery
over our instincts and freedom of heart.

The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according
to his abilities.

The Ten Commandments

The obligation of the Decalogue

2072 Since they express mans fundamental duties towards God and towards his neighbour, the 10
commandments reveal, in their primordial content, grave obligations. They are fundamentally immutable,
and they oblige always and everywhere. No one can dispense from them. The 10 commandments are
engraved by God in the human heart.

“ Teacher, what must I do…?”

2052 “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
To the young man who asked this question, Jesus answers first by invoking the necessity to recognise
God as the “ One there is who is good,”as the supreme good and source of all good. Then Jesus tells
him: “ If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”And He cites for His questioner the precepts
that concern love of neighbour: “ You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal,
You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.” Finally Jesus sums up these
commandments positively: “ You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”

2055 When someone asks him, “ Which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus replies:
“ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour
as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” The decalogue must
be interpreted in light of this twofold yet single commandment of love, the fullness of the law:
The commandments: “ You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not
steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this
sentence: “ You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a
neighbour, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

The following is a standard Catholic expression of the Ten Commandments:

1. I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other Gods besides me.
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the sabath day.
4. Honor your father and your mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
9. You shall not covet your neighbours wife.
  1. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour.

The first 3 commandments are related to our duties towards God and the last seven are our duties
towards our neighbour. It is by obeying Gods commandments that we show God that we love Him and
our neighbour ( which is every human being ). And if we love God and our neighbour as ourself we
shall receive eternal life with God in Heaven.

On the next page we shall take a brief look at what the catechism of the Catholic Church teaches about
these commandments.

For a complete explaination of the commandments and all the teaching of the Catholic Church ( which
all Catholics are bound to accept ) read the catechism of the Catholic Church.

A brief explaination of the Ten Commandments ( Decalogue )
Points 2133 and so on are brief summaries from the teaching on each commandment in the catechism.

  1. I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other Gods besides me.

    2133 “ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul
    and with all your strength” ( Deut 6:5 ).
    2134 The first commandment summons man to believe in God, to hope in him,
    and to love him above all else.
    2135 “ You shall worship the Lord your God” ( Mt 4:10 ). Adoring God, praying to
    him, offering him the worship that belongs to him, fulfilling the promises and
    vows made to him are acts of the virtue of religion which fall under obedience
    to the first commandment.
    2136 The duty to offer God authentic worship concerns man both as an individual
    and as a social being.
    2137 “ Men of present day want to profess there religion freely in private and in public”
    2138 Superstition is a departure from the worship that we give to the true God. It is
    manifested in idolatry, as well as in various forms of divination and magic.
    2139 Tempting God in words or deeds, sacrilege, and simony are sins of irreligion
    forbidden by the first commandment.
    2140 Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the
    first commandment.
    2141 The veneration of sacred images is based on the mystery of the incarnation of
    the word of God. It is not contrary to the first commandment.

  2. You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.

    2160 “ O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth” ( Ps 8:1 )!
    2161 The second commandment enjoins respect for the Lords name. The name of
    the Lord is Holy.
    2162 The second commandment forbids every improper use of Gods name. Blasphemy
    is the use of the name of God, of Jesus Christ, of the Virgin Mary, and of the saints
    in an offensive way.
    2163 False oaths call on God to be witness to a lie. Perjury is a grave offence against the
    Lord who is always faithful to his promises.
    2164 “ Do not swear whether by the creator, or any creature, except truthfully, of necessity,
    and with reverence” ( St Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual exercises, 38).
    2165 In Baptism, the Christian receives his name in the Church. Parents, godparents,
    and the pastor are to see that he be given a Christian name. The patron saint
    provides a model of charity and the assurance of his prayer.
    2166 The Christian begins his prayers and activities with the Sign of the Cross: “ in the
    name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
    2167 God calls each one by name ( cf. Isa 43:1 ).

  3. Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.

    2189 “ Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy” ( Deut 5:12 ). The seventh day is a
    sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord” ( Ex 31:15 ).
    2190 The sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been
    replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the
    Resurrection of Christ.
    2191 The Church celebrates the day of Christs Resurrection on the “ eigth day,”
    Sunday, which is rightly called the Lords Day.
    2192 “ Sunday…is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the
    universal Church”. On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful
    are bound to participate in the Mass”.

  2193    “ On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound...
              To abstain from those labours and business concerns which impede
              the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lords
              Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body”.
  2194    The institution of Sunday helps all “ to be allowed sufficient rest and 
              leisure to cultivate their amilial, cultural, social, and religious lives”
  2195    Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others
              that would hinder them from observing the Lords Day.
  1. Honor your father and your mother.

    2247 “ Honor your father and your mother “ ( Deut 5:16 ; Mk 7:10 ).
    2248 According to the fourth commandment, God has willed that, after him,
    we should honor our parents and those whom he has vested with
    authority for our good.
    2249 The conjugal community is established upon the covenant and consent
    of the spouses, to the procreation and education of children.
    2250 “ The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian
    society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family
    life”.
    2251 Children owe their parents respect, gratitude, just obedience, and
    assistance. Filial respect fosters harmony in all of family life.
    2252 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children in
    the faith, prayer, and all the virtues. They have the duty to provide as far
    as possible for the physical and spiritual needs of their children.
    2253 Parents should respect and encourage their childrens vocations. They
    should remember and teach that the first calling of the Christian is to
    follow Jesus.
    2254 Public authority is obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human
    person and the conditions for the exercise of his freedom.
    2255 It is the duty of citizens to work with civil authority for building up society
    in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom.
    2256 Citizens are obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil
    authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order.
    “ We must obey God rather than men “ ( Acts 5:29 ).
    2257 Every society’s judgments and conduct reflect a vision of man and his
    destiny. Without the light the gospel sheds on God and man, societies
    easily become totalitarian.

  2. You shall not kill.

    2318 “ In Gods ] hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all
    mankind “ ( Job 12:10 ).
    2319 Every human life, from the moment of conception until death, is sacred
    because the human person has been willed for its own sake in the
    image and likeness of the living and holy God.
    2320 The murder of a human being is gravely contrary to the dignity of the
    person and the holiness of the Creator.
    2321 The prohibition of murder does not abrogate the right to render an
    unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. Legitimate defense is a grave
    duty for whoever is responsible for the lives of others or the common
    good.
    2322 From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that
    is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a “ criminal “ practice,
    gravely contrary to the moral law. The church imposes the canonical
    penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.

  2323    Because it should be treated as a person from conception, the embryo
              must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed like every
              other human being.
  2324    Intentional euthanasia, whatever its forms or motives, is murder. It is
              gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect
              due to the living God, his creator.
  2325    Suicide is seriously contrary to justice, hope and charity. It is forbidden
              by the fifth commandment.
  2326    Scandal is a grave offence when by deed or omission it deliberately
              leads others to sin.
  2327    Because of the evils and injustices that all war brings with it, we must
              do everything reasonably possible to avoid it. The church prays: “ From
              famine, pestilence, and war, O Lord, deliver us.”
  2328    The Church and human reason assert the permanent validity of the 
              moral law during armed conflicts. Practices deliberately contrary to the
              law of nations and to its universal principles are crimes.
  2329    “ The arms race is one of the greatest curses on the human race and
              the harm it inflicts on the poor is more than can be endured”.
  2330    “ Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”(Mt5:9)
  1. You shall not commit adultery.

    2392 “Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being”.
    2393 By creating the human being man and woman, God gives personal
    dignity equally to the one and the other. Each of them, man and woman,
    should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity.
    2394 Christ is the model of chastity. Every baptised person is called to lead a
    chaste life, each according to his particular state of life.
    2395 Chastity means the integration of sexuality within the person. It includes
    an apprenticeship in self-mastery.
    2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication,
    pornography, and homosexual practises.
    2397 The covenant which spouses have freely entered into entails faithful love.
    It imposes on them the obligation to keep their marriage indissoluble.
    2398 Fecundity is a good, a gift and an end of marriage. By giving life, spouses
    participate in Gods fatherhood.
    2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible
    fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the
    spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means ( for
    example, direct sterization or contraception ).
    2400 Adultery, divorce, polygamy, and free union are grave offences against
    the dignity of marriage.

  2. You shall not steal.

    2450 “ You shall not steal “ ( Ex 20:15; Deut 5:19 ). Neither thieves, nor the
    greedy…nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God” ( 1 Cor 6:10 ).
    2451 The seventh commandment enjoins the practice of justice and charity
    in the administration of earthly goods and the fruits of mens labour.
    2452 The goods of creation are destined for the entire human race. The right
    to private property does not abolish the universal destination of goods.
    2453 The seventh commandment forbids theft. Theft is the usurpation of
    anothers goods, against the reasonable will of the owner.

  2454    Every manner of taking and using another’s property unjustly is
              contrary to the seventh commandment. The injustice committed
              requires reparation. Commutative justice requires the restitution
              of stolen goods.
  2455    The moral law forbids acts which, for commercial or totalitarian
              purposes, lead to the enslavement of human beings, or to their
              being bought, sold or exchanged like merchandise.
  2456    The dominion granted by the creator over the mineral, vegetable,
              and animal resources of the universe cannot be separated from
              respect for moral obligations, including those toward generations
              to come.
  2457    Animals are entrusted to mans stewardship; he must show them
              kindness. They may be used to serve the just satisfaction of
              mans needs.
  2458    The Church makes a judgment about economic and social matters
              when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls
              requires it. She is concerned with the temporal common good of
              men because they are ordered to the sovereign Good, their ultimate
              end.
  2459    Man is himself the author, centre, and goal of all economic and
              social life. The decisive point of the social question is that goods
              created by God for everyone should in fact reach everyone in
              accordance with justice and with the help of charity.
  2460    The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and
              beneficiary. By means of his labour man participates in the work of
              creation. Work united to Christ can be redemptive.
  2461    True development concerns the whole man. It is concerned with 
              increasing each persons ability to respond to his vocation and hence
              to Gods call.
  2462    Giving alms to the poor is a witness to fraternal charity: it is also a 
              work of justice pleasing to God.
  2463    How can we not recognise Lazarus, the hungry beggar in the parable
              ( cf. Lk 17:19-31 ), in the multitude of human beings without bread,
              a roof or a place to stay? How can we fail to hear Jesus: “ As you 
              did it not to one of these, you did it not to me” ( Mt 25:45 )?
  1. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

    2504 “ You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour” ( Ex 20:16 ).
    Christ’s disciples have “ put on the new man, created after the likeness
    of God in true righteousness and holiness” ( Eph 4:24 ).
    2505 Truth or truthfulness is the virtue which consists in showing oneself true
    in deeds and truthful in words, and guarding against duplicity,
    dissimulation, and hypocrisy.
    2506 The Christian is not to “ be ashamed of testifying to our Lord “ ( 2 Tim 1:8)
    in deed and word. Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth
    of the faith.
    2507 Respect for the reputation and honor of persons forbids all detraction
    and calumny in word or attitude.
    2508 Lying consists in saying what is false with the intention of deceiving the
    neighbour who has the right to the truth.
    2509 An offence committed against the truth requires reparation.
    2510 The golden rule helps one discern, in concrete situations, whether or not
    it would be appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it.

  2511    “ The sacramental seal is inviolable “. Professional secrets must be
              kept. Confidences prejudicial to another are not to be divulged.
  2512    Society has a right to information based on truth, freedom, and 
              justice. One should practice moderation and discipline in the use of
              the social communications media.
  2513    The fine arts, but above all sacred art, “ of their nature are directed
              toward expressing in some way the infinite beauty of God in works
              made by human hands. Their dedication to the increase of Gods 
              praise and of his glory is more complete, the more exclusively they
              are devoted to turning mens minds devoutly toward God”.
  1. You shall not covet your neighbours wife.

    2528 “ Everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed
    adultery with her in his heart “ ( Mt 5:28 ).
    2529 The ninth commandment warns against lust or carnal concupiscence.
    2530 The struggle against carnal lust involves purifying the heart and
    practicing temperance.
    2531 Purity of heart will enable us to see God: it enables us even now to
    see things according to God.
    2532 Purification of the heart demands prayer, the practice of chastity,
    purity of intention and of vision.
    2533 Purity of heart requires the modesty which is patience, decency, and
    discretion. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person.

  2. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour.

    2551 “ Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also “ ( Mt 6:21 ).
    2552 The tenth commandment forbids avarice arising from a passion for
    riches and their attendant power.
    2553 Envy is sadness at the sight of an others goods and the immoderate
    desire to have them for oneself. It is a capital sin.
    2554 The baptised person combats envy through good will, humility, and
    abandonment to the providence of God.
    2555 Christ’s faithful “ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”
    ( Gal 5:24 ); they are led by the Spirit and follow his desires.
    2556 Detachment from riches is necessary for entering the Kingdom of
    heaven. “ Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
    2557 “ I want to see God “ expresses the true desire of man. Thirst for God
    is quenched by the water of eternal life ( cf Jn 4:14 ).

There can be no law without a punishment for breaking it. So on the final page we shall look
at the consequences of transgressing the laws of God and precepts of the Church.

The following is from the catechism of the Catholic Church.

IV. Hell

1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot
love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbour or against ourselves: “ He
who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you
know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” Our Lord warns us that we shall be
separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who
are his brethren. To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love
means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive
self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “ hell.”

1034 Jesus often speaks of “ Gehenna,” of “ the unquenchable fire “ reserved for those
who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both body and soul
can be lost. Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “ will send his angels, and they will gather…
All evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,” and that he will pronounce the
condemnation : “ Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire! “

1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately
after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they
suffer the punishments of hell,”eternal fire.” The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation
from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created
and for which he longs.

1036 The affirmation of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of
hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view
of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: “ Enter by the
narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those
who enter it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those
who find it are few.”
Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord
and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed,
we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the
blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the
eternal fire, into the outer darkness where “ men will weep and gnash their teeth.”

1037 God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God ( a mortal
sin ) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily
prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “ any to
perish, but all to come to repentance “:
Father, accept this offering
from your whole family.
Grant us your peace in this life,
save us from final damnation,
and count us among those you have chosen.

To finish I would just like to say, for many it is hard to fathom that such a place as hell exists
but it is a reality and I will quote from a skeptic.

“ I know there aint no heaven , but I pray there aint no hell.”

Sorry my post was so long. Perhaps you knew much of it. But from what you said I thought there were good points for you in it.

Wow, John, that was several mouthfuls! I appreciate greatly the many points you made and I am sure I will have to go back and reread a lot of that a few times to get all the points.

I suppose the main questions I had are:

Do others feel, that no matter what you DO in keeping the Sabbath holy, practicing the traditions, saying the prayers – that you look around and think you are missing something? Is there a sense of missing out on that warm fuzzy feeling that others appear to have? OR – is that warm fuzzy a concept given to me by someone who, while well-intentioned, was misleading me to think ANYone gets a warm fuzzy by attending church?

And rather than avoiding a tendency to be judgmental, do we become judgmental anyway because we follow He who is Right and it becomes our desire to show others the way? Or is this another Protestant ideology fed to me at one time?

I have many more questions, but I know it’s hard to address many at once, especially in boards like this.

The essence of my questions and reflections are – IS there a warm fuzzy/inner warmth/ fill-in-the-blank for an internal indescribable emotion here – when one is in alignment with God?

=)
Fiz

I would have to say “no” to the “warm fuzzy”, but it’s a qualified “no”.

We can’t go on emotions or feelings alone. And we all know or have experienced situations where the “warm fuzzy” that we wanted to get, or wanted to give, was just wrong. We don’t want to be perceived as judgmental. . .but why don’t we? Because we have been skillfully manipulated into feeling that there isn’t any sort of absolute standard to make a judgment about. Because we have been skillfully manipulated into thinking that any sort of judgment which involves a right and wrong disrespect the one in the wrong. Because we have been skillfully manipulated into mistaking feelings into truths, and “lack” of feeling, or lack of response to a feeling, into falsehood.

OTOH, a well-informed conscience may not be “full of itself” but has a contentment in following the dictates of the Lord. That sort of quiet, trustful contentment may not be overflowing in the “feeling” department, but it is there. It is a feeling balanced with reason for the feeling, not blown about by popular culture, not simply a reaction to emotionalism or situationalism or relativism.

So, it may not be a “warm fuzzy”, but if you truly try to follow the Lord, He’ll steer you right, and you’ll know it.

[quote=Fizendell]The essence of my questions and reflections are – IS there a warm fuzzy/inner warmth/ fill-in-the-blank for an internal indescribable emotion here – when one is in alignment with God?

[/quote]

What difference does it make?

I suppose the difference is in my expectations… and if expectations are not met, then there is disappointment, hence leading to self-doubt, that I am not chosen or called - that I’m just trying to find a way out of my guilt, shame, fear, add as many as make sense.

It has also been said that you get out of it what you put into it. So, one could say to me - Fiz - GO to church - QUIT worrying so much about what you might or might not feel and GO FIND OUT!

Ok, ok, so I already said that to myself. I do tend to analyze everything to pieces before moving on.

Anyone else get that pit in their stomach when it’s time to do something outside of your normal routine - especially considering spiritual matters??!!

Thanks!

=)
Fiz

I am a cradle practicing Catholic, and yet within the past year I’ve had a series of events happen to me that touched me in a special way, and my heart is on fire with a passion I’ve never had before. If that’s what you mean by warm fuzzies, then I have it now, have had it for a year, and hope I’ll always have it.

The thing I’m struggling with is, what do I do with this new-found passion. I’m doing things I’ve never done before, such as more frequent confession, daily Mass, daily Rosary, but I feel a need to do more, and do something significant. I’m praying God shows me what is his will for me, because I desperately want to do it.

[quote=Fizendell]I suppose the difference is in my expectations… and if expectations are not met, then there is disappointment, hence leading to self-doubt, that I am not chosen or called - that I’m just trying to find a way out of my guilt, shame, fear, add as many as make sense.

[/quote]

Forget about your expectations. God is bigger than your expectations.

You think God is not calling you to Him? You think you might be cosmically superfluous?

“The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists, it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.” (Second Vatican Council: Gaudium et Spes, 19 § 1)

Take a look at what the Catechism has to say about it:

nccbuscc.org/catechism/text/pt1sect1.htm

Which can be a very effective strategy for… not moving on.

I got nervous when I cleaned my apartment the other day. I’m not sure why I felt that way, but I pressed on anyway. I’m hoping that other areas of my life will start to clear up. We cannot allow ourselves to define our lives by our expectations, pre-conceptions, assumptions, or fears.

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