To my fellow Catholics


#1

Greetings to anyone who happens to look upon this thread, I’ve come to voice myself and listen to those who may or may not have a firmer understanding and commitment to God.

I suppose I’ll start with some background, my faith has abandoned me and as of this moment I cannot pray out of lack of spirit, I find Sunday Mass a waste of time, and I haven’t touch my bible in a long time and honestly have no intention of reading more than a few minutes of scripture every now and then.

Now originally my shelled faith didn’t remove the anger I held for the world and more specifically for those who had accepted sin completely into their lives without qualms. However after a few weeks of this empty faith I even started to lose this knight templar persona; now granted I find those who attacks Catholic and Christians deplorable still and my disgust of people in general is still quite fresh in my mind.

Now here is where I find the most problems with my Catholic faith, our role in politics. Now I agree that Catholics should fight in the political ring to allow ourselves to keep our independance from Government, examples would be that Catholic hospitals should be allowed to not preform or shift abortions to other hospitals, Goverment should respect that Catholic Adoption agencies do not wish to give children to Homosexual couples, and Catholic Churches should never so long as it stands be forced to provide the sacrament of Marriage to anything other than what is deemed acceptable (One man, one woman).

However I do not find it justifiable that we should be fighting to force the entire population (Of which their are non-theist) to accept Marriage as one man and one woman for Secular ‘Marriage’. I know some may wish to post that as a citizen it is your right to pass laws that go with your morals, however considering these laws effect everyone including homosexual people who believed they were allowed to have a Civil ‘marriage’ you must ask “Is it right to vote this way?” Having lost my blind anger I realized that not allowing two consenting humans to have the same secular rights as a heterosexual couple should not be allowed in the United States. When blinded by a red bandana of anger I simply thought that homosexuals were just trying to compare themselves to the Civil Rights movement, but I realized now that this is a valid injustice that a Secular government should not allow (Note: I still find Homosexuality a deplorable sin and am bitter that soon it shall join the other sins that culture has accepted but I will not attempt to repress nor support it!)

Now please think about this shall we? God himself allows evil to exist because he would never want to remove the free will of the creation he loves most. To enter Heaven we try to emulate Our Father in Heaven, so should we not attempt to use government to repress the sins of others. Instead of repressing others sin should we not simply evangelize and hope sinners see the light? Also for those who claim that it decays the meaning of Marriage, I say “That should of been dealt with MUCH earlier”

Honestly Catholics and Christians should of fought over letting the Government use the word Marriage for their Civil unions before Homosexuality was so freely accepted. Now that Homosexuality is more accepting by Secular society and Homosexuals wish to have State Marriages it seems Christians finally get into an uproar.

I know I’ve mentioned the politics of SS ‘Marriage’ but that is because while I see it deploreable I won’t attempt to stop it by Secular law. As for Homophilia that seems to come from all the people of the entertainment industry and of prestige, I can only hope that Catholics with firm grapse on their faith can negate these liberal soapboxes and keep the destruction of based morals from occuring on a majority.

To end this I will just say that I 100% will never consider another religion either of Christian or even non-Christian. I believe that if any Christian religion is valid then the Catholic faith is it. If this empty feeling continues I assume I’ll go Agnostic, or soft Atheist. (I already am losing my care about the mysteries of the Universe ect.) Anyways this is all I’d like to say, I await some responses.


#2

Hi Flavius_Aetius,

Our friend, you said:
***I suppose I’ll start with some background, my faith has abandoned me and as of this moment I cannot pray out of lack of spirit, I find Sunday Mass a waste of time, and I haven’t touch my bible in a long time and honestly have no intention of reading more than a few minutes of scripture every now and then. ***
Faith, and our spirits, need nourishment and without effort to pray, without putting your heart into what the Mass really is, and by barely reading the gospels and epistles, you are not nourishing faith, therefore of course it has grown faint and weak, just as your body would if you didn’t feed it!

You accept some of the moral principles supported by the Church, and that’s great, but that in itself doesn’t nourish your faith or spirit although it is a grace that you refrain from intellectually abandoning those principles.

What seems to be the case from what you have written, is that you have knowledge but not relationship, no personal relationship with God, with all that the Eucharist really is, with God’s personal love for you and His living gospel. Of course it has become boring and unsatisfactory amd empty to live as a Catholic if this is the case!

I do understand and perhaps will write more later…but certainly I’ll be praying for you.

With kind regards, Trishie


#3

I believe that most of us needs that “dark night of the soul” to mature in our faith. I know I suffer it repeatedly. In regard to what I believe you are addressing in the rest of your post I need to disagree. We as Catholics need to stand against all sin, either public or private. We are ambassadors of Christ by our baptism and should willingly defend our faith.


#4

What seems to be the case from what you have written, is that you have knowledge but not relationship, no personal relationship with God, with all that the Eucharist really is, with God’s personal love for you and His living gospel. Of course it has become boring and unsatisfactory amd empty to live as a Catholic if this is the case!

I do understand and perhaps will write more later…but certainly I’ll be praying for you.

I thank you for the prayer and must say that this statement is correct. I suppose it has been a mixture of doubt, no relationship as you put, and the fact that I looked outward to thoughts of people who may of taken Eurcharist undeservingly instead of looking within for my own sins. I do hope that you continue writing in this thread, it has been a joy as of yet to read what I’ve seen.

In regard to what I believe you are addressing in the rest of your post I need to disagree. We as Catholics need to stand against all sin, either public or private. We are ambassadors of Christ by our baptism and should willingly defend our faith.

Here I must disagree on the following points. I find it is quite different for one to defend their faith and for one to misuse their majority position to repress what they may find immoral. A way to describe how we as Catholics use the Government to stop what we see immoral would be this way, What if Jesus had gone to Rome and convinced the Emperor that all his teachings were what the Jews in the Isreal providence were to follow. Now doesn’t much of the free will get taken away when it’s either the government supported decision or consequence? (Note: I know this is quite an extreme example)

Now a famous quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. is “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.” Wouldn’t you say that using the government to force our own morals on the Nation would be symbolically grabbing the other man and pushing his face against a wall?


#5

I just posted this in another thread. There is a really good book called Arise From Darkness by Father Benedict Groeschel which might help you.


#6

It seems to me the key word in your original post is “anger”. There is frustration and disappointment with some of what our govenrment and society condones, but anger is a more volitile emotion. There is reason it is one of the seven deadly sins. Righteous indignation and anger is justifiable, but let’s see if anger is an appropriate response here.

We live in a democratic country, and Catholics only make up about 25% of the population, and many Catholics are not even pro-life or pro-marriage. While this is a very frustrating situation for us pro-life and pro-marriage Catholics, I personally do not fault either God or the Church for this.

Our country was established on separation of Church and state principles. As such it insures the rights of people with different views and faiths. While our laws are for the most part in keeping with upright and moral principles, it is not in lock step with morailty with any particular faith. For example, folks should go to mass or Church on the sabbath according to many faiths, but there is no civil law to enforce this. While murder is of course both immoral and illegal.

While we see abortion as clearly immoral, many others do not view it that way. They see the problems with outlawing abortion as a greater evil, and they do not view life as beginning until after actual birth. It is a controversial issue, and although I disagree with the government and the majority, I don’t think God or His Chruch are the problem.

As far as same sex marriages or civil unions go, I believe that they are wrong and the Catholic Church teaches that they are wrong. However once again, the US government is not guided by the Church or its teachings. God and His Church are not the problems here. While we may protest or suggest laws that are more in line with our beliefs, we can not impose them on the majority of others if they disagree, That is simply how a democracy works or does not work.

As far as believing in God or His Church, that is your personal choice. I believe God has had an impact on just about everything in my life. There are things in this world that I hope will change for the better, BUT this is EARTH, not Heaven. Sometimes with the evil and fear or terror that is out here, it evens seems a little like H*ll. BUT I am confident that if I persevere, I will see a much better world, but maybe not in this lifetime.


#7

Hmm…well after arguing with myself again I seem to have become less sure of of my original position. On one hand I do not wish to live in a country (and in effect a world) where the majority believes in moral relativism leaving the world accepting of every sin either in the name of freedom or of being PC. I mean when does giving in to minorities end? How far is government willing to go on the moral scale to give their people a ‘freedom’ to do something? Obviously in the terms of State ‘marriages’ all one needs is consenting adults and a strong enough backing to make the government bow to their wishes.

On the other hand, once I can vote if I support creating State marriages as between one man and one woman then I am essentialy doing what I mentioned earlier and rubbing anyone who does not agree to one man and one woman marriages against a rough surface.

It’s a difficult thing to comprehend, the world says that much of the world is grey and any black and white is from the foundations of whatever culture. However even in my weakness of faith I find myself thinking that much if not all the world is black and white and the world that has turned from God is the one that squints to distort and form grey.

If I stand back and do not fight for my own morals then personally I feel like I would just be watching from the sidelines as society plunges into a lack of morality; a world that mocks the virgin, believes religion to be just superstition, and no longer has any guilt in their hidden means of murder. However I do not wish for the State to be used as a tool to repress what others may believe and replace it by forcing my own morals upon them.

I suppose I am neither compatible with democracy or tolertarianism since one is a long stairway to immorality while the later forces the immoral to fake morality at the threat of death.

Also for anyones information, I realized that I could never be anything other than a Catholic. Christian religions outside of Catholicism have no base with the apostles and used the human evils that followed clergy as their excuse for schism. I could never follow a Non-Abrahamic falsehood or force myself to believe we are alone in this world and random chance created us in this image. So as of now I remain as a horrible, habitual sinning, lustful, occassionally wrathful, internally world weary, poorly knowledged Catholic which in the only way I could associate myself with Christ’s Church is as the example of how he came down for sinners who wished to repent.

As a final note; despite all I have said I have decided not to recieve Christ’s forgiveness through Reconciliation until I have gone long enough to break my habitual sin; that way I can be more assured with myself that I will not abuse his forgivingness.


#8

Dear Flavius_Aetius,

Reconciliation isn’t just about forgiveness, which is why I would gently urge you to go.

Catechism of the Catholic Church
1468 "The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God’s grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship."Reconciliation with God is thus the purpose and effect of this sacrament. For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, reconciliation “is usually followed by peace and serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation.” Indeed the sacrament of Reconciliation with God brings about a true “spiritual resurrection,” restoration of the dignity and blessings of the life of the children of God, of which the most precious is friendship with God.

1469 This sacrament reconciles us with the Church. Sin damages or even breaks fraternal communion. The sacrament of Penance repairs or restores it. In this sense it does not simply heal the one restored to ecclesial communion, but has also a revitalizing effect on the life of the Church which suffered from the sin of one of her members. Re-established or strengthened in the communion of saints, the sinner is made stronger by the exchange of spiritual goods among all the living members of the Body of Christ, whether still on pilgrimage or already in the heavenly homeland:

It must be recalled that . . . this reconciliation with God leads, as it were, to other reconciliations, which repair the other breaches caused by sin. The forgiven penitent is reconciled with himself in his inmost being, where he regains his innermost truth. He is reconciled with his brethren whom he has in some way offended and wounded. He is reconciled with the Church. He is reconciled with all creation.

1470 In this sacrament, the sinner, placing himself before the merciful judgment of God, anticipates in a certain way the judgment to which he will be subjected at the end of his earthly life. For it is now, in this life, that we are offered the choice between life and death, and it is only by the road of conversion that we can enter the Kingdom, from which one is excluded by grave sin. In converting to Christ through penance and faith, the sinner passes from death to life and “does not come into judgment.”

Dear friend who knows when we will overcome our sins. We can’t wait to be worthy, because you and I and all of us are simply human. Our task is to keep trying. That is the true heroism. And that is what is authentic. That we try no matter how often we faith as we work to overcome. I take the risk of your disliking St Therese for her middle-class piety that obscures to some the healthiness of her spirituality, but she is both canonised and a Doctor of the Church. She encourages us in our attempts towards holiness in our vocation to love and serve.

Of her own response to the call, she wrote, “This desire could certainly appear daring if one were to consider how weak and imperfect I was, and how after seven years in the religious life, I am still weak and imperfect. I always feel, however, the same bold confidence of becoming a great saint because I do not count on my own merits since I have none, but I trust in God who is Virtue and Holiness. God alone, content with my weak efforts, will raise me to Himself and make me a saint, clothing me in His infinite merits. I didn’t think then that one had to suffer very much to reach sanctity, but God was not long in showing me this was so and in sending me the trials I have already mentioned.” Therese remarked that such holiness may “not be evident to the eyes of mortals.”

St Padre Pio wrote agonised letters to his spiritual director about his own spiritual state, and yet he was a powerful saint to whom God gave extraordinary gifts.

I see that you have the benefit and the challenge of a very intelligent mind. And such a mind as you possess will always question, always struggle. And that’s okay. In my way I always do too. I care that you are struggling. I want to reach out and hold your hand and say it isn’t, in the end, as complicated as you think. Know that, to my grief, my brain took me outside the Church for ten years, and I’m the same person who has gone to Mass every day now since Lent 1980 when to my amazement one morning in June 1978, the Lord welcomed me back.

I know that the following isn’t entirely relevant but there is a thought in there that is. I worked my way through much through writing prayers. We each have our wn ways. In the end of course, as you basically acknowledge with your social conscience, it all comes down to Love God above all, others as self; and Matthew 25 31-46

Appreciating others

Jesus, I honour others for their goodness. Yet, help me to share Your compassion, respect and delight in those who seem (to themselves or others)to reflect Your face poorly. Grant me the gift of conveying to each person, the beautiful, glimpsed vision of self, as You love him or her, a fallible human with entwined faults and virtues.

One sometimes glimpses another’s discouraged self-judgement, for he fears that Your plan of salvation builds upon some unlikely ‘ideal self’. He perhaps hopes that to others, only the good is evident. He fears that were others to sense the extent of his unworthiness, they may reject him—as indeed he fears You may.

Jesus, please extend Your hand to him through those who see his efforts and who have faith in the secret, unique miracle of him. Let him know that You love him as he is, and that You plan his holiness around his actual self. You fulfil Your dream of him and serve others through his flawed personality with its abilities, gifts and virtues, along with its faults and scars.

Assure him that his efforts to live the Gospel are more precious because of his temptations and flaws, so that he is encouraged to faith and self-acceptance.

Our God let me see and share Your beautiful, unique, creative vision of each brother and sister, regardless of ‘apparent’ flaws. In my warm acceptance of him grant to each person that restoring, blossoming fruitfulness of love—which the image of him cherished and accepted as he really is—produces in the most barren and bleak heart. 1982

My brother, “Do not be afraid, you will not be put to shame.” [Isaiah 54:4]

I hope that something in my post is of use.
Warm regards, Trishie…and you’ll remain in my prayers


#9

I’m sorry you are going through a dark night, but apparently unconsoled by faith that it will end. Try to pray again. It will bring results, even though they may not be apparent to you right away. If you are leaning toward atheism. Go outside and examine a tree - I know it is trite - but really look at it. After examining it for a long while (be sure to notice the beauty of the bark, the blossoms and leaves, the fact that each one is unique and provides us with oxygen in a beautiful relationship between that tree and ourselves) After really looking at it, try and believe there isn’t a creator out there. It gets me every time :slight_smile:

As to the rest of your post, I’m unsure what you expect Catholics and Christians to do in the face of an attack on the foundations of our society. The foundation of our society and all societies as far as we can tell through studies have been the family. This is a family between a man and woman (although polygamy allows more than one wife and polyandry more than one husband) . This has provided the most stable way to provide for the next generations and has proven highly effective. This is not based on Christianity so we are not “forcing” anything. This is what a marriage is and always has been. That doesn’t require anger to see, it is simply a fact.

If the public law then says that homosexuals have a “marriage” you can guarantee that no adoption agency would be allowed to refuse a child to a homosexual couple because that would be discrimination based on the laws of the country. Now all Christian adoption agencies refusing to place children in homosexual “marriages” would be open to civil and criminal penalties. I can’t see how that benefits anyone.

I do believe that secular laws should be provided to couples to protect them with health insurance etc., but that isn’t a marriage. It is a contract and nothing else.

I am applauding the Catholic church’s strong positions on moral issues in our society. We have been way too silent for way too long and now we’re reaping the consequences of that. I pray that Our Holy Mother Church will continue to lead our society and all of those in the world in moral issues.


#10

@Trishe: Although I understand and agree with what you wrote, I feel that I should learn to gain some self-control over sin without a direct lean on God before attempting to return to his forgiveness.

@HappyRevert: As I mentioned in my second post; their is no faith that can ever replace Catholisism for me nor can I deny that we are always watched by the God of the Abrahamic faiths. As of now I just know that I am a sinner neck deep in his own cesspool.

Also I can see what your saying and in my mind I truly believe in having morals black and white. I detest moral relativism and all the evils it causes by hiding in a moral grey. I agree that as Catholics we can expect every form of legal assault if we allow moral relativism to gain a strong support. Already Catholic Hospitals are being told to preform abortions or pass the deed to another hospital, already they have been sued for not preforming sex-change operations when their are plenty of other secular hospitals willing to do the evil. Then I agree full heartedly that with homosexual couples entitled to ‘marriage’ then their is no other protection for Catholic adoption agencies.

In most examples of government created civil union contracts and called them marriages, because of anti-clerical laws created because the State no longer wished to give the Church any form of control over their people.

I am glad to find myself highly more supportive of using the State instead of letting the State slowly infiltrate and decay the morals of the Church. I shudder when I see that even while the Catholic population has a strong voice we are still attacked in Secular courts attempting to force an abandonment of morals taught for 2000 years.


#11

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.