What is Expected?


#1

If I study Catholicism, but don’t understand or agree with the teachings; pray, but don’t get an answer; receive the Eucharist, but don’t have my life transformed; seek God, but never have a spiritual experience; and ask for faith, but never receive it, what does God expect of me?

Am I expected to just take other people’s word for it that Catholicism is the right faith?


#2

Hi,

God always answers prayers, though we often don’t hear or understand the answer. Pray for your faith to grow, pray for your love of God to grow, pray for your love of your Catholic faith to grow, and it will. This doesn’t mean that the growth or understanding will be easy or untested along the way. Pray for patience and guidance. Seek out a qualified spiritual director to help you to grow in your faith. Spend time in Eucharistic Adoration, listening quietly for the voice of God. He is there, and he wants you to grow in your faith and love for him.

I am speaking from experience. Five years ago I was a fallen away Catholic, and now I’m on fire for my Catholic faith and happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I started with the following prayer, “Please help my faith in you to grow. Please help me to love you more.” It did not happen overnight, but it did happen.

Wishing you God’s peace and love!


#3

Two things.

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your mind, heart, and soul.

  2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Often, unless one is Mother Teresa, St. Maria Faustina, or His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the Mother of the Word, or the Word himself, one might have room to improve in perfecting one’s ability to follow those two commandments.

Here is another reasource:

What have I done with my baptism and confirmation?
Is Christ truly the centre of my life?
Do I make room for daily prayer?
Do I live my life as a vocation and mission?

Christ continues to remind us: “You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Mt 5:13, 14, 16)

  1. The vocation and mission of the lay faithful can be understood only in the light of a renewed awareness of the Church, which “is in the nature of a scarament - a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men” (Lumen gentium, n. 1), and of one’s personal duty to adhere more firmly to her. The Church is a mystery of communion which originates in the life of the Blessed Trinity.

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_20001125_jubilee-laity_en.html
From: **Message of John Paul II to Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, on the occassion of the congress of the Catholic Laity **

May the Holy Spirit through the Mother of the Word grant us the graces that we most desperately need, particularly an open heart!! May the LOVE and MERCY of the Sacred Heart of Jesus pray for us!! May the WONDERS of the Mother of the Word come to our aid!!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#4

I don’t mean to sound smug, but I have done all of those things.


#5

Well, that’s the thing. I just can’t grasp number 1, because I don’t know God. Am I just supposed to take your word for it that he’s there?

But loving my neighbor is definitely something I can strive towards because I know my neighbor.


#6

St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort in The Love of Eternal Wisdom

  1. Can we love someone we do not even know? Can we love deeply someone we know only vaguely? Why is Jesus, the adorable, eternal and incarnate Wisdom loved so little if not because he is either too little known or not known at all? Hardly anyone studies the supreme science of Jesus, as did St. Paul (Eph. 3:19). And yet this is the most noble, the most consoling, the most useful and the most vital of all sciences and subjects in heaven and on earth.

ewtn.com/library/Montfort/lew.htm#One

Have you deeply studied Christ, with all your heart, mind, and soul? One method might be to read the most influential and important works of the Saints, such as True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort that influenced four popes.

What don’t you know about God that you are taking other people’s words for it that he’s there?

True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html
Reflections on True Devotion to Mary by His Holiness Pope John Paul II http://www.michaeljournal.org/montfort.htm

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#7

Becoming a Christian means surrendering your life to Jesus Christ.

In other words, you give up your ideas and agenda’s, and chose to follow what ever God wills for you.

This is the first step in receiving the gift of faith, which can only come from God, not from religious exercise.

Once you have faith, then religion will have meaning and purpose.

Jim


#8

I have deeply studied Christ, but I don’t know if I can say I’ve studied him with all my heart, mind, and soul.

One method might be to read the most influential and important works of the Saints, such as True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort that influenced four popes.

I haven’t read that, but I did the 5 week consecration to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort. I’m guessing it’s very similar.

What don’t you know about God that you are taking other people’s words for it that he’s there?

I don’t know if he exists and I don’t know what faith has an accurate portrayal of him.


#9

I guess I have trouble putting that into practical terms. How do I know what is my will and what is God’s will? For instance, I would love to get married some day. But I don’t know if that’s just me talking, or if that is God putting a desire in my heart.

I am willing to follow God’s will for me, provided that I actually know what that will is.

Again, if that will doesn’t become clear to me, what am I supposed to do? Most people will start giving my Bible passages or writings from the saints for me to read. Am I expected just to take the Pope’s word for it that the Bible is the word of God even if I don’t understand, agree, or gain anything from it?


#10

**I don’t know if it does become so perfectly clear for anyone-except perhaps in a few extraordinary cases. We walk by faith and not by sight and we’re only human. Even people who’ve been absolutely sure they’ve picked the perfect mate can end up separating later on. Like with a marriage, faith requires work and the proof is in the pudding, so to speak-5, 10, 20 years down the road do we still love God and how have we changed?

And conversion is a process whereby God is patient and we’re able to test the waters and come to trust Him and the Church He’s established to tell us about Him little by little. We don’t come to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves overnight-but that is His goal for us in the end - to finally perfect us in love. It has a lot to do with perseverance in spite of the obstacles to our faith.


#11

From Introduction To Christianity (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) comes the opening scene of a shipwrecked Jesuit missionary, brother Rodrigue (from the play Soulier de Satin by Paul Claudel)–Rodrigue is a survivor of a shipwreck…sunk by pirates and he himself is lashed to a piece of the wooden mast…and is now drifting on this piece of wood through the raging waters of the ocean. Rodrigue speaks:

[size=2]“Lord, I thank thee for bending me down like this. It sometimes happened that I found thy commands laborious and my will at a loss and jibbing at thy dispensation. But now I could not be bound to thee more closely than I am, and however violently my limbs move they cannot get one inch away from thee. So I really am fastened to the cross, but the cross on which I hang is not fastened to anything else. It drifts on the sea.”
[/size]
[Cardinal Ratzinger continues his writing]

“Fastened to the cross–with the cross fastened to nothing, drifting over the abyss. The situation of the contemporary believer could hardly be more accurately or impressively described. Only a loose plank bobbing over the void seems to hold him up, and it looks as if he must eventually sink. Only a loose plank connects him to God, though certainly it connects him inescapably and in the last analysis he knows that this wood is stronger than the void which seethes beneath him and which remains nevertheless the really threatening force in his day-to-day life.” Pgs (18-19).
Pal…don’t feel like the “lone ranger” in this struggle. In the end, Faith is about love…but not what is in your mind or in your heart, but in the reality of the love shown and given to you (and all of us) by the cross and the brutalized person who hangs dead on it for you (and most especially for a sinner like me).

As a baptized Christian…who believes that Jesus is The Christ, both Lord and Messiah, sent by the Father, and in his Pascal Mystery (passion, death, resurrection, ascension, seated at the Father’s right hand and that he will come again to judge the living and the dead)…if you believe all of it is true…like Rodrigue…you are "…certainly connected to him inescapably…and in the end this wood of the cross is stronger than the void which seethes beneath you…even though it (the void–the abyss) won’t go away on your terms or on your time schedule.

Two last points for your consideration: (1) Our first response to the grace of faith is obedience (The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer–a Lutheran priest imprisoned and executed by Hitler in April 1945). If that is true…then just be obedient to your faith as a practicing Catholic…everything else will come from your obedience regardless of feelings, doubts, fears, etc… (2) The fact that you have the questions and concerns about a more solid belief…a more experiential relationship… a more lively relationship with God…these questions and desires come from his Holy Spirit’s graces within you…they are not of your own “making or doing”…they are simply another form of the whisper in your ear that God is with you and loves you…even more so as you feel you are hopelessly drifting over the abyss, strapped only to the wood of his cross.

Pax Christi


#12

Sinner1;

I guess I have trouble putting that into practical terms. How do I know what is my will and what is God’s will? For instance, I would love to get married some day. But I don’t know if that’s just me talking, or if that is God putting a desire in my heart.

The will of God is that you love Him, and your neighbor as yourself.

What that means is, to love God is to follow His commandments and the teachings of the Church, even when you have a hard time accepting them. So, you’re following God’s agenda, rather than your own.

As far as getting married someday? If its God’s will, and you ask for guidance on it, it will happen.

I am willing to follow God’s will for me, provided that I actually know what that will is.

If you love God, and place your trust in Him, the doors will be open to you, and you will know that you’re on the right path.

Again, if that will doesn’t become clear to me, what am I supposed to do?

Its not as simple as some one just coming up to you and telling you, do this and that. Discernment in following the will of God, has plagued people for centuries. Fr. Green has a good book that can help, “Weeds Among the Wheat.”

Most people will start giving my Bible passages or writings from the saints for me to read. Am I expected just to take the Pope’s word for it that the Bible is the word of God even if I don’t understand, agree, or gain anything from it?

Well, surrender it all to Christ as I stated earlier. Its tough for our generation living in our country, to follow the teachings of another.
But the Pope merely teaches what the Church teaches. The Church has been around 2000 years. How long have you been on earth? Can your wisdom come close to that of the Holy Church ?
There is a level of humility required.

The bottom line is, you have to pray.

God Bless
Jim


#13

No actually you can take God’s own words for it:slight_smile:

I’m not being funny. The bible is a Catholic book. For more than 1,000 years it was the only Bible! The New testament was written completely by Roman Catholics.

Before I continue, may I caution you my friend that one must be an informed, practcing Roman Catholic in order to receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinety of Jesus Himself in Catholic Holy Communion. NOT a mere sign or symbol, but Jesus Himself, which is the GREATEST incentive I can think of to make the investment and learn what and why we Catholics believe and practice what we do.

Keep in mind my friend. God will answer all prayers. All Prayers…
**BUT in His Time and in His manner. **This is GOD we are talking about. Alway’s end every prayer with “thy will, not my will be done.” Don’t expect it to happen on your time schedule! That’s like a threat to God, how silly is that?

We on this FORUM are fully qualified to explain, defend and assist you with ALL of your issues and concerns. So let’s take them one at a time.

May I suggest that your post your questions on the Apologetics Forum component?

God is not giving up on you, so do not allow Satan to win, and give up on God.:wink:

Cooperate with God, HE LONGS to transform you life. And He will, if you allow HIM?

So where would you like to began?

Gods love and peace,
Bless you my friend!

PJM m.c.


#14

But God has not told me anything. Thus, I have to take somebody else’s word for it of who God is and what he wants me to do.


#15

God often speaks to us, through other people.

It takes humility to listen and hear.

Jim


#16

I’ve spent years listening to other people and God apparently doesn’t speak to me that way either.


#17

Well, perhaps you’re not open to hearing the voice of God, regardless of where He tries to reach you from? :shrug:

At any rate, no one can give you faith.

No one can make you believe.

Nothing we say in here, will give you faith.

The only one who can give you faith, is the source of faith, Jesus Christ.

Its like if you fell overboard from a ship. You yell for help and some one throws you a life line. If you don’t reach out and grab it, you’ll drown. You can’t blame the person who threw the line to you, for not saving you.

Faith is the same. It requires your cooperation.

Jim


#18

No,

The very fact that you (and me and all of us are alive) is the greatest evidence of the Being and Presence of a god.

Also, we can come to know of a god or god’s, as have every generation of humanity, no-matter how crude and under-educated the culture. Sun-god, Moon-god, Water god, or even the Greeks “Unknown god,” are all begaining steps of understanding that “something” (we Catholics and Chrsitians) believe “someone” is the “creator” of all these things and the force that keeps them in ordinarly existance.

Our KNOWN Universe consist of BILLIONS, yes BILLIONS of stars and even “BILLIONS” of other galaxies, that have existed for Billions of years. This simply cannot be accidential! Not possible.

The Force that created (means to make out of nouthing) also clearly keeps them in place.

Does every sexual act result in a pregnancy? No! Why?

Why does the sun orbit our planet?

Why to the ocean’s contain “themselves.”

Why does a seed grow when it’s planted?

So we began our journey in search of god, by acknowledging that all these things are way to complicated, way too organized, well to uniform to be accidential, and this leads all men to God.

From there, we can began to ask Why this, Why that, and why me? Why here? Why now?

Nouthing, not the slighest think is a coincedience, there is no such thing as “luck,” good or bad, nor or there any accidents. Every little thing is either Ordained by this God, or permitted by this God for our POSSIBLE sactification and HIS GREATER GLORY.

Use the intelligence God gave you. Note that only, human beings have an intellect and a “free-will” that allows us to figure things out, and decide a course of action “on our own.” (Actually God and His Angels too are so endowed." Why is that? We can do oh so much more than respond on instinct alone!

Don’t be looking for an easier way. God expects us to strugle. Accept it prayerfully, you can’t do it by yourself.

Was your finding this Forum pure accident? Not hardly!

God bless you,

PJM m.c.


#19

To: Sinner1

My dear frind in Christ,

Your OP-name implies that you recogonize that you are a “sinner,” as are we all.

If that is a fact, then how can you (or me) be a sinner, if there is no God?

You can know this (feel it might be a better way to put it) because God our Creator has written the BASIC LAWS of right and wrong, especailly the Moral Law, on our very hearts, and it is a part of everyones (formed or unformed) conscience.

See, God IS answering your prayers!:thumbsup:

God bless you!

PJM m.c.


#20

People have told me that I’m not open the voice of God because I don’t have faith. Personally, I find that a bit offensive. I have been seeking God for years. Several times I have offered to give my whole life to him in service. (And I wasn’t just trying to sound holy; I was actually going to do it.) I’ve read the Bible, the Catechism, spiritual books, apologetic books, and writings of the saints. I spent years going to Mass every day. I’ve spent hours upon hours in Adoration. I’ve prayed rosary. I’ve gone on retreats. I’ve spoken to a spiritual director.

But yet God remains silent.

That’s why I just don’t know what he expects from me. If he never reveals himself to me, what does he want me to do? Faith can only come from Jesus, but Jesus doesn’t seem to be giving me faith.

Its like if you fell overboard from a ship. You yell for help and some one throws you a life line. If you don’t reach out and grab it, you’ll drown. You can’t blame the person who threw the line to you, for not saving you.

Faith is the same. It requires your cooperation.

Unless that person threw the lifeline on the opposite side of the ship where I couldn’t see it. Or if they threw 20 lifelines and I had to pick which one he is actually holding on the other end.


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