Wouldn't it be better to just be ignorant of the faith and have easier lives?


#1

As some of you know, I’m scrupulous and super anxious. I recall my years of when I wasn’t practicing my faith and was ignorant. Now, that I came into the faith, I’ve struggled with avoiding sin and I am less happier to be honest. I can’t even seem to avoid mortal sin in regards to some temptations I have and it’s getting to a point where I don’t see the point of my faith anymore or even trying. I’m so anxious and afraid of going to hell that everything else is always taking a backseat. I’ve tried to be holy for YEARS now, and still keep falling so short.

I see others who aren’t practicing Catholics and they seem t be so happy and have little worries. While I’m so terrified and exhausted to do anything and even considering suicide sometimes because if I will keep sinning, why not end it sooner and not keep hurting God? I don’t even have the resources to get help immediately, other than calling a stupid hotline that doesn’t do much. People think it’s so easy to get help etc. But it’s not. I’ve tried to get help. I’ve tried to see free resources and nothing.

Maybe the Catholic church isn’t the one true faith and I’m worrying over no reason. Maybe I should just go into another branch of Christianity. If I’m so paralyzed to do anything else, what does it all matter?


#2

To whom much is given, much will be demanded. However, ignorance is not bliss, and but rather a privation, the absence of knowledge which is a good. Although those who do not know God may “live easy lives”, their happiness is merely natural rather than supernatural. To know—and to love—is infinitely greater, even if it means we must suffer. Remember always that faith is a gift from God, and that the teaching of the Church is that God gives every person the graces necessary for salvation. Trust Him.

If you are scrupulous, you need to find a spiritual director, if you haven’t already.


#3

‘Be not disturbed, dispute not in your mind, answer not the doubts sent by the devil, but believe
the words of God, believe His saints and prophets and the evil enemy will flee from you. It is often
very profitable for the servant of God to suffer such things. For Satan does not tempt unbelievers
and sinners whom he already holds securely, but in many ways he does tempt and trouble the
faithful servant.’ - The Imitation of Christ


#4

I’m so sorry you’re suffering so much. The Christian life is not meant to be so full of anxiety and despair.

If you’re scrupulous, you’re probably perceiving many minor sins as mortal sins. While we need to try and avoid sin, Jesus is not trying to trick us or trap us in sin. You’re overly anxious about it because of the scrupulousity. You need a therapist for your mental health, but it sounds like you’re having a hard time finding one.

In the meantime, would it help you to sit and chat with your priest for an hour and talk to him about all your fears? Perhaps he could tell you that things you’re worrying about are not really mortal sins and pray for you.

Also, God absolutely does not want you to end your life. He wants to help you and hold you up as you muddle through all this. He hasn’t left you. He loves you.

I bet God very much wants you to try and focus on Him instead of all the temptations to sin. Try to focus on the positives of living a holy life instead of the negatives of avoiding sin.

Try to breathe. Pray. Thank God for His blessings, no matter how small. Remember how much He loves you. He created you to be absolutely unique and special, and He doesn’t want you to live in such fear.


#5

I understand why a scrupulous person might say this. However, as a non-scrupulous person who was away from the faith for a long time, it is not an “easier” life. It’s pretty pointless, apart from being with loved ones. When all your loved ones die, if it wasn’t for God being there for you, there would be no reason to continue being alive. The logical end to everything would be to just commit suicide and free up some planetary resources for someone else who still wanted to live.

God, however, provides reasons to live when every other reason is gone. Jesus, Mary and the saints will be your friends when you are otherwise totally alone. God also promises that if we and our loved ones make it to heaven, we will see them again.

I agree with the previous poster who said the faith is about you loving God and having a relationship with him, not focusing on sin every minute. I hope you can adjust your thinking so the faith becomes a joyful rather than stressful experience for you.


#6

I have dealt with bouts of social anxiety sometimes, so while I’m not scrupulous, I know the thought process. It’s a bit like having scrupulosity, where you think everything’s a sin, but instead of killing your relationship with God, the smallest thing will kill your relationship with your best friend in the world, no matter how patient and forgiving and constant they are, no matter how minor or even unnoticed your supposed transgression is.

The thought has occurred to me in those most hellish of times that it would be easier not to have friends at all. But then I think of the good of my friendships, the gift that my friends are to me, and how my friends helped make me who I am. So while it might be easier, it wouldn’t be better not to have friends. And it certainly wouldn’t be happier. Tough though the struggle is, it’s better to seek healing and to know the joy that awaits than to avoid going down that road at all.

Hang in there. You are in my prayers.

-Fr ACEGC


#7

Ecclesiastes 1

For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

I truly believe everyone will know this sorrow. It’s called purgatory. Some just experience it’s effects in this life.

I also believe that accepting this sorrow here and now will be better than in the next life. That is, if you can respond to the grace that comes with the heaviness of heart. Allowing Him to turn your heart into His own.

Fight the good fight.

Proverbs 24

a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.


#8

They’ll probably go to hell or purgatory and the duration and strength of the the torments there make this life seem like a cake walk.


#9

The Catholic Church has the fullness of Truth because we are led by the Father, nourished by the Son and guided by the Holy Spirit. What we offer the world is the most perfect way to live- our teachings allow us to serve God and each other in the most perfect way possible, giving ourselves fully to God and neighbor. Why should we seek easier lives? That deprives our loved ones of our perfect self-giving and keeps us imperfect in His eyes.

You suffer from scrupulosity. You need to seek pastoral counseling and learn to perfect your trust in God. He isn’t looking for an excuse to damn you, and it surely grieves Him to see you like this.


#10

You have tried for years to be holy, it seems that God has placed this in your heart. You are scrupulous and super anxious and given many temptations, it seems that you are too weak to ever become a saint. This was the state that St. Therese found herself in. She identified herself as a “little soul”, too weak to climb the stairway of sanctity but with a burning desire to be a saint placed in her heart. She believed that God would not give her that burning desire and allow her to fail at becoming a great saint. She learned to trust in her littleness recognizing that God would lift her up to the heights of the great saints.

As Fr. Michael Gaitley states in the book “33 Days to Merciful Love”…
For now, let’s just consider that if we want to live the Little Way, we must do three things: (1) Recognize the darkness: Recognize the darkness of our littleness and brokenness. (2) Keep trying: Keep trying to grow in holiness and do little things with great love. (3) Keep trusting: Keep trusting and believing that God will satisfy our desires for holiness, even if we don’t yet fully understand how. Today’s Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, fire of mercy. Help me to do three things: (1) recognize the darkness of my littleness, (2) keep trying to grow in holiness, and (3) keep trusting in your mercy.

Pray everyday for an increase in faith, a strengthening of hope, and a perfecting of love. Check out St. Therese’s Little Way.

You are in my prayers. God bless.


#11

I’m also a bit depressed because with my mental health right now, I’m definately not eligible to join a religious community or even the military and I don’t know what’s left for me. I was so sure of religious life, not my life is a mess. Idon’t even know what my vocation is anymore. I’m literally so lost, I feel like I have no calling.


#12

None of this is supposed to be about fear. If you don’t believe in the place you’re in then just admit it first of all. Then you can do something about it.You can find a better place. You can ask, seek, and knock. You can study the differences between faiths yourself. Remaining in the same place based on fear alone means we don’t really have any knowledge of why we are where we are.


#13

I do feel this way sometimes. I was much happier when I was fed with the very superficial ‘Jesus loves me no matter what you do’ version of Christianity (I hardly thought about sin). My relationship with Jesus seemed a lot better back then too, which was weird.


#14

I suspect we all have some grave impediment to our spiritual progress, whether it be a vice, or delusion, or lukewarmness, or scrupulosity, and feel tempted to give up or just leave it all behind for an easier or more “pleasant” life.

As many of Jesus’ followers did.

“To whom Lord would we turn, for you have the words of eternal life”.


#15

Good Morning Joanna92: Let me begin by assuring you that most people are nervous and anxious about something. Sometimes it’s situational and sometimes the effect of generalized anxiety. The good news is that I think yours is a situational dilemma, where you have convinced yourself that missteps are going to get you in trouble. The other good news is most of us make missteps, and we we struggle with trying to be better than what we are.

I doubt if you will reply, but I was wondering why you have come to think that you’re not holy, for instance what do you think the profile of a holy person looks like? Do you think that some of us have the better of you and are somehow holier? Well, I can’t speak for everyone else on the forum, but I for one am no holier than you, and like you and everyone else (whether they admit it or not) I have a shadow. My shadow is the opposite of the person I think I should be, and Jungian psychologists suggest this is the case with all of us.

I think that fighting with your shadow or what some would call your inner demons is like a Chinese finger trap. The more you obsess and pull away, the harder it will hold you. One way to deal with this is to explore what your shadow or dark side is telling you and try to find ways to focus it’s energy on creative and productive endeavors. Otherwise, your darker self will feel repressed and will pop up in all sorts of unacceptable ways. It will find it’s way through the cracks in your defenses and you will find yourself doing things you might consider to be sins, and some of them probably truly are sins, although my definition of a sin is anything that hurts someone else or hurts you, rather than on any dogmatic basis. I have never personally met anyone who has lived up to the latter.

So, rather than fight with your inner-self who probably knows you better than your conscious self does and is therefore a formidable adversary, why not explore why it does what it does, try to understand what its proclivities are telling you about yourself, and see how you can redirect it in a positive and creative way? Otherwise, some hell in the distant future isn’t going to be as much of an issue as the hell you are creating for yourself right here and right now. Do you think it needs to be that way, or are there another possible avenues?

Anyway, those are just some questions and I hope that maybe I have provided at least some assurances.

All the best!


#16

I don’t know how much happier you could be in the end. If you suffer from scrupulosity and anxiety what makes you think that you won’t have anxiety and scrupulosity about something else? I think that this is a temptation from the Devil to make you give up the practice of your Faith. Remember, Jesus died on the cross. As his disciple you have your own cross to carry. As long as you do your best then things will come out ok in the end.


#17

I haven’t noticed that non-Catholics have easier lives.
Less guilt, perhaps, but they often wind up with a trail of broken relationships and complications.

OTOH, to live in right relationship with God takes a lot of work because of our fallen natures.

In my experience and observation, following the law of God makes for a better life for yourself and those around you.


#18

Things are not always what they seem. A lot of people that appear carefree or to be living their best lives are actually not. Many people deep down are miserable but do not know how to ask for help and they feel they need to put on a show.

I hope you are able to get help for anxiety, and spiritual direction for your scrupulosity. It’s hard to really understand and appreciate the faith when you’re in a distressed state of mind.


#19

One thing that has happened to me since I started being more openly Catholic is that people I know from secular pursuits have sometimes contacted me asking for prayers or talking about religion in a way they would not around secular friends. There are a lot of people looking for something to believe in, or who were raised Catholic and it never really left them, but they don’t want to be judged, don’t want to be made fun of by non-believers, and aren’t ready to do the hard work of giving up sins and leading a Godly life. But they still want Jesus. They kind of sneak around about it. Eventually something big will happen, like they will die or a loved one will die, and then they will have to confront the issue.


#20

This.

I see and hear a lot of spiritual hunger, a lot of searching for the thing that will finally make them happy.

A lot of people feel a wrongness in their lives, but don’t quite connect the dots to a lack of God in their lives or the consequences of bad choices.


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