Becoming disillusioned with the Church. I want to avoid losing my faith.

Demonic possession, demonic influence, seems to me to be semantics. Still, your choices are YOURS to make, whether good or bad.

As far as my theology being wrong, I say who are you to make that statement? From your posts, you aren't exactly Billy Graham.
Actually they are different. Demonic possession is when a demon is actually inside a human and either indirectly/covertly or directly controlling the host. But demonic influence can happen, even when the demon cannot gain entrance into the body of the human. It is the lesser of two human/demon forms of interaction.

The scary thing is when a person lets go of their personal power, wallows in sin/drugs/alcohol, and becomes vulnerable to possession. But I do realize some possessed people have good hearts and yet seem singled out by demons, for some reason, to be tortured and possessed, if possible. I've watched a few fascinating but disturbing interviews with exorcists.
 

Grey

Sparrow
Blaming your issues on "Demonic Possession" basically absolves yourself of actually taking personal responsibility for your problems.

Reminds me of Flip Wilson saying, "The devil made me do that!!!"
You've missed a memo on what grace is about if you think that 'personal responsibility' is the point of Christianity.

To be a Christian is to acknowledge ones inability to be good by ones own power.

That's why I said, and I'll say again, as long as Rob is repentant, he is on his way to sanctification, even if he fails often along that road. It is not the success or failure itself that matters, but the repentance.

Everyone has made a sinful, imperfect choice at one point or another, and they will again. But that's not really the point. It doesn't actually matter what you ascribe the blame to sin too, demons, born that way, addictions, society. The basic fact always comes back to you can't beat the sin on your own. Even if you shift the blame all the way off you (and Rob has not done that in the slightest) the problem is still the same. You're in sin, and you need help getting out. So you have to repent, and you have to submit to God working in you to sanctify you.

This is part of the beauty of Christian faith and philosophy, the excuses don't matter from the get go, they're non-starters. None of the 'I can't help it' arguments from liberalism ever mattered to a Christian who understands the situation.
 
You've missed a memo on what grace is about if you think that 'personal responsibility' is the point of Christianity.

To be a Christian is to acknowledge ones inability to be good by ones own power.

That's why I said, and I'll say again, as long as Rob is repentant, he is on his way to sanctification, even if he fails often along that road. It is not the success or failure itself that matters, but the repentance.

Everyone has made a sinful, imperfect choice at one point or another, and they will again. But that's not really the point. It doesn't actually matter what you ascribe the blame to sin too, demons, born that way, addictions, society. The basic fact always comes back to you can't beat the sin on your own. Even if you shift the blame all the way off you (and Rob has not done that in the slightest) the problem is still the same. You're in sin, and you need help getting out. So you have to repent, and you have to submit to God working in you to sanctify you.

This is part of the beauty of Christian faith and philosophy, the excuses don't matter from the get go, they're non-starters. None of the 'I can't help it' arguments from liberalism ever mattered to a Christian who understands the situation.
But there are those who pervert this doctrine, and use it as an excuse to do as they please, and then make a cursory attempt at repentance, later on.
 

Grey

Sparrow
But there are those who pervert this doctrine, and use it as an excuse to do as they please, and then make a cursory attempt at repentance, later on.
Repentance isn't something you can attempt. Either you hate the sin in you and want to get rid of it or you don't.

If it's an excuse to do as they please they don't hate the sin enough to repent. Grace may pull them through, but they do not understand repentance if they act this way.

Repentance is not an apology. It is a desperate cry for help.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
But there are those who pervert this doctrine, and use it as an excuse to do as they please, and then make a cursory attempt at repentance, later on.
But this *isn't* Rob based upon his long evidenced behaviour of the Reason longing to be Good, whilst being failed to be good due to Cogitative Damage, which, under the Laws of the Catholic Church, lessen the culpability of Free Will in the act. If you want to argue against this, you can argue with the Summa Theologiae. It's covered well in I-II, q.77, a.7 ('Whether passion excuses from sin altogether?') For 'Passions' he means the Sensitive Appetites, including the Concupiscible and Irascible Powers I discussed upthread.

I won't post the entire Question 77, but I'll just hone in on St Thomas' main argument in a.77:

I answer that, An act which, in its genus, is evil, cannot be excused from sin altogether, unless it be rendered altogether involuntary. Consequently, if the passion be such that it renders the subsequent act wholly involuntary, it entirely excuses from sin; otherwise, it does not excuse entirely. In this matter two points apparently should be observed: first, that a thing may be voluntary either "in itself," as when the will tends towards it directly; or "in its cause," when the will tends towards that cause and not towards the effect; as is the case with one who wilfully gets drunk, for in that case he is considered to do voluntarily whatever he does through being drunk. Secondly, we must observe that a thing is said to be voluntary"directly" or "indirectly"; directly, if the will tends towards it; indirectly, if the will could have prevented it, but did not.

Accordingly therefore we must make a distinction: because a passion is sometimes so strong as to take away the use of reason altogether, as in the case of those who are mad through love or anger; and then if such a passion were voluntary from the beginning, the act is reckoned a sin, because it is voluntary in its cause, as we have stated with regard to drunkenness. If, however, the cause be not voluntary but natural, for instance, if anyone through sickness or some such cause fall into such a passion as deprives him of the use of reason, his act is rendered wholly involuntary, and he is entirely excused from sin. Sometimes, however, the passion is not such as to take away the use of reason altogether; and then reason can drive the passion away, by turning to other thoughts, or it can prevent it from having its full effect; since the members are not put to work, except by the consent of reason, as stated above (I-II:17:9): wherefore such a passion does not excuse from sin altogether.


'Sickness' here would encompass Rob's damaged cogitative state, meaning he'll act before he has the choice of free will to do so. Note the last part: Rob will eventually, in time, learn to control the passions with his Cogitative Power. If he gains reasonable control, and it's a long process until he does, then he can choose to sin, and it will be a culpable act. But he might exist in a back and forth limbo for a while where control is sometimes possible, and sometimes isn't. But there'll also be a painful period where he *believes* he already has full control and doesn't, and won't be culpable for sin yet, but will believe he will be.

With that explained, I logged in because I happened to read this during my research in one of Baars more academic works, and I'll just put it here for anyone who is trying to understand the cycle Rob keeps evidencing. This uses a simplified terminology, but for 'pleasure emotion' read Concupiscible Appetite, for 'assertive drive' read Irascible Appetite:

repressive - Copy.jpg

Remember how I said the Concupiscible Wants, and the Irascible rises up in Fear to repress that want? This means Rob's Irascible Powers are working on overdrive ('excessive activity') and, it is very, very easily triggered by the smallest things ('greater irritability').

This means, these emotions are very-easily triggered into, well, an 'Incredible Hulk' mode of action: Hope, Despair, Fear, Daring, Anger, and he needs to learn what kind of issues trigger this, and why some moral questions or 'future possibility' questions aren't worth Him asking in the first place.

He need to learn to exist in the Present Moment, like a small child does. And this is great, because Catholic Heavyweight Writers like Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, Fr Jean-Pierre Caussade and St Therese of Lisieux all stress that the Present Moment is where God is found. Remember how Jesus tells us to approach the kingdom of heaven?

I was listening to one of my regular podcasts yesterday and my ears pricked up at 32:00, and I noted it down for Rob.


I'll paraphrase:

The nature of the fallen world means "All subsequent sin after the fall is disobedience and a lack of trust in God's goodness.

It's a lack of trust god will walk to the walk and be who he says he is.

The symptoms of this disobedience are a lack of rest, anxiety and frustration.

The healing we need is the healing of a lack of trust.


The whole episode is worth a listen. I've always been encouraging Rob to understand that he can trust in God, despite the harshness of his current experience. Going forward, He has to learn that God is whom Jesus says He is, not whom the Old Testaments Jews thought He was. This is why I'd been encouraging Regular Catholic Meditation for him quite a while back, so he can experience Spiritual Consolations.

Hang in there, Rob.

As for demons: Leonard, another friend and I have been trying to help a member currently-experiencing Demonic Oppression last night. All three of us went down feeling very sick, all at the same time. I had to teach them how to spiritually separate themselves from Him today. Don't dismiss this stuff.
 

Grey

Sparrow
Very well written Bosch,

The difference between evil and sin is not often enough taught.

It's good you are helping those helping those with demonic oppression know how to seperate themelves from the subject of their aid. It's all to easy to get tied up and bogged down when helping.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
^ I'm just a clumsy instrument, all glory and honour rightfully belong to God.

Rob, I'm going to be very busy for a couple of days sorting out paperwork for our Priest's defense - there are hundreds of letters of thanks from people to scan for Him - so won't have time to write anything in detail, but I was scanning a page I thought he'd find useful from a book on Bl Julian of Norwich I read long before I started therapy, and I'm shocked at just how point it is with the therapy. Yes, St Thomas Aquinas had correctly-identified the Problem in the 1200's, but so had Julian in the 1300's. Unfortunately, along came William of Ockham in between them and all this was lost in His heresy of Nominalism, and the idea of a Legalistic, Condemning God spread throughout the Church, which is where Penitents started excessive penances.

Sorry for the small size - the forum has limits.

JoN1 - Copy.jpg
 

Grey

Sparrow
Is nominalism officially heresy?

I know what you're talking about, I've read Summa. But I havn't read Ockham or Julian. I would be interested sometime to pick your brain about how we came from atonemnt theories like Christius Victor and Recapitulation to the kind of highly dour form of Penal Substitution that is popular in American Protestantism.

I'm not knocking penal substitution pe se, I get it, it's just it's framed in popular western Christianity is that kind of legalistic, dour way you described above.

Anyway it would be interesting to have another thread about this sometime. I see I'm veering off of an important topic.
 

FactusIRX

Woodpecker
^ I'm just a clumsy instrument, all glory and honour rightfully belong to God.

Rob, I'm going to be very busy for a couple of days sorting out paperwork for our Priest's defense - there are hundreds of letters of thanks from people to scan for Him - so won't have time to write anything in detail, but I was scanning a page I thought he'd find useful from a book on Bl Julian of Norwich I read long before I started therapy, and I'm shocked at just how point it is with the therapy. Yes, St Thomas Aquinas had correctly-identified the Problem in the 1200's, but so had Julian in the 1300's. Unfortunately, along came William of Ockham in between them and all this was lost in His heresy of Nominalism, and the idea of a Legalistic, Condemning God spread throughout the Church, which is where Penitents started excessive penances.

Sorry for the small size - the forum has limits.

View attachment 24957
Do you have a website or podcast? You’re really knowledgeable about this stuff. Really academic and interesting.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Grey: somewhere in the discussion of these questions over the last 18th months on here, I was shown where nominalism was condemned as heresy, but I can't recall it off the top of my head. My Priest would know, but he's otherwise occupied. If I stumble across it again during my research, I'll let you know. I will be floating around here for a while yet in an observer fashion, under obedience to church authority, for reasons that are too complicated to go into.

Factus: No, I only write two places online, this being one of them, the other one a private location with friends. I have zero interest in being internet famous. I barely even have time to write on here lately, and have had to keep some people patiently waiting for replies for about a month now. The time for sharing my opinion on forums about anything but God has passed for me, and, like Leonard, I'm being called to silence.
 

FactusIRX

Woodpecker
Grey: somewhere in the discussion of these questions over the last 18th months on here, I was shown where nominalism was condemned as heresy, but I can't recall it off the top of my head. My Priest would know, but he's otherwise occupied. If I stumble across it again during my research, I'll let you know. I will be floating around here for a while yet in an observer fashion, under obedience to church authority, for reasons that are too complicated to go into.

Factus: No, I only write two places online, this being one of them, the other one a private location with friends. I have zero interest in being internet famous. I barely even have time to write on here lately, and have had to keep some people patiently waiting for replies for about a month now. The time for sharing my opinion on forums about anything but God has passed for me, and, like Leonard, I'm being called to silence.
That’s more than fair. You provided a link earlier to a podcast. Do you know of some good Catholic podcasts that l could listen to? Do you know of anyone that has compiled an essential list of Catholic works?
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Rob: I've spent the last couple of days scanning every piece of correspondence Penitents have sent our Priest over the years. Whilst I did my best to not read them, I pick up information very easily from cursory scans, so know that you and I are anything but alone in this problem. In letter after letter, people were thanking him for doing what they thought was impossible - allowing Jesus to heal their problems - and they're now living functional lives with loving families.

I'd bought a book about six weeks ago by the then head of the Julian of Norwich shrine, Robert Llewelyn, called 'A Doorway To Silence' about the Contemplative Use of the Rosary, and it drew me back to Julian's writing, and I was able to share it with our Priest, pointing out just how on point her views on our wrath, the golden mean, sin, legalism, and repression are with Aquinas. He was only passingly-familiar with her, but also wasn't surprised: "Truth is eternal."

I'll share some pages I scanned for him that I think would help you to be introduced to certain useful concepts. Understand that this book is aimed at Contemplatives, meaning, it's short, direct, non-emotional statements that are meant to be read slowly and savoured. In the contemplative state, one paragraph could hold you for minutes at a time, but I think there's enough here to at least hint at deeper truths you will come to realise through more meditation as God reveals his love to you via direct Spiritual Consolation.

I know it's not an easy road: you've been given a very heavy cross. I'm going to be very busy helping our Priest for the next 10 days - we're preparing his defense, so try considering these ideas slowly, and hang in there. There's a path out of this for you in time, but I'll focus on trying to save Him first because he can be far greater use to you than I am.

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AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
A couple of more pages that might help you to consider the deeper truth of God's Merciful Love.

CR1 - Copy.jpg

CR2 - Copy.jpg

I know the thoughts might seem simple. Contemplative Works are very different in style to works aimed at beginner souls, because to have crossed into Contemplative Prayer, it is understood that your soul is now, at times, directly-infused with love and knowledge by God, who pulls you into that state*, which is beyond your own power to do so, no matter how much you attempt to. So, the ideas are simpler, as your conscious prayer has simplified. It's no longer the place for apologetics, or complex arguments or discussions. It's just simple statements to be considered slowly that you will recognise as deeper truths, from your own experiential knowledge of God's direct love into your soul. So, what you're feeling now during Meditative Prayer might seem like the absolute heights of Divine Love, but... man, it's just the beginning. Still, focus on God for his sake, rather than chase the sweetness. Thank him even when the Prayer is dry and dull, for it has more merit for the soul.

---

* A good example was a couple of days ago. Walking on a hill, I'd just finished praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for Our Priest, then wondered if I should pray it again for a friend having some demonic issues. I looked over at some flowering japanese plum trees in bloom, started the thought "Oh, they're beaut...." and BANG, God pulled me into Contemplation before the thought was even complete. In the lower state I'm in, this means, he's now captivated my will, which is entirely-fixated on him, so even if I wanted to pull away, I couldn't. If it's the more intense form of that level of prayer - I experience the Ligature of the Limbs - meaning, I can no longer move my arms and legs until it passes, though I'm always called to sit and be still just before that happens.

Note I wasn't really looking at the tree, more through the tree at the truth behind the tree. I didn't pray the chaplet. In that state, you are a baby nursing at its mothers teat, you don't know where the milk is coming from, but you just be still and sweetly savour every drop you're given. God is doing something whilst you're in that state - some kind of invisible surgery on your defects - so you just go with it. Then, after a while - sometimes a matter of 30 seconds, sometimes half an hour, (but you won't be able to detect the passage of time) - God lets go.

This is why I'm stressing, Rob, hang on. Stay with God. Trust in him, no matter how much you feel you're failing him, and being disappointed in yourself. Keep pushing at prayer and learning to trust in his goodness, despite your problems. God can work with your neurosis, like he worked with mine.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
That’s more than fair. You provided a link earlier to a podcast. Do you know of some good Catholic podcasts that l could listen to? Do you know of anyone that has compiled an essential list of Catholic works?
OFF TOPIC

Firstly, you are always better off reading.

The one I linked to earlier is probably the only remaining one I listen to which would be useful for those in the Purgative Way. They all fell away as I transitioned into Contemplation, because at my stage of the spiritual life you are drawn to silence and stillness, and your knowledge of God is directly-infused during that form of prayer. Theology here becomes about Contemplation, Spiritual Reading and Eucharistic Adoration. Podcasts rarely get a look in now.

A few Catholic ones from Memory that appealed to me:

ACTIONABLE ADVICE:

Sensus Fidelium - particularly Fr Ripperger's Spiritual Warfare advice, though I wouldn't recommend them if you're prone to Legalistic Fear of God. Ripperger's advice WORKS.

DiscerningHearts.com - particularly Fr Timothy Gallagher's series on the Discernment of Spirits, which will save you a lot of struggle by teaching you St Ignatius' 14 Rules, so you don't have to bother a spiritual director every time you're unsure of what to do. The 'Begin Again' series on there is great for anyone who struggles with falling into Habitual Sin. Some content is aimed at Contemplatives, and I've found it all solid, actionable advice.

Poco a Poco / The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Younger Monks, very upbeat. The first episodes were a bit flat due to Covid limiting the number to one of them for a few weeks. They see the Journey to God as an Adventure as they're sharing together, rather than a dreary obligation, and their enthusiasm is catching. This is the only 'Purgative Way' one I still watch. One of the monks has a regular series on the Ascension Presents channel that is more 'bite sized'.

ICS Publications breaks down The Grades of Prayer and the Major Carmelite Saints but the bare bones style might be a turn off for some people.

THE TRANSITION BETWEEN MEDITATION AND CONTEMPLATION:

The Royal Road to Heaven, for Carmelite Prayer advice once you've gone beyond Vocal and Meditative Prayer. I doubt anyone here would find the halting, contemplative style attractive, but once you're called to silence and stillness and can no longer meditate, it's worth a look.

CASUAL ADVICE:

I've watched a couple by United States Grace Force which have a more Political / Spiritual Warfare mindset. I find the Jingoistic Style a turn off, but that's a personal preference.

I've noted this channel recently but haven't had time to dig into it. Being blunt, I find the American Radio Presentation of Spiritual Discussions exhausting.


There were also these guys... They were pretty lightweight but if that's all you're in the mood for in a moment, go for it:


ANTI-CATHOLIC PROPAGANDA MASQUERADING AS 'CONCERNED CATHOLICISM':

- The Vortex
- Dr Taylor Marshall

I consider both trash. There is nothing here but distraction from God and temptation to pride and disobedience for the Laity. I wasn't surprised to see Trump single the later out. I suspect Marshall is a plant.

----

As for spiritual reading, your question would take some time to put together. Affordably, I'd recommend starting with the Catechism or Rev Adolph Tanqueray's "The Spiritual Life", from 1932, which is a summary of the teachings of many Saints. It's approachable, the information is delivered in numbered paragraph chunks, and it's actionable: it will tell you what the entire journey of the soul towards God is, and what to do where you currently find yourself to advance on the journey. It's oddly laid out, so skip the beginning and leap into 'First Principles'.

If you want something along the same lines from 1980 in a more modern language, try Jordan Aumaan's 'Spiritual Theology'.

I single out these two writers beyond the Catechism because they both provide solid overviews, are highly-respected Vatican Theologians and the books themselves are affordable or available for free online. It's good to have an idea of the entire road you're about to follow before you start on the journey.

Also, understand that everything they say is true. We live in a world dominated by Judeo-Freemasonry, which has Naturalistic Explanations for everything and wants you to not believe in the truth of God, or to think it's all just backwards superstition. So, although a lot of what you read might sound like metaphor or delusions, the promises are true. God is a supernatural presence, and as you get closer to union with him, your life gets increasingly-supernatural. This isn't to be pursued for its own sake, but, just so you understand, when they talk about sequential locutions or bilocation or infused knowledge or demonic oppression or ecstasy, they're describing observable supernatural reality in the most matter of fact way possible. If you put in the effort in the Purgative Way, you'll discover this, and God's deep love for us, experientially, and you'll wonder why you ever clinged to the world so tightly when all you had to do was let go.

BTW, here's a page from Tanquerey on the Rules of Discernment, so you have an idea of the style of work it is. It's very easy to 'dip' in and out of when you need advice:

Rules Of Discernment Tanqueray - Copy.jpg
 

FactusIRX

Woodpecker
OFF TOPIC

Firstly, you are always better off reading.

The one I linked to earlier is probably the only remaining one I listen to which would be useful for those in the Purgative Way. They all fell away as I transitioned into Contemplation, because at my stage of the spiritual life you are drawn to silence and stillness, and your knowledge of God is directly-infused during that form of prayer. Theology here becomes about Contemplation, Spiritual Reading and Eucharistic Adoration. Podcasts rarely get a look in now.

A few Catholic ones from Memory that appealed to me:

ACTIONABLE ADVICE:

Sensus Fidelium - particularly Fr Ripperger's Spiritual Warfare advice, though I wouldn't recommend them if you're prone to Legalistic Fear of God. Ripperger's advice WORKS.

DiscerningHearts.com - particularly Fr Timothy Gallagher's series on the Discernment of Spirits, which will save you a lot of struggle by teaching you St Ignatius' 14 Rules, so you don't have to bother a spiritual director every time you're unsure of what to do. The 'Begin Again' series on there is great for anyone who struggles with falling into Habitual Sin. Some content is aimed at Contemplatives, and I've found it all solid, actionable advice.

Poco a Poco / The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Younger Monks, very upbeat. The first episodes were a bit flat due to Covid limiting the number to one of them for a few weeks. They see the Journey to God as an Adventure as they're sharing together, rather than a dreary obligation, and their enthusiasm is catching. This is the only 'Purgative Way' one I still watch. One of the monks has a regular series on the Ascension Presents channel that is more 'bite sized'.

ICS Publications breaks down The Grades of Prayer and the Major Carmelite Saints but the bare bones style might be a turn off for some people.

THE TRANSITION BETWEEN MEDITATION AND CONTEMPLATION:

The Royal Road to Heaven, for Carmelite Prayer advice once you've gone beyond Vocal and Meditative Prayer. I doubt anyone here would find the halting, contemplative style attractive, but once you're called to silence and stillness and can no longer meditate, it's worth a look.

CASUAL ADVICE:

I've watched a couple by United States Grace Force which have a more Political / Spiritual Warfare mindset. I find the Jingoistic Style a turn off, but that's a personal preference.

I've noted this channel recently but haven't had time to dig into it. Being blunt, I find the American Radio Presentation of Spiritual Discussions exhausting.


There were also these guys... They were pretty lightweight but if that's all you're in the mood for in a moment, go for it:


ANTI-CATHOLIC PROPAGANDA MASQUERADING AS 'CONCERNED CATHOLICISM':

- The Vortex
- Dr Taylor Marshall

I consider both trash. There is nothing here but distraction from God and temptation to pride and disobedience for the Laity. I wasn't surprised to see Trump single the later out. I suspect Marshall is a plant.

----

As for spiritual reading, your question would take some time to put together. Affordably, I'd recommend starting with the Catechism or Rev Adolph Tanqueray's "The Spiritual Life", from 1932, which is a summary of the teachings of many Saints. It's approachable, the information is delivered in numbered paragraph chunks, and it's actionable: it will tell you what the entire journey of the soul towards God is, and what to do where you currently find yourself to advance on the journey. It's oddly laid out, so skip the beginning and leap into 'First Principles'.

If you want something along the same lines from 1980 in a more modern language, try Jordan Aumaan's 'Spiritual Theology'.

I single out these two writers beyond the Catechism because they both provide solid overviews, are highly-respected Vatican Theologians and the books themselves are affordable or available for free online. It's good to have an idea of the entire road you're about to follow before you start on the journey.

Also, understand that everything they say is true. We live in a world dominated by Judeo-Freemasonry, which has Naturalistic Explanations for everything and wants you to not believe in the truth of God, or to think it's all just backwards superstition. So, although a lot of what you read might sound like metaphor or delusions, the promises are true. God is a supernatural presence, and as you get closer to union with him, your life gets increasingly-supernatural. This isn't to be pursued for its own sake, but, just so you understand, when they talk about sequential locutions or bilocation or infused knowledge or demonic oppression or ecstasy, they're describing observable supernatural reality in the most matter of fact way possible. If you put in the effort in the Purgative Way, you'll discover this, and God's deep love for us, experientially, and you'll wonder why you ever clinged to the world so tightly when all you had to do was let go.

BTW, here's a page from Tanquerey on the Rules of Discernment, so you have an idea of the style of work it is. It's very easy to 'dip' in and out of when you need advice:

View attachment 25021
Wow, thank you very much!!! There’s plenty of material here to give me a good start (and then some!). I’ll provide updates as I read through them. I’m currently at the start of my journey and reading through the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible.
 

Jeevz

Newbie
It’s been 6 months since I posted on the forum about some personal issues and it was recommended by some wise forum members that I go to church and get closer to God and Jesus.

I have been going to church, praying, educating myself about theology, and talking to my priest often about my faith and my personal situation.

However, I do not feel closer to God. Or if I am closer to God, then He is demanding that I suffer for past sins and is refusing to forgive me.

As far as the situation with my wife that I posted about, there has been some positive interaction (text messages and emails) between me and her, but it’s all a mirage. At this point, she has zero intention of ever seeing me, and when I say anything via text that pisses her off (which I am prone to doing) she flies into a hate-filled rage, cursing at me and throwing in my face everything I did to her in the past (violence, drug addiction, etc.).

Also, I am no closer to moving on and getting over her than I was before.

As for the other aspects of my life, I have not had a job in the 6 months since I first posted here. I’ve been fired from every job (or had to quit) because of a medical condition that causes me to vomit and gag throughout the day.

I am isolated and I don’t really interact with anyone other than my immediate family, and all we do is fight and argue.

I have had several relapses into hard drugs, and I am constantly giving in to lust (porn, masturbation, etc.).

I know that I’m not supposed to be Christian only to receive Earthly benefits, but it also doesn’t make sense that I’d continue to practice Christianity while actively living in mortal sin and falling further and further into isolation and self destruction.

There’s been times in the past where I’ve wanted to end my life. I no longer feel that way and I’d never actually take my own life, but what I’m currently doing is basically achieving the same thing only slower and more gradually.

I’m not looking for sympathy or anything. I know I am probably doing something wrong (i.e. not truly worshipping God properly) and this situation is my fault/my responsibility.
Hi Rob,

I am going to give you my personal opinion, and this is not to cause offence, or anything but to help you find the right path in life.

The reason you feel that way, is because you have not had discipline in your life. The drug taking, masturbation and porn are symptoms of your impulsive nature, which is evidently getting the better of you.

The first thing I would do is to make a list of things you need to do each day. Look for a job, exercise, speak with family, read, pray and making a list of longer term goals.

Ensure your diet is good, as a good diet can help to reduce the impulsive nature of yourself.

Discipline is key. God wants you to be disciplined to live a good life, away from the evils of lust and drugs. Both of the aforementioned actually reduce the body's state of vibration which makes you more susceptible to those enticements.

I also believe if you became more disciplined, your relationships would improve. Unless you love yourself, others cannot love you. Your relationship with your wife would also improve. Women want a man who is disciplined themselves, and that can also discipline them. Women are like children and need rules, and authority. Man knees to God, women to Men, and children to women.

In terms of spirituality, I can honestly not recommend the book of proverbs enough. is a link to a good audible version, with good background binaural beats, and not the normal monotonous voice you find on mos tbible readings.

I would also suggest classical/opera in order to raise your vibration.

A further comment I would add is to show gratitude in the morning for a second chance, and whatever else you can think of.

Choose your words wisely. Do not speak badly of yourself, but instead use positive affirmations, which will change your psyche to allow you to become optimistic.

I hope this helps, and I wish you every success, and the next role is just around the corner!!!!
 

PainPositive

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Rob I'm really sorry you're going through this man.

I think the most important thing we that we can do right now (and that will be far more effective than our advice on what he should do) is to pray for him. We should all start praying for Rob and have our friends, family, pastors, priests, and churches pray for him. God hears our prayers and I have seen personally how powerful prayer can be for someone in need. I think one of the main reasons Roosh was able to find God was that so many people had been praying for him for so long.

I'm going to pray for you everyday from now on Rob and I'm going to ask my brothers in Christ to pray for you as well.

You're need to pray for yourself as well and I mean consistently as much as you can. If you haven't been praying constantly and consistently everyday you haven't really tried anything yet.

Try some of these prayers they've been helping me a lot.

https://www.orthodoxprayer.org/Articles_files/Prayer Rule.pdf

God bless man.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Rob: here's something to consider by St Francis de Sales. "Don't Despair over your shortcomings. Start over each day. You make spiritual progress by beginning again and again."

This was also the motto of the Ven. Bruno Lanteri podcast by Father Gallagher I linked you to you back in, May, I think. You can't chase perfection at the moment. You have to learn to make spiritual peace with your weakness, because although God expects you to try to improve, He will be the one to complete the task when he pulls you into the Dark Night of the Senses.

That's all the journey is: starting again each and every time you fail. Choosing God again despite the crushing failure and humilation you feel over your inability to be God. Praying despite feeling nothing in our despair. You learn to make peace with your weakness, because God wants us to recognise it. It has very little to do with how we 'feel' about our relationship with God, because feelings can't be trusted.

Every time you fail and fall, then get up again, and keep choosing God, although you're currently feeling nothing in Desolation, there's a celebration in heaven over the heroic effort you're making for Him.

Anyone can pray and remain faithful in Consolation. If you can learn to do it in Desolation, God will fast track your sanctification.

I woke up at 4am this morning and had one second to grab the bucket next to my bed to throw up into. This is the reality of Meniere's Disease. I spent the next 5 hours with the room spinning violently, purging the contacts of my entire digestive tract, both ends, unable to find a single position to lie in where the room didn't spin. Even now, I can barely sit upright to read, and will probably have trouble not vomiting anything I nibble at until it calms down in another 12 hours. This means I've lost 1 day out of the 5 I had to proofread and reformat Our Priests defense. Did I complain?

Whenever this happens, I turn to God, and give up everything I'm experiencing for the Conversion of Sinners and the Salvation of those Suffering in Purgatory.

And, it means I can endure it out of charity. What used to be brutal to go through, and would leave me a shaking wreck for days, is simply something that occasionally-happens, and God is my strength and lightens my cross.

Rob: when you're suffering, when you fail again and again, when you hate yourself and despair of ever being good, when you hate how you choose the world over him, turn to God. Offer him up everything you're experiencing during these moments, not only for your wife and loved ones, but for all of those who need God's Mercy. Your relationship with him will strengthen.

I'm not saying this looking for pity, just so you understand the truth of my experience. This can happen to me at any time, in public, whenever I leave the house, and will continue to happen until I become entirely deaf, never to hear sound again, which should be devastating for a musician. Unlike you, there are no treatments for my problem. I am inevitably marching towards a life of complete silence.

... and it's all OK, because God is with me. And he can be right there with you too, if you learn to not flee from him during these dark moments.

Understand that I could have asked God to take my cross from me entirely, but that I prayed the Stations of the Cross each day for roughly a year. All I've ever asked for was the healing of what needed to be healed within me to be able to bring him souls, and I prayed that novena the week my child abuse was healed, praise him.

God will tailor your cross for you, and won't give you one that's beyond your strength to carry, and, in His mercy, he might lift it from you entirely. But you can't keep seeing your suffering as a reason not to draw closer to him. He wants to carry your cross with you.

May God bless you.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
p.s. You really should read St Therese of Lisieux. I saw one Priest sum her up as saying she discovered a new Beatitude: Blessed are the Useless. What she was stressing that, in your utter weakness and humility, God will come and carry you. Based upon my own experiential knowledge of God, she was utterly correct. God isn't expecting instant perfection from you, Rob, and you have to find a more realistic mean between utter self-condemnation and indifference for sin.
 
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