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

Grey

Sparrow
May God bless you.
It appears you have been made an insturment of blessing for more than just Rob here.

I am aware of some of the grave dangers of nominalism, but it is useful to me to know that it is formally condemned. I appreciate that. You've provided me with some resources I was unfamiliar with, and that is greatly appreciated, I will peruse much of it over the next while.

I think I am not the only other person who has benefited from your sources. Thank you and praise God.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Rob, a couple more points:

- A false belief you have is that you deserve your suffering, or that it's somehow related to the sins of your past. Understand that God is Infinite Love, and that even one tiny willful sin against infinite love under His Justice would condemn us to hell forever. Luckily his Justice is far outweighed by his Mercy and he forgives as The Loving Father in the parable of the Prodigal Son. No matter how many times we turn from him, no matter how many times we choose ourselves over him, He will send you the grace to call you back to him. Some don't respond, because they turn from him with deliberate malice. You are turning from him due to a neurosis, and because you're trying to reform your Reason is still choosing him. He's not going to go anywhere. A large part of the problem you're dealing with is condemning yourself despite the fact that he's forgiving you. This is because your irascible fear is working overtime.

Imagine standing in a court and the Judge lets you off the hook for a crime, and then you choose to argue with him. "Well, no, don't you know how bad I am? I don't deserve such a light sentence." You'd be thought mad. It's no different with God, and what he is going to gently do is try and change the misconceptions you have about him.

- You don't have to seek out suffering, and shouldn't. St Therese says a person would be a 'fool' to ask for suffering from God. All you have to do is respond in a loving manner to the suffering that naturally comes your way during the course of your life. Rather than asking "Why me?" and feeling sorry for yourself, use it for souls as I described earlier. By doing this, seeing the change in me has also transformed those around me and, in my weakness, they have compassion for me to a degree that humbles me. Since March, a formerly-atheist friend has come most evenings to cook me dinner, saying "I can't explain it... I'm *supposed* to look after you." And he listens to me talk about God's goodness, and sees it in action through me, so it's not just theoretical, because He knew Sinner Bosch for years.

I was worried about my sister for a year, but, God called her back to Church, and seeing the weight off her shoulders after general confession convinced an atheist friend that there was something to this.

Similarly, my Stepfather has gone from a 'Pastafarian' to seeing the change in me and my Sister, and saying "There is something bigger than us," and agreeing whatever Our Priest has been doing with us has worked. He met him once at His Birthday dinner, and said "That man doesn't miss a trick. You're in very good hands." I had a conversation with him early this year where he said he could see that society is structured to encourage us to choose evil in the guise of the good. I have great hope for his salvation.

This is how you can think about your wife and your family that you worry about being 'damned'. St Teresa of Avila explains that he's a King sitting on the edge of his throne, desperate to shower treasures upon the person who approaches him. St Therese explains that once God finds a soul truly devoted to him, he'll do everything he can to please that soul. She goes on to describe us a little boats upon the water, sailing towards God, and all the little boats of our friends and family get dragged along towards Him in our wake. But the get drawn in His time, not ours. So you trust.

- Note when I said, I prayed the Stations of the Cross for about a year. I only prayed for the Remission of my Sins once, because, when I read up on them, I realised they could be prayed for those suffering in purgatory, and so offered them up each day for those souls. I only gave the up because I crossed into Contemplation, and you have to curtail your devotions because God wants to communicate to you differently. When I say Charity will draw God to your soul, I'm speaking from experience.

I'm done for the day. I need to lie down. I'll pray for you from there.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Rob: Here's something I found in the work I'm doing for Fr R that might help explain that you have to understand your weakness and have realistic expectations for yourself, based upon your condition. I'll place it here because I want people to understand what is and isn't possible under the soul's own power. It is possible to CREATE the condition that Rob and I have through ones own actions, particularly through deliberate repression of pleasure, as if 'wishing away' a 'bad thing' every time it prevents itself. Say you try to 'block out' all sexual desire any time you see a beautiful woman in your vicinity: you will eventually 'train' yourself into this neurosis. This is why it is important to have a realistic understanding of one's own weakness, and to not fear physical arousal or beauty, both of which are created by God. In all temptations, calmly refer it back to God. It shouldn't cause you to Fear.

Sorry for the lousy scans. It's not an easy book to fit on the scanner.

fearbased1 - Copy.jpg

fearbased2 - Copy.jpg

I stress this so people don't try and 'encourage' Rob to do what he is currently unable to do.

This is exactly what happened in my spiritual life. I did what I was capable of doing in the Purgative Way: this means the penitent trying to better himself through Humility, obedience, prayer, meditation, the sacraments. Then God sees you've made a great effort, and pulls you into the Illuminative Way, by starting the Dark Night of the Senses. Just before Union, he will start the Dark Night of the Spirit. Understand I was quite a fair way into the Illuminative Way before I gained a reasonable level of sexual chastity, so you can't judge your own holiness by what you're capable of doing under your own power with regards to sin, and Spiritual Directors are cautioned about drawing any conclusions along those lines, though, obviously, not all SD's are created equal.

Back to work.
 

Dr. Ron

Pigeon
Gold Member
I apologize if someone already posted this particular bible verse.

2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Rob, I know more about the situation now. There has been no sexual impropriety or anything else untoward here. This reprimand situation is purely about Theology, and I can't figure out why beyond the higher ups in the Diocese not being able to read Theology. Everything I'm finding in my research supports our Priest's position, and, as he said to me "They already investigated me for this seven years ago. You can't keep trialing someone for a non-existent crime they were already cleared of."

I'm optimistic about the situation.

I'm currently researching, and am working my way through 'The Way of the Lord Jesus' by Catholic Moral Theologian, (4 volumes, 1000 pages per volume), and noticed this with regards to whether God 'damns' anyone to hell, which I think is important for you to understand. This is what The Church teaches, and is what I've kept stressing on here: we damn ourselves by refusing His mercy. He will do everything possible to save us, and I also know this experientially. Sorry for the wonky angle, but, try fitting a thousand page book onto a scanner...

robhell1 - Copy.jpg

robhell2 - Copy.jpg

Back to work.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
Rob, I know more about the situation now. There has been no sexual impropriety or anything else untoward here. This reprimand situation is purely about Theology, and I can't figure out why beyond the higher ups in the Diocese not being able to read Theology. Everything I'm finding in my research supports our Priest's position, and, as he said to me "They already investigated me for this seven years ago. You can't keep trialing someone for a non-existent crime they were already cleared of."

I'm optimistic about the situation.
...
Oh wow. So there wasn't even an accusation of inappropriate comments or conduct? This was all about a disagreement in theology?

Do you know what exactly the theological disagreement is? Or would you prefer not to say at the moment?

Also, I was planning to contact the priest in a few days to see how he is doing and if he has any news. Would it be OK if I do that, or should I wait a little longer?
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
Also, in regards to what you posted, I appreciate you correcting my theological mistakes and trying to point me in the right direction.

However, if I'm being honest, even if every priest and theologian in the world were to reassure me that God doesn't damn anyone to hell, it wouldn't make a huge difference to me unless my actual life experiences start changing.

Maybe God isn't damning me to hell, He is merely allowing the Devil to take me there. Or He is trying to help me but I am simply too weak and the Devil is too strong. Either way, I end up in hell. The rest is just semantics.

If things in my life start to change, it will be easier to believe and have faith. That doesn't necessarily mean I need my wife back. It could mean I start to see a meaningful future without her. Or it could mean I am able to merely forget about her for now and find peace and joy in other aspects of my life. Or it could mean that the situation with her doesn't change at all, but I am able to improve my relationships with other family members and advance in my work and studies.

Up until now, none of those things have happened. I am advised to take "baby steps," but whenever I take a small step forward, something happens (usually of my own doing) that pushes me about 100 steps back.

I was talking to a friend today, and I claimed that I've been trying to improve myself for the last year or so. He got very annoyed and interrupted me, telling me "Rob, you have not been trying to improve yourself. Sure, you do good things every now and then. But every time you do something good, it gets negated by all the bad things you do. It's as if you never even did anything good at all. For God's sake, Rob, stop claiming that you're trying to be a better person when you clearly aren't!"

So yeah, I trust you when you tell me God always gives second chances and never damns anyone to hell. It's just that for some reason, that doesn't seem to apply to me. There is very clearly something keeping me from God. This obviously means I am doing something wrong, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is or what I should be doing differently.
 

TheMost

Robin
I recommend reading the Bible; where it contradicts Church teaching, go with the Bible. If you are into reading works of theology, I recommend the book by a former Orthodox Priest, John Rushdoony: The Institutes of Biblical Law. The man had an IQ of 180, but was very humble. He came from a long line of Orthodox priests, and had a vast wealth of knowledge, compassion, and insight into the types of situation you are in.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Oh wow. So there wasn't even an accusation of inappropriate comments or conduct? This was all about a disagreement in theology?

Do you know what exactly the theological disagreement is? Or would you prefer not to say at the moment?

Also, I was planning to contact the priest in a few days to see how he is doing and if he has any news. Would it be OK if I do that, or should I wait a little longer?
Hold back for the moment. He'll have a lot of business this week with the hearings.

Also, in regards to what you posted, I appreciate you correcting my theological mistakes and trying to point me in the right direction.

However, if I'm being honest, even if every priest and theologian in the world were to reassure me that God doesn't damn anyone to hell, it wouldn't make a huge difference to me unless my actual life experiences start changing.
Part of your therapy will be to have your erroneous cogitative judgements about God corrected, over and over. It will be easier as you work with the Priest, because you can trust him as a moral authority - his current issues are with 100 IQ Priests not understanding books written for 130+ IQ's - whereas I'm just some guy on the internet.

Maybe God isn't damning me to hell, He is merely allowing the Devil to take me there. Or He is trying to help me but I am simply too weak and the Devil is too strong. Either way, I end up in hell. The rest is just semantics.

If things in my life start to change, it will be easier to believe and have faith. That doesn't necessarily mean I need my wife back. It could mean I start to see a meaningful future without her. Or it could mean I am able to merely forget about her for now and find peace and joy in other aspects of my life. Or it could mean that the situation with her doesn't change at all, but I am able to improve my relationships with other family members and advance in my work and studies.
Once again, your experiential knowledge of God through meditation is going to be far more useful in helping you understand God is interested and invested in you and your life, because He can deliberately infuse knowledge into your soul, which is beyond my power.

So yeah, I trust you when you tell me God always gives second chances and never damns anyone to hell. It's just that for some reason, that doesn't seem to apply to me. There is very clearly something keeping me from God. This obviously means I am doing something wrong, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is or what I should be doing differently.
"This obviously means..." Erroneous cogitative judgement. You don't *know* that. You're assuming that. One thing I've learnt over the last few years is that nothing is as it appears to human judgement, so you have to unlearn making snap assessments of situations. God is far more complex than that. I can't tell you the number of times I assumed something spiritually only for the eventual progression of events to humble me. Everything is used, Good or Bad. So stop assuming your current - not in any way guaranteed to be permanent - suffering is a bad thing.

One of the big problems with people with fear-based repressive disorders - the condition I suspect you have, over the energy-based version - is they'll desire to be fixed instantly, whilst also resisting the therapy when it is offered. There's a theory I was reading earlier that seems related to it, but I'll have to look it up again to go into greater detail about it, and I'm only taking a short break before I get back to work.

The fear-based aspect is important to understand, because the way to treat this is to specifically mortify fear. You have to put it up on the cross. Obviously, you've named many, many fears you have during your time on this forum. This is where you have to learn not to worry about theoretical futures, and 'let tomorrow worry for itself'. I'd try and tackle your fear of suffering by meditation on the Passion regularly, which will help you not turn against yourself or others when things get hard. Women love a stoic man who can suffer well.

"I can't for the life of me figure out..." Because you have damaged cogitation, you will never figure it out until it is repaired, and you have to learn to be passive to combat that for now, until we can get you working with Our Priest again.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
In regards to the priest, I'm glad to hear that the hearings are this week. I will pray for him. Hopefully, he is cleared of all accusations.
...Women love a stoic man who can suffer well.
...
This explains about 95% of the issues I had over the years with my wife.
So yeah, I trust you when you tell me God always gives second chances and never damns anyone to hell. It's just that for some reason, that doesn't seem to apply to me. There is very clearly something keeping me from God. This obviously means I am doing something wrong, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is or what I should be doing differently.
"This obviously means..." Erroneous cogitative judgement...
If there is something keeping me far from God, then I necessarily must be doing something wrong (otherwise God would be at fault, and that is impossible).

How exactly is this an erroneous judgment? It seems perfectly logical to me. Then again, I'm the one with damaged cogitative judgment, so maybe there's something I'm missing here.
 
Last edited:

Rob Banks

Pelican
You have overlooked the all-too-likely possibility that you you are coming far closer to God than you feel.
This is precisely what I am afraid of. That I actually am getting very close to God, and that my current life of suffering and not finding peace is actually as good as it will ever get.

If I am close to God right now, then that means that for some reason God is punishing me. Maybe I will go to heaven when I die, but until then I will not find any peace or joy.
 

Beaker

Sparrow
This is precisely what I am afraid of. That I actually am getting very close to God, and that my current life of suffering and not finding peace is actually as good as it will ever get.

If I am close to God right now, then that means that for some reason God is punishing me. Maybe I will go to heaven when I die, but until then I will not find any peace or joy.
Many Christians end up acting like Muslims and put too much emphasis on submission and on will, when it's Logos that is above will. God is love and reason, not will and submission to it as the Muslims see it.

Act with reason and love and you'll find your purpose on this earth.
 

Grey

Sparrow
This is precisely what I am afraid of. That I actually am getting very close to God, and that my current life of suffering and not finding peace is actually as good as it will ever get.

If I am close to God right now, then that means that for some reason God is punishing me. Maybe I will go to heaven when I die, but until then I will not find any peace or joy.

It merely means that God is working on you, and you are not yet over the hill of addictions, depressions, and doubts yet.

First you get close to God, and that means surrender. You've done that. Then he sanctifies you, and that means major, hard changes as God works within you. That is where you are. Then, as that process finally gets through the major, immediate, and grievous sins that held you down, then things start to get a lot better.

Sanctification continues for your whole life, but much of the hardest stuff has to be dealt with up front.

Succinctly being close to God means you are willing to take your medicine. The first course of doses is the hardest, and it is not until it is through that you start to get better.

But you will get better.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
It merely means that God is working on you, and you are not yet over the hill of addictions, depressions, and doubts yet.

First you get close to God, and that means surrender. You've done that. Then he sanctifies you, and that means major, hard changes as God works within you. That is where you are. Then, as that process finally gets through the major, immediate, and grievous sins that held you down, then things start to get a lot better.

Sanctification continues for your whole life, but much of the hardest stuff has to be dealt with up front.
I don't know about this.

I began going to church in January. Back then, I was not happy but I was also able to refrain from mortal sin (drugs and sexual sin).

As the year has gone on, it has actually gotten more and more difficult for me to refrain from these sins. And I have not found any sort of lasting peace.

For whatever reason, it's not working for me. I don't know if this is because I'm doing something wrong or simply because I've f**ked up my life to the point where it is too late to find peace. But for whatever reason, this is the reality.

I can tell myself "It's a process. Improvement is gradual. etc. etc." but deep down I know that is not true. If it were true, I would have seen gradual improvement. Instead, I have seen gradual backsliding and worsening.

Now, maybe without Christ I would have been even worse, maybe even dead. But that is exactly what I am afraid of, i.e. that my current state is as good as it will ever get.
 
I began going to church in January. Back then, I was not happy but I was also able to refrain from mortal sin (drugs and sexual sin).

As the year has gone on, it has actually gotten more and more difficult for me to refrain from these sins. And I have not found any sort of lasting peace.
Being tempted harder is part of joining the battle. Before my chrismation into the Orthodox Church, more experienced converts told me that I was about to face the hardest temptations of my life. I thought they were exaggerating until I was formally recieved into the Church and immediately proceeded to fall into more sins than I ever had before. The demons don't want you to follow Christ. So when you start resisting temptations, keeping the fasts, and especially receiving the Eucharist they will do everything they can to throw you off the rails.

When one of the Jews called Christ "good master," Christ asked, "Why do you call me good? There is only one who is good, God alone." God knows we fall short of his glory, and so in his mercy he lets us repent and confess. He gave us the way forward for every time we slip back.

You're in my prayers, brother.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
I began going to church in January. Back then, I was not happy but I was also able to refrain from mortal sin (drugs and sexual sin).

As the year has gone on, it has actually gotten more and more difficult for me to refrain from these sins. And I have not found any sort of lasting peace.

For whatever reason, it's not working for me. I don't know if this is because I'm doing something wrong or simply because I've f**ked up my life to the point where it is too late to find peace. But for whatever reason, this is the reality.

I can tell myself "It's a process. Improvement is gradual. etc. etc." but deep down I know that is not true. If it were true, I would have seen gradual improvement. Instead, I have seen gradual backsliding and worsening.
As I've said before, not every issue is Demonic.

Erroneous Cogitative Judgement #1: "I'm Getting Worse, Not Better".

As I've said before, you have a Fear-Based Repressive Disorder. Going to Church means you are now directly confronting your Fear: that God is indifferent to your suffering, and ready to cast you into hell for the slightest transgression, so you might as well try to damn yourself first. This means the Repressive Energy that has been at play throughout your life is now going to be working in overdrive, meaning, for a while, the Repression will break down faster and more often, driving you to Compulsed Acts of Sin more often, which are Compulsed because they're happening without the Choice of your Free Will deciding to, (though in your disorder you will believe you are choosing, not yet understanding you don't truly possess Free Will because of the Disorder). This is the part of the process of healing known as the Disintegration Phase. Yes, it's not comfortable to experience, but the fact that Disintegration is happening means the process of your healing has started.

You will experience multiple Disintegration Phases during this process, and that's OK. It's a necessary part of the healing.

Erroneous Cogitative Judgement #2: "God doesn't care about me."

I would suggest that God's Love shown through Divine Providence is obvious here.

...Or you 'just happened' to be on a random message board with someone else with the same disorder whom was being trained to recognise that he even had such a disorder himself, let alone recognise your problem, and whom 'just happened' to put you in touch with a Priest with a PHD in treating this disorder.

Rather than grumble, tell God "Thank you."

Now, maybe without Christ I would have been even worse, maybe even dead. But that is exactly what I am afraid of, i.e. that my current state is as good as it will ever get.
Erroneous Cogitative Judgement #3: "My suffering means God doesn't love me."

Look, I'm uncomfortable talking about this publicly, but if it helps you...

I suffer Demonic Oppression at times. It's a known possible cross with those called to High Levels of Contemplation by God, whom have to pass through The Contemplative Trials, where they experience particular hardships necessary for their purification. This isn't unusual. Padre Pio and St Teresa of Avila would both suffer invisible physical attacks from the demonic. Punches, kicks, slaps and scratches.

Do I complain about this? Do I try and figure out WHY? Do I think God doesn't love me? No, I just passively-accept this cross, and thank God for it. A friend was very badly-demonically oppressed over a period of weeks recently - those watching it played out commented on his inability to hear what was being said to him, which is why I named the Demon 'Wormtongue', because he was basically King Theoden in 'The Lord of the Rings'. By naming them, they came for me in retaliation, and Jesus drove them out of me when I engaged in Deliverance Prayer. It was brutal, but Jesus always wins.

The next time I talked to him, he was fine and himself again, as I knew he would be.

A gay friend of mine has been to one side of my spiritual journey over the last five years, and has seen so many supernatural things that he can't explain that he has become respectful of God, and encourages me in prayer. He has seen me pray deliverance and understands that there is some kind of violent spiritual battle happening - "Your voice changes. Whose voice is that?" - and it's gotten to the stage that he can tell me I'm oppressed and that I need to pray before I even realise it myself, just based upon how my language and behaviour changes in the most subtle ways.

This weekend, this man and his partner are going to a Catholic Church to start to pray the prayers to renounce Freemasonry that I gave him for his Partner, whose Father was a Mason, (and can barely speak or look after him after a head injury two years ago). His own son was sexually-abused at two by a Lesbian who regularly practiced the occult. My friend himself had a great grandfather who was a mason, and thought it wasn't a problem, until he realised that he's the eldest surviving male in the bloodline - his older uncle dying at 21 in a motorbike accident, and his younger uncle blowing his head off with a shotgun at 30. Then you take into account he and his sister are both homosexual, and that he ended up in a relationship with a son of a mason...

They've both seen the changes in me over the last five years. They're both doing this understanding that it threatens their relationship, because they'll be renouncing Baphomet - a pathetic demon worshipped by the Judeo-Masons, who cowers in fear before Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ - and whom is responsible for the Homosexual curses upon them. Will it be an instant cure for them? No - I doubt it - but they're making the choice to approach Christ of their own free will, so, it's a start.

So, if I'd taken these moments of Oppression at face value and thought "God doesn't love me because he allows Demons to torment me," and felt sorry for myself, I would have missed how God was using my oppression as an instrument for the salvation / release of others. Which is his right, as I am his property, not my own. This gives the suffering a deeper meaning, and makes me gladly bear it for others, because He thirsts for souls. A cross becomes easy to bear when you shoulder it for others out of love.

The mystery of suffering is immensely-complex, but there's a deeper truth in its mystery that we're not quite capable of seeing with human eyes. You can't predict the effects of your suffering on your own soul, or on those around you.

This is why I have increasingly learnt to be passive, to sit back and observe before assuming anything, and letting events play out to see the unexpected benefits of certain experiences.

Here's a good example. I spent a long talk talking to an older woman at the Monastery about my fears about my Sister then-being outside the Church. I never mentioned her by name. It was only eight months after those conversations, through my Sister seeing a picture of the Monastery in the paper here, that she pointed the woman out to me, and they knew each other all along (husband's sister's best friend) and had been quietly talking about her going back to mass together for a few months. This town isn't THAT small.

So, even as I quietly voiced my fears to this woman, God was about to use her to help with my Sister, without her knowing that I was the brother of a woman she already knew, and that she was the woman I was voicing my fears about.

This is what I mean when I talk about trusting in Divine Providence.

Erroneous Cogitative Judgement #4: "It's all hopeless and I will never change."

You don't have the ability to see the future. Here's another possibility: How do you know your cross isn't heavy simply because God has great plans for you, and wants you to be a Saint and is purifying you first?

Yeah, I know, you'd laugh at that idea. But you don't see yourself how He sees you. He knows what you're capable of far more than you are, especially as He'll give you the graces to bear the cross.

Stop condemning yourself. Go back and read what I posted from Bl. Julian of Norwich on how we should see ourselves as Sinners, and finding the healthy mean between utter self-condemnation and laxity?

Erroneous Cogitative Judgement #5: "This pain will never end, so I might as well just use drugs to numb it."

OK, I stumbled across this yesterday during my research for Our Priest. This is very High Vatican Level Theology here, so I'll do my best to 'dumb it down'. All our Moral actions have to be ordered towards the St Thomas Aquinas' First Principle (The Natural Law). To do this, it is our responsibility when acting to consider First Principles. As such, there are eight modes of responsibility under the Natural Law. We'll just concern ourselves with the Sixth Mode here, and here's where I'll drastically simply the explanation:

You can't make an emotionally-based choice to choose the false reality of a comfortable evil over the true reality of an uncomfortable good.

I can't think of a better explanation of the age we are currently living in: a widespread rejection of the Natural Law and observable truth for comfortable lies.

There's various examples of this described in the Griez book I referred to earlier, but the applicable violation of this mode would be this:

"A sick man who could have treatment which would really cure his condition prefers a less effective treatment which offers a feeling of quick relief."

You can't use drugs to numb your true reality into a comfortable, false reality. You owe it to yourself, and God under the Natural Law, to not hide from the more painful reality, which is actually better for you in the long run. You will only get better by repeated exposure to the pain, which will develop healthier coping skills for it, combined with God's Grace in learning to suffer.

This will particularly come into play since most people with our condition initially resist therapy or giving up their own erroneous interpretation of what they misbelieve is moral reality. This is where, when things calm down for you, it would be worth gradually working your way through the Catechism of the Catholic Church, to find out what the Church actually teaches versus what you believe it teaches. I noted down a couple of points yesterday you might resist believing at first, so I'll post them in a second.
 
Last edited:

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Here's another 'parachute' for you, from the CCC:

1735 Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.

also:

MERCY AND SIN

1846 The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God's mercy to sinners. The angel announced to Joseph: "You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." The same is true of the Eucharist, the sacrament of redemption: "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

1847 "God created us without us: but he did not will to save us without us." To receive his mercy, we must admit our faults. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

1848 As St. Paul affirms, "Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more." But to do its work grace must uncover sin so as to convert our hearts and bestow on us "righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Like a physician who probes the wound before treating it, God, by his Word and by his Spirit, casts a living light on sin:

Conversion requires convincing of sin; it includes the interior judgment of conscience, and this, being a proof of the action of the Spirit of truth in man's inmost being, becomes at the same time the start of a new grant of grace and love: "Receive the Holy Spirit." Thus in this "convincing concerning sin" we discover a double gift: the gift of the truth of conscience and the gift of the certainty of redemption. The Spirit of truth is the Consoler.

----

This is why i'm saying Jesus is starting to heal you. Part of what needs to be healed is the rejection of his mercy due to wrathful self-condemnation for your past sins. You will need to be convinced by him that you deserve mercy and healing.

Here's one of the meditations from 'Divine Intimacy' on 'Infinite Mercy'. Note what it says about accepting our own littleness and wretchedness. It's worth reading slowly, line by line and meditating on: that is, using your imagination to expand upon the words you're reading, until God, hopefully, steps in and infuses knowledge into your soul. If that happens, stop read, and nurse gently like a suckling baby on the consolation until it passes.

robmercy1 - Copy.jpg

robmercy2 - Copy.jpg

Man, that definition of mercy on the first page... manly tears time. You are so loved, that this immense being will reach down across the vast gulf that separates man from God, and concern himself with your welfare. I even had a Mystic Experience known as 'the void' Good Friday 2019 where I was shown the gulf between us, that He is All, and I am nothing, yet, understood, that I am loved, despite my insignificance.

You are loved this much, Rob. This is why, as the book says, you have to turn to God with 'complete confidence'. You are not a wary dog, terrified of being hit by your master. You are a redeemed child of God, a beloved Son of the Father. The book I recommended upthread, 'Holy Daring', will teach you how to have this confidence.

A note on 'Fear the Lord'. Initially, most Penitents will Fear punishment for their transgressions. As you mature, you will come to understand that you Fear offending God not due to punishment but because of his Infinite Goodness, and this maturity produces genuine behavioural change. The first mindest is self-focused, the mature mindset is about willing the good of the Other above your own, which is perfect love.

I'm out of time and need to get back to work. Hang in there.
 
Last edited:

Rob Banks

Pelican
@AnonymousBosch

I know you're short on time, so I don't expect a response to this right away.

Even if I were to agree with and accept everything you're saying, that would not actually fix anything or be any easier to accept.
Erroneous Cogitative Judgement #1: "I'm Getting Worse, Not Better".
If this is erroneous and I truly am getting better, then I don't want to be "better," because "better" is quite bad and brings me no peace or joy.
Erroneous Cogitative Judgement #2: "God doesn't care about me."
Erroneous Cogitative Judgement #3: "My suffering means God doesn't love me."
If this (i.e. constant suffering, temptation to sin, and no peace or joy) is what God's love feels like, then that is not very encouraging.
Erroneous Cogitative Judgement #4: "It's all hopeless and I will never change."
If this is what "hope" and "change" looks and feels like, then that is not very encouraging. It is quite bad.

If you're trying to tell me that God is currently showing me mercy, love, and healing, then that is very, very discouraging. I was hoping that if God showed me mercy, love, and healing, that I would actually find some peace and meaning.

I end up convincing myself that I must be offending God and preventing Him from showing me true mercy, because I want this to be true.

If God currently does not love me, then I can always change and get Him to love me. But if God is currently loving me, then that means my current situation is as good as it gets.

Personally, I don't believe that God is showing me a whole lot of love or mercy at the moment. But I DREAD the thought that maybe He is showing me love and mercy, because that means this is as good as it will ever get.

I don't mean to come off as argumentative and defeatist. But I'd be lying if I said I felt differently.

Yes, it is true that we should not live for this life but rather for the next. But I am not strong enough to accept a life of solitude and suffering and be happy just knowing I will get into heaven one day. I need to achieve at least some minuscule level of peace, joy, and satisfaction during my Earthly life. Otherwise, it just doesn't seem worth it.

Is this wrong? Should I be willing to accept a life with no peace and joy if that is what God wants?

And if that is what God wants for me, it sure seems like a punishment for my sins.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
If God currently does not love me, then I can always change and get Him to love me. But if God is currently loving me, then that means my current situation is as good as it gets.
My friend Bill just had bowel surgery.

The doctor told him he'll be in a lot of pain for a month during the healing process.

And yes, he's currently experiencing very bad pain, but also understands that he'll 'get there' with the natural passage of time.

Bill doesn't assume that his current pain is a permanent, fixed state for the rest of his life.

If he did and said that to his Doctor, he'd tell him to 'man up'.

Bill's passively-accepting things are going to suck for a bit, until he's better.

Be like Bill.
 
Top