The God pill

Athanasius

Pelican
Protestant
Sproul was great, one of those venerable pastor's pastors. He was theologically and historically knowledgeable, able to simplify as well as anyone I've seen. His ability to answer questions off the cuff with no stuttering or filler is astounding. His classic book was "The Holiness of God."

This is one of his more amusing clips from not too long before his death in 2017. Even with his health problems he never lost his sharp mind.

 
Where I live I can hear ambulances and police going by quite often every day. Every time one goes by I pray and ask for everyone involved to get whatever is best. I've been doing this for almost a year and it's irritating and I'm starting to get a bit OCD with it. I want to be sincere, and I really do care, but I don't want to keep doing it so much. What can I do?
 

AnonymousBosch

 
Banned
Gold Member
^ I would suggest you need to focus on advancing into simpler forms of prayer, which naturally happens as you progress with mortification and giving attention to God. Long petitions for others gives way to a simple exchange of love - 'the prayer of simplicity'.

One of the hardest things for me to do was to give up devotions, such as praying the Stations of the Cross for the souls in Purgatory each day, because I thought I was leaving people to suffer. No: what happens is that God knows what you want without you saying it, and prefers a relationship where you trust in him to be assured of this. An older Carmelite Sister once explained this to me as thinking of yourself as a boat on a lake - you don't have to worry about all those you love - because God loves you enough that he will drag them all along in your wake.

You can't really force this process - it has to progress naturally - but what I could suggest for now is to make a simple statement to God of your future intentions every time you hear an ambulance into something simple: "Whenever I hear X, I will make a sign of the cross, or whisper your name, or recollect myself in you, trusting in you to take care of them", rather than making a specific, complex intention each time that happens.

I used to have a list of 30+ names of dead people I would rattle off at mass each day, during the Collect, offering up my suffering for them, whilst recognising that it merits nothing in his eyes because I am a poor and unprofitable servant, so then offering him the perfect sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross at Calvary, understanding that the Precious Blood could supply what is lacking in my own imperfect sacrifices to perfect them... and try and do all this before the Priest started the prayers of thanks. This was incredibly-rushed and tedious, because I was trying to make sure I was doing something for my own self-satisfaction. With simplification, came the Abandonment and Trust in God's Will: He knows my desires, I don't need to keep reminding him like he's going to forget or ignore me. The relationship becomes more intimate. He's always there with me.

Hopefully, that makes sense.
 
AnonymousBosch said:
^ I would suggest you need to focus on advancing into simpler forms of prayer, which naturally happens as you progress with mortification and giving attention to God. Long petitions for others gives way to a simple exchange of love - 'the prayer of simplicity'.

One of the hardest things for me to do was to give up devotions, such as praying the Stations of the Cross for the souls in Purgatory each day, because I thought I was leaving people to suffer. No: what happens is that God knows what you want without you saying it, and prefers a relationship where you trust in him to be assured of this. An older Carmelite Sister once explained this to me as thinking of yourself as a boat on a lake - you don't have to worry about all those you love - because God loves you enough that he will drag them all along in your wake.

You can't really force this process - it has to progress naturally - but what I could suggest for now is to make a simple statement to God of your future intentions every time you hear an ambulance into something simple: "Whenever I hear X, I will make a sign of the cross, or whisper your name, or recollect myself in you, trusting in you to take care of them", rather than making a specific, complex intention each time that happens.

I used to have a list of 30+ names of dead people I would rattle off at mass each day, during the Collect, offering up my suffering for them, whilst recognising that it merits nothing in his eyes because I am a poor and unprofitable servant, so then offering him the perfect sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross at Calvary, understanding that the Precious Blood could supply what is lacking in my own imperfect sacrifices to perfect them... and try and do all this before the Priest started the prayers of thanks. This was incredibly-rushed and tedious, because I was trying to make sure I was doing something for my own self-satisfaction. With simplification, came the Abandonment and Trust in God's Will: He knows my desires, I don't need to keep reminding him like he's going to forget or ignore me. The relationship becomes more intimate. He's always there with me.

Hopefully, that makes sense.

It's not that I say anything lengthy, all I say is "God, help them get the best outcome", that's it really. But when it starts to feel like I'm just going through the motions I make sure to spend a few seconds thinking about how I really do care.

At first I used to ask Him to save lives or make sure whoever is involved is unhurt or gets better. But then I realized that maybe that's not what He wants (wrong as that seems to us humans who don't know anything about anything) so I changed to to best outcome, whatever that might be.

The problem is that where I live it happens so often that sometimes I feel like it's starting to lose all meaning, and sometimes when I hear an ambulance I feel like I'm saying to God "Here boy, go and help them too, there's a good God", like I'm ordering Him to leap into action. It's the frequency of it, maybe I should move somewhere quieter.

I think what I'll do from now on is just nod or wink at the sky and trust that He's doing whatever needs doing, and then forget about it. Otherwise it will start to feel like it's all about me and what an oh so righteous person I must be because I pray for others. It's times like this that you realize how disgusting pride is, and how much satisfying it is to keep yourself out of it.
 

AnonymousBosch

 
Banned
Gold Member
Perhaps the point is Recollection itself to God in these moments, and you're already understanding His Will mightn't be yours and that Death isn't always the Evil it may appear. A basic prayer like 'Thy Will be done' when hearing an ambulance covers a whole range of things for me: the intention is for the person/s at risk to survive or be given the grace of final conversion, I pray for the safety and work of the first responders, and I pray for those loved ones impacted by illness or death, but I don't need to say it in a complex thought. I know God implicitly understands the complex in the simple, and I have to constantly strip down my urge to babble on. He knows. And we have to Trust that he knows.

I knew a younger woman who would simply turn to God whenever necessary and say "You've got this."
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
I have lost the will to get closer to God.

I came back to the forum 2 months ago and posted about a personal situation that I caused due to years of drug use, violence, and bad behavior in general.

The (very good) advice I got was to start going to church, getting closer to God, and to not focus on the situation until I become a stronger person. Instead, I should trust God that the situation will fix itself when the time is right.

However, I have trouble believing God will fix the situation. I believe it is most likely too late. I talked about this in my thread.

Because of this, I am finding excuses to not go to church, I am watching porn because "Fuck it, I've got nothing to lose."

The priest at my church met with me privately and gave me his email, but now he stopped responding to my messages, probably because he doesn't believe I'm serious about the faith.

I feel like I have lost faith (or never really had it to begin with) and I am engaging in more and more vice and sin. I tell myself I'll do better, but it lasts 2 or 3 days before I slip up again.

I even took a break from posting on the forum because I thought it would motivate me to do better, but it didn't.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
I have lost the will to get closer to God.

I came back to the forum 2 months ago and posted about a personal situation that I caused due to years of drug use, violence, and bad behavior in general.

The (very good) advice I got was to start going to church, getting closer to God, and to not focus on the situation until I become a stronger person. Instead, I should trust God that the situation will fix itself when the time is right.

However, I have trouble believing God will fix the situation. I believe it is most likely too late. I talked about this in my thread.

Because of this, I am finding excuses to not go to church, I am watching porn because "Fuck it, I've got nothing to lose."

The priest at my church met with me privately and gave me his email, but now he stopped responding to my messages, probably because he doesn't believe I'm serious about the faith.

I feel like I have lost faith (or never really had it to begin with) and I am engaging in more and more vice and sin. I tell myself I'll do better, but it lasts 2 or 3 days before I slip up again.

I even took a break from posting on the forum because I thought it would motivate me to do better, but it didn't.
 

NoMoreTO

Hummingbird
Catholic
Get on your knees and ask God for forgiveness. Return to God and ask him to strengthen you.

God doesn't need to fix your situation, accept the cross you have been handed, we are heading for difficult times and you will need to be at your best for yourself and those around you.

I say this with humility as a sinner. I have participated in the culture of death, and want to be part of life. Sin is death, God is life.

We know we are designed, we know the world is beautiful, we can see the colours, feel the cool breeze, feel a sensation of awe at the mystery of a new life.

We need to work to live to our creators standards for ourselves, which given his perfection are higher than we can even imagine for ourselves.

As long as we sin, we fall short. But if we sin and repent, we are being honest with ourselves and God that we fall short.

We know we want to be with God. We know we want live and act in the way God intended us to, according to his design.

He has a design for you and this whole world. Do not betray God and do not turn your back to him because the times are tough, turn to him.
 

NoMoreTO

Hummingbird
Catholic
Happy St. Patricks Day - I posted this in Catholic thread but its a beautiful prayer for everyone.

St. Patricks Breastplate - Put on the armour of God

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God's strength to pilot me,
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.


Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
 

AnonymousBosch

 
Banned
Gold Member
I have lost the will to get closer to God.

I came back to the forum 2 months ago and posted about a personal situation that I caused due to years of drug use, violence, and bad behavior in general.

The (very good) advice I got was to start going to church, getting closer to God, and to not focus on the situation until I become a stronger person. Instead, I should trust God that the situation will fix itself when the time is right.

However, I have trouble believing God will fix the situation. I believe it is most likely too late. I talked about this in my thread.

Because of this, I am finding excuses to not go to church, I am watching porn because "Fuck it, I've got nothing to lose."

The priest at my church met with me privately and gave me his email, but now he stopped responding to my messages, probably because he doesn't believe I'm serious about the faith.

I feel like I have lost faith (or never really had it to begin with) and I am engaging in more and more vice and sin. I tell myself I'll do better, but it lasts 2 or 3 days before I slip up again.

I even took a break from posting on the forum because I thought it would motivate me to do better, but it didn't.

Thanks for sharing.

This is the Catholic perception of this:

For people with simpler problems, deep into the relationship with God, 'trusting in God' usually works. But there are exceptions, and those who follow God without experience in this area of what carrying certain crosses can entail won't understand why it won't necessarily work for you.

Firstly, You could be suffering demonic oppression, as my Sister and I did due to a curse that came through our Freemason Grandfather, in which case, you'd need deliverance ministry. I'm still getting them pulled out of me regularly: one last weekend was so bad it was exactly like you'd see in the horror movies - my voice became gutteral and huffing and growling and the sheer battle it took me to pronounce the name of Jesus Christ, and the hatred they feel towards him... Turns out it was a spirit of anti-vocation that had been with me since I was young, blocking my calling to be a monk, of which I sensed at 12 or so, and has flared up big time again since God gave me my religious name last December, trying to convince me to kill myself, rather than serve God.

It sounds nuts, I know. After five months of this, I *still* go into this being quite skeptical that there's nothing there, but, as my Sister and I both noticed, all the voices we assumed since childhood were our internal monologue have all been silenced.

---

Secondly, you might have experienced some kind of traumatic event that evidences itself in self-destructive behaviour. This usually happens before age of reason, in which case you'd need Transformation Prayer by a Charismatic Catholic Therapist, in which Jesus will walk you back through these demonic wounds that drive behaviour, and heal them. Sometimes these wounds can happen as an adult an evidence as PTSD, but are referring to repressed memories.

My Priest told me how he once had been called to the hospital to counsel the staff after a stabbing in the emergency room where two people died. The security guard was similarly stabbed, but survived, and said he didn't need help from the Priest, because he didn't believe in God.

My Priest: "I do, and that's enough. If you ever need me ring me."

A year later he was contacted, the guard was a wreck, reliving the stabbing over and over again, and it was destroying his relationship with his wife and his ability to work.

After a few weeks of transformation prayer sessions, Jesus revealed the problem: when he was eight, a man from across the road knocked on the front door of his parent's house. The parents opened it, and then the man put a shotgun in his mouth and blew his head off in front of them, as the child watched from the lounge room behind them.

As a man in his late 30's, he had no memory of this, and had to track down police records to discover, that, yes, it had happened. He'd completely repressed it.

The PSTD vanished, his relationship repaired and he was able to work again. I've read many more case histories in this area since. It's a common pattern, particularly with homosexuality. One woman I read about was abused by her father at 2, and the mother threw her across the room and blamed her, being distant from that moment. This evidenced in seeking lesbian relationships as a young woman with a 'mother figure'. She had no memory of this until it was revealed in transformation prayer.

I'm undergoing therapy for sexual abuse as a toddler. There was one thing that seemed like the worst demon we'd ever tried to cast out, when the Priest stopped things and explained. What had happened wasn't demonic: we'd tapped into what they call Idomation, speaking a second language automatically. This was the anger and hurt of the abused toddler speaking, and, with that, we now know what the issue is to target.

---

Thirdly, demonic wounding can result in Compulsive Behaviours that override true Free Will: the catechism of the catholic church addresses this - it reduces your culpability to sin and priests have to take this into account when judging your behaviour. A lesser priest won't understand this and think you're making the choice to sin. Often, even Penitents won't understand they're not truly choosing. I'd originally argued with one saying "But what if the action happens before the decision?" What often happens is the sin dominates the thought, even though the love of God is there, but the behaviour can't be stopped through force of will, because Repression via the Will guarantees a breakdown into compulsed acts. I could explain it in much greater detail if you think that the problem.

This would require Mortification Therapy, which is an involved process.

Usually what happens is these Compulsive / Repressive behaviours aren't identified by a Parish Priest, and the penitent is told to trust God, or are given heavier penances, or, are sometimes assumed to be not serious about God or drifting away from him. Often, Penitents do drift away from the church because they assume they're either not holy and don't love God - when the opposite is the case - or that the promises of the Holy Spirit aren't real or don't work for them, because no matter how hard they try, the can't be good.

After a few weeks of studying this, I was talking with my priest on the phone:

"Am I crazy, or was this Martin Luther?"

I heard his grin, like we were sharing a secret. "Shh. But, yes, you can see it: 'if I can't be good, then it's impossible for *anyone* to be good'."

...Meaning if the gifts of the Holy Spirit aren't real for me, therefore the Church is a liar, because the problem can't be my end.

This was good to understand. I finally have compassion for the poor man.

----

My best suggestion is that you most likely need a Priest with a background in Thomistic Psychology who can identify and address issues and treatment. Contact your local Dominion order through the Diocese and ask. I spent about three weeks in February proofreading a 500 page dissertation on Mortification Therapy, which including a crash course in the Summa Theologiae of St Thomas. All of these psychological, spiritual and behavioural issues are addressed in there. The problem is a man called William of Ockham came along in the middle ages and had heretical ideas about sin, sex and our capacity for goodness which resemble Puritanism. The Catechism says his ideas are heretical, but Thomism explains exactly why, in an incredibly-well argued manner, because otherwise you're setting up impossible goals that can't be met, and react to temptations to sin with an immediate 'shut it down' fear response that guarantees further unconscious desire towards the temptation, rather than maturely-inviting God into the process, and understanding the sin is in action on the thought, not the thought itself.

Thomistic therapists tried to warn the Vatican in the 60's of the psychosexual-immaturity of most of their priests, predicting abusive behaviour when repression broke down. They were ignored.

---

One final point: you might be tempted to think 'Why doesn't God just heal me? Why does it have to be so hard?'

Yes, it's a heavy cross. Through therapy you will understand just how close a relationship he wants with you, and how active in your life he can be. He will also remove the pain from those wounds and heal them: my Sister has been doing fantastic with the therapy and is very, very at peace over the last few weeks, to the extent even though our diocese removed the Sunday Obligation to attend mass for the near future, she went anyway, wanting to be close to him.

This longer treatment is a form of psychological purification by God. Chin up, I'm going through both it and the Purgation of the Senses simultaneously, which is an known incredibly-heavy cross, but the fact that it's happening so quickly suggests an urgent need.

It mightn't be the best time to seek help so you might have to be patient, because the Priests will be needed elsewhere, but don't lose heart and give up on Him, and He won't give up on you. He doesn't promise Christians an easy, pain-free life, but he does promise that you will never be overcome by the Devil, and understand that, under Thomist teachings, sanctification is a gradual process of coming to God, through rises and falls, rather than an immediate one of instant perfection. It's much more hopeful and speaks of God's mercy and patience with us.

You'll often recognise this on the journey as suddenly understanding there's a line you can no longer cross, which He'd previously tolerated in your behaviour as you drew nearer, like a Father telling a child it's time to let go of his blankie.

Be strong, mate.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
Thanks for the response. I appreciate it.

How would I go about finding "deliverance ministry," "transformation prayer by a charismatic Catholic therapist," "mortification therapy," and the other things you mentioned in your post?

I am new to the church and, to be honest, I'm not even totally sure what those things mean.

I am attending a small SSPX church in my area. The priest is a good man with very traditional values, and when he has talked to me one on one it has been very helpful, but he seems to be busy and doesn't really have too much time for me.

He gave me his email, but the first time I wrote to him he gave me a very short answer and after that he stopped responding altogether (I assume because he doesn't want to be bothered with the personal problems of some guy who he barely knows and is new to the church).
 

Tail Gunner

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Rob Banks said:
Thanks for the long, thought out response. I appreciate it.

How would I go about finding "deliverance ministry," "transformation prayer by a charismatic Catholic therapist," "mortification therapy," and the other things you mentioned in your post?

I am new to the church and, to be honest, I'm not even totally sure what those things mean.

I am attending a small SSPX church in my area. The priest is a good man with very traditional values, and when he has talked to me one on one it has been very helpful, but he seems to be busy and doesn't really have too much time for me.

He gave me his email, but the first time I wrote to him he gave me a very short answer and after that he stopped responding altogether (I assume because he doesn't want to be bothered with the personal problems of some guy who he barely knows and is new to the church).

Some cheap advice. My pastor once said that 90% of the parishioners who came to him with a problem already knew exactly what they should do, but they just did not want to do it. They wanted someone to tell them what they already knew was the right thing to do -- and even then, they were often still unlikely to do the right thing.

Bear in mind that your priest probably sees people like you on a regular basis -- and is probably suffering from fatigue from exactly these types of people. Do you really need someone to tell you not to drink, smoke, watch porn, engage in violence, or to refrain from a variety other vices? How would he possibly force you to do this? He can only guide you to do what you already know you must do.

Attend service. Get into a bible study. Go to group therapy regarding your vices. You will slowly build spiritual muscle, just as you slowly build physical muscle from weight lifting, running, and swimming. It is a process -- and it is ultimately up to you. Good luck -- and God bless.
 

Leonard D Neubache

Owl
Gold Member
Rob, you cannot proceed on your path to redemption if you insist on framing your relationship with God as transactional rather than submissive.

"Father who art in heaven, creator of all things whose plan is eternal and perfect, holiest one beyond reproach, Lord of Lords, I will worship you and submit myself to your grace if you promise to provide me with (x)."

You can't take that tack with a traffic cop much less God. He is the ultimate authority whether you acknowledge Him or not. He doesn't need your worship and your rebellion harms only yourself. You, as every human on earth, cannot negotiate with Him. You can only submit yourself to His will and pray that He returns to you what you have lost during your time of carelessness.

Maybe He will. Maybe He won't. But He doesn't make deals with us children for how much candy we get if we promise to behave.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
I know.

I didn't mean to come off like I expect God to give me what I want if I behave myself.

I'm constantly trying to convince myself to worship God for God's sake (rather than worshipping Him to get something in return). I know that this is the correct attitude and also the most likely to lead to good outcomes in my life. It's just that I find myself losing the will to actually do it for more than a few days at a time.

I will maybe go to church on a Sunday and then "be good" for a few days before I say "fuck it, this isn't doing any good" and then I start getting drunk, watching porn, being lazy and unproductive, and treating those around me badly because "Fuck it. I'm going to hell anyway. What does it matter anymore?"

I'm ashamed to say I've had moments recently where I was 100% back to being my old self (minus the drugs), complete with sexual vice and sin, threats of violence (mostly towards myself), laziness/sloth, and other bad things.

You're absolutely right, though. I appreciate the response.

You guys have explained to me what I need to do and what my attitude towards God needs to be. Finding the will to actually do it is up to me and has to come from within me.
 

Leonard D Neubache

Owl
Gold Member
One of the only decent anti-smoking campaigns I ever saw bore the motto "never stop quitting".

Never stop quitting sin. You will fall off the wagon. Get back on. God knows all and he knows your weakness, yet although it might seem quaint He only wants you to do your best.

One of the hard parts about discussing this sort of stuff over the internet is that it's not a confessional. Most of us are not going to arrive here and say "today I erred and visited a porn site" or "yesterday I flirted with with a woman who gave me an IOI because it made me feel prideful". So when you fall, it's easy to feel dejected because everyone else seems to be living such a flawless life.

I can assure you that the vast majority of us struggle with some measure of sin all the time and although we better ourselves by the day it's still a hard process.

The forces that want you to fail will tell you that you are alone in this. That some people are good people and some people are bad people and you just happen to be a bad person. They want you to think that this is your nature and you can't change it any more than you can force water to run back up the mountain.

Don't listen. Two steps forward for every one step back, or even 100 steps forward for every 99 back if that's what it takes. God wants you to succeed and through Christ's sacrifice you are forgiven for your failures but only if you submit yourself to God's forgiveness. This is perhaps the most important thing to internalize. You are not the judge of your sins. It is God's place to judge you, and He cannot forgive a sin if you do not submit it to His judgement alone.

Who were the ones who thought their judgement was better than God's? Who claimed that God Himself had erred? Who were so convinced of it that Heaven itself by default was closed to them. It should make perfect sense to know who it really is whispering in your ear when they tell you to act as the judge of your own sins.
 

NoMoreTO

Hummingbird
Catholic
Rob Banks said:
He gave me his email, but the first time I wrote to him he gave me a very short answer and after that he stopped responding altogether (I assume because he doesn't want to be bothered with the personal problems of some guy who he barely knows and is new to the church).


Priests at these types of parishes are extremely busy. Their flock is a little more demanding.

Remember that everyday the priest has to
Say Mass
Recite the Hours
Say the Rosary
Attend to the sick and dying (lots right now)
Read scripture and practice personal prayer
Other duties we aren't aware of.

I'm sure they do lots of things, but I have found that they aren't always emailers or keyboard warriors like the RVF crowd. Take the Priests advice, consider that it is a form of obedience to God to follow his advice. And You are getting good practical advice on here, particularly from A. Bosch
 
Top