I want to be a Catholic, but I'm too weak and evil. Looking at the entirety of history, religion and philosophy, everything leads to Catholicism. Catholicism is beautiful and true on a cosmic scale, the good of Christ, Mary and the saints are real and eternal. I wish I could find a place in this grand narrative, I wish I could fulfill my obligation, from which I exist for. I can't do it though, I keep failing, I also love sin, and I feel comfortable self loathing. I don't want to suffer.
Too weak for Catholicism
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There is only one person in the history of this blue-green, mostly harmless ball of rock who went through life without sinning. That one person is Christ Jesus. We all fall short. The Bible literally says as much. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Without Christ's sacrifice we will be celebrating in the next couple weeks, none of us would make it back. We are all too weak.
You do not need to be pure to covert to Catholicism, for Catholicism will make you pure.
The earth is flat!!
Was there ever a more jesuit thread?
Everybody is, it's not dependent on you. Just pray, go to confession, and pray the rosary.
It's not even complicated, and it prevents you from GOING TO HELL FOR ETERNITY
I'd very highly recommend you get these two books.
Preperation for Death - St. Alphonsus Ligouri
The Four Last Things by Fr. Cochem
But again remember, it's from Christ you will get your strength, that's from the sacraments, from prayer, all that stuff. If you can't stop sinning without confession you shouldn't be surprised, that's why confession exists.
The habitual sinner may say: Is my salvation then hopeless? No, you are not beyond hope: if you wish to apply it, there is still a remedy for the past. But a certain author says, that in grievous maladies very severe remedies are necessary. If to a sick man in danger of death, and unwilling to take medicine, because he is not aware of the malignity of his disease, the physician said: Friend, you will certainly die unless you take such a medicine: what would be the answer of the invalid? He would say, “As my life is in danger, I am ready to obey all your directions.” Dearly beloved Christian, if you are an habitual sinner. I say the same to you. You are very ill; you are one of these invalids who, as St. Thomas of Villanova says, are seldom cured;32 you are on the brink of perdition. But if you wish to recover from your illness, there is a remedy for you; however, you must not expect a miracle of grace. You must on your part labor hard to take away the occasions of sin, to avoid bad company, to resist temptations by recommending yourself to God as soon as you perceive them: you must adopt the means of salvation, by going frequently to confession, by reading a spiritual book every day, by practising devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and continually imploring her to obtain for you strength not to relapse into sin. You must do violence to yourself: otherwise the threat of the Lord against obstinate sinners will fall upon you. You shall die in your sin. And if you do not adopt these means now that the Lord gives you light, you will scarcely adopt them hereafter. Listen to God calling you to repentance. Lazarus, come forth. Poor sinner! you are long dead: go forth from the dark grave of your sinful life. Respond at once to the call, and give yourself instantly to God. Tremble lest this should be the last call for you.
For a better understanding of Mercy I would read these as well
Dearly beloved Christian, how often have you been deaf to the calls of God? You deserved that he should call you no more; but your God has not ceased to call you, because he wishes to make peace with you, and to save you. Who was it that called you? A God of infinite majesty. And what were you but a miserable fetid worm! Why did he call you? For no other purpose than to restore to you the life of grace which you had lost? Return ye and live.21 To acquire the divine grace, it would be but little to live in a desert during your entire life. God offered to give you his grace at each moment, if you wished to obtain it by making an act of contrition, and you refused. And after all this, God has not abandoned you, he has gone in search of you, as it were weeping, and saying: Son, why will you bring yourself to perdition? And why will you die, O house of Israel?22 When man commits a mortal sin, he banishes God from his soul. The wicked have said to God, Depart from us.23 But what does God do? He places himself at the door of that ungrateful heart. Behold, I stand at the gate and knock.24 He even appears to entreat the soul to allow him to enter. Open to Me, my sister.25 He grows weary praying for admission. I am weary of entreating thee.26 Yes, says St. Denis, the Areopagite, God follows sinners like a despised lover, entreating them not to destroy their souls.27 And this precisely the Apostle meant when he wrote to his disciples. For Christ, I beseech you to be reconciled to God.28 In explaining this passage, St. John Chrysostom makes a beautiful reflection “Christ himself entreats you; but what does he entreat you to do? To be reconciled to God; for it is not God that acts like an enemy, but you.”29 The saint’s meaning is, that the sinner has not to labor in order to move God to make peace with him; for he, and not God, refuses peace.
Ah! this good Lord goes every day in search of so many sinners, continually saying to them: Ungrateful souls, do not fly away any longer; tell me why you fly away from me? I love your welfare, and desire nothing else than to make you happy. Why will you destroy yourselves? But, O Lord, what is it Thou dost? Why so much patience and so much love toward these rebels? What good dost Thou expect from them? It redounds but little to Thy honor to show such an excess of love for the miserable worms that fly away from Thee. What is a man, that Thou shouldst magnify him? or why dost Thou set Thy heart upon him
You realize Catholics don't believe this, right? They claim Mary was also sinless.
Mary died. I understand what Catholics mean when they say she had no original sin at her conception and never sinned either, but if the conclusion of this line of thought is that she was not mortal (in the same way Adam and Eve were not mortal before the fall), there's a big problem here.
St Paul's point, when he says that everyone has sinned, is that everyone lives in this "state of sin" which is not necessarily that of personal sin, or even of original sin, but of living and being part of a fallen world, where everything is transitory and everything dies.
Even if one admits Mary had no original sin nor personal sin, she was clearly not deified from the moment of her conception, and she clearly died like you and I will. Therefore that user's point, as well as St Paul's point, still stands - only Jesus Christ was and is perfect, and willingly passed through this "state of sin" to take us out of it (He was "made into sin" for us). Jesus was incarnate, grew in wisdom, learned obedience, suffered, and died, by His own will entirely. The same cannot be said about Mary. Jesus always had both the eternal divine nature and the temporal human nature in Himself, although He only manifested His divine glory to discerning eyes. Mary clearly was not born in a state of theosis, she was born with a human nature alone and had to later become by grace what God is by nature, just like us.
Mary may have been both an exceptionally great saint, and someone who received divine grace from God from the moment of her conception to the point she was purified even of original sin, but if your doctrine leads you to say that she was above humanity, you should rethink how you intepret it.
I mean after the Incarnation of course.
they also say Mary was taken into heaven without dying like Enoch
Your original statement is correct, since God is immutable including in his state of hypostatic union. Consider:
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
He said that scripture has concluded all under sin.
Now sinless and blameless are two different things. As Joseph and Mary were most surely blameless just as Zacharias and Elizabeth are said to be in Luke 1. But to be sinless would simply overturn the scripture as in Galatians 3:22 we have the express purpose of concluding all under sin being that faith can be toward our savior. That's actually stated as the reason why scripture has concluded all under sin. Also Romans 4:14 says if any were worthy under the law then faith is made void, which is what the roman catholic immaculate conception of Mary would imply. Their description of Mary is closer to that of a god. Which reflects their choice of worship also, however 2 Corinthians 11:4 mentions some who preach "another Jesus," and this deified figure certainly is "another Mary," a figure that goes against the whole scriptural account.
No, we do not have any ruling on whether or not Mary died.
Im just curious and I dont mean to be rude, but what keeps you from being Orthodox? I am fine with criticisms.
I looked into Orthodoxy, I don't think there's a substantial difference theologically. Orthodoxy I feel, exists in a bubble which has been the case since the great schism. Orthodoxy simply doesn't seem universal, in the same way Roman Catholicism does.
Might want to learn a little more about your religion there, bub.
Don't for a moment think that Catholicism is for 'complete' Christians. We come to Christ because we need him in a absolute way, not because he augments our already commendable life-style.
We are called to strive for perfection, not to BE perfect as only God can be that.
Also, do not think that one has to totally and completely understand one's faith for you to accept it. There is a lot to take on and understand when it comes to your faith. On the one hand the great story of our fall and salvation is rather simple, on the other there are large swathes that are intellectually and morally challenging. Approach each obstacle in your own time, but DO commit to approaching them and you will find things come at the right time.
Remove from your surrounding those items that lead to temptation. Surround yourself with items that encourage prayer and turning your mind to God.
Do not think for a moment that you can do things completely by yourself. The Church, in its wisdom, has placed many tools and items that can be used as scaffolding to building a healthy spiritual life; icons, meditations, prayers. Early Church Saints encouraged the reading of Wisdom literature; Sirach, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Psalms are enormously helpful in developing practical habits that improve your relationship with God.
Do not compare your spiritual wealth with others. Meditate on the parable of the Lost Sheep or Prodigal Son to understand that God's pleasure is found in our spiritual progress, not in our attainment. And no matter how many times we stumble or fall, he will always help us back up. There is no limit to God's mercy.
Your quote : "I wish I could find a place in this grand narrative, I wish I could fulfill my obligation, from which I exist for."
The first thing to consider here is how to go about subsuming your own desires, placing yourself at the centre of Creation.
You were created in the first place not to love God, but to be loved BY God. God did not need to create you, but did so anyway for his own pleasure and goodness. So your first obligation is to come to a real understanding of God's Love.
Once you begin to grasp this, the strange paradox of being overwhelmed with both Pride in his glory and humility for his awesomeness will help you to understand your place in his Creation. It is not a case of looking for what you can do to fulfil your purpose, but listening to that still, small voice of God telling you he loves you. Your purpose will emanate from that single fact.
Not even St. Chrysostom believed she was sinless. He illustrated this by pointing to her pride when Jesus entered Nazareth and sent him a message that she was waiting for him. She did this in a moment that interrupted the crowds, and Jesus had his attention on them. It's not a great sin, but a very simple human one.. a small sliver of pride. Because she herself is human. And by recognizing her humanity first, only then can we appreciate how holy she actually was. Same with John the Baptist, our other great saint. Jesus called him the greatest born of women, but even John wasn't perfect. In his moment of despair, he had doubts about our Lord and sent messengers asking to confirm again.. betraying his previous confidence at the Jordan river. When we see the humanity of these two, we see how amazing they actually are.. instead of deifying them to the point that they can't be identified with at all. They are the first and chief saints of our church, but they would be unhelpful is we were unable to learn from them and where they couldn't identify with us and help us.
Nor did great saints like St. Ephraim teach odd 19th century doctrines like the immaculate conception, but gave the glory of St. Mary's sanctified process to Jesus' conception instead - not Mary's own conception. "As lightning illuminates what is hidden, so also Christ purifies what is hidden in the nature of things. He purified the Virgin also and then was born, so as to show that where Christ is, there is manifest purity in all its power." -St. Ephraim
What Catholics call "tradition" is only 200 years old or so, streaming from equally faulty preconceptions of original sin. They should tap into the riches of even older teachings.
Sure, if you find massive child sex scandals, and widespread genocides to be beautiful
Of which, St. John C is one of the notable lone dissenters. If the objection of one Saint is worth throwing out dogma, then we must surely point to St. Augustine as a good Saint that invalidates most, if not all Orthodox critique against the West.
The Catholics teach that it is both, who could place a limit on the limitless bounties of Christ?
…yes? the article proved my point
Serious question because I don't know, but which of St. John Chrysostom's contemporaries say that the Blessed Virgin Mary was sinless? Or I'll expand that to Saints before 1054. I genuinely don't know and would like to do more reading specifically from pre-schism Saints.
Friend, the Church isn't a house for saints, but a hospital for sinners. Those with the most sins are most entitled to God's mercy and forgiveness. All you have to do is ask by going to confession. If you haven't started already, pray the rosary and Jesus' mother will keep you close to Him.
Don't despair, OP, you are worthy of the promises of Christ just like the sinners on this board, including me.
God love (you).
None, but only St. John C ever thought that Mary may have sinned. It's a question if the writings of the Church Fathers can overrule the rulings of the Church. For the Orthodox, the problem is that if they point to St. John C as rendering the Seat incorrect, they must use this same logic with St. Augustine, who in turn justifies Latin practices they disagree with strongly.
…well, mostly for the Romanide Ortho's with an axe to grind, really.
You're perfect for Catholicism just as you are.
what's the religion for those who do not need God then, friend?
but you just said it was for the weak, and for the sinner, these two are the ones who need Christ most, would you like to join?
Provided they want to change. If they want to stay weak and evil however, they need Catholicism instead of Christ.
Get gud, it's like dem vidya games.
Which is a damn lie said by the Devil himself. Jesus's church has helped countless people be freed from the shackles of sin. The fact that you try to even hide what you say by saging your own post is proof that you are ashamed to even post it.
You aren't even confident in your own words. You need Jesus' church more than OP does.
You are lacking in reading comprehension.
I am saging because I don't want to bump your Catholic thread.
Says the person that reads the Bible wrong
That is not very charitable. Reported to the mods. Please become a better person user.
Well, that's exactly how Luther felt. He concluded, due to being unable to control his vices, that man can't actually 'do' anything to control them and that only God's grace can help. Hence sola fide.
Yes, being a Catholic is harder than being a prot. You have to go to confession (and this is really, really not that easy) you have to observe the liturgical calendar, fasts, days of obligation, etc. You can't just say 'I will confess to Christ' or 'Christ died for my sins so I'm saved anyway' or 'I was predestined to be saved'.
I'll never forget my first confession, I was about 10. I felt so light and so did all my friends, we went out of the church and just started jumping around, I couldn't believe how light I felt, like I didn't have any weight in me.
Just watch this protestant: "No, masturbation is NOT a sin"
Protestants are just too weak for Catholicism, they have no reason whatsoever.
He said that reason was "a whore"…Those people are just spiritual muslims, if it's not explicitly forbidden in the Coran, then it's OK to do something, even if it's obviously rationally and spiritually wrong.
But if no Church Fathers spoke of her sinless nature, and it was only a Catholic council in the 19th century that decided that the Blessed Virgin Mary was sinless, then of course the Orthodox do correctly state that St. John Chrysostom is the one with the True teaching on the matter. I'd appreciate if you could explain what about St. Augustine's writing the Orthodox refuse, as he is still very much a well-regarded Saint in the Church. Anyone who tells you otherwise is an ortholarper.
We must except the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin. Well, then, if, with this exception of the Virgin, we could only assemble together all the forementioned holy men and women, and ask them whether they lived without sin whilst they were in this life, what can we suppose would be their answer? (A Treatise on Nature and Grace, chapter 42 [XXXVI]; NPNF 1, Vol. V)
. . . pure and unstained Virgin . . . (On the Incarnation of the Word, 8; Gambero, 102)
O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides. (Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, 71, 216; Gambero, 106)
Mary and Eve, two people without guilt, two simple people, were identical. Later, however, one became the cause of our death, the other the cause of our life (Op. syr. II, 327; Ott, 201)
The Virgin Mary is a symbol of the Church, when she receives the first announcement of the gospel . . . We call the Church by the name of Mary, for she deserves a double name. (Sermo ad noct. Resurr.; Gambero, 115)
Thou and thy mother are the only ones who are totally beautiful in every respect; for in thee, O Lord, there is no spot, and in thy Mother no stain. (Nisibene Hymns, 27, v. 8; Ott, 201)
Those are just some of the Church Fathers that write that Jesus' mother is sinless and rightly so.
Thank you, I'll certainly give the works of those Saints their due consideration. Although right off the top of my head at this late hour I can say that St. Athanasius's adjectives of 'pure and unstained' regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary are entirely Orthodox, in every liturgy and service she is referred to as 'pure' and 'immaculate', but that in no way means that she was born without sin.
That is debatable, all the Saints affirm that anything the Church decides is the law, and even the post-schism Saints that broached the topic of the Immaculate Conception (Aquinas, in particular) concede the liberty of judgement to the Church.
Thank you, I knew some writing on the matter existed, but there also is the other argument, that the Church via the Holy Spirit gets the final say.
How can one be "pure" and "unstained" if she was supposedly stained with sin? That doesn't make sense.
Also have some more quotes I found on the matter:
St. Cyril of Jerusalem
Pure and spotless is this birth. For where the Holy Spirit breathes, all pollution is taken away, so that the human birth of the Only-begotten from the Virgin is undefiled. (Catechetical Lectures, XII, 31-32; Gambero, 140)
St. Gregory of Nyssa
It was, to divulge by the manner of His Incarnation this great secret; that purity is the only complete indication of the presence of God and of His coming, and that no one can in reality secure this for himself, unless he has altogether estranged himself from the passions of the flesh. What happened in the stainless Mary when the fulness of the Godhead which was in Christ shone out through her, that happens in every soul that leads by rule the virgin life. (On Virginity, 2; NPNF 2, Vol. V, 344)
[T]he power of the Most High, through the Holy Spirit, overshadowed the human nature and was formed therein; that is to say, the portion of flesh was formed in the immaculate Virgin. (Against Apollinaris, 6; Gambero, 153)
. . . Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin. (Commentary on Psalm 118, 22, 30; Jurgens, II, 166)
What is greater than the Mother of God? What more glorious than she whom Glory Itself chose? What more chaste than she who bore a body without contact with another body? (Virginity, II, 6; NPNF 2, Vol. X, 374)
Mary, the holy Virgin, is truly great before God and men. For how shall we not proclaim her great, who held within her the uncontainable One, whom neither heaven nor earth can contain? (Panarion, 30, 31; Gambero, 127)
‘There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a flower shall grow out of his roots.’ The rod is the mother of the Lord–simple, pure, unsullied; drawing no germ of life from without but fruitful in singleness like God Himself… Set before you the blessed Mary, whose surpassing purity made her meet to be the mother of the Lord. (Letter XXII. To Eustochium, 19, 38; NPNF 2, Vol. VI, 29, 39; cf. Gambero, p. 213: “whose purity was so great that she merited to be the Mother of the Lord”)
Indeed how inferior they are, in terms of holiness, to blessed Mary, Mother of the Lord! (Contra Pelagianos, 1, 16; Gambero, 212)
St. Cyril of Alexandria
Hail, Mary Theotokos, Virgin-Mother, lightbearer, uncorrupt vessel . . . Hail Mary, you are the most precious creature in the whole world; hail, Mary, uncorrupt dove; hail, Mary, inextinguishable lamp; for from you was born the Sun of justice . . . Through you, every faithful soul achieves salvation. (Homily 11 at the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus; Gambero, 243, 245)
I see the assembly of the saints, all zealously gathered together, invited by the holy Mother of God, Mary, ever-virgin . . . We hail you, O Mary Mother of God, venerable treasure of the entire world, inextinguishable lamp, crown of virginity, scepter of orthodoxy, imperishable temple, container of him who cannot be contained . . . Through you, the Holy Trinity is glorified; the precious Cross is celebrated and adored throughout the world; heaven exults, the angels and archangels rejoice, the demons are put to flight, the devil, the tempter, falls from heaven, the fallen creation is brought back to paradise, all creatures trapped in idolatry come to know of the truth. (Homily IV Preached at Ephesus Against Nestorius; Gambero, 247-248)
Then what do you do when the priest refuses you absolution?
Depends, why did the priest refuse you absolution?
I am civilly married but not sacramentally married. I am trying to get a convalidation, but I am not able/willing to move away from my wife while we wait, so the priest denied me absolution for sleeping with my partner of 10 years.
Oh yeah I remember you and your thread. The priest isn't wrong to do so though. It is a sin to cohabitate with a woman that's not sacramentally your wife your wife. If he absolves you of your sin while you're still technically committing the sin it would be an invalid Absolution anyway. That priest would then be sinning.
Think about it this way:
Should a priest absolve the sins of a flamboyant sodomite that confesses of his affliction but insists that he cannot repent from it? because muh born that way
Of course not. It would bring unnecessary Scandal not only to the Confessor but to the Confessi.
I know your situation sucks but just be patient, friend. Think of it not only as a test for you and your marriage but as a test for that young priest that was just ordained. I'm still praying for you, bud. You can do this.
I get the principle, but his lack of regard for my financial reality was so condescending, I can't get over it. It took month to work up the nerve to talk to a priest at all and this is what I got
I'm sorry to hear that user. Priests, though they try admirably, are only men. He should have tried to give you a (viable) way forward.
That being said, do you see one?
No, separate apartments are not an option and we don't have local family or friends to crash with. I was going to switch parishes but I frankly never want to go through this again, being told you're not forgiven is devastating.
You don't need absolution for that.
Maybe ask the Lord about that?
Exactly. Couldn't control perpetual sin (addiction), asked the Lord Jesus Christ to help me with that and strongly believed in that He could help me. He did and now I have it under control.
You can't just say, that you confess to the Lord, you actually have to do it and repent. True repentance isn't easy all, it can physically hurt for hours. And you can only desperately hope for forgiveness, there is no guarantee to get it.
How much easier it is to just going to some human priest and get absolved in one sitting.
All those works in church sound pretty, though I'm wondering what kind of real relationship with the actual God do you brothers have?
Brother, when you are legally married with your wife, became one flesh and did not fornicate (sleeping with others), your marriage is legal for the Lord.
The Lord united you with your wife and it's not in the authority of some human priest to separate you:
"What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."
You don't need to change parishes, but you have to put more faith into God and not into your priest.
Even the Saints sin, up to seven times a day is the common saying. That is expected. But you have to go to confession and to do penance in order to correct your wrongs.
1 John 1:8-10