Author Topic: Feeling unforgivable  (Read 527 times)

Offline Miriam_M

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Re: Feeling unforgivable
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2019, 01:34:31 AM »
Making a General Confession once in a while is recommended; it could be once a year or differently as one's confessor recommends. It could be done just before the new year, or before around Easter. The idea is to confess once, and then forget it for the rest of the year.

Seriously?  You know lay people -- or even priests and religious -- who make a GC once a year?  That seems too frequent.  My understanding is that it is recommended that priests do one every two years.  My priest recommends that lay people do one every 5 years, unless you change your spiritual director before 5 years is up.

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Leave the past to Jesus. If the devil torments you much about it, you can say that prayer for negligences. After that, Jesus takes everything on Himself, and supplies for everything. https://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/prayer-for-daily-neglects.html

Yes.  Bringing up the past is something that works directly against what He asks of us.  Also, when you think about it, it makes the idea of mercy a futile exercise (if we are not "really" forgiven).  On a human level, think about the parallel.  If someone apologizes to us sincerely, and we tell them we forgive them, but they protest that either we have not forgiven them (an insult to us, basically calling us liars) or that their transgressions against us are "unforgivable," we would feel pretty impotent as givers of human mercy.  We would see them as they are, honestly in our eyes:  choosing to reject our mercy and thereby not really wanting a full return to friendship or reconciliation with us.

For a while, I was like the OP:  I was stuck in lack of self-forgiveness.  (Something that Fr. Ripperger brought up in a sermon I recently listened to)  We actually have a moral obligation to forgive ourselves, because otherwise we are choosing to block God's restorative grace in us.  Feeling guilty is not the same thing as being (any longer) guilty. The feelings are part of the redemptive pain, as I said earlier.  They will linger past God's forgiveness, if we are people of feeling.  But refusing to go past the feelings is a failure in courage. (I found out for myself, as I was guilty of that myself.)  It's a form of retreat to be more attached to the remorse than to the transformative grace.

Good reminder about the indulgences.  Very good reminder.  This is very therapeutic for those of us who have been or still are weighed down by many past sins.
 
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Offline Chestertonian

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Re: Feeling unforgivable
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2019, 04:27:31 AM »
I have felt this way too for a long time.  Tends to be wrapped up in my own feelings of worthlessness, shame,etc

honestly what has helped a lot is medication because I have a lot of health issues that affect my brain and I have found Seroquel has helped with the obsessive, repetitive thoughts and the severe depression so my thoughts have been more manageable

I know being told that scruples was a sign of pride made things harder for me because I would think to myself "oh great now I'm offending God through pride now even though I don't know how to stop it and I don't know how to get off the train my thoughts have taken me on" it just felt hopeless because i felt like I had nothing to be proud of. 

I think what I was dealing with was really serious shame... I'm not talking about the guilt we feel when we do something wrong but shame is more tied to who we are.  I felt ashamed for being alive, a burden to my family, useless, hopeless.. so no confession would not
 take the shame away even though the guilt was resolved.  I thought that God hated me because I was suffering and it felt like He was personally delivering every ache and pain my body felt.. no amount of confession would take that shame away because the shame was rooted in thinking I was a worthless person who didn't deserve to be alive

 still have times when I struggle with it but with the medication i feel like my brain is better able to test my thoughts against reality.

« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 10:55:42 AM by Chestertonian »
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Offline Xavier

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Re: Feeling unforgivable
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2019, 04:34:52 AM »
To be clear, definitely not once every year for Laity - some Monks and Nuns do have such a practice, though, if I recall correctly. I'll have to consult St. Alphonsus, but I found this for now: "The practice is recommended when a person is entering on a new state of life -- the priesthood, religious life, or marriage -- and is required in some religious institutes by rule to be done annually." https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=33707 For laypersons, once every 5 years as your Priest recommended sounds good.

Unless one is entering a new state of life, or changing spiritual director, that should be fine. Even less frequently for scrupulous persons.

Confession gives us remission of all mortal sins of the past, often accompanied by graces like peace of soul. It also gives us great power to avoid lapses in future, and strength to resist temptation. The latter is why St. Alphonsus recommends frequent (normal) confessions.

Quote from: Miriam
We actually have a moral obligation to forgive ourselves, because otherwise we are choosing to block God's restorative grace in us.  Feeling guilty is not the same thing as being (any longer) guilty. The feelings are part of the redemptive pain, as I said earlier.  They will linger past God's forgiveness, if we are people of feeling.

Well said. I agree. The Second and Third fruits of the Holy Spirit, immediately after charity, are Joy and Peace. (Gal 5:22) God in His Mercy wants to renew or infuse into us those fruits in the confessional. So once we hear the Priest speak the words of the absolution, we can have the confidence, God Himself has absolved us of all our sins. I recall one incident in the lives of the saints where sins that had been written on paper disappeared after they were confessed. The Blood of Christ, dispensed in the Sacrament, has blotted it out.

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Good reminder about the indulgences.  Very good reminder.  This is very therapeutic for those of us who have been or still are weighed down by many past sins.

Great! Indulgences are very helpful to that end. If we regularly form the habit of gaining many indulgences (and saying 1 Rosary daily as a family and 3 or more occasionally is a simple way for us all to do so), we can hope to come close to restoring Baptismal Innocence in our souls. Another thing Fr. G-L recommends is making reparation for others. As Munda said, trying to focus on serving Christ and others will help a lot. If we are moved to do this out of love, God often re-makes our soul wholly new and perfect again. Fr. G-L cites St. John Mary Vianney as an example who would make reparation for other's sins as if they were his own. Christ did that for all of us perfectly. And in a small measure, we imitate Him and show our love for Him when we try to assist Him in healing our souls and that of others.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 05:00:45 AM by Xavier »
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Offline Miriam_M

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Re: Feeling unforgivable
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2019, 05:28:50 AM »
but I found this for now: "The practice is recommended when a person is entering on a new state of life -- the priesthood, religious life, or marriage

I was aware of that already; I just didn't happen to mention it because it didn't seem relevant to the OP's situation.  It doesn't seem that she is entering a new state. 

I was not aware of this, however:

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and is required in some religious institutes by rule to be done annually."

OTOH, the Society holds Ignatian retreats for laity, in which G.C. is available within the week and encouraged, and some people like to attend such retreats annually.

It's always best for a lay person to consult his or her own priest for guidance about this.
 

Offline mikemac

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Re: Feeling unforgivable
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2019, 10:35:49 AM »
Good discussion about General Confession Miriam and Xavier.  Thanks.
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Offline Chestertonian

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Re: Feeling unforgivable
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2019, 10:57:19 AM »
but I found this for now: "The practice is recommended when a person is entering on a new state of life -- the priesthood, religious life, or marriage

I was aware of that already; I just didn't happen to mention it because it didn't seem relevant to the OP's situation.  It doesn't seem that she is entering a new state. 

I was not aware of this, however:

Quote
and is required in some religious institutes by rule to be done annually."

OTOH, the Society holds Ignatian retreats for laity, in which G.C. is available within the week and encouraged, and some people like to attend such retreats annually.

It's always best for a lay person to consult his or her own priest for guidance about this.

I have heard from at least one person on here who said that he had scruples and the ignatian retreat did major damage to his spiritual life
"I am not much of a Crusader, that is for sure, but at least I am not a Mohamedist!"
 

Offline Miriam_M

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Re: Feeling unforgivable
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2019, 12:10:54 PM »
but I found this for now: "The practice is recommended when a person is entering on a new state of life -- the priesthood, religious life, or marriage

I was aware of that already; I just didn't happen to mention it because it didn't seem relevant to the OP's situation.  It doesn't seem that she is entering a new state. 

I was not aware of this, however:

Quote
and is required in some religious institutes by rule to be done annually."

OTOH, the Society holds Ignatian retreats for laity, in which G.C. is available within the week and encouraged, and some people like to attend such retreats annually.

It's always best for a lay person to consult his or her own priest for guidance about this.

I have heard from at least one person on here who said that he had scruples and the ignatian retreat did major damage to his spiritual life

Yes, I had heard that, too, Ches.  To be clear, by the way, I wasn't suggesting that our OP should go on an Ignatian Retreat   :) -- merely pointing out that the Society considers a G.C. an annual option for lay people in general -- those so inclined.  And I agree, a G.C. and an Ignatian Retreat are two separate topics and certainly don't have to be joined.
 

Offline james03

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Re: Feeling unforgivable
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2019, 02:14:51 PM »
To be clear (and not very helpful):
1.  Anything before Baptism doesn't matter.  That's the whole point of the Passion.  He paid the price.
2.  If you sin, go to confession.  Name the sin, listen to the priest, do what he tells you.  Don't explain.
3.  Work on Charity and Gratitude to Jesus Christ.  Simply say "I love you Jesus" every day.  God is not setting traps for you to damn you, He loves you so much He died on the Cross.
4.  Scruples is a tool used by demons to get you away from the sacraments.  No, you are not possessed, this falls under their ordinary means.  If you ever think God hates you, laugh at it.  That's actually a demon telling you that.

Now to be helpful.  Gardener posted a link to a book.  A former scruples dude chimed in and said it helped him a lot.  Can't get a better endorsement than that.  Get the book and read it.
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Offline Miriam_M

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Re: Feeling unforgivable
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2019, 10:28:38 PM »
THIS


Scruples is a tool used by demons to get you away from the sacraments.