Author Topic: Is there nothing I can do?  (Read 751 times)

Offline Daniel

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Is there nothing I can do?
« on: September 06, 2020, 10:08:20 PM »
If I am in sin and I want to repent, but if I lack the faith and the knowledge and the contrition necessary in order to go to confession, then what am I to do? Something tells me that there's nothing I can do, apart from praying vain prayers and waiting for God to respond. But is this the correct understanding, or is this from a devil trying to trick me into despair? Why would God make me want to repent but then make it impossible for me to do so?

But also, how am I even to live my life? I can't worship God, nor can I perceive Him, nor can I pursue my vocation, nor can I even work. And no matter what I do I sin, and I think the devil is probably also using me as his instrument. Am I to live this tortured existence only to find myself in hell?
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 10:18:14 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2020, 10:43:13 PM »
If you lack faith, you can't repent of your sins or please God in any manner. However, it is clear you want to repent: that means grace is working in you, illuminating your conscience and softening your heart.

Therefore, repent. If you repent and confess your sins, God is faithful and He will forgive you. Persevere in humility, knowing that you have a powerful advocate before the Father.

Quote from:  (1 John 1:8-10; 2:1-2)
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 to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate before the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

St. Augustine on his Ten Homilies on the Epistle of John to the Parthians comments thus:

And lest haply he should seem to have given impunity for sins, in that he said, “He is faithful and just to cleanse us from all iniquity;” and men henceforth should say to themselves, Let us sin, let us do securely what we will, Christ purgeth us, is faithful and just, purgeth us from all iniquity: He taketh from thee an evil security, and putteth in an useful fear. To thine own hurt thou wouldest be secure; thou must be solicitous. For “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,” provided thou always displease thyself, and be changing until thou be perfected. Accordingly, what follows? “My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not.” But perchance sin overtakes us from our mortal life: what shall be done then? What? shall there be now despair? Hear: “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiator for our sins.” He then is the advocate; do thou thine endeavor not to sin: if from the infirmity of this life sin shall overtake thee, see to it straightway, straightway be displeased, straightway condemn it; and when thou hast condemned, thou shalt come assured unto the Judge. There hast thou the advocate: fear not to lose thy cause in thy confession. For if oft-times in this life a man commits his cause to an eloquent tongue, and is not lost; thou committest thyself to the Word, and shalt thou be lost? Cry, “We have an advocate with the Father.”
DISPOSE OUR DAYS IN THY PEACE, AND COMMAND US TO BE DELIVERED FROM ETERNAL DAMNATION, AND TO BE NUMBERED IN THE FLOCK OF THINE ELECT.
 
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2020, 09:04:59 AM »
In my particular situation, I can't go to confession. Because among other reasons, the Catholic Church would say that I'm a heretic and a schismatic. I, however, do not see my heresy or my schism (considered as such). So there is no way that I can be absolved: If I confess to "heresy" and "schism", I invalidate the sacrament through my lack of sincerity and my failure to amend my life; if I omit these sins from the confession then I invalidate the sacrament through my not-having-confessed all of the mortal sins which I am guilty of.

What it seems I need to do is to persistently pray for this knowledge, and then just wait it out... eventually God will give me this knowledge if He wants to save me. But is this all I can or should be doing?
My prayers seem vain and hopeless. I pray for the knowledge, but it seems to me that God does not want to give me this knowledge. It's as if I am directing my prayers against God or something, asking Him for stuff that He doesn't want me to have. Makes me wonder if or why I should continue praying, unless maybe God will eventually want to give me the knowledge even though he doesn't want to do so at the moment.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 09:18:55 AM by Daniel »
 

Offline The Theosist

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2020, 12:49:55 PM »
In my particular situation, I can't go to confession.

John

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.

Isaiah

1
"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
2
Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
3
Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.
4
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples.
5
Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor."
6
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
7
Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
9
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11
so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13
Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed."

Romans

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.


« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 12:52:37 PM by The Theosist »
 
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Offline Prayerful

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2020, 12:56:25 PM »
I take care to try meditate on the Confiteor and Decalogue, and from there do my best to make a good Confession. That's all.
Padre Pio: Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.
 
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2020, 07:13:42 PM »
.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 07:39:35 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2020, 06:52:18 AM »
.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 08:15:13 AM by Daniel »
 

Offline james03

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2020, 05:13:27 PM »
You are doing what you are meant to do: be an example to others of what happens when you don't deal with scruples as your confessor advised.

This is the outcome of scruples: keep you from the sacraments and keep you from praying.  I hope others starting down this path see what has happened to you and flee in horror from it.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

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Offline christulsa

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2020, 08:44:45 PM »
If you’re not even able (willing?) to work, as you said, it sounds like much of your scruples is actually from clinical depression, which is easily treatable.  Find a good Catholic counselor who does CBT, or good support group, and maybe get on an anti-depressant short term until your life is stable.  Most of us have hit rock bottom before, or considered giving up.  Find merciful priests and friends to support you.  You’re in my prayers. 
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 08:46:50 PM by christulsa »
 
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2020, 08:56:01 AM »
You are doing what you are meant to do: be an example to others of what happens when you don't deal with scruples as your confessor advised.

This is the outcome of scruples: keep you from the sacraments and keep you from praying.  I hope others starting down this path see what has happened to you and flee in horror from it.

I don't think it's scruples. Because by this point I've probably fallen into moral laxity, which is the opposite of scruples. (And, I'm not even entirely sure that "scruples" exists. A great deal of it just seems to be that priests don't have the time to--or don't want to--deal with their penitents' real concerns, so they dismiss it as "scruples". Because if it's scruples then the concerns aren't "real" to begin with, and if they're not real then they don't need to be dealt with but can simply be dismissed.)

Besides that, I have pretty much taken an effort to do as my current spiritual director advised. What he advised was for me to resolve all my doubts concerning the Catholic Church. I'm in the process of doing that, seeking out answers from priests. Nevertheless, I don't think epistemic certainty is humanly possible. What I need is grace or faith or something.

In either case, I don't think it's scruples.


If you’re not even able (willing?) to work, as you said, it sounds like much of your scruples is actually from clinical depression, which is easily treatable.  Find a good Catholic counselor who does CBT, or good support group, and maybe get on an anti-depressant short term until your life is stable.  Most of us have hit rock bottom before, or considered giving up.  Find merciful priests and friends to support you.  You’re in my prayers. 

To clarify, the "work" thing is more situational. I don't want to serve Satan, so I am deliberately holding myself back. If my spiritual life wasn't a mess--if I was in a state of grace and if I knew exactly what God wanted from me, then I could pursue it wholeheartedly and my pursuits would actually be "good". But because this is not the case, and because Satan wants to use me as a means of destroying society and leading souls astray, I need to restrain myself. I need to refrain from aspiring to greatness or doing any sort of job that could in any way cause spiritual harm or moral decay. Though my spiritual blindness has made it impossible for me to know with any level of certainty which jobs cause spiritual harm and moral decay. For some jobs it's pretty clear. But for other jobs, not so much.

Thank you for your prayers.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 09:22:33 AM by Daniel »
 
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Offline pioflower

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2020, 09:01:58 AM »
our lady promises us true contrition for our sins either through -the seven sorrows

or the daily rosary

read up about secrets of the rosary.
 
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Offline Maximilian

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2020, 10:26:42 AM »
Though my spiritual blindness has made it impossible for me to know with any level of certainty which jobs cause spiritual harm and moral decay. For some jobs it's pretty clear. But for other jobs, not so much.

St. Paul made tents. So we know that job is safe.
 
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Offline mikemac

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2020, 12:26:50 PM »
So make wigwams and teepees, and don't be so tent(es).
Like John Vennari (RIP) said "Why not just do it?  What would it hurt?"
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Offline The Theosist

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2020, 05:40:31 PM »
In my particular situation, I can't go to confession. Because among other reasons, the Catholic Church would say that I'm a heretic and a schismatic. I, however, do not see my heresy or my schism (considered as such). So there is no way that I can be absolved: If I confess to "heresy" and "schism", I invalidate the sacrament through my lack of sincerity and my failure to amend my life; if I omit these sins from the confession then I invalidate the sacrament through my not-having-confessed all of the mortal sins which I am guilty of.

If that's the case, what do you have to lose by trying to go straight to Jesus Christ, confessing to him, and asking for his forgiveness?
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Is there nothing I can do?
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2020, 09:16:51 PM »
In my particular situation, I can't go to confession. Because among other reasons, the Catholic Church would say that I'm a heretic and a schismatic. I, however, do not see my heresy or my schism (considered as such). So there is no way that I can be absolved: If I confess to "heresy" and "schism", I invalidate the sacrament through my lack of sincerity and my failure to amend my life; if I omit these sins from the confession then I invalidate the sacrament through my not-having-confessed all of the mortal sins which I am guilty of.

If that's the case, what do you have to lose by trying to go straight to Jesus Christ, confessing to him, and asking for his forgiveness?

Because Jesus said we need to do it through His priests.

But in either case, I cannot confess my sins. Because I lack both the knowledge of my sins and the knowledge of truth. I can't confess to having committed that-which-I-don't-know-myself-to-have-committed, nor can I stop committing that-which-I-don't-know-myself-to-be-committing. For example, how can I possibly confess my sins of heresy when I can see neither my heresy as heresy nor the truth as truth? If I confess it I'm insincere; if I don't confess it I'm obstinate.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 09:18:55 PM by Daniel »