Struggling
#1
I'm not sure why I'm asking for a prayer request because I have no idea what I'm asking others to pray for.

I am undergoing a lot of internal struggles right now...I'm not sure if it's the hormones, the medications I take, something brain-related, or purely spiritual. I guess I feel hopeless and a deep loneliness. My faith has been rather stagnant for the past year, even though I'm attending weekly Mass, monthly Confession, Bible-reading, prayer, etc. I feel like I'm just going through the motions. I've discussed this with my priest but maybe I'm just too lazy, unmotivated, and tired to listen.

The odd thing is I don't struggle with Church teaching, but rather I'm saddened by all the ridiculous in-fighting among Catholics, the wacky anti-western attitude of Orthodox Christians, and the anti-Catholic black legends that Protestants accuse us of. I realize that all of us are sinners and are not perfect, but I can see why many seekers may be completely turned off from joining the Catholic Church or even Christianity in general. I also realize that many seekers tend to view Catholics or Christians as needing to be sinless and perfect, which is a false view (I mean, expecting us to be sinless and whatnot).

I've been trying to read up on Church teaching but I'm stuck. I don't know where to start...the Penny Catechism? Baltimore Catechism? YouCat? CCC? The Compendium? I've tried reading the CCC but it's rather laborious and I lose  my attention reading it even though the reading is profound and meaningful. I figured YouCat would be a good place to start. I'm a huge fan of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI from what few works I've read written by him and I'm trying to collect all of his works so I can read them. He is a true biblical scholar of the Church and I relate to his intellectual writings. I wish I could learn Koine Greek and Latin as he so easily describes them in his encyclicals.

I do need prayers also because I am going to be speaking with my gynecologist about wanting to come off of birth control (I used it only as medication for acne and hemmoraging (sic) ); I was a dumb teenager when this was "prescribed" to me for my issues of heavy bleeding. Now that I think about it, I had no idea what birth control was and I feel like my issue was never addressed. I realize that getting off of it will be difficult and possibly miserable for my hormones but I just can't stand to take it anymore. The negatives outweigh the positives: blood clots, increased risk of cancers, death...no thanks!

So thank you for reading this because other than my priest I have no one else to talk to about these issues. I have no Catholic friends...all I know is a co-worker who is a lapsed Catholic (doesn't even know the common Biblical story of the Exodus!), a co-worker who is apparently Reformed Protestant (but possibly not practicing), a friend who lives the homosexual lifestyle, and disbelieving parents/siblings. It's hard, no wonder I feel un-motivated. :((

I suppose some good news is that I tend on participating in an Our Lady of Guadalupe ministry that prays the Rosary at my Church. I'm not big on the Our Lady of Guadalupe apparitions but the Hispanic lady who runs this ministry was thrilled when I told her I make Rosaries, so I decided that I would begin to participate.
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#2
From the first paragraph it sounds like the ol' noonday demon—acedia. Maybe its it together with other issues—its daughters and other stuff. If this is the case and you're able to win the fight, Evagrius says “No other demon follows on immediately after this one but after its struggle the soul receives in turn a peaceful condition and unspeakable joy.”, which, in itself I think its reason for hope (which, as I said in another post, is a fundamental and yet underrated virtue).

One thing that I do regarding studying is to intercalate studying more technical stuff like the catechism, languages and philosophy with reading literature. I think this is important for filling the imagination and whatnot.

Anyway, I'll pray for you tomorrow.
Be of good cheer—most of us don't mind reading or writing anyway, so do use this placeholder until you find an orthodox Catholic friend.
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#3
Prayers
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#4
The odd thing is I don't struggle with Church teaching, but rather I'm saddened by all the ridiculous in-fighting among Catholics, the wacky anti-western attitude of Orthodox Christians, and the anti-Catholic black legends that Protestants accuse us of. I realize that all of us are sinners and are not perfect, but I can see why many seekers may be completely turned off from joining the Catholic Church or even Christianity in general. I also realize that many seekers tend to view Catholics or Christians as needing to be sinless and perfect, which is a false view (I mean, expecting us to be sinless and whatnot).

I too am saddened by all the ridiculous infighting.
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#5
I've been trying to read up on Church teaching but I'm stuck. I don't know where to start...the Penny Catechism? Baltimore Catechism? YouCat? CCC? The Compendium? I've tried reading the CCC but it's rather laborious and I lose  my attention reading it even though the reading is profound and meaningful. I figured YouCat would be a good place to start. I'm a huge fan of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI from what few works I've read written by him and I'm trying to collect all of his works so I can read them. He is a true biblical scholar of the Church and I relate to his intellectual writings. I wish I could learn Koine Greek and Latin as he so easily describes them in his encyclicals.

All those are good reading material. Just don't try to read them all at once. Take the time to read a portion. put it down. Think about it and then the next day pick it up again where you left off. I heard Cardinal Arinze say that he reads two pages of teh Catechism of the Catholic Church every day. 
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#6
do need prayers also because I am going to be speaking with my gynecologist about wanting to come off of birth control (I used it only as medication for acne and hemmoraging (sic) ); I was a dumb teenager when this was "prescribed" to me for my issues of heavy bleeding. Now that I think about it, I had no idea what birth control was and I feel like my issue was never addressed. I realize that getting off of it will be difficult and possibly miserable for my hormones but I just can't stand to take it anymore. The negatives outweigh the positives: blood clots, increased risk of cancers, death...no thanks!

If you are taking this medication for issues other than contraception then I think it would be unwise to discontinue without your doctors recommendation.
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#7
I am undergoing a lot of internal struggles right now...I'm not sure if it's the hormones, the medications I take, something brain-related, or purely spiritual. I guess I feel hopeless and a deep loneliness. My faith has been rather stagnant for the past year, even though I'm attending weekly Mass, monthly Confession, Bible-reading, prayer, etc. I feel like I'm just going through the motions. I've discussed this with my priest but maybe I'm just too lazy, unmotivated, and tired to listen.

Sometimes in order to lead us to greater holiness, God will allow us to go without the consolations which we have been used to recieving. It is the God of consolations who we must worship, not the consolations of God. 
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#8
I will pray for you
:pray: :pray: :pray:
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#9
Lately I've been feeling depressed. I'm not sure why: I have a deep sense of loneliness and feeling of hopelessness. I'm almost wondering if this could be a result of some medications I am taking. It will be about 3 months before I can see a doctor though and honestly don't remember any of my medications having depression as a side effect. I will need to do more research.

This just doesn't feel normal to me and I have a feeling that this may be what's triggering what I feel like is a "desert experience." I'm also finding it incredibly difficult for me to focus on my work when I am working in the office. When I'm doing my field job I am focused, but when I'm doing office work I feel like I am just constantly staring at the reports or the computer screen. Sometimes I'll forget immediately what I was doing only to stare for a brief moment on my computer monitor.

I've been having doubts lately. I feel like that even when my sins are absolved by my priest, I don't feel like I'm forgiven...is this scrupulosity?

I am wondering if there is some sort of demonic presence going on with my father. He is a very hateful atheist; he doesn't attend Mass, has said extremely blasphemous things to God as well as my mother, imposes his "opinions" on me while I am not allowed to express mine, and has a terrible attitude. He is narcissistic and doesn't care about hurting others. He even has said some hurtful things to my mother because she donated some money to some organization. He allows himself to wallow in his misery and will not talk about his problems to anyone. I completely believe that since he doesn't believe in God, this is why life feels unbearable to him. He deals with his problems with extreme (unrighteous) anger, and he completely drags his misery around that affects myself and other family members.

Also need prayers because I am trying to overcome a "book hoarding" problem; trying to get rid of books but mostly other things as well. I just have too much junk that needs to go.
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