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1  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Regarding causing scandal to others on: March 09, 2012, 12:02:35 PM
Thank you for the reply, that helps me Smiley

I know with me, it also takes me a while with these things. I mentioned modesty before. What I'm talking about is not grave immodesty by today's standards, but I read how the Church and the Saints have commented on it being immodest, - and maybe our society is just used to it and everyone grew up that way. Initially I was afraid what if I had received all my Communions in a state of sin, I still don't know (I hope not) but I'm glad to have this chance to improve. I know that I was ignorant and thought I was being modest, hopefully this type of ignorance decreases culpability. So I made some changes in my clothing but I found it a little difficult at first, and still trying to figure things out etc, so I mentioned it to my friend as a struggle that I've been having... we decided to think and pray about it. She didn't argue with me or reject it outright. We just decided to give it time and pray. But then I got this fear, what if I removed some sort of invinsible ignorance that decreases culpability and what if I should have just waited for God to show her, in His time. Because I could see it wasn't an easy topic. I'm still kind of struggling with this fear, especially because before i mentioned the topic, I didn't feel peace about mentioning it. I just feel like I haven't been a good friend, and this makes me very sad because she's probably my closest friend and a very good Catholic. I'm not judging at all where her heart is in this, I think that she's just leaving this up to God and I know she really tries to be open to Him. It's just my ignorance of theology in this matter that makes me afraid about what I did (not what she is thinking, because I don't believe her intentions to be bad).
2  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Regarding causing scandal to others on: March 08, 2012, 05:27:17 PM
Thank you for the replies! Smiley

Just to clarify something, the issue wasn't contraception, adultery, etc.. and the friend I was speaking to is a good faithful Catholic. The issue was something related to modesty and something I read about it on a Catholic website. If what I read is true, then I'm afraid I shouldn't have spoken about it to my friend because I am not certain if it did something harmful or not to her faith. I don't think that she just rejected it or anything, because she's not hardened towards God at all, but it's not very easy to accept either. I mean, I had a difficult time with it too and am still discerning the truth on it. But I just hope I didn't do anything wrong in telling others about this, like my friend. I know she's a very good Catholic and wants to follow and love God, so probably He just didn't show her more about this issue at the time.. if what I read is true though, I am not certain if talking about it removed any invinsible igrorance, or if that is only removed if God illumines the conscience? btw, I understand that I CAN'T know my friend's heart. I'm not saying that she is receiving Communion unworthily, or is sinning, etc. I can't know what she is choosing, etc. Like I said, she is a good Catholic, a better one than me. I'm just afraid of what I might have done.
3  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Regarding causing scandal to others on: March 06, 2012, 07:36:13 PM
thank you for the replies!

I didn't mention something though... I forgot to say that my intention was more to share my own struggles rather than helping my friend. I feel like my intention was not right and maybe that made it a sin Sad maybe it's something I should have just left to God? And I know only God knows this, but I can't help wonder if it would have been better for my friend to be ignorant of this.. even though I can't know if her Communions have been received in sin, with this knowledge, I'm afraid of having caused this, and I feel like I've been a horrible friend to her. She's one of my best friends and I feel really guilty Sad I don't know... I hope I did not do something wrong, but even before I started talking about this topic with her, I felt doubt about it, and didn't feel peace with bringing it up. I thought, maybe I should not bring it up, but still did. Sad
4  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Regarding causing scandal to others on: March 06, 2012, 06:19:02 PM
I read that scandal is causing someone to sin with your actions.

If there's something that is sinful but that is largely disregarded in our day, even by Christians, - and let's say you talk about it to a friend and tell them about quotes from a Saint or Church Father saying that it's sinful.. but they don't agree and continue doing what they were doing before... have you sinned  by telling them this information, because you removed their ignorance and made the sin something chosen? and are they now receiving Communion in a state of sin, and is it now your fault? Sad

I've been really struggling with this, would appreciate any information.

thank you!
5  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Listing of 255 Titles of Our Lady on: July 18, 2010, 03:13:44 AM
beautiful! Smiley
6  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Spiritual trials. on: May 09, 2010, 08:32:07 PM
'Also, it is not less necessary to keep a close guard on thoughts of the mind, since the devil sometimes puts good and holy thoughts in the mind to deceive it under the appearance of virtue, and after that, in order to show what it is, tries and assaults one strongly with the vice which is contrary to this virtue. This the enemy does in order to be able to entice the person into the ditch of desperation.'

~~St. Catherine of Bologna

I don't really understand this quote! can you perhaps give an example?  Huh?

I haven't been able to go to Confession and I feel so much sin in me right now, and when I try to get closer to God, I can see it more clearly...I'm afraid that giving into temptations has really affected my soul, and also my heart, I always feel it in me even when I'm not tempted. I really hope that God would cleanse and heal my soul at my next Confession because I don't think I'm in a state of grace.  Sad Sometimes I get really afraid for my salvation.   Nothing else has happened..I've been trying to not think about the church issue.

However, it's been giving me hope to think about Our Lady and to pray to her. Smiley
7  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Spiritual trials. on: May 08, 2010, 08:22:54 PM
Thank you for the replies everyone!! Smiley they really helped. I'm always so afraid of being deceived or having illusions, etc, I think that maybe God allows this to happen to me to make me more detached and to have stronger faith - independent of feelings?

I agree that holiness consists in following God's will and having real virtue, not in spiritual experiences. I actually have a story about that... at first, when these things started happening to me, I thought that was evidence of something "special" in me so that made me proud. But then God helped me to see some of my sin and I saw I'm actually really sinful and weak, and have very little virtue if at all. I think now God gave me these consolations simply in His mercy, probably *because* I'm so weak and needed encouragement! And I still think I have very little virtue and too much pride. I'm trying to trust God that He will help me to overcome this during my life.

Today, I got the temptation again, as I was on the way to Confession. Then I found out that Confession is cancelled Sad I don't know why... I really needed it. I'll try to go to on Tuesday because there's a really good priest that I want to talk to. Well so instead of Confession, I prayed before the Tabernacle. I still felt the effects of what had happened to me..... and it was so strong that it's like my mind was fixed on that "voice", and I couldn't hear anything else. For the first time in my life, it's like the Tabernacle was empty..I only believed Jesus is there by faith. I spent some time praying, and it felt like I was praying to emptiness but I know that's not the case. That just made me think that maybe the "voice" was not Jesus, since it made it so difficult to listen to Jesus in the Church and to even think of His mercy and love.....

I felt much darkness and anxiety for the next few hours, but then I asked Jesus for light and tried to open up my heart to Him. Something interesting happened, cause He didn't tell me anything about what His will is, but He did help me to want to do His will.. this gave me a lot of joy but it wasn't like an emotion, I just knew it was the right thing and from God (I mean the grace to want to do His will). So I just started praying that His will would be done in me, whatever it is. After a while of praying in this way, I felt alright that I don't know His will. I just need to be open and He will lead me in whatever way He wants, and if there's suffering along that way, that is perhaps needed to purify me. I know I need to be purified in many ways. After some time, I once again felt at peace with being Catholic, but I'm still not completely sure about anything. I'm just glad I have my faith back Smiley

You said that in temptation, God is still with us and gives us the grace to resist the temptation... that is true, but sadly yesterday I did give in to it with my will. Does that mean I ignored God's grace?

I see what you mean about having faith that's rooted in the truth and not in emotions/experiences! I guess my problem is, that the Orthodox have lots of support for their position too Sad they always cite the ECFs, etc... but I do believe in Catholicism.

God bless!
8  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Spiritual trials. on: May 07, 2010, 11:59:33 PM
I don't know.. is there some sort of infallible way we can tell if something is from Jesus? what does He give that the demons can't counterfeit? I think they can counterfeit His sense of power so I'm skeptical about my own experience.
9  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Spiritual trials. on: May 07, 2010, 11:55:30 PM
Patricia, that is what I've always believed.... but I can't figure this out. The "presence" was "peaceful" in a way... even though it was so forceful. I think it was the sense of clarity and truth I got from it that made it seem peaceful. But when I yielded to it, I was filled with much anxiety (a physical feeling of anxiety).

It was a lot like God in some ways, yet unlike Him in other ways.

I hope Jesus helps me understand what this really was Sad
10  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Spiritual trials. on: May 07, 2010, 11:41:18 PM
Hi everyone.. I'm sorry about the personal nature of this post. I'm really not sure where to ask this...... I'm going to really try and speak to my priest, but I'm afraid it would take me an hour to explain and I don't know how to approach him about this!! I'll really try though. But I need to talk about this..... I hope that's alright!! I get the impression there are people here on this forum who are really well-read in the lives of the Saints, theology, etc, and maybe something in my story would remind you of something you read....

Over the past few months, I've been going through severe spiritual trials. I'm not diagnosed with any psychological disorders... and this only happens to me with spiritual things. I've been going through many temptations, etc. But there's another thing that is very difficult for me to deal with.. it seems almost too much for me to bear.

There are two ways that I tend to experience God's presence, when it happens. One of them I believe to be Him, the other, I'm not so sure. Sometimes, I feel Jesus' presence and I recognize Him as Jesus, and I feel a lot of love, peace, joy - all the fruits of the Holy Spirit.. it has good effects on me, afterwards I find it easy to be charitable to others, to pray, - it opens my heart to God and helps me to love Him... He gives many graces through this. Sometimes even during the time of great temptation, Jesus would let me feel His presence very powerfully and He would heal my heart.

The other way.. I don't know what this is. I sometimes feel a "presence", that feels EXACTLY like Jesus. It even communicates to me, directly to my mind, that it IS Jesus. But the presence is not so gentle and loving... but neither is it angry... I just get a sense of power. That seems alright but there are three very odd things about it. One, the presence seems to force itself on me, it's almost like something pushing into my mind feels oppressed, yet there is also great clarity and a "knowledge" that this is God and Jesus. hmm... but also, the "fruits" are not so good. When I believe that it is Jesus, and turn to it, and open myself to it, - I am filled with a great interior anxiety and unrest. And also, sometimes it tells me things I can't understand. But it feels EXACTLY like Jesus, and the clarity of that feeling is unexplainable... SO clear, SO obvious, yet so unlike Him in other ways.

I've decided it's either a demon posing as Jesus, or it's Jesus testing me, or it's really Jesus but I'm for some reason unable to experience Him properly and am filled with anxiety rather than peace. I read in St John of the Cross, that the "dark night" is when God gives the soul more light than it can bear, and it experiences the light as darkness and feels absolutely rejected by God. This has actually happened to me a few times but at the same time I also felt great love for God, and a great longing for Him... with this strange oppressive experience though, - I feel no love at all. Afterwards I feel anxiety, and then nothing.

This happened many times and in different situations.. and sadly, each of the theories is supported by something. Maybe it would help if I listed them...

1. First time.. the night I became Catholic. Sad  I received the Eucharist for the first time in the Church... and instead of feeling Jesus' presence and peace, I felt great anxiety. It lasted the whole night, and then I felt that "presence", which told me (more like shouted at me) that I'm going to hell for SURE because I became Catholic, when God really wants me to be Orthodox. (I was baptized Orthodox as a child and choosing between the two churches was a very difficult process for me.) Well I was ready to go and become Orthodox the next day.... but I held on, for some reason. Instead, in the morning, I went to the Catholic church and spoke to the priest at Confession, and then received the Eucharist one more time. This time it was completely different though!!!! I felt such incredible peace and consolation, and real union with God... I also felt that I did the right thing in becoming Catholic.... I felt Jesus' love very strongly that whole day and He gave me many graces - though I was still very sinful.  I've never been able to figure out why these two contrasting experiences happened in this way.

2. I felt this oppressive presence again telling me that I'm going to hell for being Catholic, and then I felt so horrible, like it was getting into my mind, and almost like I'll be dragged to hell right then and there. I prayed and nothing helped. It felt like this was God's will. But then I put the Rosary around my neck, and everything ceased.

3. I felt this presence all around me, it told me it was God (and felt like Him too), but I felt rejected by God... I felt like I had committed the unforgiveable sin. I asked God if I did, and heard a loud, clear, "YES" from this presence. I got a clear impression that God is just but not merciful, and my strength was failing already. I then cried for half an hour because of this and begged Mary to help me. She suddenly filled me with incredible consolation and I felt Jesus tell me I hadn't committed the unforgiveable sin, I felt great love coming from Him and a lot of joy.. I spent the rest of the evening praising God for this.

4. A couple times, I felt this same anxiety after Communion... or in church.... I didn't feel any "presence" apart from Jesus in the Eucharist, but His presence for some reason filled me with great internal anxiety and unrest. But soon after, it would go away and I would feel His peace and consolation again.

5. Today. Sad I felt a lot of doubt again if I should be Catholic or Orthodox. I felt several times that I should be Orthodox, and I felt this strongly. But when I decided to trust in Jesus and in His goodness, I felt peace and then got the impression that I should be Catholic. I was confused... and then, I felt this presence again very clearly, it told me it's Jesus, and it felt *completely* like Him... the more I asked, the more surely I felt this, there was no doubt in my mind... the communication to my mind that "this is Jesus" was VERY strong. But I felt this inner anxiety before it appeared, during, and for a long time afterwards. It told me I must become Orthodox and this is God's will for me; that I made a mistake in becoming Catholic. I couldn't argue against it cause it was so evidently God - I could recognize Him... and so I said 'yes'... but I felt this great worry. I didn't receive any graces, I felt no love.. I felt like my mind was being oppressed, but the impression had *great clarity* to it, - there was no confusion at all but great inner unrest!! Even after the whole thing, I once again told God that I want His will to be done, - but this gave me no peace. Only now has the anxiety faded..after a couple hours. But I no longer feel that I should be Orthodox...Im just back to the way I was before.

While this was happening, I tried everything to discern... I tried to submit myself to God's will, I asked the "presence" to repeat something like "blessed be Jesus and Mary", I asked it if it was the same Jesus who is the Son of God, became a Man, died on the Cross and rose from the dead in 3 days. I didn't feel it repeat these things though... but it wasn't a voice so I don't know if it was supposed to, or how.

I don't really know what I'm expecting from this thread, I don't feel like anyone can know for sure what is going on with me, but I have no idea what to do now. If it was Jesus, then I should become Orthodox... but how can it be Him? I'm SO lost... I felt in my heart that it is Him, I recognized Him, there was a sense of great clarity, I also felt a very strong sense *this is the truth*.... however, at the same time, I felt such great inner unrest... if it's a demon, why would the same thing happen after Communion? If it's Jesus, why would I feel anxiety, and why would He tell me I did the unforgiveable sin when I hadn't? and why would the feeling of His presence be so oppressive, almost like something forcing itself into my mind? I even felt a strange tingling sensation on my head but it wasn't pleasant or nice at all, but like something was communicating its presence right to my mind. That's not like my other experiences of Jesus.. I always thought that Jesus is kind and gentle.. Is He just testing me? Or am I sometimes unable to experience Him properly and so I get this instead? if it's not Jesus, why do I feel so strongly that it is?

I don't understand why He would do this to me, this is more than I can bear right now. I still trust in His goodness, I still love Him, and I still believe in Him. If this is how Jesus is, then He's still my Jesus. If all this is my fault, I hope He forgives me. If this is a demon, I wish He would just show me so I wouldn't be deceived like this.

If you have any thoughts or advice please share them with me.. but if not, I would really appreciate any prayers. I want to speak to a priest but I don't know how to describe all this.. I could barely describe it here. I'll try though. ...I'm sorry this got so long!!!! I'm also sorry this is all so weird. Sad God can do anything He wants, and I'm resigned to His will, but a part of me is still asking "why me", lol. I have lots of Catholic friends who are not only practicing, but quite devout, - yet I've never heard of this happen to anyone else. There are two questions on my mind... is Jesus really like this? why? and what if He wants me to be Orthodox after all?

Thank you!!

edit: oh I forgot to say one little thing.. about the sense of "truth" that I got while the "presence" was communicating itself to me... it was a very clear, cold kind of sense of truth... and extremely strong, almost violent... but I got a similar feeling a few times when I was tempted to believe heresies. I'll list them so you can see how absurd they are. I was tempted that the Incarnation is false, that God is not merciful, that Mary is not our Mother, that Mary is a goddess, and that God doesn't exist. hmm!! So I don't believe this "sense of truth" automatically. However, this time, there was also that "presence" of Jesus... it felt so much like Him, yet was so unlike Him in other ways (the anxiety, the forcefulness), I'm completely lost and don't know how to discern! I'm quite willing to say I've been deceived, but why did I feel similarly after Communion a few can any demons attack me while I'm united with Him in the Eucharist?
11  Forums / Archive / Re: Traditionalism on: April 28, 2010, 07:31:14 PM
I love tradition  Cheesy the TLM, chapel veils, novenas, the Rosary, Adoration, Latin, etc.. but most people I know are drawn to different things so I don't talk about it a lot.

I agree that what matters is charity....and doing everything for love of God.....

the reason I'm drawn to tradition is simply because those things inspire me, they help me spiritually
God bless
12  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Judgement day on: April 28, 2010, 07:22:01 PM
thanks for the replies! Smiley I guess.. we will see Wink
13  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: salvation of friends and family. on: April 28, 2010, 07:18:52 PM
God is merciful.  Most people are fairly mindless (about most things) and don't think about more than superficial things.  That's a bit different than choosing to reject God, Jesus, and the Church.  I firmly believe in Purgatory for hearts that are a bit daft.  cross prayer

I've been thinking about that a lot.. cause many of my friends and family are like that, they don't reject God I think but they just don't think about spiritual things or sin. But I'm wondering, does it depend? for example in the Catechism it says that hardness of heart is not an excuse.. so maybe it depends on the reason why people are like that? we can't know teh reason I guess, that's only for God to judge... (which just shows why we shouldn't and can't judge others Smiley). I hope God would be merciful to us all! Even though I spend much time thinking about spiritual things I still sin lots and disobey God in many ways.. Sad so I'm not any better, perhaps worse, for this reason.
14  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Quote for the Day: Pride & the Ladder of Humility on: April 28, 2010, 07:08:30 PM
great thread! Smiley

I can see I'm going to have to upload St. Bernard's little book on this subject.

I am working to make it easier for me to update the websites at the moment, once that is done I should be able to put it up.

IX. Is false confessions and exaggerated guilt, the pretense of humility, to put one in the good graces of others or for some other manipulative purpose. False tears and sighs and groans.. But when the penalty is given for this false confession the confessed resents having to pay any..

VII. Is audacity, which St. Bernard says, 'For if a man thinks himself superior to others, is it likely that he will not push himself in front of them? he is the first to take his seat at meetings, the first to intervene in debate. He comes forward without invitation, and with no introduction but his own; he re-opens questions that have been settled, and goes again over work that has been done.'

that is interesting to me about false confessions and false guilt.... how do we make a good confession, and how does true contrition differ from false contrition?

I think one time, I experienced false contrition cause it was just guilt and I wasn't turning to God's mercy.. but another time, I felt bad for what I did, but I trusted in His mercy and was open to Him. I think maybe false contrition is focused on the self, and true contrition is focused on God - feeling sorry because you hurt Him, but trusting in His mercy?
15  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Judgement day on: April 27, 2010, 12:55:12 AM
I've been thinking about this....... I read something about the Judgement Day, and how we'll see all our sins. But what about the sins that we have confessed? Will we see them, but know they're forgiven and God won't punish us for them? how does forgiveness affect Judgement Day?

thanks Smiley
16  Forums / Submissions / Re: St. Alphonsus de Liguori on: April 27, 2010, 12:39:33 AM
wow Smiley this is great.
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