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1  Main Forums Set / None of the Above / Let's get this board going again! on: September 12, 2015, 10:26:29 PM
Hi, I just want to say to whomever might read this, please consider coming back to or joining the forum.  You may or may not know me from CAF...I'm a very scrupulous gal.  There are some wonderful people at CAF, and I will always be grateful for their kind advice and prayers, especially when my mom was dying of cancer.  But I sometimes feel "scolded" there for being who I am...and who I am is someone who struggles with scruples.  I've made progress that no one really sees because I usually only post there when I'm having a "flare-up."   I don't always agree with everyone here at Wordsfree, but I feel safe here.  Safe to be me.  Safe to be scared or confused.  Safe to express my opinion.  And I think that's the goal Alan was striving for.  We need to have a safe place to discuss issues, to vent, to support one another.  So if you're thinking about joining or coming back, I hope you will.
2  Main Forums Set / Welcome New Members / Re: May be getting new members? on: September 12, 2015, 09:38:57 PM
Tried to quote you, Alan, but it's been so long I forgot how--lol.  Anyway, bring 'em in...surely some others would like to have a safe place for discussion.
3  Main Forums Set / Welcome New Members / Re: May be getting new members? on: September 10, 2015, 11:17:19 PM
Just checking in, Alan, to see if there are any new posts.  Would love to see the boards "revive".
4  Main Forums Set / Spirituality, Mysticism, and Mystical Theology (the science of love) / Re: How to feel the love of God! on: January 19, 2015, 02:56:10 PM
I think your being in the garden with Jesus is a definite possiblity.  I cannot, of course, say for certain, as I am not a spiritual director.  The Blessed Sacrament does not need to be exposed in a monstrance in order for you to spend time with Him.  Our parish only has Adoration once a month, but I can go into the sanctuary (or the adjoining chapel) at almost any time of the day and sit in front of the tabernacle.  Jesus is in the tabernacle, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, just as He is present when He is in the monstrance for Adoration.  But if your church is a newer church, the tabernacle may not be in the sanctuary.  I certainly don't want to encourage you to do something that might bring on psychosis, so you may want to consult with your confessor and/or your psychologist first.  As you know, I am often nervous about receiving Communion, so I have been asking the Blessed Mother to cover me with her mantle, so that I may be more pleasing to the Lord.  I also ask St. Michael to keep the devil away from me.  Anyone else who is reading this might think I'm a nut, but that's okay.  I do believe it really helps!  That's why I try to stay close to Mary--the demons fear her. 
5  Main Forums Set / Spirituality, Mysticism, and Mystical Theology (the science of love) / Re: How to feel the love of God! on: January 19, 2015, 01:44:58 AM
I don't think my scruples are a Dark Night of the Soul either because I am too new in my Faith.  (Been a Catholic for 17 years but really truly learning and living it for about 3 1/2 years now).  I think your depression could definitely be a factor in your not feeling God.  I'm trying to think about the times when I've felt God's consolation, and it usually hits me all of the sudden.  I will feel kind of "teary", as though God has touched my heart.  It is almost always when I'm reading Scripture (particularly certain Psalms and sometimes stories in the Gospels such as the Good Shepherd in John and the Sinful Woman in Luke), or singing a song at Mass (as I was nearing the end of my worst bout with scruples ever, I started crying while singing "Do Not Be Afraid".  It was right at "stand up now, walk, and live."), or when I am in front of the Blessed Sacrament (either in front of the Tabernacle or in Adoration).  I read through the Stations of the Cross not long ago and felt touched by the Lord then as well.  No matter how confused I've been, I almost always leave the church after having been in front of the Blessed Sacrament feeling better, at least temporarily.  I would suggest if there is any way you possibly can, try to visit a church and sit in front of the tabernacle for even a few minutes.  Just pop in and say, "Hi Jesus, I love you.  I want to be with you always."  At home, read a bit of scripture.  The psalms and the Gospels are good places to start.  Stay close to Mary.  Try to pray the rosary as much as you can, even if you can't pray it all at once.  Every day ask Mary to bring you closer to her Son.  I'm also thinking back to this summer when I was at the peak of my scruples.  I was so confused, and I felt I was in a constant state of sin  from nearly every thought that came into my head.  I remember one week where I went to sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament nearly every day for half an hour or more.  I always felt temporarily better as I was driving home, usually humming hymns, but while I was sitting there I didn't particularly feel or hear the Lord.  I remember pleading, "Lord, please heal me; I'm so confused, I don't know what to do anymore."  But, you see, Jesus was close to me during that time, even if I didn't feel it.  Because I was with Him in the garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus surely suffered mental agony in that garden.  He felt abandoned by His apostles and friends (they couldn't even stay awake to be with Him and comfort Him), He was afraid of what lay ahead, He was tempted and taunted by the devil, and He also knew that even after He had died on the cross, many, many people would still reject Him and be lost.  If anybody knows what it's like to feel alone, it was Jesus in that moment.  And so, Shan, perhaps you are with Jesus right now in that garden?  Perhaps you are even closer to Him now than you were during your illness.  You needed those consolations during your illness--they may have helped keep you alive even.  But now that you are feeling better, perhaps this is a period of growth for you.  I prayed to the Holy Spirit to help me with how to answer your question, and so if you garner anything from this, it is from the Holy Spirit, not from me.  Anyone who believes in God, who is sincerely praying, and is trying to do God's Will, is NOT abandoned by God.  If anything, He is closer to you than ever before.  Hang in there!     
6  Main Forums Set / Spirituality, Mysticism, and Mystical Theology (the science of love) / Re: How to feel the love of God! on: January 18, 2015, 03:31:47 PM
Will reply to this soon, Shan.  As you know, I struggle with moderate to severe OCD and anxiety.  I have experienced both consolation and desolation, and I have some theories about what God might be doing in my own life.  I will share them tonight after I get back from Mass.  I will just say, Shan, that I think the Lord is so pleased that you are seeking Him; so many people just don't care at all, and that must break His Sacred Heart.  I will go so far as to say I wouldn't be surprised if the Lord has big plans for you, Shan--perhaps not big plans in the eyes of the world, but I am speaking spiritually.  Smiley 
7  Main Forums Set / Spirituality, Mysticism, and Mystical Theology (the science of love) / Re: Jesus: listening to, obeying, learning about, and worshiping. on: January 13, 2015, 09:44:19 PM
Wow, this is great, Alan!  You only posted this over a year ago. Grin    I hadn't really thought about Jesus not asking us to worship Him.    You are right--we do hear these phrases in the Scriptures: "Listen to Him." "Do what He says." AWESOME!  And then, as you say, the more we learn about Him, the more we know what He wants us to do.   He asks us to obey His Commandments and love God and our neighbor. God is certainly worthy of worship and we are to worship Him (after all, we say at Mass "It is right and just"), but perhaps WE need to worship more than God needs our worship.  When we are thankful in all circumstances, then we have joy.  When we sit and worship Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, He heals us.  When we sing "Holy Holy Holy" at Mass we join the angels and all the saints in praising God, and we are as close to Heaven on Earth as we'll ever get...and we are as one family in Christ.  Thanks for posting this.  Smiley 
8  Main Forums Set / None of the Above / Re: Happy New Year 2015! on: January 01, 2015, 09:20:25 PM
Yes, good to be back!  Thank you, Shan, I got your email about the site being back up.  Alan, I found you on Facebook and messaged you b/c I didn't have your email.  I don't know if you ever saw it.  I'll copy it and send you a message here on WF.  Happy New Year to you both and to anyone else who might be reading this!   Smiley
9  Main Forums Set / The Outside World / Re: ‘Don’t dumb down the faith,’ priest tells Denver convention crowd on: August 04, 2013, 11:54:58 PM
And if he has given me sadness, chronic pain and grief over a child's condition, am I to rejoice in God's goodness and a renewed Faith of spirit?

I don't think any of us are ever happy that we have sadness, pain, or grief.  What we rejoice in is the knowledge that when we are in Christ, we have hope of eternal life with Him.  I have OCD and sometimes I get terrible  intrusive thoughts, often at the worst times--like when I'm at Mass.  It honestly feels like torture.  But more than once the thought has occurred to me that if I make it to Heaven, I'll be happy just to sit peacefully at Jesus's feet--with no bad thoughts ever again.  I tell Jesus I don't even have to see His face--just sitting at His feet will bring me unspeakable joy.  Would I feel that way if I never had terrible intrusive thoughts?  I'm not so sure.    I have a book called "Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence" by Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure and St. Claude De La Colombiere that really caused me to look at hardship in a new way.  There are two ways in which God exercises His Will.  Sometimes He makes things happen, other times He simply allows things to happen and then brings good out of them.  Everything that happens to us is for our own good, namely for our salvation.  God sees the whole picture, and He knows things we can't know.  For instance, God may allow someone to remain poor, for He knows that if this person were to be financially comfortable, He would lose His soul.  Perhaps he would be content with material things and never seek God, but in his poverty, he relies on God's help from day to day.  You may not know why God has allowed these hardships in your life--not until you meet Him face to face.  But try to have faith that God does know what He is doing, and He can bring good out of your situation, in this life and more importantly, in the next. 
10  Main Forums Set / Reflections on Daily Readings / Re: July 15, 2013 -- Memorial of Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church on: July 17, 2013, 04:17:47 PM
I copy off the daily readings from EWTN, and they had Matthew 5:13-19 as the gospel for today.  I didn't go to Mass, so I don't know what they were there.  They don't always seem to match up.  Anyway, I have some questions about Matthew 5 and the meaning of  17-19: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.  I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.  (I get that part--the law will now be written in our hearts.) Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. (until heaven and earth pass away--does that mean the "end of the world" literally or just the end of the world as was known--following Jewish law?)  Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.  But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  (Is Jesus talking about the Kingdom of God on earth or in Heaven?  It would seem He's talking about the earthly Kingdom because we don't go to Heaven period if we seriously break the commandments and teach others to do so.)  Any thoughts on this anyone?
11  Main Forums Set / Lectio WordsFree (Matt 18:20) / Re: Rom 8:33-39 -- What will separate us from the love of Christ? on: July 13, 2013, 11:14:07 PM
Honestly, I am not so sure our way is better.  When one is coerced by eternal punishment to show up for Mass, then really why is it so joyous that we even show up?  Are we not just cattle being prodded along?  I guess it's good for the Church, but is it good for the soul?  How do I know if I love God enough to go to church, if I am threatened for missing it?  Oh well chalk that up as a strategy issue I surrender to the Church.
I see this going both ways.  For some (like me), fear of Hell is a starting point...a reason to get back on track.  The love begins to develop after you begin to take following Christ seriously.  For me, without fear of Hell, I don't know if I ever would have straightened up.  But that's what worked for ME.  For others, it's the LOVE of Christ that speaks to their hearts and brings them to repentance.  Some people are so turned off by the idea of a God that "throws them into Hell" for missing one Mass, they can't bring themselves to love a God like that.  They aren't at a point in their faith where they realize that it boils down to something else being more important (sleeping in, playing golf, watching a game, whatever) than honoring the third commandment of God by spending one hour a week in worship.  Only when they understand that, can they see how missing church "disses" the God Who made us and sent His only Son to die for our sins.  I honestly don't know what the answer is, as far as bringing others to Christ and/or to the Catholic Faith.  For some, fear of Hell is the only way they're going to straighten up, while for others hearing preaching about Hell only serves to turn them further away.

More than "why," they didn't even understand THAT I was a pleaser.  For example, if I offered to explain something to the teacher when she couldn't agree with something I knew was right, it was a offer to her.  I said I'd be happy to stay after school and discuss it.  But she didn't take that as helpful offer, she took it as undermining her authority and making her look bad.  So I got into trouble for it.  What she didn't know was that I was tutoring several others in the class who bombed a test because they had listened to her.  The other kids knew that if it was a math problem and it was the teacher against me, I would be right.  So really I was pretty bad for their fragile but sometimes violent egos.  I'll never know what I even said the time Sister John Aloysius (or maybe Sr. Charlene?) grabbed my ear and pulled it, with me trying to follow without tripping, out of the classroom and into the next one.  I was in room 106 and she opened the door to room 108, interrupting their class, and "tossed" me into the front of 108 in front of the whole class of third graders (I was in second grade), saying, "I don't want THIS in my room."  So then I had to sit in the little reading chairs in the front of the room of third graders while they conducted class.  None of this helped my behavior because I still have no idea what the hell I had even done wrong.

How sad that you were so misunderstood, Alan.  I suppose it would be embarrassing to realize that a kid knows more about math than you do as a teacher/nun.  I guess they saw it as being disrespectful, but reading your post it seems to me it could have been an opportunity for humility--a chance to show that each of us has his/her own God-given talents that should be shared for the good of others and that none of us knows everything--only God knows EVERYTHING. We ended up pulling our son from Catholic grade school before he was thrown out for bad behavior.  I'm not sure what to think about it.  I've forgiven everyone involved and I've let it go, but I've often wondered if Jesus would throw a first-grader out of a school or if He might have tried to reach Him somehow?  My kid didn't fit the obedient, fall-in-line model I guess.
12  Main Forums Set / Lectio WordsFree (Matt 18:20) / Re: Rom 8:33-39 -- What will separate us from the love of Christ? on: July 12, 2013, 11:04:09 PM
This is a very interesting conversation.  I'm like Alan in that I was always "good", at least at school.  I always wanted the teacher to like me and I never got sent to the principal, ever.  Then, when the character building teacher told us we could ask Jesus into our heart, I wanted to do that (and did).  And when she said we shouldn't say, "Oh God", I remember making a conscious effort not to say that anymore--because I wanted to please God.  I always had this deep down yearning to go to church.  I used to ask my parents to take us to church, and sometimes they would say "no" because my little brother would throw a fit and say he didn't want to go.  Maybe they just didn't want to struggle with him, I don't know.  We were Protestant, so there was no such thing as "mortal sin" or going to Hell because you missed church on Sunday.  Around the time I was 18 or 19, I turned away from God, wanting to do things "my way", but He began to pull me back to Him shortly after that.  Now my worst nightmare is to turn away from God.  My son has been just about the exact opposite--rebellious almost from birth.  He railed against authority even in preschool.  He wants nothing to do with the church or God.  I pray for him everyday.  I'm curious, Alan, why no one could understand why you wanted to be a "pleaser".  If my son had been a "pleaser" I think his teachers would have been very happy.  As it was, I got called or confronted by his teacher almost every day for his poor behavior--at least until high school--then he just kind of did his "own thing" and stayed out of trouble.
13  Main Forums Set / The Book Nook / 7 Secrets of the Eucharist on: July 11, 2013, 10:20:41 AM
I was watching EWTN this morning and they advertised a book called "7 Secrets of the Eucharist" by Vinny Flynn.  I looked it up on Amazon and read a preview--it looks pretty awesome.  In part of the preview it talks about how in the first 900 years of the Church, people received the Eucharist in the hand, and only in the ninth century did they begin to receive on the tongue.  Pope Benedict XVI said that when we place our right hand over our left, we make a "cross"--a throne for a King Whom we are receiving.  I thought that was pretty awesome, and I would never have looked at it that way.  Furthermore, the pope goes on to say that our hands are no more dirty than our tongues and our hearts--that we sin more with our tongues than with our hands.  Again, a pretty insightful way of looking at it.  In the end, receiving on the hand or on the tongue is a matter of preference, and arguing about which is better only serves to divide the Body of Christ.  I plan to order this book.  By the way, Vinny Flynn is the guy who sings the Divine Mercy Chaplet on EWTN.
14  Main Forums Set / The Outside World / Re: Pope Francis invites homeless to dine at Vatican on: July 09, 2013, 08:17:40 PM
AWESOME!  I have nothing else to say.   Smiley
15  Main Forums Set / Saint Section / St. Therese morning prayer on: July 02, 2013, 11:13:12 AM
I have been looking for a morning offering prayer, and today this one just happened to pop up on my Facebook page.  It's just the "right" one for me!

O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.

O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all Eternity.


Read more:

At night I say this one:  "Eternal Father, I desire to rest in Your Heart this night. I make the intention of offering to You every beat of my heart, joining to them as many acts of love and desire. I will bring back to You souls that offend You. I ask forgiveness for the whole world, especially for those who know You and yet sin. I offer You my every breath and heartbeat as a prayer of reparation.

I believe the prayer above comes from Sr. Josefa Menendez.  
16  Main Forums Set / Lectio WordsFree (Matt 18:20) / Re: 1 Cor 1:17-21 -- Preaching the gospel, but not in wisdom of speech. on: July 01, 2013, 08:17:14 PM

Have I told you yet about the Gooey people v. the Prickly people?

I'm going to be honest with you, Alan.  My scruples mean that I choose very carefully what I watch on youtube due to fear of violating copyright laws.  I realize my fears may be overblown, but it's one of those legal issues that is so complicated (another issue discussed at length on another catholic forum), that it strikes fear directly into my heart. Shocked  I did discover something cool last night--that when you search for google images, you can search for ones that are licensed for reuse or modification, even for commercial reuse.  And I know I can watch you play hymns on youtube b/c anything written before 1923 is public domain.  I used to watch videos on youtube all the time, but then I became afraid of breaking copyright laws. Sad  I figure I might as well be honest about my fears b/c if you can't be honest, then you can't be free.  But I will say, if I hadn't watched the videos about Hell on youtube, I probably wouldn't be here today!  
17  Main Forums Set / Lectio WordsFree (Matt 18:20) / Re: 1 Cor 1:17-21 -- Preaching the gospel, but not in wisdom of speech. on: July 01, 2013, 08:00:03 PM
Some even expressed the belief that God was on their side.

God usually avoids taking sides IMO.  He thinks in a greater picture than being on the Side of This Person, or the Side of That Person.  So in a way, He's on everybody's side.  But what's best for everybody, is not for everybody to get their prayers answers in the precise manner the prayer asks for.

Maybe "on their side" was not the best choice of words!  What I meant was, some people couldn't believe that abortion wasn't okay with God.  Of course, God is on everyone's side, loving us all and wanting us all to turn to Him.
18  Main Forums Set / Lectio WordsFree (Matt 18:20) / Re: 1 Cor 1:17-21 -- Preaching the gospel, but not in wisdom of speech. on: July 01, 2013, 06:34:55 PM
I have recently experienced this, having tried to debate the topic of abortion with "pro-choicers" on a Facebook page, many of whom seemed to be athiests or fallen away from religion.  Some even expressed the belief that God was on their side. The world thinks that suffering is useless/foolish, and so the message of suffering with Christ, is utter foolishness to them.  In fact, EVERYTHING I said to them was foolish, old-fashioned, irrelevant, and even "arrogant".  The verse came to my mind, "Don't cast your pearls before swine, lest you be trampled by them."   I suppose we Christians do seem "insane" to most of the world.  What "sane" person would want to give a child up for adoption when that can cause emotional pain for the child?  (I countered that I myself am adopted and experienced some emotional pain, but I'm still glad I'm alive).  What "sane" person would choose not to have sex outside of marriage, where children are more likely to be welcomed and cared for?  Having once had this wordly viewpoint myself, but now having the grace and light to see Truth, I am so deeply saddened that so many reject God.  God's ways are foolish to the world.
19  Main Forums Set / Lectio WordsFree (Matt 18:20) / Re: Phillipians 1:15-20 -- Paul's imprisonment glorified Jesus Christ. on: July 01, 2013, 06:12:56 PM

This is what I like about Paul.  (Paul or Timothy I'm guessing Paul)  He's all about results and not the process.  He doesn't care if people are on his side or not, as long as Christ is proclaimed.  His own ego and even his life is nothing compared to the mission.



Since there's no time limit to reply to a post here on WF (even though I got a warning Wink ), I'll just say that your reaction makes me think about Jesus Himself, who when (I believe it was) the disciples told Him that others were driving out demons in His name, He said, "Whoever is not against us, is for us."  In the end people were being brought to Jesus, whether those driving out the demons were true disciples or not.  I think the same thing could be said for certain fallen tv preachers.  Maybe they weren't following Christ themselves, getting involved in all kinds of scandal, and yet there were probably thousands of people who came to Christ and DID start living for Him. 
20  Main Forums Set / Reflections on Daily Readings / Re: June 30, 2013 -- Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time on: June 30, 2013, 06:09:35 PM
Reading 2 GAL 5:1, 13-18

Brothers and sisters:
For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

Our pastor said during his homily this weekend that the "slavery" St. Paul refers to is the slavery of sin.  I am thinking that it could also refer to what you and I have been discussing on WF about "the yoke of slavery" being the "law".  So which is it?  Or is it BOTH?  I can't find anything in my Bible notes about this.
21  Main Forums Set / Reflections on Daily Readings / Re: June 26, 2013 -- Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time on: June 29, 2013, 12:16:42 PM
[quote author=Alan link=topic=2861.msg41076#msg41076 date=1372511186

St. Paul refers to spiritual food v. milk.

Heb 5:11-14
About this we have much to say, and it is difficult to explain, for you have become sluggish in hearing.  Although you should be teachers by this time, you need to have someone teach you again the basic elements of the utterances of God. You need milk, [and] not solid food.  Everyone who lives on milk lacks experience of the word of righteousness, for he is a child.  But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties are trained by practice to discern good and evil.[/color]

1 Cor 3:1-3
Brothers, I could not talk to you as spiritual people, but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ.  I fed you milk, not solid food, because you were unable to take it. Indeed, you are still not able, even now, for you are still of the flesh. While there is jealousy and rivalry among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving in an ordinary human way?


Wow, Alan, I've read these verses before I'm sure--but I'd never really thought about them in this way.  It makes a WHOLE lot of sense!  This must be the reason for the saying (was it St. Augustine?), "Love God and do what you will."  That sounds really scary, until you think about it...IF you REALLY love God, you're not going to deliberately choose anything truly evil.  You may make an honest mistake--but mistakes are easily forgiven.  I've had two years of "milk".  Honestly, I needed it, having not formed my conscience properly or studied the Bible or church teachings the way I should have.  I've learned a lot.  I don't know everything, but we'll NEVER know everything.  I often turn back to something that St. Thomas Aquinas said, "Although grace is lost by one act of mortal sin, it is not easily lost, because it is not easy for someone who has grace to do such an act, on account of his inclination to the opposite action."  Since I've been learning my faith and frequenting the sacraments and really trying to live my life for Jesus for TWO YEARS (and being super sensitive to sin), I don't think it's really very likely that I'm going to suddenly deliberately turn away from God and commit mortal sin.  COULD it happen?  Well, sure it's a POSSIBILITY for anyone.  But the likelihood is small, and IF I did mortally sin I would KNOW IT.  Last night I went to Mass and communion even though I had some doubts/worries.  But I told Jesus, "I don't think I've mortally sinned because I have doubt about it.  So I'm going to receive you in communion, and if I am wrong, I pray you'll forgive me."  And then I received communion with peace and joy.  I wouldn't have received communion if I really truly thought I had mortally sinned.  I would have gone to confession, since it's offered right before Friday evening Mass.
22  Main Forums Set / Reflections on Daily Readings / Re: June 26, 2013 -- Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time on: June 27, 2013, 06:01:00 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb here about mortal sin, though I have heard this from priests and there seems to be sound theology to back it up. I don't see it as inconsistent at all with Church teaching though the self-proclaimed (though untrained) theologians and canon lawyers would likely condemn my views.

I don't believe there is such a thing as an isolated mortal sin, except possibly in some extremely rare circumstances. Mortal sin is an actual desire to separate one's self from God. One does not do that in a single action. One can certainly come to a state of mortal sin where one has come to that desire through an ongoing hardening of the heart. It is at that point that one "commits" the one "unforgivable" sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, as at that point one has hardened their heart to the extent of being unable to allow the Holy Spirit to bring them back.

t your deOne thing I am sure of: one cannot unknowingly commit a mortal sin since consent is a prerequisite. Even grave sins are often--possibly most of the time!--the result of compulsions and addictions which mediate against our being able to give full consent.

I've not had to deal with scruples and can't imagine the kind of hell that must present. I fully believe though from what I have seen of you Veronica that there is no way that God is not dancing with joy asire to please Him, and that it pains Him greatly to see you in such a state of anxiety.

John, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you that one mortal sin cannot separate us from God.  But I will concede that IF we are truly trying to follow Jesus and we "fall", we may be able to turn back to Him almost immediately, ask for forgiveness, and be put back in a state of grace even before we can get to confession.  But when we consistently disobey God and keep committing mortal sins, we are no longer receptive to the grace that brings us back.   And yes, I know the age-old advice of "If you're scrupulous and you're not sure you've mortally sinned, then you haven't."  It's just being able to ACCEPT that.  It takes a lot of "guts" when you're deathly afraid of receiving the Eucharist unworthily to step out in Faith and say, "Lord, I have doubts that I've mortally sinned, so I am going to receive you and trust you will forgive me if I'm wrong."  IF I do that (and I do sometimes) I usually feel peace about it.  Yes, scruples are a type of "hell".  A "hell" that no one can see.  You APPEAR to others to be okay, but inside you're shaking in your boots, your thoughts circling over and over and over.  I will tell you one thing I did when I first had my reversion two years ago.  At the time I was afraid of not just Hell but of Purgatory too, so I prayed several times that the Lord would let me do my Purgatory on careful what you pray for sometimes!   
23  Main Forums Set / Reflections on Daily Readings / Re: June 26, 2013 -- Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time on: June 27, 2013, 05:49:49 PM

I like John's idea about the state of grace.  I think that the "model" the Church has of mortal sin, is supposed to get us to think that if we turn against God and act out on it in a significant way, it damages our relationship with God.  That's what's important IMO.  Whether a sin is technically mortal or not, like Theresa of Avila I believe that what is really important is beyond whether it is grave matter and into the intent.  IMO whether "fully" informed or not, if you were fully "enough" informed and you desired to intentionally go against God -- and not for some Greater Good that you perceive btw -- then you have a separation that needs to be corrected.  Now whether that requires a confessional in any given circumstance is something I generally leave to others.

I could see your statement causing a lot of trouble on a certain catholic forum!  Shocked    At least the part where you say the church's teaching of "one mortal sin and you separate yourself from God" is only a "model".  BUT in your case, I don't think it's really that you DENY that teaching--you've simply MOVED BEYOND IT.   You don't sit around WORRYING and STEWING about whether something is "mortal" or "venial".  You realize when you've deliberately done something wrong, and you takes steps to reconcile with God.  Whether you need to go to confession or whether you simply ask God for forgiveness is something that comes pretty natural to you, I think.   I think I'm beginning to "get" you, Alan.  It's not that you DENY certain Church teachings--it's that you've sort of internalized them so that you you're not focusing on the "law"'s written in your heart.  Correct me, if I'm wrong.   
24  Main Forums Set / The Outside World / Re: Wendy Davis and her Abortion Bill Filibuster on: June 27, 2013, 08:51:22 AM
Update:  I just called the Texas governor's office, and was informed that the governor has already called a special session that begins Monday!  So there's no need to call...apparently enough people have called already!   Smiley
25  Main Forums Set / The Outside World / Wendy Davis and her Abortion Bill Filibuster on: June 26, 2013, 08:27:14 PM

Texas state senator Wendy Davis filibustered to stop passage of a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.  She had a whole mob of feminists supporting her.  One of my facebook friends posted about her like she is a superstar.  There's even a facebook page called "Wendy m*****f******* (I don't know if I can put it this way--hope it's not offensive) Davis", where people are praising her and calling her a LEGEND.  Thanks to her the bill died.  BUT it has a second chance. The Texas governor's office is accepting calls from ANYONE in the U.S., and you can request that the SB5 bill be given a second chance.  Here's the number.  512-463-2000  I tried calling but it was busy and I had to leave.  I'll try again tomorrow.  This is so very sad.  Take a look at her facebook page.  It's hard to believe the support she has.
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