I have a question...I'm a 16 year old girl and a year ago I was very suicidal and began intense therapy. Now I've recently been dealing with the problem of self harm...I feel awful about it cuz I don't want God to be mad that I'm destroying his creation and I just don't know how to feel
Hello, my dear!
Thank you so much for trusting me with your message, and I’m sorry it took me so long to respond. I am very glad to hear that you have the courage to seek out therapy; I, myself, go to therapy and find it to be so helpful and such a blessing. Please know that you are incredibly and perfectly loved by God, Who created you in His image and loves you with all of His heart. Fortunately, we have a Father who loves us no matter what! He knows that we all falter in different ways, and is constantly reaching out to us, trying to help us love and be loved. Please know of my prayers and love for you.
I am the anon that brought up the gay marriage a week ago. I have learned that my political, social and spiritual beliefs don't fit with Catholicism (I have been thinking about this for a while). I have found out about the United Church of Christ, which confirms more closely with my beliefs. I am still a minor, but when I reach adulthood and move out of my home, I plan to leave the Catholic Church and join the UCC. I feel that I can be close to God in that church without feeling out of place.
Thank you for the message! I pray that you will find God’s love wherever you go, although I do hope that you stay with the Catholic Church and help Her grow. =]
Putting up that "catholic problem" abt St Francis and gay marriage can only cause more confusion and confusion is a problem in and of itself. Getting likes and reblogs, at the cost of more confusion in the Church, just isn't worth it.
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Admittedly, I was slightly concerned that it would not be received in the spirit in which it was intended, but I posted it anyway in hopes that it wouldn’t cause confusion. Thanks for your message! I will do my best to clear up confusion and edit that post. Also, I didn’t notice the typo in the CP (“St. Francis” instead of “Pope Francis”), so my apologies for that. I guess this is what happens when the Pope shares a name with your favorite saint!
Note to my followers: the Catholic Problem about Pope Francis was meant as a parody of the media’s overall misinterpretation of what Pope Francis said about homosexual persons in the Church. I would like to take this opportunity to restate that I agree wholeheartedly with the Church’s beliefs regarding homosexuality. The post has been removed in order to prevent any further confusion.
I am the anon who originally brought up the gay topic. The thing is, I desperately want to get married someday. I have cried tears of joy when thinking of my future wife. The only other time I have cried happy tears was during adoration when God showed me my mom in heaven. I want to have a wedding, to be married by a priest, to be legally married, and to remain with the Catholic Church. That is my dream.
I can tell by your words that you have a heart full of love; a heart that wants so deeply to love and be loved. It also sounds like your heart has been truly touched by God; that moment when God showed you your mom in Heaven during Adoration must have been beyond beautiful.
At the same time, I am sure that you know that Holy Matrimony is a union that is exclusively for one man and one woman; that this union — as it is described by and performed in the Church — cannot exist between two members of the opposite sex, or 3+ people of any sex.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you are not called to love and be loved; far from it! I have faith that God is calling you to a vocation in which you will truly flourish in every possible way, always growing closer to Him; a vocation where you will pour out all of the love in your heart and receive even more from the people around you, and from your Father in Heaven who loves you beyond belief.
I will be praying for you, Anon, that you may discern the vocation that God is calling you to.
I was just in Romania where orthodoxy is the norm. Rather than I book, I would suggest a person who is orthodox, say a priest or his wife. I know that sometimes books aren't the best way to understand the religion.
Check out "The Essential Catholic Survival Guide: Answers to Tough Questions about the Faith". There's a chapter specifically on The Catholic and Orthodox Churches; they discuss how the Schism happened and the differences betweent the two
Thank you so much!
To my Eastern Orthodox brother (or sister…couldn’t tell by your post), I hope you find this useful. =]
Does anyone know of some good books, articles, or other resources that explain the differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism? I looked around but didn’t see any particularly good resources. Please send them via ask box if you think of any.
I'm a 17-year-old Catholic homoromantic asexual girl, and I have to tell my very similarly oriented anon friend that I think we have a special place in Church theology that I would love to see become more well-studied and understood, especially the separation between romantic attraction from sexual attraction. As for coming out, my policy was "asexual first, homoromantic later." Made it easier for everyone, haha.
Anon, what do you think about this?
Also, another follower suggested possibly looking into the religious life. Just a thought if you haven’t discerned God’s vocation for you yet! Perhaps he could be calling you to the religious or the single life.
About being Catholic and supporting gay "marriage": I have been having difficulty with this because my best friend is gay and wants to get married but I know that as a Catholic I'm not supposed to support gay marriage. I agree with you that it's hard to define gay "marriage" as marriage, but what I have realized is that the Church and the State have 2 very different definitions of marriage. Being married at city hall is not considered marriage by the Church, etc.
As I also have friends who are gay, I understand that this can be a sticky situation for Catholics. Having said that, just remember that the Church teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman and she teaches that we are to love our LGBTQ brothers and sisters! You can treat members of the LGBTQ community with love and respect while holding firm to the belief that gay “marriage” cannot exist because of the nature of marriage.
Now, you are correct in saying that the Church and the State have different definitions of marriage, and this is where the discussion of whether or not to legalize gay “marriage” typically begins. As this is a blog dedicated to faith and not to politics, I will end my response here.
I do wish you wouldn't put quotation marks around the word marriage when referring to gay marriage. I recognize that you and the Church do not believe that it should be allowed and thus that it does not exist, but at the same time, putting the same time, putting quotation marks around it seems like an uncalled-for attack designed to reduce the dignity of homosexual persons by making something they believe in laughable, which goes against the teaching to treat all humans with respect.
Thank you for bringing this to my attention; I did not mean to cause offense to anyone or seem like I was belittling my homosexual brothers and sisters by using quotations. Please accept my deepest apologies, and I will be more careful in choosing my words in the future so that I come across with love, as I always try to do.
My using quotation marks in that instance is to make it clear that the Church believes marriage is a union that is exclusively between one man and one woman; as such, marriage in the Church’s eyes (and my own) cannot exist between two members of the opposite sex, or between 3+ people regardless of their sex. In short, the quotation marks are used for purposes of clarity. I hope that better explains where I’m coming from.
So my friend from school almost killed himself a couple nights ago. He asked what to do, & I told him to go to church. I invited him to go to my church. His mom & sister are also going with him. Two of our other Catholic guy friends (I'm a girl) are going with our friend to help him not be lost in Mass & support him. I'm wondering if it sounds like I'm pressuring him? I don't want to seem like I'm forcing it on him. Please help!! Thank you in advance:)
Thank you for coming to me with your question! I appreciate your trust. =]
First of all, it is so wonderful that you are sticking by your friend in what I’m sure is a difficult time in his life. Keep continuing to show him God’s love!
I would be upfront with your friend and just ask him if he feels pressured, and maybe let him know that you don’t want to force this on him, but you invited him in hopes that going to Mass with you will help him.
Continue to pray for him, and I will pray for both of you, as well!
I am 14 years old and a devoted Catholic. I am also a homoromantic asexual, which means that I like girls and want to marry one eventually, but don't find anyone attractive, nor do I ever want to have sex (virgin for life). I am not out of the "closet" yet, partly because I am scared of what some people in my church will think. What do you think people in the church think of my orientation, and of other orientations under the LGBTQ or "gay" umbrella? I am tired of hiding a huge part of myself.
Thanks for coming to me and trusting me with your question. =]
There are two things that I can tell you, which will hopefully form some kind of response to your question:
1. As I’m sure you know, the Catholic Church holds that marriage is a unique institution between one man and one woman, period. That holds true in your case. 2. Hopefully you also know that the Catholic Church teaches that we all should love our brothers and sisters in Christ and treat them with dignity, as we are all children by God, wonderfully created by Him.
To be honest, I’m not sure that I can give you an adequate response to your question regarding what people in the Church think of your orientation. I hope and pray that they will treat you with love and dignity because, as I said, we are all worthy of being treated with love and dignity.
Faithful followers, do any of you have insight into Anon’s question?
p.s why do catholics have so many rules and traditions that other churches over look? I'm getting so fed up with calling myself a catholic.
I’m not sure which other post is yours, but please forgive me for the delay in responding to this one.
I am no theologian, but I will do my best to answer your question! The Catholic Church, as the Church created by Jesus Christ when He made Peter the first pope, uses tradition and Holy Scripture to worship God and teach the faith. The “rules” are teachings that are meant to guide us to a holier way of life; in fact, these “rules” - which may seem binding and restricting at first - lead us to true freedom, the freedom to love and follow God more fully.
This was a very cursory explanation, but I will refer you to this page to read more about Catholic tradition. I have faith that once you have had time to dive deeper into the origin and meaning of the Church’s rules and traditions, you will find them to be beautiful! Don’t lose faith, Anon.
I'm a catholic. I eat before receiving communion because i'm hungry, receive communion with sin (because its bullshit for anybody to be sin free jesus said that sure), I practice premarital sex and live with my fiance, I drink and smoke pot, I can barely ever make it to church, I swear like the sailor, don't have a clue about the rosery, can barely recite anything from the bible itself but you know what? I love jesus and i'm still a good person. bam.
I would never think of saying that you - or anyone else, for that matter - are not a good person. Quite simply, it is not my place to judge the faith or goodness of another; you are my sister in Christ, lovingly created by God, Who loves both of us despite our sins.
Anon, may I suggest that you ask yourself why you are intent upon calling yourself a Catholic when you do not agree (I’m assuming, based on what you said in your message) on some of the Church’s fundamental teachings? Noone is perfect or without sin, but being Catholic is about much more than calling yourself one. It is essential to be a Catholic in deed, out of love of God and a sincere desire to follow His and His will, trusting in the wisdom and guidance of the Catholic Church as the Church created by the Son of God. If we ignore the Church’s most important teachings, then how are we to call ourselves Catholic in good faith?
I have impure thoughts and I feel like I can't stop them :(
Please forgive me for my tardiness in responding to your message!
Do not lose hope, you can and will overcome these impure thoughts with the help of God and His grace! Remember: nothing is impossible with God.
Granted, this is not to say that stopping impure thoughts is easy, because it definitely isn’t.
If I may, here are some suggestions on how you can hopefully stop these impure thoughts with God’s help: - Every time you feel impure thoughts enter your mind, expel them from your thoughts and say a prayer, asking God for strength. - Say a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel and ask him to help you battle this temptation. - Take a look at this page for some other prayers that may help you.
Most importantly, keep in mind that God wants you to be chaste all around, and this includes overcoming those impure thoughts. He will help you!
Re: Sign of the Cross more than once from a previous question. As a Roman Catholic It isnt sacriligious to make the sign of the cross more than once, but as a Roman Catholic, it'd just be out of the ordinary. The Latin Rite Catholics (that's us Roman Catholics) traditionally only do the Sign of the Cross once. However some of the Easter Rite Catholics (ex: Byzantine Catholics) also do the Sign of the Cross three times for the Trinity, & maybe other Rites too, due to their custom.
To the Anon who asked about making the Sign of the Cross more than once.
Is it bad that I'm catholic and support gay rights? And I'm pro choice? I feel like these are two things the church is against, but I feel very strongly about them. Its just lately ive been feeling like im drawing away from the church bc of this, i dont know... P.s. I personally would probably keep a baby, but I think other women should have that option and be able to do it in a clean environment vs some sketchy bad street business because legal or not it's going to happen.
This will be a rather long response, and I hope that you will read it in its entirety as I tried to address as many aspects of the issues as I could. Since there are many people out there who claim to be Catholic, yet are pro-choice and support gay “marriage,” I will be very straight-forward. Please know that my responses are made out of love for you, my sister (which I’m assuming based on your comment about keeping a baby in the event of an unplanned pregnancy) in Christ!
First, on abortion. Being Catholic and being pro-choice are mutually exclusive: you are either Catholic or pro-choice, it is impossible to be both. Here is an excerpt from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on abortion (you can read the full text here, just scroll down to paragraph 2270, the beginning of the section on abortion): "2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. ‘A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,’ ‘by the very commission of the offense,’ and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.” (All emphasis is mine.)
I chose this excerpt to demonstrate to you the grave importance of this issue to the Church. It is a fundamental Catholic teaching that a human being is created at the moment of conception, and it is our moral duty to love and respect that person from the moment of conception until he or she dies a natural death. I bolded the part of the excerpt to show that the Church also teaches God’s loving and infinite mercy, which means that anyone — no matter how many abortions they have had or performed, how much they have advocated for the legality of abortion, or how much they have supported abortion in any way — can and will be forgiven so long as he or she is truly repentant of his or her sins. We are all sinners, and we are so blessed to have a loving and forgiving God who will forgive us no matter what.
In response to your statement that you “think other women should have that option and be able to do it in a clean environment vs some sketchy bad street business because legal or not it’s going to happen,” I will say this: I have to agree with you that, unfortunately, abortion will happen whether it is legal or illegal (although I hope and pray for a miracle and for a day where this is not true). Having said that, the logic behind this part of your argument is flawed. The fact that something will happen regardless of its legality or illegality is not a sufficient reason to make the act legal. Since abortion is the ending of a human life, I will use the go-to analogy of pro-lifers who show that this argument (often used in the pro-choice repertoire of arguments) is illogical and poorly founded: murder happens although it is illegal. Does that mean we should make it legal so that murders can happen in “better” or “safer” environments? No, it does not. Again, abortion is the ending of a human life, so I use this murder analogy in full awareness of its implications, namely that abortion is murder (which it is). The fact of the matter is that ending a human life cannot and should not be tolerated or made legal, whether this human being is inside or outside the womb. Also, sketchy back-alley abortions still happen today, despite the fact that abortion is legal. Even abortions in clinics are unsafe (due to not being properly regulated as other medical facilities should be and are required to be) and cause untold damage to women. I will provide more evidence of these two claims if you like.
Since I am primarily answering your question about being Catholic and pro-choice, I will stop the explanation there. If my explanation of the impossibility of being Catholic and pro-choice isn’t clear, please let me know and I will try explaining it better!
Second, on gay rights. For the sake of simplicity, I will address whether or not a Catholic can support gay marriage and remain a Catholic. Again, please let me know if you would like me to dive into other aspects of this issue and I will do my best! This issue is extremely complicated and, as I’m sure you know, has numerous aspects which must be considered.
Firstly, a Catholic has a moral duty to love all members of the LGBTQ community as brothers and sisters in Christ. They were made in God’s image and are His beloved children; as such, they are inherently worthy of love and respect. On this topic, the Catechism says the following (full text may be found here): "2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”(All emphasis is mine.) With that, I will leave the “how should Catholics treat members of the LGBTQ community” aspect of the issue there.
Moving on to the “should Catholics support gay ‘marriage’” aspect of the issue. It is important to note that marriage — as it is viewed by the Church — cannot occur between two members of the same sex. Marriage is inherently a union of two persons (and two persons only) of the opposite sex. A union of two persons of the same sex is not a marriage in the eyes of the Church. This is why I put quotations around the term “gay marriage”: because it does not exist.
Now, whether or not same-sex couples should be afforded the same legal rights as opposite-sex couples in purely legal terms is another discussion. All I will say about this facet of the issue is this: I see no reason why same-sex unions need to be given the term “marriage” as a description or label of their union. A union between two members of the opposite sex is inherently different than the union between two members of the same sex. As such, I believe that in legal terms, same-sex unions should be given a term other than “marriage,” which should be reserved exclusively for unions between two members of the opposite sex. Going along with the legal aspect of the gay “marriage” issue, I do not believe that a Catholic can, in good conscience, vote in favor of the legalization of gay marriage.
Frankly, this issue is very complex, especially in regards to the separation of Church and State issue. In summary, I will say that a Catholic cannot and should not believe that marriage can truly exist between two members of the same sex (or multiple members of whichever sex), and that Catholics cannot in good conscience vote in favor of the legalization of gay “marriage.”
Obviously, a lot was said here and it wasn’t too overwhelming. These are very important, relevant, and prevalent issues and your question is deserving of a thorough and well-thought of explanation.
In essentially saying that “No, you definitely cannot be Catholic and pro-choice,” and “No, you can’t be Catholic and support gay ‘marriage’,” I am not trying to convince you to run away from the Church. These issues are very difficult, and I truly believe that the majority of people who are pro-choice and support gay “marriage” do so out of wanting to help others. Having said that, we are imperfect human beings and make mistakes (I sure make them on a regular basis).
I hope and pray that you will take some time to think about these issues and what they mean in terms of being Catholic. Most of all, I pray that you come to see the love and truth behind the Church’s teachings on abortion and gay “marriage” and find a sense of peace.
I have a bad problem of looking at p o r n (just pictures) any words on me resisting the temptation?
You are not the only one struggling with this, and have hope! With God’s grace, you can overcome the temptation. =]
In times of temptation, turn to God through prayer. I think a prayer to St. Michael could be particularly helpful in helping you fight the evil of pornography.
Also, it could be good to talk to a priest or someone else that you trust to help you fight the temptation. I hope this helps!
Pax et bonum, friend.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
I recently got back in touch with my best friend in high school. We actually met through church, but she drinks, she parties, she does drugs, and she sleeps around. I used to just put up with it. I don't want to cut her out of my life completely because I do love her as a friend, she's been there for me through difficult times, and we've had fun without drugs or alcohol. How do I tell her that I'm not the same person I used to be and that I don't approve or want to join in on what she's doing?
Well, I’m not going to lie, this is a difficult situation and it’s one that I have been in before. Do not lose hope, though!
First off and most importantly, pray. Pray for her, pray for your friendship, and pray that God may keep you close to Him and that you may be opened up to His grace.
On the one hand, and as you said, you don’t have to cut her out of your life because of the decisions she makes. On the other hand, you should make sure that her decisions do not have a negative impact on yours and your relationship with God. If you decide to continue your friendship with her, it could be a great opportunity for evangelization. Whether you evangelize to her directly. through example, or both, you could be a great blessing in her life, and she could be a great blessing in yours, as well. Continue to love her, be kind to her, and ask God to show you what His will is. I hope that helps!
For a long time now, I've really a long time friend of mine. my older cousin kept telling me that he liked me too, and that I should confess to him because he's too shy. I did, but not long afterwards my parents told me that the guy should always be the first person to make a move in a relationship (and I have a feeling that that they know I told him). Is there anything in the Catholic faith supporting that, or is it just a rule my parents set in place for my family?
As far as I know, the Church does not teach that a man always has to initiate a relationship (someone please correct me if I’m wrong). Having said that, I would turn to prayer and see what God is telling you to do in a given situation. In making a decision regarding what to do, make sure to remain respectful of your parents’ wishes. This could be an opportunity to have a great, adult conversation with them!
Hey, I am attending a catholic retreat in a few weeks and giving a speech on forgiveness and why it it is important to forgive others in our lives. I was wondering if you had any ideas, information or words of wisdom that could help me prepare to give this speech (without sounding to 'preachy') and how to be interesting while presenting it. Im really nervous so anything helps. Thanks! God Bless!
Due to my awful lateness in responding to your ask (please forgive me!), I worry that it may be too late to respond to this one. If you have not given your speech yet, please let me know and I will do my best to help!
Hi I'm a girl who's a minor. My friend from a theater group I am in is a 21 year old guy. He's great, but I don't see him outside of theater since my parents are uncomfortable with our age gap. Recently he has expressed desire to convert to Catholicism, and I promised to help since I've been a practicing Catholic from birth. My parents are fine with it, but I don't know how to go about it because I've never helped a convert before. Also, I know he likes me and I don't want to encourage him.
I have never helped a convert before, either, but I would highly suggest praying to the Holy Spirit and asking His help as you help out your friend! It’s wonderful that he has opened up to you about his desire to convert. That’s good that your parents are fine with you helping him. To make sure the relationship between you two stays appropriate in the process, I would suggest meeting in public settings which give you enough space to talk about the sensitive issues related to conversion while not creating an overly intimate environment. Does that make sense?