At least send up a prayer for me. I am in so much emotional pain, and I am so alone. I had a rough childhood, and since marrying at 19, life has just been tough for us. I think because both of us were so wounded as children. I came to know the Lord at 19, and we went into protestant ministry for many years, converted to Catholicism about 4 years ago. I’m having a hard time, now, in my first real (inside) emotional crisis, getting the catholic part figured out. I knew how (I thought) to get through this kind of thing as a protestant, but it is harder now. I feel that God expects so much more of me, and I’m failing, and I can’t find his compassion, and right now the teachings of the Catholic church are very scary and blocking me, I think from being able to find God.
Is there a book or a website that you know of that might be a compassionate (I think I need compassion, maybe thinking I need compassion is part of my problem) explanation of the Church’s view of emotional illness?
Mrs. Treasures writes:
I am not a psychologist or a counselor so I will restrict my thoughts as a servant of Christ more than as an expert of psychological disorders.
Think of your life as a “film strip” where God can see the past, the present and the future. He can also control it by fast forwarding it, slowing it down or stopping it. God has so much control of our lives that to think that we can control it on our own is too assuming.
God sees your life when you were young and wounded. He can also see you at the point when you are curling in fetal position and feeling scared. God is that powerful. He knows you inside and out. But, God loved us so much that He gave us free will. We must listen to Him and utilize the many graces that he continually showers to us through His Church.
Do not lose your hope with the Catholic Church, since it was Jesus himself who handed the Church to Peter, you are assured that this is the Church that God is referring to in the Bible. This is only the Church that can trace its roots from the apostles. The Church is composed of humans who will likely err but the Church is also gifted with so many examples of virtuous lives. It is funny how God made Saints out of ordinary people to let us know that you can be a simple mother, accept your cross and be a Saint. It is also only in the Catholic Church when we can partake in the Body and Blood of Christ, the Eucharist – the real presence of Christ.
It is for this reason that I want to share with you, in my experience, how the Catholic Church and Her sacraments can help you.
1. The powerful healing that occurs in the Sacrament of Confession (Reconciliation)
To ask forgiveness from God, after a good examination of conscience, will reconcile you with our Lord. Do that as the first step. A good confession will be an indication of your humility in front of God. In effect, God will transform you. You will want to be “one” or united with Him and with God’s Church.
2. Seek a spiritual director
Look for a priest that can be your spiritual director as you battle with the challenges of your healing. You can discuss with him the “obstacles” that is blocking you from continuing your journey in the Catholic faith. Do not be discouraged but ask around in your parish or diocese for a recommendation.
Guess who wants you to give up? Guess who wants you not to heal so it can torment you further? It is the Evil One. He works 24/7 to torment you. Arm yourself with spiritual armors that you can get in your hands through the Church’s sacraments.
3. Prayer line
Your journey can be rough. In the process, we realize no one is compassionate enough to understand your situation. We will tend to isolate ourselves for fear of aggravating the situation while at the same time researching for ways to overcome our despair. You need to tap the intercession of holy people that surrounds you in your midst. Ask them to pray for you. Begin to read about the lives of Saints. You can start with St. Dymphna. The lives of Saints will inspire you, for they have similar journeys.
4. Get to know our Lord in the Adoration Chapel
Find perpetual Adoration chapels in your area. They are open 24 hours a day. Click here for a state by state list.
So every time you feel sad, you can go to the Adoration Chapel and spend time with God. He is waiting for you there. Talk to Him, as He is exposed before you in the humble form of a Host. Pay him honor by kneeling down and talk to him like a child. Tell Him what is bothering you, your fears and sorrows and then your joys. And, after, just remain still and quiet and wait for Him to embrace you with His warmth. Just believe He is present. If you don’t, just keep repeating the words “Jesus, I trust in You.”
5. Mary, the Mother of God
Contrary to what the Protestants believe, Mary will always lead you to Jesus. You can begin a devotion to Mary through the rosary, by praying it daily. This prayer has saved our family from many temptations. We felt Mary actually putting her cloak in our family. It will also be a good idea to consecrate your family through Mary.
Get a big jug and fill it with Holy water. Also buy salt and olive oil. Go to a BENEDICTINE priest. They are well-versed with spiritual warfare. Ask a Benedictine priest to bless the holy water, salt and oil. Then, make an altar in your house. Put a crucifix in every room of your house. Go to each room and sprinkle the Holy water and salt in every room especially where you normally frequent.
Aside from this, the following is another list of sacramentals (Source: http://sandatangbanal.blogspot.com/2008/05/spiritual-weapons-of-exorcist.html):
Medal of St. Benedict
Veneration of the Cross
Scapular of St. Michael the Archangel
Roman Ritual of Exorcism
Relics of Saints and Crucifix
The Blessed Sacrament
The Miraculous Medal
Other sacramentals are available in this family ministry called The Cukierski Family Apostolate.
7. Renew your friendship with your Guardian Angel
St. Michael is a great intercessor too.
You have a guardian angel, working hard for you. Talk continously to your angel for anything you desire.
8. Offer Up Your Sufferings
Your suffering can be offered up to save another soul or a soul in purgatory. It makes your life very meaningful to be able to save souls just with your imperfections and sacrifices that is from your illness.
9. Pray with your husband on a daily basis
There is a grace emanating from the Sacrament of Marriage. Use it. Your husband can pray over you, He has power to do that by virtue of your marriage to him. Let him be your partner. Kneel down and pray together.
10. Be charitable
Look for ways to help others, by volunteering. Your life will have a new meaning.
11. Fill your life with prayers
The structured prayer that most Protestants complain about the Catholic Church is theologically sound. The Catholic prayers have been tested and use the best words to petition God and glorify God. Learn it word for word.
I will also organize my links for this. (stay tuned)
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