Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by soldier of christ, Dec 28, 2016.
You present a very hard case. No clear answers here except to pray to God for wisdom to deal with them....pray that Gods grace will guide you. It's very hard. But you do not need to be abused....!
Such a hard question. I don;t think that there is a one fit all answer. I was and I suppose I am still am a bit like this with one of my sisters. Then a very Holy Nun said to me,
'You don't change people by staying away from them!'
Which made me think. But then again , life quite naturally can draw us away from some people. They take one rood , they take another. I think this is a natural thing. Even in work I see it , some people I draw naturally close to , others..well they take another road. I think we can always be close in prayer, but they just take another road. Prayer sometimes is all that we are left with.
I don't think there are any easy answers. Or at least none that I have ever found.
I notice one time in talking of Herod he described Herod as, 'That fox!'..and when it came to the Passion , Jesus simply did not speak to him although he spoke to everyone else, including Judas.
I have no easy answers. I don't think ever will have , this side of heaven.
Its so hard to sit back and watch and see these people go down that road to perdition. You just want to grab them and shake them and say don't you realize this is eternity we are talking about??? I guess that is just the parent in me wanting to right their wrongs. But then at times I say to myself, "its like teaching your child to ride a bike. You have to let them fall and learn from their mistakes before they can go for a good ride." Its just so hard watching them fall. I am scared they might not get back up and try again before it is too late.
Dolours I am by no means at all an expert at prayer, but I think we come from the same place spiritually on this so I will tell you what I do. Just judging from your post, you like I may have a tendency towards a certain rigidity in prayer or perhaps even scrupulosity. I know I do. We must attempt to move away from that a bit.
If I were you I would make a physical list of all of the people you wish to pray for. That might put your mind at ease a bit that you are not forgetting anyone. Pray with Our Lady for all of them. You can say them all by name if you wish or perhaps some days simply state "I am praying with you Blessed Mother for all of those people who God has put in my life and those on my list". God knows who you are praying for. If you have a lot of people perhaps rotate them daily.
Personally I think you are right it feels a little "lazy" for lack of a better word to not name anyone specific. But don't get hung up on it. Also maybe loosen your prayer style up a bit. Meditate on the person and Our Lord's Passion or Our Lady and don't think of specific words but just "be there" thinking of them. Or offer up a meditation on Christ's Passion for them.
I wouldn't bother too much about people "popping" into your head too much when you pray. Don't get caught up in the concentration. If a new person pops into your head just accept it and start praying for them. Let go a bit. When I let go of trying to control prayer it changed a lot for me. In a good way. Maybe God or Our Lady are letting those people pop into your head because they are the ones who need the most help at that moment. There are different levels of prayer. Perhaps you are moving into a deeper one.
Remember prayer can be a conversation, not just us lining up petitions. Listen to what God is responding to you. If we are too caught up in "concentrating" on one person we may lose sight of what God is leading us to. I don't mean to be flip about it but I have found that sometimes it is almost as if God can be saying "Hey pray about these people" and we are saying to Him "Please be quiet I am trying to pray."
I am no master at this but I hope this was at least somewhat helpful.
There is a lovely story here about a Jewish convert Herman Cohen who became a Catholic after seeing Our Lady. He later became a Carmelite priest and prayed all his life for his Jewish mother. Ten of his fmaily became Cahtolic but apparently his mother never converted and died without embracing the Faith.
But then Jesus came and told a Holy lady something about his dead mother...
One prayer for them....daily.....the Divine Mercy.
Put your trust and faith in JESUS to open their heart.
Jesus, I trust in you.
And then let go....truly trust JESUS to do what you cannot. He will do it even if you do not live to see it. He wants their soul much more than you ever could. Offer up your suffering about this on their behalf. When you meet Jesus, He will show you the reason for your suffering.
This may sound way to simple, but it's true....it's all about faith. If you do not see your prayers answered, do not dispair. In heaven, your prayer may already be answered and your continued prayer and suffering may save another soul whose parents are not praying for their lost child.
When these thoughts plague you, ask St. Michael to take them from you. Repeat your prayer until you find peace...it will come.
This is wonderful Padraig! Thank you for sharing it. Everyone needs to watch this....especially if you have a love one whose soul is in jeopardy. Pray to him as a miracle is needed for his sainthood....I know I will be praying to him!
Manual for spiritual warfare is a book that gives a plan for conversion of all your family and friends. It lays out a schedule of prayers and sacrifices. I had a hard time following the plan. I am not disciplined enough.
Extremely helpful, Praetorian, thanks. The suggestion that the people popping into my head could be coming from heaven is especially helpful because I feared it was the evil one trying to divert my attention from God. When I pray to Our Lady, I tend to ask her to unite her prayers with mine, making them more pleasing to God. I also tag on a request for God to increase my faith and cure my unbelief. I don't have the mental discipline for meditating so that's something I will work on. Thank again for your very helpful advice.
That is good that you ask Our Lady to unite with you in prayer. Very important.
I'm glad you found what I had to say at least somewhat helpful
This is a beautiful thread soldier of Christ! Thank you for starting it and May God Bless you.
What you have written in this above post is something I too live! The sorrowful Heart of Mary is my refuge!
I believe.......Sufferings are a penance we preform and a fasting we underake for Love of God!
Our sufferings have a greater power 'than prayer alone', when we offer that suffering in union with Our Lords sufferings and in union with our sorrowful Mothers sufferings!
I believe God provides great graces, including graces of conversion as a reward/payment for our sufferings! Padre Pio said if we knew the value of suffering we would never give it up!
The merits of the sufferings that can be obtained by remaining faithful to a 'sacramental marriage' are great......... be that by remaining chaste and single after a divorce; or by remaining in the unhappy marriage for the sake of God and the children and offering the sufferings and sadness of this marriage to God forgoing the apparant greener grass of remarriage without annullment, this heroic virtue can only be accommplished in union with God, and is meritorious!
This very topic is being currently debated on the MoG thread.............. 'In Petri Sede Vacante'
We see something of this call to love and suffering in Pope Benedict's XVI talk with the families of the world in Milan in 2012
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI
Saturday, 2 June 2012
..................... we see that falling in love is a wonderful thing, but perhaps it does not always last for ever: it is a feeling which does not remain indefinitely. So it is clear that the progression from falling in love to engagement and then to marriage requires a number of decisions, interior experiences. As I said, this loving sentiment is a wonderful thing, but it has to be purified, it has to undergo a process of discernment, that is, reason and will have to come into it. Reason, sentiment and will have to come together. In the Rite of Marriage, the Church does not say: “Are you in love?” but “Do you wish?” “Have you decided?” In other words, falling in love has to become true love by involving the will and the reason in a deeper journey of purification which is the journey of engagement, such that the whole person, with all his or her faculties, with the discernment of reason and strength of will, says: “Yes, this is my life”. I often think of the wedding-feast of Cana. The first wine is very fine: this is falling in love. But it does not last until the end: a second wine has to come later, it has to ferment and grow, to mature. The definitive love that can truly become this “second wine” is more wonderful still, it is better than the first wine. And this is what we must seek. Here it is important that the “I” and the “you” are not alone, but that the parish community is also involved, the Church, the circle of friends. All this – the right degree of personal maturity, communion of life with others, with families who support one another – is very important, and only in this way, through this involvement of the community, friends, the Church, the faith, God himself, can a wine emerge that will last for ever. I wish you well!
Thank you Josephite..these are powerful words you speak and give me hope.
I am happy to see this thread. I immediately thought of Marino Restrepo and his words about our "Territory of Souls." Jesus certainly knows who they are for you so trust in Him and be peaceful so your heart can be on fire with loving prayer. Here is a little link from a blog I happened upon while googling "Marino Restrepo territory of souls".
"Your" souls are blessed to have you. It is no accident that you are amongst them. Stay with it. I am seeing small gains with mine. Someday we will all know what we have done in this work. Remember, "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, what God has ready for those who love Him".
Soldier of Christ,
This is for love of you Jesus! for the conversion of sinners, for our Holy Father the Pope and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Amen.
Then repeat and repeat!
And many graces ensue! even if at the time you feel hopeless and abondoned! For this is the greatest Prayer!!!
Padre Pio says (this is not verbatim), the greatest prayer, is the prayer said................ "when every sentiment of our soul and mind dictates to you that.... you are alone and abondoned even by God Himself and the proves you have are positive that all is lost and all is for naught!................... but still you pray that creed"!
This is the greatest Prayer!
A prayer said in a situation of despair, in a cloud of unknowing and in an agony of the heart!
This is a heavy Cross to carry, soldier of Christ. Your continued good example is key: mercy, patience, love. Words can be twisted, but good example is priceless. My prayers are with you.
Safe in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!
So what does everyone think when you have a niece or nephew that does not practice their faith anymore, and they have little children that are not even baptized. Do you say something to them? Do you ask questions like why don't you baptize your kids? You hate to anger them and push them further away, but I worry about these little kids who are the innocent victims of all this.
Sorry...I hit the post twice
Wow everyone should hear this. It gives me great Hope!!!
I think that you have received a lot of wise, excellent advice from our fellow forum members.
I have some thoughts that are a little different, and may or may not be applicable to your situation.
You mention that when you spend time with certain family members that you end up lashing out at them. In anger, I assume? If so, you may want to avoid being around them whenever possible so as to "avoid the near occasion of sin". Avoidance is recommended in all sorts of situations with family or friends prone to gossip, excessive drinking, etc. Anger (or whatever) should be no different.
I understand what you mean about wanting to be a good Catholic example to others. I think it's really admirable. It's just easy to get sucked into the drama and stoop to their level. It happens to the best of us.
I have a lot of difficult family members too. I try to limit conversation with them as much as possible. For me, the kids are a great excuse to get away from prickly family members and not get drawn into drama. So maybe if you can't avoid the situation all together, maybe just avoid certain family members? Or severely limit your time with them?
I have one other thought. A few years ago I heard a priest on the radio recommend that when we are around troubled people, or those far from the faith, that we should ask God to bring these people some kind of situation that will cause them to turn toward Him. The advice stuck with me because it was different.
I recently prayed this type of prayer for my very difficult father who is terrified of hell due to a sketchy past. He prays the Divine Mercy chaplet daily, but is too proud to go to Confession. As a convert, I'm not sure he's ever been. Just today I asked God to send my father a situation that will show him the importance of going to Confession. (I'll let you know if anything comes of that prayer)
There are no easy answers to the situations that you posted. I think a lot of us deal with similar issues. When in doubt, remember that penance adds power to prayer.
May God bless you and your family.
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