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Is it possible to be condemned since birth?

A Xt3 Member asked at 10:39am on May 8th 2018
First of all I'd like to point out, I am not a Christian or Catholic. I have family all over that share different religious and non-religious demographics. Protestant, Catholic, Pagan, Judaism and so on. Add Islamic, Buddhist and Hinduism in there which are the only things I don't have (That I know of.) in my family and you'd literally the entire world's religons covered in my family, both good and bad. With that said, my main is Paganism specifically Wicca and specifically derives from the Greco-Roman Gods and Goddesses. Specifically Diana Goddess of the hunt. I only put this up there to explain my religious background and my reasons. I picked that specific one to be my main mostly in honor of my Mother and mostly because I seen enough things to know that there is at least more than what science alone can explain. Unlike most people who are often staunch in their beliefs and often would drive others out, I do my best to get along with others despite their religions differing from my own and would only drive any who use their beliefs and non-beliefs as an excuse to hurt rather than an inspiration to help. So long story short, I respect all religions, but I have no respect for extremists on all sides.

But enough of my rambling, on with the subject at hand. Throughout my entire life I have often tried to do right no matter what life throws at me. I try to do my best in school, try to make friends, get a good job and pursue my dream career and so on. But what really irks me is that no matter how little I get ahead it's always outweighed by a lot of bad things thrown in my direction. I get in fights, both physically and verbally, I get caught in the middle of confrontations that leave me either hurt or having to move from one location to another. I get pushed aside because someone in my family would do something that if you excuse my language F***s their life over which in turn draws everyone's attention to that. One of the few achievements I have ever succeeded in my life was graduating Highschool and when I try to improve my life for the better, something always stands in my way especially if it's a circumstance beyond my control. Have I done bad in my life? Sure, but who hasn't? However this has been happening to me long before I even have a chance to do any major damage. Be it to myself or others. Yet despite all that, I keep getting this nagging feeling that no matter what I deserve it simply for existing in the first place. So I'd like to ask. Is it possible that I've been condemened since birth? That I have literally been destined to endure so much misery, until I die?

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Hi Shane, it's great you've got that openness to all religions - every few years there's a big meeting of leaders of most of the world's religions in Assisi, the town of St Francis. First invited by Pope John Paul II, then by Pope Benedict XVI, and more recently by Pope Francis, not only leaders of the main Christian Churches, but Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, and many other religions attend - my favourite has always been the American Indian Chief, who attends arrayed in the most magnificent gear of all, his eagle-feather headdress! While each of these representatives have their own beliefs and don't mix them with the others, the point of their attending is to witness to what you mentioned, that there is a lot more to human existence than what the natural sciences can explain.

And congratulations too on getting your High School Diploma - I remember my own Leaving Certificate exam as we called it in Ireland, as still, despite other degrees I later got at different colleges, the toughest exam I ever had in my life. So yours is a great achievement.

But despite the negative things you mention, there's no question of your being condemned from birth. From a Christian viewpoint, God loves each of us deeply and personally.For Christians, we see what God permitted his own Son to go through when he came on earth - basically Jesus Christ died an agonizing death, abandoned by most of his friends. Still, we also believe, as God and Man, that he rose from the dead again, and while God may allow us to go through the kinds of frustrations and difficulties you mention, we're convinced that we can, by seeing them as sharing in the sufferings Jesus himself underwent, somehow transform the negative into something positive in our lives.

A few years ago I suggested a way we can all try to live our lives - by breaking them down into each moment and living each moment with as much love as we can manage - as one very holy man, St John of the Cross, put it, 'where there isn't love, put love, and you'll find love. Here's what I wrote about this:

Years ago at a kind of weekend retreat, I'd asked Pete, a young man I'd invited to come along, to play at a little concert we'd be having on our last evening there. He was a magnificent guitar player and singer, had written lots of beautiful songs. But I didn't realize he had been going through something like musician's block - he just couldn't play in public. Rather than disappoint me, he was going to leave that afternoon. He met Dee, an English girl who was at our meeting, and must have told her why he was leaving. Dee said to him: Just imagine you're in a factory, where your job is to light candles as they pass you on a conveyer belt. If you look at all the ones you've lighted, and think, 'I did a good job there.' Or you might look at the row of candles still coming and you're scared and think, 'I wonder will I be able to light them in time.' Either way, looking to the past (the candles already lighted) or the future (the candles that haven't come yet), you'll miss the candle in front of you.

Pete understood what Dee was saying - that he shouldn't be worrying about how he might feel that evening, or how he'd felt before, but just live each moment as it came, with as much love as he could manage. He played wonderfully that night and later went on to make two commercial recordings of his songs.

I hope that's a help, very best, Fr Brendan
Xt3's Ask a Priest answered at 7:04pm on May 22nd 2018 reply

 
First of all Fr Brendan, forgive me for the lateness of my reply. I would like to thank you for it regardless.

Second of all I would also like to thank you for sharing your story regarding Pete. But it doesn't quite solve what I am going through I am ashamed to say.

Third, if I felt like in my initial post, that I was comparing myself to Jesus(as anyone in my position or worse would try to do that.), I apologize. It was not my intention and any comparisons are entirely coincidental. If anything I am basically a more toned down version of Job. With a few differences. Regardless of what happened to that guy he still loved God and continue to worship him. Much like Job I have had a lot of things taken from me. Not just material goods, but people I care about as well and to top it off one thing too many. Among the many candles that have lit and went in my past, A specific candle in my past was the one that burned the factory down for me and any attempts to rebuild said factory just makes more ashes. And in turn helped shape my view of the world in the negative including the being that runs it.

Myself, I can't say I hate God because as terrible as it sounds (Not to mention a big no no that every religion has in common.); it's not quite the feeling. The best way to describe it, would be a love/resent rather than an outright love/hate. And much of it stems from what I described before. The whole thing I have pretty much narrowed down to a pattern.

For as long as I can remember, at the very least 90% of my life is one misfortune after another. Due to my own hand, the hand of someone else or as I mentioned before circumstances beyond my control. And if it doesn't happen to me, it will often happen to someone I know and as a result it ruins my day too, because I feel bad for this person. I don't even have to do or say anything all I gotta do is stand next to the person and their own bad luck begins to escalate. It's almost as if whatever bad luck I have, spreads to others and then afterwards I get hurt again as though I am being punished for "Causing" said bad luck. But then there are days when the other 10%. Something good comes to me. Could be as minor as winning a few bucks in the lottery or something major like being given a gift that could help improve my life a little for the better. But just when I am at the height of my happiness it gets ripped away from me. Something bad happens immediately after that puts me in a worse mood than before. And any time I try to turn things around anytime I try to make that 10% into a %20 let alone hope for a %50 I not only get stopped at every turn. But that 10% slowly counts down. Like a timer to some bomb I didn't even know I set off. Only it stops at 1, then goes back to 10.

Now at this point you're probably wondering what this has to do with my Love/Resent attitude on God. I'm sorry to say this, but while I can't say I hate him, I won't because that's not how I feel. Nor do I feel he is directly responsible for it. But on the other hand I feel like he's letting it happen. Not just to me, but to anyone in my position or worse.

At least that's what I initially thought when I first wrote the post. Nowadays things have been getting better, if not much better than what I been going through before. I am not sure if I have just God to thank for that or if it's because it's the new year, I would even count it as a Christmas miracle; but it's seems what was a 10% had become a 30%. I'm not keeping my hopes up though. Because for all I know that could be the eye of the storm. But at the same time I feel like I been given the mother of all breaks. Not a complete wipe out, but enough rope for me to pull myself out of it little by little.

Thank you very much though. I do appreciate you taking the time to give me advice on the matter. It's a bit belated, but I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And may God Bless you.
A Xt3 Member replied at 7:24pm on January 6th 2019 report reply
 

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