Some people are trapped in sin and may not even realize it! While others may know they are but choose to continue living in sin, either because of their addiction to the sin/s or because they feel that ultimately they will not be forgiven and so why bother. Addiction to sin? Yes and not necessarily to drugs or to alcohol abuse. It can be pornography, gambling, adultery, fornication or even some lifestyle choice which is against the will of God our Father.
Some deny that they are trapped in sin or are even addicted to them. They claim that they can stop at anytime, but choose to repent at a later time. (What do you think happens to them if they meet with an untimely accident and die?) Or Some plead ignorance or even try to justify their actions with secular interpretations.
As for those who stubbornly maintain that they don’t care if they are trapped, well then they should know that the opposite of Love is not Hate but actually INDIFFERENCE! They too will be dealt with indifference! For what did Jesus teach us to do again? That’s right… Love! Not just our own family or friends but to Love our neighbours as well. And not just by our standards but by His standards,the way He loves us. If we are indifferent how then can we love?
For those who lead pretty decent lives and attend Mass regularly, here are a few more questions for you to delve a little deeper so that you can search your soul to see if you might still be ‘trapped’ in one way or another :
Are you able to feel God’s presence in your life? Do you feel unconditionally loved in your life? Do you feel joy in your heart? Are you a very patient person? Do you make time to read scripture or to deepen you faith through reading Catholic literature? Do you pray, praise and give thanks to God? Do you live a guilt free life? Are you caring and loving towards strangers you meet?
If you answered ’No’ to at least 6 out of 8 of the questions, then it is likely you could be trapped in Sin. Why? How? Well this is because sin drives us away from God. It clouds our eyes, closes both our ears and heart to the Word of God. It distracts us and distorts our view of living a good and fruitful life. Even if you managed to answer ‘Yes’ to 03 of the questions, you should be asking yourself what are the obstacles that are preventing you from answering ‘Yes’ to most if not all of them?
So what is Sin? According to the Cathechism of the Catholic Church ccc. 1850 Sin is an offense against God: “Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight.” Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,” knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus “love of oneself even to contempt of God.” In this proud self- exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.
So what can you do to change your life and be closer to God?
Well for one If you are still reading this, then you have already taken the first step in your journey back to God. Next you must accept the fact that God truly loves you and wants you to come back to him wholly and holy. For you cannot have and serve two masters! Accept that the feelings that you cannot be forgiven if any, is a form of self pride. ( Are you questioning God’s ability to forgive?) Here are the first three steps to take :-
But I don’t know how to pray? Well first and foremost you have to know that God loves you despite your strengths or weaknesses. He already knows everything there is to know about you and so all He wants, is for you to reach out to Him in prayer.
If you are a parent consider this……if your toddler drew you a picture and then showed it to you, would you scold him or say that his/her picture was ugly? No! In fact to you, it would be a masterpiece! Or if you are a child, then do you remember how it was when you showed your parents you’re drawing? They loved it! right?
It is the same way with God our Father. He is aware that you are in your infancy in prayer and are trying very hard to to communicate with Him, hence your attempt is what pleases him whether you err or fumble. Yes there will be times you may feel that you cannot find the words that truly reflects how you feel, well then you just offer it up too! Of course you may use some guided prayers as a start to help you out, but nonetheless God wants to hear prayers from our hearts. With time you will find that it gets easier and easier, and it so heartwarming to be able to pray to Him anytime of the day and as many times in a day. By the way if you were wondering what I meant by guided prayers, well there are lots of beautiful prayers written by the Saints before us or by the Faithful. Almost, if not all of them inspired one way or the other by the Holy Spirit.
A simple prayer to start you off could be “Heavenly Father, I am truly sorry that I have sinned against you and submit myself to you will. Jesus my Lord and Saviour, I am so very weak and lost, I pray that you send your Holy Spirit to lead me on my journey back to my Father. Amen.”
Examine Your Conscience And Go For The Sacrament Of Reconciliation
But I am afraid or even uncomfortable about confessing my sins to the Priest, can’t I pray directly to God?
Well first and foremost you must understand that Jesus himself established this Sacrament through his apostles. Matthew 16:19 / Matthew 18:18 although back in those days the way it was done would have been quite different. Next for you to bear in mind is that Jesus himself is present as you make your confession. Finally by naming your sins and acknowledging them out loud with a truly repentant heart can and will be a very liberating experience. Especially when the Priest absolves you of all your sins while you are saying the act of contrition.
Receive Jesus In The Eucharist
When you receive Him in the Holy Eucharist, you receive nourishment and the grace to resist sin. He abides in you as you abide in him. For more on the Eucharist click here
If you follow and do all these three simple steps you will be back in communion with Him and his Church. You are on your way to build a stronger, lasting relationship with the Holy Trinity.
“Blessed are those who thirst and hunger for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matt 5:6
P.S. If you are struggling in any way with this and need prayers, leave your name in the comments section and I will pray for you to come home. Also I am quite sure that all my Catholic blog readers will gladly do the same for you.