Father delivered his sermon at Holy Mass today on homosexuality and it was really good. Praise God for his priestly wisdom and for the Holy Ghost giving him the words to say! It wasn't the easiest sermon for me to listen to, but it was still really good.
I'm going to be starting a book study with my friend and it's called "Beginning to Pray" and I'm looking forward to it. Prayer is difficult, even though it's something I've been doing my whole life, I still feel like I hardly know how to do it even though there have been times when I would pray for very lengthy periods of time. I'm not quite sure how orthodox or pious this is, but I'm trying a new thing where when I pray to God (unless I'm reading a prayer), I just talk to Him normally like He's sitting right in front of my face and like He's a guidance counselor or something. I try to talk to Him as normally as I would talk to them and tell Him EVERYTHING that is on my mind and exactly how I'm feeling, but that's still kinda hard because I'm so used to addressing the Most Holy Trinity very formally and like I'm trying to impress Him with my words.
Father recently told me in Confession that I need to be praying constantly. This is from the Holy Scriptures after all, so maybe anytime I am having idle thoughts, I should just direct them towards God and tell Him those thoughts. My goal is to be in constant communication with the Lord and involve Him in everything. Now, if I'm doing something sinful or thinking about doing something sinful, I don't know how much I will be just talking to Him because that would feel really awkward... Hopefully if I talk to Him often enough and truthfully enough, I can avoid those occasions of sin and this won't be an issue. Priests have often told me to pray when undergoing temptation, but if I'm already experiencing the temptation and a strong pull towards it, what good would a prayer really do then? I have prayed during temptation before and it did not really diminish the temptation at all and in the process I felt embarrassed to even think about God. It was agonizing because I remember how guilty I felt, but also how angry I felt because I've prayed for Him to protect me from those moments. In fact, in every Mass offered in the Extraordinary Form, there is a prayer that asks God to deliver us from all sin, past, present, and to come by the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ, and through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, the Holy Apostles Peter, Paul, and Andrew and all the Saints. Also, I've said my St. Michael the Archangel prayers (after all Masses and recitations of the Holy Rosary), so I'm confused as to why I even get tempted. Do we not pray in the Lord's Prayer (aka, the most perfect prayer) for God to lead us not into temptation?? All these prayers against sin and temptation (even the Ordinary Form prays against these things), and they still happen.
I'll even add that when I pray these specific prayers, that I kick into high gear and really beg God to answer these specific prayers.
Then there is the issue that I do not receive Holy Communion very often, so one could argue that that is why I don't experience this divine protection because I don't taste of the Holy Mysteries often enough and with enough faith... I don't think people understand how much I have to go to Confession to receive Holy Communion and although I love the Sacrament of Penance (it's healing, it gives Sanctifying Grace, it frees me from the bonds of death), but it is tiring and repetitive and the guilt is stronger with each Confession (but also the liberation more meaningful...) and it just makes Holy Communion not seem worth it... Also, I'm so used to not receiving Holy Communion that it feels awkward to receive and I always worry if I'm doing it right and if I've prayed enough or fasted with a good enough intensity and read enough Scriptures. It's like an Olympic sport trying to receive the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, yet the Church encourages her children to receive daily?! I know that our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters do not share this belief (except for those in monasteries or under the advice of a spiritual father). But it makes me wonder that since the Sacrament of Penance also confers Sanctifying Grace to save the soul from Hell if that should be my Sacrament and not Holy Communion. What do you guys think about that?
I spent much time reading the Courage website this evening and meditation on chapter 7 of St. Paul the Apostle's Epistle to the Romans, verses 19-23 (from the Propers of the Seventh Sunday After Pentecost) and thinking about how the wages of sin is death and that I don't want to die (spiritually) and how that frightens me, especially since I reflected (with the aid of a few Saints' writings) on the pains and torments of Hell and how easy it is to find oneself in that horrible abyss of torment, hatred, foul odors, demons, and the loss of God. And the intensity of the fires...
Lastly, I realize that one of my biggest hurdles in overcoming sin is the anger and bitterness that I have that I will never have a family or a husband or anyone who really loves me and that I'm going to have to live my life alone. I am afraid I won't be strong enough to emotionally support myself through times when people usually count on their spouse to lean on. I do plan on being able to support myself financially, but it would be such a beautiful thing to share a family vacation or go to my son or daughter's symphony concert or hockey game or participate in a charity with my husband and have someone to pray every single day with and grow closer to God and help me receive the Sacraments and save my soul. It's not even just about sex or anything, but more of having a companion and I am trying very hard to just be at peace with the fact that God does not want that for me and that He will bless me something better if I'm obedient to Him, but I cannot see what could possibly be better than that :/