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Jeanne D'Arc

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About Jeanne D'Arc

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  1. Jeanne D'Arc

    On Suffering and the obstacles it's putting in my path

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for those kind replies. It is very tempting to think: it's all too hard, impossible: how can I ever live properly again? I don't think I can with making God the centre of my whole identity. The thing it's still life after all, even if not the sort of life I ever imagined having in my younger years. So it's easy to put off having to give up everything I know - the things that are at least predictable - I do it all the time - it's always tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. Even just getting older is depressing me now, which I never thought it would! There's a lot of resentment in the way, of course. Sometimes I just wish I could forget everything and LET IT ALL At least it wasn't someone else's car. Or someone else, per se. Pray for me, I have taken your kind words up and you've helped me. I'm not perturbed that my situation is described as "impossible": it IS impossible! It's refreshing to have that acknowledged!
  2. This is a completely frank post. Please bear in mind that while some of what I share might be alien to the experience of other people on the forum,but right now I am so cut off from everything - except God, who is waiting for me, but I am not coming to Him as I should and could. There seem to be so many things in my way. Recently I began a topic titled "The Doctrine of Hell and My Faith". By the way, I started that post under a different username ("Agnes A") - due to a glitch I had to change it. The Hell question was really pressing on me a few weeks ago because finally I know - I KNOW - that if I want to live (I don't mean eternal life - I mean just live right now) I must make Jesus the centre of my life. There is no other answer. But the "flesh is weak" even if my spirit is willing. Firstly, the doctrine of eternal damnation has, indeed, stood in my way and even caused me to have nervous breakdowns. Now it's not worrying me so much. In large part this is because of some of the very intelligent and erudite posts from people on that particular issue. We shouldn't presume to know the limits of God's mercy. But another reason why it's not worrying me so much anymore is because I now feel that in large part I've used this "fear of hell" question as a sort of excuse. The idea of Hell as a place of eternal torment for any human being MUST, of course, stand in the way of loving God for many people. Setting aside one's own fear of hell, there's all sorts of questions: how can anyone stand the idea of ANYONE ELSE, any other human being, being shut off from God forever? Some people seem able to cope with it: I just can't and if I pretend I can accept this idea then I'm bound to proceed in bad faith. Jesus knows why I hate the idea. I trust in him to understand that. I trust Him to want me back. It seems to me that the ways a person find Christ MUST be very individual. The only thing required is to love and accept God - but not as some abstract force. One has to accept God's will. It seems to me that the hard thing is accepting God's WILL. Everything else will follow, if only I can do that. But so much stands in the way, sometimes, doesn't it? For example, when I was a child - in fact, up until the age of about 35 - I was immensely ambitious. I was egoistical in many ways, although I thought of myself as a "nice person". I love, and still love, learning and scholarship. I have a doctorate in Literature. Actually, right now, that's about all I have left in the way of any claim to worldly success. I'm a pauper. I've even begged on the streets - you know,with a sign and a hat! I do have a home, at least, and that's something. The last ten years - I am now about to turn 45 - just seem to have been utterly disastrous. My little daughter was taken out of care for years: I had problems but nothing that warranted such brutal treatment and hatred from her father, or such stupid Family Court decisions. The problems I've had have been emotional - so much anxiety. I have been on the run from fear forever, it seems. I am dependent on multiple prescription drugs. I drink sometimes - thank God, not as much as in the past - but it's still dogging me. Over the last two years I've been unable to do anything constructive at all. A lot of the time I just want to lie in bed and read, read, read. I haven't had real employment for nearly ten years - just casual teaching jobs. My daughter, now nearly 15, despises me for being impoverished. It's not her being nasty. She can't help it. Her father has raised her to think of me as incompetent, although I know I wasn't incompetent. I surprised everyone, including myself, by not sucuumbing to post-natal depression or anxiety. I looked after her almost entirely on my own during her really formative years - from birth to the age of six. They were the happiest years of my life. She now attends an "elite" high school for gifted teens, and while I don't take all the credit - well, I must have done something just a little bit right when she was so young, surely? When she was 6, she was taken from me. Her father instigated this very aggressive family court action, which drove me around the twist, as it was no doubt supposed to. If only I had kept my head! My very fear of losing her caused me to lose her. It destroyed my second relationship, I argued with my employers and lost my job, I was forced to move back in with my parents ... I fought with my parents ... sometimes I felt like they LOATHED me so much ...then there was police involvement ... over the course of about four months, I went from being employed, competent, independent, and generally unassailable as a parent ... to being told by child welfare caseworkers that I HAD to commit myself to a mental hospital or lose custody altogether. I did what they said, and they took my baby off me anyway. It took almost two and a half years before I got my daughter back 50% of the time. It took as long as it did for many reasons .... too much to go into here, but I'm being completely honest when I say that my particular child custody battle was fraught with the most farcical mess-ups: bad lawyers, endless, endless lies told by her father, and I really tried my best to make everything right with the court. I quit drinking, I quit prescription medicine, I spent tens of thousands of dollars renting an apartment I couldn't afford. I took any job I could get. At one point I cleaned other people's toilets for a living (me, with my PhD! my published book! WHAT a humbling!) It was just sheer persistence and my decision to represent myself that got me the 50% access in the end. But my mother didn't survive. Losing her only grandchild precipitated her into a catastrophic depression and she hanged herself in her own back garden five years ago. It wasn't planned. There was not a note. She was in the throes of a panic attack. My father, brother and myself were all on the premises when the body was found. She was only 64, not a thing wrong with her physically- she could've lived to be a 100, I am sure. It was and is indescribable. I am not getting over it. I never will. My mother and I were close, close, close. Almost too close. I am the spitting image of her physically. At her funeral, one mourner even said he thought I WAS her - standing next to her grave! My father's been an alcoholic for years, but he's even worse since my mother died. My only brother is in a bad way. I'm in a bad way. And so I rebel! It is so hard to accept all of this. Many of these things are my own fault - some are not - what is, and is not, my own fault is no longer distinguishable to me a lot of the time. I'm underweight. I can't eat. I don't want to eat. I don't want to do anything, except trick my pain away, when I can, with pills, or drink .... I have no fear of death and while I would never kill myself, I do think about death a lot. I've been "involved" with only one man over the last ten years: an unqualified disaster. There's no daughter, no work, no sex, there's no joy, there's no money, none of that has ever worked anyway. There's nothing to look forward but sleep. Which seems like an abominable waste of life. I don't even know why I'm posting this ...it is so long-winded. Please, please pray for me.
  3. Jeanne D'Arc

    Why so many viewers & so few post's?

    I'm not exactly a practising Catholic these days. But as I understand it Protestant and Catholic faiths are still quite closely allied in most ways.
  4. Jeanne D'Arc

    The doctrine of Hell and my faith

    PS I meant to write that in Australia, where I live, there have been some atrocious instances of child abuse, including child sex abuse especially, in during Catholic institutions. Some of priests and brothers, and even a Cardinal (Cardinal George Pell), have been tried for sexually abusing children for "historical sex abuse" - i.e. - abuse that took place 50 or 60 years ago. Many of the victims and witnesses are now elderly. I know a man in his 70s who was in a Catholic orphanage. He was raped and beaten many times as a child, he saw the same thing happening to other children, and even witnessed a murder of a child (which was hushed up until recently). The odd thing is that this has not made him hate Catholicism. But he does believe that this particular orphanage could rightly be understood as a "paedophile ring". Catholics: please don't be offended by me bringing this up. I'm a Catholic myself. But what I have heard from this man has made me seriously question Roman Catholicism as an institution. More so than anything anyone might tell me about the book of Revelations or the idea of that the Catholic church is the beast referred to therein. The Catholic church enabled and protected some very sick clergy.
  5. Jeanne D'Arc

    The doctrine of Hell and my faith

    I apologise if I have this wrong, but perhaps you made a typo: isn't the scripture "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (you typed "loving God"). Also, I wondered to whom non-Catholics confessed( if you or me has not responded to the "call" of the Holy Spirit, to believe, and follow Jesus Christ, confessing our sins and sinful life and responding in repentance, and trusting him for the rest of our life) Since I was raised as a Catholic, this of course makes me think of the sacrament of Reconciliation or, more prosaically, "going to confession".Over the last few years I have gone to confession more than I've gone to mass. I have felt a lot of love towards my confessors.The Catholic church has harboured many evil people: in Australia (where I live), I'm guessing, since Luther believed that Catholic priests did not have the authority to absolve sinners, and that confession was therefore a false sacrament, that for people who are not Catholics, confessing one's sins might be a matter between the sinner and God? Or are there some denominations who have Reconciliation or something like it even though they are not Catholic? Please pardon my ignorance - I know very little about other Christian faiths.
  6. Jeanne D'Arc

    The doctrine of Hell and my faith

    well, by "fear" I meany fear as in being scared, not "fear' as in awe or respect. I've never heard of "fear" being used as another way of saying "wisdom". But it seems perhaps my decision to go back to God was informed by the same sort of wisdom that made the prodigal son return to his father. I think I am finally getting it: living according to my own worldly whims just isn't living. I really have nothing to lose by seeing how I go if I "let go, let God'. And already I feel I am behaving more wisely: for example, not speaking rashly to people all the time.
  7. Jeanne D'Arc

    The doctrine of Hell and my faith

    wow, so many interesting posts ... I must read them all very thoroughly! But I just wanted to quickly say that I'm grateful to many of you for helping me, since as I mentioned in my "Agnes A" post, over the years I've sometimes had so much anxiety about the idea of God condemning a human soul having to suffer in Hell without end or hope. And whether Hell in this sense is a myth, or true, undeniably this particular teaching about Hell has actively driven many people who were raised as Christians to reject Christianity as adults. If I must accept the "torment without end" teaching, it's impossible for my faith to be unclouded by sheer terror for myself and other people. I'm not sure whether this is scriptural or not, but I have heard it said that fear is a symptom of distance from God, not closeness. Just to remind you, too, this is "Agnes A" but I had to change my username because of a glitch. Thank you too, for your kind words regarding the death of my mother. That she is with Jesus I am certain of.
  8. Jeanne D'Arc

    The doctrine of Hell and my faith

    by the way, this post will come up as Jeanne D'Arc, but I'm actually Agnes A. There seemed to be a glitch with my original profile so I've had to create a new one. Thank you both for that. I will read the article you recommend, LOJ.Could you tell me precisely what "good scripture" you mean so I might read that as well? I've never actually read the book of Revelations from start to finish. Actually, the only parts of the Bible I am really familiar with are the Gospels. I heard a lot of the rest of the New Testament in church over the years, of course! Any further thoughts about the issues I expressed in my original post would be very welcome.