Spiritual Warfare Forum: Prayer and Counselling

Prayer and Counselling QUESTION from Ian G. February 10, 2001 I am a catholic, but I have reached a point in my life where I have started questioning a few things and now need to reach out for answers. I do not want to be offensive in this, so if I say some things that can be taken that way, please take no note of them.
First off, I guess I may as well tell you that one of my concerns is that I do not go to church anymore. I am 19 years old and since I moved away from home I have gone less and less often to the point where I just don't go. I feel that my relationship with God is a private matter and I think that there is no reason to show that I believe in God just by showing up at some building every week. Isn't it alright for me to worship God in my own way, and pray every day? I try my best to be a good samaritan, although I try not to let anybody know about it, but through all this I still take a lot of flak for not going to church. I guess I am asking for your guidance in this.
Next I would like to ask you a question about prayer. Like I said I pray almost every day. Mostly I thank God for what God has done for me, occasionally I ask him for help in my life and sometimes to help people in need. This is probably gonna be a dumb question but here goes... When I pray is it necessary to say the words or only to think them? When I make the sign of the cross is it necessary to touch my forhead and my chest and my shoulders or can I just make the sign in the air? Is there a more effective way to pray to get the message through to God? God has been very good to me, and has gotten me out of several situations that I can say would have been very difficult without some help. I want to make sure that God is hearing my thanks... I thank God almost every day... Often the only reason I pray is to thank him... I want him to know that I am very grateful for what he has done for me.
Thank you very much for taking the time to look at my questions, they may seem... different... but they are important to me.
God Bless Ian
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on April 17, 2001 Dear Mr. Ian:
One your first question, you cannot stay away from Church. Let me give an analogy:
Suppose you thought that you didn't need to frequent a gas station. You think that your car and you are a private matter and you shouldn't have to show up at a gas station once in a while. What will happen? You will run out of gas!
By not going to Mass you are running out of gas. The more you stay away from Mass the more empty you will become. Your relationship with God is NOT a private matter. It is a community matter. Show me in the Bible ANYWHERE that Jesus taught be your own man on an island. In fact the Scriptures COMMANDS us: DO NOT FORAKE the assembling of yourselves together.
Jesus said, You are the light of the world. A light is not put under a bushel basket, but put on a lampstand for all to see.
We are Christ's ambassadors. Our faith is not to be hidden. If we are ashamed to show out faith, then God will be ashamed of us. I cannot find words tough enough to express to you the danger you are in if you persist in this direction.
Jesus said that you must eat my flesh and drink my blood to have life. As a Catholic by not going to Mass you are risking your soul to hell.
It is NOT okay to pray for God at home and never go to Mass. You are sinning a grave sin, a sin that could lead you to hell.
As for prayer, prayer can be spoken or thought, either way.
On the sign of the cross, I would at least try to make the touch, but there is nothing that requires it.
How to pray more effectively? GO BACK TO MASS. That will make your prayers more effective.
As for thanking God, GO BACK TO MASS. Your thank you's are hollow if you snub God by not going to Mass. It is like having a neighbor thank you for helping them but refusing to EVER have dinner with you. What kind of thanks is that?
Don't you know that Jesus is crying for you wondering where you are at. You are being rude and neglectful of Jesus by not visiting him in the Sacrament. You are risking spiritual death by not going to confession and taking communion.
Jesus is calling you, son. He is calling and crying waiting for you to return to Him in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
I want you to watch this 60 minute movie that I have linked on the website. Watch that movie and then if you don;t get your butt into Mass the next opportunity I will expect you are probably dead.
This movie will show you how much Jesus wants you.
Here is the URL: http://www.saint-mike.org/Evangel/Passion/Index.html
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