I was at a restaurant today, and the couple behind me were discussing (fairly loudly) things about the catholic church. The one thing they agreed on was that it was a guilt ridden church. They hated how the priest, or other catholics, or even the faith in general makes them feel guilty about their life.
Is this a general idea of followers? Do people really feel that the Catholic church. is a guilt-full church?
Guilt is supposed to serve as a useful means to get us to repent and ponder over our actions. Too much guilt and no guilt can have dire consequences. It’s got its place, but like other feelings, it can also lead you down a slippery path.
To give you a classic example of a man who took guilt too far, read up on Martin Luther’s life. He couldn’t tolerate the uncertainty of hard work and that the sacraments could do anything to save him. The man just didn’t believe anything man could possibly devise was ever enough to satisfy God (hence, his modified view of salvation). He was right about man not ever being able to do enough, but wrong about the sacraments.
Only a supernatural act (sacrifice) can heal a supernatural wound (the fall of man). And it’s more then just something you do, but something you need to believe in. Otherwise, you can literally drive yourself nuts.
I happen to have experienced both; not feeling any guilt, to then feeling it to the point of not even believing forgiveness actually does something to you. In both situations, it affected me negatively.