Why I Cope With Life Better Today (as a Catholic)
I do not know how I would cope with my life if I were not Catholic. I can easily tell you that I would not cope well. Years of living beforehand would bear that out.
Here are some differences in how I get through tough times today vs. during my "heretical" years.(1) My emotions do not control my decisions as much
Free will has to do with making decisions without being driven by emotions. I am making more solid, logical and clear choices now than I ever have before. During my "heretical years," I believed that free will had to do with extricating myself from the oppression of moral obligations in order to be free to follow my feelings. How did that work out for me? Hmm.. I'm writing this... so...
When I pursue being of the greatest service to God above the motives for comfort, public opinion or material things, each decision I make has meaning. When I work to make my life a gift to God rather than a gift to myself, I do not have time to immerse myself in self-pity or resentment.
Good feelings and material things will all pass away. Peace in my heart, mind and soul will never be possible if I waste any time trying to chase any other goal than to serve God.