Ask Father Josh (Your Catholic Question and Answer Podcast)

Selfishness, Daily Mass, and Talking to Family About Religious Discernment

August 13th, 2019

Fr. Josh answers questions about how to stop being selfish in relationships, whether it’s better to prioritize personal prayer or daily Mass, and how to tell family you’re thinking about entering seminary or religious life.

If you have a question, comment, or response for Fr. Josh, email us at [email protected]. You may hear your question or comment in an upcoming podcast episode!

Snippet from the Show
“Don’t let the enemy speak lies and tempt you with discouragement. Whenever you feel those temptations, quote Scripture and say ‘Get behind me Satan.’”


Glory Story (1:41)
Fr. Josh shares a story about how Chris Benzinger (the husband of Michelle, host of the Abiding Together podcast) leans into prayer.

Listener Feedback (7:26)

Talking to Your Family About Discernment (10:02)
Hi Fr. Josh, I’m a 20 year old cradle Catholic and about to be a junior in college. I’ve recently felt a pull to discern religious life, and I’m currently working on finding a spiritual director. Is this something I should be telling my family and friends at this point? My family is Catholic but we never really talk about our faith, unfortunately. I have one sister who shares zeal with me, and we have talked about this a lot. But I don’t know how - or even if it’s appropriate to - “break the news” in a sense to my parents and other siblings. It seems sketchy to me to not tell them about a huge leap of faith I’m embarking upon, but at the same time, I’m worried they won’t understand OR that if I decide not to enter then I’ll have worried them over nothing. I also feel this way about one of my very best friends who describes herself as a disaffiliated Catholic. I know that she would legitimately be mad at me if she knew I was thinking about doing this. I’m just not sure how to go about this and any advice you have on the topic would be so helpful, thank you so much.
-A Discerning Friend

Selfishness (15:02)
Hey Fr. Josh. My boyfriend and I are both in our mid 20s. Before this relationship, my spiritual life was going very well and at some point I was discerning religious life. He was not the cause of my spiritual downfall; he’s actually the one that takes me to confession and adoration now. But, there have been plenty of recent types where my relationship with God has been nonexistent. I feel like I haven’t and can’t go back to the place I was before spirituality, even in the slightest.

Also, I have always been very independent and ended up building barriers in my relationship, which ended up hurting my boyfriend emotionally many times. Although I’ve improved in many ways, he still says that he feels I don’t care about his feelings sometimes. There are times where he tells me how he feels and I just don’t know what to do with that information. He describes me as selfish, which is not a lie, because I always think about myself first, where he’s very selfless and always puts me first. I wanted to know what you think I could do to become a better girlfriend, how I can improve in my spiritual life, and how we can improve in our spiritual lives together (which I think is something we’re missing).
-Someone Who is Trying to Become a Better Person

Daily Mass (22:07)
Dear Fr. Josh, I discovered your podcast only two weeks ago and thought, "What have I been missing for the past year?" As a high school theology teacher in my 20s, I am excited about the ways you have already influenced my own spiritual life, and am even more energized about the ways you can transform my students' lives. Your method of evangelization is what many iGenners and millennials need to return to the Church. Keep it up.

My question is about daily Mass and personal prayer time. I struggle with knowing how to balance these two things in my life. On really busy days during the school year, is it better to prioritize Mass or personal prayer time? It seems to me that since we are receiving Jesus at Mass, then Mass should always take priority over personal prayer time. But I have also heard that personal prayer time each day outside of Mass should be the priority, and that if we only have time for one, we should choose personal prayer over Mass. On the other hand, during my free days during the summer, should I be attending Mass everyday since I can? I generally attend at least two days a week, but struggle with guilt on the days when I do not go. Some days I decide it would be less convenient since I want to sleep or avoid traffic, but these seem like bad excuses for not going to Mass every day. If I truly believe Jesus is present at Mass, shouldn't I be craving to receive Him each day? Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite since I tell my students of the blessing of daily Mass, but still only attend two out of five days a week even when my schedule would allow for me to go all five days. Am I being too scrupulous in my thinking or is it really the sin of sloth keeping me from attending Mass each day?

Want to browse the previous resources Fr. Josh has recommended in his show? Go to to select an episode and view the shownotes.

Support Ask Father Josh (Your Catholic Question and Answer Podcast)