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  #1  
Old Feb 25, '14, 1:47 am
Domiy Domiy is offline
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Default My gradual journey 'away' from God

I've been meaning to share this for a while, and I'm still not quite sure how to put it but I'l be as brief as possible.

I'm a Catholic since birth, and in my adult years I've always been a devout follower. Ever since I was an adult, I've felt somewhat empty and unsatisfied. This became even more severe later on when I went through a lot of illnesses and other burdens in my life. At my lowest point I even contemplated taking anti-depressants. I wouldn't say I was depressed, but I was always very down and lonely. I never felt that I could connect with my friends and I began to resent society. Nobody understood, me. My parents although very loving and supportive never really understood me either. I just never really found that anyone agreed with me or knew where I was coming from, except God. It was because of all this that I was always a devout believer. I always found strength and comfort in God, who became my shoulder to cry on. I found myself very spiritually connected with God, and accepted my deep dissatisfaction in life as nothing more than blessed burden from God (the righteous will always suffer, just like Jesus). So, during this time I was very, very wary of my life as a Catholic. I was something of a mini-extremist. I accepted that my calling in life was to suffer on Earth doing God's will, and that I would never really be happy doing anything else I even contemplated priesthood, for this and also because my experiences in previous relationships were disastrous.

But all that changed not too long ago (6 months now). I went back home to Europe to where I'm originally from for a long-awaited holiday/family visit, and it changed my life completely. I got along so well with everyone, found that I was so well understood and fit in so easily with friends over there. Finally, I wasn't lonely. I found people who were exactly like me. This was a huge change for me. I made some friends which I connected with more in 3 months than I ever did with anyone in all my life. It was amazing. Plus, the change in diet to purely home-grown ingredients (which is a standard over there) did wonders for my health, which was always something that burdened me as well. To put it simply, I was happy. Upon leaving I decided that I would definitely be looking to moving back there to live, even though the economy is disastrous (highest unemployment rate in Europe, with people begging for the chance to move anywhere for the sake of finding work). But even with that most people are generally happy and satisfied. People are also much more religious, which I found very comforting as well.

Anyway, upon returning, I've made it clear to everyone that I intend to move back over there. To put it in exact words, I've found out that there is a life worth living for me somewhere in this world, one which I thought never existed. But the problem I feel with this is I almost enjoy life too much now. I haven't abandoned God, far from it, but I find myself much less emotionally attached and reliant on him as I was before. I've stopped being depressed and finally gotten on with my life, with the ultimate goal of moving back home as my only motivation. As my life is so much more busy now, I've just not paid as much attention as before to my faith. I still practice it in full, with weekly Mass, communion, monthly confessions, daily prayers etc, but nowhere near as much as before. I just don't feel the need to lean on God anymore. He's answered my prayers and I thank Him eternally, but for now I just feel guilty for not being as close to Him as I was before. I used to go to daily mass and pray devoutly everyday, but admittedly I'm far from that level now.

So anyway, the main thing here is my feelings of guilt. I feel that I'm almost enjoying life too much, and storing up too many treasures for myself on Earth rather than in Heaven. Can anyone comment with some similar experiences or advice?
__________________
Ambo tamen credens atque confitens,
Peto quod petivit latro púnitens
- But in both believing and confessing, Lord,
Ask I what the dying thief of Thee implored


May the God of peace be with he who reads this!
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  #2  
Old Feb 25, '14, 3:00 am
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Phalanx Phalanx is offline
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Default Re: My gradual journey 'away' from God

I liked this read, it has positive vibes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Domiy View Post
I still practice it in full, with weekly Mass, communion, monthly confessions, daily prayers etc, but nowhere near as much as before. I just don't feel the need to lean on God anymore. He's answered my prayers and I thank Him eternally
You're absolutely fine don't worry. The more things we have to juggle around in life the less emphasis one area gets. It doesn't mean its value is reduced. And you still devote alot of attention to your faith anyway (see quote). I don't think you are storing earthly treasures, being happy is a good thing, something people too often forget.

Just out of curiosity, is it Macedonia/Greece you're thinking of moving to?
Since you mentioned highest unemployment rate
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  #3  
Old Feb 25, '14, 3:12 am
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JRTJ JRTJ is offline
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Default Re: My gradual journey 'away' from God

What a beautiful story. I think God has decided to give you relief from your sufferings. Be thankful for it - it is a gift. As long as you continue to have a close relationship with Him, He will be happy.

I sometimes get times where I feel happy and detached from God, times where I feel happy and close to God, unhappy and distant, and unhappy and close. It changes all the time. Just keep praying, going to Mass, and fulfilling your duties as a Catholic, and never mind feelings, we must never rely on them as they vary according to many different factors.

Those who will get to Heaven will be those who persevere in Faith no matter what's going on in their life. Keep up what you're doing and be at peace.

If necessary, talk to a priest.

ps. having earthly treasures is not negative per se, it only becomes so once they take the place of God. Just look at the OT - King David, Job, etc -- lots of them were rich and led prosperous lives. Joseph, the man who bought Jesus' tomb, was also a wealthy man, as was Zaccheus. They are all in Heaven now.
God is all-loving and may decide to bless some of his followers with earthly pleasures and riches - be thankful and keep praising Him!
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  #4  
Old Feb 25, '14, 3:58 am
Bob Crowley Bob Crowley is offline
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Default Re: My gradual journey 'away' from God

You've got good company. Saint Paul wrote that he had the same issues.

Philippians 4:12 NIV

Quote:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
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  #5  
Old Feb 25, '14, 4:04 am
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Contra Mundum Contra Mundum is offline
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Default Re: My gradual journey 'away' from God

It seems that you equate unhappiness with fervent prayer and devotions, and now you are surprised at your happiness and are not sure how to process it spiritually. Don't think of it as moving away from God, but rather thank Him for the wonderful gift. Go home if your heart is pulling you there. You are right, the quality of life there is good despite the economic crisis, and the people will always complain no matter what. Don't let that put you off I'd do the same if I could.
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  #6  
Old Feb 25, '14, 5:15 am
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tawny tawny is offline
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Default Re: My gradual journey 'away' from God

Praying for your intentions.
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May the Holy Spirit forever guide you throughout life's journey.
Pax et Bonum
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  #7  
Old Feb 25, '14, 7:13 am
fred conty fred conty is offline
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Default Re: My gradual journey 'away' from God

Sounds like an answer to your life long prayer. I'm happy for you.

One thing tho. You might ask yourself why you went to Mass daily. There are three grades: good, better, and best. I know that you felt comfort which made up for your lonliness and I can understand that. For Jesus told us to come to him and he would help us with our burden. But maybe you might go up a notch and do it because you want to comfort him now. I wouldn't want to make it a guilt trip, but rather that you see a different side, they he will grant to others graces because you desire now to comfort him.

Great story, and best wishes.

May God bless and keep you. May God's face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.
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  #8  
Old Feb 25, '14, 7:20 am
Beryllos Beryllos is offline
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Default Re: My gradual journey 'away' from God

This is a wonderful development. If your past burdens have been lifted, there is so much more you can do now. Live by the words of the Dismissal: "Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life." Look for new ways that you can glorify God by your activities at home, with friends, and in the community. If you no longer need to pray as much for help with worldly needs and anxieties, then give praise and thanks to God. Pray for a stronger faith. Pray for those around you. Pray that the Holy Spirit may guide you in all aspects of your life.
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  #9  
Old Feb 25, '14, 4:42 pm
Domiy Domiy is offline
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Default Re: My gradual journey 'away' from God

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phalanx View Post
I liked this read, it has positive vibes



You're absolutely fine don't worry. The more things we have to juggle around in life the less emphasis one area gets. It doesn't mean its value is reduced. And you still devote alot of attention to your faith anyway (see quote). I don't think you are storing earthly treasures, being happy is a good thing, something people too often forget.

Just out of curiosity, is it Macedonia/Greece you're thinking of moving to?
Since you mentioned highest unemployment rate
Thanks for your response

I'm originally Croatian by ethnicity, but my family and roots trace back to Bosnia Herzegovina. Kind of a funny story/hard to explain. The country is basically a compilation of cities owned by 3 different ethnicities based on majority population. Last I checked the unemployment rate was at about 50%, and even those lucky enough to have a job are earning very poor money and unreliable pay structures. I know there are other countries going through similar economical busts but it's more of a standard in B&H, has been only getting worse for the last decade or so now.

Comparing that to where I live/work now is lightyears of difference, but I've never been a big fan of working in the Western world. It just doesn't have the lifestyle and people that I long for. I don't want to work long hours so I can satisfy an over-committed mortgage driving my financed car to a home owned by the bank which I spend my whole life paying off/worrying about. My whole family has gone down that path and each to their own, but personally I want something different and more simple.

Go home if your heart is pulling you there. You are right, the quality of life there is good despite the economic crisis, and the people will always complain no matter what. Don't let that put you off I'd do the same if I could.

I think you definitely understand where I'm coming from

You're completely right. People will complain either way but in general people are still happier over there. It's amazing. I've got a Uni degree and a prospect for work in a lot of major firms if I wanted to look for it, but I just don't want that (right now at least). I'm still young so I want to enjoy what I have left. When it comes to starting a family and supporting more than myself I may look to moving back to Sydney at least for temporary work trips, but the whole concept of Western capitalism just depresses me.

And thanks to everyone for your supportive responses, I feel a lot more comforted!!!
__________________
Ambo tamen credens atque confitens,
Peto quod petivit latro púnitens
- But in both believing and confessing, Lord,
Ask I what the dying thief of Thee implored


May the God of peace be with he who reads this!
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  #10  
Old Feb 25, '14, 5:12 pm
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Contra Mundum Contra Mundum is offline
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Default Re: My gradual journey 'away' from God

I'm so glad that you found the needed support here and that the responses were helpful

Whenever I go home my friends complain about how tough life is and how lucky I am to be abroad ,and politics this and politics that ... But still, I see that people are doing well on the whole. (I'm talking about Croatia here, so obviously things are a bit different than BiH).They all have family support. They have time to socialise. Many can afford to travel. It is not all doom and gloom.

I think that complaining is a part of the national identity. People have to go through a few exchanges about how bad things are politically and economically at a start of a conversation, like the British talk about the weather
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