Advice for burned out Catholics

What advice do you have for a person that is emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually burned out?

Put it to you all this way what is a person to do that has a theological, doctrinal and spiritual understanding of the Catholic faith but is feeling burdened and burned out by all the dogmatic practices and living?

I fully understand and believe but still to this day when I am tired and overwhelmed I throw my hands in the air and question if any of it really matters.

There is a lot to what I’m going through but since I’m on my phone I can’t give my whole life story just a generalization.

So with that what am I to do?

Others will have better suggestions,
but I would suggest a period of simplifying.
Think about Jesus: he prayed, he taught, he healed people. He walked long distances, and ate with his friends. Not a complicated life.

When I feel like it’s too much, I stick to a few basics: l go to mass once a week, pray the Our Father morning and evening, and pray an occasional brief prayer of adoration.

“What does the Lord require of you but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” ,Micah 6:8


I would suggest you read Saint Augustine Mystery of the Trinity ,
You can’t absorb everything,just slow down and smell the Roses :slight_smile:

I feel similarly sometimes.

Hi Governator,

Stay close to the Lord, whatever you do. :console:

Sometimes when I am just feeling really tired and weary, I’ll just pray the short, ejaculatory prayers, like “Jesus, help me,” “Lord, have mercy,” “Jesus, I trust in You,” “Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you. Save souls.” Anyway, you get what I am saying here.

I would just try to keep going to Mass, saying your favorite prayers, doing whatever devotions you like doing. I agree with Viki’s post too though. If you feel like you have to minimize what you are doing, maybe you need to do that, without cutting back on your spiritual life altogether.

Sometimes I review what I’m doing, and I will change things up.

Maybe I’ll start reading a different devotional or praying a different novena to a different saint, or I will pick up a different prayer book that I haven’t look at in awhile, and will look at some of those prayers, or I will use different sacramentals.

I also “offer up” whatever discomfort and pain I am feeling–whether emotional or physical, etc.–for those who need it. Don’t forget about the good that “redemptive suffering” can do, either.

Just hang on, one day at a time.

Prayers said for you, my friend.

God bless you and your family. :slight_smile:

In my experience, I think u should focus your energies on Christ, & remember that He can often be quite different from the people surrounding Him. He is a young man, not stuffy & archaic. It is His church. I sometimes wonder what all these others are doing there cause they don’t sometimes seem to have a clue, however I guess God has His reasons & wants them to come to the full knowledge of the Truth as well. If you’re there for the traditions, the pillars, the structures etc then you have sort of missed the point. Find Christ & go to see Him.

IN a talk about Communism, Archbishop Fulton Sheen said that they follow an idea; we follow a Person. I am still working on this idea, but do see that it emphasizes what we make of ourselves, in cooperation with God’s grace, that matters rather than doing all the right things. The “right things” are there for us, not the other way around; they are aids to holiness rather than check off points in a cosmic race.

I also say: All for Thee, dear Jesus, Who has suffered so much for me. This reminds me that Christ went through more for my sake, which really helps me a lot!

Vicki has said it very well, in a portrayal of the “happy” Catholic Life. While sojourning in the world, not of the world, our life now is what it will also be in heaven and in the resurrection: a life of “operation”. We operate as Catholics in the world, and that is the mystery of having the Spirit of God enlightening our souls to know we actually are now presently alive with God present. Knowing we are alive, have being now, with God, we operate just as God operates in perfect being.

A person who knows, “I am”, just as God knows, “I AM”, talks with God in prayer (“Our Father,…”). An operation of being, life operating in relationship.
A person who knows, “I am”, just as God knows, “I AM”, notices the being and presence of Jesus in the operation of Adoring His Sacramental Bodily presence.
A person who knows, “I am”, just as God knows, “I AM”, operates in the eating and drinking of the same Sacramental Body and Blood at table with this Present Lord.
A person who knows, “I am”, just as God knows, “I AM”, operates in doing all his doings virtuously, because the light of Virtues enlightens him to know what is virtuous and what must now be then manifested in material reality of his doings in the world for all to see the Glory of God, for all to see the “mysterious presence of virtuous doings in the world”.

A man does not acquire a farm just to possess a farm, and then rest, but the acquiring of the farm is a means enabling him to operate as a farmer. He does not acquire a tractor just to have and admire his tractor, but acquires it as a means enabling him to daily operate a tractor in operating his farm. There is his delight - not in the farm or tractor, but in operating, since he knows his “being” as a farmer.

We do not become Catholic just to have that designation, but are made Catholic, given being. And our delight and surprise and happiness is in operating this new life, new being, manifesting “Catholic Being” in the material reality of the world.

Right now, as I write, my “happiness” is in this operation of writing an explanation. My happiness is not in some future acquisition of your understanding (though I could hope that you do). I am writing out of who I am, operating myself, operating my being, and that is enough. Delight in your present doing of your being, not in some future harvest (that is for someone else to enter the harvest and perform).

I always wonder what is burning someone out? There really isn’t that much to do…

The biggest burnout abilities I usually see are the scrupulous or perhaps someone obsessed with overdoing it? like if you have 12 volunteered roles in the church or something? maybe just take a break from over achieving?

IDK an individual plight, but being Catholic really doesn’t put much kink in my day… other than maybe dragging to church if I had too much fun on a Saturday night? and at that it is a great excuse to get functional instead of lay about and waste the day :slight_smile:

It might be time to decompress by stopping the focus on the theological, dogmatic, and doctrinal aspects of the faith, and instead focus on spirituality through Christ.

Since you are well catechized, and strong in faith, theology, dogma, and doctrine will take care of themselves. Catechesis has wired you for obedience, not for the sake of legalism, but for the sake of knowing and loving Christ.

Love God with all your mind and heart, Love your neighbor, Pray Always, Fast, Give Alms, Read Scripture, and Believe!

Theology, doctrine, dogma are all based on those things.

Peace and All Good!

When I’m feeling burned out I just go to a church and sit. Sounds counterintuitive, but sitting alone in an empty church, just you and God, brings quite a bit of peace and perspective.

I recommend Spiritual reading (I recommend St. Alphonsus and St. Ignatius) to supplement taking this up in confession.

God bless and grace you

I think there are a lot of us right now who can relate to this! :wink: For me it’s more that I’m burned out on everyday life really, and that spills over into my spiritual life. This morning I tried several times to pray for a specific intention and I kid you not, I couldn’t get through a Hail Mary without drifting off into la-la land. :o

At these times I just have to say “Lord, you know my heart, you know I want to pray but my tired mind just can’t concentrate.”

There are times I need to push and make more effort to get out of the fog and inertia, and there are other times when I get too caught up in too much detail. (I call the latter the times when I start giving Power Point presentations to the Lord instead of prayers! :smiley: Spelling out every last detail of what I think He should do to help this person or that situation.)

So just hang on, focus on Him, focus on your basic intentions to move toward Him. If there are some specific issues that you need to get spiritual direction on, go ahead and do that, and let God give you His peace. It’s hard to take it in sometimes, with all the distractions in today’s world, but go to a quiet spot and do the best you can.

A bit like you my background was a bit distant from the Catholic Church.

To this day I can’t handle the Rosary unless people are with me, doing it slow enough. (It is complicated for my motor condition.)

If you combine Jn 6 with Colossians 2:9 and pray - sometimes - that all the gifts (all God’s fulness) will be manifested amongst all the Catholics (as well as any Protestants of good will) in your vicinity, God will be sure to send some of them your way to give you the benefit, in order to assure you your prayers work. (One of the shortest of the lists of gifts is in Eph 4:11-16 but there are a number of overlapping lists in both Testaments.)

The many aids to holiness are not equally compulsory in their exact form.

I mutter the Our Father as near continually as I can - or restart if I catch myself having stopped - and when I’m too inarticulate for that I say Glory Be’s. (One is allowed to not count them! :wink: ) I can do it silently and without moving my lips if people are nearby.

Any list of intentions never seems to keep up. I try to keep them at the back of my mind however vaguely as I pray - God sees which ones I wish to bring before Him.

I love explanations of Scriptures more than explanations of devotions, myself.

Our Father Thy Kingdom Come.

Lord guide our feet into the way of peace. +

Thanks for all the advice.

To answer the question to why I am burned out it’s a lot of things really.

I have a mixed marriage and my wife is exploring Catholicism in the Eastern Rite but she is like a lot of people does not want necesarilly to be labeled as Catholic or Protestant or any particular denomination at least right now.

She feels the children should have balance and go every other week to her mother’s church even though she has left that church for it’s problems none the less they do seem to have a good children’s program.

The children also have friends they have grown up with there and if they go and are members they can go to summer camp.

So I basically have to take my kids to Mass the night before or later during the day on Sunday and sometimes I just don’t feel up to it and it’s frustrating because I want to take my family together once during the week and feel that should be enough.

It’s also Catholic and Protestant relations at work.

People ask me what Church I got to I am very open about my faith and my life and then they treat me like some devil worshiper or heathen as though I told them I sacrifice puppies to goat monster living in my refrigerator or some odd thing.

It’s very wearisome and I just don’t want to deal with peoples opinions it’s not their place to judge me I don’t stand there and judge Protestants and tell them there not Christian because I know that’s not true and I also know it’s not Catholics and Christians it’s Catholics and Protestants we are all Christian.

Between work and marriage and my more personal issues in my marriage outside religion I just have been a little worn out I guess.

The marriage part sounds like the only real bane…but it could be worse… try being divorced to a lapse orthodox who doesnt take you kid to church and tells them stuff against “her own” religion jjst to say stuff against “yours” :confused:

And have your kid told “you are not catholic” …

That situation might make saturday night mass seem a little less horrible?

As to other people not involved in your marriage…

You man, you good, you not care of their silly.

Your marriage and kids = important

Fools at work = … idk like some ants you saw once driving down the hoghway at 300mph???

I mean pfft they be irrelevant :slight_smile:


I hear you brother. Our crosses we carry can be very heavy at times. Perseverance in payer is key. Sometimes just breaking down and crying your heart out is very healing - perhaps this is what God is trying to achieve in you?

I find listening to Audrey Assad or Matt Maher to be helpful. Getting enough sleep makes a big difference too. :thumbsup:

May God bless you!

Sounds like discouragement, like you are overwhelmed with it all and can’t cope.

Here is a passage that will help.
1 Samuel 16:7
God does not see as man sees; man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.

Start you morning off with offering everything you do that day, no matter if it seems insignificant, to Jesus, for his honor and glory. Remember him now and then during the day and continue to do all for this purpose. For Jesus looks at the heart. You live for him and he sees this when you love him in the little ways of your life. They may not seem much to you, but little things can be done in a big way if the intention is pure and loving … “but the Lord looks at the heart.”

You shouldn’t discredit yourself in the eyes of Jesus. He died for you and loves you very much. Just do all that you do for him with your heart, for that is what is meaningful to him. Forget what the world thinks is important, for that is not what he thinks is important.

So start the day off correctly by making a morning offering, and you will see that it does make a difference.
“God does not see as man sees; man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.”

God Bless you OP, & God Bless everyone who replied: prayers for you all. :crossrc:

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