Another one bites the dust?


#1

I just finished masturbating, and realized that my faith is dead. I’m a little in shock. I never imagined that I could lose my faith again, but it’s gone, it’s seriously gone. There’s nothing alive in me spiritually. When I try looking to heaven, all I see is a thick fog. While it’s perhaps a good thing that I scheduled a confession with my priest for next Friday, I was supposed to confess what I’ve done wrong this past month, not mention that I’ve lost faith. My prayer life has slyly decreased to nothing, except for a few brief intercessions this morning.

I don’t have any desire to leave the Church, but that seems to be because the Church is my only real social outlet and I have no desire to return to “my old friends.” I just never imagined that a “committed Catholic” such as myself could lose faith. What a startling revelation…

I don’t know what to do with myself now. I feel like I’m stuck in the mud yet simultaneously emancipated.


#2

Well I certainly hope and pray that fire may be re-kindled. Is there anything specific which might be pushing you away?


#3

sending prayers. :gopray2:

Though your self knowledge is in itself a grace.

I think a retreat followed by spiritual direction would help greatly.


#4

Remember that there’s a part of you that is truly Catholic! Jesus stumbled and fell 3 times! Well, now, I’m a believer! Just believe!


#5

Go to confession and try again.

We all go through dry periods with our faith and we all sin but the best news is we have a forgiving God and He will forgive you every time you commit the same sin!

Brenda V.


#6

Letter of St Paul to the Romans 7:18-25 ©

I know of nothing good living in me – living, that is, in my unspiritual self – for though the will to do what is good is in me, the performance is not, with the result that instead of doing the good things I want to do, I carry out the sinful things I do not want. When I act against my will, then, it is not my true self doing it, but sin which lives in me.

In fact, this seems to be the rule, that every single time I want to do good it is something evil that comes to hand. In my inmost self I dearly love God’s Law, but I can see that my body follows a different law that battles against the law which my reason dictates. This is what makes me a prisoner of that law of sin which lives inside my body.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death?

Letter of St Paul to the Romans 8:25 ©

– but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.


#7

Many great Saints, Mother Theresa, St. John of the Cross… suffered similar “Dark nights of the soul.”

Stop trying so hard to be perfect, you will never be. Just let Jesus work in you, no matter how difficult it may seem to be at times.

The less you try to “do” and the more you block out the world’s noise and just listen to God, the better off you will be.** “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Ps 46:10).**

You are God’s child, He loves you and has infinite Mercy!!!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark


#8

Why specifically have you lost faith?


#9

Hey, bro. I’ve enjoyed some of your posts on other threads, so I though I should finally speak up a bit…

Lack of a prayer life is a real faith-killer, and I have some experience at it. :o

Every human sins again and again. I know that I will sin tomorrow, but my perspective is that Jesus has already atoned for that sin and God the Father is already prepared to forgive me for it as soon as I repent. (Was it even Paul who complained that he didn’t do the things he wanted to and did do the the things he didn’t want to do? I really have to look up and memorize that verse. ) [edited to add… Thank you Robert Sock! By the time I got done typing my post, he had already posted the verse from Paul’s letter to the Romans.]

I’ve found that changing my environment helped. Over the past several months, I cut down on raunchy TV and internet and started listening to more christian radio. A couple of weeks ago, I met with someone from my church who does spiritual direction and got some ideas about prayer. I can’t claim to have a stunningly deeper prayer life yet, but I was really struck by one of their suggestions… If I want Jesus to be a presence in my life, I should start thinking about him as a family member or a roommate or a guy who carpools to work with me. It might sound corny, but complaining about my troubles to Jesus sitting in the passenger seat makes my troubles seem much less important and makes peace and grace much more real. (It has also become natural to thank him for the good things.)

Peace,

  • curl

#10

The more we sin, the more we tend to avoid prayer. It’s like Adam and Eve hiding from God after they ate the fruit. But God wants to forgive us and turn us back to him. Even if your prayer life is dry, commit to spend time in prayer each day. You don’t have to feel anything. Just spend 15 minutes or 30 minutes or 1 hour, whatever you think is realistic. Then just sit and be with God.

Someone suggested a retreat. Maybe a Cursillo retreat would be helpful, or check to see what’s available in your diocese. Share your struggles with you friends at church. We are a community for a reason. We are supposed to support each other. Let your church family know that you are struggling with sin and losing faith. Ask them to pray over you. Go to a healing Mass.

There are many things you can do. Commit to do at least one thing each week, even if you don’t feel like it. Think about it like work. There are things you don’t want to do at work, but you do them anyway, right? We don’t always have to feel something when we talk to God. But we still need to talk to God.

My prayers are with you.


#11

I do not intend to make light of your situation, but RELAX! God is Good…all the time!


#12

Luke 9:24, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same will save it.”

If you abandon yourself, giving up of yourself in ways that actually hurt, like a one or two week long fast from all food, or spending several hours for a few days helping out in a charity, or spending the money to go on a retreat where there is so much grace and healing to be had, these are acts of self-abandonment, the rejection of the flesh or what you want to be doing, and they will free your spirit to rejoice in the presence of God. If you really want God and freedom from your troubles, really go and get Him! As St. Teresa of Avila says, “Abandon your little works! Stop walking and start running!” My goal in saying this is not to criticize but to offer you the hope that what you are seeking is fully within your grasp. You just have to reach out and take it by offering yourself up as “a holy and living sacrifice” for God, just as the Apostle Paul tells us to. When you abandon your flesh, how can it rule over you? Your flesh has no chance of ruling you and drawing you into deeper sin if you have crucified it. And that is what you have to do. When you put your desires in a real way second to the desires of God, suddenly He has room to do what He desires in your life.

“If anyone would come after me, he must take up his cross and follow me.”

The nails of that cross stab into our flesh, and like Christ, we accept the pain of our own voluntary decision because we consider the prize worth having.

The flesh is like an anchor tied to our legs, when we’re tossed into the sea. It pulls us straight down. We need to go at those ropes with the Sword of the Spirit and cut that anchor away from us, even though it hurts to abandon the flesh by actually abandoning things we like or spending our time in a way that doesn’t please our desires. When we cut that anchor off of ourselves, it falls away, and freed of our burden, we float upward to the top of the ocean.

I feel certain that if you abandon yourself by doing the good you don’t want to do, in so doing putting God first, you will find yourself on the path to freedom with speed that amazes you. Do something that really hurts for God, something that makes you exert some real effort and put yourself lower to put God higher, and see if He will reward you with His presence! I am certain He will and your spiritual life will swiftly leap into full bloom again.

DON’T let things continue to slide as they are. This is deadly. You’ve said your faith is dead. That is a terrible place to be at, and it leaves you with a decision to make, whether you want genuine freedom from your sins (habitual and otherwise) or want to do your own thing more. You need to decide whether you’re willing to do what it takes to be free. Are you really willing to sacrifice yourself where it hurts to be free? Because if you aren’t willing to endure pain for your freedom, your flesh is an idol for you that you’ve placed before God. If that is the case, you cannot let it stand. You only have one life to live and we would be crazy if we didn’t use it to try our best to prepare for eternity.

If you give up yourself, you will find yourself in Christ, but if you hold onto yourself, you will steadily continue to lose yourself as you feel you’re doing now. The harder you hold onto yourself, the more you’ll lose yourself, but the more liberal you are in self-abandonment, the more room God will have to fill you with His power and life. I really, really hope you make the right decision.

Here’s a relevant passage about abandonment of the flesh and its results.

It is not God’s will that you remain as lost as you feel. He tells us what to do that we might be saved, cut off arms or legs and whatever it takes. Abandon the flesh in real ways that actually involve pain or sacrifice so that our flesh might be subject to us rather than us subject to it! Then, as the Scripture above says, God will leave behind all His other sheep just for us and pick us up and rejoice over us more than He does over all His other sheep that did not stray.

He loves us and does not will that anyone lose Him or the Paradise He has in store for humanity. However, to receive that great heavenly reward, we must, absolutely must, abandon ourselves.


#13

If all that I’ve said feels beyond you at this time, and I know it may, then I recommend you do what I do when I feel that way. That is pray for the grace to commit to self-sacrifice. When I pray that, I often find my desires suddenly opening my will so that I’m all right with sacrificing my breakfast or my lunch that day or the next day, or so that I’ll accept this wheezing at night rather than picking up my inhaler. It often takes prayer to open oneself to self-sacrifice because we’re simply not so good and strong on our own that we’ll do it. So we need to pray for strength, courage, freedom, and a genuine spirit of self-sacrifice. It’s easy to make the prayer. If we place ourselves in our Immaculate Mary’s hands, she will lift us up. Praying this is easy, and it smooths the way before us so that the self-sacrifice that follows is easier. And then glorious results follow quickly after, or during, the self-abandonment.

Also, it is valuable to have an intention when making an act of self-abandonment. When I can’t think of one, but I want to sacrifice for God, I just offer the sacrifice to my Mother Mary and tell her to make the decision for me.

This is not exceptional holiness but is the perfectly achievable ordinary way of coming closer to God. In fact, the Church requires us to make some form of self-abandonment each Friday in union with the Lord’s Passion. That’s a great day to “start small,” if you need to start small, though I personally think you should really aim for something big in order to kick this evil that’s been attacking your soul for so long. I want you to kick it hard.

In fact, if you’re willing to pursue this with me, I’ll fast with you and for you, starting next week, and we’ll bind and smash Satan’s grip together through the power of Christ. Our Holy Lady will do the real work for us, for we are consecrated to her and we are brothers, her children and God’s. Going without food and praying are human things we can do, but what she can do is take our prayers and works, clothe them in her virtues and merits, and through these obliterate the enemy strongholds in our lives.

Don’t you think it’s time, my friend, for us to really kick this thing you’ve been struggling with for so long, and to kill it once and for all through the power of Christ?

And if you won’t do fast with me so soon as next week, by all means, just pray for the spirit of self-sacrifice and get back to me as soon as you are ready. I’d be glad for your PM. Going without the food is unpleasant, but the results are joyful and I firmly believe that this will create vital, beautiful and sweeping changes in your soul, bringing back joy and peace in God in your life. OR if you prefer the retreat or charity or some other option I haven’t thought of, that can work too, and I’d be willing to fast for you or work in a charity also, during the same period you’re doing this, for your intentions.

This really needs to be done; things cannot be allowed to remain the way you’ve described them and looking for a way that takes little work, or little self-abandonment, is not the answer right now. Now is the time to seriously, seriously crush the devil, and to do that, we need to give the flesh up to God rather than keeping it for ourselves.

God bless you greatly and abundantly!

For your needs:

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, holy prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all evil spirits that roam about the world seeking the ruin of souls, Amen.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Oh Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Please, most holy Mary, save us.


#14

That’s a really good idea; I’ve heard great things about them.


#15

the devil is always trying to get us to lose faith. It’s possible to sin repeatedly yet not lose faith, but keep on coming back to God. We just need to want to… one time I felt like i’m seriously losing my faith. I prayed really hard to Jesus that He would not let go of me. I told Him I’d do all I can to not let go myself. And He helped me and I came back. Sometimes it’s like a downward spiral… we sin, then we get discouraged, then we lose faith, then we decide to leave God, then we leave the Church, etc etc, some people have even found themselves hating God, down the road. But this process can be stopped at any time. It’s never too late while we’re alive. Try to hold on with your will alone, if nothing else. That will be enough. Don’t give up :slight_smile: Remember what it took for Jesus to redeem us. He had to endure much more than we have to endure. Regarding sin… we need to do all we can to cut it out of our lives. Have you ever read CS Lewis’ “Great Divorce”? If you have not, I recommend it, there’s a part in it about a man who struggled with a similar type of sin. God bless


#16

Thank you all so much for your encouraging words, and I see that someone has even started a thread for me in the Prayer Intentions forum which is very thoughtful.

I started back with praying the Liturgy of the Hours, as I was doing fairly faithfully and regularly until I became lethargic this past Saturday and quit. I hope to pray my Rosary tonight, as well.

There is a lot of guilt riding my soul. Someone here suggested that my sins are causing me to hide from God like Adam and Eve, which isn’t far from the truth. Even though I try to recall God’s great, deep sea of love for me and His willingness to help me, I cannot help but feel ashamed for my many, many sins, but I’m such a slave to my sins that I turn my back far too easily on the One who I know in my heart of hearts is the only one who can grant my soul eternal peace and rest. While I do believe that God is with me, I also know that I’m the one who has abandoned him and I chronically keep abandoning him almost everyday. There’s a thirsty sadness and an abysmal discontent that churns away within, eroding away what little faith remains. Something has died inside me, and its decaying stench seems to radiate outwards.

Ultimately, I am scared. I’m frightened to lose my soul, but obviously not so frightened as to quit my repulsive behaviors. Of course, my repulsive behaviors are, I believe, so engrained after 17 years that they are impulsive and nearly second nature. While I’ve tried accepting that there may always be one sin which I will never be able to defeat and must carry every day as a cross, such a cross affects me, quite literally, on such a cellular level that it becomes more and more difficult to stand back up. To be honest, I’m not sure I even know what it’s like to stand given the profound shakiness of my knees.

Even though I’m re-beginning my prayer life, there is still a thick wall of fog which stretches across heaven for me. I see the silhouettes of Jesus and Mary looking on me like specters in the night, but I can’t see their faces nor can I approach any farther. I’m on the outside like the wedding guest without a garment.

I very much fear what life will be like for me and if I must endure this self-pitying sorrow for the rest of my days. I don’t deserve anyone’s prayers, especially so many people suffer far worse. I know they do: what is lacking faith when compared to someone’s daughter’s dead body being found in a landfill? what is lacking faith when compared to the millions of Kenyans who have lived daily now for months without water? what is lacking faith when compared to the young 15 year old girl who was mercilessly raped by at least 10 men and suffered the indignity of being watched by incompassionate bystanders? I have so many blessings, blessings which I rarely count, choosing rather to complain that I must suffer the consequences for my own faithlessness.

Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.


#17

Epistemes, please do not despair.

It seems like you are having problems with lust, I too have had such problems (and I am still tempted sometimes). It IS possible to carry this Cross, and via this Cross, which can be very severe and indeed frightening, God can lift us up. He has taught me many things about the nature of sin, and how I need to surrender fully to Him to escape this terrible lust.

If you would like to hear about what He has taught me in this regard, feel free to PM me. Please do not give up, even though you may not see or feel Christ’s presence at the moment, you can be sure that he loves you as much as he ever has, and is calling you to be His Saint!

May God bless you and give you strength


#18

Again, thank you for your problems. I’ve decided to deal with my problem head on rather than trying to skirt it under the rug. I’ve ordered a couple of Twelve Step books on dealing with sex addiction, plus I hope to begin attending regular S.A. meetings. This problem is deeply affecting me not only spiritually but emotionally, mentally, and socially.

I also hope to read my Bible and Catechism more.


#19

:thumbsup: Well done. I’m very glad to hear you’re taking firm steps to fight the enemy. Getting the information you need is an essential first . . . I really love how you’re working for God, now, rather than despairing.

Hold on! We’re praying for you!


#20

I think we all need to learn to let God love us in our sinfulness :slight_smile: to understand that He loves us not for who we are, but because of who He is, and He is unchanging. But it is alright (even good!) to feel sorrow for sin. But don’t feel guilty for things that have already been confessed. It’s alright to feel sorrow (I do too) but believe and trust in God’s love and forgiveness. Remember, in Heaven we will be perfect and will not sin any more :slight_smile: that would be amazing!

God bless.


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