Anyone else tired of "going through the motions?"


#1

I have been listening to this song a lot lately:

“The Motions” by Matthew West

And it now has me thinking that too often that I am just going through the motions of being Catholic. Mass on Sunday. Pray daily. Pray the rosary daily. But I am not really “living” my Catholic faith. I finally finished a great book entitled “Be a Man!” by Fr. Larry Richards and I realized more and more that I was just going through the motions. I was not living my faith the way that God is calling me to and it got me to thinking. I am starting to dive more into the faith. Trying to be more open to God’s will in my life and my family (pregnant wife and 4 kids). I have begun to read the bible more now and have started to focus more in my prayer (trying to atleast as I tend to let my mind wander too much), listening to good Catholic speakers, reading good Catholic books, yet I still feel as if I fall short. Maybe I have too high of expectations, but I want to continue to make that change.

I realize that by doing this there are those in my life that may laugh at me and even turn their backs on me, but I am at the point that I have to realize that it is not about them (not entirely) but it is about me and about the way that I want to live. The life that I have to be held accountable for when I answer to God. I was away from my wife and kids when she was pregnant with our 4th child, living 2 states away for work and I had a lot of time to go to adoration. Sometimes 2 and 3 times a week. I loved it. Yet, once I was back home I fell into a routine of not going and continued to play the “busy” card. I feel bad that I do not go and am trying to recommit myself to doing this on a regular basis, atleast one hour a week.

I want to know if there are others out there like me and maybe we can use this as a source of support, strength, guidance, anything to help us make that change and to stop “going through the motions.” That way will not have to ask “what if I had given everything instead of going through the motions?”

I look forward to hearing other stories and sharing with each of you. Many times I find that for me it is not easy to admit that I fail before God to others. OF course He knows that I do, but to let others know that I am not being the person that God has called me to is tough. It is hard to admit failure, but I know that I am weak and that I need strength. I have talked with my wife about continuing to help me, encourage me, even challenge me as I make a more firm committment I have talked with a few other men about holding me accountable cause as it says in Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens his fellow man.”


#2

Yes, I do. I find when that happens, I turn back to Him when I turn on the praise music in my car, and PRAY those words by singing my heart out to the Lord. I Praise music has been an awesome tool for me to get myself out of a spirtual rut and close to Him.


#3

Oh goodness, I've been feeling (<<for lack of a better word) like this so much lately. I thought "fake it 'til you make it" was a good method to reach God... but now, I'm not so sure.

All last semester, I only missed daily mass 2-3 times. I prayed the rosary most nights, spent evenings chatting with Christ in the chapel, did service work, hung out with Campus Ministry, convinced a few kids to come to stuff, and stayed faithful to my adoration time slot. Then, I went home on break. Never once did I even make an effort to attend daily mass. I forgot about the rosary most nights, did no service, and barely reached out to my friends and family. Through this, I kinda realized that my faith is merely a convience for me. I go to mass because I have the extra half an hour over my lunch break, the rosary is with a group of friends and I enjoy chatting with them afterwords, service with friends is fun, the adoration time slot is a good excuse not to study, and dragging friends along makes these things more enjoyable for me. The late at night time spent in the chapel seems to be more out of boredom and desire to get away and think rather than out of the desire to be with Christ.

My faith has become something I do, not something I am. It has gone dry, my soul empty, and my heart is starving for something real.

But I don't know what else to do.. how to take the extra step towards making these monotonous actions mean something m o r e... I don't know.

Sorry I don't really have any advice for anyone, and sorry for the faith problems dump. I just kinda needed to get that out.

You all are in my prayers!


#4

[quote="sharmin, post:2, topic:184375"]
Yes, I do. I find when that happens, I turn back to Him when I turn on the praise music in my car, and PRAY those words by singing my heart out to the Lord. I Praise music has been an awesome tool for me to get myself out of a spirtual rut and close to Him.

[/quote]

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

(that's all I can really say....


#5

*Hi MM;

Sometimes, I do feel this way--but I remind myself of what Mother Teresa said...''God doesn't require that we do great things, rather He wants us to do the little things, with great love.'' (I take this to mean the mundane, everyday things of life) She also has been known to speak about not worrying about succeeding, but rather concern ourselves with being faithful every day...no matter where we are.

I also feel joining a ministry can help...I am going to my first meeting for the 3rd order Carmelites here in my county. I'm excited--it begins next month. :) The director told me that my main ''job'' will be to discern over the next three months to see if I want to take it further...I think that joining this will help me to move out of my complacency at times that I might have, and into something ''more.'' I've always been fascinated with the Carmelites.

But, in the everyday details of life...working, being a husband, father, etc...you can rest assure that God is ''using'' you there...and we are merely to open ourselves up to His grace to allow ourselves to be used even more. That is how I tend to look at it, lately. When you drill down and view it like that, you are far from going through the motions. :)*


#6

Definitely. >.> And I don't 'do' much beyond Sunday Mass and praying for a bit every night before going to sleep. Every time I do take up a more frequent prayer routine, I feel like it's just saying the words, with nothing really going on, no real connection to God.

One thing that does help me a bit is to work with people, not in any special ministry, just my friends and family, in welcoming them to my home, making them feel cared for and valued; then it's more concrete for me, like welcoming Jesus Himself into my home.

Just my two cents... I do wish I spent more time actually talking to God, but it doesn't seem to 'work' for me... I am thinking of finding a spiritual director, see if I can't work on this more. :shrug:


#7

I feel like my whole life is just going through the motions. :) In between finding a new job, and my new boyfriend, I just don't have the energy. It's hard since I don't have any Catholic friends here. On Wednesday I'm going to a young women's group at my parish, hopefully it isn't full of married women (single women need help too! Probably even more!).

Plus, my boyfriend left Catholicism several years ago, so it's pulling me away (his church is so much more welcoming than mine). I've tried praying, but I feel like I'm talking to myself. :confused: So I don't have anyone to help me spiritually, the only support is my man, and he would love it if I joined his religion. Maybe I'll have to fake it to make it, like someone in this thread said.


#8

[quote="Mirror_Mirror, post:1, topic:184375"]
. . . . .
anything to help us make that change and to stop "going through the motions."

[/quote]

Hey bro, you need to 1. Go on an ACTS retreat, and 2. Consecrate your Family to the Holy Family, and LIVE this Consecration. These two, will put you ON FIRE ! ! !:thumbsup:
I know, I too was tired of 42 years of 'going thru the motions'.

-YBIC,

GaryR.


#9

[quote="whatevergirl, post:5, topic:184375"]
*Hi MM;

Sometimes, I do feel this way--but I remind myself of what Mother Teresa said...''God doesn't require that we do great things, rather He wants us to do the little things, with great love.'' (I take this to mean the mundane, everyday things of life) She also has been known to speak about not worrying about succeeding, but rather concern ourselves with being faithful every day...no matter where we are.

I also feel joining a ministry can help...I am going to my first meeting for the 3rd order Carmelites here in my county. I'm excited--it begins next month. :) The director told me that my main ''job'' will be to discern over the next three months to see if I want to take it further...I think that joining this will help me to move out of my complacency at times that I might have, and into something ''more.'' I've always been fascinated with the Carmelites.

But, in the everyday details of life...working, being a husband, father, etc...you can rest assure that God is ''using'' you there...and we are merely to open ourselves up to His grace to allow ourselves to be used even more. That is how I tend to look at it, lately. When you drill down and view it like that, you are far from going through the motions. :)*

[/quote]

:wave: I'm a Secular Carmelite... I just finished my novitiate and made my temporary Promise last year, and have begun the three years of formation that will prepare me to make my Definitive (permanent) Promise. The promise is the same (Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience) as it is in the cloister Carmels, but of course with the difference that I and other Seculars live our promise out on the world through our primary vocation, in my case as a wife and mother. :) this process has definitely helped me through spiritual rut-ness... Although I have a very very long way to go, still yet. The Carmelite spirituality really appeals to me, and I have come to love the Carmelite doctors, St. Theresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and St. Therese. I don't think, that is, I'm SURE that I wouldn't have read or appreciated them as much without my Carmelite community to help me along.

What you say about serving God with love in the little details of your day/life is very Little Way. :)

ETA: a previous poster reminded my of another thing that I did long before I even knew about secular Carmel, and even before I was married, and that was the Total Consecration to the Immaculate Heart, the formula of St. Louis de Montfort. I can say without exaggeration that it was truly life-changing.


#10

Just returned from the March for Life in Washington, DC.

Went without sleep for over two days straight. :yawn:
Went without a hot meal for over 24 hours. :winter:
Pulled all the muscles in both legs because
since the mainstream news media didn't show up,
their job basically fell to me as a photographer and blogger,
so I was running all up and down the Washington Mall
with my little old camera like a crazy woman.

(I will say thanks to C-SPAN, EWTN, and FOX News, :thumbsup: :tiphat:

who did show up!)

But guess what the hardest part of the trip was?
Dealing with my fellow bus companions.
I have an Irish temper, you see ... :irish2: :slapfight:

The littlest things can be so important.
Not glamorous.
Important.

~~ the phoenix

countrydreaming-countrycorner.blogspot.com/2010/01/march-for-life-january-2010-we-people.html


#11

I recommend going to a retreat. Preferably, at least a two day one. I was feeling a little dry myself and i can't explain to you how awesome I feel today, a day after my three day retreat. I met so many people who are on fire for God, I felt God working on me throughout and I felt God's presence very strongly. I was walking on clouds when I left. I felt such peace and unity with God. Look around your diocese and see what retreats are coming up and go!!!


#12

Thanks for all of the responses. I have to agree that listening to good Christian music is another place that I draw a lot of inspiration.

Just to clarify it is not as if I am depressed or down in the dumps wondering what is going on, I just know that I could do better in my prayer life and in being Christ to others. That is what I am trying to focus. Also, on trying to do God's will and not mine.

I am hoping to get on a retreat this year, but am not sure. I do think that I will be going to a men's conference coming up and I really enjoyed that last year. It is awe inspiring to be surrounded by over 1,000 men that want to dive more into their faith, I just wish all of us could take that to the world and set it on fire.

I will continue to pray for those that have responded here. Prayer is the strongest weapon that we have. I just need to be more focused in mine. :blush:


#13

I highly recommend reading/listening to Matthew Kelly. His motto "become the best version of yourself" is based on Vatican II's "Call to Holiness". Thanks for mentioning that book by Larry Richards, I'll check it out!


#14

[quote="Consecrated, post:9, topic:184375"]
:wave: I'm a Secular Carmelite... I just finished my novitiate and made my temporary Promise last year, and have begun the three years of formation that will prepare me to make my Definitive (permanent) Promise. The promise is the same (Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience) as it is in the cloister Carmels, but of course with the difference that I and other Seculars live our promise out on the world through our primary vocation, in my case as a wife and mother. :) this process has definitely helped me through spiritual rut-ness... Although I have a very very long way to go, still yet. The Carmelite spirituality really appeals to me, and I have come to love the Carmelite doctors, St. Theresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and St. Therese. I don't think, that is, I'm SURE that I wouldn't have read or appreciated them as much without my Carmelite community to help me along.

What you say about serving God with love in the little details of your day/life is very Little Way. :)

ETA: a previous poster reminded my of another thing that I did long before I even knew about secular Carmel, and even before I was married, and that was the Total Consecration to the Immaculate Heart, the formula of St. Louis de Montfort. I can say without exaggeration that it was truly life-changing.

[/quote]

Oh how exciting! I am really looking forward to the first meeting, and discerning if this is ''right'' for me and I'm ''called'' as the Director indicated for me to do. She is awesome...I am excited to meet her and other like minded Catholic women, too. I agree with you--sometimes I can be like Mirror Mirror states ''going through the motions,'' without zeal...I want more zeal and some days it's there, other days, I feel a little ''dry.'' Thank you for your comment here...and good luck to you with the Carmelites!:)


#15

[quote="danfinocchio, post:13, topic:184375"]
I highly recommend reading/listening to Matthew Kelly. His motto "become the best version of yourself" is based on Vatican II's "Call to Holiness". Thanks for mentioning that book by Larry Richards, I'll check it out!

[/quote]

Funny that you should mention Matthew Kelly as I have been listening to and reading a lot of his stuff lately. I just quoted him on Facebook today. I am in the middle of Rediscovering Catholicism right now. I have read a lot of his other books as well. I think that this is part of what I am going through, trying to be Christ to others.


#16

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