Books (+ advice) about God's Love?


#1

Hi, I’m hoping that you can help me out with some book recommendations. I have real trouble accepting and believing that God really loves me. Me and not just humanity in general, you know? And sure, in my head I believe and know it but not in my heart. The problem is that I’m suffering from depression so I have kind of a distorted and more negative view of reality and of myself. Plus, I never had a father who I could trust and who made me feel loved and safe. So it’s kind of hard to relate although I want nothing more.

Do you know any books that can help me feel loved by God? Of course, I would be grateful for all kinds of advice as well.


#2

While you sound like you’re going through something a lot of people go through at one time or another, I think it might take more than a simple book recommendation to get you on track. Do you have a good priest you can talk with, or some other people to talk about your spiritual problems with? I know for me, I’ve spent a lot of my life reading books to try to figure out God, and I realized I knew a lot about God, but I didn’t actually know him. As Padre Pio said, “in books we look for God, in prayer we find him.” And not just personal prayer, although that’s good too. Pray with other people, maybe go to a rosary group if your church has one, or some other public prayer. One author I have found helpful in the past is Henry Nouwen. His books “The Wounded Healer” and “Beloved” were quite good. You might find him a bit squishy and sentimental sometimes, but the basic message of his books is that God loves us unconditionally and is waiting for us to come back to him. Hope that helps, I’m still figuring it out myself.


#3

I have personal experience with the depressive feeling you mention and St. Therese’ writings have helped me, along with a lot of prayer and devotion to the BVM. Prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament helps me too.


#4

While I agree that it’s going to take more than a book to make you feel better in this area, because you’re only going to find peace through prayer and talking through this issue with someone experienced in the spiritual life, like your priest, let me recommend two books by Thomas Merton: “No Man is an Island” and “Life and Holiness.”

Also, read and re-read the Gospel of John – especially the Last Supper discourse (John 13:1-17:26).


#5

Hello Xandria,
There are many people who are (or have been) in this exact situation.
Personally, I have always found the book of Psalms to be very comforting.

You asked for advice:
Try to find one way to be among people that will make you feel useful-
Maybe volunteer at a center for the poor or the elderly, help the teachers of the little ones at your church, make rosaries or quilts for missions, sing in the choir … I’m sure there is something you are very good at doing. :slight_smile:

Rejoice before this God whose name is the Lord, Father of the fatherless,
this is the God whose abode is holy, who gives a home to the forsaken.
Psalms 68:5-7

Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget, I will never forget you.
Isaiah 49:15

*For he has said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.”*Hebrews 13:5


#6

Best book ever. Life changing.

Betsy


#7

I would have to agree that the book that baltobetsy named has certainly been one of my very favorites!


#8

Amazing! I was just about to recommend this very book. Isn’t it wonderful? I think I’m going to re-read it.


#9

Thank you for your replies. I have an appointment with a priest in 2 weeks. I wanted to talk to him anyway about my problems regarding RCIA.

I know that books won’t be the cure but they can be a good starting point. I rarely read the Bible because it makes me feel worse than before. I tend to apply every warning, reproach etc. to me which of course is not true but knowing this doesn’t make the feeling go away. Plus, the texts are full with everything that I, as Christian, am supposed to do for others etc. But since I’m really beaten by this horrible sickness and don’t have much strength left or anyone in my life who cares for me and helps I recently realized that I am one of those that are in need of that help and love that Christians are supposed to give. Still, reading the bible is just hard for me.

Interesting that you recommended St. Therese. I just got her autobiography and will look into the meditations book you recommended after. So far, I really like her book but does anyone else feel reminded of Little Women when reading about her childhood? :smiley:


#10

Now that you mention it… maybe a bit.

The second book - I Believe in Love - is written completely by the priest author, with very few quotes from Therese herself. It is extremely powerful. Even if you’re not really fond of Therese, this book is worthwhile, as it’s more her teachings than her personality. I often wish it had a different title and cover design without Therese, as there are people (such as my daughter) who find her a little whiny and hard to take, but who could enjoy the book very much. I know DD would never get past that cover photo, so I don’t even try. :wink:

Betsy


#11

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