Prayers are welcome.
I hope to speak to my spiritual director soon. I’m living only for myself, it seems.
God bless you all.
Prayers are welcome.
I hope to speak to my spiritual director soon. I’m living only for myself, it seems.
God bless you all.
Let Nothing Disturb You.
Let Nothing Frighten You.
All Things are Passing.
God Never Changes.
Patience Obtains all things.
Nothing is wanting to Him who posesess God.
God alone Suffices.
– St. Teresa of Avila :signofcross:
It will get better.
Memorare of St. Bernard:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Don’t Give up.
– Cadian :knight1:
This is a drastic shift with very little info to go by. Would you care to elaborate? There are many here (including myself) who would love to unite our sufferings with yours and help you through this.
Christ is always alive for each one of us, but sometimes He hides Himself for a while.
Trust in Him, with your mind, heart, soul and strength, even when your heart and mind feel dead.
I’ve answered your prayer intentions thread too (I’m saying my rosary for you tonight).
We all go thru periods of darkness. I think you are reading far too much into this. I saw your profile, I think you think too much.
“Be not afraid, for I am with you always.”
“Though I walk through the valley of darkness, I fear no evil. For you are beside me with your rod and your staff and give me comfort.”
Even many Saints have reported times of darkness.
“…your Faith has saved you.”
May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with you now and always, Amen.
P.S. Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.
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.
For the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are Yours, Now and Forever, Amen!
May you have some comfort in knowing you are not alone. I believe for the most part we all have periods in our life when we feel lost, alone, sad, discouraged and separated from Our Lord, Jesus Christ. I believe that is a time when we have to pray more and ask “The Holy Trinity” for help. You know this pleases God! He wants nothing more than to help you find your way back. Our Lord is waiting for you to ask for His help.
May God Bless you,
P.S. You are in my special prayers! :gopray2:
“Ask and it will be given you, seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who ask receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” St. Luke 11:9-10
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” St. Matthew 5:3
I wish you’d stop expecting yourself to be basically perfect, and realise that you like all of us are just human and fallible, and everything else is God. He doesn’t have to make us as good as we think we should be. We have to do our human best and leave the rest to Him, even if He chooses to leave us as we are. If that’s what God knows we must be for our humility and unselfishness, just imperfect people who try, then God isn’t letting us down, God is doing the right thing for us.
God, I know that Your love can free me from the self-imposed need to force my inclination and emotions into a pattern of love and virtue. Give me grace to strive faithfully, while trusting my efforts into Your care, allowing You to love me and to love others through me.
“In my ‘little way every thing is most ordinary; all that I do, little souls must be able to do likewise. (Saint Therese of Lisieux) Her little way “is the way of Spiritual childhood…of trust and absolute self-surrender.”
Conversion: Your way
Our God, if You wish, You can cure and convert me instantly. All goodness comes from You, so any ‘merit’ of my life is already part of Your holiness. Therefore, so that no moment of my life is wasted in sin or emptiness, please transform me with Your holiness now, as a channel of grace to others and a delight to Yourself!
That You do not hasten to grant this prayer reminds me that You are God who creates in gradual progression, moulding Your masterpieces, no one like any other. You hold each creature in profound love that touches and moves each instant of life!
Help me to accept the quiet evolution of my life to wholeness as You seek my cooperation, while respecting my free will. Your wisdom neither transforms souls on demand nor coerces the unwilling person. Like the greatest silversmith, Your love delicately forms each tiny second and each unique shape of holiness and wholeness in our lives. That is Your glory in us, to form us in our prayerful obedience to the fire of love and the sharp tools of effort and tribulation.
God please grant me patient faith to accept Your fashioning. Yet, if anyone can persuade You to purify and sanctify all in my life from this instant, please let it be so! If not, then grant me to continue to live in quiet faith and faithfulness.
if you see your sinfulness and feel you’re not living for God but for yourself, don’t run away, but towards Him… that is the only way remember He wants to help us, and forgive us.
there are many times when I feel that I’m just living for myself too. At those times, I feel very weak, like I can’t do anything right spiritually. But then the teaching of St Therese realy helps… the weaker we are, the closer we should be to God… become like a little child and never stop trusting Him.
Whenever I feel like this I spend more of my free time reading catholic stuff and the bible. It works for me.
When worrying in this way, we can’t just sit still being doleful. That is not an answer to the problem. When in this kind of situation, we need to act to remedy it.
Self-sacrifice is a good answer to selfishness. Going on a retreat would, I feel certain, be very helpful to you, Epistemes. I think it would be a great blessing. Another possibility, one you could try from your home, is taking a fast from something you really enjoy, praying through that fast for deeper union with the three theological virtues: Faith, love and hope. These three go together, and uniting with them is uniting with the Kingodom of God and the Spirit of Christ. If you actually spend a fairly lengthy period of time fasting and seeking union with these, I feel sure the Lord will answer. You’ve been struggling for some time, but these can bring rest to your soul.
It’s unfair to God and yourself to moan about your situation without actually acting in a focused way to deal with the problem you want solved. The Scripture says, “But seek His Kingdom, and all these things will be given unto you.” And Jesus says, “Seek and ye shall find.” What better way to be freed from the self than to mortify the self, to abandon it, to leave it away for a while and offer God much more than you are accustomed to doing, time and money in a retreat, or perhaps abandoning food for a couple meals a day for a week or two. I once fasted from all food for two weeks, and that period immensely intensified my relationship with God. Abandoning the self gives God room to invade, for He no longer has to deal with fleshly attachments that we cling onto and which displace Him in our attentions and desires. Many Christians have profited from doing much more mortification than either of us have, and not just saints, but fairly normal, but devoted, believers.
Mortification of the flesh is abandonment of the self. It is abandoning selfishness by its very nature, for no longer is one that abandons oneself where it hurts focusing on how to please the self. Rather, such a person is focusing on how to become one with God. Mortification can cleanse both body and spirit, and I’m sure it would develop within you the deeper union with God’s Kingdom that you desire, if you make these the center of your retreat or mortification: Union with faith, hope and love. These three theological virtues are at the heart of Christian life and practice.
These are two wonderful ways God has provided for dealing with the problems you want to solve.
Another possibility of how to get more perfectly away from selfishness and the other interior struggles you face would be to practice some volunteer work with a Christian charity for the poor or the sick on one of your days a week off work. Take a few hours and devote them to helping solve the problems other people have. One’s own problems get washed away in acts of love, seeking to help others in need. Doing this would be uniting yourself with the theological virtue of love, and I believe faith and hope will bud swiftly to life along with their dear companion, love, as you bless yourself and others by drawing near to God in them.
Now is a time for action, firm action above and beyond what you’re used to doing. If you already are doing some charity, great: in that case add fasting to this. All these things I’m suggesting have one thing in common: They involve stepping away from the self, abandoning the self through actions rather than just words, and focusing on things instead that have power to create faith, hope and love, the Kingdom of God in the heart that purifies the soul of sin.
Make faith, hope and love, the theological virtues, your prayer at every Mass, and seek them not only in words but in deeds, if you wish to bring them vividly to life, freeing you from your present problems. In this way you can find Christ in His full, vibrant, overflowing life. He has the power to change you and according to His promise, He will bless you with His graces and virtues if you abandon yourself in real, definite actions rather than just words, and come after Him seeking Him where it hurts you, or where it really requires some actual self-abandonment. There, in this virtue recommended to all Christians, you can find Jesus and the deeper life of grace.
Here’s what Jesus says:
And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”
May God bless you with great, great abundance, Epistemes, my friend. I’m praying for you.
Let me first thank you for the time and attention which you put into your post, which readily demonstrates your own love for Christ and His Church.
While I am not alien to “fasting,” especially from food, it is not a mortification which I think I should engage in for a number of reasons, namely being that it causes me to become irritable and uncharitable (due my hypoglycemia) plus it causes me to fall into the sin of spiritual pride. The spiritual road of St. Therese is thus more fitting for me since I can only mortify myself in small things, such as holding my tongue, or offering a kind word in place of a bitter one. And so, while I cannot agree with you on what mortifications are best, I do agree with you that a person cannot “just sit still being doleful.” Perhaps you got that impression about me due my suggesting that I am hoping to speak to my spiritual director in the future, but my days are a constant struggle as to how to best serve the Lord, how to better myself, and ultimately how to rely more upon Him even when I’m in overreactive self-indulgent mode.
There is actually a series of events which led up to the original post in this thread, and the original post is by design completely vague; thus, I cannot expect anyone to offer advice which is fitting just for me and what I’m undergoing, hence why I must speak to my spiritual director. I will definitely mention your suggestion of “fasting,” though. Perhaps the best “fast” I could undergo is to quit posting negative threads here in the Spirituality forum and quit airing my problems both publicly and privately.
Thank you, again.
Pray for strength to fight this attack of Satan.
Dear Epistemes, my main point was not to try to convince you to fast from food, but to recommend as a solution taking some definite action in self-sacrifice, preferably something that makes you step decidedly outside of your comfort zone, for this would put the self most effectively aside. That’s why I suggested a retreat or work in a charity as two other good options. Fasting is a third option I personally find strongly effective, and there are probably many more ways than these three of stepping strongly away from the self and really yielding to God to act decisively in one’s life in creating the three theological virtues.
Moving in dear St. Therese’s Little Way is good, but as St. Teresa of Avila says in The Interior Castle, putting aside spiritual walking and taking up running is the best way to move quickly through dark valleys. We must also all especially avoid pursuing the Little Way in a way that results in us doing little, something I’m working hard to try to avoid right now by trying to crush a serious personal sin of laziness. St. Teresa of Avila says that there are many more trials and a much longer period of struggle and darkness if we mortify the flesh and our own desires only a little bit, or slowly, rather than crushing the self and the flesh fast through decisive and persistent action. The way I’m suggesting is really the short-cut into the Kingdom of God, the way practiced by all the saints.
I personally recommend worrying less about spiritual pride than about finding a way to perform real self-sacrifice swiftly. Fighting pride can become an excuse for not fighting the flesh hard- and I’m not saying it’s necessary to fast from food, and you don’t have to listen to me at all. But I do know from what I read of God’s Word and the saints that the fastest, safest and most effective way of disposing of the self and entering more fully into the Kingdom of God is to mortify the self in ways that hurt, that have a high cost to the self, or that are highly outside of our comfort zone. This truly moves the soul beyond the self by the nature of the act, and since it does this out of a spirit truly motivated to seeking God, it finds what its heart desires. He is truly gracious in giving such a soul His theological virtues.
There are two paths here to the Kingdom, which are before you. There’s a short way involving some (though comparably very small compared to what comes later in one’s relationship with God) real suffering we choose for ourselves, for God, in the pursuit of His Kingdom. And then there’s the long way, full of pain and misery because of our self-attachments, which, when this way leads to God, involves much more time, hardship and suffering on the route than does the short way of self-sacrifice. This second way involves clinging to the self longer and thus by nature filling the self with the self longer, if I’m clear enough here to understand. When the soul keeps filling itself with the satisfaction of its own desires, it doesn’t have room for God, doesn’t put Him first in its desires and thus receive the benefits He wants to bestow. But sacrifice makes room for Him, putting our desires decisively under Him, giving Him room to operate because more parts of the self are surrendered to Him and He is put more perfectly first. The more we sacrifice, the more we put ourselves second to Him and allow Him to act with power in our lives.
I certainly hope you don’t find this post offensive, and it isn’t meant to be at all offensive but rather an exhortation to partake of the stronger meat of the Kingdom of God that your soul might find all the infilling of the Spirit and supernatural graces of the Lord that it desires.
St. John of the Cross describes self-sacrifice as some of the best meat for souls, a central way necessary for drawing nearer to God. Jesus says bearing the Cross and denying the self is necessary for the soul that desires to follow Him. St. Therese did not deny herself in small ways- she denied herself in everything. Her whole life was one fragrant sacrifice to God- reading her diary, one can see how she fasted at every meal for her life, not just for a period of time. She fasted by taking what was put in front of her, whether she liked it or not, because she found this uncertainty as to the satisfaction of her desires harder to bear than simple abandonment of food. She constantly spent time among those that abused her worst, made herself a doormat for people to tread on, blessing them and gently reaching out to them all the time. Simultaneously, she endured the terrible sufferings of the dementia of her father, the deaths of loved ones, and severe agonies from personal physical illness. Her “Little Way” was far from little. The more sacrifice we make, the more God will act in us, for the more room we have made for Him by putting aside ourselves and following Him, as He calls us all to do in His Word.
I don’t mean to insult you at all, but to show you what the saints saw as the way out of burdens such as those I can see you’ve endured for a long time, and don’t have to endure if you choose the hard way.
I like to keep things simple.
I think Jesus is a really awesome person. He’s a sweet, caring individual. And He loves you.
So, no matter how you feel ~ and believe me, I can understand if there’s spiritual confusion ~ try to remember that Jesus isn’t going to change. He’s already died for all of us. He’s always there. He always will be.
So no matter where you wander, He will be there. He will be waiting for you.
It’s just a love thing. :heaven:
Remember 1 Corinthians 13:4-A… “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
I just got through a terrible experience with anxiety. I never felt so alone and hopeless in my life. I can honestly say that during the worst of it…it felt like GOD abandoned me. I had no concept of GOD at all. I now am thinking clearly and never want to have the idea of GOD not in my life to ever happen again. It was a very scary experience and I thought I had lost my mind.