Devotional feeling: getting too sensual? (women only!)

Hello

I have a little bit of concern so I would like your opinions.
I have difficulty distinguishing heart, emotion, and physical sensation. I am generally reason-oriented and when I make a decision I just inte as well as opinions of wise people. On the other hand, in discerning God's will for me, heart is supposed to be also pretty important, so I am trying to pay more attention to it. But then I feel like I am being sometimes too sensual, and this "sometimes" correlate to hormonal cycle.
Generally, I get somewhat overwhelmed by emotion and sensation when I hear/read words like, "total consecration/holocaust", "surrender to God's will", "obedience", "hidden life with God", etc, especially if these are coming from nuns. This already worries me a bit, especially in the view of the fact that I'm so much of a procrastinator in doing things like getting out of bed to go to adoration or getting work done, or keeping my mouth shut instead of saying dumb things to brag: I suspect that I enjoy just a thought or sentiment of devotion but actually have very little devotion. I pray that God will help me.
What worries me a lot more is that sometimes it gets really physically strong sensation, with particular feeling around uterus, etc. I am ordinarily very much of a Tom boy (though I'm already 36) and I'm dressed and behave like a guy, but in prayer I sometimes feel my femininity intensely, and, for example I get an urge of wearing skirt secretly to go to adoration. And now and then I get very intense sensation in bed, I feel something around my uterus and I think of Mother of God by annunciation etc, and my chest and body and everywhere get filled with desire to surrender myself to God, fall down before Him, to be with Him in cloister and suffer with Christ, my chest feels like, if I use the word from St.John of the Cross, being touched by smoldering piece of wood. To me all this is very sensual, may be emotional, but I'm not sure what I to think of it, if it has anything to do with my "heart"'s desire. I keep pray so that my "desire" to surrender be real, and put to practice in daily life. I also pray so I wont dwell on myself or enjoy sensation but rather focus on God and others and grow in desire serving them in every moment. I want to trust that there is nothing wrong with me, God is just doing this because I'm weak or stubborn or something, but I worry that I am some kind of sensuality freak or something. I would like to know if it is relatively normal or common.

I cannot vouch for how normal these sensations are, but here’s my theory:

In the world as it is, we do not experience all forms of love. Everything seems to be sexualized.

I think that sometimes when a pure spiritual love is trying to express itself, our bodies get a little mixed up and send out the wrong signals!

I also think that for some people it may be Satan attempting to distract us from prayer.

We are human creatures, made in the image and likeness of God. He gave us all our sensations, so they are not inherently bad. However the timing of some of these sensations can be bad!

This might be a call for you to get more in touch with your femininity. Why wear a skirt in secret? Wear it as you see fit!

I am not absolutely positive, but I believe the ecstasies of some of the saints (St. Teresa of Avila comes to mind) have been likened to sexual ecstasy. But that might just be one person’s suggestion

Hope this helped

Emotions and sensations can seem very satisfying, but they are not the essence of our relationship with God. He asks us to prove our love with deeds.

The best thing for you to do is let the sensations happen without giving them too much importance, while at the same time working very hard on correcting your defects.

Work on them intensely, one at a time. If you go to confession regularly (and I really hope you do), bring up one of the defects at your next confession and then make a specific resolution about how to conquer it. Keep confessing it and working until you have made some real progress, and then move on to the next one. Getting up on time (no snooze button!) is a great one to begin with.

Emotions and feelings very often come and go with hormonal fluctuations. When I was young enough to have hormonal fluctuations, I experienced a lot of religious emotion at certain points in the cycle. The way to handle it is not to give it too much importance, for example, don't think you no longer love God when the feelings subside. You do seem to be extraordinarily sensitive and responsive - guess that's how God made you! In any case, just let the feelings happen and move on to the real work of sanctification. That will please God very much and make you deeply happy as well.

Betsy

Since my heart and soul converted to the catholic church in January. I have started wanting to feel more womanly. I think its Mother Mary trying to shine through us so that we can become just like her :) I am also a tomboy at heart. I'm not the skirt wearing, pretty hair, girly girl. But ever since my converison of heart. I have had this drawn to wear a long skirt and cover my head with a chapel veil. The idea of submitting myself to God and the church makes my stomach turns flips of happiness and just pure love showing through.

Everytime I get into deep prayer or doing a rosary. The yearn to wear light colors long skirts and a long veil just makes my heart yearn for the convent lifestyle as a nun.

I don't think there is anything wrong with you. I do think the sexual feelings are temptations from the Devil to sin. Whenever I get into deep prayer intimacy with Jesus, the devil always tries to interrupt me and get in the way :) the best weapon against Satan is the Rosary..

God bless!!
Cameron

Message me if you need any help or questions :) You are in my prayers

[quote="baltobetsy, post:3, topic:200932"]
The best thing for you to do is let the sensations happen without giving them too much importance, while at the same time working very hard on correcting your defects.

[/quote]

OP, St. Teresa of Avila would likely give the same advice. You might want to see the section on "sexual feelings at prayer" from Fr. Thomas Dubay's Fire Within at this link. The section begins halfway down the page.

You might also want to see the discussion in this thread beginning with post #37. Hope this helps!

Thank you to everyone for maintaining their decorum and keeping our threads family friendly. :thumbsup:

Hi, here's just my understanding of this :) if the emotional feelings cause you to love God more, then probably they are your response to experiencing His love and grace. Don't place too much importance on them, but just focus on loving God, with or without emotion. They can also be consolations. (but even so, don't focus on them, just thank God and move on, and try to love Him in your life).

As for the physical feelings, - this is either a temptation from the enemy, or, more likely, it could be what another poster described:

I think that sometimes when a pure spiritual love is trying to express itself, our bodies get a little mixed up and send out the wrong signals!

St John of the Cross actually talks about this in "the dark night of the soul". The spiritual grace is real, and from God, but sometimes the feelings can be confusing and the body doesn't know how to deal with them. What this shows is that our love is still very much 'sensual', and that we haven't been purified enough. This is the case for ALL of us at the beginning so don't worry or feel like you've done something wrong! In fact, you might be making progress in your love for God, and devotion for Him, but still need to go through the "dark night of the senses". That "dark night" purifies us so our love becomes more spiritual, and consolations become more spiritual as well and you'll experience them in a different way. (more in your soul)

Don't place too much importance on anything you feel, just try to focus on God and loving Him, and perhaps think about getting a spiritual director :) also, if the feelings start leading you into sin or tempting you to sin, make sure to ignore them entirely.

God bless!

I have been reading "To Catch a Rainbow" as part of the Franciscan journey of the Secular discernement. I read these words and they made much sense to me. It is basically how we become closer to Christ we become spouse, brother, and Mother. These are the actual words as it speaks to the Mother part:

"We are mother to Jesus, when we acknowledge his presence within us, bearing him in our bodies. We give birth to Jesus when we proclaim the gospel through our everyday lifestyle."

It is a possibility as some of the above posters have stated that as you have become closer to that role in Christ's life that you also have become closer to the Virgin Mary. Peace be With You.

Dear all,

thank you so much for all your inputs ! I'm glad to know that it does seem rather common to experience religious feeling correlated with hormonal cycle (and other feelings that I didn't mention but some people did) and I'm probably not psychologically disturbed or freak. There are a lot written about spiritual dryness etc and I'm a lot more used to it but I couldn't find anything about what to think of it if you feel a lot.

Dubay's book I bought it almost 10yrs ago and never opened it;; I will look...

I know this is off topic but since this all women and kind of on the same lines has anyone else here found during discernment periods that they become extremely emotional. I am finding that I am extremely sensitive since starting to go through discernment. Just one of those things if everyone does not mind me throwing out there.

We are physical creatures and that's the way God made us so He is going to communicate with us in a physical way sometimes. The most important thing is to not get to caught up in the feelings because sometimes they will not be there but that shouldn't change your relationship with God. Just keep your eyes on the Cross and if you have the sensations and they help you to love God then that's wonderful and say thank you. If you don't have the sensations then that's still wonderful and still say thank you.

JMJ+
~Betsy

Totus tuus Maria! Let's see what the good God wills

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.