When I was in college, I would go to the student center and there a lot of the ministries focused on God’s love and healing power. There were retreats and stuff, and they would talk about how being part of the body of Christ meant we were adopted children of God and there was a focus on grace and it really lent to this feeling that God was patient with us in our failings and that as we live lives of repentance He would help us along and smile on us as we grow in holiness.
Maybe it’s a different crowd that I’m with now (after college) but these days it always feels like I am being held over a fire. I don’t know if it is because of the parish that I have been attending, literature that I have been reading or just a change in attitude, but living a life of repentance is not as joyful as it used to be for me. I no longer have this feeling like Jesus is helping me along, but I feel that God is always angry with me and every time I do sin, I feel hopelessly far from God, almost to the point of despair. Even after I go to confession I no longer experience joy or relief, only shame for what I have confessed.
I am wondering if anyone else feels this way.