Do you really love God or just fear him?

I’ve come to the realization that I just fear God. My life is pretty much going now here, and has been for years. I used to pray about it, pray for guidance, pray to find God’s will, etc. I’d go to adoration, pray the Rosary, and all that and nothing came of it. So now, I pretty much just “fear God”. I do everything that is required by the church and that’s it. I avoid mortal sin, go to Sunday Mass, but that’s about it. I just don’t love God. Due to my asperger’s disorder, relationships of any kind are very hard for me, especially ones that are seemingly 100% one sided.

But your relationship with God is NOT one-sided. Everything you have is from Him. You are nothing without Him. He keeps you in existence every second; that means you are on His mind every second.

Don’t worry about fearing God. We all start from somewhere. But I suggest trying to do things out of gratitude at this point. Very few of us, I’m afraid, rise spiritually to the point where we do everything out of pure love for God. But God is merciful and “puts up with us” so to speak. Plus, did you ever ask God to help you love Him? A basic point easily forgotten.

One more suggestion: did you ever look into Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary. It seems that people find it easier to love the Blessed Virgin.

“Fear of the Lord” is one of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit! That is nothing to be ashamed of. I think that most people start there just like little children when they are being trained. They may not understand why they get in trouble when they do certain things but they understand that they will be disciplined. As they get older they learn that some actions are dangerous, rude, disobdient etc. Later they learn to love their parents when they understand what all the rules are for - namely their own security and a foundation for maturity when they’re adults. Our spiritual life is similar. Sometimes when I know that I should do something and I don’t really want to do it - like go to Holy Hour, Confession etc. - I picture myself as a young child (I’m 60) on a path; I ask Our Lord Jesus Christ to take my hand and lead me where He wants me to go. It usually makes it easier. You might start your day thanking God for another day and ask for an abundance of grace to do whatever duties you have, be it work, school, etc. A very good priest, when I needed direction, advised me to try to fulfill my duties of my state of life every day. When I broke it down into segments of the day, it seemed easier to accomplish. I sincerely hope that your spiritual and secular life improve. God bless you.

Do what I do, think about how freakin’ cool God is! A superbeing who transcends all time and space, is present everywhere, is an almighty King, brought everything into existence, wrote the Old Testament (Psalm 18 man, Psalm 18 - rippin’ the skies open), inspired two millenia of epic beautiful astonishing art, has complete control over light and darkness, good and evil, is everything He is all at once in utter perfection, sees all from all angles of all events all at once in an eternal present, emanates as a threefold deity, transformed into a human, can bend the laws of time and space (naturally), channeled himself through human agents to grant us a sacred tome, and maybe I’m just scaring you more but dude this… this… superbeing loves you! YOU! He freakin’ arranged all of history so you and I and all of us could be immortal kings and queens in an alternate dimension! Hahahaha I sound crazy. But I love phrasing things in non-stale :eek: ways.

Given that you have this cross to bear, God certainly sees and understands.
Fear of God is not a bad thing. Love is better. If you cannot give love in certain ways due to your disorder, well just trust in God. Trust is a huge component of any loving relationship.

Peace
James

:smiley:

I would have to agree with this. It’s really, really difficult to love God if we don’t have trust.

I know, right? All that and he can’t/won’t provide me with a single hint of what I’m supposed to do with my life or give me any direction.

Wait. I had an idea. Maybe you’re going through a Dark Night? If that’s the case then it’s actually a good thing because that means God wants you extra close to Him. He doesn’t want you to rely upon signs and consolations. Those are for the weak (insert black metal grimace). Seriously, I get a ton of signs because I probably have Asperger’s too, and I certainly have Schizoaffective Disorder (Bipolar type) and PTSD.

Read up on how to cooperate with it and get the most out of it. Really, it could be that simple.

Yeah, I just scored 31 on this test… I probably am in the same boat you are in. Even doctors tried to diagnose me with Asperger’s Syndrome like crazy growing up.

wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aqtest.html

I scored 38. This makes sense though; at school I’m “the quiet one.”

I know, right? All that and he can’t/won’t provide me with a single hint of what I’m supposed to do with my life or give me any direction.

I used to think the same thing…I used to pray so hard only to seemingly be ignored. What I’ve learned to do over the years is to look for God’s hand in EVERYTHING, and then step aside and view the situation from another source. Such as my husband and I fighting…I’m an extremely emotional person and my husband isn’t the greatest at expressing emotions…thus sometimes I get hurt. I kept praying for the Grace to accept my husband as who he is and let him love me in the way he’s supposed to…not the way I love. Pretty much that same day, and for a few days, things between my husband and I got bad (as in, him pulling away and me being extra emotional). I got very Angry and confused with God…since my situation seemed to get bad. But then I realized…God DID answer my prayer. He was giving me situations in which to practice and work on what I was asking for. Not long after I realized that, another opportunity arose, and it was a very hard struggle, but I did as God asked and not long afterwards I got through the battle and since then my husband and I have had no problems…in fact, he’s been growing closer and closer to God through me (he’s not christian…or ANYthing, though he does believe in God), and our life has been great! I truly feel the presence of God between us now.

God does answer our prayers…but in the ways we expect or desire. Just remember…God does not give you anything you can’t handle. I have many other experiences where I felt God was just ignoring me, and then me going back a while later and looking at the situation and realizing that God was doing EXACTLY as I asked…just not in the way I wanted it. But it’s not about what WE want…it’s about what God wants. A lot of Saints suffered…even Jesus suffered, and he did NOT want to! “Father, if your will be done, Take this Cup from me!”

Perhaps ask for the Strength to deal with what you’re going through, and ask for the Desire to love God, and perhaps that, though you don’t know where you’re going on your walk in Life, ask for Jesus’ hand and let him guide you.

I will pray for you that God show his way to you…

I’ve found that if I seek “peace and joy” as an eternal, unconditional state of being, otherwise in secular language “have a calm and clear mind,” then everything else flows from there. I like to look forward to the motive of love for the sake of love itself, not in terms of reward/punishment or even right v. wrong, but the choices to make between more than one “right” option.

Alan

Me too. :thumbsup:

Peace
James

It’s just really hard to trust in God right now. My life has pretty much been at a complete stand still since I graduated high school. I’m 32 years old, still live with my mom as I can’t afford to live on my own. I have a job that gets me through my bills/debt. I don’t like the job and there really isn’t any room for advancement. The problem is, I have no idea what I want to do. I have limited resources/time so something like school is out of the question right now. Without knowing what I want to do, I have no destination and without a destination, I can’t move. I invested 4 years and a mountain of student loan debt to get a degree in IT and now I hate it so I’m very leary about doing anything like that again, even if I had the resources.

Ultimately, I don’t have anything realistic to look forward to. I can’t look forward to a good career as I don’t have the means to make it happen. I can’t look forward to owning a home, I can’t look forward to having a family, etc. Right now, about the biggest thing I’m looking forward to is the next Batman movie. I’m not passionate about anything. I just get up every day, go to work and come home. When I don’t have any goals, motivations, passions or things to look forward to, life just seems meaningless and no matter how much I’ve prayed about it, nothing has changed.

forums.catholic.com/group.php?groupid=1163

Re: Do you really love God or just fear him?


Quote:
I know, right? All that and he can’t/won’t provide me with a single hint of what I’m supposed to do with my life or give me any direction.

I used to think the same thing…I used to pray so hard only to seemingly be ignored. What I’ve learned to do over the years is to look for God’s hand in EVERYTHING, and then step aside and view the situation from another source. Such as my husband and I fighting…I’m an extremely emotional person and my husband isn’t the greatest at expressing emotions…thus sometimes I get hurt. I kept praying for the Grace to accept my husband as who he is and let him love me in the way he’s supposed to…not the way I love. Pretty much that same day, and for a few days, things between my husband and I got bad (as in, him pulling away and me being extra emotional). I got very Angry and confused with God…since my situation seemed to get bad. But then I realized…God DID answer my prayer. He was giving me situations in which to practice and work on what I was asking for. Not long after I realized that, another opportunity arose, and it was a very hard struggle, but I did as God asked and not long afterwards I got through the battle and since then my husband and I have had no problems…in fact, he’s been growing closer and closer to God through me (he’s not christian…or ANYthing, though he does believe in God), and our life has been great! I truly feel the presence of God between us now.

God does answer our prayers…but in the ways we expect or desire. Just remember…God does not give you anything you can’t handle. I have many other experiences where I felt God was just ignoring me, and then me going back a while later and looking at the situation and realizing that God was doing EXACTLY as I asked…just not in the way I wanted it. But it’s not about what WE want…it’s about what God wants. A lot of Saints suffered…even Jesus suffered, and he did NOT want to! “Father, if your will be done, Take this Cup from me!”

Perhaps ask for the Strength to deal with what you’re going through, and ask for the Desire to love God, and perhaps that, though you don’t know where you’re going on your walk in Life, ask for Jesus’ hand and let him guide you.

Bataar: You post this morning struck me. Your entire post is filled with “I” such as I did this or I can’t do that etc. The tone is that you are demanding God provide a map for you to follow! One doesn’t usually “demand” something from the Creator of all! Maybe you should consider just offering yourself as you are, in the situation you’re in, to God. Ask Him for His grace and then get out of His way. You might be surprised at the outcome!

For me it isn’t about love vs. fear.

Every time I fall into sin it is because of self love. I love God. I love Jesus. But when I fall into sin it is because I love myself more.

Self love. That’s about the bottom line for me.

-Tim-

I (maybe I shouldn’t say that :)) didn’t know how to tell a story about myself in the first person without using that . I’m not demanding anything, at least not actively. I’ve asked for a map, or even a fragment of a map, per se. I’ve asked to help find his will, I’ve prayed about it before the Blessed Sacrament, etc. I suppose one could make the argument that this is God’s will for me, but that doesn’t make sense either as it doesn’t lead to anything meaningful.

I can sympathize with you. Don’t feel bad, I’m 41 and I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I know people who are older who still don’t know and feel incredibly stuck. I’ve worked many jobs that I’ve disliked. I have no degree and minimal experience myself.
Honestly, when I read your post I felt like I was reading my own life.

Now, I’m laid up with neuropathy and back/buttock pain. I can’t stand or sit for more than a few minutes at a time. I’ve gotten as down as anyone, really, I can relate to your problems, even if they are slightly different. Life can be brutal, honestly. I’m married with a six year old daughter who has a bundle of energy and I can’t do anything with her but play some board games which I don’t enjoy at all. I always imagined I’d play baseball with her and take her places. I haven’t been able to do any of that. It can be very depressing. Plus, I cant’ work, haven’t been able to get disability, and wish so much that I could work. I don’t have but a few friends, but they can hardly ever get together. I’m alone most days until wife and daughter get home from work and school.

Now thankfully, I"ve always had a fairly strong sense of offering up my sufferings for the conversion of others. I’m a convert and I want to be able to help lead others to the Truth, but I haven’t been able to really do that, so I try to channel that energy and desire into prayer. But I almost always feel ignored by God, it can be painful. When I feel that sense of forsakeness I try to think of Padre Pio, St. John Vianney and others who lived with a similar sense of pain in that area.

I say so many times–Come on God, can’t you give me something! Just give me some advice, some dream or something so i’ll know what to do

Several things that have helped me and I’m sorry if this sounds like a cliche:

  1. try to remember the people that have it worse. There is always someone who has it worse.
  2. Try to be thankful for the things you do have, even if that is hard. Believe me, I know it can be hard to be thankful when you feel miserable.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up for being angry with God. This is a difficult road. He knows that. But there is a reward for those who just keep going and trying as hard as you can. This too shall pass.

Since you can’t make a move right now, try to find smaller things to look forward to. Maybe God has some kind of work for you to do that can bring more meaning into your life. I don’t know if you’re the type to join a group at your parish or somewhere else. That can help. Loneliness can really beat you up and make things worse.

I agree with one of the other posts–sometimes it seems like your prayers are just bouncing off the walls for a long time, months, even years, and then all of a sudden you look back and see that you were being prepared for something. After all, you’re hanging in there, going to Mass, doing what you’re supposed to do. That’s really all God asks of us.

And another thing I thought of–sometimes God wants to work through others to answer you prayers, give you guidance, etc…I don’t know if you have sought guidance from another faithful Catholic or not, but that can be helpful too. Hang in there my friend. Nothing lasts forever, in this life.
God Bless

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