Does anyone not feel holy?


#1

I struggle with an absolute devoid of feelings of spirituality, holiness, emotional religious feelings, etc. I try to live the Catholic faith as best I am able, go to daily mass, several hours per week in the adoration chapel, sing in the choir, volunteer with various things, etc. But for some reason I cannot get the emotional feelings of awe and the for lack of better words, the touchy feely goosebumps emotions that people so often describe they get when at Mass or in the chapel. I suppose it is only superficial and everything we do should for God whether we get the benefit of emotional feelings in return or not, but the overwhelming dryness is such a cross to bear as it makes it so much for difficult to keep up ones devotions. I haven’t and will not let that stop me as I have been keeping them up for years now. Do people with such emotional feelings find it easier? What am I doing wrong and does anyone else have this problem?


#2

:hug3: you’re doing absolutely nothing wrong, by the sounds of it, any more than Mother Teresa was doing anything wrong during her lengthy spells of serious dryness. It may benefit you to read the recent book on her - I believe it is a collection of her letters where she discusses this aspect of her life. Many many saints suffered, as you seem to be doing, from this sort of ‘dark night of the soul’ as St John of the Cross calls it.

It sounds like you are doing everything right and in a fair way to grow stronger spiritually by persevering even at such a time. It’s a special opportunity for great sanctification - you can unite with Christ who called out on the Cross that the Father had abandoned Him (and I don’t think He would have said such words if He had actually felt nothing of the sort, would He?)

It’s a suffering that you can offer up for yourself or others just as you would a physical ailment.

And for what it’s worth, I have times where I feel a hefty dose of faith-filled emotion, alternating with periods where I feel totally empty, and worry that I’m simply ‘going through the motions’ and so on. I know intellectually, though, that I’m not at all a different person at the latter times, I know intellectually that what I’m doing is not significantly different either - and I positively don’t note any correlation between FEELING holy and actually BEING holier (in terms of sinning less, for example).


#3

I know how you feel.

“A Christian should always remember that the value of his good works is not based on their number and excellence but on the love of God which prompts him to do these things.” (Saint John of the Cross) “Do not say, “God will consider the number of my gifts.” [Ecclesiasticus 7:9]

“**Offer to God the sacrifice of never gathering any fruit. If He wills that throughout your whole life, you should feel a repugnance to suffering and humiliation—if He permits that all the flowers of your desires and of your good will should fall to the ground without any fruit appearing, do not worry. At the hour of death He will cause fruits to ripen on the tree of your soul.” **(Saint Therese quoted by Celine in ‘Counsels and Reminiscences’

God, love and glorify Yourself in us

God, how can I fulfil Your commandments to love and worship God above all? Unlike holy souls who effuse great joy and praise, my attempts to love and worship You seem very poor. I am child of a scientific and empirical era in a world of physical realities and challenges.

I desire faith in God’s loving action in temporal affairs even where it is hidden. I desire to praise and love in whatever way God desires, however little understanding I have of God’s ways and truth.

It seems to me that loving You is about choices. Jesus witnessed that our salvation depends upon love and service of God in other persons. He proclaimed that, “Whatever you do for even the least of my little ones, you do for Me” who am God. Therefore, we love and worship You in our care of others.

You command that we love others enough to strive even unto death of something of ourselves for their welfare, as Jesus did. I ask You to love others wholeheartedly in my thoughts, prayers, my words and actions. Please bring about blessings for them even in my worst failures to witness Your love. Please develop my trust in Your loving action in temporal affairs even where it remains hidden.

We glorify You in the Eucharist, that summit of worship, petition, and thanksgiving, God’s own offering and fulfilment through Son and Spirit, with the whole Body of Christ. We worship You in the Eucharist as individuals, yet as brothers and sisters of the community. Let me, let us, thus love and worship You in communion.

Blessed be Jesus, who gives us redemption and Eucharist. Blessed be the Spirit who channels His Gift, and gives us creative ways to praise and love God. Blessed be God who is able to give Yourself the honour and praise that we desire to give You.
God alone can appreciate the depths of God, therefore love and delight Yourself in us so that we truly love You.

I ask that whatever my activity or state of mind, You will love and adore Yourself in me, our God. Delight Yourself within me in every moment of my existence. This is possible to You for whom “nothing is impossible.” [Genesis 8:14]

Trust
God, we cannot endure prolonged or severe spiritual desolation without Your support. Please comfort us, and increase our faith.

Jesus suffered doubt as we do when He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” We unite our doubt with His, for You look with silent pity and unspeakable love on Your Son. You know that Jesus, though sinless, chose to suffer with us, drinking the cup of our unloving choices.

Jesus, You say to me, “Take up your cross and follow Me!” “If you love me, keep my commandments.” I fix my eyes upon the bright scars of Your ransom for me. Why did You suffer so terribly for me who even now remain unconverted? Yet Your wounds, Your hands, Your heart and Your word are filled with promises that You desire to fulfil in me and in others.

Give us strength to bear doubt when it comes, our God, so that with Jesus we can say, “Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit”, thus joining with Him to death of unbelief and sin—into freedom of rising with Him into the glory of the redeemed spirit. April 1981

I offer You my only coin—trust against all appearances, hope despite my heartache, and faith despite my sins and flaws. Mercifully accept this meagre offering and open Your treasure house of love to me and to those whom You wish to serve through me. October 1981

O Silent God
God, we pray to You for others and ourselves, and sometimes it seems, if only for a time, a time of awful pain and loneliness, that no one is listening, that You are not there

Many have turned away, disappointed and bitter, that You have not answered their urgent prayer, their painful need for self and for others. There is no satisfactory human answer to their challenge, whatever one might say of Your ways, Your time, because their anguish or their anger is the reality they experience.

Dear God, You need no reminder, but my humanness leads me to remind You that we are human in our minds and hearts and bodies. We have little or no actual sense or knowledge of ourselves as spirit. If You do not touch us as human beings living in a physical world that we acutely experience, then who can blame anyone for losing faith and hope in You. I cannot blame those who do…but I pray for them with all my heart and life.

O silent God let us hear Your voice in the words of others, and let us be Your love spoken to them. Yet may I ask that You also speak directly to their hearts and minds with unmistakeable Love Love even where we cannot detect the action of Your Spirit in others. Speak to them in their last moments, if not before…
Please be mindful of our needs, and nurture us as we pray and seek Your healing and care. Embrace all who have lost their hope in God and prayer.


#4

I most certainly do not FEEL holy. I know as a baptized person in the state of Grace, hence the Indwelling of The Blessed Trinity, that I am surely holy and a tabernacle of The Holy Spirit. I know this things as for sure in Faith…but I dont FEEL “holy”. In essence, I feel like a Catholic Aussie getting-on (63yrs) woman who is pretty lay back, or casual as it is more properly known I think…but then my Faith, I know, is superior to anything that I can FEEL.

Now and then I may get those ‘goosey bumpy’ type of FEELINGS…but are my feelings an accurate guide to what is real, reality. I would rather rely on Faith. And Faith can be strong and healthy etc. etc. and totally devoid of any ‘goosey bumpy’ type of FEELINGS…or I may get those feelings now and then. As that great work “The Cloud of Unknowing” states “seek the God of Consolations and not the consolations of God” and I find that reassuring and a consolation.

“**Offer to God the sacrifice of never gathering any fruit. If He wills that throughout your whole life, you should feel a repugnance to suffering and humiliation—if He permits that all the flowers of your desires and of your good will should fall to the ground without any fruit appearing, do not worry. At the hour of death He will cause fruits to ripen on the tree of your soul.” **(Saint Therese quoted by Celine in ‘Counsels and Reminiscences’

Thank you very much for sharing this, Trishie. It reminds me of a something Jesus said “one man sows, and another reaps”…our business I think is to be a-busy sowing! My dear departed confessor/director said to me "Go through your life, Girl, merrily casting your seeds - and don’t you hang around or turn around to see what happened, willya?..I never do. I know he still watches over me and is far more powerful in Heaven than ever he was on earth - a great and holy man and priest.

Blessings and my regards…Barb:)


#5

I don’t think I have ever felt especially holy. I have felt blessed, thankful, sorrowful, contrite, contented, bored, frustrated at times in my spiritual life. But at most times, in most areas of life, I am not a person who gets emotional or sentimental. I don’t cry at movies, although i do have to watch it with the road rage.

There have been moments, few and far between, when I have had just that, a momentary assurance of the presence of God, or momentary confirmation of a direction taken through discernment, but in the most part my spiritual life is on par with that of most people in middle life–dry, but since spiritual writers assure us that is a common, or the common state, in middle age it does not bother me much.

I take comfort in Mother Teresa’s experience, and in her words, it is not necessary to be fulfilled (substitute happy, emotionally buzzed, joyful) it is necessary only to be faithful. So that is what I do. continue with daily prayer, Mass and sacraments and my duties in life. There are moments, also few and far between, where prayer leads to contemplation, something that comes from without, from God, not from within me, but they are only moments. I cherish them but do not seek them out. I seek out and make happen only the quiet, silence and calm in which I can perceive them if they come.

I will not feel holy until I die and go to heaven because the fact is I am not very holy, except in the time after reception of communion.


#6

It is not so much a cross as it is a walking in darkness. Not a negative darkness but a “not knowing” kind of faith that the Lord is always present even we don’t “feel”.

All the thing you mention above I also do. I’m also in the music ministry. Pray the Rosary daily, go to Confession weekly before Communion, carry my sacramentals whenever I leave home. Additionally, I carry a “thorn” in my side. I guess you could call it my cross. But I do not equate it to not “feeling”. Aridity and darkness are not indicative of the Lord’s presence; nor do I trust myself to emotion filled moments. I take them (if and when they come) as they come, I am greatful for those moments (however brief and small) and I move on the path of aridity, faith, darkness, hope.
I do the basic catholic things really, really well and constantly regardless of “feeling”…and wait for the “icing on the cake”.

Learn to love the solitude of hope.

Aquiesce anima mea in Deus salus mea.


#7

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