I am hoping someone can relate to this.
I am a “convert” to Catholicism about 14 years ago. Growing up,i was raised in a “non-religious” home. My only exposure was basically the occasional Christmas and/or Easter at a non-denominational church.
At age 22 or so, i experienced a profound and deep conversion.
However, I feel from time to time as though i am just “going through the motions” in living my faith. I am a daily communicant, and an active member of our church.
My question/problem is that i feel like it’s such an uphill struggle to deepen/experience true faith. I feel so “jealous” of cradle catholics, to whom faith comes so naturally. I feel that in my case, faith has got to be a “learned” behaviour.
How can I deepen my faith, how has my walk with Christ become so detached and mechanical? What am i doing wrong?
Can anyone understand/relate/help?
BTW i do pray for faith, I beg actually I KNOW the church’s teachings are true, i believe the Creed and all of the Dogma’s. I just cannot get my emotions to follow.
Don’t be envious of us! We have the same battles, many of us, with faith and practice like you!
There are various reasons why the practice of our faith becomes apparently empty for periods,
one, because we’re human,
two, because a lot of the spiritual action is unknown to us,
three, maybe we’re a bit depressed or stressed, or maybe just a bit bored.
I’m a cradle Catholic, a daily Mass communicant…and I’ve been going through a tough spot myself lately. I do sometimes. You give a lot and sometimes it seems you get nothing in return!
St Therese jumps to mind. She went through an awful period of dryness and doubt, and no wonder as she had contracted an illness from which she later died. She’s a canonised saint and a Doctor of the Church. You’re in good company!
Bless you, Trishie :hug3:
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]
Jesus, pray in me
Jesus our Brother and our God, please continually pray Your perfect prayer in me so that I love and honour God, and so that I cherish and serve others in prayer and act, because each person is so precious to God.
**Jesus, please ask the Father to honour my debts, for my intercession, penance and good works are no more than cheques drawn in His name. I have no coin of my own. Even my best efforts would be worthless if the Father failed to acknowledge me as His lawful child. **
Jesus, You are Son of the Father and coequal of the Spirit. Only through Your incarnation, death and resurrection comes my claim to call God ‘Father’. No words or acts ever can thank You enough. I have little to offer but goodwill and effort and a heart sometimes grieved by unintentional injury of others. Yet I offer You resurgent hope raised by Your undeserved love, and faith encouraged by Your promise of faithfulness.
Please celebrate my trust in Your love and in the truth of who I am in the love of God. Heal any wounds I have left in others’ lives, and recreate our spirits in Your love. Then offer us as gift of Yourself to the Father who accepts all things through You.
Please take **all the debts that by prayer for them, I incur for my sisters and brothers of the kingdom and of the world. Present these debts to the Father with Your transformation and blessing—for He will grant freely all that You ask and more, so deep is His love for You. **Thank You, Jesus who are our redemption before God. (1980)
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.
No, you’re not alone. Cradle Catholics may battle with the challenges that new Catholics may. I’d not have written the above stull and more of same, if I hadn’t been batlling during periods of my life as Catholic!
All of God’s kindest blessings of faith, hope and joy to you!
Thank you, Trishie for your beautiful words and prayers. i will print these out and keep them close.
glad to know i’m not alone in this struggle. Many thanks.
Wow … as a cradle Catholic, I admire you.
Yes, I’ve received a good upbringing, was well-instructed, follow the Pope, believe the Teachings of the Church … now with all that, you’d think I’d make the effort to attend daily Mass like you do? :rolleyes: So please, don’t feel jealous of me or my “natural” faith! It’s still something I gotta work on … and even more, it looks like from reading your post. :o
That said, it’s not about comparing ourselves to one another, but about each of us being our best self, with the help of God.
You can feel “detached and mechanical” and still be deeply faithful … and indeed, quite likely even MORE faithful than someone who prays because it makes them feel good.
Thanks for your witness … You can be an inspiration to folks like me.
~~ the phoenix
As a cradle Catholic, I wish my faith came naturally. Considering I don’t think I have any faith, this is rather out there. I find that for new Catholics, they have it “easier” or at least a better grasp.
For me, I learned, somewhere, that one either had faith or didn’t. For quite a while, I honestly believed I didn’t have faith. In many ways, I still believe this since I don’t seem to have the same experiences, whatnot as others, and I definitely have never had the feelings others talk about. I may not have the capacity for faith that others have. I go through the motions. I know no other way and couldn’t fathom being anything but Catholic.
Have you considered finding some formation class? Some way to deepen your spiritual walk with the Lord?
www.solt.org (the same SOLT that Fr. Corapi is part of) has a formation program called Disciples of Jesus and Mary. I cannot express how fruitful this has been for me.
You are not alone. Im going through the exact same thing and it is very difficult and scary.
Welcome to the Forums. May God bless and assist you, Trishie
You need to read The Ascent of Mount Carmel, by St. John of the Cross. You’ll learn more about what’s going on in your soul than you ever thought there was to know!
Seriously, I can’t think of a better time to read it than when you’re feeling dry.
thank you! I will look that up at the library. .
I have kept you in my prayers, and hope that you are feeling more encouraged now. May God bless you abundantly, Trishie