Has anyone experienced this


#1

Hi :slight_smile:

so recently I’ve been going through a difficult time spiritually. I don’t know exactly what it is. But although I’ve gone through trials in the past, I could always sense that they were trials and that God was still with me. Now, I feel like I’ve walked away from Him without intending to, but don’t know how to come back. :frowning: it’s almost like something is blocking me from Him. It’s been pretty painful really.

It all started last week when I started to worry about my future. Sometimes I worry, but God always gives me the grace to trust Him sooner or later. Last week however, I just kept on worrying and didn’t pray as much as I needed to. So that distanced me from God and I guess it made me vulnerable to what came after.

For the past several months, I’ve been more or less able to keep my mind on God. But last week, after all the worrying, I felt completely distracted. I started thinking about worldly things. Not bad things but it didnt help me, it only made things worse.

Then, something bad happened at home (though things were improving before) and that discouraged me so much and I started worrying again…

and that’s when the sins started. sigh

it’s like I lost control of myself and was descending a downward spiral. First it was venial, habitual sins, then more serious ones…

On Saturday I went to Confession… had a good talk with the priest but still felt completely distracted. It almost seemed that God wasn’t “real” to me anymore. I still believed in God…I didn’t doubt and I wasn’t tempted toward atheism. But He wasn’t real to me in a personal way. He just didn’t mean anything to me anymore :frowning: so heartbreaking to say this…

I didn’t want to stay away from the Eucharist even in that state. I decided that since I went to Confession it was safe for me to receive Communion, and I needed the strength and the grace that comes with it. But during Mass, I was completely distracted once more… I couldn’t pray… during the hymn and the responsorial psalms, I found myself thinking about music lessons and such. When the time came for Communion…and when I had received Jesus… it wasn’t like before. I felt myself UNABLE to love Him in my heart, as much as I tried. I know we should not rely on feelings… but I found that I couldn’t even control my will as before. Usually even if I don’t feel anything I still CHOOSE to love Him. At that moment, I couldn’t even choose. Then to my horror I started doubting the Real Presence!!! This hasn’t happened to me ever since I started believing in it (as a Protestant) around a year and a half ago. I left Mass with great confusion in my heart. I was afraid that I had offended God in some way.

Then, on Sunday… I had meant to make a little “retreat” and read spiritual books. But before then, I took a walk with mom in the park. Usually after Communion I feel so at peace and I don’t sin… but I felt no peace at all. During my conversation with mom, I started noticing that I was interrupting her and saying some arrogant things, that I didn’t even mean to say at first… eventually it became sort of an argument. I got upset.

Also on Sunday I sinned…and it was probably a mortal sin. It was the exact same sin that I had confessed on Saturday and for which I was so sorry for!!! :frowning:

Yesterday I just broke down before God and cried and asked Him, what is happening here…what is wrong??? It was brought to my mind that I was thinking too much of other things… that I was making little effort to bring my mind back to God. I had the impression that I was being judgemental of others and too lenient with myself. After I admitted this and decided to talk to the priest about this at my next Confession, it’s like I felt a great burden lift off me. I felt so much better.

But today, I still feel so distracted. I can’t seem to ‘connect’ with God at all, if you know what I mean. He still doesn’t seem real to me like He was before… I remember several months ago…I found it so easy to pray, to love God, to want to love others, I was growing in my relationship with our Blessed Mother and …most of all, I just CARED about my relationship with God. I really felt that I cared. I made lots of mistakes… really, I sin a lot… but I never stopped caring. I felt that Jesus was my bestest ever Friend. That He was all that truly matters in my life. I found it easier to love Him, I WANTED to love Him.

I feel that all that is gone now. It really hurts… I dont’ understand! I know that when it’s difficult to pray, we should still pray, and such prayers please God. I also know that this might be God humbling me. So I will pray tonight for sure and I’ll say the Rosary.

But …I’m just wondering, has anyone here ever been in a similar situation? How, just how, do you come back to God when you feel like you’re UNABLE to? It’s almost like I don’t even have enough grace to WANT to come back… I’m kind of scared now.

sorry this is so long. If you’ve read the whole thing…thanks :slight_smile:
I just thought I’d ask here, and I’ll talk to my priest as soon as I can.

God bless


#2

I have felt the same way as of late, especially in the last two days, but all I can do is pray, and hopefully you will do the same. I am going to pray to St. Philip Neri tonight, I think he gets me pretty well (especially when I struggle in matters of faith and prayer). I will pray for you too, but just know you are not alone! Hopefully we both get through this soon, and our faiths are strengthened!

In the peace of Christ
Josh


#3

I think sometimes life is overwhelming and sometimes it is hard to understand what your purpose in life is. It is easy to slip away from God, but no matter what he is still there for you. I personally think you are having a hard time with a couple of things in life right now and you are just stressed. Sometimes being stressed overwhelms you and causes you to stray away from things you love most. You want Jesus bad, you are crying for him and everything. I think praying the rosary tonight is a good idea, maybe read the bible a little as well. If you can make it to mass tomorrow or the next day that would be great as well. Take a walk, take a breath, and try and thank God that you are healthy. Don’t stress so much about your sins-because some of this is pushing you further from God! I am a pretty devote Catholic I would say, and sometimes I question things in my faith as well. If you can talk to someone about it. You are doing a great job as a Catholic, remember you are not alone, and God loves you no matter what. Hope everything gets better soon :slight_smile:


#4

I cannot say I have experienced exactly what you are going through, but I have been through similar trying times. It has helped for me to go to daily Mass (if you can), and it may be helpful for you to schedule an appointment with your priest. He won’t have heard anything that will shock him. I will pray for you. This shall pass. Grace and Peace.


#5

My advice (take it or leave it) is to fast and then focus your prayers on someone other than yourself, perhaps even an enemy. Pray for their will to be strengthened, for their faith to blossom and pray that God accepts the sacrifice of yourself for their benefit.

I went through a very similar experience over the past month and it took my learning of a dear friend in some real spiritual trouble to force me back to my knees with the focus off of myself. It snapped me right out of the “funk” I’d been in.

Bless you . . .


#6

Monica, Christ once felt like you, though for different reasons, the result was the same when he felt on the cross that he had been forsaken by the Father. It must be a terrible feeling.

You are going through a story patch, just hold on, try your best and have faith. Continue your usual devotions even though you may not feel the same way. Things will return to normal and you will be a lot stronger for it.

God Bless you and I’m praying for you.

Rove.


#7

I know what you are talking about, Monica. Our zealous faith clashes almost perfectly with the world today such that even a fraction of our trials can seem overwhelming.

We know that satan uses this in an attempt to drive us from God. While we unfortunately are no longer centered around the Church in our daily lives (e.g., the Church actually is the center of town, laws protect us against terrible things, our social lives are very much directed by activities in our parish), we still have Christ’s Church even if there are obstacles to reaching it.

Sometimes it is helpful to pray to different saints. Even before I converted to Catholicism, I always loved Saint Francis of Assisi. Lately I have really meditated on his work on Earth; for me, he is more ‘approachable’ when it comes to feeling like you are.

So, it could be helpful to find a saint that you personally related to. When you think about it, that Christ died for all of us and specifically for our failures, this love is almost too much to take!


#8

Daily Mass would be my suggestion, if your schedule permits. Perhaps arrive a little early so you can spend some time alone in the chapel, just sitting before the Blessed Sacrament and trying to quiet your mind. It’s often useful, for me, for clearing my mind and relaxing, but it often brings people peace, answers, or experiences with God.

I also like very much the suggestions people here have made of centering your attention less on your sins and more on thanksgiving for all the good things that God has given you. That helped me to snap out of a dark and scrupulous time of my life, helped me to rejoice in my relationship with the Lord once again.

You know what, though, I am sure you love God. That has always been clear, from your posts on CAF and your first post of this thread. Your concern and worry sound to me like that of a mother that has lost her child . . . in fact, it reminds me of Mary looking for Jesus when she and Joseph lost Him on their way back to Nazareth from Jerusalem. Your concern, to me, sounds like concern that comes from love. You aren’t selfishly just thinking about whether or not you’ll get into Heaven now; you’re trying to recover your communion with your Lover because you love Him too and miss Him. So don’t be afraid that you don’t love God.

I recommend reading Song of Songs chapters 5-7. Definitely starting with chapter 5. To me, it very, very closely resembles your first post in this thread, what you’re describing happening in your life.


#9

I keep a journal of my thoughts, feelings, happenings in my life, and things that God says to me (my wording; his words). On November 30th, 2008, God said to me “The next 9 months will be marked by spiritual dryness, and it will be in this time that you’ll endevour to have my light most of all.” (August 30th will be the end of this season). As surely as I can tell you that I’ve felt a spiritual building, as to a point, in the last 8 months and 5 days, I can tell you I’ve experienced what you’ve felt recently. The best advice I can give you is that people have seasons of spiritual impotence and God often uses those seasons to his good and glorious end. Behold!:

Daniel 4:28-37 (for a more complete version, read all of chapter 4)**
"28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?"
31 The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, "This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes."

33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.
His dominion is an eternal dominion;
his kingdom endures from generation to generation.

35 All the peoples of the earth
are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
with the powers of heaven
and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: “What have you done?”

36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble."

Nebuchadnezzar was told by God that seven times will pass (whatever the units may be) - a period of time - before he would recognize that God is sovereign and in control. I read about King Nebuchadnezzar on April 12th, 2008 (about 4 and a half months following this decree). I couldn’t accept what the Lord had said, at first: "Surely, I said, “Surely, I can end this season before the time which God has told me,” but it was not so, and it shall not be so. Even our righteousness and love of God comes in God’s time and not our own. Despite either endurance or brevity, consider this a period of humbling and then return to your heavenly Father, being slow in utterances and still to hear his gentle words.

I know how you feel - have faith that God will be illuminated in your heart again, and soon!
My prayers are with you, God bless :slight_smile:


#10

thank you everyone!! :slight_smile:


#11

Dear Monica,

I think I know what you are going through. When I go through the days and moments that I think I have lost my closeness with God I remember the story of St Theresa of the Child Jesus and what she said of her relationship with Him. She compaired herself to His ball and she totaly accepted that at times He would play with her and at other times He would not and she was ok with it. She knew He still loved her anyway. I would just keep doing what you have always tried to do to keep close to Him and some time soon I am sure He will miss His ball and come play with it again. Just be ready.

With my love and prayers,


#12

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