Where does love for God stem from; Gratitude right? Well, what if you have not an ounce of gratitude in your heart for God, and all that is left is bitterness. Not because you’re necessarily a bad person but because all you know is pain and turmoil and every second of your life feels like hell and it has been this way as long as you can remember. I’m talking to the point that the only reason that you haven’t committed suicide is because you fear hell. You have tried to take the advice of the church such as praying, going to mass or offering it up but it does not seem to make an ounce of a difference. How would you be expected to love God and to keep His commandments out of love?
I really can sense that you have struggled with emotional pain for most of your life. I can never expect to feel that pain nor would I pass over your feelings by saying that I understand because I don’t. What I can do is tell you what I do know.
There are people in this world who seem to never have had much of a chance, either their family has been in turmoil or they have mental illness which is beyond thier control. I believe that is a cross that each carry. It doesn’t seem fair that God would give someone a cross that is almost unbearable while others seem to carry such a light cross, but those who carry the most are truly the strongest and God knows this. Some of the most wonderful speakers writers and witnesses to others who are struggling in life, are those who have lived with pain. I believe that they have been picked by God to witness to others to help those who are weaker, perhaps too weak to fight suicide. You have an opportunity to save lives. Your reward will be great in heaven, because you carry a heavy cross and God will never abandon you.
Ultimately God Himself, since He is the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord God.” (Revelation 1:8)
The Holy Sacrament of Confession
I’ve had a lot of bitterness in my life. Bitterness and depression. It *has *been hard to accept that God loves me. We can only begin to heal when we are able to accept this. But even then we can’t do it on our own. My own “break through” came a few years ago on a retreat. I was able to have the time to get a good look at the condition olf my heart and soul.
It was a directed retreat, which helped. And I had been on medication for a few years. Medication and therapy. But the best part of it was that retreat. One day as I was walking on the grounds (the whole place was heavily wooded, and I had my own "hermitage) God allowed me to see the condition of my heart.
It was a heart of stone. But that stone had a crack in it. So I prayed that God would enter through there and blow it all up. Rather like an explosion. I’m not saying I’ve not struggled since, but it has gotten slightly better. Any improvement is better than being stuck where I was.
Part of the problem was trust issues. If I can’t trust those who call themselves christian, how can I trust their God? But, thank God, I’m learning to trust despite all of that. God occasionally sends someone along with a piece of encouragement. It may not seem like much, but even a little help goes a long way.
I still feel some bitterness today. But it doesn’t run my life like it use to. I’ll pray that you find relief in the arms of Jesus.
Keep the commandments out of obedience, and let God work on your heart.
Obedience, the First and Foundational Virtue
by Bro. Ignatius Mary
You are bitter, that is ok. You probably have every right to be. I wish I could argue with you, tell you you shouldn’t be. I can’t.
Know it isn’t all your fault, know that is not because of you.
I knew a young woman, young enough to be my daughter. She had gone through a terrible trauma in her life that left her very challenged. She went to church, not a Catholic Church, and was pretty much shunned because of her problems. Bet many can relate to that. In no way was any of it her fault.
Well, telling you that all those “Christians” were committing a grave sin by not talking to her doesn’t do you any good. But it does say alot about the world we live in. Pretty ******. Should you feel despair?
All the sin in this world should cause all of us to despair.
But, I have discovered something. When I am kind to someone, and expect nothing in return, I feel better about myself. All I get out of it is the memory. Try being the person you want to be and never mind what people do to you or the way they treat you. If you are good and kind at least you have the memories.
A little despair is a good thing. Like a little prayer, or a little beer. But with all things there must be a balance.
I think it would be good to reflect on what Our Blessed Mother went through.
Here was a woman, conceived and born without sin. Lived a devote life, to her God and her religion. Trusted in God when he asked her to be the mother of Jesus His Son, despite the ramifications of being with child, before marriage.
Then she raised her son in her religion. Became a single mother at an early age, yet always remained faithful.
Then, look what they did to her son. What she must have felt, watching him carry his cross through the streets of Jerusalem, being jeered and mocked by the crowds. Then for her to stand at the foot of the cross, looking up at her son, being tortured to death as he hung there.
She never was bitter toward God or her religion. She never was bitter toward His friends who abandoned him. She was never bitter toward the religious leaders, who convicted her son and handed him over to pagans, to be put to death. Yet she of all people, had every right to be bitter.
Yes, we suffer in this world. But I can’t think of any injustice I have ever suffered, that could come close to what Our Lady suffered.
When things get tough, and we see injustice toward ourselves and others. Reflect on the injustice done to our Blessed Mother.
Turn to Her and ask for help in your moment of bitterness. Ask her to bring you to her Son, who will heal you and remove the bitterness you feel. It is through His love, that we are healed.
In Jesus Name, I ask this for you.
I just need to remind myself of what God already brought me out of and even if I didn’t have my own personal experiences I just need to look at the crucifix. It’s conviction, not condemnation. Thank You Jesus!
I agree with everyone who has posted above. If I may chime in here, there are many reasons why people feel pain and find it difficult to overcome bitterness. That being said, it is important to remember the value of desire. Our desire to love God is an act of love.
We don’t always feel that love, but we want it. This is a choice, a good choice, inspired by grace. You would not be asking the question if grace had not led you.
You can take consolation in the fact that God has given you the grace to desire to love him and receive his love in return.
I have no doubt of God’s love, I’m a bit lost in the world at the moment. I want to work, I seek jobs, I have a few things inhibiting my functioning normal but nothing major. I prefer not to be out at night because it’s a lot harder for me to see and I get lost… street lights and car lights are a lot brighter than they used to be so I still wear my darker tinted glasses at night cutting down in night vision. I too easily have gotten lost walking around at night and then call up a friend in a desperate mood… ‘I see this and this… any of that sound familiar? Do you know where I am? How do I get home? I got lost!’ Trying not to wander off in attempts to shorten my wait anymore… Some companies just don’t want to hear that you prefer a certain schedule… I can’t qualify for an agency that could place me because my med records aren’t ‘new’ enough… as if cataracts reverse themselves now? Or the damaged layer over my retina that makes straight lines wavy can fix it self? All the laser surgeries messed it up and I guess they can peel it away. No I haven’t kept up with eye care because I’m w/out insurance again.
I want to work, I know my limitations, unless I can have someone point me to where I need to be for a trip home etc I get nervous working later hours because I don’t trust my eyes like I used to. And forgive me Lord… I’ve had friends that were blind online and off and friends more handicapped than I that do fine so perhaps I’m being a baby right now… need to keep my trust in the Lord.
Obviously you have a physical disability. We don’t choose to have these. We’re either born with them or things happen and we develop them. It’s interesting that we ran into each other, because I have been involved in ministry to persons with disabilities and their families for years. One never knows the ways of the Lord.
I became attracted to people with disabilities because of an uncle of mine who had down syndrome. I went to school to become a teacher to children with disabilities. Later I went back to study mystical theology and philosophy in response to a need that I saw in the world of disabilities.
I’m not sure where I’m going with this other than to say that in this community I found God. I am often reminded how close Jesus was to people with disabilities. The Gospels are full of stories of Jesus and persons with disabilities. He helped he blind, deaf, parylitic, the mentally ill, and those with other disabling conditions.
I guess that what I’m trying to say is that those with disabling conditions have a very special place in the heart of Christ, even when it may not feel like that.
This is probably what makes it more challenging to live the commands of the Gospel, the fact that we don’t always feel God’s closeness and preferential treatment for us. There is nothing wrong believing that God gives some people preferential treatment. Jesus spoke about this in several parables. In one parable he gives more talents to one person than he does to the other two. In another parable he speaks about paying the worker what he is due while giving more to another worker. In his own actions and relationships, we see his special love for John and his selection of Peter.
Yest, God is fair with all of his children. Nonetheless, he has some children who hold a special place in his heart. I believe that persons with disabilities are among them.
If we can believe this, even when we don’t feel it, it may be easier to love in return by living the Gospel to the best of our ability.
I guess what’s hard, I had a friend who never walked a day in her life, she’s passed away now. She was the only one that called me, emailed me & encouraged me when I was on a medical leave. I knew someone else in similar conditions. So I struggle… and they all preferred, what’s the phrase, hani-abled? I struggle as I compare myself to what they had to deal with, or the blind man I used to work with or the blind sysop I met on a BBS… ok, so I’m light sensitive and vision isn’t 20/20 anymore and i can see double… that’s not much of a hindrance compared to what they had to deal with but it seems a lot of places, if you express limitations you’ll receive limitations in chances of getting hired. A lot of places aren’t like that but some are. Just praying for a stable company to work for and put in another 10 yrs or so like I did on my last long term job. I’d still be working there if we weren’t closed. This seeking has helped me exhaust my IRA, I lived on it and thank God I had it. I couldn’t qualify for help before but finally have the right people in my corner I think. This is the furthest I’ve gotten so far. Praying and continuing forward. Not looking to get out of work, just want a place that will understand limitations.
20 yrs ago I wanted to get into psychology, then life took over. My job was sent overseas and to another state where I think they started a minimum wage. So, to keep up with computer skills I decided to get back to school. I’m good with computers. Just need to get placed somewhere but doors are opening, have to keep praying, be patient, keep pressing on.
So I don’t see it as bitterness, frustration? YES, definitely. Someone in the right place met with me last month and said ‘you’re frustrated’ and yeah, big time frustration. So took their suggestions. Can’t get doc notes updated because it’s been too long for my visits. Even notes I asked to have say ‘long term’ don’t count. I don’t have inflammation in my eyes anymore so I think my eye disease is gone thank God… but there’s still work to do. Can’t afford to get anything done yet. But I keep praying. And yeah, Saint Odilia - Patron Saint of the Eyes And I didn’t know there was a Novena for her as well, should have known. I was given a medal for her back when I was still a dabbler in the NAM (not there anymore). The next Novena I’m adding to the ones I’m doing! (and no, not doing any Novenas superstitiously etc)
Maybe now I should look into helping people who fall between the cracks like I have?
As Franciscan I can’t help but reflect on something that our holy father Francis always taught his brothers and sisters, detachment. He certainly did not mean that human beings were to spend their life suffering. In fact, he did everything he could to alleviate human suffering.
At the same time he also had a keen insight into the mystery of the cross. Francis saw the cross, not as an instrument of torture, but as a doorway to love and mercy which are eternal values. As we go through life we face many crosses. They come in many sizes and packages. They are all opportunities to unite with Christ.
Francis realized that we can’t always relieve every suffering and need in our lives or in the world. He took the Gospel very literally. Christ said, “The poor will always be with you.” As Bonaventure said in his sermons on St. Francis, he realized that Christ was not going to eliminate every possible form of poverty from the world. Some forms of poverty were to be worked through by us. The reason was simple, these are the opportunities that God gives us to share in Christ’s sacrifice.
We’re expected to sit there and wait for a miracle to happen that will take away our cross. We are to be proactive. We are to do what Francis did. We are to imitate Christ. We must take every difficult circumstance and work through it knowing that God the Father will provide for us. The Holy Spirit will pour grace into our lives to work through these events and circumstances in our lives.
Our holy father Francis once said that no one showed him what to do but the Lord himself. This is where we should look. We must ask the Lord what to do. We must come before the Lord with our difficulties as ask him to show us. He will.
Finally, while we are working to get through our difficulties we must also thank God for the opportunity to show our trust in him. This opportunity is a very special grace that God gives us. We have to take advantage of it by asking for the grace to give to God what he takes and accept what he gives.
I can’t address or understand the reasons for your feelings. I can say I’ve been relatively lucky in life - but not always grateful enough to God…However, I don’t think I can dare say I don’t have an ounce of gratitude for God. I probably don’t give God enough gratitude. I do acknowledge Him as my Creator, Father, Salvation.
Many of us have tried to follow the Church’s instructions to pray and keep the commandments - and we’ve either fallen short - or don’t get the results we hoped for. But while we don’t understand His Ways, we must love God - and beg His help. He’s listening. He hears you - and reads your heart. Without God, we’re nothing. Please don’t give up on loving God. Surely, He knows what pain is harbored inside of you - talk to Him. Offer up some of that pain to Him - He will do the rest.