How to get closer to God?

So I was born and raised Catholic, I have completed all my sacraments so far, including marriage and I send my kids to a Catholic School. In spite of all this I would say I have just gone through the motions my whole life and I have never felt a connection to God through the Catholic Church. I pretty much feel nothing at Church. Ever since I was a kid it has just felt very sterile and institutionalized. I went to Catechism my entire childhood and the entire decade or so I went all I remember is having “Jesus loves you” and “Mary loves you” drilled into my head and hearing lots of stories about shepherds and stuff, but nothing with any depth and I can say for a fact that we never cracked open a bible. I recall that when I asked specific questions they were always like “what are you talking about”.
*
What does God care if I kneel and stand at the appointed times? Why do I have to spend an “appropriate” amount of time kneeling after communion, even if I am done praying? Or what if I wanted to pray standing up- will God not listen to me if I am not on my knees? Does God really care if I prefer to fold my hands when praying the Our Father rather than raise them like everyone else? Why does it please God more if we have to listen to music in church that was clearly written by folk artists from the 1970’s? How does anyone know a Gregorian Chant if most pleasing to god? Why are there so many different prayers and creeds we are expected to recite when Jesus himself instructed the disciples that the Lord’s Prayer is the only properly way to pray to God? I have a million questions and doubts in regard to the Catholic Church as an institution. I try to get what I can out of the short homily on the Arch Diocese approved topic of the week and then I spend the rest of mass conversing with God in my head, daydreaming or looking around at the statues and stained glass windows. Has the Catholic Church become like the Pharisees and Scribes who Jesus condemned for putting the “law” above the word of God? Is this how it is supposed to be? Why do I feel this way?
*
In spite of my Catholic faith, I do firmly believe in God and that salvation comes through Jesus alone. I read the Bible and I try to keep a “Biblical World View”. I am about 90% in when it comes to believing in the bible as the infallible and literal word of god. But I don’t feel close to God. I am still waiting for my “road to Damascus moment” and I just don’t think that I will get there through the Catholic Church. What do I do?

So I was born and raised Catholic, I have completed all my sacraments so far, including marriage and I send my kids to a Catholic School. In spite of all this I would say I have just gone through the motions my whole life and I have never felt a connection to God through the Catholic Church. I pretty much feel nothing at Church. Ever since I was a kid it has just felt very sterile and institutionalized. I went to Catechism my entire childhood and the entire decade or so I went all I remember is having “Jesus loves you” and “Mary loves you” drilled into my head and hearing lots of stories about shepherds and stuff, but nothing with any depth and I can say for a fact that we never cracked open a bible. I recall that when I asked specific questions they were always like “what are you talking about”.
*
What does God care if I kneel and stand at the appointed times? Why do I have to spend an “appropriate” amount of time kneeling after communion, even if I am done praying? Or what if I wanted to pray standing up- will God not listen to me if I am not on my knees? Does God really care if I prefer to fold my hands when praying the Our Father rather than raise them like everyone else? Why does it please God more if we have to listen to music in church that was clearly written by folk artists from the 1970’s? How does anyone know a Gregorian Chant if most pleasing to god? Why are there so many different prayers and creeds we are expected to recite when Jesus himself instructed the disciples that the Lord’s Prayer is the only properly way to pray to God? I have a million questions and doubts in regard to the Catholic Church as an institution. I try to get what I can out of the short homily on the Arch Diocese approved topic of the week and then I spend the rest of mass conversing with God in my head, daydreaming or looking around at the statues and stained glass windows. Has the Catholic Church become like the Pharisees and Scribes who Jesus condemned for putting the “law” above the word of God? Is this how it is supposed to be? Why do I feel this way?
*
In spite of my Catholic faith, I do firmly believe in God and that salvation comes through Jesus alone. I read the Bible and I try to keep a “Biblical World View”. I am about 90% in when it comes to believing in the bible as the infallible and literal word of god. But I don’t feel close to God. I am still waiting for my “road to Damascus moment” and I just don’t think that I will get there through the Catholic Church. What do I do?

Welcome to CAF Norm.

I’m sorry you were so poorly catechized when you were young, but as an adult you’re now capable of catechizing yourself. There are so many Catholic resources available to answer many of your questions. If you can’t afford to buy the books, you’ll find most of what you need online - beginning with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

You seem to have a particular problem with the liturgical format of the Mass. That format has been around since the very beginning of the Church’s foundation. For just 2 examples, see:
Acts 2:42;
Writings of Justin Martyr, b.100 AD - died 165 AD (Scroll down to chapters 65-67) newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm

You say you converse with God; ask Him why He wanted His Church to have a Eucharistic liturgy? Keep asking; ask Him to help you find people or reading materials that will help you understand.

BTW, just what type of Lord’s Day communal worship service do you wish Our Lord would have established?

I try to get what I can out of the short homily on the Arch Diocese approved topic of the week and then I spend the rest of mass conversing with God in my head,…

That’s what you should be doing; it’s called praying. Conversing with God is praying.

I don’t know what you mean by an archdiocesan “approved topic”. The Scripture readings are set for the universal Church. Homily’s are generally to be about the Scriptures for that Sunday. But it’s not an absolute rule in the sense that the priest is not free to teach on some other Catholic matter.

…In spite of my Catholic faith, I do firmly believe in God and that salvation comes through Jesus alone.

I’m not sure what you mean by “in spite of”, since that is what the Catholic Church teaches - that salvation comes through Jesus alone.

I read the Bible and I try to keep a “Biblical World View”.

Could you explain what a “Biblical World View” is? Thanks.

I am about 90% in when it comes to believing in the bible as the infallible and literal word of god. But I don’t feel close to God. I am still waiting for my “road to Damascus moment” and I just don’t think that I will get there through the Catholic Church. What do I do?

It isn’t the Catholic Church or any other church that can give you a “Damascus moment”. You’re talking about something beyond the ordinary, something supernatural. Not everyone is given such a moment. It is God who decides if, when, and to whom He will give it. So you need to talk to Him about it.

Before I go into liturgical format and all the qualms/concerns you have with how the Church does things…

Let’s talk a little about you if you don’t mind.

What do YOU do outside of the Mass ? Do you have any devotions, how is your prayer life, what are you doing outside in means of good works/getting involved ?

AND BE HONEST!

lol,

God bless! Hope to hear from you soon.

Michael

The only way to get closer to God is through His Mother Mary and how? is through reciting and praying the Holy Rosary faithfully and devoutly everyday. Please try to do this and you will see a big change in your life. The Holy Spirit will come upon you and guide you to the right path: Please read: PART I

St. Louis DeMontfort Recounts
The Power Of The Rosary
Expels Demons From A Possessed Man
“And the multitude seeing it, feared,
and glorified God that gave such power to men.”
-Matthew 9:8
St. Louis Marie DeMontfort recounts the amazing power of the Rosary over evil spirits below, taken from his book, The Secret of the Rosary.
This Catholic prayer has incredible power. Everyone who reads this account will want to learn how to pray the Rosary.
When Saint Dominic, who spread the devotion of praying the rosary, was preaching the Rosary near Carcassone an Albigensian was brought to him who was possessed by the devil.
Saint Dominic exorcised him in the presence of a great crowd of people; it appears that over twelve thousand had come to hear him preach.
The devils who were in possession of this wretched man were forced to answer Saint Dominic’s questions in spite of themselves. They said that:
There were fifteen thousand of them in the body of this poor man, because he had attacked the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary;
They went on to testify that by preaching the Rosary he put horror into the very depths of hell and that he was the man they hated most throughout the whole world, because of the souls which he snatched from them through devotion to the Holy Rosary;
They then revealed several other things.
Saint Dominic put his rosary around the Albigensian’s neck and asked the devils to tell him who, of all the saints in heaven, was the one they feared the most, and who should therefore be the most loved and revered by men.
At this they let out such unearthly screams that most of the people fell to the ground, faint from fear.
Then, using all their cunning, so as not to answer, the devils wept and wailed in such a pitiful way that many of the people wept also, out of purely natural pity.
The devils spoke through the mouth of the Albigenisian, pleading in a heartrending voice:
“Dominic, Dominic, have mercy on us - we promise you that we will never hurt you. You have always had compassion for sinners and those in distress; have pity on us, for we are in grievous straits. We are suffering so very much already, so why do you delight in heightening our pains? Can’t you be satisfied with our suffering without adding to it? Have pity on us! Have pity on us!”
Saint Dominic was not one whit moved by the pathos of these wretched spirits and told them that he would not let them alone until they had answered his question. Then they said they would whisper the answer in such a way that only Saint Dominic would be able to hear. The latter firmly insisted upon their answering clearly and out loud. Then the devils kept quiet and refused to say another word, completely disregarding Saint Dominic’s orders - so he knelt down and prayed thus to Our Lady: “Oh, all powerful and wonderful Virgin Mary, I implore you by the power of the Most Holy Rosary, order these enemies of the human race to answer me.”
No sooner had he made this prayer than a glowing flame leaped out of the ears, nostrils and mouth of the Albigensian. Everyone shook with fear, but the fire did not hurt anyone. Then the devils cried:
“Dominic, we beseech you, by the passion of Jesus Christ and by the merits of His Holy Mother and of all the saints, let us leave the body of this man without speaking - for the angels will answer your question whenever you wish. After all, are we not liars? So why should you want to believe us? Please don’t torture us any more; have pity on us.”
“Woe unto you wretched spirits, who do not deserve to be heard.” Saint Dominic said, and kneeling down he prayed to Our Lady:
“Oh most worthy Mother of Wisdom, I am praying for the people assembled here who have already learned how to say the Angelic Salutation properly. Please, I beg of you, force your enemies to proclaim the whole truth and nothing but the truth about this, here and now, before the multitude.”
Saint Dominic had hardly finished this prayer when he saw the Blessed Virgin near at hand, surrounded by a multitude of angels. She struck the possessed man with a golden rod that she held and said: “Answer my servant Dominic at once.” (Remember, the people neither saw nor heard Our Lady, but only Saint Dominic.)

PART II

"Then listen well you Christians; the Mother of Jesus Christ is all powerful and she can save her servants from falling into hell. She is the Sun which destroys the darkness of our wiles and subtlety. It is she who uncovers our hidden plots, breaks our snares and makes our temptations useless and ineffectual.
"We have to say, however reluctantly, that not a single soul who has really persevered in her service has ever been damned with us; one single sigh that she offers to the Blessed Trinity is worth far more than all the prayers, desires and aspirations of all the saints.
"We fear her more than all the other saints in heaven together and we have no success with her faithful servants. Many Christians who call upon her when they are at the hour of death and who really ought to be damned according to our ordinary standards are saved by her intercession.
"Oh if only that Mary (it is thus in their fury that they called her) had not pitted her strength against ours and had not upset our plans, we should have conquered the Church and should have destroyed it long before this; and we would have seen to it that all the Orders in the Church fell into error and disorder.
“Now that we are forced to speak we must also tell you this: nobody who perseveres in saying the Rosary will be damned, because she obtains for her servants the grace of true contrition for their sins and by means of this they obtain God’s forgiveness and mercy.”
Then Saint Dominic had them all say the Rosary very slowly and with great devotion, and a wonderful thing happened: at each Hail Mary that he and the people said together a large group of devils issued forth from the wretched man’s body under the guise of red-hot coals.
When the devils had all been expelled and the heretic was at last entirely free of them, Our Lady (who was still invisible gave her blessing to the assembled company, and they were filled with joy because of this.
A large number of heretics were converted because of this miracle and joined the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary.
St. Louis Mary DeMontfort has indeed given an impressive account of how powerful Mary’s Rosary is in overcoming evil.
“If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins ‘you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory.’ Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practise black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if-- and mark well what I say-- if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.”
-St. Louis de Montfort from The Secret of the Rosary
Satan and all the other evil spirits fear Mary because of her role as the Mother of God and because through her the Redemption of mankind was able to take place.
Remember she was the Woman in the book of Genesis that God promised would crush the head of the Serpent.
The power of the Rosary must never be taken for granted.
It is a gift and a weapon given by the Mother of God to her children to bring about peace in individual lives and throughout the world.
Spread this devotion and pray the Rosary everyday!

You must remove the barriers that keep God from you. I would suggest that you talk to your priest about getting a spiritual director. Stop ‘waiting’. Start ‘doing’.

I would suggest taking an hour of your time, and praying in silence, before the Holy Eucharist (i.e.–Eucharistic Adoration).

In silence. No ‘folk’ music to annoy you, no statues to distract you…just prayer to Jesus, in HIS presence.

It has never failed me.

Also, if you get a chance, pick up a copy of the book:

Living the Mass–How One Hour a Week Can Change Your Life
Fr. Dominic Grassi & Joe Paprocki

loyolapress.com/living-the-mass-what-it-means-to-go-in-peace.htm

&

loyolapress.com/living-the-mass.htm

Brief description:

*Many Catholics believe that far more people would attend Mass if only the homilies were better, or the music was more inspiring, or . . . the list goes on. But best-selling authors Fr. Dominic Grassi and Joe Paprocki are convinced that the real problem lies not in the Mass itself but in a lack of understanding of how the Mass prepares each person to live day in and day out as a baptized Catholic Christian.

In this revised edition of Living the Mass, which takes into account the changes in the new Roman Missal, Grassi and Paprocki thoughtfully explain how each part of the Mass relates to our baptismal call, effectively closing the gap between Sunday Mass and the rest of the week.

Ideal for the countless Catholics who attend Mass simply out of habit, for the many who haven’t been to Mass in a while, or for anyone who desires to join the Catholic Church, Living the Mass compellingly demonstrates how the one hour spent at Mass on Sunday can truly transform how we think and act the other 167 hours of the week.*

I’ll pray for you and your family. I’m sure your kids have already picked up on the luke-warmth of your faith (not intended to be insulting; just pointing out that kids pick up on subtle nuances much more effectively than we tend to give them credit for).

God bless.

I don’t mean to belittle the benefits of going to Jesus through Mary, but your statement is inaccurate when you tell the OP that “the only way” he can get closer to God is through Mary - through prayers to her, seeking her aid.
(Granted, he might get there faster through Mary :slight_smile: but it is certainly not the only way.)

Coming at this from a Protestant perspective, I would conjecture to say that, even for him, praying the rosary everyday would fall into the same category as the liturgical mass. He’s looking for something eye opening and breath taking and “out of the mundane ordinary”.

Also, the use of the phrase “the only way to get closer to God is through his Mother Mary” can be somewhat misleading because I know plenty of people that can and did draw closer to God without going through Mary or praying the rosary. I’m NOT saying that this is not a way but I surely wouldn’t say the ONLY way.

I would start keeping a prayer journal. {Protestant} author, Ann Voskamp, has a book called 1000 Gifts that, when followed, can lead to a much deeper level of spirituality in a person. And before someone screams “But she’s not Catholic!”, please note that this book is not biased in any way for/against any form of Christianity and she has often been criticized in some extremely fundamentalist Protestant circles as “sounding Catholic” :shrug:

Anyway, I’ve found that when I get to a point to where I feel entitled and become self-serving, I start to think that I come to church to “get something” out of it instead of giving God the worship and praise that He truly deserves for the goodness and grace He has imparted into my life. Voskamp’s book is aimed at making us aware, daily, of the abundance of God’s blessings and not just superficial ones like finances, comfort, etc. It’s about relishing a sunset, a field of wildflowers, snow capped mountains, fresh brewed coffee, homemade sticky buns, etc.

As others have said, I’d start by examining your life outside of Church. Are there weeds somewhere choking out the beautiful roses, etc.? Also, don’t rule out depression as I struggle at times with that myself.

Just my two cents…

If I were in your shoes–and actually, I was once in shoes similar to yours!–i would do two things: start praying the Rosary each day (planning to start a family Rosary soon); and read to learn more about God and about the Catholic Faith.

I think a number of your questions would be answered in the book by Scott and Kimberley Hahn*Home Sweet Rome *. It is a quick read and tells the story of a married couple’s journey to the Catholic Church. Because Dr Hahn started off as a Protestant theologian, he describes a lot of the differences between Protestant and Catholic theology (some of your questions indicated that some of what you know is somewhat Protestant, not unusual in the US!).

After that, I would recommend reading the Baltimore Catechism–I found the explanatuons of the current Catechism of the Catholic Church to be too theological for me to understand. OTOH, you may know more than I did at that point so it may suit you better. Both are available online for free reading. (The page I used to link to has disappeared; if you have trouble finding the BC, let me know)

WRT the Rosary, picking up an audio version that you can listen to and pray along with is very helpful (possibly while going back and forth to work). Generally people pray 1 “round”–5 mysteries–each day. A Scriptural Rosary (audio or book format) is also helpful to leanr the mysteries and to help with distractions, even long-time Rosary pray-ers use them and even get new ones from time to time.

It may be that you will need to start off just praying one or two mysteries at a time, but see if you can pray 5 each day.

When you have finished with those two, it will be time to figure out what to do next. In the meantime, do not be afraid to come back here and ask a lot of questions, but if you have several questions on varied topics, it is best to ask them in separate posts; you’ll get much better answers that way.

Coming at this from a Protestant perspective, I would conjecture to say that, even for him, praying the rosary everyday would fall into the same category as the liturgical mass. He’s looking for something eye opening and breath taking and “out of the mundane ordinary”.

Also, the use of the phrase “the only way to get closer to God is through his Mother Mary” can be somewhat misleading because I know plenty of people that can and did draw closer to God without going through Mary or praying the rosary. I’m NOT saying that this is not a way but I surely wouldn’t say the ONLY way.

I would start keeping a prayer journal. {Protestant} author, Ann Voskamp, has a book called 1000 Gifts that, when followed, can lead to a much deeper level of spirituality in a person. And before someone screams “But she’s not Catholic!”, please note that this book is not biased in any way for/against any form of Christianity and she has often been criticized in some extremely fundamentalist Protestant circles as “sounding Catholic” :shrug:

Anyway, I’ve found that when I get to a point to where I feel entitled and become self-serving, I start to think that I come to church to “get something” out of it instead of giving God the worship and praise that He truly deserves for the goodness and grace He has imparted into my life. Voskamp’s book is aimed at making us aware, daily, of the abundance of God’s blessings and not just superficial ones like finances, comfort, etc. It’s about relishing a sunset, a field of wildflowers, snow capped mountains, fresh brewed coffee, homemade sticky buns, etc.

As others have said, I’d start by examining your life outside of Church. Are there weeds somewhere choking out the beautiful roses, etc.? Also, don’t rule out depression as I struggle at times with that myself.

Just my two cents…

I actually like the way the Catholic Church has prayer in community, that we pray, as one body, for the most part. We stand, kneel, and sit more or less at the same time.

I had some friends, and they were VERY close. They often would move together. One would cross her right leg, the other would cross her right leg. One would lean forward, the other would lean forward. I could see their unity just by looking at them. I think this is a good thing. Although, we also include moments when one can sit, and the other can kneel. It’s not rigid.

In Church nowadays, I’ve seen people doing both. I prefer to fold my hands in prayer, because in body language, it seems more a gesture of supplication and humility. Raising my hands…I don’t know. To me, it seems more the appropriate gesture for the celebrant, since it also calls attention to itself. A lot of times, people hold hands and all. To me, it detracts from the mass, but that is just my opinion.

As near as I can tell, doesn’t the Church accept both?

I used to be a part of a church folk group on more than one occasion. Well, the difficulty with using secular music in church in worship is that where do we draw the line? Which secular music is okay and which not?

Also, I have seen it where we, in the folk group, once got applause and a standing ovation. Upon reflection, I realize that really the attention should go to God, not us. This is a mass, not a concert.

In that same church, we did away with kneelers, holy water. We came to church in shorts, even the folk group. We didn’t have the Stations of the Cross, incense. I am trying to remember ever seeing anyone there interested in praying the rosary. There was no set time for confession. We had liturgical dance. We got more and more laid back to the point we had a guy in our folk group with a pink triangle on his guitar strap, who later got elected as an officer.

I found the loose permissive environment with the music, dress affected everything. Oh yeah, and we voted, got the Apostle’s Creed taken out of mass. The priest would also say, “Mother and Father God” instead. Oh, and we’d change the readings around, too. The priest once read “The Prodigal Daughter” instead of the Prodigal Son.

On Ash Wednesday, I had the idea of playing, “Dust in the Wind”, and it went over well. However now, I just think there was a lack of respect in everything…music, etc. Now, I prefer where we dress properly for God and worship more according to Hoyle, music and all, because of all of the above.

I don’t know if we know that. We believe this given the history.

I know we have the Nicean Creed and the Apostle’s Creed. They are quite similar. I’d say they are more similar than different. I don’t recall Christ ever saying his prayer was the ONLY way to pray. It is one way.

I think it’s a good thing to have topics approved, because we have the above happening, if not. I once saw a priest say in his homily that he thought priests should be allowed to marry, that there should be intercommunion, etc., etc. He said he disagreed with the pope at that time. So, there is something to be said for approving what will be said.

The Church gives quite a range. We have everything within it from Charismatic to Latin Rite to ones which accept more modern music.

Perhaps you have been influenced by modern times and especially Protestantism.

Well, a lot of people place a lot of emphasis on feelings. They say they feel they are “in love”. So, they get married. Then, they feel they are “out of love”, so get divorced, based on these fleeting feelings which are subject to change from moment to moment.

Sometimes, people who may be married, may find someone, also married, claim they are “in love” again, that this person is their soulmate, that despite the 10 commandments and all, feelings trump all else.

Often, people will say that they don’t feel anything in the Catholic Church, that they need to be in one where they feel something. So, sometimes they will go to one church, till that feeling of belonging and love fades, go to another and another, each time looking for that feeling, again.

However, I believe that the Catholic Church is the right Church. I may, or may not, always feel great receiving the sacraments, but I don’t have to. They are valid, whether I feel them or not. Further, marriage, say, is valid, whether one always feels “in love” or not, that it’s a commitment, that it’s actually precisely the act of committing when we don’t always feel like it. When we stick through a marriage, say, in thick in thin, where we don’t feel “in love”, instead feel tired, sick, sad, angry, and I think the same goes for the Church.

Our feelings toward it may come and go, but no matter what, we need to stay firm and not be pulled around from church to church to see which feels better that particular week given our mood at that time.

Great stuff Norm…I think I went to the same school as you…:smiley:
Thankfully I had a wonderful and devout family (including aunts and uncles grandparents etc.

One thing I would suggest about “feeling nothing” at Church is that it may be simply because you are so use to it.
I use the analogy of being indoors in the winter and feeling chilly. You go outside for a few minutes and come back in and that same house that felt chilly before, now feels wonderfully warm.

For those of us who were raised in the Church it can be like that. In my case I left for 35 years and when I came back it was a huge feeling and one that I have largely not lost since.

So - just consider that part of the issue might simply be familiarity.

What does God care if I kneel and stand at the appointed times? Why do I have to spend an “appropriate” amount of time kneeling after communion, even if I am done praying? Or what if I wanted to pray standing up- will God not listen to me if I am not on my knees? Does God really care if I prefer to fold my hands when praying the Our Father rather than raise them like everyone else? Why does it please God more if we have to listen to music in church that was clearly written by folk artists from the 1970’s? How does anyone know a Gregorian Chant if most pleasing to god? Why are there so many different prayers and creeds we are expected to recite when Jesus himself instructed the disciples that the Lord’s Prayer is the only properly way to pray to God? I have a million questions and doubts in regard to the Catholic Church as an institution. I try to get what I can out of the short homily on the Arch Diocese approved topic of the week and then I spend the rest of mass conversing with God in my head, daydreaming or looking around at the statues and stained glass windows. Has the Catholic Church become like the Pharisees and Scribes who Jesus condemned for putting the “law” above the word of God? Is this how it is supposed to be? Why do I feel this way?

These are all great questions.
First of all, no I don’t think the Church has become like the Pharisees, but I understand how it can seem that way sometimes.
As for much of the other things, no God does not care as much about these external things as He does about what is in your heart.

In spite of my Catholic faith, I do firmly believe in God and that salvation comes through Jesus alone. I read the Bible and I try to keep a “Biblical World View”.

“Biblical world view” this is great.

I am about 90% in when it comes to believing in the bible as the infallible and literal word of god. But I don’t feel close to God. I am still waiting for my “road to Damascus moment” and I just don’t think that I will get there through the Catholic Church. What do I do?

Well the Church may yet surprise you. :smiley:

If I may suggest, take a look at the book below in my signature. It speaks to the more mystical approach to God and bypasses a lot of the things that seem to be troubling you. The path that it speaks of is well worn by a number of great saints who are extensively quoted throughout.

Also - I send the idea of spending time quietly in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I also suggest maybe looking into a retreat of some sort.

Hope some of this helps.

Peace
James

Thanks for all the relpies! I’ll type up something a little longer as soon as I have a chance, but in the meantime I had a couple thoughts

I guess you could say the Christ is the bridegroom, as he stated, but it is actually an arranged marriage where you just do what you’ve got to do and hopefully the love/passion will come in time?

Why the Rosary? How will reciting the hail Mary a gazillion times make me feel closer to God? That is an honest question about something I have never had explained Would it not make more sense to pray to God/Jesus directly to lead me to to what I am looking for?

I will type more later, but I am commited to staying with the Catholic faith but I just have never found anything about it that really draws me in. It is more about the sense of community for me than the institution of the church tgat keeps me going.

Some more answers I typed up while you and a couple of others were replying, sorry for any duplication!

The Rosary is so much more than reciting the Hail Mary 53 times–there are the other prayers… no, seriously, the *main *aspect of the Rosary is meditating on the mysteries. While we pray the Hail Mary’s, we are meditating on one of the most important aspects of our Faith.

The Rosary is not required, btw, but it is a very good prayer and extremely helpful at helping a person grow in the Faith. Children pray it, and saints pray it. But the Eastern churches have different prayers. The main thing to do is to pray every single day, a few short ttimes (morning and evening prayer, etc), and one longer period of meditation.

I will type more later, but I am commited to staying with the Catholic faith but I just have never found anything about it that really draws me in. It is more about the sense of community for me than the institution of the church tgat keeps me going.

A lot of times we are given the impression that once we are confirmed or graduate from high school, we’ve learned enough! But there is more in Catholicism than can be learned in several lifetimes, and in order to be good Catholics, we need to keep progressing. Even as adults, we need to keep learning about our Faith. So what you are doing now is precisely what you should be doing as a Catholic :slight_smile:

Welcome to CAF :slight_smile:

So, you’ve received the ultimate gift of Jesus to all mankind, week after week in the Sacrament of the Eucharist and you feel nothing? My first reaction to this is stunned disbelief, but then a great sadness. I hope your post is the beginning of you taking charge of your spiritual life and coming to a relationship with Jesus-- YES, that is right in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we are called to a relationship with God (CCC 299). If you don’t have a Catechism, I recommend you get one and read it. Here is an online, searchable Catechism.

I have to respectfully but firmly disagree with Malou1, it is inaccurate and not in keeping with Church teaching to suggest that the ONLY way you can grow closer to God is through Mary. I appreciate Marian devotion, but that is NOT what the Scripture or Church claim. The Scripture says that you should keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. That would be a good place to start. Where can you literally see Jesus? In a CATHOLIC CHURCH in an adoration chapel. I would go there and prayerfully ask the Lord to come into your heart in a new way and help you to know Him. I kindly suggest with all due respect that you discuss with Him, your lack of enthusiasm and ask forgiveness for any lukewarmness you have had.

The Rosary is a lovely prayer when you are contemplating the mysteries of Christ (that’s how we grow closer to Him), but it takes a lot of practice to be able to meditate on those mysteries. If you are just saying a gazillion Hail Mary’s without understanding how the prayer works it will not be a good prayer.

I would try some good spiritual reading and lots of prayer. Some books that I think are wonderful and eye opening are “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist” by Brant Pitre, “Four Witnesses” by Rod Bennett, “The Lamb’s Supper” by Scott Hahn. Also, if you can get into a good Catholic Bible study that would be great.

I agree with the other poster that you seem to have concerns about liturgy. Ever researched the background of liturgy? Do you know that the Bible is stuffed from beginning to end with liturgy? Bible readers who divorce the Sacred Scriptures from their liturgical roots often end of twisting the Scriptures because they don’t have context. God may not care if one folds hands, raises hands or holds hands, but He does care about community and** unity**. That’s an important element that I think you are missing. The GIRM (general instruction for the Roman Missal) helps us to have unity and order. We have a God of order, our worship should reflect that.

Jesus did not say that the ONLY proper prayer was the “Our Father”. He did instruct the Apostles to pray it-- and we do in the Catholic Church at every Mass. But He also instructed the Apostles to “do this in remembrance of Me.” when He instituted the Eucharist. So they (who are predecessors to our bishops/ priests) followed Him by breaking bread and saying the words He said. Furthermore, the Bible is the Word of God and gives us hundreds of prayers-- many of which are in the Mass. Click here and you will likely be stunned with the overwhelming number of Biblical passages and prayers which make up the Mass.

Jesus says we are supposed to ask, seek and knock (Mt 7:7-12). I hope you will do that.

archive.org/details/prayerkeysalvat00mlgoog

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