How to get closer to God?

Welcome! :slight_smile:

My first thought is to remove yourself from your “childhood” memories.
You were a little kid.
Nobody’s going to teach the Summa theological to children.
Your dissatisfaction is totally normal, considering you don’t seem to have studied Catholicism in any measureable way.
Think of it this way: checkers can be mastered, but it takes years to fully grasp and become fluent at chess.
The above posters have given excellent reading suggestions. Read the books they suggest, and spend time in Adoration. It’s about your relationship with God. All good relationships take work, patience, as well as love.
you say you’re into the Bible. There are three readings form the Bible at every Mass. The words of the Mass are largely from the Bible. You may know more than you give yourself credit for. Listen closely for that still small voice of the Lord.
God bless you.

Well, what would you consider to be feelings of love?

Let’s look at love. Take a mother. She will probably change I don’t know how many dirty diapers in raising just one child. There are times she may be exhausted, may not particularly feel like getting up in the middle of the night to do this. Is it any less “love”, because she doesn’t feel warm and fuzzy feelings? What that mother is doing in changing that baby’s diaper in the middle of the night, without feeling a darned thing IS love!

There probably would be moments where she felt tender feelings toward her child, but whether she is feeling tender feelings or getting up in the middle of the night without wanting to, either way, it’s love!

According to EWTN, the “Hail Mary” dates back to the second century, and the first reference to the rosary was with St. Dominic who died in 1221. It has been around for a very long time, long before many modern day churches even came into existence which typically condemn it.

Further, we have references to some apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary which have been accepted by the Catholic Church as worthy of belief. There is Fatima, Lourdes, and others. In Fatima, there was the Miracle of the Sun witnessed by 30,000-100,000 people. In Lourdes, people witnessed that a spring appeared with St. Bernadette’s digging where the Blessed Virgin said to. It’s my understanding that spring is there to this day.

St. Bernadette’s body was incorruptible, didn’t decay. There are many miracles associated with the rosary. Our Lady has promised that to those who pray this prayer, she would aid. We have her word. At Fatima, an angel was to destroy the world. The Blessed Virgin Mary intervened, delayed God’s just punishment.

She explained that she would advocate for us, but she asked in return that we live good lives and pray the rosary, daily. It takes about 15 min. to pray the rosary, so what she is asking doesn’t seem to be an unreasonable request.

We were given 15 promises with the rosary where Mary promised devotees that she would intervene and help them.

Mary is very humble, always works to bring us peace and to her son. The rosary contains a summary of our faith.

First joyful mystery…The Annunciation…humility
Second mystery…Visitation …example of charity
Third mystery…Birth of Christ
Fourth mystery…Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple and Mary’s purification…obedience
Fifth mystery…Finding of Jesus in the Temple

First luminous mystery…Baptism of Jesus
Second mystery…Wedding at Cana…Christ’s first public miracle, Mary intervenes on our behalf
Third mystery…Proclamation of the Kingdom
Fourth mystery…Transfiguration
Fifth mystery…Institution of the Eucharist

First sorrowful mystery…Agony in the Garden
Second…Scourging at the pillar
Third…Crowning with thorns
Fourth…Carrying cross

First glorious mystery…Resurrection
Third…Descent of the Holy Spirit
Fourth…Assumption of Mary into Heaven
Fifth…Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven

Between the Apostle’s Creed and the mysteries, alone, it’s like a mini catechism lesson!

Further, we say the “Our Father”, “Glory Be” and a statement of our faith. Mary promised that if we’d do as she asked, there would be peace and more.

God often didn’t do everything directly. Even with the Blessed Virgin Mary, God didn’t speak to her, directly. Instead, he sent the Angel Gabriel, and that was the Blessed Virgin Mary!

We know that the rich man who went to hell asked for Abraham’s intercession.

We know Christ spoke to both Elijah and Moses, while still in the flesh, though, in that case, that wasn’t for intercession, but nonetheless, intercession is possible.

Have you ever asked a family member or friend to pray for you? Well, we think that’s fine to do, acceptable, and to be encouraged. The more of us praying for each other, the better, right?

Why do you bother? I mean, you just said you should go directly to God, himself. Why do you ask anyone to intervene or intercede on your behalf? How can that help you?

Okay, we believe prayer from others around us can help. Now, just as you can ask me to pray for you, or I can ask you to pray for me, we think it’s fine and more than okay to ask those who have died for prayers, as well.

Well, we believe when we die that we don’t die. In fact, it says that, repeatedly, in the Bible, that God is the God of the living, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the others are alive, not dead.

We believe in the communion of the saints, that from where they are, they can still pray for us. Now, those who have been demonstrated to have saintly lives, we often ask their prayers, especially.

In fact, we think given the choice of asking our friends for prayers or someone who has died and we believe is already in heaven, we think it’d actually be preferable to ask someone already in heaven, since they are no longer in a state of any sin, closer to God.

Now, as to going directly, God sometimes says, “no” due to our sinfulness. So, we ask for Mary to intercede for us, pray on our behalf as our advocate.

In a similar way when a child hears “no” from his father, goes to the mother, gets the mother listen, asks her to put in a good word for him with his father, Mary does something similar with God.

Well, we are generally unworthy, often deserving God’s just punishment. Many of us honestly don’t deserve to go to heaven, so sometimes, for many of us, our hope is Mary. We can, of course, also go to Christ. We believe we can do both. However, sometimes when aren’t worthy, Mary will intervene on our behalf, help us.

Oh yeah, and demons HATE the rosary. It is VERY powerful. They cannot abide by it.

Mary has a very special relationship with God. She is the daughter of God the Father, the Mother of God the Son, and the spouse of God the Holy Spirit. God spent 9 months in her womb. It was the first place Christ touched down on Earth. She raised Jesus! Recall when Jesus was asking why he should do anything about the wine, Mary persuades him to help. So, it shows Jesus listens to her! You can see how she intervenes on our behalf even in the Bible!

As to repetition, some Protestants quote that we shouldn’t participate in repetition in prayer. However, to me, the key word here is VAIN repetition, because the Bible is chock full of repetition.

See Psalm 136…“His steadfast love endures forever” is repeated 26 times! Matthew 26:39-44 Jesus prays the same prayer, 3 times. Revelations 4:8 Heavenly creatures sing “Holy, Holy, Holy” 24/7, 365 days a year throughout all eternity!

We don’t consider the rosary to be “vain” repetition.

I have sometimes gone to different Catholic Churches, because I don’t always find the right fit the first time.

The rosary is **PROFOUND! **

"I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”

~ Pope Francis ( Evangelii Gaudium).

True life (a phase often used by Pope Benedict XVI) is in Jesus of Nazareth - and thus in his Church.

It may be that part of the difficulty you have experienced is the difficulties of the 1970’s …a difficult time I hear. But do not give up! I must go now --for I was leaving when I saw your post -so I wanted to at least give a little encouragement…got to run.

Do not give up!

A book for you:

Well I am so sorry that some of you disagreed that it is only through Mama Mary that I get closer to God, well that is my personal opinion. If I may add, please read the 33 days to Morning Glory by Fr. Gaitley: The personal relationships of St. Louis de Montfort, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Maximilian Kolbe, and St. John Paul II to Mama Mary. Thank you and God Bless us all!!!

I know EXACTLY what you feel. To the extent that I went astray for 20 yrs. The standing/kneeling/sitting motions during my teenage years, were “idiotic” in my view at that time. But I am thankful God did not abandon me during my dark years. Now I am learning more about my faith, I feel closer to Him than at any time previously. However during my dark years, I still do my prayers almost daily. Our Father, Hail Mary, My Guardian Angel. These were my prayers I clung to during those years.

Now the standing/sitting/kneeling I think I do with more vigor now than when I was physically more fit during my teens!

How to get out of that rut? By reading more about God. Revisit the Catechisms. Read books by Frank Sheed, Peter Kreeft, Scot Hahn. Expand beyond these. Conversion stories, exorcism, healing, Church History, theology debates (Father Amorth, Francis MacNutt, John Salza, William Craig etc). I still have many books to read about the Saints. Bible history is also an interesting topic. Really, at the end of the day, to know Him, is to love Him. We have such a wondrous God, not found anywhere else.

Well I am so sorry that some of you disagreed that it is only through Mama Mary that I get closer to God, well that is my personal opinion. If I may add, please read the 33 days to Morning Glory by Fr. Gaitley: The personal relationships of St. Louis de Montfort, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Maximilian Kolbe, and St. John Paul II to Mama Mary. Thank you and God Bless us all!!!

I think many of the OP’s problems would be solved if he accepted the fact that the Eucharist IS Our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s not symbolic, it’s not a reenactment, it really IS his body and blood that he sacrificed to save us. Is Mass starting to feel a bit more special now? Every portion of a mass comes from 2000 years of tradition, and the one billion Catholics worldwide all do the exact same things as you do on Sunday. We are truly one holy and apostolic Church. You REALLY are consuming Christ every Sunday, who REALLY did die for your salvation. I’ll ask again:

Does mass feel more special now?

EDIT: I’ll just add that I felt the exact same way about the rosary until I started doing it myself every night. It’s amazing how much it quiets your mind.

As to the “Our Father” being the only prayer, recall that before Jesus was taken, after the Last Supper, he told the disciples that they should be praying not to be put to the test (instead of sleeping).

I agree it how you approach the Eucharist - its a real communion with Christ - if you don’t believe Jesus is there you will get nothing out of Mass - its the main reason why we go- to become one with Christ and to accept and offer ourself to God - which should be done at every communion . Every communion is a moment with Christ.

You must have a prayer life - you can’t leave it on the steps when you leave on a Sunday

Please note the tone of your questions–or perhaps rather, the perspective.

It’s why I recommended the book I recommended.

Prayer is secondarily about what we* get* out of it, or from it. It is primarily, our humble opportunity to give something back.

Prayer is first and foremost, our acknowledgment of the source of and our appreciation for, what we already got–that is, what we’ve already been blessed with (Note: implicit herein, is that it is communication/conversation with God). We begin prayer by giving glory to God. Why do we glorify God? Because he’s greater than us? No–even Satan is greater than us. We glorify God out of gratitude for the blessings he has bestowed upon us.

e.g.–life itself. You are alive. You exist. You are conscious of your own existence. God not only permitted this…He DID it. He created you.

He sustains you–with every breath you take, you fill your lungs with the oxygenated air your body needs to be sustained. God permits this; God provides the oxygen and the air… God provides the source for all the food you nourish your body with, and the source for all the water you hydrate your body with…

…and same for your wife and children, loved ones, on and on…

That’s why the Lord instructed us to begin prayer by glorifying God:

Our Father, who art in Heaven…HALLOWED BE THY NAME

Next, we invoke His Will, and subordinate ourselves, to His Will:

thy Will be done

Secondarily, we Petition–

…***give us this day, our daily bread.***…

The bottom line, with due respect, is that you seem to be going to Mass with the notion that you are there to get something. You’re not. You’re there to give. To give of yourself; to give of your time (attendance), talents (participation), and treasure (the offertory); to give of your life–to join yourself, to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (the Eucharist).

You’re not there to be entertained (which seems to be the primary purpose of many ‘worship services’).

Ask not what Christ can do for you…ask what you can do for Christ.

Subordinate yourself to His Will. Invoke His Will. Seek to be an instrument of His Holy Will.

…you will get what you’re looking for, AFTER you’ve given what He wants of you–

Your everything.

He gave us everything we have to begin with; it’s our vocation, to return our ‘everything’ to him–that which He has entrusted to us (life, time, talent, treasury…our children…)–with interest.

Surely you know the reward for this is infinitely greater than the cost, or inconvenience.


^^Supplement to the above:

Didn’t mean to suggest that we’re not there to receive anything–we are–Christ, in the Eucharist–I mean to say that is secondary.

That’s why communion comes after the offertory; it’s why the Sacrifice of the Mass in the Eucharist, can not be, until after the offertory (of the bread and wine). We must give first–then, we may receive.

Also note:

The etymology of the word ‘Eucharist’, is Greek for ‘thanks giving’.

We are there to give thanks.

…then we are blessed to receive Christ–in the Eucharist.

Goya, I just can’t smile big enough! Love this! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Thank you.

First pray for grace. Don’t expect it to come quickly. Then begin to investigate your faith. You will be amazed what you don’t know. Then the more you learn the more your faith begins to grow and before you know it you feel God more and more.

Norm the Robot

What you are describing is burn out or boredom. I can see why. You are an adult with reason and you don’t know the reasons. The only way out of this is to read material about your faith to upgrade your knowledge which you need for fulfillment as an adult.

But this will only happen gradually because we grow in knowledge. So take it piecemeal and don’t be frustrated if you think you should know more because it will only come over study and time.

I believe what you are having is a wakeup call from the Holy Spirit telling you to do something about it because continuing in this manner will not be beneficial for your life in God.

I don’t want to make you fearful, but the fact is, what we don’t use we loose. It is sort of a principle in the spiritual life that we either go forward or we slip backward. It is the old adage of “the poor get poorer, and the rich get richer.”

Be sure and take this sign you are experiencing seriously. Just start reading about your faith, either books or periodicals. Even it if is only a little…just keep feeding your mind and soul.

The Mass has no meaning to someone who knows nothing about it. Just as a precious coin has no value to someone who doesn’t see its value. And I don’t believe just telling you to pray more is going to make up for the lack of knowledge you seem to have. That wasn’t said in criticism but just in recognition of what has happened.

And the very first thing to do is go to confession if you think you need to do so.

Here is a place to start learning.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

Good advice. Just do it, Norm! And God Bless you with faith, strength, peace, hope and love (that you can feel and see!)

Read my signature. Then read the book.

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