In RCIA and feeling Lonely

I am in RCIA, and have learned A LOT in the past month, not only with RCIA, but with specifically, this website, and the Catholic radio station I have found (which plays Catholic Answers Live which has to be my favorite so far). I have NO doubt that this the path God wants me on, but as I have stated in previous posts, I have A LOT of obstacles right now.

I suppose I became an unoffical Inquirer nearly 2 years ago, however, at that time I involved A LOT of people. I told a lot of my friends. Some whom I thought I was closer to than was really the case. There were lots of opinions, and a lot of people who wanted to tell me their opinions…whether good or bad.

Then I put my faith exploration on hold for the most part, trying to deal with some of my other struggles. I finally realized maybe only a couple months ago, that when I was following the inspirations of God, praying, and attempting to have a relationship with God, that things started going better for me. Maybe not better. Perhaps it was merely that many things in my life became easier. Things, for instance, like weight loss, friendships, anger issues, etc. That MY reactions to things that might be negative were better.

So, I found myself starting RCIA a month ago. At that moment I made a decision, and that was that I would not involve, in particular, my friends…I have barely told a soul, with the exception of a small handful of people far removed from me. My closest friends don’t know the exact things I am going through, that I am attending RCIA, but I have told a few I am going through some things, just so they would know that much.

While I think it was, in many ways, a good decision, I do find myself VERY lonely. I have moments of sadness, of doubt, where I suddenly feel like I don’t have anyone I can go to to help comfort or lift me. Then I have moments of absolute amazement and Joy, and again, there seems to be no one I can really tell it to. This is a new thing for me, chosing to not involve so many people.

A few questions. For those that have gone through RCIA, or experiencing it now, do you think this is perhaps normal on some level? Perhaps that as we seek truth, that Evil works to destroy our progress? I was recognizing today that my doubts did NOT arrive during prayer, but usually in response to something I have learned, or something I have been told. When I have a doubt or am feeling frustrated, and I finally go to God in prayer asking for some sort of inspiration, comfort, or guidance, while it may not always be instant (though sometimes it is)…typically my doubts disappear and I am filled with comfort, Grace, or a peace in general.

I also wonder, any other suggestions? Perhaps finding friends in my RCIA? While I am not necessarily uncomfortable with people, I get the feeling MY experiences, in particular my struggles with acceptance from my family, are not at all like those around me. Just hearing everyone else’s experiences, I seem to be alone among the other inquirers…let me clarify, I am not putting down what others may be going through, that mine is “stronger” somehow, just that it is definitely different. I don’t know, maybe this is my continued feelings of lonliness that are talking.

I just wonder what more I could be doing…I know there are others out there having experiences similar to mine, but why do I still feel so alone in this struggle?

I’m not sure if my questions made sense, I hope someone has some good suggestions!

Thanks!

Amy

Amy,

 Is it possible that some of the friends you haven't told may be interested in attending RCIA with you?  That would pretty much solve that problem, I think.  :)

 If not, be patient.  Things will get better as time goes by.  You'll begin to befriend some folks in RCIA and the Church.

 Here's another good website, where you can download lots of good Catholic .mp3 audio talks:  [alabamacatholicresources.com](http://www.alabamacatholicresources.com)

God bless!

Scooby

Satan loves to isolate people, and I experienced many of the same things.

Why not bring them up with your RCIA team? I’m sure they can help you.

Hi, Amy! I’m glad to hear that you’re walking with us and increasing in faith, God be praised! I went through RCIA myself a few years ago (Tiber Swim Team 2006) and have served on the team at my parish the last two years. What you are going through, unfortunately, is not out of the ordinary. The people in your life may not know anything about the Catholic Church other than what they’ve heard in the media or they may have been Catholic and had a bad experience. They could be afraid that your new relationship with Christ and the Church will change you and that you will begin to judge them. Please understand that these are THEIR issues and not yours. It can be like when an alcoholic sobers up, there are normally a few people in his or her life who are dependent on the alcoholic staying that way for reasons of their own. In my case, my entire family of origin is Mormon. Though I was not they were perfectly content for me to remain United Methodist. When I started RCIA my brother, to whom I had been close, really backed away from me for a time. It is hard. However, God knows that you are lonely and He will open up new relationships for you. Have you considered giving your time or talent to your parish by joining, for example, the hospitality committee? I will keep you in prayer and remember you have friends here, though we’re on the other end of the internet.

God wants you for Himself. There are times of loneliness in our walk with Him. You are never alone, never forsaken. We are so in need of the family of God, but at the same time, God is trying to teach you trust.

Too often we think we need to share with everyone, and it really is amazing stuff you are learning, and would only increase your faith to share. I have learned you often have to pocket away what you learn for a later day. Growing in wisdom, little by little.

Ask some of the others in your class if they want to go get coffee and see what happens. You have something in common with them now. God does bind us together just being there learning together. You have to start somewhere.

It will be ok. The others are right, people don’t understand what you are going through, but it is so profound! Hang in there and be a little more proactive. Probably most of the people will bow out, but there is generally at least one or two people with questions. Invite your teacher too then you can pick his/her mind and have some of your questions you are not allowed to ask in class because of the body of work you have to concentrate on.–peace be with you.

Our dearest Amy,

Welcome Home!

Amy, I went through the SAME thing when I began RCIA six months ago, so I think I understand what you are saying and how you are feeling.

Everything is new for you, and you are learning to trust God and to lean on Him instead of your friends, and things feel different and you feel a little bit alone - but Amy, you are not alone. Especially now.

I promise, as you stay the path and continue in prayer and trust in the Lord to help you, several things will happen, - well, actually, a lot of things will happen! First, you will recognize the Lord working in your life and your trust in Him will increase, followed by genuine peace, and in time, unaware, you will notice that at some point you stopped noticing and thinking about the loneliness you are expressing today, and you will realize that although some of the relationships you have enjoyed in the past may have changed somewhat, it’s ok. And what is more, you will have gained new friends as well. Yes, you’ll make friends in RCIA. Give it a little time. Everyone is going through an incredibly huge life changes. But you are going through them together.

Always remember, the Lord’s church - and our experiences in it - are all about community. Relationships. Not just Holy Communion that I anticipate with such longing now - but friendships and caring for one another. Maybe invite an RCIA class member to attend a weekday or weeknight mass with you. Or participate in group rosary prayers at your parish. Find something that interests you and it is likely that you will find new friends who are looking for you too. If you are shy, pray for help to open up to the community just a bit so you can reach out your hand to someone else. You’ll find someone(s) who will reach back and take your hand. RCIA is not just about learning church teachings, it’s about formation, becoming part of the community.

What I would say to you is be patient. Trust God. Pray always. Having had these same feelings as you, and looking back now, I can see that what our family on this forum said to me when I felt this way was right. Be patient. Trust God. Pray always.

You are in our prayers. You are on such a beautiful journey that has only just begun. I’m just a few steps in front of you and I’ll be looking over my shoulder, reaching out my hand to you and watching to be sure you are doing well. And believe me, you are doing very well.

Hope

Yeah, not so much…they know that I am exploring Catholocism on a basic level, but they do not know I am attending RCIA…if anyone, perhaps my husband, but he is very against what I am doing…so, guess its time to really allow myself to be approachable, and approach others.

I have to admit I think I must be one of the most outspoken person there, and not sure if that is overwhelming folks…:slight_smile:

I have heard tha before…thanks! I will have to bring that up…

LDS is also my background, though its not the friends I worry so much about losing…maybe a few, but rather, my DH’s family…my family became numb to my faqith life when I became LDS, and they will have the same issues with Catholocism for the most part.

So hard to have so many people close their minds, or even hearts, to you when changes happen…

Mamaslo, thanks! I have had similar lines of thinking re: the trust in God, having it, at this moment, as an extremely personal journey with God, etc. Now I just want a little bit of the community sense again…:slight_smile:

I talk pften to the Deacon who runs the RCIA class/program…he may feel a bit overwhelmed by my experiences…lol.

Amy!

Hello and Welcome home!

I too went thru the RCIA process 4 years ago and became fully initiated at the Easter Vigil of '07

What you are experiencing is completely normal and very human. I experienced it as well. Infact I didnt tell my own family. I only ended up telling my mother about a week before the Easter Vigil.

For me it was a very private and even sacred experience so I didnt feel comfortable telling just anyone or everyone. It was (and continues to be) a very intimate walk with me and Our Lord. I didnt want to share it with other and have it ridiculed or trampled over.

That being said, talk to your RCIA team. Bring it up with other RCIA members. It’s a wonderful opportunity to discuss what kind of experiences our journeys can take

Many of the Saints that came before us had moments (even very long stretches) of intense loneliness and even isolation which lead them to take the opportunity to draw closer to Our Lord and the Cross.

So, remember, what you are experience is very normal. VERY. Don’t let it concern or frighten you.

Can I also offer a suggestion to you? Open your Bible to the portions of the Gospel where it talks about Our Lord’s agony in the garden of Gethesame. Meditate on it because He too knew intense loneliness especially during that time.

Start at the end of the Last supper and go thru to the Crucifixion.

T_Hope…I love hearing from fellow RCIA members, and it’s definitely encouraging to not feel alone in the process.

I agree on the taking time aspect. I also was thinking about this: I have had a lot of devestating or would be devestating things happening…it has coincided with joining RCIA. Had I not been involved in frequent praying, attending Adoration, and overall satudy, those things might have pulled me down. I prayed the rosary today, alone, for the first time. I have a feeling this will be a life altering experience as well. I know God is with me, and despite the struggles, I know this is the truth, no matter what people will throw in my face. I have to stand tall no matter what happens.

Marie, I can totally relate to the aspects of why you kept it private…I have had thoughts of “if I share with certain people, or discuss it with my DH, it will only become tainted by negativity, add more complications to the matter”. I wanted to revel in the sweetness as long as I could!

So many kind words here, thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Use your imagination to love God more while at/in RCIA (your whole mind, heart, soul, and strength). Imagine there’s someone else in RCIA who is far far lonelier and in need of a friendly smile or word. Don’t pick out a person, but just imagine they’re there somewhere, and the Holy Spirit will help you find them in some small and natural way.

In other words, get out of yourself and quit worrying about your happiness, sadness, loneliness…and instead work on helping someone who is feeling worse. A wise priest once told me…“don’t pray for yourself, pray for everyone else around you”.

This is a very Catholic way of thinking about matters.

Just a thought.

Good points, thank you.

Amy ~

I have hesitated in answering you here, but feel like I should.

I’m so glad you are learning and growing so much through RCIA. It’s a beautiful and wonderful experience. I agree with the other posters about reaching out to your fellow RCIA students and forming bonds with them. You are walking together down a path that is likely very difficult for many of you. The extra support would be a huge blessing.

I’d know. I’m the only person in RCIA at my parish. I don’t have anyone else to discuss things with or walk with me. It’s just me and the RCIA instructor when she has time to get together with me around her other duties at the Church.

Enjoy this time with your new Catholic family. Revel in the support and unity it can bring you. Connect with your RCIA class. You’ll be so glad you did. :slight_smile:

Wow, that’s definitely a much different experience. If you ever need somebody to talk to, I would be happy to help.

I will pray for you! Hope you have a wonderful journey! :slight_smile:

Thank you! I’m building my own online RCIA class so I have people to talk with. CAF has been instrumental in helping me with that process. :smiley:

Amy,

As I’ve already shared with you, the conversion process for me has also been very difficult and lonely so far. This weekend I had an experience that reading your post brought to mind. I was out of town with my family on a short vacation and for a variety of reasons I was feeling very despondent (the spiritual ups and downs are there for me as well!). At one point I told God that I didn’t have any strength left to follow him, that He would have to come looking for me and do all the work. I give up! I felt so alone.

Somehow, in spite of my threats, on Sunday I still managed to find a Catholic church and attended. The newly ordained deacon who gave the homily started by saying how he had prayed on Friday to know exactly what Jesus wanted us to hear that Sunday. And then the deacon said that Jesus’ message to us/me was “You can run, but you can’t hide”. That was literally it, word for word. And it was exactly what I needed to hear at the time. :slight_smile:

Hello again! I know, my post was borderline needy/whiney…I think its just its hard dealing with those ups and downs that we experience. Today is another bad day for me…ugh. And yeah, I am trying to have a new outlook, including looking outside my own selfishness, praying, offering the sorrow to God, and trying to reach out more. I have started praying the rosary when I can, I have heard many good things. There is just so much new, sometimes, it’s like you said, it becomes overwhelming and too much, and then I am ready to throw in the towel.

Thanks for sharing your story! I think it helps to know there are others out there having similar or more difficult experiences.

I am so thankful for all the responses on this thread. It has helped me a lot!

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