Interesting quesiton raised in a review of "the last sin eater"... concerning feelings/emotions in relation to faith


#1

"Cadi says she doesn’t “feel” different when the Sin Eater performs his ritual on her, but she “feels” different after she prays with the Man of God. How important are “feelings” in knowing whether you have done the right thing, spiritually? What would you say to someone who had asked Christ into their heart but didn’t “feel” different?"

Thats something I have thoguht about since reading the review and i still can not answer it… other than i believe emotions and feelings are not important and should not be relied upon.


#2

I experience a certain amount of peace when I make a decision in line with what God would have me do in my life.
When I was in the midst of crisis, I read about the importance of not making decisions while depressed. Emotions can overwhelm our thought processes. It is necessary to step away and look at a situation from as many different angles as possible. If needed, this may mean seeking professional counsel.
Just as I experience peace in right decisions, I experience a disquietude when I find myself headed in the wrong direction. This is especially true when I have committed a sin whether through commission or omission. This disquiet cannot be gotten rid without confession. The confession and penance given may not in themselves be enough to bring me peace. I must discern how to correct the error in judgment that I made. If I have hurt somebody as a result of my wrong decision, I must seek forgiveness from that person and extend forgiveness as well. I may pray the Serenity Prayer.
The bottom line is that I must obey my conscience in all matters. To act against conscience is to sin against God. If my conscience is clear, then I experience the peace that only Christ can give through the action of the Holy Spirit.


#3

you might want to explore this question on the spirituality forum. In classic Christian spiritual direction, feelings are regarded by themselves as notoriously bad guides to spiritual health and progress.


#4

Personality types come into play here. I am a Rational in the Kiersey temperament sorter—feelings do not really resonate with me whatsoever; the Catholic Church’s appeal to me was therefore more through reason. My wife is the opposite; it was the emotional appeal which drew her in—the liturgy, the physical presence of Christ, the smells and bells, devotions, etc.

The problem with emphasizing feelings to the exclusion of reason is that feelings necessarily ebb and flow, and when they ebb, those who have been taught to equate faith with feeling fear they have lost their faith and perhaps their salvation.


#5

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