I feel like I’ve been losing my faith lately. I haven’t been to Mass for 3 weeks now. I always find excuses, but I think the root cause is because I’ve been getting frustrated with how things have been going lately. I’ve also been disappointed with the way that some fellow Catholics act. They claim to be good Catholics, but the things they do are hardly Christian. I’ve also been working really hard lately, and I don’t have time to do any thinking, as far as my faith is concerned. I’ve thought about giving up altogether, and I feel like I’m barely holding on. I think I still feel His presence sometimes, but it’s just been really hard. Anyway, I’m just rambling.
I have been in your predicament as well. Three things will most likely happen, in actuality two.
You have hit a plateau and slowly but naturally nothing on your part, like a phase, you will return to your faith.
You will experience some type of major stress or challenge and will find that only God can comfort and help you and out of this pain you will emerge stronger in faith and will have overcome a major obstacle.
You will become an unbeliever, even to the point of flirting with atheism, you might even become an atheist. At this point you will over saturate yourself with their illogical thought process and convince yourself that your past faith in God was a mistake and a lie. This time will be painful and difficult because you will be lying to yourself and whatever struggles and pain you had when loosing your faith will seem like a walk in the park compared to take the absurd position that God does not exist. Slowly, God and the truth within in will call you back to your faith. It may be simple as saying a short prayer or attending Mass but not participating. You will have so many inner dialogues where you let God have it, no holds barred, and sure many on this forum will say its blasphemous or heretical the things you challenge God with but remember He has heard it all, and would rather let you vent and return to His love than loose you. If helps you resolve major conflicts you have with the faith and God but return to Him repentant and loving – know one can tell you you’re wrong for doing it.
As of now there are certain things you can do to hold on to your faith. You said you have a problem with how certain Catholics act, don’t blame them they’re Vatican II Novus Ordo Catholics, so they have been lead astray and have a more liberal outlook than say traditional or Eastern Rite Catholics who are more strict in their Catholicism. This is not to say that all Vatican II Roman Catholics are unfaithful, many of them have the same faith and conviction that their parents and grandparents had before the Church went astray. But this is a topic for another section. Here is what you can do – the Church is universal, you are Catholic and can worship at any Catholic Church you please, whether it be Eastern Rite or the Traditional Latin Mass, go to one of these Mass Services and get a breath of fresh air. No more tacky tambourines and guitar music or communion in the hand and jeans with flip flops and a shirt Mass service, but a rich vibrant Catholic Mass as it has been since the Church began – traditional, holy, and sacred. Mass at American Novus Ordo Churches to me (I’m Eastern Rite) made me want to be an atheist, thank God I found my Eastern Catholic identity again and found God by attending a real unaltered Mass. The Churches are bare, most of them look like convention halls without the artistic zeal of Churches of old. Go to an Anglican Mass and you’d think you were in a Catholic Church. Maybe that’s why you’ve lost faith, nothing of your fault, the Mass and the sacrifice that is involved has become diluted.
So here in a quick summary is what you can do:
Go to a Traditional Latin or Eastern Rite Mass.
Go to Confession at least once a month.
Pray the Rosary, if it’s too much due to time constraints just pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and a Glory Be with conviction and simply ask for God to give you strength.
Read Augustine’s Confessions, I know it’s a heavy and complicated book, but you will truly relate to him and his transformation in finding the Lord and turning his back on his sinful life. Just a few pages a night will change your mind set.
Lastly, don’t take your religion too seriously, God is not a harsh task master, even if you say a simple three second prayer at night such as Thank you God, it is pleasing to him. Whatever effort you put in, God sees.
Take Care Friend.
Lord, I pray for good BadTurkey. Now that his faith seems to be leaving him, he needs you in the sacraments more than ever. Please help him get to confession immediately and to Mass on Sundays. He’ll hurt really bad if if doesn’t try and keep observing your Sabbath day and confessing his mortal sins. Now that he is suffering he needs to act decisively. Maybe he could even seek out a good holy priest to help him. He is going through desolation and really needs to try and keep seeking you despite his feelings of aridity. If he can’t get himself to pray to you with words may he pray with his heart. Maybe he can’t pray any more because he’s not in a state of grace and he needs to get right with you first. May he get to an adoration chapel and just sit with you, taking in your rays of healing love and examining his conscience; then may he meet with a priest to reconcile himself with you and get forgiveness. Please, Lord, don’t let BadTurkey fall away. His soul is the most important thing he has, more important than his job, wealth, health, friends, etc… He is good, Lord; he obviously is concerned about losing his faith: he is writing in this forum and I believe does not want to lose his faith. Please, if I were his best friend in the world I would call him every day and make sure he is keeping up his relationship with you, as it is you alone who can make him truly happy. Health, wealth, friends, etc. bring him happiness, yes, but they can only make him so happy and won’t bring him the peace and blessedness that comes from supernatural grace (divine life): a wholesome life lived in you. - When those other things fail him, and they could and probably might, he won’t even have you. Bless BadTurkey with your healing, saving love and graces and get him to confess with priest so he can get the graces he needs to keep faithful and strong. Thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayer. Amen.
Lord, regarding hypocrites - they are everywhere: both at the Traditional Mass and Novus Ordo Mass. I pray that BadTurkey will just live for you and strive to fulfill his obligation to worship you on the Sabbath, despite the obstacles. You will judge those bad individuals; BadTurkey just has to bear with them and put up with them until the Mass is over. Give him perseverence and courage to with stand them. Amen.
Not feeling His presence all of the time doesn’t mean a lack of faith. God may even be cultivating in you a stronger faith. Not feeling His presence makes it harder, yes, but your faith can grow stronger in this.
Yes, but he’s not going to the Mass. He’s missed three times already.
As Jesus said, there are “seeds” (the word of God) that fall into the thorns and when they spring up, are choked out.
I suggest you look around you for what is distracting you or discouraging you. There are many such things in each of our lives. That is actually what you describe. But, you should not just follow the crowd.
Whatever is truthful, whatever is right, whatever is good – hang on to that and build from there. Don’t let the things that are false, wrong, and bad take your soul away from you.
When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, He said “Hear O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD with your whole heart, with your whole soul, all your mind, and with all your strength.”
This is the daily “pledge of allegiance” that should remind you of your faith, remind you that Jesus made a covenant with us, His followers. You have an eternal covenant with Jesus, not with anybody else.
Why walk away from that?
I know where you’re coming from, Bad Turkey! I am a cradle Catholic, and for most of the first 30 years of my life or so, never had any major difficulties with my faith. I married a good Catholic man, had a child, and even worked for a Catholic newspaper. I took great pride in being an observant, orthodox Catholic and not one of those “cafeteria” or “Christmas and Easter” Catholics. I dreamed of me and my husband living in a rambling old farmhouse contentedly homeschooling at least 4 or 5 kids, who of course would all be pious and well-behaved little geniuses
But things didn’t go according to plan. My husband stopped going to church and still hasn’t come back. Our daughter turned out to be autistic. I lost my job with the Catholic newspaper, had to sell our house in the country, and take a much lower paying job with a secular publication. We did homeschool our daughter for a while but after I lost my job, we could not do it anymore. Things got much more stressful socially and financially for several years.
There were times when I felt like I was just barely hanging on to my faith as well. I used to be very persnickety about how I dressed for Mass and so forth but now there were times when it was all I could do to just show up. There were also times, unfortunately, when under pressure from my husband or being overwhelmed with guilt or anger or embarassment, I didn’t go to Mass at all. (Then when that happened, I would go weeks at a time without receiving Communion because I had a hard time making it to confession )
Sometimes I did wonder what I did it all for and if continuing to be Catholic was worth the effort. But I got through it, and you will too. If “hanging on” is the best you can do, then keep doing it. Go to confession and tell the priest what’s been going on, then get back to weekly Mass, even if you find yourself being distracted, or less than perfectly prepared. It sounds to me that you haven’t really lost your faith, so much as you have been hurt by some of what you see going on in the Church, plus being under a lot of extra stress in your life.
BadTurkey, just remember the most difficult command that John Paul II ever gave: Be not afraid!
Being surrounded by non catholics is hard to deal with. My brother left… and is still wandering through life. I have been to many noncatholic churches and seen the same happen there. Which is to be expected to a degree since we are all imperfect. The answer I found was to embrace our true catholic faith… and try to help teach the catechism and catholic identity to those around me. Especially those involved deeply with the church. It can be a very slow and sometimes painful process sometimes, but it is worth it. Other things helped such as listening to catholic radio that is faithful to the church. You can find local stations or listen online at relevantradio.com. It brings a sense of community to us catholics that try to follow our true faith while embracing/encouraging us in our own spiritual battles. The one other suggestion I have is to count your blessings.
You may also want to read up on Mother Teresa’s dark night as she struggled with her faith too.
Hi, Bad turkey!!!
I have been there and back…so many good Catholics have. I even admitted to a priest that I was having a “crisis of faith” and he responded, “No, people like you don’t have crisis of faith”! Yeah, I was. I found that I was spending more time in our Perpetual Adoration Chapel, instead of going to mass. Truthfully. I think, even though I know I was wrong for not going to mass, I was somehow dealing with my dryness of faith. St. Therese had those times so I blamed her!!! Only kidding.
God is there with His right hand holding on to You. He never will let go. Just let Him know you know this fact and He will lead you. God bless…my prayers are with you. Smile, Live in the knowledge that no matter what He love you. He knew you before you were!! He knows you by name!!!
If I were you I’d read this:
because it will reassure you that the church wouldn’t be the same without all of these sinners and liars.
Also you should read up on Fatima, Lourdes and the like. Knowing about these Marian apparitions should help to inspire you to press on. For example at Fatima, look into the Miracle of the Sun. Mary promised a miracle months previously, on the 13th of October 700,000 people were gathered there, and they witnessed a modern miracle, and many had their faith strengthened, were converted, or were shut up in their contradictions of the apparitions. The sun(safe to look at) danced around the sky, and Mary, Joseph and Jesus could be seen by some nearby it, and finally the sun threw itself down to the earth and then restored itself to normal.
Also Mary promised a sign from God in the form of light in the skies warning that another, worse world war would occur (this was between the two wars). So years passed by and then an unexplainable aurora borealis swept across Europe, even as far south as Italy, where it’s impossible. People thought it was the end of the world in many places. Scientists were stumped. This happened exactly one year to the day before WWII broke out.
Also look into the many miracles of rosaries changing into gold, or icons and statues crying tears of blood or oil, and also the many cases where the eucharist turned into heart tissue. Also on the other end the exorcisms where the demons acknowledge the truth and do terribly frightening things.
It sounds like you believe and just need a boost in your faith. Maybe learning more about this aspect of it will help you like it helped me! (Plus all of this stuff with miracles and exorcisms makes for REALLY good reading… not dry or self-helpy at all)
You and St. Paul have a lot in common. He was disappointed with the way that some fellow Catholics acted also. Think of how difficult that must have been for him, seeing as how the best he could do in his circumstances was send a letter appealing to their better qualities.
I want to come back to the issue of faith, but first there is something you really need to hear. Please know I say this with love; I would not spend time writing this only to make someone feel - perhaps - worse. What you need to hear is this: Stop using other people as the excuse for what you do. That’s a very bad habit to start and a difficult one to break if it gets established, so do yourself a favor and stop it.
This is what I mean:
I’ve also been disappointed with the way that some fellow Catholics act. They claim to be good Catholics, but the things they do are hardly Christian.
Can you see the similarity in your statement and a man with an alcohol addiction that says something like: “I only drink because my wife treats me like ____ and my kids don’t respect me. I feed them, buy them clothes, put a roof over their head, and they don’t care a whit about me. That’s why I drink.”
Which is baloney! If, in my fictional example, you could remove the supposed cause, that is, make his wife and kids treat him like a Prince, the guy would still drink. He’d just find another “good reason.” Maybe his family treats him too well now. :nope: Likewise, if I could push a button and make your problematic Catholics vanish, would that fix it, and your faith would then be sound, and you’d have faithful attendance at Mass/Sacraments? Only you know the honest answer to that question, and I am not asking for a response, just that you answer the question for yourself.
The more “stuff” you put on the pile of “why I have difficulty with my faith” means you will have to sort through more junk to get to the bottom of the pile, to the reason(s) that will truly decide the issue for you. That is why I urge you to make a more serious examination of your reasons.
Okay, I’m off the soap box now. Back to faith.
I think I still feel His presence sometimes, but it’s just been really hard. Anyway, I’m just rambling.
When I read this I see a testimony to the reality of actual grace. Funny how we have different perspectives, isn’t it?
Almost everyone I know has had a crisis of faith at one point or another. I say almost because I haven’t asked everyone I know. If I did, it’s possible I could report a unanimous result. Often these were not brought about by a crisis, but more a matter of routine, boredom, and a sense that you’ve gotten all out of the faith you’re ever going to get. Our Liturgy, being as fixed as it is, sometimes makes people feel they worship by rote and after a time they tire of it. These are real feelings, BT, and there is nothing sub-human or dishonest about feeling them. The question becomes then, what can you do about it?
Well I can think of several things. You know our Church is a community, and you know that in any community worth being in the people who are doing well have an obligation to their brothers and sisters who are not. So one thing you can do is seek the help of the community. Okay, how? Well there are many answers, but mine would be to start with your priest. Tell him how you feel, faith slipping away, etc. and seek his counsel. Next I would go to some of your fellow parishioners that you know and trust and ask them if they’ve ever experienced what you feel and how did they handle it?
Then there is your own motivation. If your life in Church is dull, spice it up! Find something to get involved in that makes the Church more real and meaningful to you. Pray more. Read more. Go on a retreat. These are things that can break up the routine.
Then there is the matter of belief. This is a touchy area, and is best discussed with your priest than on a forum. But drifting away, judging from what people who came back to the Church relate to us, is all too often characterized by a lack of faith that starts out under the guise of being bored, then moves to questions of faith, and without any real effort to try and rediscover them - i.e. doing nothing about it, leads to abandonment. So if there are issues along this line, I would suggest you make some effort now to try and rediscover the meaning it once had to you. Again, your priest is the go-to guy for these issues.
I’ll pray for you, BT, that you might, through grace, have answers and find His peace.
I apologize I meant to say 70000 people
My dear friend
Don’t listen to satan and give in to your weakness. If you leave the church where will you go? Will you be happy with a life without God, a life of sin. This life is a test. You will find hapiness, joy, peace, serenity come from a good life in accord with Gods will. God doesn’t make us miserable we make ourselves miserable by abusing our free will. Satan points to others and gives us a 1,000 reasons to leave the church. But he is the father of lies. True happiness is found in doing Gods will as perfectly as wecan. You sound very lukewarm and in real danger of losing the faith. To get some fire into you go to mass almost every day and pray to our Lady and St Joseph to help you. You only have one chance at getting to heaven don’t squander it dear friend. Why don’t you get involved with Opus Dei or some other form of spirituality to help you? Your entering a slippery slope that will not bring happiness. Sin promises us a lot but only brings death , misery and despair in the end. Do you know that if you abandon God and His church you will become a slave to sin and satan. There is no inbetween. If you lose the faith you may never get it back. Don’t give in friend. I’m praying for you.
God bless you:thumbsup:
Badturkey keep with God trust me being in Heaven is beyond perfect, I know it can be hard.
OK, I finally went to Mass today! Thank you all for the prayers.
I suppose I still need to go to Confession, but that’s another story.
BadTurkey. I have also been in your situation, and yes this is good advise. Try an Eastern Church (Catholic/Orthodox), or if you can get to a Traditional Latin Mass (Extra-Ordinary form). Broaden your horizons, you will be glad you did!. By trying out an Eastern Church or Traditional Latin Mass parish. It will spark your interest, like it did me. and you will have a whole new world to discover your faith!.
You don’t have to be Slavic, Greek, or Arabic to be an Eastern Catholic Christian. No more than you have to be Italian to be a Roman Catholic.
Alas, I think it's getting worse. I feel like I'm moving farther away from the Church. I've missed Mass for two consecutive weeks. I'm planning to go this Sunday, though. I've been meaning to go, but things always got in the way. OK, that's an excuse, because if I really cared, I would make it a higher priority. I don't know. I just don't feel that big of an attraction to Mass anymore. Sometimes I still feel the need to go, especially when I've commited a sin. I hate to say it's because my life has gotten extra busy and there're many things demanding my attention, but it's part of it. Anyway, I'm rambling. I still need to go to Confession. Sigh. Maybe this Christmas.