Lost in between the cracks


#1

Brothers and Sisters,

it has been a mighty long while since I have frequented these forums, which could most definitely be one of the reasons I have gotten to the state that I have gotten to. This must be my first post back in about 3 months, i would guess. It hasn’t been more than a year that I have been a confirmed catholic (recently received this past easter) and my faith has deteriorated into nothingness. I need help, from you my brother and sisters, some encouragement that I am not alone. I am a young man and struggle with sins of the flesh, pornography, the whole lot.

There are good times, but more and more often there are bad times. I feel like Jesus has gone away from me, and that I am all alone against the world, which is literally against me and my plight. My prayer feels empty, and lately I find myself having to convince myself of the truths of our faith, ex. the real presence. I cannot “feel” it anymore, I have to convince myself it’s true and real. I sin against myself and against the Lord. It happens so much I’ve almost become indifferent to it, and as such just don’t feel sorry for it anymore.

I don’t feel worthy to even pray anymore, but I know that I must, but I just cant. I feel confused and lost, trying to find the light I used to see. I will never give up, but at the same time i feel so empty. Can anyone relate to this? Does anyone have any useful comments?

God have mercy on me, and on all of us!


#2

revelation,
Sin will make you lose your sense of Jesus’ presence and repeated sin dulls your conscience so that you no longer feel sinful. Discouragement also does this; when you feel like you’re never going to get it right, it’s easy to give up. It’s a vicious cycle. Find a kind priest you can relate to and trust. Go to confession as often as you need to in order to receive Communion regularly. Try very hard not to fall into the sins that are most problematic for you, but if you do, get back up and try again. Recognize that faith is a journey that lasts your whole life. You’re not perfect yet. But even in the best of times - when you’re not giving in to temptation and you’re living as you should, don’t depend on feelings to keep your faith alive. It’s not about feelings. The nature of the Eucharist is the nature of the Eucharist regardless of your feelings about it. The Truth of our Faith isn’t based on your feelings, either. God uses our feelings to draw us to Him - in the Old Testament God said, “I will draw them with human bands of love.” - but they’re not reliable markers long-term; feelings come and go for a lot of reasons. When the “first flush” of conversion wears off, that’s when you start to learn how to love God for real. You don’t have to feel “worthy” or never sin to seek God in prayer. Remember the story about Jesus comparing two people praying in the Temple. One was a self-righteous Pharisee who thanked God that he wasn’t like other men (sinners). The other hung back, feeling “unworthy,” and praying “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” Jesus said that he was the one who went away justified. There’s no way to overcome sin without prayer. It might not be comfortable, joyous prayer, but you must pray! Pour out your troubles, your doubts and your failings in prayer. Jesus understands everything.


#3

Good advice from FickleFreckled. Our faith is not about feelings. It seems that God may be moving you quickly from the “baby milk” of joyous feelings in prayer, to the “grownup food” of sharing in Christ’s suffering. Don’t give up.

Do frequent the sacraments, especially weekly confession until you get your problematic sins under control with the help of the grace of that sacrament. Frequent Mass and Communion (even daily if you can manage it, as long as you do not receive Communion in the state of mortal sin) is a great help too.

The website trueknights.org/ may be of help to you. (They seem to be under construction right now, you may be able to find a way to navigate into the meat of their website, or check back later.)


#4

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