My faith is dead


I haven’t attended Mass for weeks. I don’t pray and I don’t read the Bible. I no longer practice the faith.

I feel guilty every time I miss Mass but I can’t bring myself to attend because I feel like a hypocrite. I’ve committed many sins, and the shame I feel prevents me from going back to Mass. The thought of attending confession fills me with dread because I’m embarrassed by the things I’ve done. I had a great relationship with my priest, and I feel that he will look down on me if I confess my sins. I know I need to confess, but I can’t find the humility needed to do so.

Even if I did confess my sins, I know I’d probably commit them again. Living the life of a faithful Catholic is extremely difficult, and I don’t feel up to the challenge. I have more friends when I don’t practice my faith, and my social life drastically improves. I would be happier without the faith, but I can’t leave. I fully believe in the teachings of the Church and I could never deny them.

The strange thing is that I feel peace and happiness when I practice my faith. Lonliness is the only problem I have when I stive to be a faithful Catholic. I wish I could be a faithful Catholic and have an active social life. However, my circle of friends are not Catholic, and we do not share the same morals. Being around them endgangers my faith. A lot of you will probably tell me to get new friends, but there are no young Catholics in my area. And I like the friends that I already have. Most of them are family, and I could never stop associating with them.

What should I do?


Go to Confession. Jesus is waiting for you with His Mercy. He is more anxious to forgive you your sins and fill you with His grace than you are to think of going to Him. He is always waiting for you, always ready to forgive you, always whispering, “Come to Me, I wish to forgive you! It is in My very Nature to forgive you, for I am Love and Mercy Itself.”

Do not be intimidated by the priest, either; he is but a screen between you and Jesus. Think of Jesus and of His Mercy. He died for you, to redeem you, and He would willingly die again for you every time you sin. His Love and Mercy is infinite, so go to Him.

Do not fear about possible future sins. Entrust the future to God’s Providence. The Lord will understand. For He, too, suffered temptations.


Where would St Paul be if he’d had your attitude? ‘I’ve committed the worst of all possible sins, I’ve persecuted Our Lord. He couldn’t possibly forgive me, everyone else would look down on me if I tried to start following Christ after what I’ve done …’

Isn’t it interesting that both Paul and Judas committed essentially the same sin - persecuting Our Lord and betraying Him to others who would persecute Him aren’t that different, after all. The point of distinction is that Paul didn’t doubt His mercy, His forgiveness and His ability to free us from bondage to our sins, whereas Judas did.

You know what is good for you - you know you are a better person when you practice your faith. Loneliness? Well, how is that worse than despising yourself and hanging around people who you know aren’t good for you?

Trust in Jesus, who said “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Matt 19:29)


The opinion of the priest matters nothing compared to God and your eternal salvation. The only thing that would horrify and distress your priest is that you let your pride and ‘human respect’ prevent you from coming to the Sacraments he’s given his life to offer you and others. He couldn’t care less about opinion. He does care about the souls of his people.

In the spirit of what LilyM wrote…

Apostles, pray for our restoration and faith

Dear Apostles of Jesus, many of us experience crucifixion in our lives and in the lives of dear ones, as you did. Please pray for us and guide us, so that if loss and pain engulfs others’ lives or our own, we will continue to pray and evangelise.

You were His chosen companions. Your hearts were broken and your lives shattered by the terrible betrayal and death of your great hope Jesus. He had preached love and faith; He had preached the Kingdom to which He claimed all persons are called. Defeated and disgraced with no more honour than the vilest criminal, He was tortured, executed and buried.

His words and acts now meant nothing, as all of you—except John—scattered and hid to avoid a similar fate. Disillusioned, you wondered if the last few years were a shameful mistake. Were you betrayed by your discipleship to this condemned man?

Poor men, how could you reconcile the terrible events of this Passover with the Son of God, the Saviour whom you had believed Jesus to be! How could this disgrace, loss, and failure be the end to which He, and possibly yourselves, could be destined!

**Peter, you, His appointed one, denied even an acquaintanceship with Him. How great your shock and your disillusionment when the full realisation of your perfidy assailed you! **
Only John returned to stand beneath the cross with the grieving women. Beloved John! Shaking with grief and shock, you stood there, gutted by the unbelievable tragedy unfolding before you. Faith and love supported you, yet did you not experience the same terrible emptiness and loss as your fellow apostles and other disciples?

Dear Apostles, throughout the ages, countless individuals experience in some way the crucifixion of a loved one, or of themselves, and the consequent challenge to hope and faith. They may feel emptiness, or loss of zeal. They may lose all trust in the living, merciful God.

Pray for them, for us, that in such periods we may be faithful, regardless of broken heart and anguish of spirit. Pray that we may be restored to hope, to trust, to prayer, to active service of love in the Kingdom. Intercede for such resurrection in us. Implore the Holy Spirit to come and restore our spirits, making us true apostles of Jesus. Pray that we become evangelists, enabling the Spirit to draw others into the Kingdom of God.

Thank you, Apostles of Jesus, whose weaknesses mirror our weakness, and whose restored faith, zeal, and courage, inspire us. Pray for us who are your sisters and brothers throughout the ages. Share your blessings with us. Pray that we shall receive in fullness those precious gifts of His love that He longs for us to share and distribute.

Obtain that we honour and delight our God with all heart and strength. Then, when at last our souls rise to join yours, we shall enjoy eternity at your side, honouring and loving the great Son of God, whom we once betrayed out of our fear and selfishness.


Dempsey, I’d like to keep you in my prayers and Masses. I hope you go to Confession soon.God bless you.
Jesus said, "I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.” [Luke 15:7]

“Have mercy on me, O God in Your goodness,
in Your great tenderness, wipe away my faults;
wash me clean of my guilt,
purify me from my sin.

For I am well aware of my faults,
I have my sin constantly in mind,
having sinned against none other than You,
having done what You regard as wrong.

You are just when You pass sentence on me,
blameless when You give judgement.
You know I was born guilty,
a sinner from the moment of conception.

Yet since You love sincerity of heart,
teach me the secrets of wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop until I am clean;
wash me until I am whiter than snow.

Instil some joy and gladness into me,
let the bones You have rushed rejoice again.
Hide Your face from me sins,
wipe out all my guilt.

Be my saviour again, renew my joy,
keep my spirit steady and willing;
and I shall teach transgressors the way to You,
and sinners will return.

Save me from death, God my saviour,
and my tongue will acclaim Your righteousness;
Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will speak out Your praise.

Sacrifice gives You no pleasure,
were I to offer holocaust, You would not have it.
My sacrifice is this broken spirit,
You will not scorn this crushed and broken heart.” (Psalm 51)


Lily’s posts are always so astute. I hope you take her words to heart.

I don’t know what deep, internal struggles you are wrestling with. I don’t know the specifics of what sins you have committed, why you committed them, and why you still commit them. But I urge you to pray to St. Peter, ask for his intercession: this saint, our first Holy Father, knew what it was like to have chains wrapped around his neck, dragging him down.

There’s so much I could say about how I can understand the position you are in, caught between your Catholic identity and the sins which constantly lure you within their grasp, but I won’t resort to vain recollection in order to cure something which you clearly understand all too well. I hope you won’t think that I’m being too presumptuous, but it truly sounds as if you know the answer to your dilemma because regardless of the fact that you feel as if you’ve lost faith, that your sins are too great for the Lord, that all hope is indeed lost, and that this must signify an allowance for freedom from morality, there is still that voice which is causing you to be concerned, to wonder about your salvation, to feel the weight of your sins and your inaction as a Christian.

Go to confession. Allow God to extend his merciful, saving hand to you. And then forgive yourself. Then receive the sacraments! What better way to regain faith than by approaching Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? And if you’re concerned about your sins, merely say an Act of Contrition prior to receiving Jesus in the Sacrament.

Please come home, brother! Do you know that we all need you? We are all members one of another, we are all heirs, we are all brothers and sisters, no matter how far apart we have strayed.


I’ve heard that the difference between St Peter and Judas is that Peter repented of his sin, and Judas did not. Peter became a great Apostle and the first Pope. Judas went to hell…

The reason church, and Mass, and confession, exists is because we ARE sinners :slight_smile: we can’t surprise God with our sins. If we were perfect, we would have no need of these things. They are like medicine. I’m sure the priest wouldn’t think anything of you - he’s used to hearing confessions and has heard lots of things! you can’t really surprise him. And it’s hard to judge people when you’re absolving them of sin and asking God to forgive them :wink:
I think you should definitely go to Confession and not give up! hug

Remember the story of the prodigal son? There is rejoicing in Heaven when we repent. :slight_smile: there’s no shame in repentance at all!! I’m sure priests are happy to see people coming back to God, no matter what they have done. In fact, I’ve heard some priests say that they’re actually proud of ppl for finding the courage to go to Confession and say really shameful things they’ve done.

please read this from St Faustina’s diary :slight_smile:

**The Goodness of God. **
The mercy of God, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, the voice of the Lord who speaks to us from the throne of mercy: Come to Me, all of you.

*Conversation of the Merciful God with a Sinful Soul. *
Jesus: Be not afraid of your Savior, O sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to lift yourself to me. Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with Your God of mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish his graces on you. How dear your soul is to Me! I have inscribed your name upon My hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My Heart.

Soul: Lord I hear Your voice calling me to turn back from the path of sin, but I have neither the strength nor the courage to do so.

Jesus: I am your strength, I will help you in the struggle.

Soul: Lord I recognize Your holiness and I fear You.

Jesus: My child, do you fear the God of mercy? My holiness does not prevent Me from being merciful. Behold. for you I have established a throne of mercy on earth - the tabernacle - and from this throne I desire to enter into your heart. I am not surrounded by a retinue of guards. You can come to Me at any moment, at any time; I want to speak to you and desire to grant you grace.

Soul: Lord, I doubt that You will pardon my numerous sins; my misery fills me with fright.

Jesus: My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire World. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed Myself to be nailed to the Cross; for you I let My Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy. Do not argue with Me about your wretchedness. You will give me pleasure if you hand over to Me all your troubles and griefs. I shall heap upon you the treasures of My grace.

Soul: You have conquered, O Lord, my stony heart with Your goodness. In trust and humility I approach the tribunal of Your mercy, where You yourself absolve me by the hand of your representative. O Lord, I feel Your grace and Your peace filling my poor soul. I feel overwhelmed by Your mercy, O Lord. You forgive me, which is more than I dared to hope for or could imagine. Your goodness surpasses all my desires. And now, filled with gratitude for so many graces, I invite You to my heart. I wandered, like a prodigal child gone astray; but You did not cease to be my Father. Increase Your mercy toward me, for You see how weak I am.

Jesus: Child, speak no more of your misery; it is already forgotten. Listen, My child, to what I desire to tell you. Come close to My wounds and draw from the Fountain of Life whatever your heart desires. Drink copiously from the Fountain of Life and you will not weary on your journey. Look at the splendors of My mercy and do not fear the enemies of your salvation. Glorify My mercy.


*Conversation of the Merciful God with a Despairing Soul. *

Jesus: O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy.

But the soul, deaf even to this appeal, wraps itself in darkness.

Jesus calls out again: My child, listen to the voice of your merciful Father.
In the soul arises this reply, “For me there is no mercy,” and it falls into greater darkness, a despair which is a foretaste of hell and makes it unable to draw near to God.

Jesus calls to the souls a third time, but the soul remains deaf and blind, hardened and despairing. Then the mercy of God begins to exert itself, and, without any co-operation from the soul, God grants it final grace. If this too is spurned, God will leave the soul in this self chosen disposition for eternity. This grace emerges from the merciful Heart of Jesus and gives the soul a special light by means of which the soul begins to understand God’s effort; but conversion depends on its own will. The soul knows that this, for her, is final grace and, should it show even a flicker of good will, the mercy of God will accomplish the rest.

My omnipotent mercy is active here. Happy the soul that takes advantage of this grace.

Jesus: What joy fills My Heart when you return to Me. Because you are weak, I take you in My arms and carry you to the home of My Father.

Soul: (as if awakening, asks fearfully): Is it possible that there is yet mercy for me?

Jesus: There is, My child. You have a special claim on My mercy. Let it act in your poor soul; let the rays of grace enter your soul; they bring with them light, warmth, and life.

Soul: But fear fills me at the thought of my sins, and this terrible fear moves me to doubt Your goodness.

Jesus: My child, all your sins have not wounded My Heart as painfully as your present lack of trust does - that after so many efforts of My love and mercy, you should still doubt My goodness.

Soul: O Lord, save me yourself, for I perish. Be my Savior. O Lord, I am unable to say anything more; my pitiful heart is torn asunder; but You, O Lord…

Jesus does not let the soul finish but, raising it from the ground, from the depths of its misery, he leads it into the recesses of His Heart where all its sins disappear instantly, consumed by the flames of love.

Jesus: Here, soul, are all the treasures of My Heart. Take everything you need from it.
Soul: O Lord, I am inundated with Your grace. I sense that a new life has entered into me and, above all, I feel Your love in my heart. That is enough for me. O Lord, I will glorify the omnipotence of Your mercy for all eternity. Encouraged by Your goodness, I will confide to You all the sorrows of my heart.

Jesus: Tell Me all, My child, hide nothing from Me because My loving Heart, the Heart of Your Best Friend is listening to you.

Soul: O Lord, now I see all my ingratitude and Your goodness. You were pursuing me with Your grace, while I was frustrating Your benevolence. I see that I deserve the depths of hell for spurning Your graces.

Jesus (interrupting): Do not be absorbed in your misery - you are still too weak to speak of it - but, rather, gaze on My Heart filled with goodness, and be imbued with My sentiments. Strive for meekness and humility; be merciful to others, as I am to you; and, when you feel your strength failing, if you come to the fountain of mercy to fortify your soul, you will not grow weary on your journey.

Soul: Now I understand Your mercy, which protects me and like a brilliant star, leads me into the home of my Father, protecting me from all the horrors of hell that I have deserved, not once, but a thousand times. O Lord, eternity will hardly suffice for me to give due praise to Your unfathomable mercy and Your compassion for me.


What should you do? Quit giving into the sin of despair. We all fall. The important thing is to get back up again and keep going, rather than sitting in the road crying about your banged up knee. Time for you to get up and walk it off.

Go to Confession. It doesn’t matter if you think you may commit the same sin again. What matters is that you recognize it’s a sin and have the desire to overcome it. Confession not only brings forgiveness but also provides grace to help overcome the very sins we confess.

Go to Mass. You just said you feel peace and happiness when you practice your faith. That one seems like a no-brainer to me.

As far as these friends go, if you cannot be a light in the darkness to them, and instead they drag you down, then yes, I’d get new friends. Who says they have to be young? None of these “friends” are going to be around anyway when you stand before God at your particular judgment.


I can’t add to what has already been said, but I will hold you in my prayers.


You’ve gotten good advice. You need to go to confession and tell all this to your priest. If you can’t face your own priest, go to a different church! You are making this needlessly complicated. You don’t have to be certain you won’t fall again in the same way later on, just that you’re going to give it another try and that you’re sorry, and I think you ARE sorry. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t feel so ashamed.

As far as I know, it isn’t any kind of a sin to have non-Catholic friends. You’re not supposed to keep “bad company” or friends who lead you into sin. But Catholics can fit that criteria as well! There are good friends and bad ones of every religion and no religion at all. You are NOT rendered incapable of having a social life because you can’t find other Catholics you have things in common with, and not EVERY non-Catholic will tempt you to leave your faith just by being friends. You wouldn’t bring a 6 pack to your Mormon friend’s house, would you? Then why can’t your “family” refrain from talking about things that are a temptation to you or taking you to do things that conflict with your religion? Have you even told them these things are problematic for you, or are you too worried about people who mean more to you than your own immortal soul cutting you loose for being who you are- or for trying to be who you want to be? Why would you even want them in your life if they would do that to you? If they’d ditch you for being a Catholic, then the friend they think they have is just a lie, because you ARE a Catholic even if you’re pretending to be something else when you’re around them!

Be yourself. Go to confession, go back to Mass, level with your friends if you haven’t already and if it makes no difference or they can’t find time to be with you outside of whatever it is that tempts you, then that shows you what the relationship they have with the REAL you is. That is worth knowing. Someone whose faith was dead wouldn’t come on here, post about their problem and hope they might see the glimmer of a way out of their darkness. You posted knowing full well we’d all tell you to confess and ditch any friends who endanger your soul, but you did anyway, knowing not a single soul was going to say “don’t worry about your friends or going to confession, you’re OK the way you are!” Now what does that tell you? Turn off your computer, get on your knees, and tell God you’re sorry you stayed out so late, but you’re coming back home. He left the light on for you. I’ll pray for you, too.


If I may:

Well, I suppose we have two choices in front of us. The first is the one you are on - a road of sadness where there doesn’t seem much hope for light. The second is to be happy, to go to God and not thinking of your sadness but rather of his goodness.

St Paul says “Spe Salvi”… in hope we are saved. When it comes to our lives along the Way, the Truth and the Life we will mess up - a consequence of being human :D. Yet all in all, compared to those that do not know God, we have something very special - hope. Not hope as in ‘I hope he comes back’, but rather an assured promise that we can patiently wait for and bear. This hope relates our very basis of life - the Spirit that is given to us “was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self-control.” (2 Tim 1:7).

We as humans are weak, we are frail and we are prone to evil. Normally, as in what you have been lamenting about, that would be the end of it.

How wrong we are when we consider this darkness!

Don’t you see? This is PRECISELY WHY Christ came to us - to take away the sins of the world. By his death, be took away our sin, by being linked with it, by taking it and sacrificing himself for it. It was in his resurrection that all sin was conquered, even to the effect of death itself, and was raised to new life, a new union of God.

Christ does not leave us, he most certainly does NOT hate us, for “God is love” (1 John 4:16), and if he failed to love, he would cease to be God.

Scripture tells us to “accept the strength, my dear son, that comes from the grace of Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 2:1), and Christ himself gives us “a peace that the world cannot give,” (John 14:27). We must not hold on to things such as emotions or our perceptions, because Fr Corapi said that if we focus on our emotions, then our lives are a yo-yo and the devil is holding the string! Our lives are not about despair, or anger or hurt, but about life, truth and goodness, and that stands up against emotion and guilt. We do not live int he world, but in the life of the Spirit:

“Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit” (Gal 5:25)

God wants you to live - it is why he not only created you but redeemed you. He loves you in a way none of us can fathom. Everything - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, work together to save and heal and love YOU.

In short - be happy! Accept Christ’s peace because it is not your sins that will do you harm, but leaving them untended that hurts Christ so much. YOU DO WORSE BY NOT GOING TO HIM, than the sin itself. Yet, paradoxically in our sin God draws even closer to us to save us and bring al things to himself; for with the greatest sin of Adam, we received the greatest closeness of God - Christ - God became Man, so that Man may become God.

One more thing - with regards to your social life, that is NECESSARY! Be a faithful Catholic by BEING SOCIAL! You do this, by showing to others the life that you have been given to God - the life that God wants to give to all. You know teachings of our faith, and you yourself said that you feel happy when you practice it. Be happy!! In fact, do something BETTER! Read this:

“…be an example to all the believers in the way you speak and behave, and in your love, your faith and your purity.” (1 Tim 4:12) In our lives we have just that - life. Show others what that life means to only to God but to you. We love you, and it is time to get up off the mat, and go out there fighting for Christ Jesus!

Consult not your fears, but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not about what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.
Pope John XXIII

PS - our faith can never ‘be dead’. It can be weakened, and we can be blinded by impurity, but it is still there. The idea of a dead faith is the devil’s tactics. Don’t listen to it, you are a child of God, and that means the one thing that has overcome the world is our faith.


OK, I’m going to try to give you some practical advice.

First of all, it is understandable that you are embarrassed to confess to the priest who knows you so well…been there, done that. :wink: My advice would be to find another Catholic Church in the area…even if you have to travel a bit…and go to confession there. You don’t have to go to your priest.

As for committing the sins again, yep, you probably will …especially if it’s a bad habit. Hey…welcome to the Sinners Club. However, don’t forget that you do receive grace every time you go to confession and although you may not get rid of your sins entirely, you will notice that you commit them less often.

Clearly your circle of friends are are not a circle of support. Check into parish activities…you will find friends who will support you there.

And as for your faith being dead? It is not. When I read that I thought of one of the miracles Jesus performed …everyone said that the little girl was dead…he said, she was not…she was just asleep. Your faith is not dead…it is asleep…


Confess your sins, sin no more, and commit your life to doing penance. For when penance preceeds grace follows.


Dempsey, the previous posters said everything so well that I don’t have much to add. :slight_smile:

Since you mentioned that there are no young Catholics in your area, I just thought I’d share a few links for Catholic Youth programs within the UK that I was able to locate:;cat=1

Not sure where you’re located, so I tried to provide a variety of sites. :slight_smile: Hopefully at least one of them is near you. I think that finding some joyful Catholic friends will make all the difference for you.

In the meantime, you’ll be in my prayers. Don’t give up! :slight_smile:


My dear friend
If you love your friends convert them. It can be done. Perhaps you can’t always talk to them but you can offer prayers and sacrifices for them. Our Lord is offering a pearl of great value if you will but accept his challenge. Go after the pearl. Stop loathing yourself. Forget that your a sinner. We all are. God is not so concerned with your faults or failures. He just wants to see you try, and if you fail he wants you to get straight back up. See another priest if you must but do get to confession. Your priest will not look down on you in any case. It can be a great lesson in humility for you. God does not see you as you see yourself. In his eyes your the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. It’s like when a father sees his first child just after birth but much more intense with God. God is insanely in love with you. God loves you in spite of any good or bad. God loves you unconditionally. God is love. The thing God wants from you is your love. Love him back and he’ll overlook all your sins and just try to help you grow. So get to regular confession if you can and really try to help your friends. Pray for miracles. They do happen.

God bless you and I’m praying for you:thumbsup::slight_smile:


Thank you for posting this. Where did you get this?




Hi! i agree with what the other posters have said, go to confession.

I have been in the same spot as yours years ago. Believe me, i guess mine’s even worse! But God helped me to change my ways. and i actually gained more good friends and colleagues.

God is waiting for you my dear friend. :slight_smile:


Go to confession! Dont worry the priest has heard everything before, nothing you say will shock him so there is no need to be shamefull. Once you have gone to confession remember that if you are honest and go to the confessional for the sake of God with an attitude of sinning no more all of your sins no matter how bad are forgiven and forgotten by God. The next time you recieve the Eucharist Jesus will look at you as a spotless lamb.


Trishie really said it all in the first sentence of her first post in this thread, “The opinion of the priest matters nothing compared to God and your eternal salvation.” I’d only add to that that feelings of embarrassment are temporary. I’m sure you will feel them. I sure felt them when I recently confessed to my Dad how I’ve been sinning against him through an antagonistic attitude, and anger and envy, for the last year. Embarrassment is NOTHING compared to what’s gained. It will pass. It is temporal. We also all have big pride problems, every one of us, and humility is a Christian virtue particularly fitting for you and all of us in this time of Lent. To be embarrassed is to have our pride undercut, which brings us, all on its own, closer to Christ Jesus, who was the humblest of us all.

The opinion of your priest matters nothing compared to God and your eternal salvation. Think about what you are receiving by going to Confession, in honesty and humility: The hope of Heaven! What can be compared to such a treasure? What is ANYTHING compared to such a treasure?

Just ask for forgiveness. The priest loves you, and God loves you more, and both will embrace you. You’ll feel a ton better afterward; I promise.

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