My faith's going. Comments?


#1

Alright, so I'm not all that sure why I'm even posting this, but I just thought maybe someone could get through to me.

I'm catholic and all that jazz, but things are changing...

I can't tell you the last time I really prayed, as in actually wanted to be praying. I go to mass every weekend and I don't do anything crazy, but it doesn't feel right. I miss the times when God was all I thought about and everything else just didn't matter. I even was considering becoming a nun. Now, I go through my everyday routine and I'm thinking more. Wondering. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a different religion. (Now, I highly doubt I'd leave the church, but I just thought I'd throw that in there.) I've considered trying meditation (like with incense and the sort) but that seems like it would have the potential to harm my faith in its entirety, so I haven't done it yet. I even wonder about drugs. But again, I'll never do it. Just throwing it in there.

Now, I've thought about sitting down and just telling God all this stuff, but then I say to myself, 'what good will that do?' because I've been through this before. I feel like I'm straying away and then when I decide to come back, prayer is mentally and emotionally painful. I hate it. I go through a period of depression and I question God about everything. It will just feel like he's sitting there staring at me, not saying a word and not welcoming me. And eventually it will disappear and I feel on fire with God and he's right there at my side. But only for a month or so and it starts all up again. I guess this time I just got to the point where I assume that's how it's always going to be and if that's the truth, then it's just not worth it...

Then there's that side of me that says that God's not like that and if I feel that way, then it's only because I'm doing something wrong. So, now I'm kind of just waiting for Him to come and get me. If I don't do anything about it then maybe he'll come to me. I want to go to Him, but I'm scared. So, instead I turn to music and solitude. I'm a bit depressed, but it's better than what I've been through before.

I don't know how clear this whole post is, and judging from my previous posts on this website, I probably won't get much response. And I'll still be sitting here slowly losing my faith until it's all gone. So I really hope this post does something for me...

But if not, thanks anyway.


#2

Hi, there’s one thing that often works for me when I feel like I’m losing my faith… and that’s to pray - whether I feel like it or not - and really TRUST God when I’m praying. just tell Him everything. You asked what good will that do. It can open you up to God, and He’ll give you some peace, and then you’ll hear His voice better. When we lack faith, that closes us up to God so that’s why we don’t know how to get out of the situation, cause we don’t have the grace to get out… .and sometimes that’s how people lose faith. I suggest just telling God everything, with trust, and really be open and honest with Him… don’t just pray, but believe that He is hearing you. He told St Faustina: “tell Me all, My child, hide nothing from Me, because My loving Heart, the Heart of your best friend, is listening to you.”

God bless :hug1:


#3

Thanks for the response. I understand what you’re saying, but I’m just scared that if I pray, I’ll only end up feeling worse, because that’s usually what happens. Maybe it’s because I’m not praying right. Any suggestions?


#4

Greetings and peace be with you cmbertrand, so many of us struggle


Faith is a journey always one day at a time, knowing that our God holds each and every one of us in the palm of his hand. I feel we struggle almost daily to some degree right up to death.


I guess I weakened and left the church when I was a teenager, only to return at the tender age of fifty. Looking back truthfully to the time I moved away from the church, I feel it was because I did not want to follow the teachings, but rather go off and have a good time.


When I came back I was troubled about the things I had done, and could I be forgiven. At times when I felt troubled by my sins, then I could not pray, and felt ashamed. It is a struggle trying to reconcile my own shortcomings, knowing that Jesus died for me, so that my sins will be forgiven.


I was searching for God some years ago, in a kind of academic way. Until a friend said in order to find God, you have to do SOMETHING.


Over the years this has inspired and encouraged me to engage more in church activities. In helping others, you also grow in faith somehow.


Blessings


Eric



#5

Sounds like maybe other things are going on in your life and you're attributing that to God and your perceived loss of faith. Remember, as hard as it can be, God's time is not our time. God never just sits and looks at us - there IS a plan. God also doesn't ever *not *answer prayer. Sometimes He says "not right now" or "wait", sometimes He says, "yes" and sometimes He says "no", but He never ignores us. Prayer is your relationship to God - it's how you talk to Him and how He presents Himself to you. If your prayer life is painful, ask yourself why that is - what's making it painful.... Are you ashamed of things or have sins you need to confess? Or are you asking for things in your life that aren't in your best interest? Spend time in front of Him in Eucharistic Adoration. You'll be amazed at how much He talks to you. Continue Mass - include daily Mass if you're able - and just be open to Him and His will in your life.


#6

[quote="cmbertrand, post:1, topic:177525"]
Alright, so I'm not all that sure why I'm even posting this, but I just thought maybe someone could get through to me.

I'm catholic and all that jazz, but things are changing...

I can't tell you the last time I really prayed, as in actually wanted to be praying. I go to mass every weekend and I don't do anything crazy, but it doesn't feel right. I miss the times when God was all I thought about and everything else just didn't matter. I even was considering becoming a nun. Now, I go through my everyday routine and I'm thinking more. Wondering. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a different religion. (Now, I highly doubt I'd leave the church, but I just thought I'd throw that in there.) I've considered trying meditation (like with incense and the sort) but that seems like it would have the potential to harm my faith in its entirety, so I haven't done it yet. I even wonder about drugs. But again, I'll never do it. Just throwing it in there.

Now, I've thought about sitting down and just telling God all this stuff, but then I say to myself, 'what good will that do?' because I've been through this before. I feel like I'm straying away and then when I decide to come back, prayer is mentally and emotionally painful. I hate it. I go through a period of depression and I question God about everything. It will just feel like he's sitting there staring at me, not saying a word and not welcoming me. And eventually it will disappear and I feel on fire with God and he's right there at my side. But only for a month or so and it starts all up again. I guess this time I just got to the point where I assume that's how it's always going to be and if that's the truth, then it's just not worth it...

Then there's that side of me that says that God's not like that and if I feel that way, then it's only because I'm doing something wrong. So, now I'm kind of just waiting for Him to come and get me. If I don't do anything about it then maybe he'll come to me. I want to go to Him, but I'm scared. So, instead I turn to music and solitude. I'm a bit depressed, but it's better than what I've been through before.

I don't know how clear this whole post is, and judging from my previous posts on this website, I probably won't get much response. And I'll still be sitting here slowly losing my faith until it's all gone. So I really hope this post does something for me...

But if not, thanks anyway.

[/quote]

There's plenty of ways to convert your qualms into things that are fruitful and beneficial.

  1. Re: Different religion - One fundamental question everyone should ask is, "Which system of beliefs about reality is true?" Some popular belief-systems include Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, atheism, agnosticism, rationalism, fideism...the list goes on. Many of them make contradictory claims, and hence, they cannot be simultaneously true. If someone is right, someone else is wrong.

Adhering to a system can be simple, but defending it is no walk in the park. However, there are a few basic tools you can use to discern truth, like logic and reasoning. I'd highly recommend picking up an apologetics book, like Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft. It's a philosophical defense of the faith that you might find interesting.

  1. Re: Lack of clarity about God's nature - In a couple of paragraphs, it sounded like you were a bit unclear about the nature of God. You don't know how He feels about your situation and what He will do based on your given state. However, you might be taking stabs in the dark at this point. Once again, I'd highly recommend obtaining an apologetics book. Of course, don't just pick up one - pick as many as you'd like! And don't just pick up books with the word "apologetics" on the cover. There's plenty of other good reading, too.

Your uncertainty should not deter you from looking for answers. If anything, you should look for the ones you want. (Weird analogy: If you don't search for advice, hints, or clues when you have a difficult math problem, only point deductions will result.)

Oh, and I wouldn't panic about the meditation yet. I do some on occasion, but solely to improve my physical and mental health.

If anything is unclear, please let me know. I wish the best.

-KrazyKaiju


#7

[quote="cmbertrand, post:1, topic:177525"]
Now, I've thought about sitting down and just telling God all this stuff, but then I say to myself, 'what good will that do?' because I've been through this before. I feel like I'm straying away and then when I decide to come back, prayer is mentally and emotionally painful. I hate it. I go through a period of depression and I question God about everything.

[/quote]

I certainly can identify with what you are saying here, I think it is something you need to take direct, positive action to combat! Do you have specific questions about your faith? Things you don't understand and therefore really believe? Are you a part of any community organisation that works altruistically for other people? Do you feel under attack by the enemy? Have you been to confession recently?

I will hold you in my heart and remember you in my prayers!


#8

also...get this book, "Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To - Divine Answers to Life's Most Difficult Problems", by Anthony DeStefano :thumbsup:


#9

All the previous suggestions are good. I would also suggest talking to a priest. Not necessarily go to confession, but just ask for an appointment to tell him what you just told us in your first post. Ask him for some spiritual guidance.

Also, maybe it’s time for you to “get outside of yourself”. In others words, while prayer is essential, maybe right now you need to get the focus off of yourself and your prayer life (or lack of it) and turn your focus outward. Get involved in your parish or a charitable cause; help others. Do something concrete, hands on, where you can see the results of your efforts. You may become inspired by the good works and by the people involved who are close to God.

Also, learn about your faith. Read books to stimulate your faith.


#10

Never rely on your feelings to tell you anything about God and your relationship to him because feelings are unreliable things that come and go. God is God is God no matter how you feel or what you are going through. He doesn’t change–he cannot change. His nature is constant. We humans are the one who are changeable.

I like jpjd’s suggestion to get out of yourself. All that naval gazing isn’t good for anyone. Don’t wait to feel things, do things. Remember that every thought, word and action can be prayer, not just words. God doesn’t let us feel him all the time because he wants us to reach out to him and rely on him, not on our feelings.

Never doubt the truth because you feel nothing. The truth doesn’t depend on anyone’s feelings. It just is what it is. So, let go of your way of spirituality, that of relying on your feelings, and practice your faith, instead. Do acts of charity, pray morning and evening prayer and stick with it through thick and thin. By doing these things you will have stability in your spiritual life that doesn’t depend on how you feel.


#11

Hello,

I noticed that you used the word "scared" a few times. Scared of what? Of the God who is so crazy in love with you that he made a way for YOU to spend eternity with HIM.
Praying is what you need to be doing. Communicating with your Heavenly Father. Pour out your heart to him, David did. Then listen. Write down what you hear. If you question weather what you are hearing is from God, compare it to what he has revealed to us in the past. ( the Bible)
Most importantly find a spiritual mentor.

Peace be with you.
Phil
" Ask,and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" Matt 7:7


#12

Hi cmbertrand,

I grazed over your post history, and just want to offer a few quick words:

You are young, and the feelings and experiences you have been going through are quite common. In general, you are probably experiencing more a feeling of ‘restlessness’, especially if your spiritual growth has become complacent. But take heart - there is much you can do to get a foothold on this thing called life:

  1. How well do you know your Bible? “How can you love a God that you do not know?” Some protestant friends helped me to realize that I did not know my bible as well as I should, and having undertaking an effort to remedy that (bible study - Jeff Cavins and Scott Hann’s -Our Fathers Plan) has tremendously enriched my relationship with the Holy Trinity and the Holy Family - and thus made my prayer-time much more meaningful and directed.

2.Youth group/ Lifeteen - faith based and faith enriching - any such programs in your area? At your current state in life, you should be around a bunch of others your age in a well led program that promotes fellowship, group faith learning, and wholesome fun & activities.

  1. Lives of the Saints & devotionals; now is a learning time for you, and you should be making yourself free to explore and expose yourself to as many of these as possible; avoid any tendency to ‘commit to one exclusively at the exclusion of others’ unless it really speaks to you (Gods will/providence) as at your young age you should be learning.

God Bless and we will be praying for you.

YBIC-
Gary R.


#13

[quote="Eric_Hyom, post:4, topic:177525"]
Greetings and peace be with you cmbertrand, so many of us struggle

Faith is a journey always one day at a time, knowing that our God holds each and every one of us in the palm of his hand. I feel we struggle almost daily to some degree right up to death.

I guess I weakened and left the church when I was a teenager, only to return at the tender age of fifty. Looking back truthfully to the time I moved away from the church, I feel it was because I did not want to follow the teachings, but rather go off and have a good time.

When I came back I was troubled about the things I had done, and could I be forgiven. At times when I felt troubled by my sins, then I could not pray, and felt ashamed. It is a struggle trying to reconcile my own shortcomings, knowing that Jesus died for me, so that my sins will be forgiven.

I was searching for God some years ago, in a kind of academic way. Until a friend said in order to find God, you have to do SOMETHING.

Over the years this has inspired and encouraged me to engage more in church activities. In helping others, you also grow in faith somehow.

Blessings

Eric

[/quote]

I was searching for God some years ago, in a kind of academic way. Until a friend said in order to find God, you have to do SOMETHING.

:thumbsup::thumbsup:


#14

[quote="Eric_Hyom, post:4, topic:177525"]
Greetings and peace be with you cmbertrand, so many of us struggle

Faith is a journey always one day at a time, knowing that our God holds each and every one of us in the palm of his hand. I feel we struggle almost daily to some degree right up to death.

I guess I weakened and left the church when I was a teenager, only to return at the tender age of fifty. Looking back truthfully to the time I moved away from the church, I feel it was because I did not want to follow the teachings, but rather go off and have a good time.

When I came back I was troubled about the things I had done, and could I be forgiven. At times when I felt troubled by my sins, then I could not pray, and felt ashamed. It is a struggle trying to reconcile my own shortcomings, knowing that Jesus died for me, so that my sins will be forgiven.

I was searching for God some years ago, in a kind of academic way. Until a friend said in order to find God, you have to do SOMETHING.

Over the years this has inspired and encouraged me to engage more in church activities. In helping others, you also grow in faith somehow.

Blessings

Eric

[/quote]

** Until a friend said in order to find God, you have to do SOMETHING.**

:thumbsup::thumbsup:


#15

Thanks to all of you for your replies. I want to sit down and respond to each one personally because I do have questions but I haven't got the time. I wish that reading these gave me more consolation, but as it is I'm still feeling pretty shaky.

All that I ask is that you keep me in your prayers. I don't really know where to turn at the moment.


#16

Just one question...a perfect life isn't going to happen, is it? (and I mean this life, not the next.) I think that's what I'm waiting for.


#17

As jpjd suggested go and speak to your priest!
Ask all the questions,voice your fears,your doubts and gain reasssurance from your priest being able to answer.You are in my prayers God bless.


#18

Congrats! You are no longer a Catholic by emotion, but instead a Catholic by conviction.

Your faith is being tested by your reason. The best way is actually appeal to that reason by diving into Church history and reading the writings of the Early Church Fathers, Saints, and other Theologians. Also study approved miracles and apparitions, as well as learning apologetics that you can compare to other religions. It’s okay to study the others, but you must study your own at the same time to be safe.

Everyone goes through what you are describing. You have learned the basics of our faith and are trying to figure out what to do next. Prayer may seem distant, but remember to do it daily, even if only a little bit. A single “Our Father” can go a long way if prayed earnestly. It’s okay to admit you don’t get much out of your prayer life sometimes. It’s usually a sign that God has prepared you for the next level of difficulty. So step up, and don’t be afraid to see where that leads you. If anything, it can be fun. :thumbsup:


#19

[quote="cmbertrand, post:16, topic:177525"]
Just one question...a perfect life isn't going to happen, is it? (and I mean this life, not the next.) I think that's what I'm waiting for.

[/quote]

Good grief, no, a perfect life is NEVER going to happen. Where did you get that idea? The whole idea of life is to do all things for the glory of God, and when we falter along the way we return to God in repentance. There is no perfection in there. Earth is not a place of perfection. Heaven is the place of perfection. (This is not to say that Earth is not a place of joy. There is much joy, love, and peace to be found in this life.)


#20

Hi,
What do you mean that you end up feeling worse?

Maybe it depends on what you pray for. Sometimes people get discouraged if God doesn’t right away answer their requests for a situation to improve, etc… maybe it’s better to just ask for grace, faith, and strength, ask for peace, to live out His will… and when we learn to do this, we’ll grow spiritually. Sometimes God allows trials and bad things to happen for a reason, and we need to trust Him, and remember that He knows best… even Christ, prayed that He wouldn’ thave to die…but then added: but let Your will be done.

I don’t think this life could be perfect. We’re not yet in our ‘true form’, and neither is anything else (hence suffering, death, illness, sin, etc.) But try to think of eternity, - Heaven will be perfect, and it will last forever… I sometimes wonder how we’ll look back on our lives when we’re in Heaven. Our perspective will be very different.

Here on earth, we’ll keep on being tempted to sin, and sometimes we’ll sin. We need to try and avoid this… but we also shouldn’t expect instant perfection from ourselves, because that’s a form of pride. In the end, we need God, we need God’s grace.

We shouldn’t feel anxious about past sins that we have already confessed and that have been forgiven. If sinfulness bothers you, (like it sometimes bothers me) remember how merciful God is, and that He looks at you with love…not with anger. He wants us to repent for our own sake, so we can live with Him. Try to be like a little child with Him… Have you ever read St Therese’s “Story of a Soul”? She talks about this a lot. I think it was her (or St Faustina) who said, even if she had committed all the sins of the world, she would not fear, but run to Him and beg for mercy, not doubting that He would answer.
Try to trust God…

God bless


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