need encouragement

i am a convert of 13 yr. i used to be very faithful attending Mass. that has not been so for several years now. some weekends i don’t get to attend because i work. my husband is not catholic. he does attend where our granddaughters go to sunday school at a Christian church. I have been going through depression for about 3 yr now and am currently on medication for that. i did not attend mass this past weekend and then i end up feeling so guilty for not going. sometimes i feel hopeless and just plain lazy.

Hey! Everything is ok, you just need a faith lift! This happens from time to time, our spirits are not always high, and this is in any faith. Luckily you are Catholic. So I suggest going to the parish and speak to a priest about you. He can suggest a program that is sure to make you think, make you revive your faith, and make you contribute. I do not mean contribute in a monetary sense, I mean in a time sense, once a week or once a month. Time spent reflecting on the lord and time in communion with other parishioners is time well spent, enriching, and keeps you focused. Maybe if he finds talent in you, he might suggest beginning a special focus group because there is other people out there just like you and you can help them in turn.

This faith has so much going on. I only blame myself for not getting out there more often. If you are unable to make it out of bed, this is a clear sign of depression. The church has so many traditions and rich truth in history; it is often difficult to take it in, so I am constantly relearning so I can keep all the info fresh in my memory. I grew up in prayer teaching myself the correct form of the Rosary, novenas, and watching EWTN for updates, but now they have high and low Latin masses, reasonable classes in Greek and Latin, divine office prayer group, divine chapels, etc. So dig in and see what programs are offered around the church, maybe create one?

I also suggest taking a brisk walk outside on a sunny day for fifteen minutes, call a friend/relative to see how they are doing, make a good deed for an elder in the neighborhood, tackle that house project you always say you would get to, or do all of this. Simple things will keep you feeling refreshed and accomplished. In your prayers at night always begin with what you are most thankful for, atone for your sins, and offer your hopes for the next day. After giving it to God, it becomes a great alleviating feeling. Gloom is another way for the devil to get what he wants. Do everything in your power to reject it and ask for help along the way. That is what your priest is there for.

First off, don’t beat yourself up about it. You didn’t wake up one Sunday and say ‘today I am not going to Mass and I plan on not being faithful about it for the next five years or so’ did you? It’s gradual - kind of like putting on weight. So, be gradual in coming back. You’ve taken the first step - seeing where you are and not being happy about it. The beauty of our faith is that you can go to confession and get a completely fresh start. If you know it will be hard, just start small by trying to pray once a day. After a while, pray more than once. After that, I bet you find getting to Mass gets a lot easier. In time, you’ll look back on this post you made and be amazed at how far you’ve come. It took a while to get where you are so don’t expect to transform everything overnight, just make a promise to yourself to take the next baby step and I bet you find God will provide more than enough grace for that.

OLHope has some good suggestions, but you may not be ready for that big of a jump yet. Be content with who you are and what your gifts are and most importantly, know that God loves us no matter where we’re at in our spiritual journey.

You should never lose hope - easier said than done I know. Got a crucifix in your house? Anytime you feel hopeless, just look at it and marvel at the perfect love expressed there for YOU. Those arms are outstretched to hold you close to Him, all you have to do is ask for His embrace.

God Bless!

Oh honey, you’ve got nothing to feel bad about. Depression will do that to you. It’s a vicious sickness that feeds off itself and its symptoms. Try doing things that make *you *feel good, that make you feel happy. Watching a funny movie or TV show never fails to perk me up. As another poster pointed out, you didn’t stop going simply because you “decided” to not have faith. God can see into your heart. He knows you are a sincere person that just needs a little help. And trust me, He’s right there with you. I stopped going to church for eleven years and God was right by my side the whole time, even though I didn’t always realize it :wink: .

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