In the past two weeks, for reasons which I have no idea, my faith has been shaken terribly. I’ve found myself doubting everything that I’ve believed in for years. I’m finding myself in a constant depression over this sudden lack of faith in anything. I’ve been discerning God’s call to the priesthood for years now and all of a sudden, just like that, I’m hearing nothing from God. This has rattled more horribly, I don’t understand how one day I could be 100% convinced of my faith and happy to waking up the next feeling confused and lost. I really, really need some prayers to get me through this struggle. I still pray because in my heart of heart’s I know the Church and Jesus Christ are true but I just feel so lost…
Dear Lord, please let this good soul know that his faith is merely being exercised by You. He sounds like he is going through a dark night of faith, like I went through in Oct… May this person keep going to Mass and obeying Your commandments and just give his assent to believe in You (even though he may not really see any proof you exist) until you grant him the ability to have his faith strengthened and renewed. May he just believe that Jesus, Your Son died for him and may the life of St. Padre Pio offer him some support that Jesus is real and lives today in his Church and saints. Amen.
I think we’ve all been there. This passage from a book called Handbook for Today’s Catholics says: “When in doubt, ‘Seek and you will find.’ The person who seeks by reading, discussing, thinking, or praying eventually sees light. The person who talks to God even when God is ‘not there’ is alive with faith.”
Do not worry. I think what you’re experiencing is something most of us go through sometimes. The fact that you’re still praying even though you’re in doubt shows that you’re a true believer. It could be a test of your faith aimed at drawing you closer to Him.
Thank you guys! I know I have a long journey ahead of me and I’m climbing a steep slope right now but as I took my usual evening walk I began to reflect on the Scripture passage of the Road to Emeaus. I thought about how alone Cleopas and his companion must have felt, knowing that Jesus had died. I thought about how Christ revealed himself to them after they showed their faith. It was a very comforting reflection.
Thank you guys again, and please keep me and all of the Church in your prayers,
Dear One, remember that even and especially the saints experienced dryness to test their love. Gold is tested in fire, and there is much less merit in suffering with heavenly compensations! The life of a priest is hard: lonely and bitter at times. If this is your calling, you must be strengthened for the task. Don’t worry, you will be compensated amply for these dry times with times of great joy and grace, as well. I give you these words of St. Theresa to ponder:
“Pray for me,” she (Therese) would often say, “when I implore Heaven to come to my aid; then it is that I feel most forsaken.”
"And in this desolation how do you avoid discouragement? they asked her.
“I turn to the good God, to all the Saints, and I thank them just the same. I think they wish to see to what point I shall carry my trust…But not in vain have these words of Job sunk into my heart: “Though he should kill me yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15) I acknowledge it was long before I reached this degree of abandonment; Our Lord has taken me and placed me there!” (Story of a Soul, Ch. XII)
I enclose you in the Sacred and Merciful Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Lord, we beg of Thee the grace of being faithful unto death, evermore conforming ourselves to Thy most holy will. If our faith shifts as temporary waves, rush to our rescue without any hesitation. May Your Presence permeate every moment of our lives, enabling each of us to shine as a flame of faith.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you amongst women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death–including AdvanceAlways, all who are struggling with a lack of faith, and all who feel shaken, in doubt, depressed or lost.
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, during your Blessed time on Earth, even you had to struggle with faith, with feelings of emptiness–and your perseverance is an inspiration to us all, pray for us.
All the martyrs that died for their faith in Christ, pray for us.
O Christ Jesus,
when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.
One of the best priests I ever met started doubting the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and ended up running away from the rectory three times … only to come humbly back each time knocking on the door asking forgiveness. Each time he was forgiven. His belief eventually became firm. He seemed pretty holy to me at the time I knew him, and his sermons … and writings … were excellent. On the truth of purgatory, for example … PURGATORY IS REAL, he told us.
He had faith the size of a mustard seed, he told us, and that got him through.
Hang in there and I’ll pray for you.
In the words that appear throughout Sacred Scripture, do not fear. Like you, AdvanceAlways, I, too, have had moments of doubt like what you have described. Even now that I am temporarily unemployed, I’ve occasionally wondered why I’ve been so alone. I shall pray for you that you overcome these overwhelming feelings. :gopray: :gopray2:
full of Grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the Fruit Of Thy Womb,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.
Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to thy
never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come,
knowing that thou art doing for them better things than we
can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Thank you all so much. I really feel as if your prayers are helping. I woke up today with a comforted feeling, like I knew the Lord was there and watching over me. I do believe.
Praying with today’s Bible verses from the Liturgy of the Hours:
Mid-morning reading (Terce) Wisdom 19:22 ©
Lord, in every way you have made your people great and glorious. You have never disdained them, but stood by them always and everywhere.
Noon reading (Sext) Deuteronomy 4:7 ©
What great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him?
Afternoon reading (None) Esther 10:3 ©
The single nation, mine, is Israel, those who cried out to God and were saved. Yes, the Lord has saved his people, the Lord has delivered us from all these evils, God has worked such signs and great wonders as have never happened among the nations.
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death.