Sorry for the rambling and harsh nature of this post. I’m seeking your help and don’t know how else to say it except to just “spit it out” as best I can. (There isn’t a very clean way to vomit, in a manner of speaking…)
I’ve been suffering for a while now. I’m sick of praying to an absent God, I’m sick of Christian doctrine that is not understandable, I’m sick of the suffering. I don’t know what to think, except that God not existing seems to “fit the data” just as well as the Christian doctrine of a God who lets his followers suffer, or actually causes them to suffer more – a theology of the God of Abraham being malicious fits the experiential data we have as well, does it not? Fr. Serpa likes to refer people to the Lord’s Passion, to Good Friday, to “learn how much God loves us”, but we can also conclude from it that God loves suffering so much that he became Man just to experience it for himself. All of God’s blessings, happy circumstances we like to call “answered prayer”, then, are just temporary reprieves to let the torture victim recover a bit, to prolong his life so God can “squeeze more suffering” out of him.
I’m sick of this life; I’m sick of living in an evil world, isolated from both God and man. My relationships with both appear to be “all in my head” – priests say sometimes in Confession that “the reality is there, God is there, regardless of how you feel”, but such an invisible reality contradicts how God has made us, as physical, experiential beings. Our reality is experienced, not “thought”, and God seems more in the realm of imagination than in experience – again, see how random suffering and blessing is; there appears no correlation between being a good Christian and having a good life; it all seems a mental game, going to Mass on Sunday to encourage one to live another week on this miserable planet.
So I try to study history, right? That’s Christianity’s “big claim to truth”, is that Jesus really existed, really taught and healed, really was murdered and really rose from the dead. The event happened so far ago, evidence so far removed, that it is impossible to know it with certainty. We’re not even sure where the writings in the Bible came from (except perhaps the Torah and Moses?).
Miracles happen, right? Like Our Lady of Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun? I’m still trying to find evidence and reliable accounts of them, and so far it’s been sketchy, at best. The first healing of Sr. Faustina Kowalska, of a woman with a missing leg healed of lymphoma, appears coincidental – I’m not convinced that she’s been healed, or that natural processes didn’t do it – and the account only underscores the lack of mercy of God, for this woman and her husband to have such a miserable life. If God were merciful, we would be spared of evil like this couple had to go through (health and financial problems).
The Miracle of the Sun is likewise frustrating: Why would God reveal such things only to a few? Why would a remarkable feat not be better documented, received more worldwide attention? The story does not seem different from UFO sightings. And if it is true, then it only underscores that Mary wants us all to be miserable on behalf of those causing our misery. Again, nothing to life except to suffer and die for a God whom we apparently must imagine to experience.
I suppose I’m angry, bitter, hurt and resentful at God. Such strong emotions make it difficult to think logically, or to be open-minded. Regarding a child who has his feelings hurt and is close to crying, I suppose I need comfort, hugs, but there is no comfort for me. I feel that I’ve gotten all the help there is; found every explanation there is; received the Sacraments; lived according to the Church teachings (and done what I could to help the poor); tithed and prayed; Nothing. God does not speak to me; I feel I survive in spite of God; God is absent, and I remain miserable on melancholy, happiness brief and fleeting.
And so what do I do? Live one day at a time, trying to be the best Catholic I can be because I want God to exist, but I am left bitter and hurt, because I am miserable and God has left me standing outside in the rain. I’m tired of the rain. I want to go inside … As a kind of analogy, I feel like God’s thrown me out of his house (heaven) and has locked me outside at night in a thunderstorm (evil Earth) and won’t let me back in. Clearly, I can’t smash a window and try to get back in by force (suicide); I could try seeking shelter in other ways, like taking drugs so the thunderstorm isn’t as bad (secular hedonism), knocking on the door of Pride (I’ll follow any agreeable temptation) or of Islam (their theology may not be rooted in history, but at least it’s intelligible, unlike Christianity; might as well go with one more pleasing if neither is rooted in reality) …
My point is that I’m tired of suffering in such an evil society, but God won’t let me escape. So rather than a loving Father, God seems to enjoy watching me suffer, and any successes appear in spite of God, or else because he wants to prolong my life so I might suffer more.