Struggling but still in the faith


#1

I have become very bitter and resentful towards the Church, and I feel that I am at a point of no return on feeling this way; because the events that have led to me feeling the way I do , and to have the views I do on the Church and Views of the Church are now what I see to be more inline with an honest reality when I have anaylized it from every stand point. I don’t think I can go back to accepting the Church as I use to know it all of my naive life,

I do enjoy mass at times, and I still attend regularly , I have come to accept that I cant change a lot in my life so I take some solace in seeing prayers answered for others and feel that has to be worth something to God.

But what good is it doing me to just go through the motions of the mass, drift off here and there, not interested in the same homilies i have heard over n over to the extent that I could write them out if one wanted me too. If there is punishment of some sort waiting for those of the faith who are not happy, and are not happy while at mass, nor are at peace with the Church nor have any joy after leaving mass, then how does the cycle end. Especially how does it end, when I take no effort to pray for myself any more because i see where my life is heading and I just cant change it. I mean I can persevere and endure that isn’t the hard part, if all the faith was, was to just stand on flaming hot coals for an hour every Sunday an etc, I could do that no problem…

Or is it just considered a cross to bare and hope that God doesnt judge one too harshly when the time comes…

I imagine I can’t be the only one who has gone through this, I am kind of curious if any saints have gone through something similar.


#2

I have no idea what happened to change your views, but bitterness usually isn’t a good thing.

When you want to give up, I believe the saints would double down.

If the devil would say, “you can’t do such harsh penalties for 70+ years” they may say, "you can’t promise me another day"
If they are taking you away from prayer, then pray twice as hard/much.

Say the Rosary every day. That is my advice.

My next piece of advice is about what you have said.

The main part of mass is not the homily. It’s the Eucharist, God made present.

And, mass is also about giving ourselves to God, similar to how He is giving us Him in the Eucharist.


#3

“…nor will He extinguish the smoldering wick…” It is quote i take comfort in for i feel as if that is all that is left of my faith, a smoldering wick. What do you mean by “your lot in life”

Is where your life is headed your goal in life? If not, with such an attitude you will end up making choices that lead to where you seem to think your life is heading. With a goal centred attitude one makes choices aimed towards their goal.


#4

My friend If as you seem to indicate you are unable to find “happiness” in GOD"S Real Presence; you’re looking for the wrong thing:thinking:

MASS is ALL about God; Godly Worship and NOT about us.

PRAY very much my friend

Patrick


#5

Other than the bitterness part, it sounds like you are experiencing “spiritual dryness.” You may also hear it called “aridity.” The bitterness you are feeling is probably making it worse, but it would probably be pretty yucky anyway.

Pretty much every Catholic, and particularly most of the saints who have had mystical experiences, has had periods when they “are not happy, and are not happy while at mass, nor are at peace with the Church nor have any joy after leaving Mass.” It is part of the spiritual life.

St. John of the Cross explains it very well in The Ascent of Mount Carmel. Basically, there are times when the soul does not perceive God’s presence, even though He is really very close. At these times, He is helping us grow in faith by making us do more stuff without His (open and obvious) help. This is not fun, but neither are most times when we have to start exercising harder, or studying something on a new plane of difficulty.

If that’s what it is, you just have to gut through it. You keep going to Mass and continue your daily routine. You don’t make any radical changes, if you can help it, because you’re not really in a fit state to make changes. You don’t add new prayers, because you are already busy with all this spiritual dryness work. You just keep going.

And after a while, all the joy comes back. You start to live in a more mature faith, you perceive God’s workings in the world more clearly, and you get some wisdom.

But it’s still pretty unpleasant. And you’ll probably go through periods of spiritual dryness at various times in your life, because that’s just how it works.


#6

I kind of find it hard to believe God wants unhappy people sitting in the pews. what is the point of having someone who has no joy left in life to do something over and over again, just because as you say it is all about God. IF i have no joy or happyiness and get no peace or joy from being at mass then what is what difference does it make being all about God and Godly Worship. It isn’t like i go to be entertained. An if one cant find happiness in Gods’ rea presence then where does one find it.


#7

Breathing isn’t always all fun and games, but I’m kinda attached to doing it over and over again… :wink:

That said, even in times of spiritual dryness you’re allowed to attend a different parish and get exposed to different pastors and homilies. Are there not many parishes where you live?


#8

Thank you Mintaka, that , makes sense, it has been a few years, being this way, but at least that answer makes sense to me.

I often dwell on praying the Rosary, yet I just haven’t done it in so long, every time I think I am going to, it doesn’t happen, and dunno… maybe I will get back to praying the Rosary eventually.


#9

idifacs_john – Here’s a link to The Ascent of Mount Carmel.

However, you should check to make sure that you’re not physically ill or depressed, if you’ve been feeling this way for so long. Vitamin D deficiency, for example, can make it hard to feel any mental happiness. It won’t hurt to go to a doctor and get a checkup.


#10

You have not specified the “thing” that has occurred to make you embittered. A breakup? Divorce? Illness? Loss of job? Something usually triggers all of this. If not, then you are suffering from a crisis of faith. A spiritual attack even. Again, when we are in such a state, we are wrapped up in ourselves. We need to get outside of ourselves. We would all be much more humble if we saw ourselves as others - as God - sees us. Not a pretty sight.

In other words, none of this is the Church’s fault. That leaves only one other source, and you have 100% control over that.


#11

The thing about the mass is that it isn’t for you. No one should be going to mass simply because it is supposed to make him happy. Mass is about offering sacrifice to God and it is for God’s sake, not our own. It is even more beautiful to continue going to mass when one does not feel compelled to because it is a message to God that you love and adore him so greatly that you praise him at mass even when you don’t want to be there. Many saints went through a “dark night of the soul”. Mother Teresa did not feel God’s presence for many many years. It was extremely difficult for her, but she did not give up. It is a test of faith to not feel God’s presence. What good is faith if you only have it when things are obvious and easy to accept? Faith is truly tested in the hard times. We need faith most when we feel God the least.


#12

Sometimes I find it easier to keep up with the daily rosary if I follow along with a live facebook video. There are many pages that do the live rosary. I generally follow the one put on by the facebook page Classic Catholic.


#13

I feel like I was the one that written this post lol

I’m quite resentful of the church/God and I can’t seem to believe when people act as if he’s all loving to every single person. It’s also annoying how I know I’m going to hell so ‘what’s the point in trying anyway’

But is there a particular issue that makes you feel this way. For me there are some so I know what exactly is my problem with God. What about you…? If you say, you might get some good help here. Maybe there are stuff you don’t really know about and sharing it here might help


#14

My FRIEND, you missed my POINT [singular

Mass is the ONLY place to can confront both your issues with God and actually come “face to face” with GOD. [Sae for Eucharistic Adoration.

DON"T give up on GOD just because He’s testing you

Pray very much

Patrick


#15

GOD [think about this FACT] loved YOU enough to become a mortal like US in every way but sin; then suffered His Passion because He loves YOU; and you don’t think God Is LOVE because He’s testing you to see IF YOU also love Him…

My FRIEND, you might want to PRAY about that.

God Bless you, and I’ll be praying for you too

If you’d share your WHY just maybe you will find some relief here.

Patrick


#16

We seem to have a subtle issue in this thread. There seems to be a good degree of emphasis on emotions: feeling “happy, joyful, at peace, enjoying”.

That is part of the problem of language, as we so often speak of love when what we mean is a warm, fuzzy feeling rather than what St Paul tells us is what love is.

Loving one’s parents sometimes involves emotional fuzzy feelings. Having spent several years with my mother as she slipped farther and farther into short term memory loss was not about fuzzy warm feelings. It was about honoring her when her stubbornness came to the surface; when she asked for what seemed like the umpteenth time "What did we (just do, come from, eat, talk about…). Loving her was a task, one that required patience, and one that required that I adapt to a situation far different than, say, 10 years before.

Going to Mass is an activity which requires us to put something in; and often without expecting something (feelings) back. We go to worship God. It is work; it requires us to empty ourselves (be “other” directed), As we approach Christmas, a time often laden with emotional peaks an valleys (and for too many, mostly valleys), we need to look upon the Christmas scene as the beginning of Christ’s journey to the Cross.

It is not wrong to benefit from warm fuzzies. It is, however, a great, if not complete misunderstanding of what Mass is about, what worshiping God is about, if we are focusing on our feelings. Feelings come and feelings go. What we should be striving for is learning, a bit at a time, what it means to love, and gaining experience in doing so.

I had to struggle at times with my mother’s dementia. I would have gladly traded that for boring, repetitive homilies. Life often is a struggle; and a whole lot of that struggle is overcoming our innate tendency to self-absorption, and learning to be other directed.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

In short, it is not about fuzzies. Likewise neither is worshiping God.


#17

Happiness is an emotion. Sometimes we feel that emotion, sometimes we do not. We are told not to be ruled by our emotions.


#18

You have stated your situation well. Though it should not be, your situation is common in the life of a Christian, that sometimes we would be bitter and resnetful toward the Church and even question her.

You have said it, but the answer would still lie in perseverance. Many saints had gone through it as well and they perservered and that’s why they were saints.

Resentment and bitterness, especially toward the Church is a major problem. In some ways, it is a sin, that’s why it is a big problem in our spiritual life. Sin will always bring us down - so you can see its effect - indifferences and lack of belief and joy, all of which designed to pull you away from the Church and thus from God.

My advice would be for you to examine the cause of your bittenrness and try to be fair to yourself and the Church, which you are against, in this case. Try to differentiate between the people in the church and God.

Many times after much reflection and prayers (do not under-estimate the power of prayers), we usually find that the Church is not at fault. She is always there, a conduit of God’s grace who want to give good things to us.

May God bless you and that you may experience His healing love and grace.


#19

Collectively, sure. But I have yet to see proof that he loves very personally/individually tbh. Maybe for some, definitely


#20

So maybe We ought NOT be testing GOD.

Pray very much; namely, Confession and the Eucharist and KNOW that God does answer ALL prayers BUT has 3 options:

Yes

No

Not NOW

And because He does LOVE each of us personally, He’ll pick what is TRULY best for you.

God Bless,

Partick


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.