Does anyone else struggle to love their fellow man correctly? Anyone else struggle with not getting annoyed by a majority of people? I feel like this is something I need to work on still and felt I was doing better with this. But than you meet some people and it is extremely difficult to hide your disdain. I feel like I am failing God because I struggle to connect with most people and would rather be left alone.
I have times where I struggle with this. I think the good news is that you recognize this about yourself and see it as something to work on. God also knows the type of personality quirks he’s give you (and me, and everyone else). The important thing is that we follow Jesus and carry our crosses. If we lay them down and go another way instead, then we’re in trouble.
You’re certainly not alone. Charity towards my fellow man is my biggest fault too. I don’t mean in the sense of donating to the poor or anything, I’m fine with sending the missions a check. My struggle is with not getting annoyed with others, as you said.
Some days it seems like God’s beloved human creatures, including boatloads of my fellow Catholics, are on a crusade to just needlessly bug me as much as they possibly can in a 24 hour time window. I am called to love them anyway but I’d be lying if I didn’t say the struggle was real. I am constantly asking God for help with this.
My mother was the same way and would often cite passages of the Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, her patron saint, where St. Therese would be going on about how some other sister in her convent drove her nuts by making some annoying little noise with her teeth at silent prayer time, that sort of thing, and how St. Therese was always working hard and praying for God’s grace to overcome her annoyance.
Hey my long lost twin!
I’m with ya brother/sister. Kindness and patience don’t come natural, and the lack of them cause me to sin a lot. And to also have distorted conceptions of others.
It’s a struggle. Keep at it. Pray for and practice kindness. Start with small things.
A game changer for me was to really contemplate and take responsibility for my own sins and shortcomings. I put this off for years, but they still weighed me down. Honest self appraisal + the knowledge of God’s mercy for you may help you have patience with others.
The love for humanity is sometimes not emotional. It is an act of the will.
One thing that I have trouble dealing with is cruelty. Such a thing makes a human being seem inhuman. Hard to love that.
Yes, at times it is a struggle to love others. I can give my irritation to God and ask Him to change it. I can will to love the person who causes me to be upset, and desire no harm to come to them and that Our Lord enlightens them.
I still do not feel emotional warmth for them; I ask the Lord to love them through me.
Love doesn’t have to be a “feeling”, it is in the will to love. The Lord gives us His peace.
It is a battle well worth fighting because it helps us to grow in the graces that the Lord wants to give us, and others.
I can’t say I do this will, but I find some sayings of the Saints helpful. I like this quote by St. Josemaria Escriva:
Don’t say: ‘That person gets on my nerves.’ Think: ‘That person sanctifies me.’
I also find this line of thinking from St. Anthony Mary Claret helpful:
Tell me, if you had a very dear brother who was so sick that he was delirious and in his fever insulted you and said every foul thing in the world to you, would you abandon him? I’m sure you wouldn’t. You’d feel all the more sorry for him and do everything you could for his recovery. Well, that’s the way I feel about sinners. The poor creatures are just delirious. That makes them all the more deserving of compassion. I can’t abandon them. I have to work for their salvation and pray to God for them, saying with Jesus Christ, "Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing or saying.’
In general, it’s good to remember that “we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). Evil persons are more like POWs in this war–and the corporal work of mercy to visit or ransom prisoners can have a spiritual dimension too, that is working or praying for the liberation of those imprisoned by sin.
“Love” doesn’t mean like. “Love” doesn’t mean forgive. “Love” doesn’t mean trust. “Love” doesn’t mean have to hang out with, cuddle with. If we love our fellow man, we want heaven for them, so we pray for them to become the person God created them to be and for them to make it to heaven some day. That’s it. So we pray for them, give God any anger or hurt we may have toward them and let God take it from there.
Given that any nuber of saints struggled with the issue, I consider myself in good company.
Sometimes I just really need to get alone and quiet and remember how much God loves them.
Don’t worry, it’s not all that abnormal to feel how you’re feeling now. Even Saint Augustine of Hippo, a great theologian in the Church, once called humanity a “damned mass”.
One way to get perspective is to read some stories about humans being kind-hearted to each other. It’ll remind you of the better side of Adam’s descendants.
By what you wrote, it appears that you lack humility. Ask the Holy Spirit for more humility and then you’ll find it a lot easier to avoid getting annoyed by others.
I used to have the same issues that you did, but the more humility I received and the more humble I became I found it a lot easier to love strangers and not get annoyed by their behaviors, though it’s still a work in progress for me (I can still get very annoyed when I’m driving by other drivers behaving badly).
But overall, I no longer find the majority people annoying and I’m at ease among people who in the past would annoy me a great deal.
The other thing that helps me is that I’m conscious when dealing with other people that they too were created by God and that God loves them as much as God loves me, so I should make a conscious effort to love them too (to the best of my ability).
It is hard indeed. I have to pray for patience and self-restraint constantly. The worst are real life preachy atheists. 99% of the time I walk away from them.
Welcome to the human condition! We are all made this way… Just do your best, and God will help you make good decisions. Offer up your bad feelings to God.
Yep this is one of the things I struggle with, a general hatred and disdain for humanity. Unfortunately, this mess of an election has only intensified those feelings (despite the fact that I’m Canadian)…
This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.