Well, it's finally happened

My spiritual well has gone dry. My faith is nothing more than pharisaical rule following. I don’t dwell on anything good anymore, it’s just poisonous negativity, fire-and-brimstone thinking. Any help I try to get, all I DO get is “rosary! rosary! pray! pray! pray! rosary!”.
I switched from “cotton candy” Catholicism to the “meat and potatoes”, choked on it and died. There is no joy in my life, inside the Church, outside and everywhere in between. What could I possibly do that would “true life” actually feel like, I don’t know, TRUE LIFE!?
Because where I’m standing, this faith crisis is to be a long ride and I want to get off!

Do you have a priest to speak with? Its hard to know someone’s situation online… It seems to me like maybe it could help to just think back to your relationship with God. Go to Mass, think about Jesus and try to trust in His love. Do some spiritual reading about that. Try to maybe imagine if you could see Jesus… He would not be angry with you, but extremely kind and tender. God bless you

Hang on in there, After the fire and the thunder will come the small, sweet voice…

And slow down or stop a while, Faith is not about prayer heroics, Less is often more.

I think in most instances this type of thing is a spiritual attack. I know that lately I have had blasphemous thoughts, doubts, and just general feelings that it’s hopeless, nothing I do matters and I’m bound for hell regardless.

But then I realize that’s not God talking. That’s the devil talking, trying to pull me away from my devotions and my efforts to draw closer to God.

Perhaps this is what has happened to you? Perhaps the devil saw that you were making spiritual progress and so he is trying to cause you to doubt and revert to a secular life?

I will pray for you to persevere.

I’m not sure what you expected-fun and games-honor and glory-instant sainthood-God descending upon you with the flames of The Holy Spirit?? Doesn’t really work that way. Most of us spend a lifetime seeking some level of holiness or a communion with our God.

Just because you converted doesn’t mean that you won’t have spiriitual battles or mountains to climb. Looks like the devil stuck his finger in your eye and you can only see the sand beneath your feet.

I won’t tell you to pray this or that: you already know this. Ask yourself if there is anything that YOU might do to firm up your faith. And that is what it is: faith. You can’t see it, touch it, feel it or taste it (unless it be in the bread and blood during the Mass) in the leteral sense. It is an experience that is like a seed planted, sprouted, growing and hopefuly matureing. Certainly share with your priest or confessor or even a good friend or mentor. Where you go from here is up to you and how willing you are to declare yourself to the Lord. Most of us can offer prayers and sage advice, but this the Internet, not your heart or soul. I and others can pray for you and will, but YOU must be the one to drive the car. Don’t ever rely on an automatic, driverless Tesla. You could wind up in the wrong lane. And not so funny. Peace and prayers.

Why fire and brimstone thinking when Gods mercy overcomes our sins?.. All we have to do is repent with a contrite heart. As Catholics we’re blessed to have confession for that… :slight_smile:

Whenever I feel like I’m getting spiritually dry I might read a spiritual book, the bible, watch a faith based film or go on a retreat or to confession… Maybe you’re trying too hard to get that overwhelming feeling of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit is right there all along even and most especially in the subtle moments of our lives… The scriptures says ‘be still and know that I am God’. A walk out in nature taking in Gods splendor could help.:slight_smile:

Most of us need constant reassurance ,it’s part of being human,:slight_smile:

Self-absorbed? For a time, consider allowing some volunteer work to be your prayer life. Soup kitchen, food bank, crisis shelter, you name it, The more you look upon others who are suffering, the less you feel, or even sense, your own.

Have you spent any time before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament? Go and don’t say a word. Just look at him and allow Him to look at you. He knows what you need, and it might not be what you think.

At times, faith without feelings can be a test.

Pray and ask for guidance from a priest.

:yup:

Don’t give up … don’t walk away … when we walk away from Jesus, we are the ones walking away … Jesus is still there … and Jesus is worth the fight. God Bless you.

I agree with po18guy 100%. Volunteering is a wonderful way to pray as well as help others and not be so “self absorbed” which we all tend to do at times.
Volunteering not an option at the moment? I find that simply smiling to those I see throughout the day no matter who they are helps me to let go of my egotism. Saying thank you throughout the day to all who do me a kind service is another way to pray. They may have held a door open for me. Maybe let me have a parking space etc… Thank you to my wife after dinner or if she hands me the phone when needed. Find a way to give thanks always.

 May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be well. May you be peaceful and at ease. May you be happy.

It would seem your main problem is one of scrupulosity. Isn’t that right? I think that CAF is very correct in its normal advice regarding this sort of thing. The scrupulous should find a good priest and follow his judgments to a letter, so as to combat and overcome, with God’s grace, their scrupulous tendencies.

I don’t know if you’ve heard that advice before or not, but is this something you could try to implement into your spiritual life?

IMO, the problem with “meat and potatoes” Catholicism is that it needs to only be implemented by those who are truly and sincerely acting out of a love for God. It’s the way that saints live. It can cripple most of us who, unfortunately, mistake it for the bare minimum that pleases God. All of our sins become offenses against rules, and God is just a record keeper. He isn’t a Father, He isn’t someone who cares for us, and Jesus isn’t someone who thirsts after us with His Sacred Heart.

He isn’t someone whom we love.

Why is there no joy in your life?
You have nothing you love to do?
No friends or family or acquaintances or strangers to share a laugh with? Songs to listen to? Work to do? Parks to walk in, people to help, books to read, ice cream to eat…?

Why are you not finding joy here when there is so much joy in so many little and big ways to be had, despite all the pains and difficulties we all face?

.

Sounds like you need to go back to basics: Love God. Love one another. Forget about all that other stuff.

Love God. If God seems too distant at the moment, have faith even so. Believe that He provides what you need, believe in His love and mercy. Pray in petition, and pray in thanksgiving.

Love one another. Step up your efforts to show love for the people around you. Listen to them and see that they too are struggling. Be kind. Be truthful. Look for small ways to help.

I’m praying for you. May the Holy Spirit assist and guide you always toward faith, hope, and love.

True. My priest told me once that it’s not about you FEEL. You need to be obedient even when you feel spiritual dryness. But it’s always good to ask for consolation when you are in the midst of desolation. I go in cycles of desolation where I can’t even feel like I love God…but then I will have periods of consolation where my love for God brings me to tears of joy.

Keeping you in prayers, OP.

Self absorbed? Maybe.
Rigorous? Yes I’d say so.
Depressed? Yes.
I’ve got a plank in my eye and a stick someplace else and every time I go to confession, scrupulosity will dry up any semblance of joy I have. Don’t get me wrong, I like praying. But when you pray because you feel like you must, for every single prayer request or because your conscience has gone haywire, prayer suddenly goes from a joyous moment in the day to a quick fix for anxiety. It gets redundant FAST.

Sometimes I think about less spiritual things and instead spend time asking why any of this exists, think about the calculated odds of the universe existing randomly, fine tuning, etc. and that does more for me than anything else.

I go to mass every week, confession once a month or so and pray every day but I am not at all spiritual. I always have people raise an eye when I tell them I’m religious, not spiritual (sometimes I say faithful, not spiritual). Maybe I’m weird but it’s never bothered me that my heart doesn’t leap for joy when I think about God. Maybe it should…but it doesn’t…and I think I’m pretty darn faithful.

But with all that said, I do find my feelings excited by God in other ways, one just has to recognize it. My wife and kids bring me great joy (every time I see them I thank God), a good Notre Dame game stirs the emotions, a good book, a William Lane Craig debate or podcast. And I realize that it’s God touching my emotions in those ways.

Originally Posted by scrupulousrvrt
There is no joy in my life, inside the Church, outside and everywhere in between

So you DO feel and know there is great joy in your life!! I suspect you could list more.
Good, good :slight_smile:
But then…why did you say: "There is no joy in my life, inside the Church, outside and everywhere in between" when this is not true?

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Amen to this

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