What's going on with me?....


#1

Others have expressed themselves on CAF and I haven’t always been understanding or charitable, but I have the same issues. Right now I either labor under a made up God and yoke of my own imagining, or just fed up with the lack of proof for religous phenomena. Either way I’m losing faith. I don’t see the point of self-denial and believe that a religion of pure reason would be agnostic.

Theology interests me and the theory of Christianity is great, but I just want to be rid of hangups and the things holding me back from a normal life. I didn’t grow up Catholic, I grew up non-affiliated Protestant, and in rejecting God the hippie I constructed my own personal idea of God the fascist.

I project my own fears into “God’s will” and imbue explainable natural happenings with supernatural import. My fears telegraphed as God’s will have held me back in life. I’ve thought about truck driving as a simple way to improve my income, but horror of horrors a life on the road might make it harder to attend Mass. The easiest way to fix all this is just to forget God.

Others have said I need to pray more (and they’re right), but I lack faith or contrition and need to make confession too. In my other confessions I’ve operated under the notion that contrition is an act of the will, because I don’t feel the emotion. I try to do better for a while, then give up. What’s the point?

And whgat’s going on with me?


#2

i can relate you.

but you answered your own question pretty much. it is ALL the will. you must realise that feelings are unimportant, they are merely the animal part of us, they are irrational and very rarely are they correct. remember you are what you CHOOSE, not what you feel. thats the beauty of free will. it doesnt matter all that much if you dont "feel" sorry for your sins, you just have to REPENT. which is a DECISION to turn away from sin. notice that has nothing to do with emotions.
so go to confession with the resolve not to sin again. and eventually the feelings of contrition may come anyway. we are creatures of habit, so when we become accustomed to one way of life our brain and body will conform.


#3

I will only respond to one part of your post and that is the part of how it will be harder to go
to Mass. It need not be so. There are various websites that have the mass schedule for
churches all across the country. I have been to tiny churches in the middle of nowhere and
even attended mass which was "cajun" and had little understanding of the words, but I
KNEW what they were saying. I think in making the effort to find a mass to fit your schedule
you might just get more graces out of it.
Don't get discouraged. I know that many have told me of periods (sometimes long periods)
where they felt that way. Perseverance in doing what was right paid off in the long run in
a stronger deeper faith and a joy in living. (Not necessarily in having everything going your
way though.)
Hmm, I guess I responded to more than one point....
I'll pray you get direction in your struggles.


#4

Hello, josephback. I think we’ve all been in your position, to a greater or lesser degree, and for short or insufferably long periods of many years of duration, as well as on multiple occasions during our lifetimes.

Trust is extremely hard to develop, especially if we’ve been “going it alone,” using only our intellects–our ability to reason things for ourselves–to rely upon ourselves to the exclusion of assistance from others. The more self-reliant we become, the more we tend to ignore the possibility of reliance upon others, especially God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit. We become accustomed to split-second decisions, looking inward, rather than outward, for our answers, and tend to think we don’t need a “greater power,” after years of unfamiliarity with that possibility.

The Trinity is with you now, always, forever, but you must consciously choose to reach for it. Jesus is always in your midst, but doesn’t force His love upon you. You must seek it, reach out for it, ask for it, pray for it, even beg for it. We can’t know why we have these torturous inward struggles, but can TRUST that God does know why. This is part of His plan for you. Persevere and your answers will come, although they may not be the answers you’re wanting.

Because you feel this emptiness and frustration to the point of futility is the greatest proof of your need to trust in Our Lord. Going through the motions that you’ve been told will help really WILL help you to develop that missing trust. “Fake it till you make it,” has merit and is not just a catchy phrase. Excellent actors from stage and screen can tell you that going through the motions will help you reach the intense feelings that you seek.

Yes, do continue to pray. And pray. And pray some more. Try sitting/kneeling as closely as you can to the Divine Presence of the Blessed Sacrament in adoration. Lay bare your heart and soul to Our Lord. Ask Him to help you learn the lesson you’re being taught, however slowly. Ask Him what you must do to ensure your happiness with Him in heaven upon your death. Spend as much time in adoration as you can spare. Your perseverance will eventually be rewarded. Peace to you.


#5

This somewhat reminds me of a person I knew, after they got a great job, good income, material things they wanted, they basically didn't see a need for a God that it's "all in our heads". I remember them saying they did it all by themselves, no help, does not need help. After something unexpected and frightening happened, they thanked God for a second chance at life. Some time later they are back, grateful for life and God.

I'm not saying this to 'scare you' into faith, I merely only mentioned this because I have heard testimonies like this one where they take everything into their hands, forget about God, and it doesn't go as they thought it would.

God Bless and hope you get the answer you need


#6

[quote="josephback, post:1, topic:309123"]

Theology interests me and the theory of Christianity is great, but I just want to be rid of hangups and the things holding me back from a normal life. I didn't grow up Catholic, I grew up non-affiliated Protestant, and in rejecting God the hippie I constructed my own personal idea of God the fascist.

I project my own fears into "God's will" and imbue explainable natural happenings with supernatural import. My fears telegraphed as God's will have held me back in life. I've thought about truck driving as a simple way to improve my income, but horror of horrors a life on the road might make it harder to attend Mass. The easiest way to fix all this is just to forget God.

[/quote]

It may seem like disconnecting yourself from God will give you freedom, but in reality you're just going to make yourself a searvent to a much less benevolent and loving master.

I came from a life where I was immersed in all of these "freedoms" and I promise you that it is a spiritual prison filled with anxiety and torment. We were designed to be united with our God, to reject Him from our lives would yield torments similar to what a fish would experience if it taken out of water and left to flail around on the ground.

[quote="josephback, post:1, topic:309123"]

Others have said I need to pray more (and they're right), but I lack faith or contrition and need to make confession too. In my other confessions I've operated under the notion that contrition is an act of the will, because I don't feel the emotion. I try to do better for a while, then give up. What's the point?

And whgat's going on with me?

[/quote]

Mother Teresa went through something similar to what you are describing where she couldn't feel the loving presence of God for a very long time. Nevertheless, she didn't give up and continued to serve God with her whole mind, heart and soul! Just because you are at a point in your life where you are not on fire for our Blessed Lord, doesn't mean that you still can't do your absolute best to follow the commandments and please God.

Remember, to those whom much is given, even more will be expected. If you're not currently burning with zeal for the faith, then you're just going to have to do the absolute best you can with what you have.

And, please, keep praying for true contrition and the holy fear of God. If you aren't praying the rosary every day, then you must start right now:

ecatholic2000.com/rosary/rosary.shtml

God bless! :)


#7

[quote="josephback, post:1, topic:309123"]
Others have expressed themselves on CAF and I haven't always been understanding or charitable, but I have the same issues. Right now I either labor under a made up God and yoke of my own imagining, or just fed up with the lack of proof for religous phenomena. Either way I'm losing faith. I don't see the point of self-denial and believe that a religion of pure reason would be agnostic.

Theology interests me and the theory of Christianity is great, but I just want to be rid of hangups and the things holding me back from a normal life. I didn't grow up Catholic, I grew up non-affiliated Protestant, and in rejecting God the hippie I constructed my own personal idea of God the fascist.

I project my own fears into "God's will" and imbue explainable natural happenings with supernatural import. My fears telegraphed as God's will have held me back in life. I've thought about truck driving as a simple way to improve my income, but horror of horrors a life on the road might make it harder to attend Mass. The easiest way to fix all this is just to forget God.

Others have said I need to pray more (and they're right), but I lack faith or contrition and need to make confession too. In my other confessions I've operated under the notion that contrition is an act of the will, because I don't feel the emotion. I try to do better for a while, then give up. What's the point?

And whgat's going on with me?

[/quote]

  1. What is a "normal life?"

  2. What do you mean by "God the hippie?" Do you mean the traditional version of Jesus with long hair, a long robe, sandals, and a smile on his face, and love for everyone?

  3. What do you mean by "God the fascist?"

  4. There are many Catholic truck drivers and somehow, they make it work. If you have to work on Sunday, perhaps you can stop in a town for one hour and catch Mass. Or maybe there are local driving jobs you can take that won't interfere with worship.

  5. Of course the easiest way is to try to forget God! Do you really think that is the BEST way? And do you think that God is going to forget you while you turn your back on Him? Is that the way you treat God after he sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for YOUR sins? :(

  6. If you are a convert, I think you need more catechesis. Any men's or women's groups in your parish? Is your parish starting the "Catholicism" series by Fr. Barron? Ours is doing that for the Year of Faith. Look into joining something. Maybe even the Knights (assuming you're male)? Looking to the faith life of others sometimes sparks us into going deeper into our own.

  7. Spiritual direction. Find a spiritual director and talk to him about all of this. You're in your own head too much, and it sounds like a pretty dangerous place to go alone. :)

  8. Read Scripture. Just read it, slowly, and absorb what Jesus really said and did. It will change your life if you let it.

  9. Adoration. Put yourself in front of Jesus. Just sit there, doing nothing. Let Jesus have the first word, and the last. The fastest way to change your life into what Jesus wants it to be. But it may take longer than you want it to. Jesus' time is not our time.

:)

Hang in here with us. We're praying for you.


#8

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