Will I always be so broken?

Is that just how it is for some Catholics?

Despite loving my faith (I am a convert from Protestantism), and being happy to abide by the commandments and tenets of the faith in order to avoid sins of grave matter and trying to grow in virtue, I still feel so broken inside.

Pope Francis keeps talking about Christian joy, and the need to live out the Gospel joyfully, but every time I am confronted with another one of his gentle reminders, I feel more empty inside.

I have no joy spurring me on to live out the Gospel, only a desperate desire to please God.

I do not know of the love of God in any sense other than the most intellectual understanding.

I am constantly accusing myself, sometimes even in confession, of sins greater and graver than whatever it is I have actually done.

I want to run and hide from God, hoping to live out a good enough life, faithful to all the teachings of the Church, but escape His notice so maybe, just maybe, He won’t be horrified and disgusted by my existence. I desperately desire to be in His presence, but I feel abject terror at the thought of God looking at me. I long for heaven but I am all but certain that I will end up in hell, totally deserving my fate because I could not or would not meet His expectations for me.

My husband, who converted to the faith with me, thinks that this might be my particular challenge, in the same way some people struggle with attachment to a particular sin. I think it makes some sense.

I am so weary of my brokenness. I feel so utterly damaged, like someone took my soul and smashed it to pieces, and now I will live as broken shards for the rest of my life, with only a shred of hope for peace and joy after this life, if only I can do my very very best to avoid hell and make it to Purgatory.

Won’t God ever heal me, just enough so that terror and fear are not my constant companions?

God loves you. He wants you to love him. To confide in him, To TRUST him.

You cant hide from God.

God needs your love and prayers. Yes, you are going through a difficult time but offer it up to God. It is a cross for you to bear out of the love of God.

Read some scripture every day. Mass readings would be a good choice. Read the words of God and let them speak to you.

God is there for all of us and wants us to ask for his help and guidance.

It might be a good idea to mention your feelings to your priest. He will help you.

God bless you

Read Psalm 8 and psalm 139.

God’s desire is to have you walk with him in the cool of the evening.

You are a noble creation, created in his image. You are beautiful in his eyes.

I pray that someday you will see yourself in the way God sees you – a beautiful jewel.

Your non-broken deep love of God sparkles in this post.

There is a sense , of course, in which we will always be broken this side of heaven. We will always be sinners who keep on sinning.

I, too, have been reflecting a lot on Pope Francis’ messages of joy because I find it challenging to be joyful at times as well. What I am coming to realize through this is just how incredibly important it is for us to really forgive ourselves when we sin and to really believe that God loves us unconditionally.

We are not just tools that God uses and tosses aside when we are damaged and not working the way He wants them to. We are his children. He loves us. He will never stop loving us. We make a total mess of things with sin and He still loves us. Remind yourself of that constantly.

Yes, we will always be broken in some way or another. But God is our Good Father who is always right there with us mending our brokenness and putting us back together.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. That is not what God wants for you.

“The constantly accusing myself of sins graver and greater” could possibly be an anxiety-related scrupulosity. There are some people that actually believe they have committed murder who have not hurt a soul. Two things: rule out a thought disorder by finding a good counsellor, and find a good priest confessor who can help you form a more perfect and accurate conscience.

God would like us to feel joy, especially when we are walking His path.

This^^^^ So lovely. So true. Hear it and believe it. Until you believe that God loves you (indeed, He died for you and all of us ) you’ll struggle.
Let those feelings go. How do they serve you?
They don’t, and they certainly don’t express thanksgiving to Him.
God loves you…we can’t add to His glory, but we can give Him all the glory.
Many blessings to you, dear one.
:heart:.

Someone once pointed out to me that even after His resurrection, Jesus still carried the scars of His crucifixion.

Sending cyber hug and prayers.

An afterthought…could you be suffering from postpartum depression?
just asking, not trying to “diagnose” you.
Peace.

I will read the psalms you suggest. Thank you for the suggestion and your very kind words.

I hadn’t known that we must learn to forgive ourselves, and I have no basis for understanding unconditional love of a parent, due to parental rejection and abandonment and neglect. However, I have an amazing husband who loves me so much and accepts me for who I am and overlooks my imperfections yet encourages me to be my best self. I have tried for years to frame my understanding of God’s love with my experience of my husband’s love, but I have been unable to overcome the childhood trauma and rejection enough to do so. I will keep trying. Thank you for your encouragement.

I don’t know what to say, granny. I do not understand what you are saying. Are you being sarcastic or sincere? I do love God, and I want to please Him, but I fail every day. I pray after each reception of holy communion that Jesus will help me love Him more. I cannot seem to overcome my understanding of love, which I was taught must be earned, by passing tests and surpassing expectations. My husband never treats me like that, but that way of thinking is still so ingrained. I guess I had thought that Jesus would have healed me of that wound by now, but it appears my faith is too weak.

I hadn’t thought about that. I have been told I am overly scrupulous (by a couple of priests), but they never told me to get counseling or spiritual direction for it. Several people here at CAF have said I should, but I am unsure if our current pastor would be able to help me.

I don’t think so. I have struggled with this pretty much my whole life, and it comes and goes in terms of severity. I am currently pregnant and my youngest is already a year and a half.
I tend to be a cheerful person, with good energy, but I have always felt this fear of God’s rejection and an emptiness that I have begged God to help me with, but so far, no healing.

Now that I went through and responded to certain posts directly, I just wanted to say thank-you to everyone who responded, for your kindness and understanding and encouragement. I keep hoping that God will heal me of my abandonment issues and my incorrect understanding of His love. Maybe He will one day? Or might there be a reason why He never will in this life? I do have a concern that my issues will lead me to despair. I have been told that to be guilty of despair in one’s final moments, even after a lifetime of obedience and love for God, is enough to damn a soul. Frankly, considering my weakness, I know I am in serious danger of failing at such a crucial moment, and that terrifies me.

sacred-texts.com/chr/ioc/ioc038.htm

Whenever I’m feeling poverty of spirit, I read what I have linked, and I usually gain some grace of devotion.

LOVE! :heart:

Imitation of Christ is my favorite spiritual classic. I have read it through several times since my conversion several years ago. It is the one book that is always on my bedside table.:slight_smile:
I am grateful for your reminder to take it up again. Thank you, Robert.

I am very sincere. In many of the lines in your post – there was evidence of your deep love of God. Only it seemed that your hurts were covering them and all I could see was something sparkling. I am not very good at offering suggestions. I know that there are others who can reach you with good advice.

When I read that you feel abject terror at the very thought of God looking at you (post 1), I wanted to assure you that God sees something very precious in you. The only thought I had was that there was something deep within you that was so good that it sparkled. We think of diamonds sparkling; yet diamonds are small and tough in themselves.

You also shared this feeling. “I feel so utterly damaged, like someone took my soul and smashed it to pieces, and now I will live as broken shards for the rest of my life, with only a shred of hope for peace and joy after this life, if only I can do my very very best to avoid hell and make it to Purgatory.” I wanted to tell you that amidst the shards, there was this jewel of your love for God. All I could describe was that there was a sparkle from something that was not broken.

You talked about no joy spurring you on to live out the Gospel, “only a desperate desire to please God.” I did not know how to advise you about your fear. I am grateful for others who can advise. In my personal opinion, there are many times that fear and a desperate desire to please God comes from a deep, unselfish love for God. While I know this is in my imagination, still, I needed to say that I saw a sparkle like that of a pure diamond in your posts.

I remember a priest long ago who shared that life could be difficult when one has a greater intellectual understanding of the love of God. He said that making the long trip from one’s head to one’s heart can be difficult, but it can be done. He looked as if he had had the experience of that long trip to his heart. My memory failed me at that point. So I thought that if you knew that there is a small gem of deep love somewhere along that trip from head to heart, you might be more patient with yourself.

Jesus gave you the grace of sparkling love. I certainly can understand how easy it would be to miss that small gem. But that “failure” does not take away Jesus’ gift. A hundred failures will fail to remove your true love for God.

I decided not to write all that I was thinking in my post, because I was not sure how you would respond. Since you responded by sharing, I am more comfortable in sharing. If I were to offer a suggestion, I would suggest thanking God for His small, but very precious, gift that has become your deepest love of God. I probably should have said that God has given you grace especially at reception of Holy Communion. But how could I say that I saw grace? :wink:

granny,
Thank you so much for clarifying. You cannot know how much your post has encouraged me. I read it last night before bed, and again this morning, pondering and doing some self-examination. I think you are right about a lot of things. Maybe the way that I can make real God’s love for me is that He has given me a deep love for Him, as well as that desperate desire to please Him. I have hoped, ever since I became Catholic, that God would never ask of me a demanding spirituality such as St. Teresa of Avila or St. John of the Cross. I want to remain simple and quiet and obedient in my spirituality, just happily doing the task that our Lord has put in front of me to do, and not attempting any spiritual progress except those little baby steps that He is asking me to take right now. But sometimes I forget to keep my eyes on the next step, and I look up and I see the long, hard road of perfection, and I lose my ability to trust and begin to fear failure and rejection.

I wonder, is there any good spiritual book for people like me, who are afraid to even learn about forms of prayer and meditation and contemplation and spiritual progress, but just want to do the good and right thing with love for God, one action at a time?

Have you read St. Therese of Lisieux’s “Story of a Soul”? She puts forth her “little way” towards holiness. It’s like baby steps towards sanctity. :slight_smile: We don’t need to do great things, just small things with great love.

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