First of all, struggling with faith is not so unusual. Lots of people do especially after a trauma like an unforeseen death of a loved one or when a marriage breaks apart. Others struggle with God and his goodness when lots of other “bad things’ happen to really good people. When we pray and God doesn’t seem to answer is a feeling that sends people mistrusting or believing in God. People who feel they have always been faithful to God, to the Church ask: “why is he punishing me now?” Still others struggle with faith because they feel inadequate in their knowledge. Other struggle when they get caught up in philosophies or attitudes presented by teachers peers or other people in authority who seem to overpower them
There is no one easy answer to those situations. Like physical pain, the struggle can be felt at a particular time in life or from a special occasion. Often these struggles are a symptom of something deeper and not realized. Struggles emerge from poor images of God. For example, some people may feel that they have to follow all the rules all the time and fear that God will not love them if they break them. Little imperfections or even bigger sins become major sources of tension and bad feelings toward God. Those feelings come from a bad image: “God is out to get them" rather than God, Jesus, if you will, is really out to save us from sins. Healing is at the heart of Salvation.
Struggles with faith, trust in God or uncertainly about God’s existence or love; questions about the rules of the Church or the moral issues which do not seem to make sense in today’s world are natural for the most part. But rather than be feared, these are opportunities for growth. Crisis are turning points, either for the better or to make bigger mistakes by not seeking help. Like physical illness we need to pursue the quest coming from life’s situation.
Obvious ways of doing this are consulting with a trusted and open priest or another Catholic friend. There is nothing like the wisdom of experience to guide us. There are also good sources on the internet. Our presence Web Site offers many links to frequently asked questions. Books are also a simple way to find out what you are looking for. Two that come to mind are: “The Catholic Catechism for Adults”, a recent publication by our American Bishops, precisely to address contemporary Catholics. It is easy to read. Another Catechism which contains easy find answers about the basic concepts of our faith in the “Catechism for Dummies.” A funny name, but good clear information! Both can be found out a local book store.
Finally, if you are in need of spiritual direction, call one of the priests here at St. Joseph. They would be glad to help you and/or guide you to someone who can.
Struggle is the pathway to purification and deeper union with God, Jesus and the community of the Church.