Great advice on faith and feeling

October 13, 2006 | Conversion, Spiritual Dry Spells | 4 comments

First of all, a belated THANK YOU to everyone who gave their thoughts on my post about having an underwhelming experience in Adoration. I always find the comments to my posts to be helpful, but these went above and beyond. I feel like a took a leap forward in my faith after hearing these thoughts.

Because I know that there are people who read this site who are also struggling with their faith, and not everyone has time to read every comment to every post, I’ve put together an edited summary of the thoughts that particularly impacted me. Literally every single comment was helpful, but the ones below really hit home and made me aware of some big spiritual blind spots I had. I hope that others find this as interesting and helpful as I did.

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I try to remember that feelings/emotions are great and are a part of our faith, but they are not the whole of it. Part of faith is “feeling, ” but so is “doing.” If I wait and wait until I *feel* like praying, I’ll never do it–so it’s OK to start out by just going through the motions if that’s the best I can do.
Joanne

…A HIGHLY recommended book … “No Wonder They Call It the Real Presence: Lives Changed by Christ In Eucharistic Adoration by David Pearson.” That book really helped me with the entire concept of losing expectations over what sitting with Jesus would do for me and set me free for being open to what God would send, which has been powerful on occasion and also felt like nothing upon occasion. As a previous comment has said it was when I dropped my expectations that I was surprised by Jesus with His presence.
Julie D.

We can often be distracted or misled by emotion, or lack of it. The measure of our emotional response is not equal to the measure of our allotment of faith. In fact, keeping the faith in spite of lack of feeling is more laudable because we are more prone to doubt lacking this internal reward. Ask yourself if you more greatly desire the reward of emotion or the reward of Grace? Persevere.
– Bekah

Faith is not an emotion–it is a conscious act of the will, but it is also a gift from God…You have faith–it’s all over your post. So what if you don’t’ have “feeling”?

[God] gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want. The most intimate and powerful work the Lord does in our souls is often not accompanied by any sort of recognizable feeling on our part.
Adoro Te Devote

It helps to remember that adoration is other-centered as opposed to me-centered. I tend to go astray when I’m more worried about what I get out of prayer than about what I’m giving to it.

Think about having a conversation with a person. If you aren’t listening to what they say, but only worried about what you will say next, it’s not much of a conversation, is it?
Melanie B.


Do you always *feel* crazy in love with your husband? Do you still do things that tell him that you love him, even when you don’t get that crazy in love feeling? Is the feeling or the fact of the love that matters most?
Patty in WA

I rarely have any feelings when I go to Adoration…The thing that I DO notice, however, is the increased sanctity in my life since I started regularly Adoring the Lord. I walk in an aura of peace these days that I didn’t have before.
Tim

Your faith is probably deeper than you think…you are pressing forward even when you feel spiritually dry or feel far from God.
Christine

So often when we pray we are trying to figure out what to say, how to approach God, what to do. When in reality if we’d but be silent and open our hearts, maybe we’d find that it is us who should be listening, and allowing God to approach us. It is after all we who are in need of transformation during prayer, not the other way round.
– Steve G.

I also tend to find prayer a private thing. If I were doing it before a group of people that would make me nervous and overly aware of self. [Emphasis mine -JF]
Amy Caroline

I heard that God loves our worship especially at those times when we are distracted or are not getting anything out of it, because we are doing it completely for Him, not for whatever positive feedback we might get.
Tony

Sometimes my husband and I will sit in the same room and each read our own book or newspaper. We don’t necessarily say much but we are keenly aware of each others’ presence and enjoying it. When he is out of town I may sit in my same chair and read my book, but it is not the same because he is not there.

Time spent in Adoration does not have to be spent kneeling and staring at the monstrance. It is an excellent time to take some spiritual reading and study in His presence…Just as sometimes I am prompted by my husband’s mere presence to close my book and go give him a hug, you may occasionally be prompted by the realization of Christ’s Real Presence to look at Him and pray from the heart. At other times it may be enough to just be with Him and read.
Catholic Mom

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Because just putting together a post now and then takes up 100% of my free time for web surfing, I rarely have time to respond to the comments that are left on this site. But just know that I read every one, and they are helpful, appreciated, and sometimes life-changing.

4 Comments

  1. Julie D.

    Thanks for doing this because I often forget to go back and check later comments in a thread that I’m interested in. You ask some very good, thought provoking questions.

  2. melanie b

    Jen,
    I’ll echo what Julie said: your questions are very helpfulto me. They lead me to reflect on my own life, my own practice of the faith, helping me to realize where I am, where I need to be. And I love the answers you get. Such a great community here. Thanks again for sharing your journey.

  3. Adoro Te Devote

    OK, I have to jump on the bandwagon here, too. Your questions help me not to take my faith so much for granted, and as a fledgling catechist, I am finding that I do this regularly. Your questions help me to understand others, they help me to reflect on our beliefs and how to explain them, or even help me to identify some of my own questions! How cool is that?

    You don’t realize it, but your own journey is having an impact on a very wide range of people.

    And thank you for posting all the comments–I’m sure many people will come by, perhaps not comment, but read what was said and go away with a greater understanding of their own spiritual journey.

    Keep it up! We need your questions, your insights, and your generous spirit!

  4. Tim

    Jen, keep that open hearted attitude up and you will always have great comments.

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