I find no solace in my prayers, in church, in Catholic literature. I feel nothing and this scares me. Do I still love God? Yes. But my brain mocks me. I begin to question everything and I just don’t feel sure any more. My mind tells me I’m a hypocrite to go around calling myself a Christian when I don’t feel much like one. What should I do? Why won’t God respond to my prayers?

Bishop John’s Answer:

Dear friend and beloved child of God:

Thank you for your candid question. Your feelings are not uncommon. Many of the greatest saints share those feelings with you. A recent article on Mother Teresa of Calcutta shows her struggle with darkness of the soul for many years.

Faith is not a feeling; it is a fact. The fact is that God loves you very much. He gave His Son Jesus Christ for your salvation and for mine. We don’t deserve it. The mercy and unconditional love of Jesus is God’s free gift to us.

God is so close to you. It is a deception of the evil one to let us think that God is far from us when we feel that way. Faith is not known in the feelings. In many ways it is a heart thing. Saint Paul talks about “believing in our hearts”. (Romans 10:9) Be assured that God is as close to you as your breath. He is as close to you as your heart. “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.(Romans 8:35-39)

Maybe you will find solace and comfort in the Jesus Prayer. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.” Many who pray this prayer often are greatly blessed by it.

Be assured of my prayers for you . . . May Jesus hold you close to Himself. May His Mother Mary, comfort you.

+ Bishop John