Losing Interest in Religion?

[ 16 ] September 5, AD 2013 |

Someone close to me, who left the Catholic Church a long time ago, recently said something along the lines of, “I just got to a point where I felt like I was saying the words but they didn’t mean anything to me, I wasn’t feeling it anymore.” I can identify with this statement.

We’ve all sat in the pew, knelt on those kneelers and felt nothing except our own aching knees, moments where we pray and go to mass and don’t feel anything extraordinary, or really anything at all. Does this mean our faith is in vain or that the church is useless? When a woman stops getting butterflies every time her husband walks in the door, does that mean her marriage has lost value? Should she cut her losses and run? We encounter boredom and a lack of feeling in our relationships and commitments, big and small, because that’s a necessary component of what it is to be human. We are lazy and can’t feel the newness of every moment. I don’t think this indicates a lack of depth in the other or in the relationship, but in ourselves. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to faith, even though it is easy to focus on ourselves and what we are getting out of it, it isn’t about us. It is about Him. When we lose sight of Christ, we end up beholding our own ugliness and disparity and our ‘faith’ falls flat.

The word religion is a hard one to trace exactly where the meaning was derived from. Some say it comes from the Latin re meaning “again” and ligare, which means to bind or connect. The etymology points to a reconnecting between man and God, essentially, a relationship. For most of us, our relationship with God will have low moments, so the question remains: How do we respond to this?

Mother Teresa has left us a beautiful example; she also experienced a dry faith. She confided in a letter to her close friend, “As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great, that I look and do not see, — Listen and do not hear,” in reference to the Lord. We know how Mother Teresa responded; she didn’t leave the Church but pushed into it. She served the poor and worked for the Church and we are all the better for it.

Sometimes people say that religion gets in the way of their relationship with God, but when it’s done right our religion should be our relationship with God. The mass, confession, our community, these make up our relationship with Christ and when we find it lacking we should be willing to persevere. I think it worked out pretty well for Blessed Mother Teresa.

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Category: Religion, Sacraments, Spirituality

About the Author ()

Cindy Bird is a young wife and mother who lives in Arizona. She dabbles in writing, cooking and dancing. She spent a year in Italy, where her daughter was born, which was a life changing experience. Although she misses the beauty of Rome she is constantly looking for the Beauty of the Lord in all corners of the world, even in the hot desert of AZ. She also authors a blog for her parish that her pastor asked her to start. She is a proud graduate of the University of Dallas.
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  • james

    It is interesting that the C & E Catholics can’t leave or stay. It must have
    something to do with the intensity of the liturgy.

  • Chris Ricketts

    Ya know, I’d wager that many people get divorced for the same reason. “I just don’t FEEL it any more, man.” (Read in stoner/surfer voice) Either in religion or long-term relationships, many people are incapable of holding on after the honeymoon phase has worn off and the time for a deeper relationship presents itself

  • Alexander

    For me, it wasn’t so much the fact that the Catholic church is mysoginistic, ignorant, arrogant, greedy, and hateful, but rather the lack of evidence for any of their claims. I know that it’s faith and that there can’t be evidence, but unicorns and fairies are just as much real by that logic.

    “We’ve all sat in the pew, knelt on those kneelers and felt nothing except our own aching knees, moments where we pray and go to mass and don’t feel anything extraordinary, or really anything at all.”

    I love the above quote because it is trying to take what I would consider a revelation that there is no god and turn it into a natural relationship wherein the people involved are just bored. I’m sorry, but I got bored of my relationship with Santa Clause and I didn’t attribute it to a “lack of depth” in myself.

    • RaphaelRaven

      Alexander, your post has betrayed your own ignorance of Church and religious faith. lol, now this is definitely a case of pot calling kettle black, because, of course, I am clueless as to your own religious experience. So, forgive me in advance for jumping to my own conclusions! lol

      But if thats what you assume the Catholic church to be, then you’re wrong. You’d be as wrong as I would if I were to say England is better than every other nation at cricket. Why? Because I would’ve jumped to conclusions, drawn from ignorant stereotypes and I’m guessing not bothered much study or examination of the who what where and why the Faith teaches what it teaches. And to write off any faith or anything without that is ignorant.

      There is PLENTY of evidence for the claims the Catholic Church makes. It just so happens, that it’s not the evidence that’s not good enough, it’s the implications that this evidence would mean. The objection is not a rational or intellectual one. It’s a moral one, always has, and always will be. Religious truth and faith breaks through the pretenses and shows everyone up for who they really are and smashes all the Golden cows we erect in the place of God. And that understandably makes us uncomfortable.

      Greater minds than I can make many a more compelling case, and they already have. So you’d unlikely find it from me (that and the fact that I am posting this while at work in a call centre. lol) But the idea that God is anything like the tooth fairy is simply silly, petty and just down right snobbery. Oh it would be convenient if God WAS something like that. But he isnt, as any thread of evidence would lead you to conclude) I just find it funny those who claim to deny myths are wholly dependant on many to remain as they are.

      There will no doubt come a day when you’ll be received into the Catholic faith, or at least some other church. And you’ll be absolutely gobsmacked at how wonderful the Truth is. Oh, you’ll discover, like I, that it’s not easy. How could anyone follow it? But you’ll know that it’s worth it.

      • Alexander

        So you were offended when I compared your god to the tooth fairy? Can you give me a logical and well thought out reason as to why your god’s existence is more plausible than the tooth fairies? Just because your god has gotten more publicity doesn’t make it more true. Facts are facts and unless you can present them, you have no basis for your claim.

        Also, if you actually do attempt to answer my question, please don’t respond with personal experience claims. Muslims today experience Allah, Hindus experience Vishnu, and the Ancient Greeks would have experienced all of the Greek gods. I take it you don’t believe in any of them?

        And to your last point, I thought it was laughable how you claimed that one day I will come crawling back to Catholicism or some form of christianity. Unless I hit my head really hard, quit my job as a scientist, stop being gay, change my beliefs on abortion, and give up every moral I have, I don’t think I’ll be crawling back any time soon.

      • Chris Ricketts

        Dude you obviously hate the Church and all it stands for. Congrats. Is it edifying to you to come on a blog and make obnoxious comments without even the attempt at a facade of actual conversation and the exchanging of ideas and opinions? So you don’t believe in God? Good for you. I’ll give ya a cookie. If you can get through your own bitterness and misconceptions to have an actual discussion, please feel free to do so. Otherwise bark up a different tree, will ya?

      • Alexander

        Chris, I asked a question that should be fairly simple to answer. Your aversion to answering it just goes to show how unsupported your beliefs are. If you want to continue living a lie without thinking critically about your beliefs, be my guest. But please don’t make it sound like your beliefs are science, use your religion to influence public policy, or try and force it down other peoples throats.

        Anyway, I’ll check back here from time to time to see if you came up with an answer. If not, I won’t be responding to your whining. Good day, sir.

      • Gerrard

        Hi there. just wanted to say that we are all walking on a journey and where we can we help each other along the road. While we may not always agree we can respect each others beliefs and differences. I think it was Therese of Lisieux who said “the sun shines equally on all the flowers of the field” . Peace.

      • Chris Ricketts

        C’mon man. You really gotta stop with this game. My “aversion” to answering your simple question is based on your hostility, anger, and disinclination to listen. You’re not here for an actual discussion. You’re here to show us Christians how stupid we are for believing in our faith. You also proudly displayed your own anger and bitterness. I could point you to centuries of philosophy that discusses you question from Aquinas, Augustine, Aristotle, the book Theology and Sanity, and many many more. But you don’t care and you don’t want to hear any of it. God could personally appear to you and you still wouldn’t want to hear any of it. Discussing this issue with you is pointless. I’m not trying to be mean here, just realistic. So save us all some useless bickering and try not to troll blogs just to vent your own anger. If you want an actual discussion, you are more than welcome.

      • Alexander

        I did come here looking for a discussion and since you say that you will have one with me, I am delighted!

        You mentioned the discussions by Augustine, Aquinas, and Aristotle. Let’s pretend for a moment that you could somehow prove the existence of a god from a table with only a pen and paper. Using any of the logic and “deductions” in their works, you could just as easily prove that a unicorn created the universe. In no way does it prove that Jesus was the son of God and that he died for us.

        Again, thank you for agreeing to a discussion!

      • james

        Listen Alex, faith is a gift. We got it and you don’t – so go be jealous somewhere else.

      • Alexander

        Great argument, James. I wish you would have put a little more critical thought into your response so that we could actually have a discussion. But hey! To each his own!

      • Aimee

        First thing’s first and pulling statistics out of thin air, I would say that the ability on all sides to have a reasoned, civil argument based on “Does God exist?” in a comments section of any website to be less than 1%. Nevertheless, I will proceed. :)

        No one on this blog is proving to you or anyone else that God exists. So it’s an unfair “discussion” if your request is for someone to prove that. I can’t prove that God exists, and you can’t prove that he doesn’t. That takes care of that. What kind of discussion do we want to have now?

        I think a more apt discussion is, “Why does faith exist?” and I do think this is a highly personal question that will always result in a highly personal answer. Because faith is like DNA. No two people are ever the same. I think that’s one of the hardest things about standardizing this discussion (which seems to be what both sides always want to do). Because (secret’s out!) I don’t have the same faith as everyone who shares the same beliefs as I do. So it would really be impractical of me to think that someone who does not share my beliefs should have the same faith as I do.

        But that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost in regards to mutual understanding. I do want to share with you, as one of those people who has sat in the pew and not “felt it” why I stick with God. I can boil it down to one thing that my faith stems from, that for MYSELF and in MY heart *proves* that God exists. That one thing is the Ave Maria (http://youtu.be/2bosouX_d8Y ). To me, it’s the definition of beautiful. The way the notes are arranged is divine inspiration. I cannot comprehend human beings getting to a point of civilization to musically create something so painfully beautiful on our own. When I doubt, the Ave Maria is reason enough to have faith through the doubting. It also, by “random happenstance,” continually pops up in my life in times of doubt. Maybe the Ave Maria isn’t your moment of divine revelation, but is there one? Is there something to you that is so unnaturally beautiful that it’s beyond your comprehension that any human or undirected science could be responsible for it? I am typically a “thinker” not a “feeler” but Ave Maria inspires deep feelings in me that can’t be explained. And that is my faith.

        One of my favorite quotes is from Walker Percy’s novel “The Moviegoer.”

        “Who wants to be dead last among one hundred and eighty million Americans? For, as everyone knows, the polls report that 98% of Americans believe in God and the remaining 2% are atheists and agnostics–which leaves not a single percentage point for a seeker … Am I, in my search, a hundred miles ahead of my fellow Americans or a hundred miles behind them? That is to say: Have 98% of Americans already found what I seek or are they so sunk in everydayness that not even the possibility of a search has occurred to them?”

        I hope as the 2% that you open yourself up to a search just as much as I hope the 98% does. (Obviously, these stats are from the 1960s, but you get where I’m going with this). If something unexplainable and beautiful draws you to believe, awesome. If it doesn’t, can you at least acknowledge that I should be able to conduct my search? I can and will RESPECT your lack of faith. But logically do you understand that because I have faith, I can’t ACCEPT your lack of faith? Because I want you to feel inside what I feel when I hear the Ave Maria. Because it is pure beauty. And beauty, to me, is divine.

      • Alexander

        You tried to end the “Does a god exist?” debate by saying that you can’t prove he doesn’t and you can’t prove he does. The problem with that logic is that you are making the claim of his existence. Therefore you have to prove his existence. On the other hand I have claimed nothing of the sort so my work is done.

        As for the Ave Maria, you truly believe that because you get goosebumps when you listen to it that this somehow hints at a god? Maybe I missed something, but could you please clarify how appreciating a song is indicative of a god?

      • bookman

        uh? what morals?