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Falling In Love With God


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[quote name='lookingforfaith' date='03 August 2010 - 05:46 PM' timestamp='1280868376' post='2151623']
This is excactly what I think too. I've had people ask me if I think that I COULDN'T get married one day...I wish I could have thought of this to respond with. [img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/cool.gif[/img]

But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided.[b] The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit;[/b] but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 1 Corinthians 7:32-34


Edited by JoyfulLife
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I'm going to admit something...I'm not a virgin...I made my mistakes in the past and I have repented and recieved forgiveness. However, I am so scared that this may be a impediment to me someday entering religious life...

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[quote name='lookingforfaith' date='07 August 2010 - 10:04 PM' timestamp='1281229467' post='2153799']
I am so scared that this may be a impediment to me someday entering religious life...

Absolutely not. Not in the sense that they would reject you. No, if you've been living chastely for some good years, you can live the life of a religious. In the other sense, some have said that it can be harder to live chastely if you haven't been used to that.

Just think of widows that have become religious! And yes, I've seen in vocation videos where they said that such women could enter the life.

You ought to read about St. Augustine's conversion process.

Oprah - Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist
[font="Helvetica"]Another myth is that a woman has to be a virgin to become a nun. "If there are any young women out there that are interested in the religious life and they happen to have had sex, is it possible if they could enter the convent? Yes," Sister Maria says. "[They have] to prove that they have been living a chaste life prior to entering. They would also be committed to living chastely for the rest of their lives."

Edited by JoyfulLife
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When I read these threads, it makes me feel very humble, because I cannot honestly say that I have ever had the experience of "falling in love with God." Love God--yes. Fall in love--no.

But, then many thoughts come into my head. The first is that the idea of "falling in love" with God is a VERY new one to me, and it may take me awhile--months or even years--because the concept is so foreign to me. Not a bad idea at all--just what I call "a cultural difference."

I think my feelings and experiences of God are also heavily influenced by the fact that I was married. I've loved men all my life. I had my first boyfriend at 5 (what that meant was we shared a seat on the bus to kindergarten--pretty racy stuff! LOL). For all kinds of reasons, it wasn't until college that I really dated, and the whole time I was in high school, I was was totally miserable because I didn't have a boyfriend.

It wasn't that I wanted to be a wife and nothing else--I was working toward a career, too, but the concept of having someone who really loved and understood me was what my heart yearned for more than anything else.

Unfortunately, I married the wrong person, not because he was not a good man, but because he was not the right man FOR ME, and he had personal issues that he had never been honest with himself about (or discussed with me), that didn't surface until years later, and which ended our marriage (he gave me no other option), and devastated me. I had given my whole heart to someone, then one day he moved out of the house. (His moving out was planned, not unexpected, but I've never cried so long and hard in my life.)

But, even with that awful experience, to me, "in love" still means loving a human man, for all his faults. There are consolations, too, in human love. I never went through the phase of finding the thought of sex "yucky"--well, not past age 12 or 13. I could hardly wait until I was married and could have sex--I wanted it SO much.

And, it still feels that way. I now understand much better the beauty of a woman dedicating her life to God, because God will never let you down, desert you, or let you be hurt, unless it is necessary to teach you something you can't learn in any other way. But, right now, in large part because I am sick (and because I'm very scared), I lead a single and celibate life. After the first deep hurt, I found out that the single, celibate life is okay, too, and it, too has its consolations. And, being celibate means that you are in no way "less of a woman." But, for me, I wish I was ready to be married, and that there was someone out there waiting for me.

When I read the posts about religious life, it reminds me that God has said that both ways of life are good and holy, and make him happy. Obviously, St. Paul felt the religious life was especially blessed and loved by God. I've never really understood the reasons why St. Paul wrote some of the things he did, because they come across as seeing marriage as the "lesser choice," and I'm not completely convinced that God feels that way. As I see it, whatever way of life God calls a person to has both hardships and sacrifices, and God is pleased as long as you follow his call, whatever the path.

Still, when I read the posts about the religious life, I wish the Bible had more passages about the blessings of marriage. (Obviously, it has some, in Corinthians to name one.) But, many (possibly most) of the Apostles were probably married at least at some point. Judaism places great importance on the family, and, in many ways, in Judaism, the family, not the temple, is the primary center of religious observance. And, in that time and place, it would have been very unusual for for a young man NOT to be married. So, just to give one example, I would love it if we had writings from St. Peter on how much he loved his wife. God made the rock of his church a man who at least had been married at some point. St. Peter certainly loved his mother-in-law, which is likely a testament that he loved his wife, too.

Sort of off-topic--but not totally unrelated--In my case, I think that God is approaching me slowly and carefully, so that he doesn't scare me away. I think he is approaching me on an intellectual level first, as that is less scary to me, and doesn't have as much "baggage" as my heart still holds. However, I've not yet progressed to doing much, if any, reading of religious scholars or theology. Although I have many religious books, I haven't opened them. One Amazon box has never even been unwrapped--although I know exactly what it contains. I realized today, that I have to do a lot more watching, and "thinking," and trying to understand on my own, until I become less confused about so many things, including the "core" beliefs of my soul, before I do religious reading. I have full faith that in time I will open the books. (If nothing else, I can't resist a new book forever. LOL)

But, God has been very gentle, and knowing that I have had too many bad surprises in my life, he is taking his time, and letting my very broken heart heal at least a little more, until I am ready to understand God's love, at least a tiny bit. I get reminders every once in awhile that God is there, letting me take as much time as I need, and will be there when he sees my heart and mind are ready for him. The real tragedy of my marriage and divorce is that, after all these years, I still don't fully trust ANY human person--I have been deserted or betrayed by so many people I loved. And, even worse, I've lost faith in my own judgement. So, I'm not emotionally able to be in love with God (yet), and may never be in love with him the way many of you are, but God is still sitting on my couch, comfortably keeping me company, petting my cats, and letting me be me.

As I see many of you entering religous life soon (a few VERY soon--congratulations Anya!) you will have the blessing of getting to know God face-to-face in a more concentrated way than I ever will. I've heard that the adjustment to religious life can be very hard, especially at first. But, I fully believe that God's love will see you through those first hours, days, weeks, and months in the monastery, as you adapt to something akin to a "foreign country," where the customs are different, but the love of God is even more pervasive. God and I will be back lying on my couch (literally), sharing it with my laptop and my cats, and he and I will be with each of you all the way. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be like God, and literally be with millions of people, loving all of them, each in the way the person most needs, all at the same time? Mind-boggling! But nice.

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This is a great thread...... :)

When I first got to know God, and started reading spiritual books, going to church, etc, - I felt so much love for Him and thought of Him all the time... it really does feel like being in love! Right now, I'm going through a sort of a trial where I don't feel anything and have to just choose Him, in faith...... but the experiences I had made me realize how much I want to be with Jesus and who He is in my life. i think I would have left Him so many more times if He hadn't shown me His love. I'm so weak that maybe i would have left Him permanently. God is very good to us :)

After all this though, I find it difficult to think of being in a relationship with a man..... it's like Christ captures your heart and no one else can be first in your life. I usually never talk about this with anyone but I can see there are people here who probably feel similarly.

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I went to church on Saturday night feeling tremendous temptations to quit going. During the homily though the priest was talking about faith and he said "you must guard your faith" and this really struck me. Shortly after that the statue of St. Joseph holding the child Jesus caught my eye which looks something like this
[img] http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_4FSfQ67Q1RI/SaqpSOYL2FI/AAAAAAAAE0U/ZsG2I96_HHM/s400/St+Joseph+statue2.jpg[/img]

I realized how can I be mad at a child, how can I stay away from the most adorable toddler? it was also like Joseph was saying take Him. For the rest of the Mass my focus was on Jesus but the child Jesus. So for anyone struggling to understand the love of God, the love of Christ, or to not lose faith look at Joseph and Jesus and try to accept the love of the Christ child.

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