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Q & A with Father Anthony



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Spiritual Desolation

Mary asks:

Hi Fr. Anthony!

I am currently a senior in High School and have been feeling God calling me to the religious life ever since I was 15 and received several signs that Jesus wants me to be His bride. But over the past year, I have experienced some desolation and no longer "feel" His call. Could this mean that He's not calling me or maybe that He wanted me to experience the call for some reason, and wants me to get married? Could God be asking me to wait to enter a convent or religious order? Thanks!

Dear Mary,

I think this desolation is the best thing that could have happened to you.

From what you say, it is not something you caused by deliberately turning away from Christ, so then it must be something God himself has wanted or allowed, and all he wants and allows is for our good. So the question is, what good does he want you to get from it?

The first good fruit is precisely that you are asking these questions. Grace, the sacraments, and so much more that is important in our lives, cannot depend only on feelings, because when we are focused on our feelings we are focused on ourselves, and if we are focused on ourselves our ability to love is stunted. So, after giving you these good and positive feelings that allowed you to think about a vocation and realize the beauty of being called to be Christ's bride, God is now inviting you to go deeper by taking away those feelings. He has begun his work of emptying you of yourself. Ask yourself, what has really changed? Have you changed, has he changed, has the nature of consecrating yourself to him changed, have the needs of souls and the Church changed, have you discovered a substantial sign that God is pointing elsewhere? No. All that has changed seems to be your feelings, nothing more.

Now you have to ask yourself: do you love him above all things? If you do, or if you want to try to, then just keep on track. Keep going to Mass and receiving him in Communion as often as you can. Keep praying your Rosary. Keep working and doing your best at school and at home. Drop in now and again to Church or a chapel to say hi to him in the Eucharist. And do all this to show him that you love him. Open the Gospel and look for him there; listen to him speak to you in what he says and what he does. Thank him for this desolation because now you are going to focus on him more than your feelings; now you realize that sometimes those feelings can actually be a barrier rather than a help to getting to know and love him deeply and personally.

So, trust in him. He is faithful.

God bless,

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