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Does anyone else here hit walls and experience difficulties in living the faith even though you know it's the truth? When just keeping up the basics of practicing the faith like Mass, prayer and Confession is difficult to do?  I do, and just now notice it occurs most during Advent and Lent- penitential times. Quite odd. It's like I should be able to suck it up and be on fire but its really a heaviness to keep plugging along. How sad. I hope Jesus forgives me... Because I do realize the weight of what he has done for us; and here I am talking about walls.
My friend, the difficulties you experience during Advent and Lent are natural psychological responses that recur in everyday life.  When out attention is focused on a given task, part of the effort of concentration is devoted to the fear of failure.  You will have noticed this if you watched, for instance, the Washington Nationals baseball team competing in the pennants.  A fine team of talented young men, with the best record in the major leagues, fell apart midway through their game against St Louis, which had a middling record.  Excellent shots frequently miss the wild game in the field because they choke under the actual moment of slaying.  I have read that this is a function of subconscious priority shifting.  Your conscious mind is saying "Don't sin - don't sin - don't sin" over and over.  The subconscious mind streamlines the message, focusing only on the subject: sin.  This creates the emotion that you experience as conflict.  Each of us probably have little difficulty walking a strait line - we do it constantly hundreds of times a day.  If, however, we were placed on the ledge of the observation deck of the Empire State Building, and invited to repeat the task, we would freeze with fear.  It would be the same psychology at work that you feel now.

I am sure most people experience this - I certainly do, and have.  This was observed many centuries ago, and I have read that it is one of the reasons that over time, the Church switched her emphasis from hermits toward monks.  Monks, unlike hermits, are more free to change their spiritual exercises - they eat, they pray, they work, they sing, they pray some more, they sleep.  This variation diverts the mind, and frees the attention to focus on other tasks in an affirmative way.  Most of us laymen and women are closer in our spirituality to hermits than monks, by which I mean that our spiritual goals and prayers take place internally.  I mean, if you stride into the middle of the lunch room of your office and commence reading the Rule of St. Benedict out loud, in Latin, unless your office is particularly Catholic or tolerant, there will likely be some drama.  "Since we don't want no drama," as the lady rapper sang, we pursue our prayers silently, leading to the frustration and conflict we sometimes experience. 

This is probably part of the reason for Christ's excellent advice for penetential times:  wash our faces, put on new clothes, and go out with a smile. So perhaps if you keep doing what you are doing, but also add some variety into your daily life and spiritual exercises, you would feel a bit more of the momentum return.  Hope this helps!  God bless.
Warrenton thank you for the best response and advice I could have ever read. Many blessings to you and yours!
I must also add that during these conflicted periods, I tend to draw closer to Our Blessed Mother to help get me back on track. This morning I woke up having prayed the Memorare novenas in my dreams.... Funny how the subconcious works things out.
Warrenton, what's the big idea trying to out do Tim?
Interesting insight to the monks vs hermit part Warrenton.  Will think about that more.
 Candyapple,  we live in this world.  Little of it truly/fully accepts Christ, a part of it is inoffensive to Christianity, while more and more of it each passing year is actively against Christ and His Gospel.  Living in this misarranged zoo or a society can be a trial that can affect anyone one of us, putting us in a mood to have feelings of apathy if we let it, but we avoid that by maintaining a state of grace and praying for the assistance and protection of Our Lady, praying that  God to sustains us and keeps us on track.  Doing one's daily duties, having standard prayers and prayer times can help keep things focused.  
 Practicing the prescence of God is a way to counter this.  If you can acknowledge that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, accept this cross, this "lack of fervor" that God is permitting you to deal with at times.  I know, easy to say, but, like what was already said, I think we all have it at times.
  Rejoice, for tomorrow is Gaudete Sunday.   We wait with joyful hope the coming of Our Savior.  That should help lift one up.

Joe
(12-15-2012, 09:29 PM)Heinrich Wrote: [ -> ]Warrenton, what's the big idea trying to out do Tim?

No way, dude.  Tim is the Man.  With a capital M!     :grin:

Have a happy Gaudete Sunday!!!!!!
(edited to add Advent wishes to all  :grin:)
(12-16-2012, 02:55 PM)Warrenton Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-15-2012, 09:29 PM)Heinrich Wrote: [ -> ]Warrenton, what's the big idea trying to out do Tim?

No way, dude.  Tim is the Man.  With a capital M!     :grin:

Have a happy Gaudete Sunday!!!!!!
(edited to add Advent wishes to all  :grin:)

Thanks for the well wishes. Had the splash of pink, er rose, in the tie today.
Mother Theresa of Calcutta apparently hit walls and experienced many difficulties in living the Catholic Faith. You are in good company . One of the keys to holiness is persecverence. St Anthony the Abbot said that He who does not experience temptation is lost.