Responses from our audience to the questions: "When do you feel close to God? And when do you feel far away from God?".
It seems easy to feel especially close to God when life tosses me around. Moments of chaos, world turned upside down. “Help me Lord Jesus, help me find my way home.” Who else would I turn to when there’s no other around? But then there’s days when life smiles, love abounds.
Celebration of circumstance. God’s holy presence feels ever stronger, holds me wrapped in sweet comfort. And with loving gratitude…reaching out, helping others still struggling from behind, revealing who I was created to be.
(Lydia Sharp; Kings Park, NY)
With the free will I’ve been accorded, “Dear Lord, I do offer with complete surrender, I give my all to thee,” I feel away from God when left isolated, alone, and invisible to this world where my voice matters no more. I feel close to God almost always when I am in my morning prayer time.
I get up early (4:30am) so that I have time for prayer and scripture study before the rest of my home is up and about. This special time almost always sets my day in a right direction. I feel away from God rarely these days. Because I am blessed with the morning prayer time, I can’t remember a time in the past several years where I felt away from God. That is another blessing, indeed!
(Allen Stryczek; Chicago, IL)
I feel close to God when I am at the service of my brothers and sisters. When I have attitudes promoting peace and unity among peoples. Also, when I am grateful. I feel away from God when I worry too much about things or the future, not living well the present moment. When I don’t believe/trust in God’s mercy. Also, when I am not grateful.
(Alejandra; Bethesda, MD)
I feel most close to God/Jesus right after receiving the Eucharist which for us Catholics is Jesus fully present to us in the fullness of his divinity and humanity. I also feel close to God generally when I am aware of the presence of God in prayer, in people, in nature. I feel away from God when I allow myself to be distracted by the tragedies and cares of life or appealing idols in our world.
(Paul Flaman; Edmonton, AB)
I feel close to God when I experience that I made the right choice after my sense that he helped me with my decision. I know this because I felt peace. My experience with my wife when we have arguments that hurts her present opportunity to remind me to wish what is good for her.
Opportunity to start over and over again for self-examination to make up for my lack of concern. I feel far from God in times of doubt with a feeling of not to go forward anymore. However, I try to overcome my being down with the thought that God wants me to go ahead and that it’s his will. I confirm that this is so because there was peace in me. The situation with the community in my parish of which I belong was a case in point. It had been decided to donate $200 to the school which the parish manages. It is to help the school to provide scholarships to families who cannot afford the tuition. I insisted to give more like $500. I couldn’t accept that the majority cannot see my point that many families cannot afford to enroll their children to Catholic schools. They’d rather spend our community funds to spend food for parties that they believe they deserve after doing a big event. I finally let go of my ideas and accepted their decision knowing that I couldn’t do anything more to convince them. I asked pardon specially from the treasurer of whom I had the most argument for being so insistent up to the point of raising my voice. She accepted my apology and we were friends again. So regardless of the feeling near or far from God, ultimately, in the end, peace comes out ahead that tells me God always intervene if he is allowed to.
(Medardo Camara; Chicago, IL)
I am not an active member of Focolare, but I love your dream of trying to realize the dream of Jesus stated in John 17: 21. I am a Catholic priest, a Missionary of La Salette for over 50 years. I feel closest to God when I am walking outdoors on a sunny day. The sun is so powerful it keeps our planet going even when we abuse it so badly. Like God's love, it transforms everything it touches. I feel far from God when I get isolated in myself for whatever reason instead of
realizing we are all God’s children, made in God’s image.
(Fr. John Sullivan, M.S.)
I feel close to God when in uncertainty of belief I keep the inseparability and qualitative equality; that is, covenant, non-presumed reciprocity, of feeling and thinking. I feel away from God when I fail to keep this.
(Oliver Clark; Brisbane, AUS)
I feel close to God when I have been in a moment of what could have been a burdensome situation; also in a moment of temptation. I feel away from God when I am neglectful of prayer or get too caught up in things.
(Vernon Kohlmann; Wareham, MA)
I feel close to God when I read a few paragraphs from the book “He and I” by Gabrielle Bossis, which I do every morning. Jesus speaks to her and she writes it down for all of us. I feel away from God when I get involved with most other people, who never talk about God. I blame myself for this.
(Scilla Berry; Glasgow, SCT)
I feel close to God when I am focusing on Jesus, the God-Man during private prayer as well as when serving Him in my less fortunate neighbor. I feel away from God when I let my feelings and/or self loom so large that I don’t focus on Jesus’ loving smile. I conquer these feelings when I concentrate on faith in his goodness and love.
(John-Henry Freeman; Orange County, CA)
I feel close to God when I meditate or when I feel the joy of loving God with others. I feel away from God when I’m distracted and not focused on the present.
(Fr. Tim King; from the UK, now in the US)
Join the conversation. Send your thoughts to the editor Jon Sweeney.
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