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Luke wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Is it common to have doubts?

Lately I have been have several doubts on where or not God is still there. I mean, yes, I still believe and attend Mass regularly but sometimes I find myself feeling distant from God.

I just want to know if this is a common thing and if God has a reason for these doubts.

Thank you,

Luke

  { Is it a common occurrence to have doubts about God's presence even when you practice the faith? }

Mike replied:

Dear Luke,

Thank-you for the question.

Yes, it is common and normal.

These postings may help:

Plus in the Catechism under the four cardinal virtues, it says:

1806 Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it;

"the prudent man looks where he is going."

(Proverbs 14:15)

"Keep sane and sober for your prayers."

(1 Peter 4:7)

Prudence is "right reason in action,"

writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle.

(St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II,47,2)

It is not to be confused with timidity or fear, nor with duplicity or dissimulation. It is called auriga virtutum (the charioteer of the virtues); it guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure.

It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience. The prudent man determines and directs his conduct in accordance with this judgment. With the help of this virtue we apply moral principles to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about the good to achieve and the evil to avoid.

Finally, under the First Commandment in the Catechism of the Catholic Church it states:

I. "You Shall Worship The Lord Your God And Him Only Shall You Serve"

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Faith

2087 Our moral life has its source in faith in God who reveals his love to us. St. Paul speaks of the "obedience of faith" (Romans 1:5; 16:26) as our first obligation. He shows that "ignorance of God" is the principle and explanation of all moral deviations. (cf. Romans 1:18-32) Our duty toward God is to believe in him and to bear witness to him.

2088 The first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it. There are various ways of sinning against faith:

Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief. Involuntary doubt refers to hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith, or also anxiety aroused by its obscurity. If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to spiritual blindness.

2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. "Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him." (Code of Canon Law, canon 751: emphasis added.)

As to if God has a reason for these doubts, I would say they are tests to our faith in Him.

I hope this helps,

Mike

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