Someone asked me yesterday if those were my pants in the picture from my last post. No. I am at all times pantsless. If I did have pants they would be black and decidedly unfancy.
Those are lovely pants, though. I agree.
Sister -- I have a patron saint-matching request. I joined a wonderful religious community ten years ago and remained there a year until health problems forced me to leave. I was heart-broken at leaving and dealt with a lot of grief for a year or two. Since then I have come to accept that year as a gift that will prepare me in special ways for whatever else God has planned for me. I'm very happy at the thought that I might have a married vocation.
BUT, I've come to realize recently that I am still coping with a lot of anger at God for what felt like abandonment and betrayal after I left everything for Him. I have had uninterrupted spiritual dryness since I left, and a few priests have suggested that this deep hurt may be the cause. I want to draw close to God, but He's the source of the pain. It's like being in a marriage with someone you still love but can't bear to look at because of an affair.
I'm going to start spiritual direction specifically for help with this, but I'd like all the help I can get! Is there a saint who would be a good fit? People have suggested various saints who have gone through the dark night of the soul, but when I read their stories, I feel some resentment at the grace they had to still believe confidently that God loved them in spite of His apparent abandonment. I don't feel that.
On a related topic, St. Teresa of Calcutta always said to "show a smiling face to Jesus" whatever you might be feeling. I feel more like yelling at Him, but I feel guilty and a bit scared when I do, like it's blasphemous. I'd rather be honest with Him, though. What do you think? Is it okay to haul off and "give Him what for"?
I am so confused. It seems to me that the first part of your statement about looking forward to a vocation of marriage and seeing this all as a gift from God is just not true. Let's get to the facts. You are still mad that you didn't get the life you wanted and feel God abandoned you.
Pay attention. God did not abandon you. You said you had to leave ten years ago for health reasons.
You are still alive.
You have no reason to give God "what for". He has reason to give you "what for".
Here is another thing that is not true:
People have suggested various saints who have gone through the dark night of the soul, but when I read their stories, I feel some resentment at the grace they had to still believe confidently that God loved them in spite of His apparent abandonment.
At some point they believed that God loved them in spite of His apparent abandonment, but the fact that they felt abandoned indicates that they didn't go around feeling like this much of the time. They felt despair. Which is a sin, which is a further estrangement from God because God never abandons anyone. What a mess. That's why it's called a "Dark Night of the Soul" and not "free floating anxiety" or some "ups and downs in the faith department."
I'm not trying to minimize your pain. I just think you have it all backwards. You shouldn't be asking yourself to forgive God. You should be asking God to forgive you. He gave you some gifts that you don't seem to want. That's not His fault. The gifts are there. They arrive every day. You just keep marking them 'return to sender'.
So! The patron saint! St. Paul.
I always think of him as the patron saint of doing a total 180. The patron saint of going full throttle in the wrong direction and then spinning right around and going pedal to the metal the other way. He couldn't have been more wrong in his direction when he was spun around. He couldn't have been more right after he picked himself up again.