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Michael Morris wrote:

Hi, guys —

I attend Mass on-line every morning and while I ask that I live a life as God wants me to, I feel I am not sincere enough. As much as I try, the more I seem to doubt myself.

  • How can I overcome this?

Michael Morris

  { How can I overcome my lack of sincerity, seeing the more I try, the more I seem to doubt myself? }

Eric replied:


The fact that you are asking, not whether you are sincere, but how to overcome your doubt, demonstrates that you already recognize that your doubts are unwarranted.

Obviously if you were insincere, you would not even be asking the question. Ask yourself why you think you are not sincere enough, and rigorously apply objective, critical thinking to your answers.

  • Are they reasonable?
  • Are they justified?
  • Are they based on real, incontrovertible evidence?

Pretend you are a friend of yours presenting the problem to you.

  • How would you evaluate your friend and what advice would you give?

Find some counter evidence to balance your arguments for insincerity and think on those when you have doubts. You might want to look up a technique called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which may help. Pray each day and, when you have doubts, express your sincerity to God and ask for an increase of faith and devotion. If you have a close friend you can discuss this with, perhaps he can listen and encourage you.


Bob replied:


Thanks for the question.

This doubt you have is common. It is diabolically inspired, however, because the demonic forces want to discourage you. When we hear the voice of the accuser, he tells us we are not worthy, we are not sincere, we are not doing God's will, we are useless. This game of discouragement is meant to wear us down and get us to throw in the towel. The fact that you have these doubts means that you are in fact doing good and the devil wants you to stop. Every saint in the making has had to fight these battles and for us it is no different.

The trick is to imitate the saints, who never felt worthy or good enough but nonetheless kept pushing onward. We must behave as though we are sincere even when we don't feel like it. It's like faking it until you make it.

Remember the man who said to Jesus out of his recognition of his own weak faith:

"Lord I believe, help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24)

We must do likewise. If you feel insincere, pray to become more sincere. Don't assume that your simply stuck and cannot move forward. God will help you move, but He will do it on His Terms. There may be lessons for you to learn at this level — like how to trust that God will get you to the next point. Each step is a dying and rising that will bring you down low to see your helplessness, only to rise better in the strength of God. Don't despair about the pain involved, just roll with it and unite everything to Jesus through Mary.

Lastly, I would read something like St. John of the Cross (readings) or St. Catherine of Siena (readings) to witness how the journey to God takes us through many different stages, but ultimately, in the end, brings us to joy!


Bob Kirby

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