Monday, September 17, 2012

Complacency in Faith

I've learned over this past year or so that one of my biggest spiritual challenges is becoming complacent in faith. Before my reversion, my complacency played out in the fact that I attended Mass every Sunday, and that was it. I felt like I was doing what was required (of course, I wasn't actually) and that was all I really needed to do. As I came back into the faith, I began to feel alive and on fire. My husband and I would add things to our days and to our life, like confession, praying before meals and bed, devotionals, daily readings, etc. I felt excited, inspired, and loved the journey we were on. But I eventually became complacent in that, too. I've realized that it's not realistic to expect to feel that 'on fire' feeling all the time, and that's ok. Sometimes I might not feel a huge connection, and sometimes I might feel like I am going through the motions. But that's different from complacency. Being complacent in my faith is when I don't challenge myself spiritually. Here I thought I was doing all these things in increase my faith, and I was. But after a while, that becomes normal, and it's up to me to change, adapt, and grow.

We've realized that we have to do different things to avoid complacency. We can't always do the same prayer/devotion before bed, I can't always do the same thing at the same time in a routine. I've learned that by mixing it up, I stay engaged. I don't have to feel on fire all the time, but I do have to be engaged. One thing that has helped a lot is reminding myself that I am seeing and receiving Jesus in the flesh in the Eucharist. I had honestly become complacent about communion, and to me that seemed like a little bit of dangerous territory. I'm just not one of those people who sits in awe every single Sunday, but I should! So the next best thing (for me) is to literally have a conversation with myself during the consecration about what is happening. It's hard to not feel moved when I look at Jesus!

On another note, I joined a Women of Grace group that started last week. I had NO IDEA who Johnette Benkovic was or that the program was national. I totally thought it was just a local group! The work load looks to be challenging, but I think it will be a good challenge. I actually love that there is so much to do at home. You read a chapter and do 5 exercises throughout the week (in our case, two) before the next class. I'm glad I can't just shut it out until the day of, because I'm a master compartmentalizer and need the push to make it a part of my daily life! I'm excited  for the spiritual challenge this will bring me, and also the fellowship!

Is complacency in your faith (not necessarily Catholic faith- whatever your faith is) something you struggle with? If so, what do you do to renew your faith?


  1. I can't speak to it in the same way as you because I'm in the process of converting, so I'm in a very different place. So take everything I say with that in mind! But for me, for right now, I sort of see it like a new relationship - I'm excited and eager because it's all so new, but I also know that the same rituals that fascinate me now will feel old hat in a few years. Like in a marriage, I should work to reinvigorate when I feel it's needed so that I keep it healthy and keep it priority and not get complacent - but again like in a marriage, I also look forward to the comfort and security of having this all such an ingrained part of my life.

    Once I'm there, I may look at this completely differently. But I HAVE always been the type to value contentment to fire and passion, which tend to be unsustainable in the long-term and make you lose sight of the value in the everyday.

    1. Yeah, I think the thing for me is contentment vs complacency. Contentment is a good thing, complacency is not. I find myself in both at different times and the contentment I'm totally good with. The complacency needs challenge (for me).