Tremendous Feeling of Emptiness

Dear Father Bloom,

I was born and raised a Roman Catholic; my early, secondary and part of my univeristy education were spent in either Jesuit or S.O.M. schools.

I am now a non-practicing Catholic (I wasn't excommunicated, so I suppose I am still a Catholic) who would like to re-approach my faith. I've tried chatting with my parish priest, but he's a busy fellow and does like his drink. I don't think my soul (or psyche) is terribly important to him. Can you help me? At the very least, can you recommend a priest...who might be willing to counsel a middle-aged man who is trying to put his life in order?

I should feel fulfilled. Everything is fine: health, material security, marriage, and yet, how can I express the tremendous feeling of emptiness with which I start every day? I am living, yet I am dead. A bit melodramatic, sure, but that's the way I feel.

Drop me a line, Padre, if you can give me a bit of an orientation.



Dear E,

I do not think you are being melodramatic, but rather honest.

Regarding your desire for counseling, unfortunately most of us priests do not have the time, training or inclination to do much of it. You could probably get that from another source, maybe a local Catholic Community Services, but what a priest should provide is the opportunity for confession.

For your part you need to do an examination of conscience regarding principal sins since your last confession. Of course, you should concentrate on repenting of any present areas of sin. When you go to confession, just tell the priest how long it has been and then summarize your sins.

The priest might have some good words of counsel, but if not, the most important thing is to receive absolution which is Jesus' forgivness, healing and new beginning. Jesus is the only one who can fill your emptiness because he created it. Allowing him to do so is to rise from the dead spiritually.

My prayers, E. Please remember this sinner.

Fr. Phil Bloom

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