Frustrated – feeling exasperated, discouraged, or unsatisfied
The above definition is what I found in Microsoft Word’s dictionary. Synonyms include: aggravated, irritated, upset, disturbed, annoyed, bothered. None of these come close to how I feel as a Catholic these days. I actually found myself feeling angry rather than consoled when I read the Prayer for Frustrated Catholics published yesterday by Fr. James Martin, S.J., who I admire. His words apparently hit a nerve. I’m way beyond frustrated!
Despair – a profound feeling that there is no hope
I think this is the word for my feelings about the institutional Catholic Church. Synonyms are misery, desolation, gloom, despondency. It feels like the Church has left me; I don’t recognize it anymore. I am heartbroken by the maligning of women religious and depressed about the new Missal. I seriously question how I can continue in such an organization, though leaving is a painful prospect too.
Determined – feeling or showing firmness or a fixed purpose
My faith in God remains strong; in fact, it is perhaps stronger than ever. Shifting dynamics within the Church have prompted more personal exploration into history, scripture and prayer, brought new, grounding resources, and reinforced commitment. I do not know where I am going in relation to the Church, but I will always be a Catholic. Synonyms for “determined” are resolute, gritty, unwavering, and firm.