"If we are to know the Lord, we must go to him. Listen to him in silence before the tabernacle and approach him in the Sacraments."
Of course you have already been given some really great advice in this thread, though I have not read every post, just skimmed them. Maybe I can offer still another perspective.
In the spiritual life, we are given spiritual desolation and spiritual consolation. There are times when we feel like we are far from God even though we are not in sin, and there are times when we feel spiritually very close to God and in union with His Holy will. This is normal. There is nothing we can do to merit either of these states, though consolation does come from conformity to God's will.
First, I would like to recommend to you an annual retreat given by the FSSP (Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter) in Denton, NE every summer, in which Father Buckley goes through the first week of "The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius". If you have not been on a three day Ignatian silent retreat, I highly recommend it.
Second, here are some passages from "The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius" which may shed some light on what you are experiencing in your faith right now. It's kind of long, but hopefully it makes sense to you. In the context of the following paragraphs, this is St. Ignatius speaking directly to us.
The following passages fall under the "RULES FOR THE DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS". We will begin with Rule 3.
"316. 3. SPIRITUAL CONSOLATION. I call it consolation when an interior movement is aroused in the soul, by which it is inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord, and a as a consequence, can love no creature on the face of the earth for its own sake, but only in the Creator of them all. It is likewise consolation when one sheds tears that move to the love of God, whether it be because of sorrow for sins, or because of the sufferings of Christ our Lord, or for any other reason that is immediately directed to the praise and service of God. Finally, I call consolation every increase of faith, hope, and love, and all interior joy that invites and attracts to what is heavenly and to the salvation of one's soul by filling it with peace and quiet in its Creator and Lord."
"317. 4. SPIRITUAL DESOLATION. I call desolation what is entirely the opposite of what is described in the third rule (above), as darkness of soul, turmoil of spirit, inclination to what is low and earthly, restlessness rising from many disturbances and temptations which lead to want of faith, want of hope, want of love. The soul is wholly slothful, tepid, sad and separated, as it were, from its Creator and Lord. For just as consolation is the opposite of desolation, so the thoughts that spring from consolation are the opposite of those that spring from desolation."
"318. 5. In time of desolation we should never make any change, but remain firm and constant in the resolution and decision which guided us the day before the desolation, or in the decision to which we adhered in the preceding consolation. For just as in consolation the good spirit guides and counsels us, so in desolation the evil spirit guides and counsels. Following his counsels we can never find the way to a right decision."
"319. 6. Though in desolation we must never change our former resolutions, it will be very advantageous to intensify our activity against the desolation. We can insist more upon prayer, upon meditation, and on much examination of ourselves. We can make an effort in a suitable way to do some penance."
"320. 7. When one is in desolation, he should be mindful that God has left him to his natural powers to resist the different agitations and temptations of the enemy in order to try him. He can resist with the help of God, which always remains, though he may not clearly perceive it. For though God has taken from him the abundance of fervor and overflowing love and the intensity of His favors, nevertheless, he has sufficient grace for eternal salvation."
"321. 8. When one is in desolation, he should strive to persevere in patience. This reacts against the vexations that have overtaken him. Let him consider, too, that consolation will soon return, and in the meantime, he must diligently use the means against desolation which have been given in the sixth rule (above)."
May you seek the Lord's will for your life and His divine assistance during this time of trial in your faith and again spring forth into consolation a stronger Catholic who has been tried and passed the test and who is God's spiritual warrior who continues to fight the good fight.
Also, go to frequent daily Mass and make visits to Jesus in Adoration or if you can't make it to a time when Jesus is exposed in the Monstrance then just go to the Catholic Church and pray before the Tabernacle where Jesus resides.
immerse yourself in spiritual readings such as, encyclicals, writings of the Saints, the Catholic Catechism of the Church, scripture. Set aside a time for daily prayer. In addition, avail yourself of the Sacrament of Confession.
Lastly, call the local or nearest Carmelite Monastery and ask for their prayers.
Please know that you are not alone in your Faith Journey. We have the angels and Saints our Blessed Lord Himself is close to those in need whether you "feel" this presence or not He is REALLY by your side. Seek the companionship of the parish members of your Church and of course, all your friends here on CM, as well!
God bless you and keep you!
So, my advice to you, before you make a decision like this, please speak w/ a priest, or, preferably, your pastor.
Good luck w/ everything.
Further, suffering does have a purpose. Our salvation, should we accept it, was obtained only through the suffering of Jesus Christ. Our own suffering, when we choose to accept it, can be used for the spiritual benefit of ourselves and others (living and dead).
The concept of salvific suffering can be difficult to understand, and even more difficult to accept, especially when one is already suffering, but it is very important to try, and to pray for the grace to be able to accept and understand it. The following homily provides a very good explanation of this concept (and I'm not saying this just because it is my bishop preaching -- our diocese is very blessed):
"We must come to understand how it is that suffering can reveal the mercy of God and make manifest among us the consoling presence of Jesus Christ, crucified and now risen from the dead.
We must speak of this mystery today, first of all because it is one of the great mysteries of revelation, spoken of in the New Testament and attested to by every saint in the Churchs long history, by the martyrs with their blood, by the confessors with their constancy, by the virgins with their purity and by the lay faithful of Christs body by their resolute courage under fire.
But we must also speak clearly of this mystery because of the enormous suffering which is all around us and which does so much to determine the culture of our modern age."If you have some time, continue watching the remainder of the Mass after the homily: it is incredibly beautiful.
This enormous suffering which can take on so many varied physical, mental, and emotional forms will reduce us to fear and trembling if we do not remember that Christ our Pasch has been raised from the dead. Our pain and anguish could dehumanize us, for it has the power to close us in upon ourselves such that we would live always in chaos and confusion if we do not remember that Christ our hope has been raised for our sakes. Jesus is our Pasch, our hope and our light.
He makes himself most present in the suffering of his people and this is the mystery of which we must speak today, for when we speak of His saving presence and proclaim His infinite love in the midst of our suffering, when we seek His light and refuse to surrender to the darkness, we receive that light which is the life of men; that light which, as Saint John reminds us in the prologue to his Gospel, can never be overcome by the darkness, no matter how thick, no matter how choking.
Our suffering is thus transformed by His presence. It no longer has the power to alienate or isolate us. Neither can it dehumanize us nor destroy us. Suffering, however long and terrible it may be, has only the power to reveal Christ among us, and He is the mercy and the forgiveness of God.
The mystery then, of which we speak, is the light that shines in the darkness, Christ Our Lord, Who reveals Himself most wondrously to those who suffer so that suffering and death can do nothing more than bring us to the mercy of the Father.
But the point which we must clarify is that Christ reveals Himself to those who suffer in Christ, to those who humbly accept their pain as a personal sharing in His Passion and who are thus obedient to Christs command that we take up our cross and follow Him. Suffering by itself is simply the promise that death will claim these mortal bodies of ours, but suffering in Christ is the promise that we will be raised with Christ, when our mortality will be remade in his immortality and all that in our lives which is broken because it is perishable and finite will be made imperishable and incorrupt.