In our day and age, when it comes to the Faith, we have the tendency to simply go with what feels right. I did this a lot and still do, though I am trying not to do it as much. It is a very bad habit and leads to so much confusion. It is simply the Protestant way of going about Theology rather than how Catholicism has always approached such things. There are some instances which, of course, we are able to make decisions based on feelings, but it is so much more different than what we "modern day" Catholics are used to. Let me give an example...
Sandy puts a direct quote from Canon Law on the bulletin board in her parish office. The quote, Canon 916: "Holy Communion is only to be received by baptized Catholics in a state of grace." Pat, the office secretary gets offended and tells Sandy, "Jesus would never reject anyone. We should be grateful when anyone comes to Mass and receives Jesus!"
Sandy then calmly replies, "Canon Law is actually just confirming what Saint Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians 11:28-29 when he says, 'Let everyone first examine himself, and then eat of that Bread and drink of that Chalice; because he who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks unto his own condemnation' We are Baptized Catholics and are obliged to follow Church teaching."
But Pat doubles down and replies, "Jesus knows the hearts of everyone; we cannot judge anyone! My husband doesn't agree with the Church at all but he comes to Mass and receives Communion with me. This is one of the few times where we are truly united in Jesus. I could never take that away from him or me!"
Pat may claim that Sandy is in the wrong because she not only offended her by posting Canon 916, but she now sees Sandy as "judgemental" and "unfeeling" because she was not swayed by Pat's personal account of the situation. However, the reality is that Pat is rejecting Church Teaching over her personal feelings and Sandy has done nothing wrong.
This is a tired and repeated situation that plays out everywhere by Catholics from all walks of life, and it is a serious problem.
Catholics ought to be properly taught the Faith, and they ought to be taught clearly. We cannot claim that someone has bad intent if they were simply taught that their feelings matter more than the teaching of Holy Mother Church. However, we must be the charitable ones and as doctor of the Church, St. Francis de Sales writes, "When Charity requires it, you should readily and kindly impart to your neighbour not only that which is necessary for his instruction, but also what is profitable for his consolation." And, "Friendship will banish a casual sin by brotherly correction, only that which is necessary for his instruction, but also what is profitable for his consolation." Of course, we all have much to learn when it comes to acting in Charity when reading St. Francis' "Introduction to the Devout Life," myself included. But that is the life of a Catholic, no? To continue learning how to grow in virtue and correct our vices?
Emotions-based theology makes for confusing and bad theology. It's best to stick with what Holy Mother Church has always taught. Feelings and "personal expierience" cannot evade reality, and it is not hatred or lack of love when we try to live according to reality and not according to how we "feel" something should be if it contradicts the Faith.
We have become so invested in our own feelings that we can be blind to the reality and gravity of obeying the teachings of the Church. I am not sure where the idea that obeying the Church's teaching suddenly came to mean that we are judging the state of people's souls, or are somehow not caring about others. The reality is merely the opposite. But again, we have become way too Protestantized in our view of Theology. A remedy to this is reading the actual sources. If we become more familiar with the Catechism, and not just the most popular one we have today but some of the various approved Catechisms such as the Catechism of Trent, The Baltimore Catechism, the St. Pius X Catechism ect ect. Another excellent resource is the website (and app ) CatenaBible.com. Readers will be able to choose a passage of the Bible and then read what the Church Fathers wrote about that particular section. It is very helpful to understand where the Church is coming from. Sometimes it can be helpful to read encyclicals and letters of great Popes such as Pius V, Pius X, Leo XIII, and Pius XII on certain topics. Leo XIII's letter on the heresy of Americanism is very interesting, as his encyclicals on socialism, Christian marriage and freemasonry. Pius XI's encyclical on Christian Marriage is also excellent of course. It's really beautiful to read these gems of the faith today.
Finally, we (myself included) must dive into what Charity truly means, according to the Church. St. Francis de Sales speaks volumes on the subject in his "Introduction to the Devout Life" which can be read free online. We must also become fully aware of and educated in the "Nine Ways of Being Accessory to Another’s Sin"* that Holy Mother Church gives us. Perhaps if we all try to apply ourselves, we can begin to overcome the bad habit of choosing emotion over Church Teaching.
*According to Catholic teaching, there are 9 ways of being an accessory to another’s sin.
By praise or flattery.
By defense of the ill done.