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  #1  
Old May 14, '12, 9:20 am
In Training In Training is offline
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Default Doubts About Being Catholic....

I left the church before, for many years and it was horrible, and I promised God I'm not gonna do it again. And I'm not, I'm not I'm not I'm not. Spiritually I'm in the right place but I'm missing so many of the basics.... Over the past few months I started to finally feel good about my relationship with God, and that hasn't changed, but I listen to others talk at my church and I read some threads here and apparently there's just a lot of important things I'm missing that just aren't important to me.... Most problems people seem to have are with premarital sex/masturbation - don't get me wrong, they can be unhealthy if abused, but if not abused I don't think it's really a sin. There's a lot of things I don't think are really sins, I don't care what the bible says.

I don't care what the Bible says... I can't believe I just wrote that. I really do care, a lot, but it's easy for me to dismiss it sometimes. I haven't picked up a Bible in years, I'm too scared of the friggin thing. Which is bad because I help with a youth ministry class once a week, and I was put in that position because I said I wanted to become a priest. I definitely don't practice what I preach.

Has anyone started out this way and kind of worked their way up to being a better Catholic? My heart's in it, but I don't think my brain is, and I'm starting to get nervous. It's not easy for me to give someone else control of me, but I finally did, and now I just have no idea what He wants for me or where He's trying to lead me. I'm trying to listen, but sometimes I hear nothing, so maybe it means I have to figure things out on my own, but I don't trust myself. I need the training wheels to go back on.
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  #2  
Old May 14, '12, 9:40 am
Veronica97 Veronica97 is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

May I suggest that the reason you are afraid of the Bible, is because you are afraid of what it will tell you that you need to do? We don't always want to know the Truth, because it means we may have to change!! But Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Not just SOME of them but ALL of them. Jesus also said to "enter the narrow gate for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction." We can do it our way (and risk eternal damnation) or we can do it God's way and perhaps suffer here on earth for a short while (70-80 years is really not very long!) but be eternally happy with Him in Heaven. When I look at it that way, I know which choice is the better one! May I suggest that you begin to pray the Rosary? Mary will lead you to Jesus and your heart will gradually begin to change. Also, start slow. Try reading the daily Mass readings: an O.T. reading, a Psalm, and a N.T. reading. Use a Catholic Bible and read the notations at the bottom so you are sure to understand what you have read. Pray first for the Holy Spirit to help you understand what your read and to internalize it and finally to LIVE it. God doesn't expect perfection overnight. But if we're truly seeking Him, we must sincerely learn His Word and then pray that He will give us what we need in order to follow it. May I also suggest you start reading about the Catholic teachings on masturbation and pre-marital sex so that you may understand WHY those are the teachings? I found that when I started researching the issues I was questioning, I FOUND the answers and I finally understood! I pray you make the right decision. God bless!
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  #3  
Old May 14, '12, 10:17 am
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Rich C Rich C is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

Have you considered finding a spiritual director among the good priests you know?

Besides that, since you're newly returned to the Faith, take it slowly and focus on meeting your basic obligations: assisting at Mass every Sunday, and going to confession whenever you commit a serious/mortal sin.

If you can do that consistantly, then begin praying the Rosary regularly, if not daily. Buy a layman's catechism (I recommend the Baltimore Catecism, others may recommend the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults) and read it.

If you do those things, you'll be on the right track. For more advice, find a spiritual director, I say.
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  #4  
Old May 14, '12, 10:22 am
lax16 lax16 is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

Quote:
Originally Posted by In Training View Post
I left the church before, for many years and it was horrible, and I promised God I'm not gonna do it again. And I'm not, I'm not I'm not I'm not. Spiritually I'm in the right place but I'm missing so many of the basics.... Over the past few months I started to finally feel good about my relationship with God, and that hasn't changed, but I listen to others talk at my church and I read some threads here and apparently there's just a lot of important things I'm missing that just aren't important to me.... Most problems people seem to have are with premarital sex/masturbation - don't get me wrong, they can be unhealthy if abused, but if not abused I don't think it's really a sin. There's a lot of things I don't think are really sins, I don't care what the bible says.

I don't care what the Bible says... I can't believe I just wrote that. I really do care, a lot, but it's easy for me to dismiss it sometimes. I haven't picked up a Bible in years, I'm too scared of the friggin thing. Which is bad because I help with a youth ministry class once a week, and I was put in that position because I said I wanted to become a priest. I definitely don't practice what I preach.

Has anyone started out this way and kind of worked their way up to being a better Catholic? My heart's in it, but I don't think my brain is, and I'm starting to get nervous. It's not easy for me to give someone else control of me, but I finally did, and now I just have no idea what He wants for me or where He's trying to lead me. I'm trying to listen, but sometimes I hear nothing, so maybe it means I have to figure things out on my own, but I don't trust myself. I need the training wheels to go back on.
In Training - It's time to get your brain on board as well.

Luckily, the Catholic Church has much to offer in this category.

Do you have a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church? If not, it is available online and it is filled with the thought (and scripture) behind the Church's teachings.
I also suggest reading about the Early Church Fathers and Early Church History. Our teachings on morality/sexuality go back to the very beginnings of the Church and it is very helpful to see how/why the Church teaches what She does on these matters.
Thirdly, I suggest reading about the saints and their struggles and triumphs.

Always ask the Holy Spirit to help guide you as you are reading and seeking out answers.

I have grown sooooo much in my understanding of Church teachings over the past ten years because I have made the effort to study and pray.

You have humility on your side - and that is a good thing - now it is time to move forward with your questions.
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  #5  
Old May 14, '12, 10:25 am
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

Quote:
Originally Posted by In Training View Post
I left the church before, for many years and it was horrible, and I promised God I'm not gonna do it again. And I'm not, I'm not I'm not I'm not. Spiritually I'm in the right place but I'm missing so many of the basics.... Over the past few months I started to finally feel good about my relationship with God, and that hasn't changed, but I listen to others talk at my church and I read some threads here and apparently there's just a lot of important things I'm missing that just aren't important to me.... Most problems people seem to have are with premarital sex/masturbation - don't get me wrong, they can be unhealthy if abused, but if not abused I don't think it's really a sin. There's a lot of things I don't think are really sins, I don't care what the bible says.

I don't care what the Bible says... I can't believe I just wrote that. I really do care, a lot, but it's easy for me to dismiss it sometimes. I haven't picked up a Bible in years, I'm too scared of the friggin thing. Which is bad because I help with a youth ministry class once a week, and I was put in that position because I said I wanted to become a priest. I definitely don't practice what I preach.

Has anyone started out this way and kind of worked their way up to being a better Catholic? My heart's in it, but I don't think my brain is, and I'm starting to get nervous. It's not easy for me to give someone else control of me, but I finally did, and now I just have no idea what He wants for me or where He's trying to lead me. I'm trying to listen, but sometimes I hear nothing, so maybe it means I have to figure things out on my own, but I don't trust myself. I need the training wheels to go back on.
Here is a person, Lord, who is teetering on the edge of a great faith...He needs the Holy Spirit to brush him over! Help him to feel Your love and care, even in times when he thinks You might not be there. If You can, Lord, please lead people into In Training's life, who will help him walk TOWARD You and not hesitate, and not try to stand in one place, afraid. He knows You have given him a spirit of courage, not one of fear, but he's just having a little doubt, Lord. Even Thomas had some doubt, and You were so gentle with him, and I personally picture You smiling and even laughing a little at Thomas, who had to touch your hands and side to believe.

In Training, get a copy of Theology of the Body. Read it. You will understand why God wants our sexuality completely. No selfishness allowed. You can't have self-directed pleasure like that and be in communion with Him. Sex is made for a man and a woman to bond within a marriage, and to create children. For no other reasons! Not just for grins and giggles. Do you think God does anything that amazing just so we can keep it to ourselves? No, He has a much bigger plan for us!

Of course you have fear. Following God's plan is so different from what the world is doing. It will set you apart. Trust fully in God. He's there for you.

Lord, I do believe, help my unbelief.

Praying for you! I just have this feeling you are going to do amazing things!
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  #6  
Old May 14, '12, 10:38 am
J_Peterson J_Peterson is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

I have doubts now and again, sometimes serious. I can't imagine leaving though. Turn your doubts into a prayer, God may answer or He may not. If he doesn't, just keep praying. Maybe we are just still in the "seeking Christ" phase.

I've been thinking of going to a spiritual director. I'm very shy so it will be a challenge.
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  #7  
Old May 14, '12, 10:55 am
bscastro bscastro is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

Greetings,

I think I get where you're coming from. I was there at one point as well. I was raised Catholic and although I didn't leave the Church, I got very lazy in my practice and didn't remember/understand all of the teachings of the Church.

It looks like you have a good start in wanting to be faithful. However, as others have said, you may want to explore and do some research into the teachings that you have trouble with. It is not appropriate to say, "I don't think that's right" and just leave it at that. One has to research, pray, and try to learn why the Church teaches what it teaches.

It's a journey...as for myself, I always pray, "Lord, I don't understand everything, but I will obey while I seek understanding." I humbly suggest you try something similar. Obey the Church while you learn about the faith - as opposed to doing things the Church teaches are sinful and then find out later that you understand and agree they are sinful.

It's kind of like this...I tell my son not to put his hand on a hot iron because he'll get burned. He doesn't know what being burned is like and doesn't know if it will be all that bad. He could just say, "well, I don't believe that no matter what Dad says" then touch the iron and get burned...or he can believe me and then maybe do some research - e.g. reading about burns, watching youtube video about burns, etc. Maybe a silly analogy, but don't get burned while you're figuring out for yourself whether the iron is really hot!

God bless,
Bryan
__________________
The Lord is kind and merciful.

I believe one of God's most under-appreciated gifts to us is the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
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  #8  
Old May 14, '12, 11:06 am
Kadaffi20 Kadaffi20 is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

Wow.. You are so weak. It frightens me that you are so weak buddy..... You don't care what the Bible says? Well.. You will when you feel the flames of Hell.

Don't get me wrong anyone, I just don't really like when people say dumb things as this guy. It makes me feel sad for them and for the human race that has been so freaking blinded by Satan. It is unbelievable how blind people are these days. I will pray for you, buddy.
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  #9  
Old May 14, '12, 11:44 am
Veronica97 Veronica97 is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

I don't think In Training is being "dumb". He's being HONEST. He knows deep down that He needs God, but He is afraid to give God total reign. I do understand that. But once you let go and let God so to speak, you wonder why you were so afraid before. Things that mattered to you before don't matter so much (or at all) and things that didn't matter that much become of utmost importance to you. It's just how God can change your heart IF you let Him. Being "dumb" would be for someone to say, "I don't need God." That's not what In Training is saying. He's saying he has doubts and is afraid. That is totally human and shows humility that he is willing to admit that.
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  #10  
Old May 14, '12, 1:00 pm
J_Peterson J_Peterson is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kadaffi20 View Post
Wow.. You are so weak. It frightens me that you are so weak buddy..... You don't care what the Bible says? Well.. You will when you feel the flames of Hell.

Don't get me wrong anyone, I just don't really like when people say dumb things as this guy. It makes me feel sad for them and for the human race that has been so freaking blinded by Satan. It is unbelievable how blind people are these days. I will pray for you, buddy.
Spiritual pride is one of the worst sins you can be guilty of. Remember,

God loves the weak, no one will boast before God.
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  #11  
Old May 14, '12, 2:13 pm
Kadaffi20 Kadaffi20 is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Peterson View Post
Spiritual pride is one of the worst sins you can be guilty of. Remember,

God loves the weak, no one will boast before God.
No pride. Did Padre Pio commit pride when he said "You will believe it when you get there" to a person who said that he did not really believe the existent of Hell? I do not say that I am perfect spiritually, hahaha! Wish I was. I am far from perfect, actually, I am a very bad person spiritually, I am a heavy sinner actually...

Btw. If it was spiritual pride then I do deserve my penalty for that.
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  #12  
Old May 14, '12, 2:23 pm
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cessnawag cessnawag is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

I would get a copy of the catechism of the catholic church. That really explains why the church says what it says. With that and the bible you can answer most questions.
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  #13  
Old May 14, '12, 3:42 pm
In Training In Training is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veronica97 View Post
May I suggest that the reason you are afraid of the Bible, is because you are afraid of what it will tell you that you need to do? We don't always want to know the Truth, because it means we may have to change!!
Itís overwhelming. Iíve been through more change than a Coinstar, I donít know if I can take anymore. Iím happy with where Iím at nowÖa very different place than 6 months agoÖ. I like your ďstart slowĒ Ė itís too overwhelming to try to do all of it at once. Maybe it takes longer than a few weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich C View Post
Have you considered finding a spiritual director among the good priests you know? Besides that, since you're newly returned to the Faith, take it slowly and focus on meeting your basic obligations: assisting at Mass every Sunday, and going to confession whenever you commit a serious/mortal sin.
Iíve been recommended one, but havenít gone yet. Same reason I donít want to open a Bible. Iíll eventually goÖa lot of people have pointed me to that. Iím not really sure how to prepare for it, exactly. As for confession, I try to go once a month. In the past itís been because Iím trying to be an example. I need to approach confession differently in my mindÖinstead of viewing it as something intimidating I need to start thinking of it as something refreshing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealJuliane View Post
No selfishness allowed. You can't have self-directed pleasure like that and be in communion with Him. Sex is made for a man and a woman to bond within a marriage, and to create children. For no other reasons! Not just for grins and giggles. Do you think God does anything that amazing just so we can keep it to ourselves? No, He has a much bigger plan for us!
I was just saying in generalÖI never said I grinned or giggledÖ Another thing is ABC, I do respect people who use NFP and admire how disciplined they are, but I couldn't ever rely on that. If it failed once it would be too much. NFP as I see it is more for couples who are open to having kids, and Iím 22 so Iím not open to that at all. Well, if it happened, I would do my best to be a parent and not freak out, but even if I got married this year, that still wouldnít mean Iím ready for kids, so it would have to be ABC. The weird thing about this Ė I feel like Godís okay with it but my community isnít, so Iím trying to please Catholics more than Iím trying to please God. I know Iím supposed to know better, but Iím too afraid to use NFP. If it failed, Iím in no position to be in charge of someone elseís life. I donít mean to justify sin, I really donítÖIím so tired of being different from other Catholics. Sometimes it feels like I know too much, and that knowledge is scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealJuliane View Post
Praying for you! I just have this feeling you are going to do amazing things!
Yesterday a kid was standing in the hallway of the church downstairs where the youth classes areÖ Iíd never seen him before, and I was gonna walk past him, but I went backÖ Heís 16, he started talking to me about how ďmy peopleĒ could still believe in God, and he told me all this stuff that happened to him as a kidÖ. I didnít try to make him come to church or anything, didnít want him to think I was trying to recruit himÖ but I told him Iíd been there, and he asked me if it would be okay for him to sit in on a mass and see if it was something he could learn from. I said of course. Even if he doesnít ever come to church again, I think he now has some good ideas of what changes he wants to make to have a better life. I donít think that was my influence, I think he was just young and about to get to the point where you look at your life and realize what changes you have to make to create a better situation for yourself. I think he just wants to feel welcomed somewhere, which is what I never had as a kid and teen because many the Catholics in my congregation were extremely critical of others. So I'm glad I went back to talk to the kid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bscastro View Post
Obey the Church while you learn about the faith - as opposed to doing things the Church teaches are sinful and then find out later that you understand and agree they are sinful. ...

Maybe a silly analogy, but don't get burned while you're figuring out for yourself whether the iron is really hot!
I'm trying to obey the church. (Did that just come out of my mouth?)

YES. I'm trying to obey the church. It's new. It's interesting.

I hate it.

I've been very angry with the church in the past...many congregations forget what this whole thing is supposed to be about, and I've been very hurt and screwed up in the past by people who think they're acting in the name of God but really are just trying to bully others, including little kids. I swore I'd never set foot inside another Catholic church, but God gave me another chance that I didn't at all deserve, so I'm trying to give others another chance too.

I have a few memories of putting my hand flat on the stove burner as soon as my dad turned it on just to prove I could. My ex-girlfriend had a name for it, she called it ďbeing a bastard.Ē Sheís so graceful and sweet.
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  #14  
Old May 14, '12, 3:44 pm
In Training In Training is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kadaffi20 View Post
Wow.. You are so weak. It frightens me that you are so weak buddy..... You don't care what the Bible says? Well.. You will when you feel the flames of Hell.

Don't get me wrong anyone, I just don't really like when people say dumb things as this guy. It makes me feel sad for them and for the human race that has been so freaking blinded by Satan. It is unbelievable how blind people are these days. I will pray for you, buddy.
YOU'RE A ******* ***.

And what I mean by that, is thank you for praying for me even though you don't approve. That takes character.
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  #15  
Old May 14, '12, 4:04 pm
AlanFromWichita AlanFromWichita is offline
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Default Re: Doubts About Being Catholic....

Quote:
Originally Posted by In Training View Post
Has anyone started out this way and kind of worked their way up to being a better Catholic? My heart's in it, but I don't think my brain is, and I'm starting to get nervous.
Dude, when I was in college ('77-'81) I went from totally innocent to totally corrupt. It was all about drugs, sex, and rock 'n' roll. In the generation before me they called it wine, women, and song. Terms change, but the underlying human nature doesn't.

Now I'm happily married with 6 kids ages 14-25 all in or gone through K-13 Catholic school, the 25 year old is the youngest Grand Knight we've ever had, the 15 year old sings as cantor, the 14 year old serves Mass. Two of them are engineers.

And I'm not ashamed of those times, because they got me to this point. But I have zero desire to return to them, and now I'm insanely happy with the peace and joy of Christ, and am loving life.

And no fear of hell, Bible, or Church. They are but tools to bring us to God, not threats in and of themselves.

Alan
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