An Apology & a Need for Guidance

I really don’t know how to start this thread. In fact, I really don’t know what to say. But I do need help, which is why I’m here.

Normally, I would go to the prayer area. However, I believe that, if I could just find someone compassionate to talk to about this, that maybe, I could get better.

Losing faith is very much like contracting a disease. I fell away from God because I could not trust Jesus. I haven’t trusted him for some time now, up until this point.

About a week or two ago, I received what some might call a revelation. I had given up trying to understand Jesus. Why would God come in the form of such a flawed creation as a human being? A part of me says that he wanted to help humans on their level. Another part says that humans are imperfect, that God should never have come as a man, because man is destined to fall. Something didn’t click.

You are reading from a person who has fallen away from the Catholic Church, the Mother Church, about four or five times. That’s a lot. It’s not something that I’m proud of, but I’m willing to admit it, because I’m willing to admit that I was wrong. It takes a lot of humility for me to say this, which can be very difficult for me at times. It’s definitely difficult now.

But, somehow, God saved me. I have been searching for myself for quite sometime now, and when I gave up on Jesus, he saw me hurting, and he came to me.

I don’t know if it was a vision. I don’t know what to call it. But I thought of him one day, and a very startling realization hit me. It wasn’t a kick to the stomach, but it was like there was a kick-start to my system: Jesus wasn’t a man. He was, and continues to be, God made flesh. I guess I just forgot that.

Now, I know that this is going to sound like blasphemy, but I just decided to look at it from a different point of view.

I have seen Jesus in pictures. I have seen him with golden light around him. I thought to myself, “What if this was his aura? It’s divine, and on fire. What if this is Jesus, as I was meant to see him? Isn’t gold only meant for those who are most divine?”

At that point, even looking at it from somewhat of a pagan point of view, I realized: Jesus is God. Only a god could have an aura so divine that it glows a beautiful, golden, radiant color. Nobody else can have this color. No fake god, no pagan god could have this color. This is it. He is the One. And I have been waiting for this all my life. This is what I have been searching for. All my life, I’ve been searching, and this is it.

At that moment, a vision of Jesus entered my mind. I don’t know how it happened. It just did. I looked at him, and I felt my legs go weak. I realized: I had traveled a long way to get to this point, and suddenly, I was very, very tired.

I fell to his feet, just happy to be home, and wrapped my arms around his legs. My eyes were open, but I just rested there, curled up at the feet of the man that loved me most in this world.

He spoke to me: “Child, get up. You are not meant to be down there. You are meant to be here, with me. Stand up, child. Come here.”

I stood up, feeling somewhat emotional. I felt loved, and for the first time in my life, spiritually, I was not alone. I wrapped my arms around his neck, and held him as tightly as I could, as though if I didn’t, he would disappear. He held me, and, at that moment, I knew peace. I’ve never been the same since.

However, I’m still a child in many ways. There is so much to learn. I have to grow up in a sense, and I don’t know how.

The apology is for me falling away so many times. And the last time was just before my confirmation. I am very sorry that I walked away, and I hope that I can be forgiven for this. I had issues with my faith, especially with the image of Jesus on the cross. I would never wish someone I love so much to be in that kind of humiliation and pain, but I understand now. He did it for me, because he loves me, because he won’t leave me in my shame to hide in the dark. That place was not meant for me. But I understand now, and I see: he’s in Heaven now. And he is waiting for me.

The guidance is how am I suppose to go back to a Church, THE Church, that I have abandoned at least four times already? Please, somebody, tell me, what in the world I’m supposed to do after walking away from my spiritual parish family? This was, in a way, a breach of trust. I walked out on some of the most decent, good-hearted people that I’ve ever known, and I don’t really feel all that good about that.

Please: all I want is to go back home. I just don’t know how. I will be talking with the deacon this Sunday, and I’m about to walk home from a friend’s. It is 1:32AM on a Sunday morning, and it is only 20 degrees outside, but I have to do this, because if I don’t go home right now, I’m not going to make it to services today at 9:00AM. I’m going home and going to bed. It’s a 45 minute walk, but I have to do this.

I would greatly appreciate it if someone would answer this thread sometime in the daylight hours. I will read your answers later. I just can’t do this alone.

Please forgive me,
–Tiffany M S

Tiffany,
WELCOME HOME.

Thank you for taking the time to make such a wonderful post and testimony. I will answer your request for guidance first.

Coming back onto the Church is very simple. For now I’m going to assume you have been baptized, received first communion. All you need to do is to go to confession - That is it…Just go to confession, confess your sins as well as you can remember them, receive absolution and that’s it.
I will say that this should be done before you recieve communion again but if this answer finds you after mass and you did take communion, don’t worry about it. Just get to confession asap and be guided by the advice of your confessor.

From your post it appears you were never confirmed so I would suggest calling the parish office and talking to someone there about having this taken care of. Likely they will advise that you be confirmed at eastertide when the RCIA candidates are received into the church. In any event, be guided by your pastor/confessor.

As to your “vision”. It was obviously very powerful and you were most fortunate in receiving it. From a “technical” viewpoint, this would come under the heading of a “private revelation”, something very personal. As such it is best to keep it private. By that I don’t mean you cannot share it with others (intimate friends/family) but that it is not something that requires belief by others, or needs to be confirmed by the church or anything.
Spiritually, it is best to simply accept it, praise God for it and move on in humility and desire to grow in holiness.

Lastly I will say this. In coming to CAF, you have found a wonderful home and resource for learning your faith. The many people here will help you immensely, as they have me and many others on the journey.

May the Peace of God be near you always.
James

Well, I’ve never received first communion. I’m working on becoming a member of the Church. But I will try to be a better Christian.

Thank you for hearing me. It’s been a comfort talking to you.

It sounds as though you could greatly benefit from RCIA classes. They are already going on preparing candidates for coming into the church at Easter vigil. Contact your local parish and see how best to handle your paticular circumstance.

Peace
James

your story is beautiful, thank you, and very appropriate here
welcome home!

as you so correctly express, you are still a child in the Faith, and your coming to Jesus in the humility, openness, innocence and simplicity of a child is key to understanding your experience, and where to go next. A great saint and Doctor of the Church, Therese expressed her spirituality in much the same terms, and chose as her name in religion Therese of the Child Jesus for that reason. So you are in good company

Thank you so much for the feed-back. Trust me, life has not been easy around here. I was a pagan from the age of fourteen to the age of twenty-three, and, ever since my baptism, Satan’s been trying to get me back ever since.

I don’t know if I should be telling you this, but, because of the mistakes made in my past, certain “beings” have chosen to reside in my household, something of which I do not like at all. They dwell in darkness, and, at night, they laugh at me, and it’s very scary. Lately, since I’ve talked to a few fellow Christians, it’s been getting better, but having demons dwell in my apartment is not something that much comforts me.

But I am stronger than they are. They are trying to beat the wrong person, and when a force like this makes me mad, I become a force to reckon with, myself. I told them that. I have also told them that God is on my side, and that Christ is my savior.

You have no idea how bad it’s been, or how angry I am. How dare they try to come into my home, thinking that I would just hand my immortal soul over to them on a platter, and believing that I would dance straight into hell! God loves me. He would never allow this to happen, and I let them know this. They sort of just cringed, looked afraid and shrank back into the shadows.

They’re not completely gone, but they’ll be gone soon. You don’t mess with a Swartz woman and get away with it. I’m a very stubborn young woman, and they are about to find out how combative I get when I get angry.

They want a fight? Well, now they’ve got one, and they’re in for a big surprise when I get home tomorrow.

Trust me, this is all part of the reason why Jesus came down and found me. He is my strength. He gives me all that I have. I saw Jesus when I needed Him most, and I wouldn’t be telling you all this unless it was true.

Satan is not God, and he’s about to find out how wrong he was to come into my household and think that I would just give in.

Ask your pastor over to bless your home. This will help also.

Peace
James

Well, that’s the funny thing: I’ve had him do it already. When I told him that they were back, he told me that sometimes, these things take time. Personally, I’m going to get myself a small vile of Holy Water, and keep it in my kitchen.

Yup - He’s right. Remember when the disciples had trouble expelling a demaon and Jesus said this, “But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.” (Mt 17:21 )

Personally, I’m going to get myself a small vile of Holy Water, and keep it in my kitchen.

I was about to suggest this too.

Peace
James

Hello Tiffany

 Thank you for your honesty. I too was away for 22 years. 22 years without confession, absolution, the eucharist etc. but now I am in the process of trying to mend my relationship with God's church. I have had set backs in RCIA and right now I'm in a bit of darkness about how difficult it's been but I know that Satan will not prevail and that something positive is right around the corner for me-I just have to be patient and hopeful. It's not easy admitting our doubts and personal failings but honesty is such a gift that we can give ourselves and others. Any honest person, even a devout one, will have moments of crisis but most never admit to them and it gives the impression that no ever has doubts and feels let down. We are human and sometims things don't come easy whether we are born into this faith or adopt it later on. 

Thank you for your story. It was the lift I needed in this dark space.

Hugs M (pm me if you ever need to talk)!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.