Anyone Ever Feel Like Leaving the Church?


#1

For the last month and a half. I’ve been having doubts, I mean serious doubts about my faith (like I have issues with most, if not all, of the Church’s beliefs). I’m just tired of defending it against other people, including my own family (I’m the only Catholic left after my mother died). It would be easier to give up and go back to my old life, I had a lot more friends, men, and fun. I guess I’m just tired, I’m tired of being the crusader, I just want to be a 28 year old woman, find a husband, and raise a family.

So my question is: has anyone else felt this way? Or am I just a weirdo? Or is this a sign from God that I should switch religions? :confused:


#2

I have never had these thoughts about the Catholic Church. I’m a convert, so I had those feelings about the church I was a member of before…Mormon. God does not give us signs to leave His Church. You are struggling right now with your faith, sometimes this happens. Mother Theresa had YEARS of what they called ‘the dark night of the soul’.

I have read your posts but rarely comment on them. I think that you want to have both your life before and be a good Catholic, and you just can’t have both. It is VERY hard. I am the ONLY Catholic in my family, and my dad has a tendency to be slightly anti but is opening up a bit now.

Can I ask what “beliefs” you have a problem with? You don’t necessarily have to answer here, but then the next question is, do you believe that Christ said that He would be with us to the end, that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church? Do you think He was lying? Sometimes people struggle with some of the Church’s harder teachings, but for me, it comes down to whether or not I believe that Christ was telling the truth when He made that promise. Oddly enough, this is what also was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back in my leaving the Mormon church.

I’ll remember you in my prayers for sure! Please don’t give up! :o


#3

My sense is if you feel the need to "defend" your faith then you may be attempting to take a righteous position regarding your faith - this you should avoid (See Matthew 6:1). You are not responsible for defending the Catholic faith or what you believe to anyone else. The real call may be to journey inwards and discover who you really are and what you really believe. Clearly if you are thinking about leaving then you are at least beginning to search and that is a good thing! In my own search I have found that God is both infinitely understandable and infinitely mysterious. The Catholic church, while composed of imperfect people, has a rich body of knowledge from ancient times that is ultimately beneath, and the basis for, any other "christian" faith you might choose to seek wisdom from. Proverbs 3:5-6 might also help you now....Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.


#4

Your post is a little vague. My question wouldn’t be about disagreements with the Church’s beliefs.

My question is: Why do you think there is a connection between having less friends, men, fun and being Catholic?

More information on this topic might open up more about where you are spiritually.


#5

Yes i indeed have had these thought a lot in the last year. How I long for my Protestant Church. But since hubby is happy in the CC and would not go to another. So I just go and worship God in my old Protestant way in my heart. So no you are not the only one.


#6

As a fellow 28-year-old single gal, I can relate somewhat. I know what it’s like to feel tired of defending the faith to all your friends. (Heck, I get tired of defending the faith at my “Catholic” school!!!)

But no, I don’t generally feel like leaving it. It was quite a struggle to get here, and I need the help. There are plenty of times that I holler at God, because I don’t understand why my life is unfolding in this or that direction, and things aren’t going the way that I want. And why do all of my non-Catholic friends seem to be having such a good life when mine seems to be falling apart. But, I’ve decided that I would rather trust Him than trust myself.

When I had doubts about Church teachings, it spurred me to action, and made me determined to learn more. And I didn’t give up until I came to peace with it. (Which took longer than you might think.)

A non-Catholic once told me not to leave a faith that I didn’t fully understand, and I took those words to heart.


#7

Well, I did leave for about 20 years, give or take. a year.

It started small…not going to Church on Sundays, mostly.

Then I doubted sexual teachings of the Church. I doubted the Sacrament of confession. I don’t think I ever knew what the True Presence was. Or at least I was taught it but it never stuck.

Oh…and I was “pro choice” as well. :frowning:

But I came back. And I pray to have the faith to not leave again.

I can understand feeling lonely, I’ve always been shy and I never was the type to make friends easily. I remember in college especially, wondering why everyone was paired up, and I was alone. I think in my 20’s I only dated 3 guys, my DH. Then a crazy loony guy when I was 20, that if I had married, I’m sure I would have been an abused wife. And 1 date with a guy that never called me again.

But don’t let your loneliness make feel that you have to leave the faith. :frowning:

God loves you.


#8

Country Singer -

You really aren’t alone. I think a lot of people (especially converts) have trouble after a while. I follw what the church says, even if I disagree with some of it, but it’s hard to do that sometimes. I admit my biggest problem is yearning for freedom in my worship. I really miss those services with loud contemporary music where we can all shout to Jesus in song and dance. It’s become a real ache in my heart, something that is only made worse when I hear catholics call that “people with no depth, seeking to be entertained” or even just calling it “devil’s music.” It’s painful, and I dearly miss worshipping my deast and sweet Jesus like that.

I do know, however, that the Catholic church is the truth. It was founded by Christ and while she is in no way perfect, she’s our family. I hope someday to worship in freedom again, or to find a service (non-denominational with no sermon) that I can visit so I can worship like that again. Until then, I pray.


#9

We all have our doubts. But would God intentionally lead us away from His Church? Nope.
Hang in there, CS. It’s hard–and it always will be. I’ve asked myself a million times if it’s worth the fight…how much easier my life would be without my Catholic faith or religion in general. But when I think about, take a step back, and look inside my heart, I know that it really wouldn’t be much easier at all. It would be ten times harder. And it is worth the fight. So many people still need to hear about God in our world–and His Church. Hold onto that little bit of you that tells you to stay; that’s the Holy Spirit. Many people who leave the Church don’t listen to anyone, really. And those who leave the Church for another religion haven’t really been Catholic in the first place. Hope. We must always remember God has given us His hope. When it’s dark, that hope will never lead us to defeat.

We’re here for you. :slight_smile: Try and stay strong and ask for prayers and support whenever you need it. You know we won’t let you down! And neither will He! :love: +JMJ+


#10

I never really have. But if I had thought to do it, one experience I had would have spun me on my heels.

Some years ago, a Catholic man of some renown around here; who had held office as a judge, died. His funeral was at the local Catholic Church and his family asked me to be one of his pallbearers because he and I had always been friends, and I had been his political ally when he ran for office. I didn't know who the others were until I got to the church. Well, they were all lawyers, including two judges.

The funeral really was beautiful. Lots of attendees, and the school children sang. There was no eulogy except the priest's mentioning that the judge had always had a devotion to St. Paul, so the homily was about St. Paul, and particularly St. Paul's statement to the effect that "I have fought the fight, I have run the race, I have kept the faith." No "inside jokes" like they have at every protestant funeral I have ever attended. No schmaltzy "favorite tune of the deceased" like I hear so often. No confusion. Just purposefulness.

We were assigned the cars, and I found myself in a car full of lawyers; all protestants, but some very smart men. I knew them all, but I guess they didn't know I am Catholic too. On the way to the cemetery, they talked about how beautiful it was and how well the children sang and how they were amazed that anyone could induce a bunch of grade schoolers to sing like that. I'll have to say, the children not only sang well, but in a heartfelt manner that was easily recognized.

There was a pause, then, after it, one of the lawyers in the car remarked "I guess those people really believe." He said it in a way that made me sort of think he didn't. Another acknowledged that he thought "they" did too. Then the Judge in the car said "Help, O Lord my unbelief". Nobody said another thing and the car remained silent until we got to the cemetery.

Afterward, one of the lawyers who had been in the other car, and who knew I am Catholic, came up to me and talked about how orderly and purposeful the Mass seemed to be; centered around the Eucharist as it is. He then said "If I could believe in that,(the Eucharist) I would become a Catholic immediately. There would be no choice." He and I talked some about it. I don't know if he will ever become Catholic. It's hard around here, because peoples' protestant churches also reflect their social positions and circle of acquaintences.

I live in an extremely protestant part of the country; mostly Evangelicals and Fundamentalists nowadays. I see them go from church to church to church, and I see a lot of them convert. (about 5% increase in our parish every year). If you talk to them about converting or why they did, it's always the same thing. It's always the Eucharist.

So, even though I'm not the smartest guy in the world, I think I have learned a few things. One of them is that it's a desert outside the Church. (now some Protestant poster will jump on me, I guess)

In fact, one of my favorite poems is T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land". It's a bit of a tough read because of all of the references he has in it. But it's worth the study if one gets a good text with all the references footnoted, and that's fundamentally what he's saying; it's a desert outside the Church. I think he's right. Life's short. I want to be at the finish line like St. Paul and that judge.


#11

CountrySinger, don’t feel alone because there are those of us out there that are Catholic but struggling with the faith. At the moment, I’m one of these people. Prior to getting married I felt strongly about being married in the Catholic church, raising our kids Catholic, and living a life centered around the Catholic church. Then little by little it seems that the Catholic church isn’t right for my husband and I. It started with being told that our marriage, due to DH not being baptised, is not a sacrament. How could something so awesome as marrying this guy not be considered a sacrament because of a decision his parents made many years ago? How could he not being raised in any church, but still having a deep faith in God, mean that our marriage is sort of ‘less’ than other marriages? Then it was going to mass and realizing that the main part of mass wouldn’t be shared between the two of us. If God is supposed to be the most important part of our marriage, then how can this be when one of us can’t participate and may only participate if they sign on the dotted line. Next it was looking around and one day feeling that mass was more about the pomp and circumstance than about furthering an understanding of God and his word.

It’s sort of funny that you posted this message because I had promised myself to do some faith searching before making any comments on this topic, but suddenly I saw this post and new I needed to respond. I haven’t yet made any decisions as I’m still looking harder at my faith and the Catholic church, and at other faith’s beliefs to see where I go from here. No decisions yet, but know that you’re not alone. Any time you need to talk to someone in a similar spot, feel free to PM me.


#12

Stop holding onto your doubts, give them to God and then forget about them.

This is in my opinion a sign that you need to stop socialising with the people who force you to be the crusader your sick of being. You will always have doubts simply because the company you are keeping putting them in your head.

As to finding a husband and raising a family the Catholic Church helps us to do that, it is the greatest supporter of marriage in the world, your problems I would guess all stems from you not giving yourself completely to the Church, maybe your trying to live two different life’s?

You have doubts about the faith and you are tempted to go back to the emptiness of seeking superficial pleasures, as a catholic man that tells me you are not ready to get married yet, a prudent catholic man looking for a wife would not risk his one shot at marriage and family on you while you are still in this mindset.

Get your mind right, make a total commitment to God and His Church and then, and only then will God trust you with one of His sons to marry.


#13

Thank you for all your replies (I was at work, and we constantly had customers). I’ll try to answer all your questions.

When I say defend my faith, I mean defend my choices to my non-Catholic friends. Why I can’t go out and have sex with men anymore (unless I’m married). Why I can’t dress in the way I used to dress. Why I have to get up early for Mass. The solution would be to have only Catholic friends, but I’m not giving up my friends who have been there for me. Now my crucifix I wear is a liabilty in the dating world (even though this Catholic man I know MIGHT be interested in me, but let’s see how that turns out, lol.)

And I feel out of place in any Catholic church I have been involved in. I’m not good enough to be a saint, but I’m not a s*** anymore either. I have a desire to belong somewhere, and I’m not finding it here. I participate in Mass and feel nothing, and I used to be so passionate about my faith, and now it is a chore. I feel empty now. I don’t fit in with the good Catholic girls, so where do I belong?


#14

I don’t know what to say except…hang in there girl! :hug3:


#15

Like I hinted earlier you haven’t moved far enough away from your old life, that’s your problem, not been a s*** any more isn’t enough God wants you to be a saint, and you can be, but your refusing to make the sacrifices God wants you to make and your refusing to make the effort to belong.

You know that old life is no good for you, but your not brave enough to leave everything to do with it to follow God, so you get what you have, your stuck in the middle living a double life trying to serve two different masters. You will never be happy while you are doing that.

Friends would want what is best for you, the people you call friends are trying to drag you back into your old life that leads to death.

You are at a cross roads, you need to decide to turn right and follow God which will lead you further away from the people in your past life but will create space for God to provide you with new travelling companions or you can turn left and keep walking with your current associates, who love their sins, away from God towards the inferno.


#16

is there a young adults’ group at any parish near you? Groups like that often help form a sense of community so you can feel like you belong. If not, maybe you can get involved in RCIA or Bible study to remember why you’re here or in the liturgy somehow.

Praying for you.


#17

Firstly, if I can give you advice of an older man.

My wife and I were 40 when we got married. We met when we were 38 and had both given up on ever finding a partner. I dated girls who were “nice” (I hate the word but it describes what I mean), but was never involved enough for marriage. Just as I gave up hope of meeting someone, along came this beautiful woman, who is now my wife. She is expecting our first child in six days time.

It is easy to tell you to keep the faith (And that is the hardest part, FAITH). Put God in charge of your life and let Him lead you. The right man will come along, but in God’s good time. And if you are to stay single , Let Thy will be done.

As far as your friends are concerned, I had only protestant friends. They knew that I was Catholic and never questioned my faith or beliefs. If I was fasting, they accepted it. If we were going out on Sunday and I would be late because I was going to Mass. they accepted it (even though I told them that I would meet them there). You set them the good example. God will reward you in time.

Hope this helps you.

God bless

Lil John


#18

[quote="SonCatcher, post:16, topic:197148"]
is there a young adults' group at any parish near you? Groups like that often help form a sense of community so you can feel like you belong. If not, maybe you can get involved in RCIA or Bible study to remember why you're here or in the liturgy somehow.

Praying for you.

[/quote]

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. I don't feel I would be good in an RCIA class. I mean, pairing an inquirer with someone who has a foot out the door? Not good. I used to teach CCD, run a middle school youth group, sing in the choir, etc till I moved to another state. My local parish has a young adult women's group, but they are very snotty to new people and people with questions. I found that out the hard way. I still sing in the choir though.


#19

Her friends are different John, they don’t accept it they undermine it and attack her for it.


#20

Leave the church and go where? Without the Eucharist, what else is there to go to?

Seattle, however, is perhaps NOT the best place for a young person striving to live catholic.

The Catholic Church is pretty big - you can go anywhere in the world, and the CC is there. Perhaps you should look into a large parish somewhere that has more to offer for you.


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