Hello - I am a new member, interested in the Catholic faith, and I have a question - I will try to keep it as short and to the point as I can.
As a child/teen, I was hurt and scarred deeply on a mental and emotional level by people who twisted and abused God’s teachings, and unfortunately, this really poisoned my relationship with God. It took me YEARS to realise that this was not God’s fault.
What unfortunately happened in my late teens was that I began to believe that the devil was the true saviour… I thought he was simply misunderstood, that he was “the good guy”, so I began to pray to him.
Eventually I got involved in a cult-like group of people, who shattered my pretty illusion, but then found myself caught in the web, and had a hard time breaking free from it again.
I would like to make it clear that I never participated in anything you may have seen in horror films… I never wanted to harm anyone or anything. And ironically, I ALWAYS had certain morals and standards for myself that equals what the Bible teaches. But still, it doesn’t change the fact that I did worship the devil, and tried to convert others to do the same. It doesn’t change the fact that I thought and said things about God that I now wish I hadn’t. And when I finally broke free, I felt like my soul had rotted away.
That is a long time ago now, and I have since tried to live a very different life. I have been very drawn to Catholicism for years, but have held back for two reasons: one being the scars from my childhood, but I think I am past that now.
The other is much worse…
Recent dramatic events in my life, where I nearly lost my life, made me realise what is really important to me… and the ONE thing that was constantly on my mind was that I was desperate to repair my relationship with God… and a burning need to be “cleansed”, forgiven for my stupidity back then.
But… can I be forgiven at all for what I have done? Would God even “want me back” now? Would the Church welcome someone like me? I really want to contact my local church, but I am worried about how I will be received.
The truth is that I can’t even forgive myself, and i don’t feel I deserve anything good in life… and I’ve tried to pray, I’ve tried to apologise, but unlike that warm feeling I had as a kid when I prayed… I just feel nothing, like there’s no connection, and that scares me. I don’t know if it’s just in my head, because honestly, I don’t feel like I’m worthy of having my prayers heard. Or am I just a hopeless case now?