Belief in heart, but troubled by 'doubts' surfacing

I believe.
In Him.
In all that we profess in the Creed.
In the Bible.
In the Holy Spirit, the Father, the Son; the Trinity.
I believe.

As noted in my sig below, I was away from the Church (2002-2013) and was sinful during that time. Before that, (1999-2002) I was very close to Him, because of His Graces and Blessing and Gifts.

I never quit believing in Catholicism, our Faith, or our Savior; Heaven, Hell, Sin or Purgatory. I guess I quit believing in myself. So we have recently returned to our Faith, Mass, Reconciliation, partaking in the Eucharist, and I’ve prayed more Rosaries since Feb. 6 than I had my entire life, times 10. I also just started a Catechism learning class for adults here in our diocese. I’m reading the Bible and being more conscious of what I am doing, spiritually and mindfully.

My heart and soul believe. But my ‘head’ keeps telling me, I’m wrong. That there is no way that this is true, that this is possible. It’s hard, when I have these thoughts coming at me during prayer, during Mass. “Our God” wouldn’t let these things happen, as non-Christians might say, or atheists; therefore, this is a big fairy tale.

**I believe. **I want to believe. I KNOW to believe. How can I overcome the weak human mind that I am feeling, and the temptations of disbelief? I also believe that these are temptations from evil. I had fallen away once before, and when I came back to the Faith, the devil came at me a different way, and at it clearly, and so obviously failed. I do think he’s trying to plant these doubts, telling me I’m too ‘smart’ to believe these things; coming at me a new way that I’m not capable of handling very well. Surely, it isn’t because I’m not welcome back? I know that not to be true, but that is what I think the devil is trying to lead me to. GRRRRR

I ask Him for His help. I ask Mary, our Saints and the souls before me for their intercession. Perhaps that is why I’m here; to ask yours. I do hope to get an appointment to visit with the Priest soon. I continue to pray; to celebrate His Life and Resurrection; His Saving Graces; His dying for our sins. I continue to say the Rosary, and prayers, even though I can’t ‘feel’ it like I want to. Then that opens up to “If you can’t feel it, it isn’t real.” I KNOW it’s real, but my human mind isn’t accepting it as easily and readily as my heart and soul are. :frowning:

Please don’t be hard on me. I’m confused, yet faithful. I WILL continue to believe and do my best following His Path for me. It’s like a ‘dark night’ of the soul, that I recently was told about. How do I overcome? Or hear Him? I hope some of this makes sense… it’s confusing enough in my head!

Thank you for your thoughts, fellow Catholics; God Bless you.
+
Christina

The devil loves to plant seeds of doubt in our minds…I like how you word your
post from that perspective.

I really enjoyed reading Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis regarding the tricks of the devil
A good read if you haven’t read it.

St Michael the Archangel defend us in battle…

Read anything on the life of Padre Pio. I am almost done with Padre Pio Man Of Hope. Very good, easy read. Keep up the rosary, you’ll be fine. Don’t give up.

I am in the same predicament you are, except probably worse. I’m trying to get it all back, but having trouble with some personal issues that I won’t go into so as not to make this post about “me.”
Something makes me keep trying. I think it is oriented in one of 2 possibilities:

It could be that I fear death and what comes after. And that, while the weakest of weak, is perhaps a tiny shred of faith.

The other possibility, (and the one that I cling to) is that I am constantly being pulled by the Holy Spirit. So this pain and suffering that I have over my sinful ways combined with a longing to get back into the Church is simply the best way the Holy Spirit has to get it through my thick skull.

Pray for me and I’ll pray for you.

You are right. The evil one is tempting you. You are on a good path and doing the right things. You are always welcome back! He loves us no matter what we have done.

Do not despair, the Lord is with you even when you feel you can’t hear him. Just keep talking to him. You are asking our Blessed Mother for help through your rosaries. Be explicit with her and our Lord with regard to your needs. Ask them to take away the temptations and/or for help in overcoming them. Ask them for increased faith and assurance that HE is with you. Ask them to fill you with his love so that you will never stray again. The Lord is permitting these things to happen to you so that you will be strengthened and draw closer to him. Be persistent and HE will answer. Blessed are those who wait for the Lord.

I am praying for you.

I had a very similar story then you.

You need to do the rosary and the mystery. Maybe start to commit by one day. The blessed Mother Mary will help you in so many ways including to strength your faith.

Pray for discernment (shown your wrong doing) and to have remorse about.

Pray to love God more

Those are graces.

I knew intellectually that i was doing the right thing to resume to Church. I didn’t feel God in my heart until quite some time but i keep doing what i could to earn him back. I finally understood from the prodigal son that he was already happy that i went back to him.

Perhaps, in your heart, you feel like you aren’t wanted by him but read the story again about the prodigal son. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.

You are wanted sweet heart and you are loved, love and love. Pray even more, and from your heart (quality prayer are best then quantity). When we pray we have a direct connection with heaven, it is one of the reason we need to pray to keep this bound with God.

It will come, but start with Mother Mary, she is such a mother and truly FULL OF GRACE and BLESSED.

Blessing to you and love!

I have been plagued by doubt all my 50 + years as a Catholic. The thoughts that I turn towards during these times is this. How can I doubt and miss something that I have never experienced. I believe that you have to have the experience of something in order to miss its presence and the devil be able to create a doubt. I have never been sky diving, so in all honesty, I cannot miss it because I have never experienced it and I cannot doubt its pleasure because I have never experienced the pleasure in order to know what I am doubting. I firmly believe that one has to have experienced God’s presence in order to miss it, otherwise, how would you know what you are missing and long for it. When God withdraws his presence, the feeling of Himself, he wants you to love him for who he is, not for what he is giving you in the pleasure of his presence. Therefore, when he takes these feeling away, you know something is missing-God. Then the devil steps in to try and place confusion and doubt in you life. If you can miss Him, then you know He was there in the first place and still is. This is what has helped me all these years, I hope may be it can help you too.

God Bless

I would urge you to keep on believing: hoping against hope, as did Abraham (Romans 4:18). This is maybe part of your dark night of the soul, or simply the enemy trying to use your pride against you. Keep attending Mass, consume the Lord often and ask God for the grace of equanimity. Nothing calms my rebellious and perturbed mind as much as the Holy Sacrifice!

If it is latter, i.e., intellectual hubris, some reading on the rationality of Theism in general and the Catholic faith in specific (e.g., Thomist metaphysics, Feser’s “The Last Superstition”, or Karl Adam’s “The Spirit of Catholicism”) may help.

I’d like to finish by quoting Daniel Castellano’s Pascal’s Wager Explained on the limits of reason in recognizing God:

Naturally, this thesis [that reason is presumed to be completely powerless to render the existence of God more or less probable according to Pascal] will prove objectionable to most atheists (as well as many theists), who claim that physical science has at least probabilistic bearing on the question of whether God exists. Such claims are philosophically naïve, failing to recognize the impotence of physics before deeper metaphysical questions. Since God, who is hypothesized as a being without limit, could create any possible universe, no actual state of affairs in the physical universe is inconsistent or incongruent with the existence of God. Physical arguments against God’s existence are really arguments against His wisdom or benevolence, based on the determination that the natural order is not as wise or benevolent as it ought to be. This is a purely subjective determination, however, for the question of whether the natural order is wise presumes knowledge of what God would intend to accomplish through the natural order, and the question of benevolence presumes knowledge of what is good on a cosmological scale, as well as the unfounded assumption that creatures are owed a certain degree of comfort by their Creator. These criticisms amount to nothing more than a lowly human saying, “If I were God, I would do things differently,” which has no probative force whatsoever, given the limitations of human understanding. If there is a rational proof of the necessity or likelihood of God’s existence, it is only to be found in metaphysics.

I will look into it; I have not read it. Before when I fell away from the Church, he used simpler temptation, and it did not work (pressing me to lie for no reason, steal for no reason…yet I didn’t give in. :slight_smile: )

I’m never giving up. Not Him. Not my faith. Not the Rosary. Thanks.

I’ll of course include you in my prayers! After I went to confession for the first time in many years, I no longer fear death. Although I can’t say I welcome it, after giving a true confession and penance, I felt it in my soul that I had nothing to fear at that time. That was a joyful feeling.

*Thank you. I know He is here. I pray for the Grace of feeling Him deeper. The wait is worth it. I will ask more directly for His gifts to be made known to me.
*

*Thank you for sharing your story with me. I appreciate the support. :slight_smile: The Prodigal Son was one of the first Gospels I heard after returning to the Faith. I felt Him reaching me so much.
*

That is true. I miss Him and do love Him. The devil actually only reinforces that the Lord is with me and I’m in the right place and doing the right thing. I’m still a sinner, but when I was away from the Church, ‘sinning’ came naturally; now, it comes with an immediate and obvious recognition and price, and I’m tempted in new ways than I was before.

Thank you. I will read and re-read these passages of advice and hope that you all have given me. I still believe, will always believe, always hope, and always strive to be the best I can be, even though I can do nothing that will make me worthy of His love and Graces, which makes it all even more astonishing and wonderful.
forums.catholic.com/images/smilies/signs/blessyou.png
Each of you has given me hope and support. :slight_smile:
+
Christina

It is meant to be this way- we are meant to doubt. If we didn’t doubt, then we would not have faith- we would have knowledge. And there is no merit in believing something if it is obviously true, any more than there is merit in believing that 2 + 2=4. What happens sometimes when one returns to the faith (and I have done so myself) is that you get these periods of extreme feelings of closeness to God, followed by intense periods of doubt. It takes time to get on an even keel- that center ground where you are spared the extremes. But it does come, and all it takes is the help of God, which comes through prayer, the sacraments, and not being so hard on yourself.

Dear One,
Welcome Home.
Take heart for you can be sure that the devil is attacking you so violently because he knows that he is losing you. There were a couple of things in your post that caught my attention…You said:
I do think he’s trying to plant these doubts, telling me I’m too ‘smart’ to believe these things;
Amen - He is indeed trying to tell you this…but you know what, you ARE too smart. Too smart NOT to believe these things. Ole satan “shot himself in the foot” way back in the Garden when he got Eve to eat the fruit. I say this because in so doing Eve gained the knowledge of good and evil. It is this knowledge that allows you and I to recognize the Evil of satan.
So - when he tries to tell you that you are “too smart”…just laugh and agree…you are too smart to fall for that trick of his. (I’ve discovered that the devil hates to be laughed at)
Later then you ask…
How do I overcome? Or hear Him?
This can be very tricky. First of all, you must recognize that “we” cannot “overcome”. What we can do is endeavor to more fully immerse ourselves in Him. It is He who overcomes.
Immersing ourselves in Him can be done in many ways. Certainly prayer and participation in the Sacraments are necessary and good. However - it is also necessary that we act as channels for the graces we receive. Making every act of our daily lives a reflection of God in us. This can often be difficult for we continue to be imperfect creatures, but the more that we put our faith into action - through the application of Agape Love - the stronger we become. Of course the stronger we become, the more god might ask of us - which may not lead to “peace” or put an end to doubts or other temptations and “dark nights” etc…
Yet - We act on our knowledge of what God calls us to do, and we do this in our hope and our faith and our because of our great Love for Him.

You might find the book listed in my signature to be of help to you. It is a wonderful compilation of the writings of several great saints. It’s a good sized book, but easy to read, well laid out and engaging. It provides both a challenge to our journey and also the consolation that we are not alone - - - that others have trod this path before us.

May God continue to bless you on your journey.

Peace
James

Hank and James,
Thanks.

Last night, I had the unexpected joy of sharing my experience with the Holy Spirit from many years ago, as well as my return to the Faith, in, of all places, the middle of a neighborhood bar. When He calls me to share, I always listen and obey. I felt that fire burning inside me, so unexpected. You never know when you are going to be called to share your faith, but I met the challenge, and shared the story, knowing full well that many people would laugh if they heard it, yet I didn’t care. It’s true. It happened to me. And these are not just my truths, but His.

It started simply with a clarification of what Lent can be and is based on for us. I didn’t know it, but I was talking to the grandson of a devout Baptist preacher; that mattered not. I clarified our beliefs in Saints and Mary. It was amazing. Was I witnessing to him, or to myself? Both. Wow. Thank you, God.

+JMJ+

Amazing testimony, ccmcmg :thumbsup:

When you love for the sake of God, like what you did for the one/s you witnessed to, God will reward you always. Love will be our guide and strength for all our questions and trials, for God is Love, and Love is God :thumbsup:

That sounds really cool. To be a public witness for the Lord takes guts, real guts. But to do it in a bar- that takes style:) Maybe you’re part Irish. All joking aside, well done. You are in my prayers. My faith is often patchy too, so please pray for me.

:o
Thanks. I AM part Irish…and the other part is German. I hope I would stand up for my faith no matter where I’m at, especially when He calls me to share. Prayers sent!

God bless!

What you are expressing is your cross. Each of us has one, not quite the same as the fellow next to us. We need God’s help in order not to trade it in on the lastest model car. Its his way of letting us know that we need him and can’t do it alone. This keeps us eating our humble pie. Any time we think we are so big and can do it by ourself, then we are in trouble. The cross binds us to him.

You know this from your previous experience with the good life. It was nice in a certain way, but then you felt terrible, alone, isolated, and just plain unhappy without him. So you certainly don’t want to go back to that and learn that lesson all over again.

Just remember 10,000 questions don’t make one tiny doubt.

Just some thoughts.

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