If someone is living a Catholic life and feels very supportive of the church, but never has experienced the reality of our Lord Jesus, is than a sin not to believe?
What are you not believing?
Faith is the adherence of the intellect to the revealed truth of God, according to the Angelic Doctor. Experiences and feelings may be helpful for some in coming to learn the one true faith, but are not necessary for faith to exist. Thus, losing one’s faith due to a lack of consolation is indicative of a weak faith.
I just read a testimony of a woman who was atheist and than was touched by Holy Spirit and is bursting with tears of joy. But what if someone never gets to experience it? What if for someone its all about repeating what others tell him to be real?
I agree that intellect and emotions can be misleading, evidences are all around us. But beliefs should be nurtured, and on what grounds should a person chose his beliefs? And lets say this person leads a moral life.
True obedience is a virtue. Humble submission to and acceptance of Church teaching is absolutely essential in the spiritual life. It is dangerous to base one’s entire faith and spiritual life off of subjective experiences and emotions, as a friend of mine (a bishop) once told me.
A person must assent to the binding teaching of the one true Church.
Simply leading a moral life is not sufficient for salvation. We need the Church, we need the faith, and we need the supernatural.
If losing one’s faith due to a lack of consolation is indicative of a weak faith, than on what ground should a person choose to straighten his faith?
Submission to the teaching of the one true Church of Our Lord. The Church was prefigured by the Ark which had one guide, Noah, just as the Church has one head, the Roman Pontiff. Just as all that subsisted of the earth was destroyed during the Deluge, there is no salvation found outside the Church. She is the flower of the field, the lily among the thorns which represent the false religions (Sgs. 2:1-2). She alone is the Mystical Body of Christ, His Spouse, His dove and perfect one (Sgs. 6:8-9).
No, I am not talking at all about introducing my own set of guidelines. I am talking about being a member of church who not only respects it but also lives according to its teachings.
There is no problem with submission to churches teaching, but with faith.
Again, faith is the adherence of the intellect to the revealed truth of God. This truth is given to use through natural law and Church teaching. Thus, one who submits without question to Church teaching should have no problem with faith. What you’re describing might simply be aridity or spiritual dryness.
Then unbelief due to lack of subjective emotions and experiences would be indicative of a weak faith. The development of a stronger faith begins with prayer, in which one must entrust himself into the hands of Our Lord, saying, “I do believe, Lord: help my unbelief” (Mk. 9:23-24).
I believe the answer you are looking for, from a non-Catholic, is to use the means of grace provided by the Church. Attend Mass, confess your sins, pray and meditate on spiritual things, seek spiritual counsel from a priest, etc. etc. to build up your faith.
This is what my question is about. I know people usually tend to disprove the church but for me its the other way around. So to pray for a stronger faith is all I can do?
Yes, pray. God knows you better than you know yourself. Offer Him even your unbelief, ask Him to help your faith grow. Then day by day seek to offer more and more of yourself to Him, to His will.
Yes. But there is no help in how much is enough, and what if I am left without it. Its hard to put a roof without foundations.
During my life the church has really guided me and living by its teachings is a treasure, and all of the priests I have met are really God sent. But sometimes it feels like cheating, couse I am there because of the people…
There is not much choice besides submitting to Gods plan, but if I were to ask you what that means it would be hard to explain.
It would be hard to explain Gods plan for an individual like you for example, but if you want to get some idea of what Gods plan has been so far for you you might look back at significant occurrences in your life, both good and not so good, and then try to see what spiritual developments they might have led to…for a person, then perhaps ask yourself if they led to those developments for you personally. You may be able to glimpse some of His plan for you in your history that way. Overall we can assume that God is leading us towards salvation of course generally speaking.
If you attend to the Sacraments, read the scriptures and discuss aspects of Catholicism with fellow Catholics, pray sincerely to Our Lady to help increase your faith daily then I’m sure your faith will increase until you begin to feel the Truth with your soul and not just with your intellect. This takes time for most people I think but be assured that this treasure of treasures is closer than you think.
Thank you for this!
@ivana_2 , no one can live a Catholic life without being empowered by the Holy Spirit to do so .
A Catholic ought to believe that he/she is a member of the Church which proclaims the fullness of Revelation .
The life where one through faith embraces the fullness of Revelation needs a relationship with the Christ from whom , in union with the Holy Spirit , one is granted the grace to live that life .
An authentic Catholic life is not a ticking off of a list of teachings to which one gives intellectual assent .
An authentic Catholic life is not supporting an institution by obeying certain rules .
An authentic Catholic life is a life in the Spirit as a member of Christ and a member of the Church founded by Christ , and sharing in the mission of the Church .
It is a life of those freed from sin and reborn as sons of the Father through regeneration through water in the word .
Without this profound relationship with the Trinity a life is not Catholic . As St Paul taught it is “having a form of godliness but denying its power” . It is lifeless and spiritually dead .
As Pope Francis has reminded us every Catholic" must put their relationship with Jesus above all else…I am a Christian, I am a disciple of Jesus, I am a priest, I am a bishop, but I have a double heart. No, this does not work,” he has said. “He should not have a double heart, but a simple, united heart; that he does not hold his foot in two shoes, but is honest with himself and with others. Duplicity is not Christian…Either you are with Jesus, with the spirit of Jesus, or you are with the spirit of the world ."
Actions speak louder than words. If a person is able to do good acts, he is being acted upon by the Holy Spirit, even if he does not recognize it.
“Blessed is he who has not seen, but still believes.”
That said, there are ways to work on the emotional or personal attachment side of faith, if that feels lacking. But sometimes it is just peer pressure that makes people feel a lack. There are many great Christian thinkers who have experienced God mostly through intellectual concepts and reasoning, coupled with Scripture and the beauty of Tradition. It is also possible to know God mostly through the people around us, or Nature, or lots of other ways.
Our society is very bad at helping people know God in these ways, but historically they have been regarded as deep and powerful religious experiences. If God is talking to your friend in these ways, he should not feel like less of a Christian.